Improve an old MacBook or buy a new MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DIYoyo, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. DIYoyo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    in early 2009, I bought a 13" MacBook (aluminum case) with all the best features at that time : 2GB memory, 2.4Ghz processor.

    Now, I have started doing more image processing and graphism, and it's a bit slow.

    What do you recommend :

    - buying a new MacBook Pro (2.8 GHz and why not 8GB memory, 7hours battery)

    - or buying let say additional memory (4GB) and an additional battery (5hours?)


    Thanks.

    Best,
    Yohan.
     
  2. IllIllIll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    #2
    Bumping up to 4GB is only going to marginally improve performance, and only if you're running out of RAM currently.

    A new battery is not going to speed up anything.
     
  3. DIYoyo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #3
    I was mentioning the battery just because it's an attractive point compared to my current 2.5-hour battery.

    So I don't really understand : are you saying that even if I buy a new MacBook Pro, it is not really interesting to buy additional memory?

    My computer lags a lot when I mount movies, process images or run AutoCAD or Illustrator.

    ----------

    Sorry, I misread your answer :

    Are you also saying that buying additional 4GB for my old MacBook doesn't allow me to have 6GB? I have to remove the previous 2GB?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #4
    I would upgrade the RAM and wait it out for a little bit longer. If you really think about it, you only had your computer for just under 3 years and most people have their computers for 4. The MacBook Pro has already seen 2 Sandy Bridge releases so I'd wait a little longer for Ivy.
     
  5. visim91 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #5

    Check your "Activity Monitor"; your present desire for a new MacBook may certainly be a consequence of memory.
    Under "Activity Monitor" you will see "Page-Outs", near the bottom, followed by a number. If this number is getting into the Gigabytes (GB) - you qualify for a much-needed memory/RAM upgrade.

    I would recommend at least 6GB, what with programs today often requiring more & more memory; also taking into account future updates.
    8 is great.

    I'm a firm believer in using what you got till you can't use it no more. My unibody MacBook (with a 6GB RAM upgrade) still services me just fine; and I don't see that changing for another 2 years. Hold on to yours and upgrade the RAM, you should be fine for awhile longer & like the above poster has already said, Apple has some interesting revisions in store for us in the near future. Don't rush it.
     
  6. TheJing macrumors 6502a

    TheJing

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Europe
    #6
    If you have the money, buy a new computer.

    If not, get more RAM. 2GB really isn't that much and 4GB would do you good.

    Check the activity monitor to see how much you're using when you use illustrator and edit movies and whatnot.
     
  7. DIYoyo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #7
    Thank you for all your answers.

    What does "Page outs" refer to?

    Mine says : 7.8 GB (out of 86 GB page ins), is that bad, doctor?
     
  8. TheJing macrumors 6502a

    TheJing

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Europe
    #8
    Yes, that is quite a lot. More RAM would be beneficial to you.
     
  9. visim91 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #9
    There's your answer - upgrade the RAM (I would recommend 8GB - it is really quite cheap now and, based on your usage, you qualify for such excess).

    "Page-Outs" occur when your running applications/programs require memory/RAM that is just not there - so it instead writes to your hard disk (hard drive), which is not good.
     
  10. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #10
    It would have been funny if he dropped 2 grand on a new MacBook Pro and attributed the increased speed due to it being a new model when lack of RAM actually played a big part.

    I would definitely go for the cheaper RAM upgrade for now!
     
  11. DIYoyo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #11
    Thanks.

    Now, I just have an extra question : what is high speed processor useful for?

    When does a 2.8GHz help compared to 2.4 GHz? How big of a difference does +0.4 GHz make? Can you add cores to a Mac?
     
  12. IllIllIll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    #12
    A faster processor will perform CPU-intensive tasks faster. Video/audio processing, 3D rendering, CAD, number crunching, etc. It will depend heavily on the software you run. Web browsing, email, playing audio/video, etc. will not benefit much from a faster processor.

    You cannot "add cores" to a Mac.

    ----------

    I suppose you could mix and match a 4GB SODIMM with a 2GB, but then you would lose the benefit of dual channel memory access.
     
  13. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #13
    The 2GB that's in your MBP now is going to be two separate 1GB cards. You would have to take those out and install two 2GB cards or two 4GB cards to give you either 4GB or 8GB. It's usually best to keep them in matched pairs.
     
  14. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #14
    Barefeats.com is a good place to read speed tests comparing CPUs and GPUs. The info can save you some serious money when considering relatively minor CPU upgrades.
     
  15. DIYoyo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2011
    #15
  16. visim91 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #16
    No. Please do not buy this from Apple. This is one of the many upgrades you would be better off doing elsewhere:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_MacBook_MacBook_Pro/Upgrade/DDR3

    Choose however much you need/can afford - they will all work (4, 6, 8GB)

    ----------

    Apple recently issued a firmware fix for your laptop allowing up to 8GB memory. Do not worry, it will work. I have the same MacBook.
     
  17. DIYoyo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #17
    Omg, thanks for the tip, it's 5x cheaper :D

    Can I find the same for a new battery?
     
  18. visim91 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #18
    You might be able to find one, but I don't know enough about 3rd-Party battery replacements to advise on this. I think Apple sells one for 129.99.

    Before you do anything:

    On your computer go to "About This Mac" -> click "More Info" ->
    If you have Lion, click "System Report" -> otherwise, under Hardware, click "Power" -> then Copy & Paste your "Battery Information" here.
     
  19. DIYoyo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #19
    Well, my battery is just fine, it still lasts more than 2 hours 30 I think.
    However, as I'm also travelling more, I would enjoy being able to work on it longer. I admit it's just a luxury ;)


    Battery Information:

    Model Information:
    Serial Number: 6N8500MC613CB
    Manufacturer: SMP
    Device name: bq20z951
    Pack Lot Code: 0000
    PCB Lot Code: 0000
    Firmware Version: 002a
    Hardware Revision: 000a
    Cell Revision: 0100
    Charge Information:
    Charge remaining (mAh): 401
    Fully charged: No
    Charging: No
    Full charge capacity (mAh): 3139
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 466
    Condition: Normal
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): -1107
    Voltage (mV): 10989

    System Power Settings:

    AC Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Automatic Restart On Power Loss: No
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Wake On LAN: No
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Battery Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 2
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Current Power Source: Yes
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Reduce Brightness: Yes

    Hardware Configuration:

    UPS Installed: No

    AC Charger Information:

    Connected: No
    Charging: No
     
  20. visim91 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #20
    Hey not bad, and I can definitely understand how you would want a spare battery on hand for extended usage, especially on the road. Go for it!
     
  21. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #21
    Other World Computing also sells replacement batteries for your Mac...
     
  22. DIYoyo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #22
    Mojo1 : apparently not for my model, but anyway I found some on Amazon, I'll try that even though I would have preffered to trust OWC.
    THanks everyone.
     
  23. dionysious macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    #23
    nooooo dont buy the battery from amazon. i got a fake batt. it lasted about 4 hours and just failed at 10% everytime. I have the exact same mac as you. 2.4 and the upgraded 4gigs of ram. i think u should get an ssd. they are soooo goood. im doing the optibay mod so i get space and speed. i think ill give my laptop another couple years. late 2008 and still going!
     
  24. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
  25. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #25

    Wow. This is a rare jewel on MacRumors.

    ----------

    SSD isn't the answer to every question.

    You aren't doing the mod, you performed it in order to enjoy the benefits of space and speed.

    You don't give your laptop years, it serves you the years.

    One bad experience from amazon isn't sufficient to justify everyone in the world avoiding it; because if we all did, the bastard sellers would simply move elsewhere and scam another unsuspecting noob like you.
     

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