Where to go from here?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by alexl102, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. alexl102 macrumors newbie


    Jan 25, 2016
    Yorkshire, UK
    Hi all,

    I'm after some honest advice about my macbook. Please forgive the long post!

    I've got a 13" Late-2011 MBP with an i5 and 8GB RAM. I bought it brand new in Nov 2011 for Uni as I did a Music Technology course, and has been heavily used since.

    In that time it's had a whole new display (after I fell down the stairs whilst carrying it :oops: :rolleyes:), a new hybrid hard drive/ssd, two new hard drive cables, a new battery and about 16 chargers as the Apple ones repeatedly burned themselves out. The Airport board no longer works (I was about to get that repaired...) and I've had numerous issues with the RAM boards slipping out of position and all bar 4 of the screw holes on the bottom cover have lost their shoulder rendering the screws useless, but despite that, it's been seriously useful. I still use Logic semi-regularly for work.

    Also, I can't take it to any Apple-approved repairer as I had some work done at a place that promised a quicker turnaround than Apple or KRCS, but declined to point out that once they'd worked on it, it would no longer be acceptable to Apple. My fault as well for not checking but still.

    Yesterday, I opened it up to use it, opened launchpad, clicked on an application and it froze. I rebooted and got the folder with the question mark. This is the third time in the past year I've had it. I've ordered a new hard drive cable and am planning to replace it myself and am hoping that this will be the problem rather than the drive, which has only been in it since February this year.

    My choice is this:
    - I could keep paying to get the problems repaired. Right now it needs another replacement battery, a new airport board and the hard drive cable I've already mentioned. In a sense, this would be most convenient but clearly it's pretty worn out.

    - Alternatively I could replace it, but I can't afford a brand new MacBook. I don't care for touchbar or any of that; I don't need it. I haven't really been watching new mac releases over the past few years as I haven't ever considered replacing mine, so I've no idea what's out there, or what prices things are.
    Honestly, I'd happily buy a refurbished 2011 again but I don't know how long they'll be able to support future OS releases.

    Ideally, I'd like a 15" or 17" pro with an i7 and at least a 1GB graphics card, as I do enjoy the odd game/sim in my spare time and my current laptop isn't up to running the newest ones, and there's always Logic Pro to bear in mind.
    I've seen 2011 MBP's with that spec for around £500 on ebay, which I could do - however, I can't help but feel that wouldn't be a worthwhile investment.

    With a budget of up to £550-600 max, what's the best I can do? Have I got any chance at all?

    Thanks for any advice,

  2. Hater macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2017
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Have you considered a second hand HP ProBook or EliteBook? They're quite competent at running MacOS, but require some tech knowledge to get going. £550 would get you an ex-government 1080p screen'd EliteBook with lots of change spare, you can swap in your current HDD and RAM to upgrade it off the bat, then continue to upgrade in the future as money permits.

    They're modular too, being made for business, so any future hardware problems you can buy the HP spare parts and guides to fix them yourself.

    It's not the most elegant solution, but it's the cheapest way to get a fast laptop that runs MacOS on a budget. Also currently the only way to get a MacOS laptop that supports 32GB of RAM (64GB in a ZBook, but for £550 that won't happen)
  3. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    If you can find a late 2013 rMBP, that's probably the best price/performance compromise. I don't know if you can find any at your price point, but you should be able to come close, and it's better than throwing more money at that 2011 which quite frankly seems jinxed. (or, you're an awful lot harder on equipment than you should be!) The late 2013's are good performers, there's no spinning disk, and the retina screen is very nice. I've had one since early 2014 and it has been trouble free.
  4. alexl102, Oct 3, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017

    alexl102 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 25, 2016
    Yorkshire, UK
    Thanks Hater, I wasn't aware this was even and option and it's definitely something I'd consider doing. I presume with the spec options you are offering there that it would cope ok with dual booting in future?

    When you say it needs a lot of tech to set up, how do you mean? Do you mean it needs specialist equipment/knowledge?Where would I go about getting one of these from?

    Thanks very much
    --- Post Merged, Oct 3, 2017 ---
    That's really helpful, I'll have a look at those. Thanks very much.
  5. MSastre macrumors 6502


    Aug 18, 2014
    I also have a late 2013 rMBP that I use for video, that has been trouble free since I got it. Highly recommend it.
  6. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    At your price point they are talking about the 13" 2013 rMBP.

    For about 600 pounds you are looking at

    Early 2016 Macbook, great machine but probably not for you

    Late 2013 13" rMPB these are dual core and have integrated graphics

    Early 2015 Macbook Air, these are also dual core with integrated graphics

    For about 420 pounds you could pick up a Late 2011 15" Macbook Pro i7 8GB RAM "Hi-Res" 1680x1050 with 1GB VRam 6770m.

    For the money I would get this UNLESS you can afford a Late 2013 15" Retina Macbook Pro which is closer to 700-750 pounds with the dedicated 2GB 670m graphics card that the cheaper integrated only model did not have. Third choice would be Late 2013 13" if you need to save some cash and are okay with integrated graphics and don't need quad core.
  7. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    FWIW I have the late 2013 15" with integrated Iris Pro graphics only. The fans spin up when you spend any amount of time in google maps with the satellite view turned on, but if you aren't doing heavy video or gaming I think it's fine. I use mine for office and software dev work mostly, occasionally run VM's with VirtualBox so I put 16 Gb RAM in mine. 8 Gb would be ok. I'd avoid a machine with 4 Gb.

    I'd get the older rMBP over the 2015-ish MBAir, the retina display is very nice, the Air display is perfectly usable but says "2012" to me.

    Anyway, I think the OP has some useful suggestions, now just need to find the right machine at the right price!
  8. alexl102 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 25, 2016
    Yorkshire, UK
    Huge thanks to everyone for your help. Am going to spend time over this weekend looking over all the above options to see what's available. Cheers!

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7 October 3, 2017