Buy rMBP or upgrade existing MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by charlenee, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. charlenee macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2014
    Hi all,

    I own a 13" MacBook Pro (late-2011) with 2.8 GHz i7, 4B RAM and 750 HDD. It's battery cycle is almost 900. When I first had it the battery would last 4-5 hours, but now it almost never reaches up to 4 hours. It is running slow most of the time and overheating etc.
    I'm now considering purchasing the latest 13" retina MacBook Pro with
    2.6GHz i5/8GB/256GB
    But I can't be sure if it is a wise decision while I already own a MacBook Pro with i7. Would only increasing its ram to 8GB help me have a faster running MacBook than the mid-2014 rMBP?
  2. Cassady macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2012
    Far more capable people that could add to this - but will give it a try!

    There will be a day and night difference between a 2011 cMBP and a 2014 rMBP in terms of performance. Upgrading/maxing your RAM on a 2011 machine, won't make much of a difference in terms of making it "faster" - whereas replacing a HDD with a SSD will make a massive difference...

    BUT - there are all sorts of caveats to this.

    Like what might be making your current MBP slow in the the 1st place?
    And what exactly do you mean by "running slow" and over-heating?

    In most cases, something could be sorted out with the OS, that would ease most of your problems. Upgrading that 750GB HDD to a 256GB (or larger) SSD will make it feel like a new machine, and some extra RAM (depending on what you do) might also help - but it will really depend on your use!

    Also - keep in mind you would be dropping your storage space dramatically, but you would be winning on a fantastic screen, and a significantly "faster" machine...

    In short - you'll probably need to be a bit more specific on what your needs are, and what's currently happening to your MBP, in order to shed light on what you could do... That's before getting to the whole question of 'what you need vs what you want'...
  3. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    #3 - strictly processor-wise, not much difference.

    MacBook Pro (13-inch Retina Mid 2014) - i5-4278U 2600 MHz (2 cores)
    6627 - 64-bit multicore
    3103 - 64-bit single core

    MacBook Pro (13-inch Late 2011) - i7-2640M 2800 MHz (2 cores)
    5785 - 64-bit multicore
    2830 - 64-bit single core

    It will be -far- from a night and day difference. I'd say barely noticeable - if you upgrade your current drive to an SSD so that it is more on-par with the 2014 (and possibly add RAM.) Yes the newer machine has slightly faster internals but it is not something you are going to notice on a daily basis. As far as the dual core i5/i7 goes there isn't much difference either way.

    Agreed that there is probably something else going on with your machine - the biggest change you can make is an SSD (along with a -fresh- install.) You have three years of OS crud/updates (possibly literally crud built up - blow the fan out out when you upgrade the drive.) Don't just clone your OS over to the new drive. I've got core2duos that feel new all over again with a clean install on an SSD.

    If you are running a bunch of apps and maxing out your RAM, you might look at 8GB, but I would guess that isn't your bottleneck.

    If battery life is important to you, you could replace that as well. Granted at a certain point you have to decide how much $ you want to put into your current machine.
  4. MTL18 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2013
    My policy with upgrades:

    If the cost of the required upgrades exceeds the cost of the computer, replace the computer. If they do not, perform the upgrades, within reason. I would not put $800 worth of upgrades into a $1000 computer, but $400 I wouldn't think twice about.
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    You wont get rid of overheating by upgrading. But adding an SSD will make your current model much faster.

    Adding RAM will only help if you need it.
  6. charlenee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2014
    Sometimes it takes ages for an app to launch for example. Most of the time I hear the fan getting very loud and at that times it starts overheating, so much so that it is hard to keep it on the top of my lap. I have Yosemite Beta installed now but I had these issues with Mavericks too. Starting applications like iPhoto and Chrome is a nightmare mostly. Recently I dumped Chrome and started using Safari. It is much better now.

    MacBook Pro is my secondary Mac so I don't do any work related stuff with it at all. The things I mostly do are reading/sending emails, surfing the web, listening to music, using Beamer to stream movies to Apple TV etc.

    Since I'm not happy with having two computers any more, I plan to sell my iMac and purchase a Thunderbolt Display to hook up the MacBook while working.

    I do web work and on my work computer most of the time I have these apps running: Coda, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Skype, Textedit, Dropbox, Fantastical, Reminders, Readkit, Twitter, iTunes, and sometimes Suitcase Fusion 5 and Photoshop.

    So what I'm mostly wondering is, would rMBP with i5 be better than my old MBP with i7? Does it all boil down to having SSD or not? What about 13" MacBook Air early 2014? How would its performance be compared to my existing MBP and rMBP considering the work I will do with it?
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    In a word yes.

    Better screen, better storage, thunderbolt 2, AC wifi, more RAM, Better CPU with Better graphics and a newer architecture runs cooler and quieter, better battery life I often get 8-9 hours out of mine, Thinner lighter, the list goes on.

    I went from a 2010 13 macbook pro with an SSD and 8gb RAM and I love my new rMBP, in almost every respect I find it a much nicer computer to use.

    The Difference between the i5 and i7 dual core processors is minimal at best.
  8. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Install SSD, clean OS install, blow out any dust. Hardware doesn't "get slower" over time. Just get a Samsung Evo 840 and try it; sell/return the drive if it doesn't do enough for you.

    With any dual-core i5 or i7 Mac (classic, retina, air) from the past few years you aren't going to see any major differences in performance in typical usage. The differences are more about screen quality, storage, and portability.

    Which iMac do you have? That may factor into what kid of performance you expect/need. (and you may be able to use it as an external display.) Also there are -much- more cost effective 27" displays that can be used with DisplayPort/TB than the Apple Thunderbolt.
  9. charlenee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2014
    My iMac's specs are 21.5-inch (Late 2009) with 12GB RAM, 3,06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. I really love it actually. Don't have any performance issues with it since I upgraded the RAM to 12GB, 2 years ago.
  10. aoaaron macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2010
    I upgraded from a 2010 MBP 15'' w/16GB RAM + Sam evo SSD to a 2014.

    I'm very happy with the upgrade. The screen alone is really just hard to fully describe. I actually enjoy using my laptop now and get lost in the screen and going from the calendar to the desktop. My icons and desktop look almost painted on.

    However, I wouldn't have upgraded but my battery in the 15'' was playing up and my dad said he would take it off my hands.
  11. charlenee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2014
    What resolution do you use on your rMBP?
  12. aoaaron macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2010

    I was tempted to use scaled resolutions but I read they decrease battery life.

    Also my eyes have adjusted to the Retina default really well. I now see everything far more crisp and bigger, no eye strain etc. Everything looks less like a computer screen, more like a display if that makes any sense.

    my old MBP 2010 was anti glare 1680 resolution. Surprisingly I don't miss the antiglare at all yet.

    The weight decrease is also ridiculous. my 15'' MBP feels the same weight as my flatmates 13'' 2011. Ridiculous.

    If you're thinking about 13'' vs 15''... I went for the 15'' base model simply because when using the 15'', I feel more engrossed and absorbed into the screen which I feel enhances the experience.

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