Which MacBook Pro - 2015 or 2018


I'm a long time Mac user (since 1997) and I'm thinking of upgrading my Mac Mini. Aside from normal internet, word processing, etc I do some video editing on Adobe Premiere Elements (this is the cheapie version but I push it pretty hard) and will be doing some music mixing on Logix X pro.

Because of budget restrictions, I'm concerning myself most with the processor and amount of RAM. I've narrowed it down (unless someone has a better idea! to (both refurb from the apple website, both pushing my budget limit hard, as I'd hope to spend a couple of hundred less):

13.3-inch MacBook Pro 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 - $1,659.00

Originally released July 2018
Touch Bar with integrated Touch ID sensor
13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch
16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
720p FaceTime HD camera
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655

complete specs:

2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, with 128MB of eDRAM
16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for:
Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
VGA, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 output supported using adapters (sold separately)
Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
Three microphones
3.5 mm headphone jack
802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
Height: 0.59 inch (1.49 cm)
Width: 11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
Depth: 8.36 inches (21.24 cm)
Weight: 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)3


15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7 - $1,699.00

Originally released May 2015
15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory
256GB PCIe-based flash storage
720p FaceTime HD Camera
Intel Iris Pro Graphics

complete specs:

2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache
16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory
256GB PCIe-based flash storage
Intel Iris Pro Graphics
MagSafe 2 power port
Two Thunderbolt 2 ports (up to 20 Gbps)
Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps)
HDMI port
Headphone port
SDXC card slot
Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter (sold separately)
Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (sold separately)
Stereo speakers
Dual microphones
Headphone port
Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone
Support for audio line out (digital/analog)
802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking
IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
Height: 0.71 inches (1.8 cm)
Width: 14.13 inches (35.89 cm)
Depth: 9.73 inches (24.71 cm)
Weight: 4.49 pounds (2.04 kg)

It seems to me there are pros & cons to both. I like the bigger screen and faster processor, but the newer model has the latest gen processor. I'm a little nervous buying something from 2015 - but maybe that's naive - and I'm unclear if there's a big difference between the SSD and the PCIe-based flash storage. I'm also not sure if the 665 at the end of Intel Iris Plus Graphics in the newer model is a big deal.

After a little more research, apparently some people still hate the keyboard on the 2018, even though it's supposed to be better than the '16 & '17. Most seem to love the 2015 keyboard. I wonder how that factors in?

Any input or ideas is much appreciated!

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I'd ask the folk that repair these machines.

While I think the 2015 price is wack in a bad way, look up Louis Rossmann and see if his shop or him can answer if you should consider the 2015 module. You won't get Apple to repair such reasonably and can't get apple care. That's a big outlay with no warranty available and the price should reflect this.

I'm going to say it. "Rip off."

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Slight correction regarding warranty

OP states that "both refurb from the apple website".
Refurbs from there have a full one year warranty and are eligible for AppleCare for a further two years.
One of the beauties of buying Apple refurbished equipment rather than those carrying the oft used "Factory Refurbished" or "Manufacturer Refurbished"


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I missed that.

I miss one detail and "Blam, you got me."

That changes almost everything. I'd still avoid Apple's early butterfly keyboards.

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thanks, and...

... yes, that's one reason I'm comfirtable with the refurbs.

Someone suggested to me that I should just buy new - I can get the new 2019 13" MacBook Pro from Apple with the 1.4GHz quad‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16 gb ram and 256 ssd for a little less than the refurbs I listed above.

The smaller size doesn't bother me (much), I'm concerned how the processor in the newer compares to the 2015 (2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor).

Does the newer processor really make up this difference between the i5 and i7 (and 2.2 GHz as opposed to 1.4)?

I can imagine in a few years I might be glad I have the 2019 and not the 2015. The 2018 keyboard kinda scares me - from what I've read, the 2015 keybaord was still good. I haven't seen anything bad about the 2019 keyboards yet.

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I'd have to research that.

But as I have to find the CPUs then google that in a phrase like:
"i5-8700 vs i7-4500U USERBENCHMARK"
I think I'll let you do that research. Sometimes a new faster i5 does win.

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Thanks for the help...

... I did some research, I believe your numbers were off, the 2019 is the Intel Core i5-8257U.

In any case, it's moot because the 2015 refurb is gone. This is fine as I'm not really ready to buy until next month, so I'll see what refurbs are on offer then and decide. It does seemlike the new processor is pretty good (from what I#m reading - I'm no expert) - entry level but as they seem to keep getting better, this is probably the way to go.

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You are right.

I was pulling from wet memory what CPUs were in those and I can't be right without exact model numbers which you have access to.

My reply is to share how I compare CPUs today. It saves a lot of time for me and you get to see how I do this along with others that happen to read this. i.e. Teach how to fish.

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Mac 2018 is better than 2015.

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