Anyone running a 2009 15 inch MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MartinAppleGuy, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    A friend came to me who found a 15 inch MacBook Pro mid 2009 for only 150 pounds. Specs were as follows:

    2.53GHz Core 2 Duo
    4GB RAM
    Nvidia GeForce 9400m w/ 256MB VRAM.

    First of all, does this model have the dual GPUs?

    Next, what do you think of it on a value front? He would be upgrading to an SSD if he were to get it, and maybe even dual SSDs using the Suoerdrive bay and RAID 0 them.

    I think you'd all agree that this would be enough for day to day tasks and as a secondary machine to his iMac?

    Was there any failures on those models that he should look out for?
  2. marcharmon macrumors newbie


    May 25, 2011
    Llano Estacado & Austin Texas
    I run this model as my Always on Media Server

    It's lagging for sure, and I have been considering whether it's worth it to upgrade to an SSD and max out the RAM or if I should just pickup a Mini. I bought an early 2011 MBPro and that I was using as a daily but I often surfed for hours on the 2009 because it's hooked up to a 42" Sony and running headless- I broke the screen. It should be adequate, in my opinion, for your'e friends use-case, but it IS the model that and the early attempt at single shared GPU and thus is even less capable of keeping up long term then normal. As to the upgrades- I swapped the combo HD/SSD I had installed out of the 2009 and put it in the 2011. I then put 2011 factory HD in the 2009 and it's held up relatively well. It definitely suffers if it's hard drive gets more than halfway full. I would try to upgrade with components that can be carried forward into the next upgrade where possible.
  3. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Northwest Indiana

    For the price it is not bad (Around $225), however it is a very dated machine, and looking by what cpu it has I am assuming it is not the dual gpu model. (I used to have the 2009 Macbook Pro with the dual gpu and it had the 2.66 Ghz Core 2 Duo)

    Secondly, putting a solid state will dramatically speed it up along with putting in 8 gb of ram, however this thing will honestly struggle to do anything beyond playing hd videos. (again, assuming its not dual gpu) I could play Counterstrike Source on it, but anything above that would struggle to run.

    I personally would pass and look for a 2010 15" Macbook at minumum. They got i5/i7 and automatic switching gpu. Much better bang for your buck.

    Lastly as for failures, the ones with 9400m graphics only had no problems, and I don't believe the 9600m did either. I know the 8600m did in the non unibody models, but these did not, however I could be wrong about that.
  4. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    I still have one, as a secondary laptop. It's an early 2009 model, and the last version that still had a removable battery.

    A couple years ago I upgraded with a 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, and also 8GB memory (which is not officially supported but works fine). I have the 2.66Ghz C2D processor.

    It's actually plenty speedy for most tasks, though the integrated 9400m chipset will choke on graphics heavy stuff. You can switch to the discrete 9600 instead, which can be done on-the-fly with gfxcardstatus. But that will suck your battery life.

    For web browsing it's fine, and it even runs the latest 10.10.3 beta with no problems. I'm doing my taxes on that machine so it's definitely usable.

    The only issue that plagued that model was the "screen flicker" affecting the 9400m, which caused half or all of the screen to turn black for a second, at random intervals. Apple actually did fix that with a firmware update in 2012-- so as long as it's up to date it should be fine.

    Mine also has a new battery from Anker. That's one of the better aftermarket batteries, more expensive than a generic one but not as pricey as Apple's (if they even sell them any more). Avoid the cheap generics, I had one that only lasted a couple charge cycles before it would refuse to charge at all.

    Also the charging cable might fray and catch on fire. There was a replacement program that ended last year-- I missed it though.
  5. MartinAppleGuy thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    Thats for the replies everyone! I will show my friend all of your messages :) He also had an idea of doing this:

    Getting a 2012 non retina Macbook Pro 15" (with a 3rd gen quad core i7, 4GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GeForce GT 650m w/ 512MB of VRAM) for around 400 pounds. Then upgrade the RAM to 16GB himself, then replace the HDD and SuperDrive with Dual SSD's set up in RAID 0. What would you all think of that idea? Of course a machine of that power (and price) would be getting used for more, as my friend is just like me and works with Photoshop on a daily basis, along with Flash, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Maya...

    Thanks for all the help!

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