Have a 13" MacBook now - Worth upgrading to 13" MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Noisemaker, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Noisemaker Guest

    Mar 13, 2009
    I've had my white MacBook for about 9 months. I love it - it's a great computer, and satisfies my needs decently.

    However, with some of the things I use it for, I occasionally get some slow down and some performance drops. Nothing serious, but enough to make me say "Damn, some more RAM would help" or "A stronger graphics chip would be nice..."

    I do a lot of work in Photoshop (professionally), iWeb (Large, in depth sites, semi-professionally), and iPhone and iPad Development (registered with Apple, and also do freelance). This is the bulk of what the MacBook is used for. For most web browsing and other light activities (music, video, etc) I use my iPad.

    I'm also going to be branching into development for Steam games as soon as it's available on Mac (Supposedly this week?)

    With this in mind, is it worth it for me to upgrade to the base 13" MBP?

    If it is worth the upgrade, how much would be fair to sell my MacBook for? It's in good shape (mint, aside from the spots that need cleaned from heavy use), and is a recent model (I believe the model just prior to the current tapered edge version).


    2.0GHz Core 2 Duo
    2GB RAM
    NVidia 9400M
    120GB HDD
    8x SuperDrive DVD-RW
  2. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Since you do a lot of Photoshop it is probably a good idea to upgrade. The 2.4 CPU will give you a 20% boost and the 4Gb of ram will be very noticeable especially when Photoshop CS5 is out and take full advantage of all the ram you can through at it. Of course for about $100 you can double your RAM and get a performance boost but a 20% boost from the new CPU should be noticeable.

    Also, consider this. If you do not have Apple Care and planned to buy it before your 12 months is up, then by upgrading you can save about $200 and roll that into a new model with a new battery.
  3. Xenophon macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2010
    New Delhi, India
    Upgrade your white macbook to 4 Gb RAM, that'll make a difference.

    To me the upgrade to the 13" mbp from what you have doesn't make a lot of sense and will make you lose money for a marginal improvement. If you want to upgrade, go for the 15 in MBP or (better) an iMac 27".
  4. Kingcodez macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2009
    The improvement is marginal, just upgrade to 4GB of ram (I don't know how you haven't already), and perhaps get a bigger, 5400RPM hard drive.
    Ram is maby $70 and the HDD is $100 for a 640GB drive (even less than that)

    Selling the $900 macbook, I could see it going for $800 on the high side of things. New, with student discount, their $900, so it's flaky price wise there.

    Maby 700 lowest.

    If you can get the student discount the new MBP will be 1100, plus we think an iPod for free after the one month rebate. So it will bring the total cost after one month to $900.

    If I were you, I'd take the money used to upgrade and get a SSD. It'll change everything. Intel 80GB ones are $220-ish, 160GB ones are $380-ish.

    Unless you need more space. But that's a more costly approach.
    Definitely ram though.
  5. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    My MacBook is similar to your specs and I have the aluminum.

    2.4Ghz is the SAME as the latest 13MBP - C2D P8600 with 3MB L2 cache. Other than the speed on the cpu you won't notice any difference. Upgrade the RAM to 4GB and HDD to a 320 @ 5400RPM all for under $150 (especially since the existing HDD will reduce the incoming HDD significantly) then you have a $800 machine to sell - right now being a unibody in white at almost 12mths ~ not knowing of AppleCare is applicable selling as is for $800 is pretty high for smart buyers right now (not including craigslist, kijiji).

    Going to 13" you get:
    much better graphics than 9400M although info is still scarce.
    2hrs real-world better battery life since yours already includes the internal batt. (mine doesn't and I don't have FW on my MB)
    cheaper cost.

    Basically if you still have AppleCare available on your existing ... get it to keep resale value higher. Save the buyer the hassle and up the RAM & HDD volume as well.

    You do a lot of programming, iWeb and similar projects including upcoming STEAM games; solution go for 15" Core i5 with high resolution.

    If you're still on the fence ... goto the store ... try out the 13" and see how it performs vs the 15" core i5. For me I don't do much so 13"MBP is sweet for me. I don't like the size of the 15" currently but the better speakers would be nice.
  6. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...up it to 4Gb of RAM, it can take the 800Mhz ram also - I have the same model whitebook and it uses the same FSB as the 2.13Ghz model does... get a SSD when the prices come down a bit more and TRIM gets support in OS X (don't know how long that would be though)...
  7. Noisemaker thread starter Guest

    Mar 13, 2009
    I know the new Core i5 and i7 MBP's are awesome - I have no doubt about that. However, I greatly prefer the size of the 13" MB and MBP's. I've had 15" notebooks before, and I've always found them too bulky to easily take out and about. Where my 13" MB is easy to put into a messenger bag and head out with.

    Also, my MacBook still has a removable battery. With minimum brightness, I get 5-6 hours battery life with wi-fi on.

    Will the 13" MBP handle games like Half-Life 2 better than my current MacBook, or with a game that's a bit older like that, does it even matter?

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