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Refurb 13inch 2012 OR Refurb 15inch 2011 which is better?Is refurb really worth it?THOUGHTS ON REFURBISHED MBP

802 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2012 11:44 AM by dwb RSS
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Nov 6, 2012 5:48 AM

hey folks i am planing to buy a macbook pro after saving cash since the past 6years i want you all to help me with which product i should go for

i am 17 and need a good laptop which will last me another 5years..... i have been thinking about a refurb macbook pro 2012 13inch 2.9 i7dual core which is for about 1260 and another one refurb macbook pro 2011 15inch 2.2  i7 quad core which is again for 1350.....i would want to know which is a better option as price wise both are very close and if is the 15inch worth it and better as the 2011 does not have the usb3.0 and bluetooth 4.0 and its sandy bridge but again its quad core where as the 13inch 2012 has all the stuff but its dual core.... what is the difference between quad and dual core?....and i would want to know your thoughts on the refurb models as i said its importamt for me to spend my money wisely since i have been saving for the past 6years....does the refurb mbp as good as new?can they have cosmetic damages?is the outter shell and body replaced?and do they come with new parts and accesories? and is it like a second hand laptop which is used for a year or few months and then returnded and sold again as refurb? please let me know which is better and long lasting or else shall i go for a new one...cause if i buy a refurb mbp and the apple protection care plan the total cost is as much as a new mbp so is it better to buy a new mbp and not buy the apple protection  plan? PLEASE HELP ME OUT

Thanks for your time



Links of the models: ore-intel-i7#overview ore-intel-i7


ps: is a 128gb solid state drive worth replacing the 500gb or 750gb serial ata

MacBook Pro
  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (57,695 points)

    I buy refurbs all the time and have never had an issue.  Ultimately, It's your money.  You make the call.

  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (57,695 points)

    Again...the better choice is the one that meets your needs vs. your budget.


    Refurbs look brand new and offer the same warranty coverage as new machines.

  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,705 points)

    In general the difference between the 13 and 15 inch MBP is the graphics system and processor. If you are happy with Intel's integrated graphics the 13" is a good buy and easier to travel with, in my opinion. If 3D graphics processing is important, the 15" has a discrete graphics card which gives it more oomph. When it comes to the processor, both are powerful enough that the computer is spending most of its time waiting for the human to do something so unless you are using some very intense software its a wash there. Me - I'd choose the 13" and stuff an SSD into it.


    Refurbs are generally a good deal. I've bought several and recommend them to others. Personally, all but one refurb has looked brand new. The exception was a Mac mini that had scuff marks on the bottom from where the original user had upgraded the RAM...which was still installed. I got a kick out of that. The mini is now 5 years old and now in the hands of my father in law who really likes it.

  • sidonsoft Level 2 Level 2 (275 points)

    +1 Ivy bridge, +1 USB 3.0, +1 HD4000 graphics is quite good. +++1 SSD


    I don't know many users that really NEED a quad core, but its nice to have one.



    Just my two cents,


  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,705 points)

    USB 3 vs USB 2 -> the importance of USB 3 depends on how much you use an external drive to read/write large files or large numbers of files. I once did extensive testing with USB 2 vs FireWire 400 & 800 with TimeMachine. It was no surprise that performing a complete backup with FireWire was significantly faster than with USB (or even a large backup such as after installing an OS update). But for those hourly (or even daily) backups the difference wasn't all that significant. Exporting a large number of photos or an iMovie to FireWire was significantly faster. Copying a copy word processor files it was almost impossible to accurate time the difference. For some the USB3 ports are a big deal. For me, not at all because I'm heavily invested in FireWire drives.


    BlueTooth 4? Frankly, I can't say because the only thing I use BT for is my keyboard and mouse which the older standard is fine for. There are potential advantages - just as with USB3 - the question is whether your current/future needs align to the new standards. Again for me they don't.


    As for the CPU difference - I've already indicated that unless you are doing high processor intensive work (such as 3D modelling or big statistical modeling) either processor has plenty of power. According to the benchmarks my new work iMac runs rings around my work 2009 Core 2 Duo 13" MBP. In my real world use of those two computers I never notice the difference. If I played 3D games on them I would.


    I've already said that all but one of my refurbs looked new and from what I've seen of relatives and friends buying refurbs that runs pretty true. You aren't buying a new computer but on the other hand I've never seen a refurb that looked beat up. Most refurbs are computers that buyers returned within Apple's 14 day buyer's remorse period or were dead on arrival, a new one given to the buyer, and repaired.


    I can't tell you how long a refurb MBP will last - no more than I can tell you how long a new MBP will last. But Apple warrants them for a year and lets you buy an extended warranty just as if they were new. That indicates the confidence Apple has in its refurbs.


    Where do you get the idea that you can only put a 128GB SSD in a 13"? It can handle any standard 2.5" drive and there are plenty of SSDs in that form factor at 256GB and above. Yes an SSD is expensive compared to a standard drive but the speed increase is amazing and not just in booting up the computer. Installing an SSD on my 4.5 year old iMac gave it another year of live. Installing one in my work MBP was like getting a new computer. I wouldn't consider buying a new computer without one.

  • sidonsoft Level 2 Level 2 (275 points)

    I agree with DWB where I wanted to give two cents, he wanted to give you a dollar.


    USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt for connecting external drives is about par just a price difference

    USB 3.0 is vastly superior for external storage to USB 2.0 and marginally better than Firewire devices.


    quote dwb "I wouldn't consider buying a new computer without one."

    SSD hard drive is worth its weight in gold, literally .. gold may be a little cheaper now

  • sidonsoft Level 2 Level 2 (275 points)

    apple care wouldn't hurt, you can really estimate value until its needed or not needed.  I think the peace of mind is worth the dollar.  The resale value of 128GB SSD could be put towards the purchase of a new 256GB SSD, i'd say just use the 128gb until you run outta space and look then as the price can only come down on the SSD or you may get more storage for your dollar.   The new range of hybrid hard drives look promising for speed/price and storage ratios.

  • sidonsoft Level 2 Level 2 (275 points)

    apple uses samsung ssd drives in some of their new macbook pro, the link below is for a pro version thats on special at newegg.



    not sure about the apple care with refurbished, I would assume that its no different than a new one.  Buy it with the refurbished to be sure

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