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Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: kj
Date: March 23, 2022 03:09PM
I've got a mid-2010 MacBook Pro 15", and I would kind of like something smaller. Also with an ips screen. Looking at OWC, for example, a 13" similar to mine is 350 or so, and I can't see that being worth it considering a M1 MacBook Air can be had for 800. And when you consider spending more for something newer than 2010, it just gets more expensive, and less worth it, really.

So is there a used Mac any of you feel is actually worth it's price considering what you can get new?

Plus! Every person I know with a intel Mac laptop has had keyboard problems and/or heat issues, so that makes a used purchase even more risky (worth less).
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 23, 2022 03:12PM
I could see someone getting an older mac to surf the web and write papers.

If you can afford an apple silicon mac, you get an apple silicon mac.



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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 23, 2022 03:13PM
If the intent is to really use it as a "laptop" and not a desktop 95% of its life... nothing really beats the M1.

But if $800 is out of the budget... at least in my shopping... not really. After the 2012 13" they get $$$ used.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: March 23, 2022 03:13PM
IMO, no.

But then I get obsolete and usually partially non-working MBPros for free before they become e-waste and get them working for a time until they fail for good.

You can mitigate the overheating problems on most 2018 and later MacBook Pros by using Turbo Boost Switcher to turn off the Turbo Boost on the CPUs in those machines and Macs Fan Control (or smcfancontrol) to ramp up the fans earlier. They're still plenty fast for most things and run cooler and, yes even quieter with carefully chosen fan settings.
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: March 23, 2022 03:24PM
For what it's worth, I just got a decent late 2012 13" MBP for $240, shipping included. Much as I'd like to have an M1, I have to be honest with myself in that I really don't need the power or battery life. The price I paid was not in bargain territory, but I think I got a great deal considering the technnology I got for well under $300.

'Course I might feel differently if this thing dies, but so far so good.popcorn smiley



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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: hal
Date: March 23, 2022 03:32PM
The question of is it worth it 'when X can be had for $X' really depends on the financial situation of the buyer. If you don't have X$ then the questions are already answered.

Is a 2010 laptop worth $350 - hell no! But you are paying someone who is making a profit off a used laptop. Buying that laptop directly from the previous owner really cuts the price down.

imo, apple and other companies are desperate to find a way to show people that they need POWER, when they really don't.

I've never replaced my 2013 laptop because I don't need a faster laptop. When I do replace it, it won't be with a brand new one - no way.
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 23, 2022 03:34PM
Quote
lost in space
For what it's worth, I just got a decent late 2012 13" MBP for $240, shipping included. Much as I'd like to have an M1, I have to be honest with myself in that I really don't need the power or battery life. The price I paid was not in bargain territory, but I think I got a great deal considering the technnology I got for well under $300.

'Course I might feel differently if this thing dies, but so far so good.popcorn smiley

I love my mid 2012 15" MBP i7. Special ordered model with matte screen and a higher rez panel. The only thing I feel is a shortcoming is that I wish it could render h265 HEVC video faster. But for 90% percent of people, this is more than enough machine.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: March 23, 2022 03:50PM
Quote
Racer X
I love my mid 2012 15" MBP i7. Special ordered model with matte screen and a higher rez panel. The only thing I feel is a shortcoming is that I wish it could render h265 HEVC video faster. But for 90% percent of people, this is more than enough machine.

As I was reading responses, this is what stands out to me. Even my 2009 15" MacBook Pros are all I need to do in a mobile setting.

...except for even simple video work, Sure, a 2009 will be very slow at h.265 encoding, great strides were made even my 2011's quad core i7s, but *decoding* (just watching YouTube or other streaming) is as much of a bear if it's not hardware accelerated. Because instead it leans on software decoding which is both slower, more memory-intensive, and:

just kills battery life.

When watching YT videos on the 2009, it eats the battery thanks to software decoding. Also it's really slow when skipping or changing the video display. My 2011 is faster but only has 4GB memory (MBAir-soldered) and is even worse for the same use. My 13" 2015 works perfectly, runs cool, long lasting battery as it's fully hardware accelerated.
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 23, 2022 03:54PM
Quote
Lew Zealand
Quote
Racer X
I love my mid 2012 15" MBP i7. Special ordered model with matte screen and a higher rez panel. The only thing I feel is a shortcoming is that I wish it could render h265 HEVC video faster. But for 90% percent of people, this is more than enough machine.

As I was reading responses, this is what stands out to me. Even my 2009 15" MacBook Pros are all I need to do in a mobile setting.

...except for even simple video work, Sure, a 2009 will be very slow at h.265 encoding, great strides were made even my 2011's quad core i7s, but *decoding* (just watching YouTube or other streaming) is as much of a bear if it's not hardware accelerated. Because instead it leans on software decoding which is both slower, more memory-intensive, and:

just kills battery life.

When watching YT videos on the 2009, it eats the battery thanks to software decoding. Also it's really slow when skipping or changing the video display. My 2011 is faster but only has 4GB memory (MBAir-soldered) and is even worse for the same use. My 13" 2015 works perfectly, runs cool, long lasting battery as it's fully hardware accelerated.

Yes, your 2013, and my mid 2012 are hardware accelerated, with a discreet video processor.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: March 23, 2022 04:03PM
kj,

It 100% depends on the software you need to run, the situation and budget.

I'd buy an older model used (or refurbed) Mac without hesitation even if it isn't necessarily the best bang for the buck because I need machines that can run Mojave. Once I am rid of all of my 32 bit software and/or switch to running the software in an emulated environment, I'd go to an M1 Mac without hesitation. A used Mac would be 100% worth as long as Mojave without emulation is necessary.

The other factor is money. If you can't afford an M1, then you have no choice but to go with an older model used (or refurbed) Mac.

Robert
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: March 23, 2022 04:06PM
Addendum to my post upthread:

You often hear of the pitfalls of buying used electronics on ebay. I've done it for decades with few hiccups. Early on, I found that the most negative FBs were on liquidators who have dozens or hundreds of the same unit for sale. Their FBs might number in the thousands. I look for someone who's been on ebay for many years, more the better, maybe up to 1K transactions with 99.9% or better positives on sales. Other items for sale will have few if any computers. They look to me like they're upgrading. It's worked well for me, but of course, YMMV.



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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: hal
Date: March 23, 2022 04:31PM
Quote
lost in space
Addendum to my post upthread:

You often hear of the pitfalls of buying used electronics on ebay. I've done it for decades with few hiccups. Early on, I found that the most negative FBs were on liquidators who have dozens or hundreds of the same unit for sale. Their FBs might number in the thousands. I look for someone who's been on ebay for many years, more the better, maybe up to 1K transactions with 99.9% or better positives on sales. Other items for sale will have few if any computers. They look to me like they're upgrading. It's worked well for me, but of course, YMMV.

this is good advice - essentially you are looking for someone who is not looking to profit off the sale.
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: kj
Date: March 23, 2022 04:41PM
Yeah, I understand the "it's expensive to be poor" thing. Part of that is seriously that the best value is out of reach for some people. It's still the best value though.

I guess the answer is what I thought, that the M1 is the best value.

Others of you are right, of course my decision on what to buy depends on my situation.

Right before the pandemic I bought a gaming laptop (i7, RTX2060, 144hz ips screen, etc.) and it's a nice machine.

I use the old Mac for work, and was recently asked to update my software to the most recent VMware, and I can't. So essentially I'm in analysis paralysis. Do I use my expensive laptop for work? Then do I get a better Mac for my main machine (I don't like the TN panel, and smaller would be better for another use).

I use my PC for music, and run awesome softsynths from Arturia, and an editor for my Line6 Helix on it. I installed all this on my old Mac, and it runs well, so even though some people would say you need a fast machine for this stuff, you don't necessarily.

I could do with a fairly cheap Mac that is smaller with the retina, but I know the best value is the M1, darnit. I need to see if you can use the things I use for music attached via hub with an M1 Mac. That might make a difference.
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: kj
Date: March 23, 2022 04:58PM
thumbs up for all the responses. Thanks!
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: d4
Date: March 23, 2022 05:09PM
I have an old 17" G4 Powerbook running OS 9. I wanted to keep it around in case I ever needed to fire up QuarkXpress. Can you guess how many times I needed QuarkXpress? Zero. I can't believe it's almost 20 years old.



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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: March 23, 2022 05:24PM
If you really want small and powerful, you just can't beat the M1 Air. It is really an amazing machine, both in its diminutive size and ample power.

If you only need small but not fast then a used 13" MBP can be had for a decent price. However, all but the most recent years of 13" machines with Intel processors are dual-core i5, so they will perform similar to your 2010 15". The mid-2012 15" MBP is a fine machine with its quad-core i7, but obviously it's large. Also, while cheaper than an M1 Air, it would be quite a bit more expensive than a 13".
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: rz
Date: March 23, 2022 05:44PM
Quote
Robert M
It 100% depends on the software you need to run, the situation and budget.

This. I have a 2010 MBP that I took to Japan with me for a 5 week business trip that I just returned from. It did everything I needed it to do, from watching movies to surfing the web. I got it for $20 at a garage sale a few years ago. Just needed a new battery (and I put in an SSD drive).
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: kj
Date: March 23, 2022 06:48PM
Quote
rz
Quote
Robert M
It 100% depends on the software you need to run, the situation and budget.

This. I have a 2010 MBP that I took to Japan with me for a 5 week business trip that I just returned from. It did everything I needed it to do, from watching movies to surfing the web. I got it for $20 at a garage sale a few years ago. Just needed a new battery (and I put in an SSD drive).

20 bucks is good value, for sure.
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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: March 23, 2022 08:12PM
I have an old Mac mini with 10.6 partition. Today for the first time in years, I booted into 10.6 to use Appleworks, only to find that AW doesn't do what I needed. Maybe I don't really need to keep that partition.



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Re: Is any used Mac "worth it"?
Posted by: digby
Date: March 23, 2022 09:24PM
A couple of years ago, I needed a laptop. We were paying off a big wedding, so I had a minuscule budget. "Hey, thought I, gazelle.com has come through with great used iPhones, I wonder what they've got for MacBookPros?"

I bought the cheapest computer I ever have: $700 for a MacBook (early-2015 model) with only 8 GB of RAM.

Now, keep in mind, as an Art Director who's had the best Macs ever since 1985 (even the MacCube:•), and does heavy Photoshoppin' and video editing and 3D on them... I'd always sneered at anything less than a 15" MacBook Pro with 16 GB and a good sized SSD drive.

But I keep throwing larger and tougher projects at this little toy (it's only a 12-incher, and it's... gold. Hard to take seriously). I just finished producing a hardcover book with lots of Photoshopped visuals and some Illustrator diagrams. I kept backing up, in case The Gold Toy choked on my working in five applications at once, but it kept chugging, nice and fast!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2022 09:27PM by digby.
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