2008 C2D vs 2011 i7 - Worth the upgrade?

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
Hey Guys,

Currently have a late 2008 MBP with 2.4Ghz C2D and the 9400M / 9600M GT 256mb graphics combo.

Had it for almost 3 years and next month the AppleCare expires so I'm keen to offload it now as I've had a number of problems with it recently. Only problem is there is no chance I can afford, or get the go ahead to spend the $3000 or $4000 for a brand new MBP, so I was looking at going back to HP/Dell at circa $1500.

Problem is I still love my Mac, and yesterday noticed a refurb Early 2011, Quad Core i7 2.0Ghz, with 6490M 256mb graphics for circa $2000, which is possible.

Now, has anyone had experience going from a C2D to the Sandy Bridge i7? Whats the performance difference like? Also, any comment on how the 6490m holds up against the old nvidia 9400m/9600mgt?

Don't do any modern gaming on it, just a bit of L4D, iRacing etc. Mainly use the MBP for general stuff, HD movie editing, VMs etc.

Just looking for opinions really, as have a baby on the way soon so wanted to get the MBP replaced before then and our income halves

Thx!

Andy
 

w00t951

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2009
1,831
6
Pittsburgh, PA
The C2D to Sandy Bridge made a huge difference for me. Video encoding time was cut dramatically, and all tasks are just... Faster.
 

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
Thanks guys, and thanks for the pointers to the benchmarks.

Graphics card is the only thing concerning me, as some posts seem to say the old 9600m gt is same performance as the 6490m which is a worry if true.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
Thanks guys, and thanks for the pointers to the benchmarks.

Graphics card is the only thing concerning me, as some posts seem to say the old 9600m gt is same performance as the 6490m which is a worry if true.
notebookcheck.net has a series of benchmarks for both cards. Overall the 6490m is the better GPU, but in some benchmarks the difference is marginal.

The CPU is a big upgrade - but for most everyday tasks the difference is not notable.
 

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
notebookcheck.net has a series of benchmarks for both cards. Overall the 6490m is the better GPU, but in some benchmarks the difference is marginal.

The CPU is a big upgrade - but for most everyday tasks the difference is not notable.
Thanks. Yeah I'm not a massive gamer at all, just casual and use my 369 mainly. Only really interested in some of the steam title but my 9600m gt struggles with those, but could also be my CPU.

Biggest increase I'm looking for is editing photos as my current one creaks with some iPhoto stuff, and also hd encoding in iMovie as its getting painful now with anything above sd.

If you can hold out a few more months the ivy bridge models will be out with USB3 and will have better battery life aswell.
Yeah but I can't afford full price, hence not going for the current spec 2011 models. Only looking at the cheaper refurb early 2011 models.

Those prices are off.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CWJ1DI/ref=oh_o02_s00_i00_details

$1,487.64 for the late 2011 2.2 quad i7 4gb 6750M 15" 500gb MBP via amazon warehouse deal. I just got mine, looks and works brand new. Check the amazon warehouse deal threads here, lots of people happy with them.
Thanks but I'm in New Zealand, should have said those were NZ$ not US$. Would order from amazon if I could but they won't ship them to NZ.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
2,013
I'd certainly go for it - the SB quad core is substantially faster, and it's the very best machine you'll be able to get for a long time (at least it sounds that way given your new pending addition - about which, congrats!).

Also, you can resell your current 15" and recoup a good chunk of the cost of the 2.0 quad core MBP.
 

hed1117

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2010
25
0
Miami
Last edited:

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
2,013
...the early 2011 has better specs than the late 2011 2.2ghz. Got mine from Amazon Warehouse for $1439 a few weeks ago.
You DID note that the OP is in New Zealand and already mentioned not being able to buy from Amazon, right?

;)

Vide:

Thanks but I'm in New Zealand, should have said those were NZ$ not US$. Would order from amazon if I could but they won't ship them to NZ.
 

chatfan

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2006
103
0
in mah cribb yo
Recently upgrade my 15" 2008 MBP to a 17" late 2011 with the 6770 1GB graphics card and 8GB memory. Total cost: 2800 euro.

I love it, instead of going upstairs to my pimped out 2010 8core Mac Pro with a Quadro 4000 2GB card and 32GB memory, I sit on the couch and work downstairs grabbing video and stuff from the QNAPs.

Only problem I got now is that the trackpad sucks as a mouse replacement but the machine itself with it's quad core is really nice to work with.

Did notice a weird problem: every time I pick it up while it is writing something the drive seems to auto park (drop sensor??) and I get massive write error and apple screen of death. Even corrupted a PSD file with 40 layers.

Recently got a Caldigit USB3.0 Express card and with a crucial SSD that gives me 225MBS READ speeds (140MBS write, putting up test results in other thread)

Not sure if you are looking for a 15 or 17 version, I love the 17 because it can pretty much replace my Mac Pro even though that has 2 30 Inch HP screens.

Got the new MBA 13 for my girlfriend and it is also super smooth fast machine, very stable. More stable then the MBP which seems to have some issues when moving it when it is powered on.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,799
2,117
Did notice a weird problem: every time I pick it up while it is writing something the drive seems to auto park (drop sensor??) and I get massive write error and apple screen of death. Even corrupted a PSD file with 40 layers.
Moving it while it's writing just sounds like a bad idea in general. If you're spending that much on the machine and having such issues, why not swap the drive for an SSD? That would grant you the upside of a faster scratch drive anyway. If you're dealing with files that with 40 layers 8GB of ram is nothing (resolution matters too but you get my point).
 

chatfan

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2006
103
0
in mah cribb yo
This is my 5th? 6th? Mac book Pro and the first ever that crashes at all or does anything weird when moving it around while writing. It has never been a problem. Did full video rendering and writing of 5TB files while running across the corridor to the stage to play it, nothing remotely like this has ever happened. So there is probably a design change in this machine.

A 2.5 drive should be able to manage some movement, so might check what drive is in there and perhaps replace it with a WD 1TB.

Got SSD's in most of my 15"s, but for this one space is more important, although I am having my doubts and are looking at 512+ SSD's but considering they go for around $800 I wanna be sure I really need it first. This machine is for simple video editing and VJ'ing which needs a second source SSD not the system drive to play video from.

I think the drive is not the problem but the setting on the drop / G sensor that puts the drive in park. Unless it is part of the drive off course.

Photoshop is doing fine, files are only 120MB max so far, editing backgrounds for the coolest new chat called Worlize (http://www.worlize.com).

Moving it while it's writing just sounds like a bad idea in general. If you're spending that much on the machine and having such issues, why not swap the drive for an SSD? That would grant you the upside of a faster scratch drive anyway. If you're dealing with files that with 40 layers 8GB of ram is nothing (resolution matters too but you get my point).
 

cambookpro

Contributor
Feb 3, 2010
6,761
2,361
United Kingdom
FWIW I went from a late 2008 2.4 C2D (lowest 15" at the time) to an early 2011 2.2 i7 (highest - without 2.3GHz upgrade at the time).

Best upgrade I ever made, makes video editing so much quicker and the computer generally feels snappier with 8GB of RAM.

If you can afford one, then I'd definitely get a new MBP. The high end early 2011 is probably worth it over the low end one, not so much with the late 2011.
 
Last edited:

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,799
2,117
This is my 5th? 6th? Mac book Pro and the first ever that crashes at all or does anything weird when moving it around while writing. It has never been a problem. Did full video rendering and writing of 5TB files while running across the corridor to the stage to play it, nothing remotely like this has ever happened. So there is probably a design change in this machine.

A 2.5 drive should be able to manage some movement, so might check what drive is in there and perhaps replace it with a WD 1TB.

Got SSD's in most of my 15"s, but for this one space is more important, although I am having my doubts and are looking at 512+ SSD's but considering they go for around $800 I wanna be sure I really need it first. This machine is for simple video editing and VJ'ing which needs a second source SSD not the system drive to play video from.

I think the drive is not the problem but the setting on the drop / G sensor that puts the drive in park. Unless it is part of the drive off course.

Photoshop is doing fine, files are only 120MB max so far, editing backgrounds for the coolest new chat called Worlize (http://www.worlize.com).

Ahh web stuff. Photoshop files can get into gigabytes which is where either massive amounts of ram or fast scratch space is good. Also yeah if the 512GB one is the size you need, they are quite expensive. I haven't read anything about updated sensor design there. If it's at the drive level, it (obviously) could be a hard drive brand thing meaning it would be easier to work around. This is the first time I've heard of such an issue, and I doubt the genius bar will be of much help.
 

Bearxor

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2007
653
134
For your usage, it should be significantly better.

I'd agree that if you did a lot of intensive games on it, it probaly wouldn't be worth going from a 9600m to a 6490... But you said you don't do a lot of it and you'll definitely notice the processor upgrade.
 

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
Question, is the 6750M and the HD Graphics 3000 only available on the Sandy Bridge MBPs? Reason being I just spotted a local reseller doing the MBP with the 1Gb 6750M and the i7 2.2Ghz for $100 more than the refurb on the lower end model I was after. Says it only comes with Snow Leopard, but this isn't a problem as I already own Lion, but I want to make sure its Sandy Bridge before I order it. Says it has Thunderbolt too so i guess it is the SB model?
 

hed1117

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2010
25
0
Miami
Apple MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.2 15" Early 2011 Specs

Question, is the 6750M and the HD Graphics 3000 only available on the Sandy Bridge MBPs? Reason being I just spotted a local reseller doing the MBP with the 1Gb 6750M and the i7 2.2Ghz for $100 more than the refurb on the lower end model I was after. Says it only comes with Snow Leopard, but this isn't a problem as I already own Lion, but I want to make sure its Sandy Bridge before I order it. Says it has Thunderbolt too so i guess it is the SB model?


http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...-15-early-2011-unibody-thunderbolt-specs.html
 

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
Sweet! Thanks guys. From the links looks like there was only 1 2.2 i7 out there for the MBPs and that was Sandy Bridge.

So after looking at the 2.0 i7 with the 256mb 6490 which was on Apple Refurb for $2249, I then on the off chance had a look at some of the local reseller stores which usually rip you off something rotten. BUT, one of them had the 2.2 i7 with the 1Gb 6750M, but was listing with Snow Leopard instead of Lion. BUT the price was $2499 compared to Apple having it refurbed for $2999.

So I've gone for that!! GULP! Stretched me a bit, but should be a way better GPU then the 6490M, and as I already have Lion from the App store I'm covered there I guess.

Super chuffed, just hope its the right spec and not a pricing error on the resellers side.

SWEEEET!
 

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
Well this has gone wrong.

Shop I ordered this from jsut rang me to say the model I order is out of stock, no eta on a replacement. I asked about having the next model (late 2011) at the same price $2499 but they refused, instead only offering me the 13" at the same price. Explained the fact its not the same, but typical of "IT" shops they know ntohing about what they are selling, so said I either take the 13" or refund. Asked for a manager who told me the same, so its a refund.

Problem is the refurb I was originally after is now not one sale at that price anymore, PLUS my 2008 MBP frickin died yesterday of all things! Screen starting flickering constantly! Took it too a local service center who told me the logic board has failed, but 14 day turn around!

Grrrr.. Oh well... Sucks.
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,113
28
California
Well this has gone wrong.

Shop I ordered this from jsut rang me to say the model I order is out of stock, no eta on a replacement. I asked about having the next model (late 2011) at the same price $2499 but they refused, instead only offering me the 13" at the same price. Explained the fact its not the same, but typical of "IT" shops they know ntohing about what they are selling, so said I either take the 13" or refund. Asked for a manager who told me the same, so its a refund.

Problem is the refurb I was originally after is now not one sale at that price anymore, PLUS my 2008 MBP frickin died yesterday of all things! Screen starting flickering constantly! Took it too a local service center who told me the logic board has failed, but 14 day turn around!

Grrrr.. Oh well... Sucks.

Do you want me to buy you one off Amazon in the US and ship it to you myself? How much could insured shipping cost?
 

bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,932
437
Arg, I should have seen this and replied to you when I got the chance.

The original model (2.0GHz i7) is better for battery life than the higher end model (2.2GHz i7). If that was a priority, I would have said that the 2.0GHz was the better choice.

It seems many people here are more fixated with higher performance than with battery life.
 

h00ligan

macrumors 68030
Apr 10, 2003
2,915
86
A hot desert
How much do you think you will sell your current machine for?


Are there speed issues with it? Do you need more power?

I'd try to wait for the next gen, it's not far off.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.