Thoughts on buying 2015 15" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mjmar, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #1
    I am looking into purchasing a 15" MacBook for the first time and cost aside, I am not sure that the 2016 15" model is the right one for me. I tried the touch bar at the store and it actually seems like more of an annoyance than a feature (obviously I only used it for a short period of time though). The large track pad also seems like an unnecessary and possibly frustrating new feature. Also no mag safe, and the ports issue - all of these things kind of add up to make the 2016 model more unappealing than anything. The 2015 15" model kind of omits all of these issues that I have with the 2016 one - so that seems like a fair solution. I am a little bit worried though because it is a 4 year old design and misses out on a few things that the 2016 model brings to the table. It isn't cheap either. So.... for those of you who went from the previous generation to the 2016 model - I have a few questions for you:

    Is the difference in screen quality extremely noticeable?

    Does the 2016 model run a lot cooler than the prior generation?

    Are the weight, thickness, smaller footprint significant to you?

    Are the speakers on the newer model superior, or just marginally better?

    Is the build quality superior on the newer model?

    Thanks in advance for the advice/insight.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Personally speaking, of course... ;)

    Definitely.
    Yeah.
    You betcha!
    Oh yes.
    Best built Mac laptop I've ever seen.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    If you prefer the 2015 model, buy that one and be happy… ;)
     
  4. Mindinversion macrumors 6502

    Mindinversion

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    Oct 9, 2008
    #4
    I know a lot of people loved Mag Safe. . . but if you're in a position where people are always tripping over your cable, maybe it's time to rethink your power strategy.

    As far as the port "issue" there are a lot of people who assume that, since they need an adapter to plug in legacy devices, the new ports are a liability instead of an asset. I don't think it's really sunk in just how amazingly life changing USB type C and Thunderbolt 3 really are.

    There are obvious things like being able to charge from any port [which makes it a bit easier to avoid having your cord tripped over /cough cough ] and then there are less obvious things. . . like internal SSD speeds from external SSD drives, external graphics docks, potential direct charging plus video from monitors [providing you have a USB Type C equipped one]

    You can't add that to to the 2015 macbook pro, and in a few years that future proof expandability can extend the life of a notebook WAAAAAY beyond that of a traditionally equipped USB 3.0 machine.. ESPECIALLY since intel chips performance increase year over year has been like 2-5% [with a 0% direct performance increase with Kaby lake when clocked identically]



    Just a little bit of food for thought.
     
  5. Naimfan macrumors 601

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #5
    Get the 2015. Better overall experience and machine.
     
  6. coolbreeze macrumors 68000

    coolbreeze

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    UT
    #6
    The negativity on the 2016 is so baseless. It's a fantastic machine, but if you prefer, get the old one and be happy.

    I would recommend the new version, however. Its great. No more mushy keyboard here!
     
  7. Sanpete, Feb 2, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #7
    I haven't owned the 2015, but I did a lot of research before buying, which I dumped into a customer review at Amazon. It compares most aspects of the 2015 vs 2016 (plus the Dell XPS 9550 UHD) in as much detail as most people could stand, and then some. Most of the details are in the comments. You can also read about my experience with some of the controversial features.

    https://www.amazon.com/review/R27MBWO99H5LZJ/

    The 50% difference in screen brightness will be obvious when you need the extra brightness. Whether you use a bright screen much would be a factor in how much that matters.

    The 50% increase in contrast should also be noticeable, and enjoyable. The most subtle change in the display is the 25% increase in color space (by a standard measure). You'll be able to see more saturated colors in cases where the input goes beyond the usual sRGB color space. That would happen when viewing some video, at a few websites, or if you view or edit photos shot with a wider color space. It will become increasingly common as the technology develops.

    If you want some figures on differences in heat and fan noise, Notebook Check includes that in their reviews. (Links are at my review.)

    There are videos that compare the speakers, but I don't have any links handy. Probably Google could find them fairly easily. It's definitely a significant improvement, one I appreciate a lot, as I use them all day long.

    The new MBP 15" is built beautifully and solidly, but I don't think you'd have any reason to regret buying the 2015 on that basis.
     
  8. rutrack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    #8
    Since the release of the new MacBook I bought two of the 2015 model and where I am the price is about the same, the 2016 starts to get expensive when you go high specs, so I bought the 2015 model purely on based on my opinion on product qualities.

    - I didn't notice any difference, both screen are amazing and both scale very well. You may notice the difference if you put one next to another however, I didn't do this

    - I'm not sure, but under load every laptop blows hard and 2015 is very quite when the load is low

    - Actually yes, I much prefer the 13" model on the go, the 2016 15" is still a 15", there is no magic there

    - That's what reviews say, but any cheap desktop speakers are going to be miles ahead, for everything else there is headphones

    - The new model feels very sturdy, as good as 2015. I haven't actually taken it apart, so I'm not sure how to measure the build quality.

    I didn't like the new machine for the same exact reasons you describe, but for me the deal breaker was the flat keyboard. It did feel a little weird buying the 2015 machines for full price, when the new one is available, but there was nothing in favour of 2016 for me, apart from it being apparently a newer model. The 2015 has better keyboard with function keys, more convenient trackpad, same performance and ram, usb stick and sdcard friendly, runs 2 4k screens at any resolution up to 4k in hidpi mode, so I chose the 2015.
     
  9. Sanpete, Feb 2, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    Utah
    #9
    I think the OP will be able to judge for the most part based on what others have said whether you may have missed or minimized some significant differences, but on the claim that the performance is the same, it should be pointed out that the dGPU in the new machines is much better, that many of the 2015s being sold now lack a dGPU, and the consequent performance differences for tasks like video editing--even with the 2015 dGPU--are large.
     
  10. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #10
    Oh yes.

    I have that impression, yes, but I didn't do any measurements.

    It doesn't feel that much lighter to be honest, but the footprint has definitely increased. More comfortable to carry it around in a messenger bag for example.

    Definitely superior, no question


    I'd say yes. Its very noticeable for example with the keyboard. When I have to work with a pre-2016 MBP, I immediately notice how wobbly and small the keys are. Also, the design and machining on the 2016 just seems more refined, I can't really pin it down.

    All in all, the 15" 2016 is a definite improvement in my book. The CPU is significantly faster (10-15%), the GPU is on average twice as fast (or more), the UI (keyboard, display etc.) have much improved, the universal ports much more comfortable, the battery life better. The only thing were the 2015 has an advantage is the price really.
     
  11. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    I like when I see things like this, having spent a ridiculous amount of money on a new MacBook Pro and waiting on it arriving, it's reassuring to see some positivity on it rather than the more predominant complaining we get here.

    Not that I need anyone to tell me what I want to purchase, I know I want the new MacBook, it's that simple but it's still good to read other peoples opinions

    More on topic, when mine finally arrives, I'll do some temperature measurements of it at different levels of use. I can't do comparisons to older MacBooks as I'm using an iMac just now but maybe others can provide those.
     
  12. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #12
    The thing is, there isn't even that much complaining. Every time there is an "what is your opinion" thread, you find multiple different people having mostly positive things to say about the new machines. If you look at the forums more closely, you'll notice that much of the negative feedback comes from a small group of very vocal users. There is no doubt that the 2016 laptops are very polarising computers (which is not a surprise with Apple). And there is also no question that a substantial group of users are having difficulty to adjust to USB-C or that these new machines are priced a bit too high. But so far, I think its certain that overall these machines were a success. We have almost a dozen of 2016 MBPs in our office already and everyone is very happy with them (although one 13" does suffer from bad battery life, same symptoms as described on the forums).
     
  13. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    Sep 16, 2014
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    Scotland
    #13

    It's always the same regardless of the product. The complainers are generally in the minority but also the most vocal group of people as the happy customers just don't really few the need to spout off.
    It's why I never, ever, allow myself to be put off buying something because of complaints on the internet.

    In almost two decades of buying Apple products I've had a faulty iPhone 4, which Apple sent a replacement for next day and 1 iMac with a faulty graphics card. Again a replacement was at my door the next day. Thats a good track record in my book.
    (Oh, I had an iPhone 6 Plus replaced, but not because I wanted it to be. It had a very, very slightly loose mute switch. No biggie, it worked and didn't bother me. But because I happened to mention it in conversation one day in the Apple Store, the chap asked to see it and just decided on the spot to replace it. That was out of warranty and with no AppleCare. So I'm a strong proponent of Apple customer service.)
     
  14. rutrack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    #14
    The thing is, there is actually no complaining at all, at least in this thread, there is only just one person who prefers the other model and I explain why and my message is it's ok to buy a 2015 if that's how op feels like :) I now feel like I committed a crime against humanity, if you like the new one, that's also fine, it has a faster ssd, graphics card etc etc, if that's what you need then logically you'd buy that.
    But there seems to be a bunch of people jumping on saying how it is wrong to dislike the new model because of all these new features and many others like it. This is actually pretty funny :)
    I have just picked up today a dual 2.5 Ghz G5 PowerMac for $80, that is one hell of a machine, underpowered and overpriced even when released, but a classic beauty and an all times beast :) Now the only problem is I don't have a dvi monitor :D
     
  15. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #15

    That's basically it. Really, short of obvious design faults, there's no bad computer. There's only ones that suit a person and ones that don't. Pick whatever is suitable for your use and be happy with it.

    The G5 was a lovely system, I didn't realise they were going so cheap these days. I may just have to pick one up to add to my collection, I'm sure I'll find a use for it :D
     
  16. rutrack, Feb 2, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017

    rutrack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    #16
    Thank you, that's all there is to it.
    There are people giving G5s away for free in powerpc mac section of this forum, because it takes too much space in their apartments and they can't sell it :)
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ppc-uses.2030364/#post-24256357
    I'm on the other side of the planet, so I just got it from this reseller, that was trying to sell it for the past six months starting with $300 :)))
     
  17. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #17
    What's funny is that it seems that way to you, when there obviously isn't a bunch of people saying that. People on all sides may overreact to other views.
     
  18. zuckuss00 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #18
    I bought a 2015 model MBP over the new 2016 model last month.

    Reasons why...?

    The 2016 model I'm sure is a great machine. But I couldn't justify the new cost of the machine and the lack of ports. I wasn't about the spend more money on a machine then need to by adapters, no magsafe. Cumbersome trackpad.

    I was instead able to find a max spec factory sealed 2015 model for $400 less than a base model 2016 MBP.

    The 2015 MBP is a great machine and can be found cheap right now with some patience.
     
  19. lambertjohn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #19
    Totally agree!!
    --- Post Merged, Feb 2, 2017 ---
    Not sure where you're getting mushy from, but my 2015 Macbook Pro 15" does not have a mushy keyboard. It's crisp and provides plenty of feedback. Typing on my wife's 2016 Macbook Pro, however, is like typing on a brick. After five minutes of typing, my fingers are sore. But to each their own. It's all personal preference.
     

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