Get new iMac or upgrade old MBP.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 212rikanmofo, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. 212rikanmofo macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2003
    I have a early 2009 unibody 17 inch MBP. And was considering buying a new 27 inch iMac fully loaded that someone is selling for $2000. My other choice would be spend about $500 to upgrade my aging MBP by adding a samsung 840 evo 500gb ssd and maxing out the ram to 8gb. I'm not sure which would be the better route to go. My MBP already has the bulging battery issue and I'm not sure if it would be smart to spend money upgrading something that's 4 years old. I use my computer mostly for design work. I do a low of graphic design for print and also web and some interactive and video stuff as well.

    Would love to here opinions on others so I can make a better choice. Thanks.
  2. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2010
    my thing with this is your jump.... it's like should I soup up my old Honda Civic or go for an Audi haha.....

    if your working on a 17 inch screen why not just get a new 21.5 inch base iMac. It's 1300 or just say your a student and get it for $1250. Might update in a couple weeks.... Still a huge upgrade from what you have and a much bigger screen. $2000k is too much to spend for something used

    My brother is a graphic designer for Fortune and uses the 27 inch model the more expensive one. Before he got it he had a 2008 iMac 24 inch top model. Regardless you need a bunch of ram to do tiff files. It's up to you how big the screen your getting.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    You would need to replace the battery as well if you were going to upgrade parts on the MBP.

    My suggestion is get a new iMac. 21.5" or 27" either will be noticeably faster than what you have. I do recommend ordering it with a fusion drive. Look at the Apple refurbished iMacs to see if they have a model that fits your needs. You will save some money that way and you get a full warranty and the option to buy AppleCare.
  4. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    Great question, OP.

    I was in a similar boat about 3 years ago, when I was considering replacing my first gen 17" MBP (with the 2.16GHz Core Duo). It was getting a bit slow, and even though I was on the current OS (10.6.8), I was thinking it was upgrade time.

    But before I did that, I looked into buying either a hybrid drive or pure SSD on the advice of a tech buddy. I wound up buying a 120GB SSD on a black Friday special; it cost around $160 at the time. I installed it over the Christmas break.

    I could not have been happier: it felt like a new machine. The machine felt like it had that "snappy" performance back like it was when new; in fact, it was far better than that. That computer lasted me another 2 years, eventually serving time as a desktop after the screen died and I bought an external monitor for it. I replaced it with a used 2010 iMac last year, and actually took that same SSD out of the MBP (before selling it for parts) and dropped it in the new (to me) iMac.

    So, the thing for me was that the SSD solved my issue of performance, and even though SSD's aren't cheap, the cost is leaned out over the extra years of service the machine will most likely provide. That $160 I spent 3 years ago for a 120GB SSD will get you a 240-256GB SSD now, and they are faster too. So unless you need better graphics, an SSD upgrade might serve you well and be cheaper over time. I would definitely upgrade to 8GBs of RAM too: I noticed the difference bumping from 4 to 8 in the iMac, AFTER the SSD upgrade.

    Finally, I went through 3 batteries in my MBP because of the bulging issue, and Apple replaced them all for free (and they were all over a year old, and I never had Apple Care on the computer either). I got them replaced at a Genius Bar every time.

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