Is the 2015 MacBook Pro still worth it in 2018/2019?

Many regard the 2015 MacBook Pro as the last best computer released by Apple.

Is it still a good buy in 2018/2019? I can see a few nice spec units on ebay for around $1,500 average.

still worth it for what?

u have to be a little bit more specific

Worth it to purchase. :joy:

I’m interested in it for Data Science. My understanding is all the cool kids on the West Coast adore these.

What price are you finding the 2015 for? I think that’s the biggest deciding factor.

Unless there is a specific reason you need to be using OSX, there are a lot of great windows alternatives that can help you yield better performance results, which would ultimately help you on most endeavors.

Edit: As a note, older apple laptops are pretty decent; my 2011 MacBook Air still going strong! Won’t be replacing it anytime soon.

Between $1,500-$2,200 (oof.)

Keep in mind that closer to $2,200 they are high spec new old stock.

The thing is, rumor on the “street” is Apple is not really investing in the line anymore until they are ready to release their ARM based IOS lineup - but that is just a rumor / speculation.

At that pricepoint, I’d highly recommend looking for a windows alternative unless you have a strong/compelling reason to stay in the OSX ecosystem :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what Apple is thinking for their future MBP line, but the most recent ones (and most likely many others down the line) continue to have issues with throttling due to heat.


I’ve also heard of keyboard issues, not that that really matters in this community haha.

One thing that I really dislike is the touchbar on the more recent MBP’s, cuz it feels kinda gimmicky

Yes, that is one of the reasons why 2015 is generally agreed upon best last year. I’m also not crazy about the touch bar either.

The other alternative I was thinking about was a laptop from System76 that has Linux preinstalled. Generally Laptops + Linux don’t seem to go together very well - something is always broken or needs adjustment.

Then again, I’ve seen some six figure developers use $200 hacked ChromeBooks to get by on. Crazy!

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Apple’s laptop lineup is in a little bit of an odd place right now. The 2015 MacBook Pro is a good computer and is in most ways just fine, performance wise. And it still has the legacy ports and “better” keyboard that are missing from the newer models. My main computer is still a 2014 MacBook Pro that I use as a desktop, and it’s more or less identical to the 2015 model you’re talking about. That said, it’s a three-year-old computer, and I’m not sure it’s a great idea to buy spending a lot of money on one right now.

I also have a 13" 2016 MacBook Pro that I use as a portable computer, and it’s honestly fine, but there are a few caveats. The decision to go all USB-C was not a good one – I think Apple expected the USB-C ecosystem to develop a lot faster than it ended up doing, so most people will end up having to use dongles and adapters for at least some things. This may or may not be an issue for you. The touchbar is a bit of a gimmick, but it looks cool and I don’t think it significantly affects functionality either way for most people, so I’d say it’s a net positive. The keyboard is okay, but does have some reliability issues that are concerning. They supposedly have addressed this with the latest models.

Personally, if I had around $1,500 to spend on a Mac laptop right now, I would get the middle configuration of the 2018 13" MacBook Pro. It’s new with a warranty and will be supported with OS updates for longer, and it’s really quite a nice machine, aside from the issues I mentioned above. Either that or one of the 2017" models that some places still have new stock of, since you can often get a nice discount.

BTW There is zero chance that Apple is going to be switching from MacOS-based portables to iOS ones in the near future, although it’s possible they could release an iOS-based laptop in addition to their Mac lineup. There is a better chance that they would switch Macs from Intel processors to ARM, but I don’t really think it’s something people have to worry too much about in terms of their buying decisions. The millions of Intel-based machines will still work fine for many years, and may even be better for some people who want to use Windows on their Mac.

I would recommend one of these, the XPS 13 is a top notch computer and Dell provides pretty good support for it. IMO it’s the best computer you can get preinstalled with linux. I had one for a while and was very happy with it.

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I have that macbook pro. You should be aware that its the one of the first gens that they started soldering in components so their a bitch to upgrade parts.

Mine is holidng up well, and for development I’ve been witnessing OSX is the preferred OS by many. You should make sure the specs line up with your needs before purchasing. Personally I feel 1,500 is a bit pricey for a Macbook Pro that is several years old. Depending on the spces that could be the price of one New.

Build a hackintosh. Best of both worlds in terms of great parts and OSX. I think some people are able to do it with certain laptops but I’ve seen a lot of successful desktops with nice gpus, way better than you can get from Apple. There is a lot of stuff you can google but also on reddit.

If it was closer to $1500, I’d consider it, but it depends on the specs. My main laptop is a 2013 Macbook Pro and it performs fantastically. OS X Mojave is a great update and I hope to have it installed on my work laptop soon.

However, like others have said, unless you need to stay in the Mac ecosystem there’s other alternatives which work just as well for less.

I’m a software engineer primarily focussed on open source tools. MacOS is my preferred environment for this type of work, as I’m sure a bunch of others would also agree.

I have a 2013 MBP. It’s still going strong, and I use it daily for personal use. Prior to that it was my primary development machine.

I also have a 2018 Macbook Pro fully loaded. The only noticeable difference between it and my old machine is compile times. It also supports hdmi 4k@60 out, which is a requirement of my current setup. It’s usually running in clamshell, but even when on the run I barely use the touch bar.

I also ran a hackintosh on an X99 5820k for two years. The advantage of this machine at the time was speed, and a fully capable HDMI 4k@60 port, which is ideal for me (and something the '13 macbook could not accomplish).

The hackintosh was awesome, but did require additional maintenance - and probably a good week of time investment to get properly setup. It’s also not for everyone, as updates can be a pain. My machine also could not sleep properly - so I had to shut it down every night. Results may vary here depending on your hardware.

tl;dr; if you have the $2,200.00 - maybe it’s better to buy new and have some kind of warranty available? I’m not sure I’d invest in $1500 for a machine that old tho.

I’m also assuming you aren’t considering PC / Windows given you’re specifically asking about Apple hardware. But as others have said, PC hardware with Linux is also an option - although I would mention that all of the software engineer’s I’ve worked with use macs, and this can be helpful as tools do differ slightly between environments.

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Macs have a 6~7 year upgrade window before they get dropped from new OS releases. So a 2015 still has time but it’s something to think about. If what you are doing does not require lots of processor time, then from that angle, you probably won’t notice much difference.

I think Cadriel is right on about the Hackintosh, I did some research into this and it seemed great if you like to tinker but if you computer is also your work tool, you are adding a layer of complexity that may come back to bite you when the clock is ticking on a project.

The Mac vs Linux thing is all about the software you plan to run. I’ve been on Fedora since 2013 (leaving Windows) but I chose that distro because of similarities with RH running in the datacenter. If that had not been a concern, I think Ubuntu has an edge as far as help documentation and user experience.For what I do (JavaScript with Electron and React currently, but also web stuff) the Mac vs Linux is pretty much identical. Even the instructions for most things are “Do this on Mac/Linux, do that on Windows”. But I’ve been considering replacing my 2015 Dell XPS 15 with a new Mac specifically because of Sketch, which is Mac only and it would be nice to run Photoshop and Lightroom natively again but those are my uses and everyone has their own thing.

That said, if you do go linux laptop. I would say more important than vendor support is community support for the hardware and parts availability in the future. My Dell has been great but since I bought it I have replaced the proc fans and battery and was able to buy them off amazon and check youtube for instructions. I’ve also fixed some older HPs for friends with parts off Amazon but I’d be worried about finding parts for a second or third tier companies after the warranty expires. Just throwing it out there.

You could always be super crazy and run Linux on your mac. :stuck_out_tongue:



Update/Answers to Suggestions:

I think a Hackintosh is more than I want to tackle at the moment. I wish Apple would give up on hardware [some would argue they already have] and produce OSX for non-Apple computers.

I also think I did an about face on MacBooks in general. Oh yes, I discovered Louis Rossman and I’m a bit put off by the company now. :exploding_head:

I’m going to look at the Dell XPS per suggestion.


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I’ve got the highest-specced Broadwell 2015 MBP and I feel absolutely no urge to upgrade. It’s the last gen before the keyboard got really crap. It’s powerful enough for anything you’d want to be using a dual-core for.

I’ve been using Macs since before they ran on Intel (my first Mac was a G4 iBook), but I have to say, I’m extremely pleased with my late-2016 Razer Blade 14". I got it with the 1080p IPS non-touch screen, and it has a Core i7-6700HQ and a GTX 1060 with 6GB of video RAM as well as 16GB of regular RAM. It was $1800 when I got it and it’s still just as awesome two years later. Powerful enough to drive an Oculus Rift or play most games in at least Medium at 1080p (the native resolution on the display). I’m not planning on buying another Apple-manufactured computer again based on their current lineup, but I’d replace this Blade with a newer one in a heartbeat.