Repair 2010 MBP or replace with RMBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lostinheadguy, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. lostinheadguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I recently posted about a RAM issue, which I somewhat resolved. But now my near-vintage 2010 15" Macbook Pro is likely going to have to be sent in for a repair or completely replaced.

    Something's going on with my built-in Wi-Fi, and working with Apple's technicians over the phone we isolated it to be a hardware issue (likely with the AirPort card). I have an appointment with a store in a few days, and I'm anticipating that I'll have to send it in for a depot repair. This would be the second time in the computer's 5.5-year lifespan that it's been sent in for a depot repair. Considering that one of my logic board's RAM slots has come loose, I want to assume that the $3XX.00 depot repair would replace the board along with whatever's going on with my AirPort card, but I'm not sure. I was comfortable cracking it open and replacing the RAM but I'm not sure I'm comfortable doing this repair / replace myself.

    Along with the faulty RAM slot and my weird AirPort card, it's still running on the original battery (which has almost run flat) and the original hard disk (which has really slowed down).

    My question is, considering that my machine is that old, is it worth throwing more money to repair it and hold out for potential Skylake Macbook Pros next year, or should I just bite the bullet and replace it now?

    I really want to take advantage of the Skylake processors and Thunderbolt 3, but I'm wary of purchasing the first iteration of a redesigned Mac notebook (after what happened with the 2012 RMBP displays), and they might not be released until May or June. I'm a 3D visualization artist, so I work with packages like Sketchup, Rhino, Cinema 4D, Revit, etc, but I don't necessarily do any rendering on my own computer (only modeling and texturing). I haven't really been able to do 3D work on my old Mac for a few years, and I miss it very much.

    I paid $1800 after the educational discount back in 2010 for the 15" 2.4 1st-gen i5 with the integrated / discrete graphics setup. The same price range would get me the base 15" configuration with the 2.2 4th-gen i7, integrated graphics only and 256GB SSD for $1900 after the educational discount. I don't mind the lower storage because the majority of my files are housed on external hard disks now, but I'm wary about not having a discrete graphics card.

    Any advice? I really want the new machine to last as long as my old one if I have to replace it.
     
  2. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #2
  3. lostinheadguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #3
    It does seem like a money pit, I agree. What makes my situation a little tricky (at least in my opinion) is that my current college's resources do allow me to continue to work, just not in my own environment (with my preferences, my fonts that I use in Adobe CC, etc). So I could just deal with my machine the way it is and wait it out, but it's definitely not ideal.

    How are the refurbished Macs? Buying refurbished is an option that I'm also seriously considering but I'm not sure about the longevity. Possibly step up to this one and then add an AppleCare extension? It's a little higher in price than I'd like but it is the upper-level model. I'd go for a 2014 instead of a 2015 but I would kind of want the faster flash storage (I'm neither here nor there on the upgraded trackpad).
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #4
    Well you need a few hundred dollars of repairs, an SSD and new battery thats about $500 to get your pushing 6 year old computer back up and running well.

    That wouldn't be worth it for me the graphics on those 2010 MBP's are pretty poor and the first generation core i5 's weren't that great either, the increased productivity on a new machine over the next few months would far outweigh the benefits of waiting in my case but only you can decide that sort of trade off.

    TBH if this is your work (and it seems to be) then I'd have a 2-3 year upgrade cycle with selling the old comp for about half what you paid for it and your laptop costing about $500/year. Unless you plan on running a 5K screen or an external GPU then TB3 and USB-C are pretty much useless to you and may well be more trouble than they are worth with adapters etc needed for current peripherals.
     
  5. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #5
    I've pretty much only bought refurb or open-box Macs, for the last 20 or so years. Especially if you buy from Apple, a refurb mac is a new mac. The only difference is that it's likely to have a brown cardboard box, instead of the fancy Apple packaging. And it may already have a couple battery cycles under its belt, which is a drop in the bucket compare to the 1,000+ it's rated for.

    2015 does have faster SSD, was you identified, but after a certain point I don't know how much of a real world difference this will make? A more compelling difference, specifically for your 3d use case, might be the GPU. Is the slightly older NVIDIA card better than the slightly newer AMD one? I'd guess that's where YOUR biggest performance difference will come from, since they share the same GPU and you'll likely be doing some GPU heavy work?

     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Refurbs are as new and have all the same warranty options, however they usually work out about the same price as the education discount on new.
     
  7. 3568358 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    I went from a 2010 MBP and purchased a 2014 rMBP and IT IS SO WORTH IT! The screen alone is worth it. That, double the ram, way better processor, better battery! you can't go wrong with getting the 2015 rMBP! DO IT!! Why re you still reading this?! GO GET ITTTT!!
     
  8. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #8
    That's good point, regarding edu discount vs refurbs. As I qualify to buy with an edu discount (several kids in k-12 and my woman is getting yet another grad degree), I do weigh both options. Sometimes the refurb discount is smaller than an edu discount, other times it's much larger. There are also some places where you can buy open box unit without sales tax (eg. Mac Mall), which can save you a considerable amount of money. SO, shopping around is important.

    But in this case, a refurb might be a better deal, if it turns out that the GPU in the 2014 model would be better for you? But either way, do buy AppleCare with your edu discount.

     
  9. lostinheadguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #9
    What would the difference in battery cycles be between the 2015 and 2014? I know that seems like a stupid question considering that the 2014 is older, but I wonder if some of those older machines have been sitting around unused.
     
  10. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #10
    Ha! probably less than 10 cycles, which is meaningless statistical noise, given the fact that you're rated at 1,000+. It will not matter, especially if you choose to buy AppleCare. AppleCare will replace your batt, if it ever dips below 80% of capacity.

    And my guess is that those 2014s have been sitting idle. If they were not, Apple R&R'd any components, including the battery, to make them seem new.

     
  11. HighDesert50 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    #11
    Well, the next best computer is always a few months out and it appears you are at a point where the repair costs will likely exceed the value of the system unless you intend to pass it on, for example, to a family member. But, fate may be playing into your hands. Look at the Black Friday deals and see if you are enticed into making a purchase.
     

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