Should I order a 2011 Refurb 15" or a base model 2012?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marker227, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. marker227 macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    I can't decide which MBP I want.. I am coming from an 06 white MB, so anything new is going to be faster for me. However, I do use an 08 Mac Pro desktop as my main computer....So I know what real speed feels like.

    I'm looking for something that will "future proof" me. I don't want to be outdated in 4 years, even though I probably will be.

    I was considering the 2.3GHz Refurb on Apples website or the base model 2012. It has to be anti glare. Ram & HD size don't matter to me, as I will most likely upgrade them later.

    I'm only going to be using Serato, CS4, and occasionally some Mac only games.

    Obviously, any MBP will run these items...What I'm looking for is the best "value" for my money.

    What do you guys think?

    Thank you!
  2. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Have you considered the Macbook Air? The SSD will make it feel really fast for a lot of uses. Since you have a Mac Pro for the heavier stuff it might be a good choice. The 13" with 8GB RAM is $1299.

    They don't have 'antiglare' displays, but they aren't nearly as reflective as the glass MBP displays.

    If you really want a dedicated GPU, I would probably go with the base 2012 model. It has USB 3 as well as a CPU and GPU that are more powerful and should run cooler.
  3. marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Quite honestly, I'd prefer the bigger screen and I read a lot of bad reviews with the Air being used with Serato.

    Any particular reason to go with a 2012 over the refurb 11 models? I'm just curious what I'm gaining for the money.
  4. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Personally, I'd go with the 2012. It has USB 3.0, new Ivy Bridge processors, newer GPU, faster RAM...

    Plus, if you want to sell it in a few years, it will have slightly better resale value (especially considering in a few years, EVERYONE will have USB 3.0 drives--imagine trying to sell a USB 1.0 computer a few years ago.)
  5. marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Good point, thank you. I would be spending $1329 (not including tax) for a refurb, when I could spend $1564 (with tax) for a 2012 model. (I have a $350 Apple Credit to apply to a computer)

    Essentially, it's a roughly $100 difference between the 11 and 12 for me with tax.

    I should take the 2012 model and walk out of the store with it. Upgrade it later (IE: Ram, SDD maybe??).
  6. upinflames900 macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    I second the point about higher resale value... with a significant update to the 2012 model, it likely will be a better bet. Plus upgrades for it will be easier to find in the future.
  7. marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Curious, I am only getting 512 of video ram... I'm always used to purchasing 1gb at minimum. Will this be enough?
  8. upinflames900 macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    What games are you playing? I guess that might be the determining factor. For what little I know, I would say 512 is enough, but it really depends on the user and the applications.
  9. marker227, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Well, I honestly haven't bought a game for the Mac in a very long time. I don't do any video editing, or rendering. I can leave that up to my Mac Pro with it's Radeon 5870 1gb.

    I play games on my dedicated 2nd HD in my Mac Pro that is formatted for Windows 7.

    That doesn't mean I won't play games on a laptop in my spare time. I would say, it's always been minor, but I don't want to skip out on anything in the future? Then again... I did say I'm leaving the heavy duty stuff to my Pro.

    So far, I only ever used my laptop for DJing and school work, and CS4 for fun. I did once try to play Starcraft 2 on it, but forgot it was too old to support it. Hah! I'm a very casual user when it comes to laptops. I don't want to risk the computer getting locked up while DJing though.
  10. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    I would say get the newest one if it suits your needs. It's not much more expensive. Besides it's smaller, which is always handy.

    On the other hand if you really need the bigger screen, 4 cores or dedicated GPU then the 15" is worth it. Those are three things the 13" cannot have added.

    Having just gone through the same choice, I picked the 15". I wanted to edit video and play some games so the dedicated GPU kind of tipped it for me.

    I would prefer the 13" size but oh well. If you don't want to play games I think the Air and 13" are great choices.

  11. marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Which games would tip a user into buying a dedicated GPU?
  12. marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Ouch, it's $400 more to get the 1GB. Given, that's not the only thing you are getting... I can't afford that.. Oh well :/.
  13. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    Well I would do neither. You can get a brand new late 2011 for the price of the refurb after you add tax. A new one costs $1735 from MacMall, a new late 2011 costs $1450 from MacMall.

    I don't know that USB 3.0 is really worth $300. That is %20 of the cost. Up to you though. Thunderbolt adapters are coming with USB 3.0 on them.
  14. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    The differences are far from revolutionary. In 4 years, USB 3 may well be a very common standard, but as someone said above, there will be thunderbolt to USB 3.0 support, so I can't see it as an issue. Graphics and processor are not worlds apart, but you'll know more than anyone if they are important to you.
  15. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    If the difference is only $100, it is worth it for the performance and feature updates.

    Plus, if you buy new you will get the Mountain Lion update for free, so that's another $20. Not sure if the refurb will get you that.
  16. marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004

    I have a $350 credit with apple and I'm also getting the education discount. I don't know where else I could go to beat that price.
  17. purplekush604 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2011
    Im confused about the same thing, not sure if i should get a 2011 15" mac pro, or a 2012 13" or 15" mac pro. I wont be playing any games at all, but i want to get into video and picture editing. Any suggestions? Thanks
  18. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    Yes definitely upgrade ram and hd yourself. Saves you money and it isn't too difficult.
  19. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    sorry missed that.

    You have to think about this? A $350.00 credit I would use. I would def buy new. No doubt.
  20. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I went with the refurb but by the prices I got the difference was around $400. For that money it wasn't worth a slightly faster CPU, USB 3, and better graphics that I won't use. If you price difference is only $100 get the new one. You'l make it back in resale value easily.
  21. Zwikker macrumors regular


    May 28, 2012
    Morgantown, WV
    Yes refurb will get you that. The only difference between a new mbp and a refurb mbp is their box. You get everything else pretty much the same.

    That being said, I had the same question on mind and got the refurb one with 1gb vram. It's only $180 more than the one with 512mb vram and it definitely worths to spend that much on a gpu since i can't upgrade it later.
    Usb 3.0 is a good thing to have but wonder if it worths an extra $300?
    Again, went with the refurb one 2 weeks ago and so happy with my decision.
    Good luck:)
  22. marker227, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    Does anyone know if you'll actually use the full potential of a 1gb GPU with what I am doing with my computer? I know you can't upgrade it later, but I'm having a hard time justifying the cost. I read on here that even though a card might be 512mb, because it's newer, it'll outperform a 1GB older model.


    The final cost would be $2109.93 VS $1564.23.... Big difference just to justify the 1GB GPU (I know there are other upgrades, but that's the only one I care about).

    I can't justify that cost... Way too much.
  23. marker227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2004
    I hate to bring this up again, but I have some sad news...

    My 2012 2.6GHZ Macbook Pro 15" was stolen 3 days after I received it from the Apple Store.

    Fortunately enough, my parent's homeowners insurance will cover it... Now I'm back to buying a computer again....

    I really thought about my computer usage and decided that all I need the computer to run is my DJ program (Serato), iTunes, Youtube, minor photoshop editing (poster graphics, and signs).

    I was thinking about the new computer I'm going to replacing the stolen one with.

    I really think this might not be a bad choice. I mean, it's not a quad core, but it's still an i7 and it's 2.66GHZ.

    What do you guys think?

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