Apple introduced its first 17″ notebook, the 1 GHz PowerBook G4, in January 2003. It introduced the first 17″ MacBook Pro, a 2.16 GHz Core Duo machine, in April 2006. And it discontinued the last 17″ MacBook Pro, a 2.4 GHz quad-core i7 powerhouse, in June 2012 in favor of the 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
The thing is, the Retina MacBook Pro doesn’t really replace the 17″ MacBook Pro. Yes, its 2880 x 1800 display blows away the 17-incher’s 1920 x 1200 screen in terms of resolution, but the reality is that the new Retina model acts like it has a 1440 x 900 screen, just with sharper text and graphics. Icons, windows, the menu bar, and so on are all the same size on the screen as they are on the regular 15″ MacBook Pro with its standard 1440 x 900 display.
In fact, to get the highest usable resolution in a portable Mac, you want the 15″ MacBook Pro with the $100 1680 x 1050 hi-res build-to-order option – and that pales in comparison to the 17″ MacBook Pro’s 1920 x 1200.
In February 2011, Apple moved the 17″ MacBook Pro to a quad-core i7 CPU, giving it a lot more computing power than 2010’s dual-core i7 model. It also gained Apple’s high-speed Thunderbolt port. Battery life is rated at a pretty realistic 7 hours.
In October 2011, Apple began shipping an updated version with a slightly faster CPU, a better graphics engine, and more hard drive space. Other than that, the Late 2011 17″ MacBook Pro appears to be identical to the Early 2011 model.
All 2011 models ship with 4 GB of RAM and officially support up to 8 GB, although OWC has found they will work with up to 16 GB. The Early 2011 MacBooks ship with OS X 10.6.6; the Late 2011 models with OS X 10.7.2. For more on this and the other Late 2011 MacBook Pro models, see The Late 2011 MacBook Pro Value Equation.
The original Core Duo models ran hotter than the later Core 2 models, support a maximum of 2 GB of RAM, do not support 64-bit mode in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and do not supported OS X 10.7 Lion. The newer, more efficient Core 2 CPU provides about 7% more processing power at the same CPU speed. Pre-Santa Rosa Core 2 models can handle up to 3 GB of memory. Santa Rosa and later models support up to 6 GB.
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is supported on all Intel-based Macs introduced prior to June 2009 (pre-Unibody) with at least 512 MB of RAM (we recommend at least 1 GB). Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard only runs on Intel-based Macs, and OS X 10.7 Lion requires a Core 2 Duo or newer CPU. Apple says 1 GB of RAM is a minimum; we suggest at least doubling that with Snow Leopard – and consider 4 GB with Lion or newer. June 2007 and newer models can run OS X 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite.
- Got a MacBook Pro? Join our MacBook Group or MacBooks Forum.
- Our Tiger Forum and Tiger Group are for those using OS X 10.4.
- Our Leopard Group is for those using OS X 10.5 or 10.6.
The April 2010 and later models are listed separately from the Core 2 Duo ones, because their CPUs are so much more powerful, and dual-core and quad-core models are also separated. Listings note RAM/hard drive size. All models have SuperDrives, AirPort Extreme, and Bluetooth 2.0. The best deals are marked in bold type in the full listings below.
We try to factor in estimated shipping costs (based on ground shipping to Low End Mac headquarters in Michigan). The best deals are marked in bold type. Except for the Intel Core “i” models, which uses more powerful processors, models are arranged by clock speed. Dual-core “i” models are listed before quad-core models. Listings note RAM/hard drive size. Your best value depends on whether you need/want a color printer, extra RAM, etc. All models ship from the factory with SuperDrives, AirPort Extreme, and Bluetooth.
Best Used Prices
- 2.4 GHz Core 2, $549, DV Warehouse
- 2.5 GHz Core 2, $695, DV Warehouse
- hi-res 2.8 GHz Core 2, $899, Mac of All Trades
- 2.53 GHz dual i5, $849, DV Warehouse
- 2.66 GHz dual i7, $895, DV Warehouse
- 2.2 GHz quad i7, $1,149, DV Warehouse
- 2.4 GHz quad 17, $1,379, Other World Computing
Recent Memory Prices (per module)
- PC5300 (pre-Unibody): 512 MB, $11.99; 1 GB, $11.79; 2 GB (Core 2 only), $29.99; 2 GB kit, $19.99; 3 GB kit (Core 2 only), $36.79, 4 GB kit, $51.99; 4 GB module (Santa Rosa only), $107.99; 6 GB kit, $133.99
- 1066 DDR3 (Unibody, pre-2011): 2 GB, $24.99, 4 GB, $46.79; 4 GB kit, $47.99, 6 GB kit, $72.99; 8 GB kit for $87.99
- 1333 DDR3 (2011): 4 GB, $44.99, 8 GB, $88.79; 8 GB kit, $85.99, 12 GB kit, $130.79; 16 GB kit, $172.99
Mac OS X and OS X Server Prices
- Best Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Deals
- Best Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Deals
- Best Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Deals
- OS X 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite are free on the Mac App Store
Unless otherwise noted, there is no surcharge for credit card purchases, and shipping is not included. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to visit their sites for full details.
Prices may be limited to quantity on hand. Not responsible for typos.
Buying through some of these links benefits Low End Mac. Buying at these prices benefits you.
- Core Duo (Early 2006): 2.16 GHz, OS X 10.4.6, 2 GB max. RAM, Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics, 802.11g, not compatible with Lion
- Core 2 (Late 2006): 2.33 GHz, OS X 10.4.8, 3 GB max. RAM, Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics, 802.11g, not compatible with Mountain Lion
- Santa Rosa (Mid 2007): 2.4 GHz, OS X 10.4.9, 6 GB max. RAM, GeForce 8600M GT graphics, 802.11n
- Penryn (Early 2008): 2.5 GHz, OS X 10.5.2, 6 GB max. RAM, GeForce 8600M GT graphics, 802.11n
- Unibody (Early 2009): 2.66 GHz, OS X 10.5.6, 8 GB max. RAM, GeForce 9600M GT and 9400M graphics, 802.11n
- Unibody (Mid 2009): 2.8 GHz, OS X 10.5.6, 8 GB max. RAM, GeForce 9600M GT and 9400M graphics, 802.11n
- Dual-core i5/i7 (Early 2010): 2.53 GHz dual i5/2.66 dual GHz i7, OS X 10.6.3, 8 GB max. RAM, Intel HD Graphics & Nvidia GeForce GT 330M, 802.11n
- Quad-core i7 (Early 2011): 2.2/2.3 GHz quad i7, Thunderbolt, OS X 10.6.6, 16 GB max. RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000 & AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 802.11n
- Quad-core i7 (Late 2011): 2.4/2.5 GHz quad i7, Thunderbolt, OS X 10.7.2, 16 GB max. RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000 & AMD Radeon HD 6770M, 802.11n
Used 17″ MacBook Pro
Used equipment is covered by a store warranty and is not eligible for AppleCare.
Shipping may add $20 or more.
- 2.4 GHz Core 2, 1/100, $549
- 2.5 GHz Core 2, 1/250, $695
- 2.53 GHz dual Core i5, 4/500, $849
- 2.66 GHz dual Core i7, 4/500, $895
- 2.2 GHz quad Core i7, 4/500, $1,149
Estimated shipping is $15.50.
- none listed today
Mac of All Trades
Ground shipping averages $30. Mac of All Trades has the highest product turnover of any used Mac dealer we track.
- 2.8 GHz Core 2 hi-res, 4/500, $899
- 2.53 GHz dual i5, 4/500, $999
- 2.66 GHz dual i7, 4/500, $1,099
- 2.3 GHz quad i7, 4/750, $1,699
- 2.4 GHz quad i7, 8/750, $1,899
Shipping included. Operator Headgap thoroughly refurbishes and tests every Mac they sell. OS X 10.4 installed. When ordering, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!
- none listed today
Other World Computing
OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installed (no discs). Free FedEx home delivery.
- 2.2 GHz quad Core i7 Early 2011, 8/500, $1,188
- 2.4 GHz quad Core i7 Early 2011, 16/750, $1,379
Ground shipping may add $32 or more. Less expensive units sometimes available with tinted or spotted screens, dings, wear, etc.
- 2.0 GHz Core Duo, 2/64 SSD, $819
- 2.16 GHz Core Duo, 2/1 TB, $899
- 2.53 GHz dual i5, 4/500, $1,529
- 2.2 GHz quad i7, 4/750, $1,929
- other configurations listed
- None listed today.
Local pickup available in West Hollywood, CA. Ground shipping may cost $26 or more. 30 day warranty.
- 2.53 GHz dual i5, 4/500, minor wear, $894.95
Ground shipping may add $26 or more.
- none listed today
- none listed today
Small Dog Electronics
$4.99 flat rate shipping.
- none listed today
Want Intel Core power in a portable for less? Check out our Best 15″ MacBook Pro Deals for pricing on the 15″ MacBook Pro.
Keywords: #lemdeals #macbookdeals #macbookprodeals
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