2009 13" 2.26 v 2015 13" 3.1 performance

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
Hi all,

I'm currently still using a 2009 MBP on Snow Leopard, it's running more or less fine but I'm thinking it's about time I upgrade.

Looking to get a 13" rMBP 3.1, 16GB. I was wondering how much of a boost it would be performance wise. Obviously it's 6 years newer but from what I hear Yosemite is a bit of a power-hog and the 4x retina graphics might eat up a lot of juice too.

Will I see a noticeable difference from my Snow Leopard machine or should I think about maybe waiting till the next MBPs are out?
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,974
390
The performance difference is night-and-day. A Core 2 Duo, HDD-based machine with maybe 5 hours battery tops vs a Core i5/i7 with SSD and 10 hours battery?

It's so much better.
 

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
Thanks, I've actually got a 1TB SSD in the 2009 MBP now, but I think the PCI-E ones are faster anyway? I was just concerned Yosemite + retina graphics would dial back up the performance upgrade.
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,974
390
It doesn't. Yosemite is better than Snow Leopard and the retina screen is better than anything else.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
Will I see a noticeable difference from my Snow Leopard machine or should I think about maybe waiting till the next MBPs are out?
The 2015 models are faster, and not just by a little bit. Geekbench scores are more than doubled.

The 3.1GHz CPU isn't worth the extra $200 it costs though. I'd stick with the 2.9GHz i5.
 

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
The 2015 models are faster, and not just by a little bit. Geekbench scores are more than doubled.

The 3.1GHz CPU isn't worth the extra $200 it costs though. I'd stick with the 2.9GHz i5.
Thanks very much, just seemed like I noticed a bit of lag trying out the in-store model.

I'm not too clued up on CPUs, what would the extra .2GHz realistically impact? Speed of using the OS? Apps opening faster etc?
 

SE43

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2015
95
10
Thanks very much, just seemed like I noticed a bit of lag trying out the in-store model.

I'm not too clued up on CPUs, what would the extra .2GHz realistically impact? Speed of using the OS? Apps opening faster etc?
Not at all.
 

Woch

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
13
0
While the CPU is much faster and everything involving heavy calculations will be much quicker, the OP is right in that some graphically-intense UI operations like Mission Control or switching spaces might not necessarily be as smooth on the newest model as Exposé is on his present Snow Leopard machine.
 

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
While the CPU is much faster and everything involving heavy calculations will be much quicker, the OP is right in that some graphically-intense UI operations like Mission Control or switching spaces might not necessarily be as smooth on the newest model as Exposé is on his present Snow Leopard machine.
That's what I was asking about really, UI operations. I do get the feeling things will be quite choppy. Shame because I love how stable and smooth Snow Leopard and Expose is :)

I guess getting the 3.1GHz version will help a little? Or would more RAM be better?
 

Woch

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
13
0
True, I still miss the days of Snow Leopard and its silky-smooth UI operations :)

The problem lies in the graphics performance and drivers of Yosemite being poorly optimized, so neither the 3.1GHz option nor additional RAM will be of any help. You just need more graphical processing power (or a hopefully better optimized version of OS X). If you are fine with your current machine, I would suggest to wait for the next generation Skylake processors since these should bring considerable performance improvements to their integrated GPU.
 

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
True, I still miss the days of Snow Leopard and its silky-smooth UI operations :)

The problem lies in the graphics performance and drivers of Yosemite being poorly optimized, so neither the 3.1GHz option nor additional RAM will be of any help. You just need more graphical processing power (or a hopefully better optimized version of OS X). If you are fine with your current machine, I would suggest to wait for the next generation Skylake processors since these should bring considerable performance improvements to their integrated GPU.
Argh, just when I'd settled on finally jumping out of comfy Snow Leopard and into modern OS X you're making me wonder if I should put up with my falling apart 2009 MBP :) Is the UI really that choppy on Yosemite? I don't use Spaces and I'll be turning translucency off.
 

Woch

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
13
0
Haha well it really depends on whether you can wait for one more year or not. If yes I would really suggest waiting, since the next generation CPUs will bring big graphical improvements (improving the choppiness issues of the 13" rMBP), the machines themselves might be redesigned and OS X 10.11 will hopefully be more optimized and more stable than Yosemite.

As for the smoothness of the UI it really depends on the usage and sensitivity of each person. Some will say it's perfectly smooth and others will say it's laggy. The best you can do is trying for yourself, which you already did :) Also, contrary to Snow Leopard, Yosemite's UI choppiness increases over time when you don't restart the computer.
 

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
I'm not sure I can wait to be honest, especially since it could be longer than a year if there is to be a redesign, the screen on my 2009 Mac is cracked etc. Trust me I'd love to hold out as much as possible as I think Snow Leopard is a far superior OS, but apps are starting to not support it anymore and some of the newer features are nice.

I also don't like the way Apple is going with it's new thinner keyboard and UBC-C so maybe now is the time to get a rMBP which hardware design wise should be pretty polished now.

UI snappiness is really important to me though so that's why your warnings make me very wary. I might search similar threads and try it out some more in the shop. More bad news that the choppiness gets worse the longer you don't restart :(
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
I'm not too clued up on CPUs, what would the extra .2GHz realistically impact? Speed of using the OS? Apps opening faster etc?
The faster CPU would be useful in situations where you're doing very complex tasks and utilizing 100% of the CPU. If you need the absolute fastest computer, your best option is to look at the 15" rMBP, it has a quad core i7.

Is the UI really that choppy on Yosemite? I don't use Spaces and I'll be turning translucency off.
My 2015 13" rMBP has some lag when I do certain things. It doesn't bother me. I laugh when people complain about lag when resizing their windows. Is that really what you use your computer for all day? Resizing windows?

Turning transparency off helps according to some folks. It's worth a try.

I might search similar threads and try it out some more in the shop. More bad news that the choppiness gets worse the longer you don't restart :(
Searching the forums and reading up on it is only going to find people complaining about the issue and people saying that they don't have the issue. If suggest spending sometime using one. Apple has a 14 day return policy.
 

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
The faster CPU would be useful in situations where you're doing very complex tasks and utilizing 100% of the CPU. If you need the absolute fastest computer, your best option is to look at the 15" rMBP, it has a quad core i7.
I'm a photographer so Lightroom and Photoshop is the limit of complex tasks really. Maybe a bit of video editing.


My 2015 13" rMBP has some lag when I do certain things. It doesn't bother me. I laugh when people complain about lag when resizing their windows. Is that really what you use your computer for all day? Resizing windows
Can I ask what kind of things cause lag? Was it less of a problem on Mavericks?
 

stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
Do people think the next version of OS X, given the rumoured focus on under the hood improvements, improve the UI lag ?
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
Can I ask what kind of things cause lag? Was it less of a problem on Mavericks?
Resizing windows is one example that gets brought up. It really depends on the content of the window, though. Mission control will drop frames sometimes(I don't use Mission control).

People report that it wasn't a problem in Mavericks, but I never used Mavericks, so I wouldn't be able to compare.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Hi all,

I'm currently still using a 2009 MBP on Snow Leopard, it's running more or less fine but I'm thinking it's about time I upgrade.

Looking to get a 13" rMBP 3.1, 16GB. I was wondering how much of a boost it would be performance wise. Obviously it's 6 years newer but from what I hear Yosemite is a bit of a power-hog and the 4x retina graphics might eat up a lot of juice too.

Will I see a noticeable difference from my Snow Leopard machine or should I think about maybe waiting till the next MBPs are out?
Don't bother with the i7, it's the biggest ripoff in history when it's barely 5% better than the 2.7GHz i5 at best.

You'll be fine with the 2.7/8/256 variant of the 13" rMBP.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,018
Sunny Florida
I'd say get the fastest i7 you can afford. That way you'll have the fastest model you can buy and won't be left wondering whether your machine could be a little bit faster.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
I'd say get the fastest i7 you can afford. That way you'll have the fastest model you can buy and won't be left wondering whether your machine could be a little bit faster.
That is awful advice. Of course the i7 is the fastest, it just isn't worth anything near what Apple is charging for it.
 
Last edited:

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
That is awful advice. Of course the i7 is the fastest, it just isn't worth the anything near what Apple is charging for it.
Seconded. It's not worth paying an extra $200 to bump it from 2.7GHz to 3.1GHz just for an extra 5% increase in performance. Spending that $200 only shows that the lad who did that has got more money than sense.
 

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.