13" 2009 2.53ghz MacBook pro still a good buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by heliocentric, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. heliocentric, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011

    heliocentric Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
    Basically I needed a new mac and but couldn't afford a brand new one from apple for a grand.

    So I managed to get hold of a mint 2009 edition one with 2.53ghz and 4gb ram.

    Are they still capable machines? Good for Lion and the next couple of years?

    Gonna use for music production, web surfing, encoding...just general computer stuff. Never really game on a mac ( apart from old school emulators).

  2. ssn637 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2009
    I've got the 2010 13" model (2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo) and am very happy with it.

    A couple of recommendations to make the best out of your investment:
    - Lion is a RAM hog and if you can upgrade to 8 GB then do so. The advantages justify the cost these days.
    - I've also got a Samsung 830 SSD in the OptiBay for my system files along with a standard HDD for data. If you can afford one, a solid state drive will make a tremendous difference and is highly recommended.
    - Wait for the Lion upgrade until 10.7.3 has been released. Your model will suffer a significant loss of battery life (up to 40%) but the newest development version seems to have solved this issue for me and the final release should be out soon.
    - Overclocking the NVidia 9400M is possible in a Windows Boot Camp partition and makes a difference when gaming, although you stated this is not your priority.

    Good luck and enjoy your new MacBook Pro!
  3. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    The short is yes.

    The long answer is still yes.

    Any aluminum Macbook with a multitouch trackpad is a good buy for Lion. Disregarding slower hardware than the 1-grand models, they are still as useful.
  4. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    You already bought it, right? Are you having buyer's remorse?
  5. heliocentric thread starter Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
    I have just bought it and waiting for it to be delivered.

    Just wondering what people thought really...

    Thanks for the input so far :)
  6. ermir4444 macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2009
    Toronto On
    I have a 2009 MacBook Pro 2.26 and its great. I put an SSD and a new battery in it, as well as 4 GB of Ram. It runs lion great. My Gf has a 2011 MBP and mine runs much faster due to SSD and much cooler as well.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I'm still running an Early 2008 (non-unibody) 15" MBP that looks and runs like it did out of the box. I haven't upgraded because I haven't needed to. I don't see anything I need in newer models that my current MBP can't do.
  8. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    Your experience with your soon to be expected Mac will depend on what your frame of reference, future uses, and general level of impatience or intolerance to waiting for software to load, save, computations to finish, etc.

    I was using a 2008 pre-unibody MBP 15" 2.4 gHz Core 2 Duo and wasn't sure I needed the early 2011 MBP 17" when I bought it at the time. I felt my 2008 C2D was still capable and fine for my needs.

    After using my Core i7 quad-core MBP, I have to say that when I went back to try my 2008 MBP, I could no longer tolerate what seemed like newfound sluggishness.

    I then later got a 2011 MBA and after using it extensively was surprised to find that my 2011 MBP now seemed so bizarrely slow that I realized I could no longer tolerate a HDD. I had to upgrade the MBP to include an SSD.

    So, if the computer you have been using is significantly slower or older than the MBP you have on order, then you will probably feel like you bought a great computer.
  9. heliocentric, Dec 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

    heliocentric thread starter Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
    I've been using a windows laptop lately that has an i3, but much prefer OSX.

    Before that I had a uni-body white macbook.

    so it may be worth going from 4gb to 8gb and waiting till 10.7.3 comes out to upgrade?

  10. heliocentric thread starter Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
    Got it today, its been well looked after and in great condition (you can only tell its not new by the fact some of the keys are worn a bit).

    Battery capacity is at around 4 hours it seems.

    It runs snow leopard very quickly...

    hopefully with lion it will be as good.
  11. tdream macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2009
    Absolutely nothing wrong with all the Aluminium macbooks except maybe the first one which had a dodgy screen. You can't really go wrong with an Aluminium macbook. Great machines with great reliability, definitely something you cannot say about windows.
  12. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    I too have the mid-2009 13" MBP - great machine. Still looks & works like new.
    I'd love a MBA but really can't justify it as I already have the 2009 MBP & it's just too good to replace ...

    I've had some glitches with Lion, which makes me think I should perhaps do a clean install at some point ... which tempts me to get a 500GB SSD at the same time ...
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Another blatant inaccuracy. They really are roughly on par with each other these days. I remain on OSX most of the time simply because I've been set up that way for years, but the concept that one is significantly more reliable than the other since Windows 7 is complete crap, and many graphics intensive things (not just games) run better on Windows as Apple has let their OpenGL implementation go downhill for years.

    On the macbook pro, if you got a good price on it, it's still well worth it. I've killed Apple laptops even though I'm careful with them (I don't move them around when they're open, only use them on flat surfaces, and I allow them to cool down after heavy use before putting the machine to sleep). It sounds like you bought a lightly used unit though which is great.
  14. heliocentric thread starter Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
    Hmm just saw the 2011 13" i5 model for cheap on the apple refurbished site.

    Tempted to get that and sell the 2009 one on eBay (as they still seem to go for a lot , especially mint ones)

    Is it alot better?
  15. Nychot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2011

    I have the 2011 i5. Its great. Very fast. Stays cool. Bought it as an open box at best buy for $800, a total steal. I have snow leopard on my other macs but i really like lion. No problems with it.
  16. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    I have a unibody MBP 13" 2.4GHz C2D from early 2010. While I'd love to have more screen real estate, it's more than fast enough for my uses. I'm not a video/photo fanatic (except for the occasional small work) but I use it extensively for browsing and general office work.

    Though I use it at home as my only computer (I only have an iPad 2 next to it).

    I've swapped out the original 250GB HDD with a 120GB SSD and upped the memory to 8GB. With Lion 10.7.2 it simply flies.

    I'm currently "babysitting" on a 21.5 iMac with a traditional HDD and a much faster processor, but I can tell you that with just the same use as on my MBP, the MBP feels alot faster due to the memory and SSD.

    Unless you need Thunderbolt, keep your current laptop. If it's in mint condition, you can easily expand the life of it by adding more memory and using an SSD. The general use of this MBP with 8GB RAM and an SSD will still feel faster than any other current i5 or i7 model with a traditional HDD. Obviously you can still add an SSD to these new machines but the question is mainly do you need the additional CPU power and/or Thunderbolt. If you don't, keep what you have and simply enjoy.
  17. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    The Core i5 is tremendously faster than a Core 2 Duo.
  18. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003

    You have a very nice computer that will work well for years to come. If you keep it, upgrade the RAM to 8 GB and put a bigger/faster hard drive in it and you'll be set for quite a while.

    The short answer to your question: Yes, the i5 is substantially faster than yours. Whether that makes it better to you is another question, though it is more likely to last longer in terms of usefulness. Also, a new refurb would have a full one year warranty.
  19. heliocentric thread starter Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
  20. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009

    Don't stress because you'll probably want to upgrade in another 2 years.
  21. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The 13" from 2009 is a fair bit slower than even a 2011 MBA so I wouldn't do it. But it all depends on your needs versus wants versus budget at the end of the day.
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I have a core i7 mbp at work and a 2.26 c2d mb at home. In day to day usage, you can't tell a difference in 99% of the applications
  23. tdream macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2009
    I bought a new Macbook Pro in 2009 and it's still working fine today. I use it everyday and if you've noticed in my sig I have an Nehalem i7 PC. I've used PCs since 1993. I've had a 386, Pentium, Pentium 3, AMD Thoroughbred and Barton, Intel Conroe, sticking with Nehalem will upgrade when Ivy Bridge comes out. Macs have way less problems than Windows. Windows you must know about patching this, bios that, be comfortable with reformatting on a regular basis, malware protection. Building a new PC be prepared to troubleshoot.

    I'd happily stay on Leopard forever, but one program I use requires snow Leopard. Will probably not upgrade to Lion until absolutely required. Stability is most important to me.

    Windows 7 has been a massive improvement but without a competitor like Apple we would most likely have interfaces more closely resembling Windows 2000. In fact it seems like they are going back to that boxy style with Metro. In any case, I would recommend for ease of use and stability a Mac over a Windows based PC every day of the week.

    Computers nowadays are appliances, tools for getting the job done. Back in the day, they were geeky tinkering machines you had fun with, that's if your idea of fun is figuring out why your machine has slowed to a crawl after minimal use.

    I've accidentally dropped my Macbook on the floor from about desk height 3 times, and there's a tiny dent on the cover you would barely notice unless I told you about it. I've a dell laptop I dropped once and the front fascia is broken. Quality casing matters for durability and stability.

    Factor in excellent residuals and great image, the choice is simple. You do pay for it though, for all other models except the most basic Macbook Pro. That is the best value computer you can buy IMO.
  24. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    See I don't disagree with you on that troubleshooting is required at times, but Macs run into it too. They have a quirky file system with HFS+ and bugs with spotlight. When someone is experiencing slowdown it often gets traced back to these things. I've seen bugs with the finder and random things not showing up in various Macs too. With PCs you can avoid the majority of issues by watching your browsing habits. Since Windows 7 I haven't seen quite the same divide in problems. If one required constant maintenance compared to the other it might be different. In either case if you use it for work, a backup of your system drive is necessary. In a desktop where you're not necessarily storing many files on the boot drive, you can always just maintain a backup of your boot drive with applications separate from personal data (address book contacts, downloaded emails, etc).

    I still use OSX the majority of the time. Snow Leopard wasn't bad after the first few months. Lion is annoying. I'm not big on tinkering with machines. It's just that neither is tinker free. Both have had bugs, but yeah you do automatically avoid the malware. I've avoided using Lion on my own machines so far. I don't like to switch an OS until I'm sure everything works. In this case it doesn't, so I'll probably wait for a hardware change. Anyway OSX can slow down too. There are complaints on here about it every day. It has fewer typical causes, but it's still quite annoying.

    I don't know that I'd ever buy a Dell laptop. I avoided the hardware and casing portion because both sides have good options, and we were (sort of) discussing Windows and OSX reliability here. A lot of cheap laptops do suck. With Apple that market segment doesn't exist, so it's not reasonable to anticipate that level of quality (as in breaks too easily). Macbook pros do break from physical abuse too though. There are plenty of threads on it. Anyway Apple does not automatically translate to quality. I've seen way too many imac displays with weird backlight issues and purple edges. In the end, computers are made as cheap devices today. There is nothing premium about them, and residual value is always hinged on the desirability of the model. If the next one is much more desirable, the old one holds less value, and the value is dependent on the condition of the hardware.

    When Apple transitioned macbook pros from the paneled aluminum design to a CNCed design, they raised the price roughly $200 on these models to compensate. I don't see a problem with that. Machined designs are expensive to produce, and it must have taken a number of rounds of prototyping to get the cutting patterns just right for that kind of fit. I don't even know why cases came up, but you can get durable cases regardless. Apple went really thin, so if you run your computer harder, those fans have to spin up considerably.

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