Advice on my 2010 macbook pro selling it vs upgrading it

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sossity, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I have a mid 2010 macbook pro 15 inch that I bought new from the Apple store online in June 2010.

    It has an anti-glare screen, and Snowleopard 10.6.8, it has a 500 GB hard drive ,4gb of RAM, & i7 processor at 2.66. It has HDMI, Firewire & USB 2.0 ports.

    It also has Parallels desktop installed with windows 7 pro & windows xp pro

    It also has apple care

    I am thinking about the cost of doing some upgrades to it like a SSD drive, & more RAM, & new battery (the battery is dead) Also, I have never opened up a laptop's innards & operated on it, so this would be new territory for me, & I would be afraid of damaging something.


    selling it on ebay & getting a newer mac laptop with a SSD drive & more updated ports like USB 3.0 & thunderbolt

    what would be the more economical thing to do?

    if I sold it on ebay, what would be a good asking price? should I do an auction? or just a buy it now?

    I know my laptop is a bit older now, but I thought macs kept some of their value better than other brand computers.

    It cost me quite a bit, because it has been my main computer, portable & desktop, (hooked via HDMI to an Apple cinema display), but I have since gotten a mac mini, so it is now my portable only and backup computer should something go wrong with my mini.
  2. JoeRito macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    That's a nice machine. Love the anti glare screen. I'd guess around US$875-950 at auction... might do better with a buy-it-now. All this retina product is making it harder to sell the 2-4 year old MBPs IMO and depressing the prices some. Retina is not all its cracked up to be, the old anti-glare screens were sweeeet.

    Sure you don't want to keep that nice ride?
  3. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    that computer can go in the range $900-1200 tops. AppleCare helps, but also helps good care of the machine and no cosmetic or functional issues.

    I would try with an auction. But before then, check your nearest eBay to see the prices for computers like yours. In this way, you can get a better "feel" of the market. And dont forget to factor in the shipping costs and fees to pay when selling through an online site

  4. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    that is why I am asking, I could do the upgrades, I have read about people doing this, would that be better?


    the machine has been in a protective cover, & with track pad & stick on palm rest guards as well
  5. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    I have almost the same machine, except mine is a late 2010 with the 2.8 i7. You didn't say what you mainly use this machine for so it is hard to say if you would get a lot out of upgrading to a new machine....but think about it, you can bump the ram to 8gb for about $40 to $50, add a nice 256 gb SSD for about $150 and have a machine that is more than twice as fast in booting, waking, loading apps and accessing data than you have now. You can add a new battery for less than $100 as well and throw your existing HDD into a Firewire enclosure for $50 and use it as an iTunes drive or storage drive or what ever.

    So for about $300 to $350 you will have a signifigantly upgraded machine that will last many more years for the average user and gain an external HDD for back ups or whatever to boot.

    I was recently at an Apple store and was playing with a SSD based new MBP, it was fast, but in general use, open apps, surfing the net, etc it was no faster than what I have now and the anti glare high res screen looks better IMHO. I was LOOKING for a compelling reason to buy a new MBP and could not find one for my use. Retina is nice, but it costs a lot more and the conventional MBP is really not any faster in general use I do. So this left me with USB 3 which really, for my use of externals, FW800 is just fine.

    Yes there are a few others like Thunderbolt and Airplay mirror, but they are not that important to me at the moment.

    So if were me, for my money, depending on your use, I would keep what you have and upgrade it and get a few more years out of it.
  6. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    for now, it is a portable it is not my main desktop like it was in the beginning, but I also have it as a backup, should my mac mini tank or have problems. I would then re connect it to my apple cinema display, like I did before. Because it has firewire & USB 2.0, would I be able to use newer peripherals, like external hard drives & monitors?

    my main thing is I would want it to be fairly fast with the upgrades.

    I just bought an esata thunderbolt hub, & esata multibay drive for my mac mini, so if the mini tanked, I would not be able to use these peripherals with my 2010 laptop, but I do have firewire on it, & some firewire enclosures.

    is firewire fairly fast for working with large photos & video? would it be fast with the upgrades?

    I have never tinkered with the inside parts of a laptop,

    so I would not know what where or how to upgrade these parts;

    solid state drive, ram, battery?
  7. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    Very easy to change out if you can read and follow directions, it is a cake walk. FW800 is fast enough for working with large photos but not as fast as an internal or Thunderbolt drive of course.

    You can change the hard drive, memory and battery in under an hour not counting the time it takes to clone your drive.
  8. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    thanks for the input, perhaps this is the way I will go.

    do you know how to change out these components or know of any resources for this?

    also, any new battery I get, I want one that does not require calibrating or have any memory effect if this is possible, this was a little bit of a pain, & I frequently forgot to do it, I suspect this is the reason why mine is dead now
  9. Giuly macrumors 68040


    If you approach it carefully, you can't really do any damage while swapping out the RAM and installing an SSD - they are user-replaceable parts after all.
    The battery is a little more tricky: While there are options to replace it yourself, if you want a genuine battery, that won't be any cheaper than $129, which is what Apple charges your to replace it. You can do it for 1/2 of that with a cheap knockoff battery, but I wouldn't recommend that, and the genuine part runs you $120, so for $9 more, you have it professionally installed by a Genius.

    As far as RAM goes, the MBP takes a max of 8GB of RAM, which will run you about 45$ for Crucial modules.
    A 256GB SSD like the Samsung 840 Pro or OCZ Vector would run you another $230. Both the SSD and RAM are intended to be user-replaceable, so you can't really damage anything, if you're careful. The needed tools are are Phillips #00 Torx T6 screwdriver, which run you another $5 if you don't have them already.

    That total ~$400, and gives you a pretty capable machine. But you still lack the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports of a new Mac.
  10. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    that is what I mean, when all is said and done, what would you do? get a new machine? & sell this one? or upgrade this one?

    either way, I want something that will work and be adaptable to the future.
  11. photographypro macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2010
    American in Pisa (Italy)
    Keep it

    I have a late 2011 machine, and I see no reason to upgrade to the latest version. I asked you about the cheaper 15 inch, which is only 4% slower than the current non-retina machine.

    What I did do was upgrade the memory to 16 GB, and put him in a 750 GB Momentous XT hard drive, which has most of the speed of a solid-state drive, but gives you great capacity for around one-hundred dollars.

    If you go to, which is the website for other world computing, they have good prices on these items, but more importantly, they have excellent videos that will show you step-by-step on how to install these items. It is very easy.
  12. MacLovin78 macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2008
    I have a 2009 MBP 15" that I upgraded because I couldn't afford a brand new or even refurb Macbook Air. I found a great deal on an OCZ Octane 256GB SSD for $139, bought an apple battery for $129 (so I could keep my old one as a backup), bought Apple Original Ram from for $80 as well as a USB 3.0 enclosure for $20 to house my old HDD and let me tell you this machine now flies. I could easily get another 2-4 years out of it for what I do.

    That said, what the 15" is not is portable. I carry it around on business trips and the 5lbs gets heavy pretty quick. It's not a big deal but for me I would prefer to get a 13" Macbook Air.

    You are in a slightly different spot because you could try and trade that MBP for a 13" MBA on CL or sell it for almost what you would need to buy a MBA from Apple new or refurb. Figure that even if you score a great deal on parts you are looking at around $350-400 for the upgrades. If you sell it and get $900 on the low end, less $100 in fees you are left with $800 + $400 saved from not upgrading giving you $1300 towards a macbook Air, which in my research could easily be a backup machine for you since you have the Cinema Display for photo editing.
  13. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    Wow funny you mention this

    I have a late 2011 13" Macbook Pro and was thinking the same thing. Upgrading to a mac with an SSD and USB 3.0. In the end I am going to keep what I have for now. The Retina display is gorgeous, but not worth it until I have to upgrade.

    You can take you 500GB hard drive and put it in the Optical Drive bay and use the optical drive in an enclosure. I agree with a previous poster is a great site if you want to upgrade. I would suggest the frankenmac.
  14. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I don't think I'd upgrade this machine. Especially since you have a backup. Take a look at what similar models are going for and sell it on Craigslist. Then wait until later in the year for the refreshes to see if you want the latest, or if you can save money by purchasing last year's model.

    At that point you may be able to save by doing your own upgrades to RAM and drive.

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