How often do you upgrade your MacBook Pro?


macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2014
I have a late 2008 MacBook Pro which I recently upgraded to 8GB and an SSD. The computer is blazing fast and I have seen no beach balls. However, I hear that every 3 - 4 years is the norm of upgrading and having the latest iPad/iPhone, I do like the retina screen. But I feel like I should still squeeze in some out of this MBP.

So my question is - how often do you buy a new MacBook Pro? What do you do with your old one?
I upgrade every 3 or 4 years, I started with an iMac G3 (2000), Then a iMac G5 (2004), Then a Intel iMac (2007) as well as a black macbook core 2 duo (Late 2007), then I waited until 2012 to upgrade to a macbook pro 13' (mid 2012) and I just upgraded couple of weeks ago to a 15' rMBP (mid 2014).

I usually upgrade when either my mac stops working and the repair is too expensive or new technology is released (powerPC to Intel, HDD to SSD, retina display, etc...)


macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
The Tri-State Area
I've only had two MacBooks (cMBP and rMBP) so far and a Windows laptop before those, so I'm still figuring out my upgrade cycle. But so far it seems like around 3-4 years between upgrades for me. I don't mind skipping a few upgrades in between because in most cases the current one is still quick enough to work for my needs. I could probably last another couple of years between upgrades if I needed to, but that tug of wanting a new device is too strong at that point.


macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
Usually every 3-4 years for me, but with my mid2012 15" cMBP I might just bump that out to 4-5 years as it's still going strong. Will probably hand it down to a relative when the time comes.


macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
As the others

3-4 years, I usually want faster ports and better tech (GPU and screens this time round) within 4 years. My 2010 cMBP with SSD and 8GB of RAM is my Bro's main computer now though keep that goodness in the family.


macrumors 601
Apr 13, 2010
Bedfordshire, UK
I'm a fan of new tech and I will upgrade when something new comes along that brings big advances over the machine(s) I already own.

My old laptops tend to either be sold or given to family members. Sometimes I've upgraded within 12 months, other times within 2-3 years. I already own a great machine in the late 2013 13" rMBP but I'd be all over a much thinner and more powerful 13" MBP which I hope will be released next year, based on Skylake/Cannonlake CPU's.


macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
I have a late 2008 MacBook Pro which I recently upgraded to 8GB and an SSD. The computer is blazing fast and I have seen no beach balls. However, I hear that every 3 - 4 years is the norm of upgrading and having the latest iPad/iPhone, I do like the retina screen. But I feel like I should still squeeze in some out of this MBP.

So my question is - how often do you buy a new MacBook Pro? What do you do with your old one?
I upgrade when the computer no longer works for my usage, either by being too slow or not being able to run software.

I kept my 2008 machine up until 2012, and it's still kicking today, my girlfriend now owns it.
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macrumors regular
Jan 27, 2015
I keep my notebooks as long as they feel fluid. Now my MBA 13" 2011 has begun to struggle with the daily tasks I am performing so I have ordered a new rMBP 13" 2015. I do believe that the rMBP will serve my needs longer than what the MBA did, due to beefier hardware. But I am happy with how long the MBA served me. I think almost 4 years is a long time in this tech industry.


macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
I don't have a MBP anymore, but I buy all my laptops used and keep them for a long time. The only reason I sell them is if they don't do what I need them to do. My newest laptop is 5 years old, and is actually 1 year older than the MBP it replaced. I haven't seen any performance difference in the last 5-6 years to make buying anything newer worth it to me. On the rare occasions where I need something faster, I will just SSH into my desktop.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2015
Still using my mid 2009 MBP. It's still very fast and stable. Most importantly for me, the laptop is still very silent. Sure it does overheat when using some apps that demand intensive processing power, but for everyday use and minor tasks it still operates like new machine. So I don't see the need to upgrade yet. I am planning to install 8GB RAM and SSD this spring. This will probably allow me to hold onto my MBP for another 5 years:cool:
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macrumors 603
Oct 18, 2011
Apple iPhone World
Typically until my old one dies. My first Macbook Pro was the early 2011 13 inch model. It still works, but battery health is getting bad. The current Macbook Pro is the Early 2015, with Retina Display, 2.9 GHz i5, 512 GB Storage, 8 GB Ram, with Force Touch Trackpad.


macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2013
My 2012 15" cMBP was still going very strong and had no issues.

I would still have it, but I wanted a retina.

These do last pretty well if taken care of..


macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2011
Late 2007 Macbook Pro, updated once after 2 or 3 years to 4gb of ram, since then nothing done to it. But thinking of putting in a ssd. I will use this baby till it doesn't work anymore.
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macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2009
I am still using my early '08 MBP penryn. Years ago I upgraded it to a SSD and 4 GB ram. I would have replaced it 2 years ago when the notorious Nvidia defect appeared but Apple replaced the motherboard completely free of charge even though it was out of warranty. That defect should be showing up again soon, though, so I am very much looking forward to replacing it with the next gen 15" rMBP (I'll pass on the new retina 13" as I think it is underpowered). Until then the old '08 MBP works amazingly well even with Yosemite and, thanks to an express card slot, I have access to fast eSata ports so not really missing USB3 or Thunderbolt.


macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
Charlotte, NC
Still using a Late 2011 13" MBP. The SSD and 16GB of RAM has extended its life and it's still pretty fast today.

I'm looking at late 2016 or early 2017 to finally get a new one. Most likely the top of the line 15" rMBP that's Apple offers at that time.


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
I bought my MacBook Pro in April 2010. It actually runs BETTER THAN NEW since I put an SSD into it. Runs very fast and very stable, still using 10.6.8. Looks nearly "as good as new", but then it's not my "main machine", and I tried to take care of it.

No plans to replace it at the moment, I don't have-to-have the "latest and greatest" with every product revision.

When USB3.1 and full 4k support arrive, however, that might tempt me to upgrade.
I'll pass the old one along to a family member...


macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2011
Portland, OR
I use both PC's and Mac's for a long time and Mac's do tend to have a longer functional lifespan than PC's. If you had a PC you purchased 4 year ago and never upgraded it (SSD, RAM, etc), I would consider it to be ancient but I just replaced a 4 year old MBA that was still chugging along just fine after several OSX releases. I probably could have used it for at least another 2 years, but held out long enough on getting a Macbook with a retina screen.


macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
Kansas, USA
I went four years between my first mid-2009 MBP and my late-2013 rMBP. I had planned on selling the 09 for parts since I thought it was done for. Then a friend of mine was applying for programming jobs and needed to learn Xcode for an interview. So I got the recurring issue fixed one more time and got a new battery for it. A year and a half later and it's still going as a media server. I've had it almost six years, and I guess I'll keep using it as a secondary machine until the logic board goes.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2011
I usually upgrade whenever I feel the upgrade is worth it.

For instance, I upgraded from a 2012 15" rmbp to the 2015 13" rmbp because my battery life on my 15" was around 4.5 hours with light use and even less if heavy use.

I was tired of having to have my laptop plugged in every few hours. I have graduate classes that last 3 hours so if i forgot to charge my laptop and forgot my cord it could run out of power in class.

The 2015 13" gives me reasonably around 8-12 hours depending on how I'm using it so its basically an all day device that I can leave my charging cable at home.

Also the lower weight is nice.

Ive been waiting for the Broadwell to upgrade. I feel its a good enough processor that I can realistically use this laptop for 5 years. The next decreases in die size won't be as significant and will take a long time to implement. The yields on broadwell were so challenging there was a delay in putting it out.

I'll probably skip the 11nm update and wait for the 8nm.


macrumors 65816
May 1, 2007
Norwich, UK
I like to get the last of a generation, so am about to order the new rMBP in hope the next one will be more new-MB like and therefore when I next upgrade, in 3-4 years, it will be well established again.

I do this because I feel you tend to get the best internals with a proven external design. I had the first MBA and suffered from the flimsy hinge, never again...
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macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2014
Using my 2012 classic Macbook Pro.

First upgrades performed this month (SSD and RAM increase) to hold me off a new model for another year or two.

Didn't want to jump into the Retina range and I'm waiting for the next 'big' update to the range (not just upgraded internals and IO speeds etc) before I plunk money down for an entirely new laptop.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
Most often, I tend to upgrade when it makes financial sense, or when my old computer is no longer cutting it. Whichever happens first. :)

I went 2007 MBP > 2009 MB > 2011 MBA > 2013 rMBP.

...and Power Mac G4 > iMac G5 > 2011 iMac

The MBP was my main computer till 2012 when I replaced it with a 2011 MBA. (MB was a school-issued laptop only). After five years, it was not only slow - but it was pretty much worthless on the second hand market. When I bought the MBA I sold it after only two years, as I got only about $200 less than what I paid for it. I also got a great deal on the 2013 rMBP, so the upgrade worked out very well.

Also, I never put any money into upgrading old computers, I much rather use it and put up with it until I replace it completely.


macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2014
A year or two ago I was really tempted to sell my 2011 cMBP but have realized that its still a pretty solid machine (current update is Crucial MX100, I had 16gb ram installed also but really didn't see any difference in everyday use so I put back the original 4gb). The only current technique I'm missing on it is USB3.

I have let go on the thought of selling it and getting a good chunk of money for it and decided to stick with until Skylake MBPs are released. I've convinced my parents to finally go with apple by donating the 2011 one to them when I pull the Skylake trigger.


macrumors 6502
May 20, 2008
About every five years. Both my old main macs - PowerBook G4 17" (2005) and MacBook Pro C2D 2,93 (2009) still works fine (but the SuperDrive is dead on the G4) and I will probably keep them around several years further too.


macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2011
I upgrade when the old computer can't perform the tasks I need to do. With memory and SSD upgrade, my late 2011 is doing just fine after more than 3 years. It replaced an older 17" that could only take 3gb of ram which was a killer for some of my uses. I don't see replacing my current MBP for a couple of years or until the GPU dies.