rMB 2015 vs 2016 - which to buy today?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by applegadget, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. applegadget macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2013
    I'm looking to purchase a 512gb rMB. I expect my use case to be frequent web browsing, moderate word processing, and occasional statistical analysis (R Studio).

    I am looking at a approximate 500 dollars savings if I get a refurbished 2015 model (there's no refurb 2016 model in my country yet). Given my usage, would the 2015 model be sufficient, and do you think it would continue to remain so in the next 2 years at least? Or should I just go for the newer model? Hope to hear your thoughts. Thanks :)
  2. fisherking macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    if it were me, i'd do the 2016. i have one, and never experience any sluggishness (and i've been living on mine). i have a client with a 2015, and... it's a little cranky. feels 'first-gen' to me. just my opinion, am sure you'll hear a lot more.
  3. ctrlzone macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2017
  4. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
    The only thing I don't like is the graphics power of the 2015. It can't run my 3440x1440 monitor without lag. Just for that reason I would get a 2016.
  5. navaira macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2015
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    First time my 2016 m5 started lagging was yesterday. I spent most of the day organising my media library, copying huge files while trying to watch others in Plex at the same time (external drive), converting .iso files that Plex won't play (ripped from my own DVDs) to .mkv, web browsing in Chrome and playing music from Spotify – all at once. Apparently this is too much for 2016 m5 at once. This is not something I am going to do everyday but an example of what makes 2016 m5 overheat and throttle.

    Not sure if this helps...
  6. playtech1 macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2014
    I have the 2015 model and for web browsing and word processing it is absolutely fine. I don't know about the other use you have in mind.

    However, I would nonetheless stretch for the 2016 model if you can, because I do find it lacks a bit of snappiness generally and, when under load (e.g. lots of browser tabs with a video or two), the thermal throttling can really kill performance. The impression I get is that the 2016 model addressed this to some extent.

    Either however are really great machines. I don't love the keyboard, but I absolutely love the size - enough to make up for it.
  7. applegadget thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2013

    Thank you for that response :) may I also check whether you use safari or chrome as your browser of choice? I know from experience that Chrome isn't all that optimised compared to safari. If the 2015 can handle chrome with many tabs, I think I can live with it.
  8. playtech1 macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2014
    I'm a Chrome user 90% of the time and I don't find the performance to be generally a problem, even with a bunch of tabs open. It's usually that there is a single tab that for some reason ramps up the temps really quickly. Usually a video.
  9. PsychicRutabaga macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2015
    I've been using my 2015 since shortly after launch. I don't run Chrome, but I typically have Safari with upwards of 20 tabs at a time, two mail clients (Outlook and Mail), messages, sometimes a spreadsheet or word doc, Sonos client and often a Linux VM in VirtualBox. I don't notice any hesitation under my usage. I do however restrict Adobe Flash to the handful of sites that absolutely need it (like Pandora if I'm modifying a station), but video plays fine for news sites, Youtube etc without it.

    My wife has the newer 2016 model that I've occasionally used, but really I don't notice any appreciable difference in overall performance. We both have 1.2/512 versions.
  10. Treyhunna macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2017
  11. doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    I have a 1.2Ghz first gen 2015. Using a 3D Club USB-C to Displayport adapter, I seldom experience lag on my 4K@60hz display. I guess the feeling of newness is good, but absolutely no guarantee for big jump in performance. If you can get a 2015 cheap go for it, or wait until 2017 is out.

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10 March 25, 2017