Having a tough time justifying upgrading to a new MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Asharus, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Asharus macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I have a 15" MBP w/ Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz, Geforce 9400 256MB, 8GB Ram 500GB mid 2009 model.

    Ever since my FIL got the retina display 15" MBP, I've been wanting to upgrade. I think that was over a year ago already.

    However, this MBP is still running as good as when I got it on day 1.

    Anyone else having issues justifying upgrading their MBP to a new model?
  2. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    I had no trouble justifying replacing my former Core 2 Duo because I wanted a much speedier Mac with an ultra fine pixel display (retina) for more accurate photo and video editing.
  3. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    If you're having a hard time justifying, then you don't need to upgrade. You should only upgrade if you got the money to burn and this can work as a tax deduction but other than that, you should wait. It's 2014, you can also wait for the '14 update for rMBP to see if it is worth it.

    The two biggest things you'll notice right off the bat are the Retina display and the speedy SSD. That 500GB from '09 is horribly slow compared to current PCIe based SSDs.

    The benefits of waiting until the '14 update is that you might get more storage for less price, more battery life (assuming '14 comes out this fall with the potential Broadwell CPUs but not likely), and so on.
  4. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    Swap out your optical drive for an ssd. Enjoy your new fast, servicable, upgradable (to a point) machine.
  5. A4orce84 macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2012
    Bingo! I also have a 2009 MBP, and that's exactly what I did. I swapped in an SSD and put the original 500 GB HD in a caddy in the optical drive spot.

    All the details are in the following post:

    It might not be as fast as a brand new macbook (with a pretty retina display), but it definitely has injected some speed and made OSX Mavericks more usable in my opinion. It also doesn't hurt that I've replaced the original battery and maxed out the memory at 8GB (max for all 2009 models).

    If I were you, I would start with an SSD, and go from there. It definitely is an awesome upgrade. Let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns around the upgrades I did to mine.

  6. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    I do hand-me-downs in the family. Usually takes the edge off of upgrades, since everyone gets an upgrade at the same time.
  7. SomeMacGuy macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Nova Scotia
    Do it, you won't regret it. I upgraded from a 2011 MBP to an rMBP a few months ago and the difference in just 3 years is unbelievable. I'd think twice about dumping money into a 5-year-old MBP but that's just me.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, what do you do with your machine? It's no surprise that your old one still runs well, after all, a correctly functional machine should not show any performance degradation. Still, the new Mac is around three times daster, which you will notice immediately. And it's not just the SSD. I upgraded from a 2009 model the moment tge rMBP became available, and it only had positive influence on my workflow. Faster computer = less time spent waiting.
  9. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    If only I had your problem. I have a hard time not justifying an upgrade for every updated version that is released ;).

    On a serious note your machine is very old by now and due for an update. The problem is if you only update that rarely you might want to wait until Broadwell to do so, and that can take quite some time.
  10. Asharus thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I have definitely considered upgrading to an SSD and putting the platter drive in the optical drive bay, but like someone already mentioned, putting money into a 5 year old machine is hard to justify.

    I think I will wait for the next release and perhaps replace my desktop gaming PC with it and keep this old macbook for it's current role as a living room browsing/chatting device.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If you can't justify why, there is no reason to upgrade.

    If you're satisfied with your computer, just upgrade the RAM and install an SSD.
  12. marivaux macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Yeah, don't upgrade--buy an SSD for your current model, if you want. Buy a new computer when you _need_ a new computer.

    Reason 1: Your budget--the less often you make a major purchase, the better off you'll be. There's a reason we're all in debt.

    Reason 2: The environment--electronics are very high-impact (they use rare minerals, among other things) and we are encouraged to replace them for no reason other than having the latest thing (you know that commercial where people secretly throw away their cell phones so they can have the cool new cell phone?). Parts of electronics can be recycled, but the most impact that you can have is to buy fewer of them.

    You'll know when you need a new computer when there's something you need to do that you can't do on your current computer.
  13. leftyMac macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2011
    rMBP gave me the much needed extra working area thanks to retina display! I set the display to non-retina resolution, so I get a much larger dimensions.

    it was worth it for me to switch from 2011 MBP to 2013 rMBP. but if you don't feel the need, I'd say just go SSD. it'll give you the speed boost.
  14. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    An SSD is probably the single best upgrade you can do to breathe new life into an old machine. If you're going to keep your existing HDD for file/media storage, and you don't use Boot Camp, you can easily get away with a 128 GB SSD. They frequently go on sale for $60-$75, which is hardly a budget breaker. I did this with my dad's old Core2Duo laptop, and it runs like new.
  15. Jerz macrumors member


    Dec 21, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Only upgrade if you have the money to buy the newer laptop twice.
  16. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    The title of the thread should be clue enough not to make a purchase right now.
  17. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Honestly I don't see the problem. It is perfectly fine to want something without really needing it. If you can afford it, go and buy yourself a new rMBP.

    I'm not sure what there is to justify. Why spend money on what you don't want (i.e. investing in a 5 years old machine), instead of buying what you want (retina display, modern CPU & graphics performance, high speed storage, lower weight etc).
    Five years is a reasonable time to use a machine. You might actually be surprised how much faster these modern machines are even for daily use.
  18. chuckcars macrumors newbie


    Jun 12, 2013
    Western Colorado

    Same here, my 17 inch MBP is just great. No issues that have not been handled. I am not in the mood to give a son another hand me down.
  19. hovscorpion12 macrumors 65816


    Sep 12, 2011
    Going from a mid 2009 15" MBP w/ Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz, Geforce 9400 256MB, 8GB Ram 500GB to the Mid 2013 Retina Macbook Pro with Intel i7 Quad-core 2.6 GHz, Nvidia 750M W/ Intel iris pro 5500 2GB vidRAM, 16GB of RAM and 512GB HDD.

    I love it and I came from the Mid April 2010 model with singe core intel i5 2.0 GHz, 4GB RAM, 300GB HDD and 215mb of vidRAM...etc. The new Macbook pro's offer high resolution display at 2880 x 1600 and triple the other parts. If you are a graphic intense person in terms of 3D rendering, the new mac renders it with wonders.
  20. B's iPhone macrumors regular

    B's iPhone

    Jul 9, 2008
    Where it's cold
    So the OP replacing a 5 year old laptop is the reason people are in debt and the environment is going to *****?
  21. marivaux macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    The OP asked whether or not s/he should replace a laptop that was "working as well as it did on day one" and was having trouble justifying buying a new computer--he was asking because he wasn't sure if it he should do it. If he needed to do something that he couldn't do on the computer he has now, he wouldn't have asked the question.

    And no, he's not personally responsible, in the same way that your individual vote probably doesn't matter and whether or not you recycle or use a more energy-efficient lightbulb won't make a difference in the big picture.

    But--as long as he was asking--does our collective behavior make a difference? Yes. If a lot of people use energy-efficient lightbulbs, or buy fewer electronics they don't need, it makes a difference. So, if someone asks if they should recycle, etc., or do some other small-but-helpful-thing, my answer is generally, "yes, it's a good idea." It's not an accusation. You seem pretty worked up about it, though!
  22. Felasco Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    Just wanted to cast my little vote for this valid and useful point.

    I'm guessing most posters here are relatively young. When I was young my generation (boomers) had some noble ideas about respecting the planet by consuming less, and then we sold out, and became the biggest most wasteful consumers in human history.

    We've sold this manic consumption mindset to our kids, and now our grandkids too.

    It won't matter for us, as we boomers will be mostly dead before the **** really hits the fan. It might matter a lot for those now in their teens and twenties, so marivaux's advice is worth considering.
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If your current machine is running good, and you're having problems justifying it, then you probably don't need the rMBP. I can understand wanting it, and that's fine but it appears your usage is such that you're not pushing the envelope power wise and you'll not really benefit too much with the faster machine.
  24. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I have an early 2009 15" core2duo with 320gb HD.... I upgraded the ram to 8gb about 2 years ago. The computer still performs well for the most part (except when rendering video it takes really long) but my issue is storage as I am down to 50gb of space left. I can just get a 500gb SSD but I am really tempted to pick up a rMBP. I have the money sitting in the bank so thats not an issue..... But the reason I dont have any debt is because I've been disciplined in the past with big purchases... that retina screen and thin form factor coupled with the much better battery life sure is tempting.... I am debating.
  25. B's iPhone, Mar 14, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014

    B's iPhone macrumors regular

    B's iPhone

    Jul 9, 2008
    Where it's cold
    I'm not going to type a lot replying to this.
    I'm not "worked up" at all, I personally just don't care for the tree hugger mentality.

    To the OP, if you can afford to upgrade and it's something you want, I say go for it.
    If it's going to hurt you financially, maybe it's not time.

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