Thoughts on which MacBook Pro to buy (2015 or 2018)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Donnation, Jun 11, 2019 at 4:59 AM.

  1. Donnation macrumors demi-god

    Donnation

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    #1
    My wife desperately needs a new MacBook Pro. Her 2011 is on its last leg and just isn't cutting it anymore. I have the opportunity to buy two different machines here locally from an authorized Apple seller. He has a 2015 refurbished MacBook Pro directly from Apple sealed in the box (Mid 2015 512GB 2.8GHz 16GB RAM) and a new 2018 (2.6, 1TB, 32GB RAM). He's asking $1800 for the 2015 and $2250 for the 2018. I know the seller and I get a discount from him as I've purchased from him many times in the past and we are friends.

    My wife would use both machines for video editing, photo editing, and everything else you'd use a Laptop for. She would really like to have the 15" model as she looked at the 13" and would like the larger screen. She likes the keyboard on either and doesn't really have a preference.

    Outside of price would I be insane to get her the 2015 model? Just looking for some opinions here as I consider this place to be where to go for these types of questions. I have no doubt that the 2015 is a great machine (I have one but don't do nearly the heavy work she does on a computer), but my concern is about the longevity of it. Its approaching 5 years old and I'm just wondering if its a laptop that she will be able to keep a while. Plus the specs offered on the 2018 are very nice (more storage, more RAM).

    Any thoughts? Thank you in advance.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #2
    I never understood the mentality of spending a lot of money on such older computers. The conventional wisdom here at MR was to buy 2015 MBPs. Personally, I don't think that's a good use of money, but then its not my money and you (and others) are free to buy what you want.
     
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    Definitely the 2018 model
    • It has double the ram. 32GB ram can make a huge difference depending on the video editing workload. 4K is even more substantial a difference than 1080p editing.
    • One terabyte of storage will make life much easier when working on video on the go. and also give a lot more room for working with larger edits on the internal SSD and benefit from its speed.
    • You make no mention of the internal graphics card (GPU). This has the potential of being either a big increase in performance or huge. Going from AMD Radeon m370x vs Radeon Pro 560x to Intel HD vs AMD Vega.
    • The CPU is much faster, 6 cores vs 4 cores. It is four generations newer. It is also affected far-less by security mitigations for Spectre, meltdown and zombie load.
    • As it is three years newer. It will receive new versions of macos for a longer period of time.
    • It also benefits from thunderbolt 3.
     
  4. ascender macrumors 68020

    ascender

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    Dec 8, 2005
    #4
    2018 every time in my opinion, especially with those specs and prices. Its not like you're getting a really cheap second hand 2015 model, you're paying nearly brand-new prices for a 4 year old machine.
     
  5. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #5
    Nothing wrong with getting the 2015, but at $1,800 he's asking way too much for a 4-year-old Mac (and so is Apple whenever a 2015 appears on the refurbished store). The 2018 is a better deal, though I would be concerned about future keyboard issues if longevity comparable to the 2011 is desired.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    I'd buy the 2015 and "don't look back".

    I've not had a lick of trouble from my own 2015 MBP 13" (bought new in December 2016).
    Better keyboard.
    More ports.
    No dongles.
    Fewer problems.

    Compare that against the reports of 2016-later failures in this forum.

    I have NO interest in newer MBP's ... none.

    But.. that's just me.
     
  7. jimmy43 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #7
    2018 - then get the free keyboard swap to the 2019 keyboard.

    Make sure you also get AppleCare. You will be set for the next 3-4 years (e.g. for keyboard and any other issues)
     
  8. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 12, 2009
    #8
    I would buy the 2015 model from eBay for 700 - 800$. If you absolutely need a new machine, then the 2018 with AppleCare.
     
  9. Donnation thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Donnation

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    #9

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. jerryk macrumors 601

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #10
    I would get the 2018.

    I had both the 2015 and 2018 model for a month or so. I was really concerned about adjusting to the new keyboard, dongles, etc. In a week or two I realized I was no longer using the 2015 and it felt kind of old, screen looked dim, heavier, etc. So I sold it to a trade in place. I got around $1200 (15", 512GB SSD, dGPU, 16GB, 1 year of Apple Care left.), last summer.

    The 2018 has been great. No issues with anything and the screen is so bright you can use it with light coming in the window of a plane or train. Traveled 3 continents with it so far, and will be taking it to SE Asia in a couple of weeks.
     
  11. SalisburySam macrumors member

    SalisburySam

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    May 19, 2019
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    Salisbury, North Carolina
    #11
    I like @macjunk(ie)’s suggestion of, if needed now, getting a very inexpensive newer (than 2011) laptop from eBay or the like, then considering a real upgrade when the 2020’s/2021’s come out. This assumes those future models will actually give better ergonomics than the 2016-19 models in such areas as, for me, the keyboard. I also agree that, even though the 2015’s are well-regarded, they are overpriced for the actually-delivered performance vis-a-vis newer machines at not a lot more money. For me, I await the better keyboard.
     
  12. AHDuke99 macrumors 68020

    AHDuke99

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    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #12
    For $450 more, you get a 2018 versus a 2015? How is this even a question?
     
  13. PhilMacbook macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2018
    Location:
    Britain
    #13
    If you like the 2018 keyboard (I do) then get that one. I am very happy with my 2018 MBP.
     
  14. Donnation thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Donnation

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    Nov 2, 2014
    #14
    It wouldn't be a question if there were a massive performance difference between the two. Unfortunately, there isn't.
     
  15. nouveau_redneck macrumors 6502

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    Sep 16, 2017
    #15
    I have a 2015 MBP bought in December 2016. I love this machine, and have had zero problems with it.

    That said, if I had your decision to make, I'd buy the 2018. The only potential issue is the keyboard, but if there is an issue, you have 4 years in the program. If it needs replacement, you get the 2019 redesign to replace it.
     
  16. chikorita157 macrumors newbie

    chikorita157

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    Mar 8, 2019
    Location:
    Caldwell, NJ, USA
    #16
    I would advise against the 2015 mostly because it's expensive for old technology and that it will not support some features of the next version of macOS such as Sidecar if you decide to use that. Also, the 2015 models still use a Haswell CPU which is more than 5 years old and the Coffee Lake 6 and 8 cores beat them easily in multicore. Granted, the keyboard is a polarizing issue, but since there is a program that is valid for four years and if it breaks, they will replace it with an improved one.

    I own a 2018 and haven't had any issues. People complain about there not being any USB-A ports, but it can easily be resolved with a Thunderbolt 3 dock (which can be used as a docking station) or one of those dongle which has USB-A ports, SD card reader and an HDMI port in one device. Also, the 6 core was a big upgrade for me since I used to use a 2012 15" Macbook Pro, which only had a quad core.
     
  17. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #17
    I bought a 2015 2.5 Ghz, AMD with 512 GB for $1,123 in January. It has two dents but is otherwise perfect. Prices have gone up for the 2015 locally. There are more people asking for $1,600 for the 2.2 Ghz! So the prices are out there. At some point the price will drop faster. I use a 2014 and 2015 MBP 15 and the two combined give me lots of power to run programs. Would I pay $1,800 for a 2015 15? Yes, for the right model.
     
  18. Zen_Arcade macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2019
    #18
    I’d cheerfully take the 2018 for $2250 if you don’t . . .
     
  19. chabig macrumors 603

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #19
    The 2018 model is about 20% faster. I’d say that’s worth $450.
     
  20. venom600 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    Look, I love my 2015 to death, but this shouldn't even be a decision. The 2018 has 6 cores to the 2015s 4. When it was still a quadcore machine, I'd take the 2015 over any of the new machines, but now that they have 6 or 8 cores, it isn't even a competition. She doesn't care about the keyboard and the significantly better graphics card, the 32GB of RAM, and TB3 are all just icing on the cake. For what she does, she will see a significant performance boost. The 2018 has geekbench scores of over 5000 single core and nearly 24000 multicore. The 2015 has scores of about 4500 and 17000. It isn't even close. Get the 2018.
     
  21. pshufd macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #21
    I think that you could get a 2014 and a 2015 for the price of a 2018 and get better combined performance and the 32 GB of RAM. That’s my approach and it works well.
     
  22. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    That's a decent idea, except not every workflow can be split up among two machines. Plus there's the issue of maintaining two computers instead of one. I hate to admit it but the 2018 and 2019 Macbook Pros are in a different league than the 2015. Mine can barely keep up with a 13" anymore.
     
  23. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #23
    Some things that the 2-pack can do that the single laptop can't: run on two separate networks that aren't connected which is what I'm doing right now. One MBP is driving a 4K display and the other is driving 2 QHD. So you can drive 4 high-resolution monitors with two MBPs. If I had an application which required more CPU/GPU/RAM on a single machine, I'd go with the Lenovo P72 which is an inch thick, can run nVidia Quadro or RTX graphics, holds up to 3 SSDs (user installeable), and 128 GB of RAM, again user installable. You can get an SD-card reader too and you won't have thermal throttling issues. Also 17.3 inch 4K display.

    I'd run macOS applications on macOS and they heavy-duty stuff on the Lenovo.
     

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