best upgrade option for new 13" MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by shoeshine, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. shoeshine macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2010

    As uneventful as the new MBP announcements are, I am going to be buying one this week. I think I'll opt for a new one vs. getting a refurb as the bump in RAM and supposedly better GPU are worth the measly difference in price between the 2009 model in the refurb store and the education discount on the new one. I want the 13" as i have to move round enough that a 15" is just too annoying to lug around.

    Question is: I can spend a tad bit more than the base 13" model and wondering what would be the best option. I'm not really into getting the 2.66ghz model over the 2.4ghz model as the extra $300 doesn't quite seem justifiable there. So, that leaves me with springing for one, or perhaps even two 4gb RAM modules OR buying a SSD drive for the thing.

    I'd probably do both of these aftermarket on my own, as I've heard the apple SSD's are not great.

    is there a consensus of some kind as to which of these would be the better option in terms of performance boosting? The machine is used for your basic office, web, email tasks with regular use of playing back both SD and HD quicktime files into an external projector, some light work in the adobe suite (mostly illustrator and some indesign, photoshop, but only really for cropping and minor image adjustments), and some very light work in final cut (capturing short clips from tape/HD cameras and outputting to quicktime files or DVD, no heavy rendering of any kind).

    thoughts anyone?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I would get refurb 13", bump RAM to 4GB and grab a nice SSD. SSD will give a noticeable performance boost, a lot bigger than any CPU or GPU would do for you. Invest on external HD as well if you don't have one
  3. Kingcodez macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2009
    A new 13" with a student discount is 1100, a used last gen 13" might still hover around 900-1000 probably also 1100 because people don't know they can use the student discount.

    Anyways, I'd buy the newer, simply because the resale value will be higher, the 1-200 dollar difference you see right now will shrink a bit, but still be evident when it comes time to sell.

    As long as you have 4gb of ram you are golden. OSX is fine with 2, but I swear it's slow and choppy. Both my computers (SSD and non SSD) when I bumped it to four they ran a lot better. Just dump the money into an SSD. Get a Intel 80GB or 160 if you can foot the bill.
  4. shoeshine thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2010
    Yes, with a student discount there's really no need to buy a refurbished model, it's practically the same price. I think i'll go for the SSD and skip the RAM upgrades until 4gb modules are bit more reasonable in price. I've got about $300-$350 on top of the base model MBP to spend.

    It also seems from other posts that the conventional wisdom is to stick with the Intel SSD? I was also looking at the OWC models, but they seem to be newer and have less i the field testing. Other thoughts on this?
  5. mcruzader macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    the OWC SSD are great from what I hear problem is price, but in the technology world, you get what you pay for. I personally was in your position couples months ago and went for the Intel SSD, has been great ever since. I really couldn't justify the price and my usage for the OWC SSD.
  6. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    Yea I'd stick with the 2.4GHz and spring for an SSD. SSD is the single most noticeable upgrade I've done to a laptop. The Kingston SSDNow! V 128GB I think uses the same Intel controller as the X25-M's but is cheaper. 128GB for $250-ish.

Share This Page