Should I buy 15" MBP Mid-2012?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Shintsu, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Shintsu macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #1
    Hi all, to start off sorry for this long winded wall of text - wanted to explain a bit of my thought process and uses to see if anyone could help me make this decision. Another thing I want to get off my chest - I feel so relieved to have made the revelation that I like Macs. For many years I bashed them and their users, but I saw a good deal on a C2E iMac and thought I'd try it (and sell it for what I paid or more if I didn't). All the Macs I tried before were PowerPC based G4 machines which were slow compared to the Core 2 Duo I was using at the time. Turns out, I can really appreciate a lot of stuff that's done here. So with that - sorry for being such an Anti-Mac jerk for so long! It's nice to be able to see why someone would prefer either platform and not have a bias for either anymore.

    I still like Windows though, my main PC is used for gaming and other purposes on a 30" display so I don't think a Mac would ever replace this machine (but I don't really think they would try to anyway). I've had a solid and speedy ThinkPad T420 laptop with an SSD and secondary storage HDD I've used for portable use, but now that I'm open to MacBooks I've been looking at what I could find locally.

    And thus brings me here. I am considering a 15" MBP which was purchased July 2013 (Non-retina). Based on the specs it's a Mid-2012 MBP with a 2.3 GHz i7 quad core with GT 650M graphics, 500 GB HDD, 4 GB RAM, priced at $1,000. So I'm trying to factor if I sold my T420 and maybe the C2E iMac about how much I'd actually pay out of pocket for the MBP. I'm kind of unsure if I really need a laptop though, as I have contemplated selling my current laptop and just using a tablet for portable uses as I don't often go places, and certainly not with the need of a computer now that I'm about finished with college.

    I had an Asus ROG 17" gaming laptop for part of my time at school, and it seemed cool at first - but then it started to seem stupid to carry that huge thing around and I rarely had time to play games while on campus since I had to bring out the mouse and mousepad and the headphones. I don't even know if I need a portable PC period, but it seems like a good idea to have one just in case something craps out on my desktop and has me in downtime (Has only happened once but honestly was several years ago, GPU died and all I had was a horrible slow entry level HP laptop...the horror...). I don't seem to be the type that curls up on a couch and uses a laptop/tablet - I usually just sit at my PC all day (Plus I have a great sound system on the PC which makes it preferable to other options generally).

    I like the idea of the rMBP's for their screen resolution (That's why I use a 30" 2560x1600 display as opposed to a multiscreen setup of lower res displays). But I'm not sure that for me that wouldn't just be a "ooh ahh" factor that I don't legitimately need. I thought about a MacBook Air as they seem even more affordable, but I do like knowing that I have a portable machine that can do what I need (I am confident in my T420 to do this). Geekbench on my T420 is 5281 on the multicore 32-bit, for my gaming PC it's 9322 (3rd Gen i5 3.1 GHz), the 15" MBP is 10551 - impressive that it's even faster than my desktop.

    I don't have a particular need for the iMac that I have, I have considered photo editing on it with Aperture - though I have an S-IPS display and photoshop on my PC which could be used for the same ends. I see the prices people sell MacBooks for on Craigslist and wonder if I'd even stand to lose a lot if I ended up finding out I didn't use it much. I like using Mac for anything I don't need to use a PC for but the iMac is definitely slower than my i5 gaming machine so I don't go to it always - was thinking maybe a fast Mac laptop would allow me to get more immersed in OS X.

    So I'm a bit lost here. Do I buy this 15" MBP and sell my laptop and C2E iMac? Sell my laptop and just get a tablet (Thinking iPad Mini Retina or Nexus 7)? Wait until I can find a rMBP at a fair price and get that instead? Wait for new rMBA to come out?

    TL;DR: 15" non-Retina MBP 2012 2.3 GHz i7 for $1,000 a good deal?
     
  2. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #2
    I would say yes. If money is an issue, that machine can grow with you. Put in 8Gigs of RAM right away. You can then put in an SSD, and then you can choose to put an HHS, or another SSD, into the DVD/cd drive space.

    If you want wiz bang graphics, the. You do what you are used to, hook it up to a monitor.

    That machine is my choice for a machine that is planned to last me for MANY years. I am very happy with my plan so far.
     
  3. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #3
    Yes that's a decent deal. Shame RAM is only 4gb. If it was 8gb, i would consider it a good deal. My GF and I are mid 2012 15 MBP Retina owners and they are awesome.
     
  4. Shintsu, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014

    Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #4
    Would it be worthwhile to buy Applecare for it? The owner said it's still eligible for it, which I think would be $349 on this one. I'm easy on my electronics and haven't honestly had an issue out of pretty much anything I've owned save for my Galaxy S2 (Extended warranty paid off!). I doubt it will really leave my desk or the house often. But I'm afraid of something randomly failing and costing a fortune (I've seen enough random posts on the web from people saying it that it certainly does make me nervous of something goofy like the keyboard stop working, or the trackpad dies, or worse the logic board). Any idea if those failures are exacerbated by people being rough on their laptops or just as likely to happen either way?

    I already thought of upgrading the ram (Second thing I did to the T420 after the SSD) and putting in an SSD. Is Mac ram really necessary? I have some DDR3 laptop ram which I could take out of the T420 and use to save on the cost, not sure what to think about the claims about CAS latency being so closely matched for Macs though.

    The display would be fine, except my monitor only accepts Dual Link DVI. I know former MBPs could drive a monitor like mine, but I'm not sure if via a Thunderbolt adapter or otherwise if this would still be able to do so. That would be very cool though, not sure if a DVI adapter would work as well. This all sounds like it might begin to become rather expensive if I get the Applecare, SSD, adapter, DVI splitter, so I'm going to look into that a bit.

    EDIT: Good lord, I knew that switcher option was going to be expensive. I found an option by Gefen which is $400 which would do the job. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be cheaper to buy a newer 30" display with a displayport on it as well...
     
  5. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #5
    Apple Care to me is always worth it. I'm in the safe than sorry boat. Plus, it adds value when and if you decided to sell it within warranty period.

    I recently had to take my mid 2012 in for repairs and I got a new LCD and logic board for free.

    I would also make sure you have a model that allows you to upgrade the RAM. I personally couldnt handle only having 4gb RAM and dont have the patience for it. If it doesn't then I would look into a refurbished 2013 model.
     
  6. Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #6
    See, that kind of scares me right there. Why would such a new laptop have a problem? Do you know why it might have occurred or was it just random? My T420 is from 2011 and has never had an issue, honestly I'd expect the same out of any laptop as long as it isn't abused (Even cheapy laptops seem to last even if they are insanely slow). This is exactly the kind of thing that makes me like the tablet or MBA approach - less to go wrong since there are no moving parts (Well MBA has a fan for CPU I'd assume?).

    I like this idea of using it with a switcher for my desktop, as I could see legitimately using that more often (And just leaving it on my desk with all the stuff plugged in). I could sell the iMac and T420 then. So just some out loud math here, $1,000 for the MBP + $350 for the Applecare + $275 for a quality 4-port DVI KVM (I use a work laptop so this would be a 2 birds with 1 stone kinda deal) - the $400-450 I would ask for the iMac - the $450 for my T420 putting the total cost at $800-$750. This all assumes I take my ram out of the T420 and reuse in the MBP and doesn't factor the 256 GB 840 Pro SSD I'd probably use instead of the 500 GB HDD.

    I guess this just gets into that whole issue I notice sometimes where I'll research something heavily and find people having problems with something, and then if I were using it I'd never have an issue. I noticed this when look at motherboards - everyone had terrible things to say about each one, so I just picked one and I have had no issues. Maybe I get lucky?
     
  7. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #7
    Sometimes products fail or are defective. There doesn't seem to be a widespread issue with these otherwise. I use one daily, and it's a great computer.
    The RAM is easily upgraded in these so that shouldn't be a factor. $1000 seems like a very reasonable price for it. That same configuration is selling for $1449 as a refurb from Apple, but it does include a full warranty.
    And yes, you do want more than 4GB for it.
     
  8. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #8
    I always buy Apple Care for the piece of mind unless the used Mac comes with one. In my case, the used laptop I bought (mid 2012) showed signs of wear and tear on the case. Plus it was the top of the line BTO model and it was dirt cheap ($1250) and it came with Apple Care. I admit I got careless and was glamoured by the specs alone but having Apple Care did help me pull the trigger. I guess I can say I got lucky since I got repairs for free but having Apple Care did provide a piece of mind should anything go wrong and I was able to use it.

    I guess what I'm saying is when buying a used Mac always get Apple Care cause you can never know when things go wrong. Things might look all well and dandy when you first inspect and test it out but down the road is a different matter.

    Since you are considering is non-retina, you should be able to upgrade the RAM and it has an optical drive right? You could always put a SSD as you have said and move the 500GB HDD to the optical bay using an optibay from Amazon. Just food for thought.
     
  9. Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #9
    Ok, makes me feel a little better. I can obviously give it the once over since I can see it in person before buying and see if it has any dents or dings. I'm still unsure about the memory though, does it really need to have "Mac memory" or can you use just standard laptop memory? I recall reading some people having issues with the value versions of some ram, but barring that would some standard DDR3 SODIMM memory work? It kind of seems like they put a premium on what looks like the same memory just because it says "Mac memory", but this is based purely on observation since I have never used any to try either way.
     
  10. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #10
    Buy Crucial memory since I never had any issues with them. No you don't need Mac Memory. Just make sure you get the right laptop memory model as in DDR3 and whatever speed the original is at. A little research and you'll find the right one.
     
  11. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #11
    For laptops, AppleCare is more worth it. Depending on how muh time you have left, look for other sources to get AppleCare cheaper - B&H phot for one.
     

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