How often do you upgrade your laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PhiladelphiaX, Dec 27, 2012.


How often do you get a new laptop?

  1. Every 6 months or less

    4 vote(s)
  2. Every year

    11 vote(s)
  3. Every 2-3 years

    42 vote(s)
  4. Every 4-5 years

    36 vote(s)
  5. Every 5+ years

    10 vote(s)
  1. PhiladelphiaX macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2012
    Hey, I've been considering exchanging my Gateway/Microsoft 17'' laptop for a 15'' Macbok Pro.

    I'm not sure I'm justified to go through with the purchase, though, haha. How often do you upgrade your laptop (not desktop)? My laptop has been holding up since 2010 but it overheats very easily (can't play a lot of Youtube videos at once) and as a result it shuts down nearly 4 times a day on average. Thankfully Google Chrome saves my browsing sessions.

    Additionally, in what price range could I expect to buy a refurbished non-retina display Macbook Pro? What ppi on a 15'' laptop would constitute retina display? What about a 17'' laptop?

    Do Macbooks overheat easily? Are they known to shut down when overheating?
  2. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: overheating and shutdown in MBPs...

    Hi PhiladelphiaX,

    If you are having trouble with overheating in a 2010 laptop, you might think about opening it up and "blowing out" any dust that has accumulated on the circuit board and components. Depending upon how dusty your environment is and how humid (low humidity means more static) will determine how fast dust collects on the internal components of your laptop. Since dust is actually a fairly good thermal insulator, it decreases the ability of your computer's fans to exhaust heat from your laptop. Simply "blowing out" the dust can go a long way to improving the thermal functioning of your laptop.

    Having said that, in general the MBPs do a fairly good job of removing heat. Very seldom does a MBP actually "shut down" from overheating. The MBPs perhaps do not do quite as good of a job with ridding themselves of heat as the new rMBPs, but they still do a fairly decent job. In my personal experience, a 2011 MBP could run all 8 CPUs (real and virtual) at roughly 100% load and only after about 10-15 minutes would the MBP begin to frequency throttle the CPUs in order to lower their temperatures. It never "shut down" the machine. Also, in my personal experience, a new 15" rMBP under the same conditions of roughly 100% loads on all 8 CPUs, never ever throttles the CPU frequencies. So the rMBP is slightly better than the MBP at dissipating heat. The rMBP is also a faster machine than the 2011 MBP so the rMBP was actually performing more computations during these tests than the MBP. Of course, these empirical results are entirely dependent upon my testing conditions -- the temperature and humidity of the room where I ran these tests, for instance. If you repeat these tests yourself, you will most certainly get different results that depend upon the specific temperature and humidity of your room.


    P.S. Of course, after a few years of use, and depending upon the dust and humidity conditions of your environment, dust will also coat the mother board and components of the MBPs, decreasing their thermal dissipation capabilities. So eventually it would behoove you to open an older MBP and "blow out" the dust from it too.
  3. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    My last one went out the pasture after 10 years! I have purchased enough spared parts for 2 more complete machines, cleaned/replaced the fan a few times, upgrade the mobo with a faster processor, top out ram etc. I can disassemble/re-assemble the machine with my eyes closed. Video playback was nil, but then am more a reader than a viewer. The only thing i really wanted but could not do was Google Earth. No gaming, PC gaming = takes u to the poor house.
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Every 2-3 for me...This year I will replace my beloved 17" MBP with a 15" rMBP and hope that the stories are true....Been hanging on to the big monster in the hope that Apple would cave in and make a 17" model...I have another 4 months or an early sale to find out if they do...Not holding my breath now though..
  5. painejake macrumors newbie


    Aug 11, 2010
    Birmingham, UK
    I have a late 2009 white MacBook.

    All I've done is add a Seagate Momentus XT 750GB drive and 8GB DDR3 ram and its still running a complete dream. Just go with Apple Care and keep it serviced, at least thats what I've done.

    Considering if I had a Windows laptop the same spec I can imagine a Core 2 Duo feeling very underpowered.

    If I get 2 more years out of it then brilliant. I only really browse the web and use it for work (iWork) and emails (Outlook) films and just recreation.

    I don't use it for gaming thats what the desktop/Xbox is for.
  6. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    Waiting for my retina.

    this one is 50months old. Little over 4 years i guess?
    It's my first laptop. And retina will be second.
  7. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    The fans on the rMBP don't even turn on while watching HD video content on youtube. It barely gets warmer. However, while doing 3d gaming the machine will howl with fan noise but I don't notice any throttling or overheating even after hours.
  8. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE rMBP's fans...

    Hi Daniel L,

    I don't mean to contradict you, but I think you will find that if you actually check the fan speeds on your rMBP, they are always running. I have never seen the fan speeds on a 15" rMBP to be much less than 2000 rpm, even when idle. Now, at 2000 rpm I can't personally hear those fans running from a normal distance typing on the machine's keyboard --- due to my antediluvian cochlea no doubt. So perhaps this is what you mean when you say they "don't even turn on", you mean that you can't hear them while watching HD YouTube videos. I can't either. But, nevertheless, they are running at around 2000 rpm.

    ...please don't take my comments incorrectly...I'm not trying to be mean or anything, I just think it is important not to give the wrong impression about fan speeds, that's all...

  9. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    When there is

    - a significant bump in speed
    - when software starts needing that bump.

    My work machine is work supplied and gets upgraded every 12 months or less - i track the current build of machines we give users.

    But home... when i need it.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I tend to fall into the 2-3 year category though this time around I'm hoping to push it beyond that and given what I use it for and the power of the rMBP I think its a distinct possibility. The 15" rMBP is a great size for me, and its power is more then enough for my needs
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Every year I say I will stick with the one I have since it's adequate for my work, but when the new one comes out I will find an excuse to upgrade.
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    After 2 years I usually want a newer one for performance reasons. I plan to go for a 3 year cycle and in the end I replace it after 4+ years.
    My last was like that and I suspect this one will be too.

    By the time the Haswell notebooks that I want, will be around, my current one will be 3.5 years old. Add some looking for the right one and it will be 4 years again.
  13. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    Just like with an ipad, I upgrade whenever the technology is significant enough to demand it. So about every 4 years for laptops
  14. HNfan macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2012
    I am running a late 2009 MacBook that I bought in March 2010. I want a new MacBook Pro, but can't justify the purchase because my MB is still running strong. I just upgraded the RAM from 2GB to 4GB and it made a big difference. I need to upgrade the HDD because it is only 250GB and I have had to use an external drive for a while because I have so many photos. With a new HDD I can probably get another year or two out of this MB before buying a new MBP.
  15. gertruded macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    Northwestern Illinois
    Have an early 2009 Macbook and am waiting for a Haswell. The 2009, on its third HD and second battery, is still running well and will go to a family member.
  16. vpro, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012

    vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012

    all of your answers can be answered with a simple search in the forum.. i'd suggest you go with the late 2011 17" MBP. make all your dreams possible and more with a 17" MBP. my 2006 17"macbook Pro is still running smoothly as silk. my late 2011 17 incher though WOAH !!! With all the upgrades, she is power house workhorse !
  17. richnyc macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2012
    About every 3-4 years...

    Bought the last one in November 2012 (13" cMBP) and before that in October 2008 (Dell XPS m1330, still have it).

    Prior that I only owned PC desktops: Dell Inspiron 530 tower bought Sept 2007; Dell Dimension 4100 bought in 2001 and Quantex tower bought in 1996;)
  18. darkcoupon macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    4-5 years seems to be the typical cycle for me to get my hardware caught up to my software needs.

    I currently have an early 2008 MBP that I bought refurbished in late 2008. It's been a great, reliable machine as long as I've had it and I've used it daily for 4 years and some change. It's gotten to the point that I can hardly web browse while having more than 2 other programs running in the background. Watching YouTube can be a joke, and opening any kind of website with lots of flash/java based advertising just turns it to gunk. Needless to say, I'm going to be throwing in a new 500GB HDD and selling it in favor of a newer model.
  19. That70sGAdawg macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2008
    Just upgraded from a big ole heavy 3 year old 17" MBP to the 13"rMBP. Lovin it.
  20. MadTester macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2012
    Well I upgraded to a 15" uMBP last year after 5 years after using the beasty 17" which is still being used but as a secondary desktop along side my mac mini server :D
  21. kylera macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    I got an Air this year after holding onto a 12" PowerBook. So...that makes it around 6 or 7 years.

    So in other words, until it is unbearable with what I have right now.
  22. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009
    Every 12-18 months unless I suspect that a new model is coming in the comming 3 months or so, than I wait a bit. With 5 kids I always find a volunteer to take my old laptop! :)
  23. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    just got the wife a 15" fMBP to replace her HP laptop. planning to keep it 4 or 5 years

    got her to switch :D :apple:
  24. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    I should clarify, you're absolutely correct that the fans are always on but to me they're inaudible while watching YouTube.
  25. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: fans...

    Yes, Daniel, I was just trying to qualify your statement. I can't hear the fans while the computer is idling even when I'm not playing YouTube videos with audio output. The rMBP is remarkably quite, and I also find that when the fans's speed ramp up to their maximum values (approximately 6000 RPM), I find the broader spectrum fan noise much more pleasant and less intrusive than the much narrower spectrum fan noise of the 2011 MBP, for instance.


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