Used MBP - Due Diligence

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dextr3k, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Hi All,

    I am considering selling off an old laptop and swapping it for a used MBP. I recently bought my wife a rMBP 13" and she is loving it, so theres no option of prying it away from her.

    This isn't so much of which one to buy, but which one to AVOID, and when I set my eyes on one, what are the due diligence to make sure I get a decent machine. I had my eyes set on a cMBP from 2010 or 2011, so I can upgrade the ram and SSD. Are there any models I should avoid? (e.g. the one with the 8400, which has a really high failure rate)

    I will be buying locally, so when I get the machine, other than looking at the screen, and running an apple hardware test, is there anything else I can do to cover my bases? Is an AHT even worth it, how long does it take to run, will I be waiting in a coffee shop for 3 hours?
  2. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    nVidia 8400 was last used on early 2008 (pre-unibody) machines.
  3. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Ah ok, thats why I don't see that configuration pop up. But still serves as an example of a model to avoid...
  4. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Well for what it's worth, I bought the girlfriend a 2007 MBP (Yes, 8600m, but reapplied thermal paste and told her to keep it cool), and it works great with an SSD and more RAM.

    But just yesterday I bought myself a used 2010 MacBook Pro from a guy in my class for $650 (2.53 i5, 4GB, 500GB) and moved my HDD, SSD, and RAM from my Late 2008 MacBook. Works like a champ and I already like the extra screen real-estate.

    The 2010 is a good value, though they use the first gen Core i series (dual core w/ hyper threading). But I have heard of a lot of the 2011 models with GPU failures with the ATI cards, so I figured it would be a safe bet to get the 2010 (Nvidia 330M). And it seemed like a fair price with box and disks and all.
  5. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    There's a significant advantage to going with the 2011 in that the Sandy Bridge machines are "still current" in terms of compatibility and processing power. They have Thunderbolt (though not USB 3), SATA 3 interfaces, capability for 16GB RAM, and neither the Ivy Bridge nor Haswell iterations added significant processing power.

    The 2010 models are right on the edge of "long-in-the-tooth" and are well into loss of compatibility with even the last-gen advances that really count - like SATA 3 SSDs and one cable docking with an ATD.

    The tradeoff is that the 2011 dGPUs may be less reliable as has been mentioned.

  6. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    From what I've read, the issues with GPUs in 2011 models is no worse than the kernel panics that plague the 2010s. It's a risk either way. I certainly wouldn't buy a used Mac unless it had at least a few months of the standard or extended warranty left.
  7. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Thats interesting, I own an 2010 iMac so I never really followed MBP news. The only reason I am considering cMBP is due to upgradability, but with ATi failures, it might be better to go with a cheaper 2010.

    Great insight guys, thanks.

    Yeah I am taking a risk, but big risks means big rewards right? hehe.
  8. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    It sounds like you're just looking for a 2nd machine in which case it doesn't really matter so much - but personally to me this whole upgradability deal is overblown and you're losing a lot without going with embedded options. Your wife has already wisely stolen/kept the 13" rMBP for herself, so that says a lot right there! ;)
  9. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Yeah it will be a second machine for work. So I was just going to up the ram to 8gb and maybe a cheap 250gb SSD. For $500 I can pick up an old 2010 cMBP which to me is a good deal.

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