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AshyMacs

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2023
2
0
I'm looking for a used MacBook Pro and have been doing some research. I know the models up to 2012 can be upgraded (RAM), I've also seen people say that the 2015 15" models are great because they have a lot of ports, I've seen a few on eBay with the i7 and 16gb for ~$300. I've also read that repairs get harder (specifically LCD) on models 2017-present. Just looking for something that will hold up and can repairable relatively easily.
 

orionquest

Suspended
Mar 16, 2022
871
790
The Great White North
2015 models. This was the end of great Macbook pros.
I have 2 which I picked up new just before the new models were introduced.
2015 MBA 11" & 2015 MBP 13"
Upgraded the MBP 13" with a 1 TB SSD. Will do the same someday on the MBA.
Not sure if RAM can be upgrade on these, but it's not necessary for my needs, great if they can be though.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,636
12,756
Fishrrman's rules for used MacBook buying:

DO NOT BUY:
MacBook Pro 13" -- 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
MacBook Pro 15" -- 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
ALL of these have the disastrous "butterfly keyboards" that are highly-prone to failure. Although Apple has a free replacement program running for 4 years "from new", when that time expires YOU will pay for the repair.
And it's NOT CHEAP -- $750 for even a single key gone bad.
That's because the entire top case has to be replaced... even for a single key failure!

DO BUY:
MacBook Pro 13" -- 2020
MacBook Pro 16" -- 2019 and later.
These have the new "magic" (scissors) keyboards, as did the 2015 and earlier MBPs. These keyboards have been very reliable.
BE AWARE that the 16" models can run on the hot side.

Also:
MacBook Pro 14" or 16" -- 2021
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,106
11,732
Unless you need Intel or are hard up I wouldn't buy any pre-M1 Mac.
Totally agree. A base model M1 Air is probably going to be a better experience than an old Intel MacBook Pro. You have to go back quite a few years to get one that's really repairable and doesn't have a butterfly keyboard. And at that point you're giving up so much speed and energy efficiency.

If it was me, I'd just buy a refurbished M1 Air with AppleCare+ and all it a day. Then you don't need to worry about repairs and you've got a much better Mac all around.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,106
11,732
I wish I haven't bought any new computer in the past decade. They're not a significant improvement.
If you never update MacOS, perhaps. But try to run a Mac with an OS ~5 years newer than when it came out and I think you'll start seeing a big difference between older and newer hardware.
 
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wilberforce

macrumors 68030
Aug 15, 2020
2,891
3,164
SF Bay Area
2015 MBPs are the last of the "good" era of MBPs, before the butterfly keyboard era.
The 15" 2015 MBPs are the best, the 13" 2015 MBPs are a bit underpowered by today's standards (I had one).

Plan on doing a battery replacement, if not already done. Batteries in these MBPs suffered (swelled) from being plugged in all the time, which was before the current battery optimization charging profiles were available. Battery replacement is $200 from Apple, ~$60 DIY.
 

james2538

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
555
1,789
I’ll add to the others and recommend the 2015 15” if you’re looking for something dirt cheap <$500

Anymore than that and you should get an M1 Air. Apple Silicon truly blows any of the Intel Era laptops out of the water.
 

bobnugget

macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2006
415
191
England
The best IMHO are:
2012 15" or 13" unibody (non retina): All the ports, upgradable RAM, cheap. Cons: SATA SSD, heavy. Low res display, cheap.
2015 15": All the ports, upgradable SSD still. Get one with 16 GB RAM. Cons: battery is harder to replace, screen delamination
 
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sam_dean

Suspended
Sep 9, 2022
1,262
1,091
If you never update MacOS, perhaps. But try to run a Mac with an OS ~5 years newer than when it came out and I think you'll start seeing a big difference between older and newer hardware.
I'm on 2012 iMac 27" using the last Security Update for 2019 macOS Catalina that had its final release over 5 months ago.

I'm so ready to get a 2023 iMac 27" replacement for it.
 
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bobnugget

macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2006
415
191
England
I'm on 2012 iMac 27" using the last Security Update for 2019 macOS Catalina that had its final release over 5 months ago.

I'm so ready to get a 2023 iMac 27" replacement for it.
You should try OpenCore legacy patcher - it’ll run Monterey - my 2012 MBP runs it perfectly. It’ll run Ventura too but there’s the risk of a point update breaking compatibility.
 

sam_dean

Suspended
Sep 9, 2022
1,262
1,091
You should try OpenCore legacy patcher - it’ll run Monterey - my 2012 MBP runs it perfectly. It’ll run Ventura too but there’s the risk of a point update breaking compatibility.
3rd party code modifying macOS. I do not have the ability to audit it and value my financial data & username/passwords.

Another consideration is hardware failures of my 2012 iMac

- HDD of my Fusion Drive is dead so I'm running on 121GB SSD that is <0.5GB/s
- Left speaker is blown out
- LED backlit located at the bottom of the LCD is dimming
- My iMac will turn 10yo by Valentine's Day 2023

Not to mention this iMac has a max power of >200W while a 2023 replacement is expected to use <100W.

I'm ambivelent to give time to do OpenCore.

I get there's a large enthusiast community on it but perhaps they do not factor in the points I made above as important.

macOS Monterey received its latest Software Update yesterday. So it should be getting its final Security Update between WWDC 2023 & December 2023.

If my last laptop was a 2011 MBP 13" 32nm I'd bought a 2021 MBP 16" 5nm the week of release as a form of preventative maintenance.
 
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