How do older Macbooks/Macbook pros hold up?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by RootBeerSoup, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. RootBeerSoup, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

    RootBeerSoup macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    I have been looking for a used laptop for about a month and I keep seeing Macbooks from 2006 up for sale.

    My question is how do they hold up for five or more years, have you noticed any problems with them after a certain time frame?

    I know that batteries tend to wear out after awhile, but I'm willing to replace that.

    In addition, I am new to Mac's and would be using it primarily for college work. Things like browsing the web and typing papers are on that list.
  2. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    With the release of Mac OS Lion, I would avoid anything earlier than the late-2008 models. The reason for this is that the earlier trackpads do not support the multi-touch gestures.

    Also, MacBooks earlier than this run significantly more hot. Late-2008 and later have hardware acceleration for h.264 video and vastly superior, in performance and operating temperature, video chipsets.

    In short, I feel you would be throwing your money away on a 2006 model. I suppose if it was $100-200, maybe, if you are desperate. Otherwise, just find a late-2008 for $500-700.
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    There's a 2006 MacBook in the family that's still holding up, but I agree with the other poster that the 2008 models would be better. Note that the 2006 MacBooks won't run Lion at all since they don't have Core 2 Duo processors (they have the 32-bit Core Duo, essentially a spruced up Pentium M). The 2007 Core 2 Duo MacBooks will technically run Lion, but barely.

    Alternatively, now that the new Airs are out, you can probably find decent used 2010 MacBook Airs or even the 2009 models, which would handle Lion acceptably.
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I just sold a 06 blackbook, upgraded, for 500. If you aren't into multitouch, they're worth it depending on the condition and price of course.

    The graphics card sucks, however, and the machines do run hot.... actually, yea I wouldn't pay more than 400 for an upgraded one. You can get an old MacBook Pro or something for a little more.
  5. Cool Runnings macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    Five years are a lot for a computer and asking five more is to push it.

    If I put it likte this, a five or ten year old computer holds up well and feels snappy if you run OS and software from it's "lifecycle".
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Push it in terms of what? Personal joy? Entertainment? Staying on top of the tech cycle? All you would have to do is upgrade the hard drive or get a new one after a few years and the machine would easily last you 8.

    For some reason people have this idea that computers break or something over time when, in reality, if you keep the parts most likely to break (HD) new or in good condition AND if you take care of the thing, it will work for a long time.
  7. mcdonap macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Here's my perspective, and I realize that a lot of folks would not look at it this way.

    I have a 2007 2,1 MB. This past November, I maxed out my RAM, and I installed an SSD. My reasoning was first, I wanted to see if I could do it, (and it turned out to not be a challenge at all), and second, my MB was running just fine. I couldn't really justify replacing it. I was a PC guy before the MB, and after a few years, I always had to replace the PC.

    I have always stayed current with updates and OS releases. I am running Lion, and it's fast. I don't have all the gestures due to my old track pad, but everything just screams along.

    If I didn't already have the MB, I don't know that I would buy an old one and upgrade it. It seems like it might be a better idea to buy as new as I could and then upgrade when I could. I would definitely want a C2D in order to run Lion. I don't think my machine "barely" runs Lion. I suspect my SSD really helps everything along, though.
  8. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Good post. It's interesting how Apple products tend to circulate throughout the consumer market.

    For a new person, it's best to get a newest model. With these computers costing at least a grand, people want to maximize the bang for that large buck.

    What Apple did was price their machines in a way that, because the baseline is so high, it is very, very tempting to get an upgraded version for better specs (which IMO should be in the baseline at that price :/) and better functionality throughout the machine.

    On the plus side, all of the machines are built very, very well and as a result, you have a very strong second hand market. I bought an 06 black Macbook for 600 (upgraded) earlier this year and I just sold it 4 days or so ago for 500. As the above poster stated, you can easily add life and functionality to an old machine by simply installing a new battery, RAM, or a different HD/SSD.

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