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davidhunternyc

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 26, 2011
117
60
Hello,

I need buying advice from all of you MacBook Pro experts. I use a 13" 2010 MacBook Pro. I do quite a bit of Photoshop work and some Adobe Illustrator work too. I occasionally do wedding photography and have a strong interest in fine art. I have upgraded the storage and memory in my MacBook to it's maximum and had my computer fixed twice in the years I've owned it. From the very beginning, I wish I had purchased the 15" model as the screen size is just too small on my MacBook. The workflow is too tedious when I'm trying to do pixel perfect vector work in Illustrator.

Recently, my MacBook Pro is acting up again. I took it in to Louis Rossman and they diagnosed that my upgraded SSD is fine but I need to have the CPU replaced. Since this cost more than my computer is worth I was encouraged to upgrade. Unfortunately, I can't get used to Windows so I'm not considering any of these laptops. I don't want to get a new MacBook Pro because of how Apple is thwarting my Right to Repair. I want to get a laptop with MacOS, 15", and complete with ports instead of having to use dongles. I need my next laptop to be easily fixed when broken.

The team at Louis Rossman suggested I get a 15" 2013 MacBook Pro. It was quite interesting because the other repair technicians shared the same sentiment. The 2013 MacBook Pro was recommended to me by other Mac experts as well. Since I know very little about computers their advice seems reasonable enough to me. Yes, I could consider a 2015 MacBook Pro too but that's not the purpose of this thread. I need advice on which 2013 15" (Model A1398) to buy? I don't remember if early or late 2013 models are preferable. Which Order/EMC# is best? What should I be looking for? Which is the most advanced and which is one more fixable than another? Since I will be buying used is there something I need to look for to ensure that I'm not buying a lemon? Also, if I want to hook up the MacBook Pro to an external monitor is there one that's best suited for this purpose?

I know these are a lot of questions. I welcome your expertise. Thank you! 🙏🏻
 

Bending Pixels

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2010
1,304
363
Keep in mind that a 2013 is 7 years old - and there's a good chance it won't be supported in future macOS releases.

Add in that Adobe is notorious for increasing hardware requirements.

Wait to see what Apple announces tomorrow.
 

davidhunternyc

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 26, 2011
117
60
Please check out this video.


I don't understand what Louis is saying. I want to get a 2013 15" MacBook Pro (A1398) but when I listen to this video starting at 10:55 Louis discusses the discreet GPU vs. the Iris only GPU? What the heck? Then Louis talks about two different logic boards, the 820-6?--- vs. the 820-3787? Apparently the 3787 board is better but how can I found out which board I'm buying? Is it listed somewhere on the specks? I'm confused. Please, would someone please type here which A1398 MacBook Pro Louis recommends and how can I be sure I will get this model, especially if I'm buying off of eBay? Thank you. I am sorry. I am a dolt.
 
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Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
782
404
Ocean State
For the 2013 models getting the Late 2013 is the better choice between the two but pricing also plays into this...

For example if you could get an Early 2013 retina 15-inch MBP for free would you take it? I was recently presented with this opportunity to have a pristine example and I obviously accepted and am now using this laptop while typing this response. I have no issues using an Early 2013 retina 15-inch MBP because of it's pricing. There's nothing wrong with this laptop other than it did not come with a storage drive which I am correcting with use of a Samsung 860 PRO 1TB SATA drive.

The Late 2013 models use PCIe/NVMe drives which are much faster than the SATA drives used in the Early 2013 models. Also the Late 2013 models use the Haswell processors which are much more efficient compared to the Ivy Bridge processors and use less power. It all depends on what you can get for your money. Personally given a choice I would choose the Late 2013 if I could choose between the two.

As for "fixable"? They both are fixable.
 
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Amethyst1

macrumors 601
Oct 28, 2015
4,686
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I have a Late 2013 15" MBP with integrated-only (Intel Iris Pro) graphics.

Late 2013 because of more efficient Haswell CPUs, faster PCIe SSDs, Thunderbolt 2 and, most importantly (for me) , the ability to run two external "4K"/UHD monitors at 60 Hz. (Yes, I'm doing that.)

Intel graphics because I don't want to take the risk of a discrete GPU failing. I can't run my 5K monitor from the Intel graphics but that's a price I'm willing to pay.
 

Ghokun

macrumors member
Oct 21, 2013
51
25
There is a comment in that video:

- 13 inch A1466 MacBook Air i7 Mid 2013, 2014 (820-3437 MB) *Meh one, ~300$ on Ebay
- 13 inch A1502 Mabook Pro Retina i5 Mid 2014 (820-3536 MB, 820-3476 MB) *Ok one, ~500$ on Ebay
- 15 inch A1398 Mabook Pro Retina i7 Late 2013, 2014 (820-3787 MB) [AVOID IRIS ONLY, GET GPU ONE] *Best one, ~650$ on Ebay
 

Amethyst1

macrumors 601
Oct 28, 2015
4,686
5,457
- 13 inch A1466 MacBook Air i7 Mid 2013, 2014 (820-3437 MB) *Meh one, ~300$ on Ebay
Crappy low-res TN screen and crappy dual-core CPU.

13 inch A1502 Mabook Pro Retina i5 Mid 2014 (820-3536 MB, 820-3476 MB) *Ok one, ~500$ on Ebay
Great screen but crappy dual-core CPU.

- 15 inch A1398 Mabook Pro Retina i7 Late 2013, 2014 (820-3787 MB) [AVOID IRIS ONLY, GET GPU ONE] *Best one, ~650$ on Ebay
That's more like it. Great screen and quad-core CPU. Also, OP said they want a 15".
 
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Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
782
404
Ocean State
If you can acquire one for free then that is the way to go :) It comes down to what you really want to get and what you're willing to pay to get it. Seeing that you're looking for a 2013 MacBook Pro... I would say if it comes down to $$$$ get the one you can best afford but if you can get one for free then I say get the free laptop. :apple:

With the Early 2013 laptop, you can still upgrade the storage drive and with a little help from this forum get enough information to install MacOS 11 Big Sur on it. I have Big Sur running on my 13-inch 2012 MacBook Pro laptop without any issue.
 
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Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
782
404
Ocean State
Late 2013. Mine's still running like a champ, though battery definitely needs replacing.
Mine has 35 cycles on the battery. My laptop was a corporate asset that was replaced by a tech refresh. It still looks brand new inside and out. I got a hook up with this one...
 

davidhunternyc

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 26, 2011
117
60
Just some useful advice, prepare for the lcd repair. Can't stress this enough.

I'm still using my 2010 MacBook Pro. Though I've replaced the hard drive I have not had issues with the screen. Finally, I will replace my laptop when the new MacBook Pro comes out with all the ports back in and no touch bar. I've been waiting all of this time. It's called stamina. 🤪
 
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mdgm

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2010
1,599
349
The 2013 and 2014 MBPs won't be supported by Monterey officially, however it may be possible to put Monterey on even though it's unsupported (see the macrumors thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macos-12-monterey-on-unsupported-macs-thread.2299557)

Patience is good. I'm hanging onto a 2014 rMBP though I'm wondering about waiting for the 2nd or 3rd generation of the new redesign. Just because my 2014 rMBP will be stuck officially with no later than Big Sur it doesn't mean it's suddenly useless. I'm still running High Sierra (will probably upgrade to Mojave soon) even though I could run Big Sur.
 
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davidhunternyc

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 26, 2011
117
60
I'm running High Sierra on my 2010. That's it. No more software upgrades for my computer. I'm fine with it. It works perfectly well, except there are some Adobe plug-ins that won't work on my software. I make do. First world problems. I'm super exciting for the new design. Like you, I never buy version 1.0 of anything. I may wait out the first round.
 

eneisch

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
756
253
I just replaced my late 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new loaded 24-inch iMac. I really only used the MacBook Pro on my desk so figured it made sense to replace with a desktop. No more battery health to worry about.

That being said the MacBook Pro is in excellent condition except that the battery has swollen and is affecting the trackpad (macOS actually reports the battery health is OK). It actually runs like a champ still. I figured I can still get some use out of it so I decided to replace the battery. I live in NYC so I stopped by the Rossman Repair Group shop in Manhattan. They replaced the battery for $199 (same cost as Apple, but Apple no longer services late 2013). Picking it up tomorrow and will report back.

I think the late 2013 is the best choice for you of the three machines mentioned. Mine has served me well.

**UPDATE**
I picked up my MacBook from the Rossman shop. The battery replacement took a day, and I picked it up the next day, so all in all I was without the MacBook for two days. They charged $199 for the replacement ($217 with tax), which is the same as Apple would have charged. Battery capacity is now 113% of original capacity and so far everything is good. The only weird thing was that the battery info shows the battery was manufactured in 2015, but it only has one charge cycle on it so I guess that’s ok. Overall I am happy with the replacement and this will let me use the MacBook as a backup to my new iMac and to use it for portable purposes. They work came with a one year warranty.
 
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