How does the 2010 MacBook hold up in 2016?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by audicat, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. audicat, Jan 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016

    audicat macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I have the opportunity to buy one for $400. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, a GeForce 320M GPU, and a 250GB HDD. I plan to upgrade the RAM to 4GB and possibly get an SSD to speed it up.
    I am not sure if it's a good deal though.

    I only plan to use it for web browsing, word processing, videos, and maybe a little bit of programming (if it can handle it, that is). Can anyone who owns one of these give me an idea of how this laptop performs?

    Thanks

    Edit: Also, how would this compare to a 2010 MacBook Pro? I found one for $430 with identical specifications (same GeForce 320M too, did not expect that) except for 4GB RAM already installed. Only visible difference besides that is the aluminum body compared to the MacBook's plastic body.
     
  2. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #2
    Wow my top spec 11" MBA mid 2012 is worth less than $300 here even if I could find someone to buy it

    My old white Macbooks are with the in-laws all have failed batteries now and even an old 2009 13 MBA has a failed graphics card and charger port

    IMO it's both unwise and certainly not worth investing in these if you don't consider it a disposable 6 month device
     
  3. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

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    #3
    I have a 2010 13" MBP.
    Upped RAM from 4 to 16 and replaced HD and optical for two (different model, size) SSDs.

    I'm very happy with the performance.
    With MBP you get a nicer look, better LCD and backlight keyboard.
    Depending on size it will run 16GB.
     
  4. audicat, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016

    audicat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I think you're talking about the MacBook Air (I'm assuming MBA stands for MacBook Air) but I am only asking about the MacBook. The battery is replaceable so that shouldn't be a big deal, but I'm not sure about the GPU.

    I'm in Canada and the prices are crap here, so that's why these are so expensive. I also realized a few minutes ago that the price for the MacBook Pro I was looking at is in USD, so there's no way I can afford that. It'll have to be the MacBook unless I find a better deal on the Pro.
     
  5. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #5
    Yes I realise you were talking about the old MacBook :)

    The MBA was just a comment on the value here, else I'm reefing to the old Macbooks and what's happened to my ones gifted to the in-laws and a 13 MBA gifted to them, ie they all have problems after 5 years

    If your on a tight budget it's a risk that these 5 year old laptops will fail shortly and to invest more in them (30-50% of their value) may leave you really disappointed and out of pocket if the logic board or any other soldered component fails
     
  6. ghanwani, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016

    ghanwani macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I have a 2010 MBP with 4 GB RAM and now, a 256 GB SSD. Originally it had 128 GB SSD.

    I'd say for your tasks the speed is plenty. The only problem that I have is that when I load pages with lots of ads (macrumors is one of them, but so are many others), it tends to cause the fan to kick in, especially if I have 2 or more such pages open, and it also causes some jerkiness in scrolling. It's still very usable, but the machine definitely shows its age. (I'm using Google Chrome on El Capitan.)

    It does take a while for some apps to load. For example, skype will bounce up and down 20 times before the app opens...it's possible something is wrong with the settings since I migrated the data over by just cloning the 128 GB disk to the 256 GB one.

    As for price, I think the MBP is more reasonable than the MB, especially since the MB has only 2 GB. About a year ago, machines like mine were going for $600 on craigslist, so I think the $430 price is probably decent, but you may be able to negotiate it a bit lower. Also check what condition the battery is in (what % of design capacity it has).
     
  7. audicat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I found some more good deals. I think I'll try to get the MacBook Pro instead of the MacBook because I could really use the extra features it has (SD card reader, battery indicator, backlit keyboard, etc.) and the aluminum unibody looks great.
     
  8. pjny macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I had a 13" 2010 and switched to a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) for home. IIRC the 2011 allowed me to put in an unsanctioned 16gb of ram. I think there were some important additions to the 2011 which i cannot recall. I have 2 SSD's in the laptop (830 256 gb and OWC 115gb). This is attached to dual monitors(27" NEC PA271 and 24 inch dell = 4480 pixels across ) using Caldigit Thunderbolt dock and seagate go flex combo. I also have a range of printers, hard drives and a Wacom Intuous attached. Works very well for a 5 year old laptop. It is cooled by laptop fan and another USB fan. Amazing apple products. The Dell laptops we used for about 8 years were useless after 2-3 years if they didn't prematurely keep dying from improper GPU solder issue.
     
  9. audicat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Ironically, you have to be careful when searching for a MacBook Pro built around this time period because of the same problem. As far as I know though, anything made 2009 and after should be safe though.
     
  10. pjny macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I had the entire motherboard (forget what Apple called it) of my 2010 mbp that was replaced under Applecare possibly due to heat . I now run two fans when I run the Macbook Pro 2011 at home. One fan is Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim Ultra-Slim Laptop Cooling Pad and the other is a USB fan pointed at the left side of the spine of the laptop where the laptop seems to heat up.

     
  11. audicat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Seems like almost no MacBook is safe from this problem... I also recently discovered that the 2011-2013 models had a display/GPU issue as well. But the 2009-2010 models seem to be the best for affordable used MacBooks.
     
  12. pjny macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    My gpu failures stopped after having two fans cooling every laptop. Heck, the xps dell sent as a replacement following 4-5 repairs still runs five years later thanks to extra fan cooling. I used it for several years on a third monitor running Netflix/cnn.

     
  13. username: macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Wow thats a lot of money for a 6 year old laptop. why not get a brand new ipad air or ipad mini 4?
     
  14. Altis macrumors 68020

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    #14
    $400 is too much for a 6 year old laptop, if you ask me.

    It's probably capable of doing what you intend for it to do. Heck, I have an old Dell Inspiron 1525 from 2008 with a Core 2 Duo and it works decent enough for what you describe (granted, I installed an SSD which did wonders).
     
  15. audicat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I hate tablets with a passion, and it costs a lot because I'm in Canada.

    I also can't do programming on a tablet.
     
  16. igmgentry macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I have the 2009 15" MacBook Pro with 8GB of ram and a regular hard drive and I don't experience any of the video issues you are describing. I think if you just bumped your ram up a couple more GB you would be just fine. Mine is running El Capitan with no issues, I use it to watch Netflix etc etc with no problems.
     
  17. audicat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I think the video problems are caused by excessive heat. If you put the laptop down on a bed and/or do intensive tasks like gaming and editing it might damage the logic board. That's what I've heard.
     
  18. igmgentry macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I think I have to respectfully disagree on this. If your experiencing graphics issues whenever your macbook pro gets hot then you have a logicboard problem (the heat is causing the GPU to make and break solder joints as it heats and cools). If that is happening then your computer is on the way out.

    However, it is entirely reasonable to believe that a computer with only 4GB of ram which is the minimum you can really even use a modern OS such as Yosemite or El Capitan with runs out of memory causing it to do funny things when it doesn't have enough memory to buffer everything.

    That being said my wife primarily uses my old 2009 Macbook Pro (8GB of Ram) to watch Netflix, while snuggled into the bed buried in pillows and blankets. I haven't seen any issues at all with my setup.

    I think if you were to check the memory usage when you are experiencing these lags and jerks esp while browsing you would find it to be a memory issue. Browsers are memory hogs and they love to eat up your memory esp Safari.
     
  19. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I would not spend $400 on a 6 year old computer, and then spend an additional $150-200 to upgrade it with an SSD.

    Hell, a brand new MBA (which already comes with the SSD) could often be had for $800, and you're looking at a brand new laptop with a full year of warranty. I think this is a much better option. If that's not a viable option, I think you should be able to find used 2013-2014 models with the $550-600 you're looking to spend. Any of the listed alternatives will be miles faster than a 2010 MacBook (Pro).

    Don't knock the MBA till you've tried it. It's probably the best all round computer you can buy for the price. Batteries can still be replaced if needed. As for added storage, you could use a SD-card solution, adding up to 128 GB if not more. Only make sure to buy the right amount of RAM and you will have a computer which will be great for years.
     
  20. Knighstalker macrumors regular

    Knighstalker

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    #20
    I've use a 5 year iMac that I just recently added a 2GB hybrid for about $100 and it seems peppier then it was before.
     
  21. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

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    #21
    I agree with this. I had a 2009 Macbook (secondhand, courtesy of my mum), and honestly think that for $400, it might be worth waiting longer until you have some more money (if that's possible) and going for a newer machine. Now, it would still probably be a totally useable machine (heck, my dad's old BlackBook is still a good little machine for some programs he can't run on his 2012 iMac)
    But a couple of points:
    - this is a heavy machine. It's 2.1kgs, which is more than the current 15" rMBP. As someone who has had both, I always found the wMB such a pain to lug around, but maybe that was just me.
    - the Intel C2D is quite an old chip, and I found using some applications (especially video editing) stressed the processor to it's max (similar to you in that this was probably in 2014).
    - the HD is going to be slow. something that would make the computer a LOT faster is a SSD, but I'm not sure if it's out of budget or not.
    - 2GB of RAM won't be enough. Until I upgraded the RAM in my machine, it really struggled. A lot. And that was with 8GB too.
     
  22. pjny macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I had 4, 8 and now 16gb on my macbook 2011. Is there a reason why macbooks(especially rMb) only have 4 or 8gb ram? Is it physical space requirements? 16gb definitely made a big difference on an old machine even though apple originally stated 8gb was the max.

    Coupled with Samsung 830 SSD it does what I need to do in 2016. I am tempted to get a 27" imac for speed and screen resolution but I am pleasantly surprised at how well a 5-year old mac is still fulfilling many of my needs.

    I have the rmb for portability and travel and the price premium is worth it for my back. It had redefined what I can carry because the old macbook was just enough heavier to make it difficult to carry for hours with camera gear.

     
  23. audicat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    I think you missed the 2 or 3 times that I said I live in Canada. Do you know what the prices for computers are here? A base model 11'' MacBook Air would cost me $1300 after taxes, and I'm looking for a 13'' laptop so it would cost even more if I went with the 13'' model. I wouldn't pay that much for that computer even if I could.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2016 ---
    I don't see how 4GB could cause any problems for basic use, I had 4GB in my desktop before I upgraded it and I even did gaming with it and it was fine. Only reason I upgraded is because I wanted to run GTA V and my web browser at the same time which got laggy with only 4GB... And I'm definitely not going to be doing things like that on the laptop I buy.
     
  24. ziggy29 macrumors regular

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    #24
    If you aren't gaming or doing intense number crunching, they hold up well. Even my Late 2008 Unibody (which I'm using now) holds up quite well for that kind of usage. It can still run the latest OS (currently El Cap), and with 8 GB of RAM and a 250 GB SSD this thing feels a lot newer and still very capable. My wife stopped using it when it had 2 GB and a regular HDD because it was "too slow" but an investment in more RAM and an SSD really made a dramatic difference.

    But I think $400 is a little high for that model. If you could get it for $200 and add RAM and an SSD for a total of another $150 or so, that would be a good buy for under $400 total. Much more than that and I'd save up to buy a new one on the low end.
     
  25. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

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    #25
    Mine didn't. I had a 2010 white unibody Macbook (2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo) that the system board failed on late last year. I would have hoped it would have lasted more than 5 years, but it didn't make it.
     

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