Keep MacBook Pro 17" Early 2009 or sell and get new MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by 212rikanmofo, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. 212rikanmofo macrumors 68000

    Jan 31, 2003
    Okay I have a CTO (Maxed out) Early 2009 17" MBP unibody that I got for around $3299 I believe at the time, here are the specs:

    Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz 17-Inch (Unibody - Early 2009)
    1920x1200 Resolution
    320 GB 5400 RPM HDD
    4GB RAM
    AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n)
    Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
    Gigabit Ethernet
    three USB 2.0 ports
    one Firewire "800" port
    optical digital/analog audio in/out
    Mini DisplayPort

    I was deciding on giving it to my friend whose currently in college, or selling the 17" MBP, use that money to buy a new 13" MBA baseline model ($999) and give him that instead. But not sure which one would be faster overall and better?

    He will be using it for graphic design work, adobe cc like photoshop, indesign, illustrator, some web work, writing reports, surf web, email, chat, etc. Question is will the 128GB SSD on the new MBA be enough space for Adobe CC, MS Office, and storing his iTunes library with enough left over for the system to breath? I'm assuming he will have around 50-70GB free after everything is installed.

    Need some advice on what to do? Give him the 17" MBP or sell it, get a new MBA and give that to him instead? Not even sure how much I can sell my 17" MBP for.
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have a 2008 15" MBP Core2Duo 2.4ghz. I replaced it with a 2011 i5 MBA and the CPU was about twice as fast. I now have a 2013 i7 MBA and it is even faster. So I would expect the current generation of MBA to be 2 to 3 times faster than your old MBP. But because of the SSD, it feels much, much faster than that. The SSD is going to be about 10x faster than the 5400rpm disk in your MBP.

    Of course you will be giving up the DVD drive, ethernet, audio input and firewire ports. But the USB 3.0 ports on the MBA are much, much faster than the USB 2.0 ports on the MBP.

    The 802.11ac wifi is also very fast - I clocked mine at about 60MB/s, which is probably faster than the hard drive on your old MBP (but you need a router that supports it of course).

    As far as SSD size - buy the biggest you can afford. I don't see how any of us would know how big you (or your friend) needs. It's a personal decision, and shouldn't be too hard to figure out. IIRC, only about 20GB of the SSD is used "out of the box".
  3. ckeck, Aug 17, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014

    ckeck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    Slightly lower res and lower physical screen size, but the MBA will be significantly faster with the current CPU gen and specifically the PCIe flash.

    Plenty of people use MBAs for audio/visual editing work. If ethernet is an issue, you can get a dongle, but if he is a student, especially moving about campus, the Air will make a major difference there as well. Can hook up to an external monitor for editing as well if needed.


    While 128GB is tight, he can get away with it if selective enough (depending on the size of that iTunes library). If needed, he could do iTunes match and keep most of the music in iTunes/iCloud as well and move infrequently accessed docs to Dropbox (not caching a local copy).

    Or maybe he can pony up the difference to upgrade to 256GB considering you seem to be gifting him this. Very nice of you BTW! Go with the Air. New warranty will also be nice to have.
  4. 212rikanmofo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 31, 2003
    Great advice guys. So I'm leaning towards selling my current 17" MBP then get a new 13" MBA for my friend.

    Do you think $900 sounds reasonable for my MBP?
  5. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    I think that sounds a bit high, but the market will dictate, if someone is willing to pay that, then you are in luck. I would think $600 is more reasonable for a 2009 MBP, but that's me. Check eBay, its a better indicator.

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