2009 MacBook Pro 13'' Upgrade Time?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macnerd93, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. macnerd93, Nov 5, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013

    macnerd93 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2009
    United Kingdom

    So my 13'' MacBook Pro although in totally fantastic and mint condition is starting to lag behind these days, I'm thinking its time for an upgrade.

    Firstly my MacBook Pro is used at editing in iMovie, 720p and 1080p Go Pro videos of rowing training sessions "it does this okay not brilliant" There is no comparison with my Quad iMac. I also use Aperture on the machine, which again is sufficient, but still quite sluggish.

    I've narrowed it down to either a high end 11'' MacBook Air, Entry Level 13'' MacBook Air or a 13'' MacBook Pro Retina. I know the Intel i series cpus are pretty fast, but would a 1.3 Ghz Intel i5 really be sufficient at editing/exporting HD video faster than my core 2 Duo in my MBP? I would probably buy the 8GB RAM for either of the machines at purchase. The thing what has me thinking about the retina though is a 128GB SSD really going to be enough? Probably not without an external FW drive.

    I hope someone can help, because these are the two key thing I use my laptop for. Obviously, I'm not bothered about an extremely expensive 15'' Retina. Thats just too large for me, the price is quite high for something you can't even really upgrade either. About £1000-£1,200 is about what I usually spend.

    Hope someone can help,

  2. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Look up the scores your current Mac gets on Geekbench, and compare them to the 1.3 i5 in the MBA. You didn't list what speed 2009 MBP you have, so here are all the 2009 13" models scores for 32 bit single/multi core

    The C2D P8700 2530 MHz has scores of 1366/2373
    The C2D P8400 2260 MHz has scores of 1250/2173
    The C2D P7550 2260 MHz has scores of 1240/2143

    The processors available for the 2013 Haswell 11" and 13" MBA are the same, and you have two options:
    The Core i5-4250U 1300 MHz has scores of 2365/4461
    The Core i7-4650U 1700 MHz has scores of 2864/5484

    Meaning, you are looking at a speed difference of as little as 173% to as much as 231% for single core tasks, and 188% to 231% for multi core tasks, depending on what CPU you have in your current system and which model you upgrade to.

    The 2.4 GHz CPU in the base model Retina is potentially slower than the i7 option for the MBA:

    The Core i5-4258U 2400 MHz has scores of 2661/5472

    As for storage, the new Haswell MBA and rMBPs use a PCIe SSD that is a lot faster than your current model's HD. They are not upgradeable at the moment; no one is making/selling replacement options. The 256 GB model is faster than the 128, so in addition to having enough space, you'll get more speed with the larger SSD.

    In short, given your budget, going for the MBA sounds like a good choice. If you can get an i7/8GB/256GB model, you'll probably be blown away by the performance. If you can only afford the i5 processor, it'll still be nearly twice as fast a CPU as what you are using now.
  3. nateo200, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Well its rare I hear about a fellow rower on here let alone one doing videos of rowing! Definitely have to help now! Anyways I'd say its a good time to upgrade a 2009 model, its gotten its 4 years and its still useful for sure but pretty much any model will dust it.

    The top end MacBook Air is a great choice as the other poster outlined BUT something like the 13" retina MacBook Pro is also a very compact solution, still very much more compact than your current 13" MacBook Pro but allot more powerful than a MacBook Air and your current MacBook Pro...now your probably questioning why you need that power but keep in mind buying into that muscle now makes a computer last a heck of allot longer so in 2017 or 2018 (God that is a ways off!) it will still be a good computer. Even the baseline 13" rMBP is great and there are several models to consider but I would say biggest thing would be make sure to get 8GB's of RAM at minimum and 256GB SSD on the rMBP...these things should be standard but they are not and I always cringe when I see someone get a 128GB SSD or 4GB of not upgradable RAM in this day and age. Definitely grab an external hard drive regardless of your storage decision.....I have a couple of LaCie brand externals and they are built to withstand a 40foot drop, be run over, etc. and don't cost a premium, they are the standard for me.
  4. Voca, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2013

    Voca macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    You haven't mentioned the specs of your 2009 MBP....

    Minimum memory to make most video editing software run normal would be 4GB.
    Mid 2009 MBP can be upgraded to 8GB.
    Which should be one good option for you at around $60.

    Next option: Get a mid or late 2011 MBP with the 2.3 or 2.4Ghz i5.
    Upgradable to 16GB ram - which is not soldered to the logic board plus the option of dual drives (SSD/HDD)
    Easily attached to a second monitor and more than just one USB.
  5. FelicityW macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2011
    Well, my son is a rower, so…

    I am upgrading my 2009 13" MBP to the new model. I waited four years for the RAM bump to be available; I'm going from 8GB to 16GB. That's because I am a major multi-tasker and I leave windows open, apps running, and stuff on my desktop, so I remember to finish it so I use the RAM. I am also going from the 256 SSD (I am so glad I bought my 2009 with that option) to the 512. I thought about the 1TB but then decided I could live with the smaller drive and it would encourage good housekeeping. Other than the issues sited on this forum, I can't wait. I pick it up on Friday.
  6. nerfologist macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    I upgraded from a mid-2009 15" 2.66 GHz.

    Result: the new machine is much faster, quite a bit prettier, can handle everything I throw at it without a sweat.

    I'd say it's worth it.
  7. macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Apologies the spec of the machine is a 2.53Ghz, 8GB RAM, but I'm more for cpu and drive performance these days memory can only help so much. I am really swaying towards the higher end 11'' MBA. When I get time I'm going to have to test drive one.

    I wonder if Apple would let me try and import some go pro footage on one of their store demo machines just to see how it imports and how smooth it is during playback etc.
  8. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Can you afford the extra ~$250 to upgrade the RAM & processor on the high-end base 11" MBA? I think you'll be a lot happier in the long run with the i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM.
  9. scupking macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2010
    I have a 2010 13" MBP and think I will do an upgrade Next fall when the next round of MBPs come out. If you can why not hold off one more year!!
  10. macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I was going to up the ram to 8GB Anyway 4GB is no where near enough, but the 1.3GHz i5 is sure gonna be faster than the Core 2 Duo so I'm not sure it would really be worth it


    no good to me since I will have left University by May/June 2014 and I most likely won't be rowing/coxing much after then, we shall see.

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