2009 MBP, add RAM or buy newer MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hitek79, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. hitek79 macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011
    I have an early 2009 MBP 2.5ghz i5 with 4g of RAM. It gets overloaded when I'm using FCPX. Would adding RAM and a FW800 drive improve things dramatically, or should I pass this laptop down to my wife and get something with a i7 chip and Thunderbolt?

    If buying newer, there's a 2011 i7 2.4 refurb. Think this would get me by? I would probably still add RAM to that it looks like, as 4g is all it comes with.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    You have a 2010 MBP if it has an i5 CPU. 2009 MBPs have C2D CPUs.

    As for FCP X, what kind of footage (resolution, codec, format) do you use, do you let FCP X optimize it in the background (being transcoded to a ProRes codec?

    As for RAM, 8 GB is the maximum.

    As for an external HDD, it is always recommended to do so when editing video, FW800 would be the best choice.

    I could edit 1080p footage on a 2009 MBP quite fine, once it was properly transcoded.

    Video Compression
    Why It Matters & How To Make The Most Of It

  3. hitek79 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011
    You're right, it is 2010. I bought it that year, as a refurb, and assumed it was a previous years model.

    Footage is all over the place.

    Canon 5D2/7D, so 1080p H.264

    GoPro and Drift HD 1080p. No idea what codec those little guys even use.

    Panasonic Lumix 720p AVCHD lite.

    Sometimes I'm just making small clips of the baby to send to grandparents, all the way up to bigger productions for hour long training videos. Usually the bigger projects I'm doing on my MacPro, but sometimes I just want to sit on the couch with the family and knock out some smaller sections on my laptop without it killing the computer.

    I always optimize, and sometimes even proxy, but I really haven't found that the proxy footage is any better as far as bogging everything down.
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
  5. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006

    Upgrade the RAM, a SSD would be a good boost too if you can afford it.
  6. DcoalStrat macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2012
    Make yourself happy and esp. make your wife happy! Buy a new Mac.
  7. hitek79 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011
    Yeah, that's kind of the thing. I know if I spent enough money, I could make the current computer better, but I don't want to throw away a bunch of money that's only going to be a mid level fix.
  8. habubauza macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2008
    I had a 2009 MBP and I edited regularly on FCPX with no problems whatsoever. It had a C2D processor (2.8) and was upgraded with 8 GB of RAM. The only thing that was slow, was rendering effects, which it did with no problem, just slow. My girlfriends 2012 i5 Macbook Air ran rings around it though! But it was definitely usable.

    I just upgraded to a late 2011 MBP with a 2.5 GHz i7 Quad and I'm upgrading the RAM to 16GB. I wanted the rMBP, but configuring it to my liking put it out of my price range.
  9. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Samsung 830 SSD or Corsair Force GT SSD and 8GB RAM will do wonders and put you at around $260.

    Or upgrade to a new 2012 or refurb 2011 but it will still have a slow HDD, but faster CPU.
  10. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    And who's going to foot the bill for his new $1700 to $2700 Macbook. spend $45 for 8 GB of RAM and $100 for a Crucial 128GB SSD hard drive, and you're golden. Throw in an external 500GB hard drive for $70 and you're even more golden. Use the money you saved by NOT buying that new Macbook Pro and take a cruise around the world. You can thank me later.
  11. EwanMcTeagle macrumors 6502


    Mar 26, 2012
    Lodz, Poland
    Agreed. SSD and additional RAM make wonders. No need buying a new machine - unless you really want to:)
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Just add more RAM, it is a $50 upgrade vs whole new $2k computer.
  13. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I upgraded my 2011 with an SSD and 8gb ram and all I can say is wow! Major improvements all around. My 2011 is only 2.0 ghz and it is plenty fast.
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Upgraded the wife's 2.4 c2d 2008 15" unibody to 8 gigs of ram, and she's a happy camper.

    ...for now.:eek:

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