Buying rMBP to use for 5-6 years?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Drew84, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Drew84 macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    So here's my predicament: my wallet says to go with the cheapest base refurb rMBP that's available, while my gut says to spend a little more for additional value later.

    I'm using a 2008 Core 2 Duo MBP (pre-Unibody) now that was sort of the "typical" configuration for the time (dual core, 2 GB RAM), and it ran things very well then, but now struggles just to open Photoshop, switch Firefox tabs, or even play YouTube videos.

    Would it be wise to go a little overboard on the configuration on one of these to get some more years out of it (ie 16GB RAM and the 512 SSD upgrade)?
    To be honest, as a journalist by trade, it's rather overkill for most of what I do now (which does include some light photo editing, Lightroom, and a little light video editing), but what about in 5-6 years? Is the base config potent enough to run like a champ for years, or am I going to wish I'd splurged for more when it starts getting long in the tooth?
  2. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    Id suggest sorting out your 2008 MBP before you even think about getting a new one. There is no reason for that machine to not play Youtube....
  3. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    If you intend to keep this machine for the long run, having more RAM than you need at the moment might seem indulgent but it's really the only "future-proofing" you can do up front. It could well be that you'll never use it, but it's impossible to predict what kind of memory requirements the software of 2018 will come with. It's entirely possible that a $200 investment will net your computer an extra year of life. Or it might not! Better safe than sorry?

    In any case, the SSD you can upgrade later if you want/need to. I'd prioritize the RAM since you're stuck with whatever you buy up front.
  4. pshufd macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    We have two Merom MacBook Pros and they are both usable. My current MBP is a 2008 17 inch that's had a few upgrades. The best upgrade was to an ExpressCard SSD. If you want to keep using your old MBP, I'd bump it to 4 GB of RAM and put in an SSD. You shouldn't have any problems with Firefox or YouTube. I run a full suite of work applications on my old MacBook Pro daily.
  5. Drew84, Oct 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013

    Drew84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    I appreciate the response regarding the '08, but it's time has come. It's got far too many expensive-to-repair issues to try breathing new life into it. It's been well taken care of, but 10-15 hours of daily use for five years and lots of travel has taken a toll on it.

    It's not unusable per se, but it's not a real productive machine. I have to close one application to use another, and some I can't use at all (FCP, Photo Mechanic, etc.) That it has the 'theater lights' screen issue and runs unbelievably hot just adds to it.
  6. sarakn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2013
    Lol. I develop on my machine and normally have about 2-3 Firefox windows open with 10+ browsers each. I could have other things going without issues.
    Now, close all windows, restart machine, and only have one browser open and YouTube eats up all processing power on my machine and I have to restart as my computer locks up.

    Well, this is on a dell laptop. Just hope flash is no longer an issue as it's main culprit.
  7. msuman macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2012
    I'm in the same predicament as you with an '08 MBP 15". Extremely slow, and now that the battery is shot (won't work unless plugged in all the time), I've dexided to look for a new one. I'm thinking of getting the rMBP 15" 16GB RAM, 512 GB, 2.3 GHz model. I hope it can last me another 5 years.
  8. Pompiliu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2012
    You can still use your old MBP.
    Just buy an SSD, do a clean install of the OS, and max the ram (8GB is dirt cheap nowadays).

    You don't need a lot of power for your work, so why spend 2k on a new machine?
  9. pshufd macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    Regarding your original question (which I forgot about as I like to refurb old equipment), I would go with higher-end stuff which can't be changed down the road and that's what I'm going to do - I want the high-end HRMBP as I expect to be using it for the next 6-8 years.

    My current MBP will still be used though as it has some software that I want to keep around and as the display is so nice.

    If you must go with a cheaper model, remember that you could sell it and then buy one with better specs down the road if you don't mind the hassle in doing so.
  10. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Go with the 16Gigs and 512gigs and don't look back. That should last a LONG time. Take it from someone(me) who looks to keep their machines for a while.
  11. pixpixpix macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    My 2007 version 17" 4GB Macbook Pro still runs fine after 6 years but is getting slower and slower so I just ordered a 15" replacement w/ 16G 1TB. For photography editing and general purpose use on the road I expect it to last a good long time.

    Go for the new one, as fully decked out as you can afford.

    Also I opted to skip the NVIDIA dedicated graphics and go for the integrated graphics for longer battery life and less heat and noise.
  12. sarakn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2013
    Go for it - go all in for a new one: maxed out 13" or 15" depending on your preferred screws size.
    The reason your current machine has lasted so long was because it was well-spec'ed when you bought it.

    Now, it's time has come and closing one app to open another is just not right. Treat yourself with a machine that provides a great experience, not a 3-legged old dog with cataracts and fleas. I mean the dog still walks, but it's lopsided, can't see for crap and no one wants to sleep with it. :)
  13. flr macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2013
    Replace the HDD with a SSD and add 4GB. This should be sufficient for most users. My 15" MBP C2D 2.2GHz from 2007 is still very fast with those upgrades. Today I replaced my 6.5 year old machine with a new 13 rMBP. It wasn't necessary to upgrade for the speed but I wanted the Retina screen :)
  14. thegreatdivorce macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2010
    Upper Left USA
    I don't see why a rMBP wouldn't be viable for 5 years. My 2008 Mac Pro is still totally kicking and capable. I wouldn't opt for the bigger SSD, though. They ARE user replaceable. Just wait, and get a bigger one in a year, and install it yourself.
  15. Leudast macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    tacking onto this thread.

    Would the i7 in the 13" be a worthy upgrade? or would the upgraded i5 be a safer bet? I'm thinking of using this for ~3-4 years before upgrading.
  16. FrozenDarkness macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    i don't see the point of 16gb tbh, i bought my rmbp yesterday 8gb version. it's constantly at 12gb RAM because of mavericks.
  17. Habitat macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2009
    Upgrade the hardware man. SSD/ram/clean install

    I did that to my early 2009 and it runs great. 5 years soon
  18. koppie644 macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2011
    I had been considering 8GB, but in the end chose BTO to 16GB.
    512SSD is upgradable, although not very easy

    Instruction-level parallesim has been exploited almost to the limit in these CPUs. Therefore, you won't see much improvement in single-thread applications, and even multi-thread ones.

    The only thing that may render the current rMBP irrelevant is heterogeneous computing, that is, to use GPU for embarassingly parallel applications. GPU still has a few years of performance improvement. But it really depends on what you do.

    You could upgrade your MBP (pre-unibody) very easily, memory up to 4GB (I don't know whether 8GB is possible, my white Macbook 08 has 4GB) , and harddrive to SSD, in order to extend its life. It is still very capable
  19. Macshroomer, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    You are a journalist by trade, so a computer is very much a needed tool. I know because in addition to high paying advertising gigs, I shoot editorial for magazines and big papers like the NYT.

    Sir, do NOT listen to these people telling you to throw a new tranny into your 2008 car with 250,000 miles on it, get the picture? You don't know what app is around the corner for your work that might benefit from more ram, faster wifi or any other aspect of your work.

    In 5 years, if you have a car payment of $250 per month, that is 15K, you need a car.
    If your rent or house payment is $1,000 a month, that is 60K, you need a home.
    If you spend 2K on a computer, that is $33.30 a month for a 5 year span, you need a computer as much as you need a car or a home & unlike most on here, you use your computer as a tool, spend accordingly.

    I just got my shipment notice for my 13" i7/16GB/512GB rMBP, I spent $2,200 on that, will write it off my taxes next year and do great work with it for years, a freaking bargain man, seriously...

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