Is it worth upgrading yet from Macbook 08?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacBH928, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. MacBH928 macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008
    I have a macbook late '08 2.0 Ghz . I did upgrade RAM to 6GB and the HDD. Spec wise this computer is 5 years old which is a very long time in computer years. The thing is that I really do not feel it slow at all, it does everything I want. In my previous purchases, about every 3 years my computer would be outdated.

    Looking at the new macbook pro's, do you think it is worth upgrading now or should I wait until some kind of a new technology breakthrough comes along or an all new designed macbooks (not sure how long Apple is keeping the current design) ?

    Other than running the latest games, I do not see my current laptop having difficulty doing anything else. I do not work in the graphics intensive fields. It would be nice to enjoy SSDs, USB 3.0 , Wifi ac , and the retina display but I am not sure if it is worth $1300 !

    The only thing that bothers me is that my macbook runs crazy hot playing games or ripping DVDs, something like 90C/194F , are the new macbooks this crazy hot too?
  2. sholzer macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2013
    If you think that your current use is fine with your current machine and you don't see that changing in the near future, I do not see a reason for you to upgrade outside of wanting to upgrade. 5 years is a long time and I would personally pick now as a good time to upgrade if I were in your situation (if economically feasible).
  3. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    I don't really get these kinds of posts.

    Nobody suggests you to upgrade. If your machine is currently still performing perfectly fine, then why would you upgrade?

    I bought a 13" 2.4GHz rMBP 3 days ago and initially thought to myself "this isn't very much faster nor better than my previous mid 2013 13" MBP". My previous computer was fitted with 8GB RAM and a 120GB SSD.

    So after using my brand new machine for 2 days and not touching the other one, I figured I would use my older machine again for a few hours. Let me tell you: the difference was night and day. The screen quality was far less and the system actually performed a bit more sluggish, aside for some of the UI animations. Compose is just a tad more fluid on the older than the new one and showing all windows of an application etc as well. But as I find I'm actually using my computer within programs and not looking at UI animations the entire time, I decided it's the performance in the applications that really matters.

    I am not a fan of recommending people to buy something and then return it but in your case it might be the best. But I can tell you: once you paid the price for a new rMBP, you will not want to go back anymore.

    Lots of experiencing and working with a new computer is very implicit and abstract, difficult to describe in words. I initially thought my old computer was far fast enough and the graphics and screen were perfect. But since moving to a rMBP I sold off the other one because the difference was night and day.

    Sometimes you don't know what you're missing until you experience the new thing.

    Ow, and don't play the waiting game. Sure there may be new designs coming but I can tell you right now, that even a 4 year old 13" MBP still looks very nice and design wise very stylish compared to most very recent non Apple computers.

    The tech these days is way fast enough to not hold back an average user.
  4. moldy lunchbox macrumors 6502a

    moldy lunchbox

    Sep 9, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    It sounds like the extra power wouldn't really benefit you that much, I would just upgrade to a faster SSD drive and/or the battery. Honestly, I could care less about a retina display on my laptop as long as it looks good. Unless you're planning to sell your previous Macbook, I'd say keep it around a bit longer.
  5. sholzer macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2013
    +1 to v564321

    After using the rMBP for a couple of hours and then going back to my 2010 to prepare it to be sold, the difference was night and day for sure. The 2010 had 8gb of ram and an sad, but everything on the new computer is just snappier, more fluid, etc. It's just a better overall experience. And that's not even saying anything about the display. After using the retina for a couple hours and then going back to the 2010 makes you really appreciate how beautiful the display is.
  6. covertash macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2012
    This is the most important part. There is a big difference from needing to upgrade, and wanting to upgrade: you definitely know if you *need* it. ;)

    Nowadays, computing processing power is in overabundance for the kind of usage that is typical of most people. It has come to the point where speed increases are not a major selling point anymore. Sure an SSD that runs at 700+MB/sec read/write is much faster than a 350MB read/write one, but how noticeable is the 1-2 second difference in loading an application? Sure a CPU can render videos a few seconds/minutes faster if you go up the CPU food chain, but what good does that do for you if you only browse the web and use Word?

    In reality, what have the general selling trends been for the past few years? Slimmer, cooler, quieter, and longer battery life.

    So basically, you would need to re-orient your perception of what an upgrade really means today. This is not to say you will not notice a substantial performance increase, coming from your 08 MBP, as I am sure it will be a night and day difference, but the fundamental improvements are more tangible, and less virtual.
  7. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    A 2008 Macbook is pretty old at this point and in my experience won't run any OS past Snow Leopard well at all.

    Upgrading to at least a Sandy Bridge model (2011) will give significant improvements in performance as well as a modernish I/O (Thunderbolt, etc) and substantially better screens in all but the MBA line (even if you don't get Retina). Add a hybrid drive or SSD and take it up to at least 6GB RAM and you'll be far enough along such that you'll be at the point of rapidly diminishing returns on any additional money spent.

    Going with an Ivy Bridge machine (2012 & early 2013) will get you USB3 and Retina if you want, but that's about it.

    The latest Haswell machines get you longer battery life, even faster SSDs, and faster wifi (if you upgrade your system to 802.11ac).

  8. Hackintosh Sr. macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2008

    -- FALSE. I had mountain lion on an early 2008 and it ran beautifully with 4 gb RAM.

    I would try and wait till mlpostfactor is updated for Mavericks and give that a try first.

    If you can wait, I would just wait till the next iteration of macbook next year if the 2008 suffices.
  9. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    I believe the '08 will run Mavericks, but I may be wrong. I think it depends on the model as I was looking at the '08 when I upgraded.

    I had an '06 2.0 CD MacBook until 2012. It fit my needs well and I had no issues with it. I knew I was missing out on some things but I was ok with that.

    The tipping point was iCloud and iPhone. Sprint finally got the iPhone and I was getting it on my next upgrade. When I did that I had a lot harder time keeping everything in sync the way I wanted it.

    I sold it on eBay for about $300 and bought an almost perfect '10 MBP (signature) for $600. So this may be something you can try doing. Don't get the latest and greatest but just something to freshen things up. If you're ok where you are I'd save up the cash and wait until something awesome comes out. I know for me, if I had the funds, I would not be 100% satisfied with the current offerings. Storage options are too small for my needs as this is my main PC and I don't want to have to deal with moving external HDDs around if I want to work on a project in the kitchen or on the couch.
  10. unitethenations macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I currently have a late 08 MBP (2.8 Ghz/8GB). I upgraded to Mavericks and it's better than Mountain Lion (was slow/sluggish for some time). I will say however that some applications have changed (ex. preview/PDF handling) so if you have software that you depend on look up its compatibility (roaringapps) to confirm that it's working as you would like in Mavericks.
  11. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    You can aways "wait it out" for the next big upgrade. If you're up for paying for a new computer, go for it and have some fun. It will be waaayyy faster then what you've got, you don't need a "revolutionary" update to get your money's worth.
  12. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    $1300? Do you want an rMBP with only a 128 GB HDD and 4 GB RAM? Probably not if you play games and use a lot of storage space (ripping DVDs). Think more $1500+ for a more worthwhile upgrade.

    Anyways, it sounds like your current one is fine for your uses. I'd put the money towards something else on your wish list!
  13. danam404 macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2013
    i upgraded from a 2009 mbp, and i could not bed happier.. such an amazing machine. Sold the old one for $550, well worth the $1200 above and beyond that.
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Same thing, but my 2009 had problems anyway. I'd be lucky to get $200 as is (darn SATA cable).

    If my 2009 were still running well I probably wouldn't have upgraded. With Mavericks being free, it would probably run fine with the 8GB RAM upgrade I installed before it died. There are times when I miss the built in SuperDrive. HDMI and USB ports on each side are nice though. I may still get my 2009 repaired for the SuperDrive and some PPC camera software that requires Rosetta.
  15. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008
    Thanks for everyone's input ...

    I can confirm that my late '08 macbook is running Mavericks , no issues except for the 1sec beachball which seems a problem with Mavericks on all systems and I am guessing it will be fixed in an update.

    Something I noticed after I upgraded to Mavericks is that my battery life has almost doubled in life. It used to die in something like 40min, now it survives probably an hour and a half. It might be because I calibrated the battery too (full draing -> full charge).

    My worst issue with my current macbook is heat . Can any one tell me if the new macbooks will run games in a "cool" condition or not? I remember I played World of Warcraft and the CPU temperature was something like a constant 85C/185F with fans going crazy . Converting a movie file using HandBrake will make my CPU go up to 90C/194F for a good 2 hours or so. Also the Macbook late '08 was very weak for gaming for its time. I think it had a hard time playing Left4Dead which was same year release , usually games released same year will play on 2 year old computers easy.

    One thing that surprises me, after installing Mavericks , I ran Parallels which launched my Win7 bootcamp partition , and from within there I launched a '98 game (Blood II The Chosen) , and the game plays falwless and the heat is a regular 75C/167F , which is usually the heat of the CPU while I browse the net. Not sure if it is Mavericks or what...

    Important: Any one knows when the macbooks will have a complete overall new design?
  16. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    There's your answer.
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    If you need playing the latest games, buy a PC-laptop, since it's more compatible and have faster, quad-core, higher clock processors (albeit not the most power-efficient ones); Cost: around $1000,

    If you need a laptop for programming, doing research/simulation/algorithmic work at the university without losing portability, get the latest, top-notch rMBP 15 with discrete GPU. Cost: around $2500,

    If you need fast browsing, Facebook, Twitter, editing and reading text with Preview and OpenOffice, programming corporate Java EE stuff, designing diagrams and most office stuff, keep your Macbook, install the maximum allowed RAM (if you have the alum 08' Macbook, it supports up to 8GB) and a SSD. It will cost around $350 and you'll be fine for the next two or three years. Cost: around $300-400
  18. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008

    macbooks late '08 support a max. of 6GB thats what I have been told. I will be very surprised that the research/simulation computer will cost 2.5x the price of the gaming machine, since gaming is about the most intensive tasks a computer can do outside of rendering video/graphics.
  19. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I went from an early 2008 MBP to a late 2011 MBP. If you're on a late 2008 then I guess that means you have the first system with graphical switching (integrated and discrete graphics chips)? I don't think the heat issue has changed much from your system.

    My MBP idles around the 40˚C range when using the integrated graphics, and in the 60-70˚C range when the discrete graphics chip (AMD HD 6750M) is active. The fans also seem to rev from 2000 RPM to 2500-3000 RPM when the discrete chip is going. Again, this is all when idle.

    When in actual usage with the discrete graphics chip, the temperatures fluctuate between the 70's and low 90's, probably averaging in the 80˚C range. The fans run at or near full blast. If you can force the system to use the integrated graphics chip and get away with that, then things are much better.

    If you're looking at the absolute newest systems, the Iris and Iris Pro integrated chips are quite good. Benchmarks put them at the performance of discrete chips that are a generation or two old - which is to say, they're better than what you're currently using for your discrete chip.

    The "retina" systems represent a redesign of the Macbook Pro line. The outer chassis was modified slightly, and the internal configuration was changed as well. Nobody can say for certain whether a totally new style change is coming, or when it would happen.

    The early 2008 systems could address a maximum of 6 GB, but the late 2008 systems can address 8 GB. Unless you're talking about the actual Macbook, and not the Macbook Pro, in which case the aluminum variant of the late 2008 Macbook could handle 8 GB, but the plastic variant could only handle 6 GB.
  20. Mab213 macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    I still have my Early '08 Penryn MBP and just purchased a 15" Haswell rMBP. The difference is absolutely noticeable and well worth the upgrade. Everything loads extremely fast and the screen is fantastic compared to the TN panels they used.

    It's really great when you spend the money on a premium laptop and are able to get 5+ years of use, and is still faster than many new sub $600 laptops that manufacturers are producing.
  21. DeLoMan macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2008
    I have a late '08 MBP and just recently upgraded to 8GB of RAM and put in a new 1TB HD, along with installing Mavericks. I am very pleased with the performance after all of these years and will wait at least another upgrade cycle before getting a new MBP.
  22. barnettgs macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Northern Ireland
    Does it run hotter after upgrading to Mavericks?

    Also if your MBP has not been cleaned out internally for years - e.g. cleaning & lubricate fans, clearing out the dust then now is probably good time to do it.
  23. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008

    I have the macbook not the Pro. I do not think I have the integrated chip , I got Nvidia GeForce 9400m. My macbook works like yours with the fans blasting and high tempratures , but that usually comes out when playing games or doing video encoding like hand-brake.

    This is my biggest issues with laptops , its just is too hot and its really upsetting when you buy a macbook that is unable to play games released in the same year at decent settings.


    what kind of panels are they using now?


    Not sure what to expect in the next upgrade cycle , I am guessing just a soft mhz boost? Is it worth the wait?


    Surprisingly , if anything , my macbook has been running a lot cooler since I installed Mavericks. Current heat is 69C/156F and I got no air conditioning going on. I usually have it between 72-75C/161-167F .

    It runs around similar heat when I play Blood 2 the chosen in parallels inside Win7 , I was very very surprised it would run that cool.
  24. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Since you posted in the Macbook Pro forum, not the Macbook forum, most of the replies here are assuming that your computer is a Macbook Pro. If some of the replies about your current hardware seem a bit off, it's probably because we're assuming that you're currently on a Macbook Pro.

    It sounds like you have the aluminum Macbook, which did not have graphics switching (only the discrete Nvidia graphics chip). To settle the RAM issue once and for all, your system can handle 8 GB.

    Regarding fans blasting and limited gaming performance, it's just a reality we have to live with. Laptops represent a compromise between size/weight, energy usage (battery performance), and computing power. More powerful components require more energy and produce more heat; larger cases allow for more and larger fans to run, which in turn means that those fans can spin at lower RPMs. Unfortunately, we can't have it all. It's amazing what we already have in modern laptops, though... gaming and encoding with desktop performance like we do now was unthinkable on laptops a decade ago.
  25. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2011
    If the computer is fast enough for you, then you should stick with it.
    And, as v654321 said, you don't know what you're missing until you have it.

    The $1500 one (NOT the base model) 13" rMBP is a marvellous machine, but if yours is alright I think you'd still be wasting money somehow.
    So, if you want some speed bump, you can grab a Samsung 840 EVO SSD. Inexpensive and boosts the computer.
    If not, keep your machine. I have a 5 yr-old machine myself (along with a 10 yr-old monitor) and I'm still quite happy with them.

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