MBP 2015 or 2016? Whichone to Buy??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by coolchap, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. coolchap macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2016

    I am new to Mac, have never owned a MacBook, however planning to switch from PC to Mac as am fed up with windows. I am a software engineer who works on Unix platform day in & out. So, Initially was thinking to go with Ubuntu, however, i changed my mind to Mac.

    I am planning to use mac for running VMs(probably windows 10) for compatibility purpose and use tools for ssh,scripting (Perl,Chef,Shell etc.,) purpose and of course, for personal usage to keep all personal information, photos, documents etc., and Web browsing etc.,

    Reason :
    I see windows are very weak in security, prone to viruses, poor performance etc., and need to install various virus software to keep it safe, whereas mac is better in security and performance(what I heard so far, but never experienced).

    MBP 2015 or 2016.

    I want to invest wisely that should benefit me for next 3 to 4 years, so i dont mind shelling good money, as i consider this as investment. so, i am planning to spend about 1.5k to 2.5k
    While looking Mac 2015 and 2016, i felt 2015 is better in terms of performance,ports etc., but the only thing luring me is the touchpad although it is not a significant change, but looking at future usage as i will not buy another laptop in next 2 to 3 years.

    Coming to size, I prefer 15" as it comes with quad core i7 although it is big and bulky.

    Also, Please share the best way to buy (online or apple store)?

    Please suggest or share your recommendations and experiences
    Your inputs are much appreciated and means lot to me to take a wise decision.

    Thanks in advance
  2. CE3 macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2014
    Based on your usage I can't say which model would be best, but far as where to buy the 2015 models, I believe it's been reported that Apple has removed the dGPU from the 15" 2015 models they sell (if they still sell them).. so if you want discrete graphics and pick the mid-2015 rMBP, look for it from other retailers.
  3. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Nice evaluation, you are thinking clearly. The differences between 2015 and 2016 are almost right, but a little off. 2015 has the ports, but the 2016 has better performance, albeit small compared to a 2015 except for the SSD. The new one's future performance is dictated by the usb-c ports, not necessarily the touchbar. The touchbar has potential, but even if there is zero development for it couple years from now, the usb-c advantages will still be there. The rest of it is preference in regards to keyboard and battery differences based on type of usage. Other differences are smaller and matter differently to different people - screen, sound, smaller form. There is pretty much no difference in purchasing from Apple store vs. Apple.com. If you are buying a model that the store stocks, you can get it today vs. waiting a week. BTO, you have no option but Apple.com. Other retailers vary and have different upsides/downsides, and you are limited to their stock.
  4. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    I agree the 15" is well worth it if you don't mind the extra size and weight. Between the 2015 and 2016, the CPUs are a wash for most purposes, but the dGPU for the 2016 is significantly more capable. A summary of the differences (based mainly on measurables):

    The new MBP 15" is clearly better than the 2015 model in:

    -- Screen (brighter, better contrast, wider color gamut)
    -- dGPU
    -- SSD speed
    -- External monitor support
    -- Heat
    -- Quietude
    -- Speakers
    -- Touch ID
    -- Touch bar
    -- Size/weight

    It's also mostly better in regard to:

    -- Battery life (better for normal use)


    -- Ports (the new machine has by far the more powerful and flexible ports, but the 2015 has by far the more convenient ones for most people not yet living in the future)
    -- Keyboard and trackpad (the new ones get mixed reviews compared to the old)

    The one area in which the 2015 model has a clear, unmixed advantage is:

    -- Replaceable/upgradable SSD (and if the motherboard fails, you won't need Apple's help to recover your data)

    You can sometimes get small discounts at sellers with good return policies like Amazon or B&H, but if the Apple Store is convenient, that's a good place too.
  5. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    If you don't mind the new keyboard or having all USB-C ports and money isn't a huge concern, I'd go with the 2016. I have the 2015 13" which I love, but the 2016 is a very nice machine.
  6. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    It looks like the initial problems have been significantly cleared up, but I still have a lot of concerns about the 2016.

    Absolutely make sure you get a chance to type on one of those superflat keyboards before you commit to one, though; some people find them completely intolerable for extended use.
  7. Dave410, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017

    Dave410 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2015
    I've been agonizing over that decision for several months now. I needed to buy a new MBP for my girlfriend and I've been thinking about switching from Windows to Mac myself, so that makes two MBPs I was shopping for, and I waited almost a year for the new 2016 models to be released before I decided. After careful consideration, I finally ordered a tricked-out 2015 13" MBP for my girlfriend that should arrive later this week. Why the 2015? Because there are too many knowledgeable people having problems with the 2016 and writing bad reviews. Not just on MacRumors either. I was a pilot in the Air Force for a long time and we had a saying: "Never fly the A model of anything." The first model of a brand new airplane is the A model, followed by the B model, C model and so on. The A model could kill you because the engineers hadn't worked out all the bugs yet. Later models were much safer. I kinda think the new 2016 MBP is an A model and we need to let Apple work the bugs out. As for myself, I haven't switched to Mac yet because I've been thinking about building a new PC instead. Looking at the specs for homebuilt computers, I can get three times the performance for half the price and I can fix it myself too. Besides, building computers is great fun. By the way, I never followed that advice in the Air Force. I flew A models almost my entire career, with only a B model toward the end. Hope that helps. Cheers.
  8. coolchap thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2016
    Nice one Dave! Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts
    --- Post Merged, Jan 10, 2017 ---
    Thanks Sanpete for sharing the wonderful information
    It helps a lot :)
    --- Post Merged, Jan 10, 2017 ---
    Thanks Buddy for sharing your valuable thoughts and information
  9. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    And you decided on... drumroll...
  10. TofSanity macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2010
    This past weekend I returned my 15" MacBook Pro w/TB due to display. It wasn't the first return either. Two days later I still needed a laptop, so I purchased a base model 13" rMBP (2015) I have to say it feels much better than the new model. If you haven't purchased your laptop yet go ahead look at the 2015 15" rMBP
  11. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Sorry, your post caught my attention for some reason. So you returned the MBP 16 15" tb version, bought a base MBP 15 13" version, and "it feels much better than the new model?" Can I assume it was a refurb 2015 also? Care to elaborate on how it "feels" better. This is an internet forum after all and we can only go by written description. Granted, the 2015 is a fine machine, but I am intrigued by your assessment.
  12. TofSanity macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2010
    Sure. Let say that I did really enjoy the 2016 15" MacBook Pro w/TB. I went from a 2012 15" rMBP to a 2016 12" MacBook. When the Touch Bars came out I had already become accustomed to the new style keyboard. The 12" was too small for my needs, so I sold it and bought the new MacBook Pro w/TB. That original purchase turned into three replacements. Two for display and one for trackpad. When I returned the last one I felt I should just hold off a few build cycles, as in maybe two to four months. My mindset was maybe things would get better in production, if these issues were production errors. As I stated in another post, I still needed a MacBook. So, I went to my local Best Buy and purchased the 13" rMBP. This is not a refurbished MacBook. It was on sale for $999.99, now they are selling them for $1099.99. Of course it's not as powerful as the 2016 15" MacBook Pro w/TB. That model was the base $2799 model. Performance wise that machine was pretty great. I really hated letting it go, but I was tired of dealing with issues over the past month. This 13" rMBP "feels" better in the way it feels a bit sturdier than the 2016, the keyboard is quieter and flows a lot smoother, another thing I have noticed is the FaceTime camera seems somewhat clearer, which shouldn't be since they are the same on both models. my assessment is just for me. Both machines are great. My point of the original post in this thread is just to let those trying to decide that 2015 is still a fine machine, especially if one is coming from an older machine. That was some long winded BS lol, but seriously, my experience is just mine.
  13. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Not long winded at all, especially since I asked for it. Sincerely appreciate your detailed response. I'm sure it will help people decide between the 2 model years. That is a massive price difference and would make me feel better about it as well, regardless of any other factors. Not suggesting that's all you're happy about, but that would be good enough for me.

    The 2015 is sturdier because it's thicker and heavier. The 2016 is coming close to the limits of thinness and still maintaining a rigid form, but Apple will probably surprise us. Keyboard is always a personal decision. I don't know about the camera because I rarely use it. Agree with you, two different computers and both great with pros and cons. Depends on individual needs and shouldn't count either out unless there is a dealbreaker feature or lack thereof. I clearly understand your "feel" now. Thanks again.
  14. motime macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2015
    Most people are saying the bigger touchpad wasn't really needed and can be a hindrance with subpar palm rejection at times. Previous generations touchpad was more than adequate. I would say just to be safe you should save a whole lot of money and opt for 2015 15 inch. 2016 model just isn't worth it, wait it out for the next release as Apple should iron out some of the issues. 2015 is an excellent machine with all the ports, better keyboard and magsafe. The new one has a brighter screen and better sound. Performance is similar to last years model and the battery life is worse than last year for most users.
  15. TofSanity macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2010
    One of the "returned" 2016 15" MacBook Pro w/TB that I returned was "bowing" pretty badly on the long edges of the trackpad. It bowed deep enough to where dust/dirt could easily get underneath. The other two did not have that problem. All three would have to be rebooted occasionally, due to trackpad not "clicking" an object. Again, just my experience. I also noticed that the only parts of the trackpad that had any signs of being used was the middle, just like the one on this 13" rMBP. So, I wasn't even using the whole trackpad.
  16. ihatetoregister Suspended


    Sep 13, 2016
    Oslo, Norway

    Having a similar use as yours, i'd say have a look at the 2015 model and if the size is ok go for it.
    If you go for the 2016 (which I personally don't recommend), you'd be better to go for the 15" model.

    BTW your reasons are sound, while the PC have better perf in terms of raw components Windows on top of them is very heavy. I think going for the high end laptops of any PC brand alleviate this issue though.
    Also bingo for the security issues, always been more safe on Mac.
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    You said you've had the opportunity to try both the 2015 and 2016 models, right?

    Of the two, which was more appealing to YOU?
    Don't ask us to make that decision -- in the end, it will be up to YOU.

    Do you prefer one keyboard over the other?
    Are you sure you can live with the USB-c ports on the 2016?
    Or... are "legacy ports" important to you?
    Was the display on the 2015 acceptable to you?

    Again, it's your decision. What appeals to me (and to others here) may not work for you.
  18. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I went with a 2015, after trying 2 different 15" 2016 models.

    The 2015 was much better for my needs, and I hated the 2016 trackpad and keyboard enough that I would have returned it just based on that.
  19. djnigelchung macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2015
    Silicon Valley
    My thoughts,
    I was in the EXACT same situation, with the 15" .. So I bought both.
    2015 15" 512, with the 2gb video card
    2016 15" 512, with the 460
    Both had a 30 day return policy, so I decided to take them through my ringer

    I consider myself a pro. Although I don't use my computer for work, I do alot with it: Solidworks/Autocad designing on bootcamp (career), stock trading (career), Programming (hobby), Video Editing (hobby), Music Producing (hobby). I often have 10 things open across various 'virtual desktops'. Steam games and retro console games in bootcamp. I am fully integrated into the Apple world, with an Iphone, ipad, various apple tvs, I use my mac to almost it's full abilities.


    I stuck with the 2015. I tested each heavily for a few weeks. Almost everything was a wash, keyboard/trackpad/TB/speed/GPU(for non heavy gaming) is all a preference in my opinion. I could get used to either one eventually.
    For me it came down to ports. I use connections alot (HDMI to my tv, USB drives, SD cards from my camera). I know USB-C is the future and everyone will have it eventually, but not right now. I didn't realize how often I would have co-workers offer me their USB stick to tranfer files or PDF's or movies, which can't be emailed. Often I would find myself looking for my hootoo dongle for the 2016 for almost every use. It became a burden on me carrying an extra item.

    Yes in 2-3 years it will all be usb-c. By then I'll be on the market to upgrade my laptop anyways.

    Just my 2 cents

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