Why Do People Still Buy The 17" Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by smcgil9899, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. smcgil9899 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I have noticed on eBay, there are still people that buy the 17" MBP to as much money as a 15" Retina. Why? Isn't the 17" slower with the older technology?
  2. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    Screen size, perhaps? Plus the extra drive bay and ports.
  3. Rampant.A.I. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2009
    I'm sad they discontinued it, and holding on to my Mid 2009 17" UMBP for a while longer!
  4. smcgil9899 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I figured screen size, but why would someone pay $1800 for a 17" MBP with older technology, for example, an older graphics card, USB 2.0, older i7 processor, etc? They could get a used or refurbished 15" Retina for the same amount.
  5. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    I guess you compare it to the price of a base 15" rMBP?
    the 17" (as all cMbP) is userupgradable, so if you think about how much you can save on ssd and ram it's not a bad device (and even id the rmbp supports the same (hires scaled) resolution, the display on the 17" still is bigger. And it's not that much behind in performance. ivy bridge is still good.

    so for everyone who thinks he will just pop in a 2tb ssd drive in a year or two (and maybe a hdd in the optibay) it's not a bad deal

    anyway, I'd love to see a 17" rMBP
  6. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    Erm, screen size? Extra drive bay? Ports? If you need those things you don't have a choice, no matter how cost comparable a machine with a smaller screen, lacking some of the ports, and only one 'drive bay'.
  7. smcgil9899 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    How does the ATI 6770m in the 17" compare to the nVidia GT650m in the 2012 15" Retina?
  8. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    The 650m is going to be faster, for sure, but the 6770 is no slouch.
  9. ionjohn macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    plus it's amd :yuck: :cool:
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The cpu difference of sandy bridge to haswell isn't that great. It's something, but 20% on multicore benchmarks doesn't translate terribly well into real world use unless you can show that one throttles its cpu significantly less over the work involved. I do personally like the real estate, but I can't say that I would pay $1800 for one today. While it remains to be seen how the 650m holds up, the 6770m seems to have a high failure rate.

    The 6770m is significantly slower. It depends on what you are doing though. There are areas where both would be insufficient or at least not ideal.
  11. ppeinado macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2012
    People that work in media production: cinematographers, live streamers, fcpx editors, visual compositors, etc.

    The 17 MBP is a better option than rMBP for these jobs.

    I have a 17 late 2011:
    2.5Ghz i-7 w/ AMD 6770 1GB
    16gb DDR3 1600Mhz
    500GB Boot SSD & 1TB 7200 RPM drive in optical bay

    My geekbench score is 12,000 which is only a few hundred points lower than the 2013 haswell macbook.

    Apple uses opencl for graphics acceleration and AMD seems to handle opencl better than nvidia.

    I can run autodesk smoke 2013 and da vinci resolve with no problems on this machine. It can handle a 4 camera HD livestream.

    Biggest advantage of newer macbook pros is better battery life. They really havent gotten much faster over past couple years as intel is focusing on power consumption.

    Newer isn't always better!!!!!!
  12. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    Some professionals are after the Express Card slot on the 17", until they can afford to upgrade their entire systems to Thunderbolt which is still expensive.
  13. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    For the same reason people buy 2009 C2D MBP for $600-700. They are clueless.

    Not everyone is a savvy shopper, and the majority of the market isn't educated on the latest tech. They buy what they encounter and that looks good.
  14. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
  15. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    I'd throw $3000 down on a table to walk away with a 17 inch retina MbP
  16. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, that the problem. Normally, you can get the 2012 rMBP with the particular configuration at the same price or cheaper then a 17" + DYI upgrades.

    Could you elaborate?

    From what I see on Geekbench3 x64, your model averages at around 11000. Compare this to 14500 for the 2013 retina and 13500 for the 2012 one. Thats 30% increase in performance.

    Do you have some benchmarks? It wouldn't surprise me if you were right though.

    I have no doubt about it. Still doesn't explain why it should be better at those tasks then a faster computer like the rMBP.

    The CPU speed improvement is absolutely in line with the previous trends. We still get our 10% per year or so. I'd say that the biggest advantage of the newer MBP (besides battery) is the superior computing power in a more mobile package. My 2012 base rMBP was cheaper then your machine, has a better screen and will perform at least as good while being 2/3 of the weight.
  17. ppeinado macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2012
    @ leman

    lol...damn. you really seem to disagree with my entire post.

    the 11,000 benchmark score is with 8gb ddr 1333. lower timed memory creates a slight bottleneck on the 2.5 i-7 hence why my score is higher.

    I do agree the there is a slight improvement in cpu performance but it is not 30% faster than my late 2011.

    as for opencl on AMD vs nvidia here is a benchmark test done in fedora which clearly shows amd ahead of nvidia (unfortunately no 650m though: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTQwMDI

    and no doubt the the haswell w/ 750m is faster, but again not significantly faster than my 17 MBP is and even with all my customizations I would only get roughly $2100 if I sold it on ebay (well, before ebay takes their cut). The top model 2013 with a similar build is $3,653.27 shipped w/ tax to California which is approaching MacPro pricing.

    For business use I honestly don't see myself purchasing another MBP. The new MacPro makes more sense and is highly portable (ie easy to throw in a pelican and have a college kid roll it to a set)

    and when i can spend $2000 and one afternoon and turn this into a hackbook with truly professional specs like apple should be offering it reinforces that feeling: http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-ROG-G750JH-DB71-17-3-Inch-Laptop/dp/B00EZ8BJNK

    Intel Core i7-4700HQ 2.4GHz (Turbo 3.4GHz) Haswell
    24 GB DDR3; HD Version
    128GB SSD x 2 + 1TB 5400 RPM HDD
    17.3-Inch Screen, Nvidia GTX780M 4GB GDDR5

    and for personal use I will just stick to ipads and macbook airs. I do love apple but I feel that the macbook pro line of laptops no longer caters to professionals.

    But the thread is in regards to the 2011 MBP 17in still being a viable machine, and I believe that it is. You might render out your 4k video 10-15 secs faster and the machine might be quite a bit lighter but is that worth the $1500 extra? maybe and maybe not. these macbooks are just tools right? So it depends on the job, your budget, and what works best for you.
  18. ppeinado, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    ppeinado macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2012
    it is nice having thunderbolt, fw800, usb 3.0 (via thunderbolt caldigit hub which is tiny,cheap and also has an hdmi port) and esata (via expresscard) all on the same laptop. It makes ingesting media from multiple sources that much easier. Its like the swiss army knife of macbooks on a set location where versatility is important.
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It is slower, but the larger form factor strikes a chord with some users. They want the larger MBP. I don't understand it, but different strokes for different folks.
  20. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    That's my hobby. I like arguing :D Comes with the job

    Please don't get me wrong, I am not really disagreeing. It is simply my observation that one can usually get a refurb or used 2012-2013 for the same or even lower price than a used 17". I don't doubt that 17" is a capable machine, but if there is no price difference, I'd always choose the rMBP. I have seen quite often that people on these forums advocate the 'classical' MBP because of its upgradeability - but then, when you look closely, it turns out that you can get a similarly configured rMBP for less money. Kind of looses its purpose, as far as I am concerned.

    Ok, fair enough. Still, 14500 is 20% faster than 12000 ;)

    I would be careful with translating the Linux benchmarks to OS X, the implementation stack is completely different. Its true though that Kepler architecture (650M) really sucks for GPGPU.

    On the other hand, a refurb 2012 rMBP with 512GB RAM was less then $2000 last time I saw it on Apple store.
  21. fenjen macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    No. A 30% higher score in benchmarks doesn't translate to 30% better performance.
  22. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    some people like the 17" screen size, they use them mostly at home so the size and weight do not bother them.

    retina does not mean much to some people, just like some do not have HDTV they still watch SDTV

    some people do not know or care about processors or if they are called Sandy Brdige or Golden Gate Bridge

    some people dont care what other people do with their $2,000
  23. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Apparently it does for the particular benchmark :eek: If you have some better ways to quantify the performance difference, please share. We are especially interested in media work.

    P.S. A base Haswell Macbook Air gets better scores on the Peacekeeper browser benchmark than my quad core Ivy Bridge rMBP. I'd say that the performance increase which is of interest for the majority of users ;)
  24. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    There seem to be people here arguing along very bizarre lines. It's been pointed out that people who buy the 17inch presumably want the things that the retina doesn't provide, like a 17 inch screen, the ports, and expandability, and don't care as much about the swanky screen and moderate speed increases. The response is - but there's a swanky screen, and moderate speed increases.
    Yes, but presumably people who buy the 17 inch do it because they care less about that than the specs on the 17inch that are better.
  25. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Erm, the only thing the 17" has is the screen size. Expandability and ports are more flexible on the rMBP: USB3, 2xThunderbolt, 802.11ac. Unless you need tons of internal storage of course.

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