Is My 13" Mid 2009 Macbook Pro Immortal?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tertius Esterhuysen, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Tertius Esterhuysen, Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017

    Tertius Esterhuysen macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2017
    I have been through 5 Windows laptops from the period 2008 - 2014 and they all ended in tragedy. They all became slow and full of viruses even with anti virus I still found it to be slow and unusable and just plain crappy!!!

    September of 2014 I walked into a computer shop called Winbrite to have a look and it turned out that they only sold Apple computers. I saw the prices and I was like heck no! theirs no way but I decided to give it a shot and walked out that day with a Mid 2009 13" Macbook Pro display model not knowing what to expect but ill tell you it was the BEST investment I have ever made.

    It still works 110% to this day with no lags no bugs, I update it to the latest OS every time their is a release and I just find it faster every time! It runs El Captain like a dream! I still use it as my primary computer I do all my projects, emails, video editing etc... and don't run into any problems with it and it still looks new and still fits in very well with modern day computers from the looks of it.

    So what is it actually? Are these machines just really strong or what?
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Well, technically it is immortal as it wasn't mortal in the first instance. :p

    Wouldn't say you're lucky or unlucky. The machines are built very well so it's not unusual to see them last a long time. Just glad to hear you're getting good use out of it.
  3. QueenTyrone macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2016
    My 08 dell 17" still works great, actually better than my 09 MBP, I upgraded ram and put a SSD in each. Both get too hot for my liking and thus I upgraded but if I could make my 17" smaller I would say my Dell was/is the better laptop. If you take good care of your laptop it'll be good to you. Nothing more, nothing less
  4. DanielDD macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2013
    These machines are really durable. But don't be fooled. It might run ok, but once you try more modern devices (Apple) you will definitely feel the difference in performance and snappiness of the system.

    That would be amortal, not imortal.
  5. htc fan macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2011
    Also depends on what windows laptop op bought sounds like cheap ones with how they broke down/ slow down. Also what made you go with a 2009 model in 2014? I personally wouldn't bought such an old Mac
  6. Tertius Esterhuysen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2017
    The reason that I went with an 09 model in 2014 was because the price was reasonable and it was in great shape I got to play around with it at the shop a bit and decided to take it. I will continue to use it until the day it wont turn on (if that day ever comes... lol), that day I wont try and fix it I will come to terms the idea and replace it... with another mac obviously:)
  7. Frankfurt macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2016
    I have a late 2008 MacBook that is currently running El Capitan (cannot run Sierra) and it is working flawlessly. I did upgrade RAM from 2 to 8 GB and replaced the original hard drive with SSD a few years back. I also had to replace the battery once. But it is quite amazing how robust this laptop truly is.

    I just bought a 2017 MBP 15/3.1/1T to replace it but only because the new displays are so much better than the one in the 2008. I always buy top of the line and then keep for many years as my usage is not putting much stress on CPU or RAM.

    I can only hope the 2017 MBP is holding up as well.

    I keep the 2008 in the closet --- just in case.
  8. iMacC2D, Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  9. Apples555, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017

    Apples555 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2012
    The 13" unibody 2009-2012 MBPs have a design defect that causes the hard drive cable to fail. It is not known why this occurs.

    Apart from that, they are excellent machines. At the time, PC laptops couldn't compare to the software, MagSafe, form factor, etc. However, from a purely reliability standpoint they were still outclassed by business PC notebooks like the Thinkpad and Latitude.

    The trackpad click also gets loose on these machines but this can be adjusted with a screw under the trackpad.
  10. Tertius Esterhuysen, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017

    Tertius Esterhuysen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2017
    An issue that I have with Appe that I would like to point out is:

    The fact that they are forcing people to buy new macs and this is how they force us;
    when people still having perfectly functional older MacBooks or iMacs they then try and make them obsolete by stopping us from upgrading them like software, apps, bug fixes etc...

    They know that these older machines still work and function perfectly fine and their is absolutely no reason for them to not allow Sierra on Macs from 2008 to 2009.

  11. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    These laptops came with 10.6, and were supported through 10.11.x (Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Yosemite, El Capitan). These laptops cannot take advantage of AirDrop, AirPlay, Handoff or Continuity. The CPUs do not have encryption commands in silicon, so Filevault is much slower on these computers. They certainly won't handle HEVC with any kind of efficiency.
  12. Apples555 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2012
    You can always use Windows on your computer, so you lose nothing.

    What is admittedly nonsensical is the manner in which Apple drops compatibility. If they don't feel like supporting a certain architecture, that's their prerogative. But why is the 2009 13" MacBook Pro not compatible, but the 2009 13" MacBook is? They share the same processor, logic board, RAM, and GPU. As far as I can tell, they are identical computers.
  13. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Just sold my 2010 that was still chuggin' along just fine
  14. abaloney macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2017
    Why did you end up selling it? Just curious
  15. Tertius Esterhuysen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2017
    But why is the 2009 13" MacBook Pro not compatible, but the 2009 13" MacBook is?

    Exactly my point!
  16. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    If I were to guess, it probably has something to do with the timing of hardware development. The 13-inch, 2009 Macbook Pro (the first 13-inch with the Pro name) was released in June 2009, and the MacBook (Late 2009) was released in October 2009. Something about the chipset was not in the earlier release, maybe that update was just not ready in early summer. (There were 3 different MacBook releases in 2009, and only the Late 2009 can go to Sierra)
  17. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The core2 era machines were particularly durable, particularly in 13" form, as they didn't run into the GPU problems that typically plague the 15" models.

    So whilst it will not be immortal.... it is particularly durable hardware and also has the benefit of replaceable RAM and storage.

    What will maybe be it's eventual downfall will be if any of the DDR2 RAM in it fails (hasn't been in production for a while and stock will start getting thin on the ground), when RAM requirements get too much, and eventually when SATA is phased out.

    my 2007 mac mini still works. slowly....
  18. kang macrumors newbie


    Jul 25, 2017
    I have a 13" 2011 core i5 which is still going very strong. Two faults during it's lifetime being a broken fan, and also broken SATA cable (both replaced). This thing had spent half it's life in a dusty industrial warehouse, and the other half of it’s life in an office.

    Now it resides in an art studio. Despite owning a newer MacBook pro, I will never get rid of this old beast!
  19. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
    Yes they are very durable. My 2009 MBP is still going strong and I use it every single day.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2017 ---
    Additionally Apple is forcing customers to pay higher prices by not building machines that can be user upgraded such as memory and hard drive. Most of the new units have components that are permanently attached to the circuit board. This creates a paradox for business customers who wish to upgrade their machines but retain ownership of the hard drives - drives that contain highly confidential and protected information such as healthcare informatics data.
  20. k6578 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2012
    I have a 13" mid-2010 MacBook Pro that I got in September 2010. Almost seven years and still a beautiful machine. Once in a while I'll use compressed air to clean the fans, no other maintenance required.
  21. iMacC2D, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  22. Apples555 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2012
    I can confirm that the common theory, that the cable wears through the insulation and grounds to the body, is partially or not the cause of failure. I've had 2 cables on my 2010 fail that had every square millimeter wrapped in electrical tape.

    I don't think I've ever had RAM fail. I still have an old IBM PS/2 with four sticks totaling 16MB that still works. So does the hard drive (170MB). RAM slots on the other hand...

    This is supported by the fact that forcing Sierra to install on the late 2009 13" MBP produces no problems.
  23. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I have had RAM fail. Twice in my MBP 2011, a couple of times in PCs. It's rare, sure. but i'd suggest it is the next most likely thing to fail after hard drives or SSDs.
  24. iMacC2D, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  25. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Ahh, possibly. Would have been the first models with DDR3.

    I just know i bought my mini in 2009 just before the model refresh and it is DDR2.

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