Lifespan of MBP questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BacklitFirefly, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. BacklitFirefly macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina

    I have the mid 2009 unibody MBP 2.53 ghz, etc.. (it's in my sig)

    My question is, being that this Macbook Pro is approaching 3 years old, would it be wise to just invest in a faster hard drive with more capacity than the stock 250gb, or should I just wait for the new model and trade up?

    This one is in pristine condition and hasn't given me any trouble. I just wonder how much longer I could continue to get the most out of it before essential parts can be expected to start degrading. I don't want to put a new hard drive into it if soon the backlight will go out, or the logic board fail, etc...

    What would you do? Thanks.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I'm still using a 4 year old MBP that runs like the day I bought it. If your current Mac is meeting all your needs, there's no need to upgrade. An alternative to upgrading the internal hard drive is to use an external drive for extra storage. Many will recommend replacing your internal drive with a SSD, for performance reasons, but that depends on your priorities: performance vs storage capacity.
  3. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    If your MBP is still in perfect condition, you might invest in a bigger/faster HDD/SDD if you feel the space/speed is not meeting your needs anymore.

    If taken care off properly, these machines last a long time. If you want a speed increase, invest in a SATA 600 SDD which you can afterwards transfer to a new MBP should you buy a new one.

    It's simple: if your current one does everything that you expect it to do, then why spend money now. Spend money when the current one is either broken or doesn't fullfill your needs anymore. It's really very simple.
  4. cMacSW macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2006
    Agree with what others said, I'm using a 2008 MBP, still works fine for me, I will update soon, only because I want to not that I need to.
  5. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Or replace it when you develop a nervous twitch like myself and many others when a new version comes out :) My computer is key to my job so I replace pretty much yearly. @ work we replace them when Applecare expires (3 year cycle) and most are still going strong

    That said, while it's not my everyday computer I have a 2007 Non-unibody MBP sitting here, and barring the replaced logic board for the Nvidia issue that wasn't it's fault it's still a perfectly viable machine for most tasks.
  6. Panther Al macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    You'll be fine: I have the 3,1 (Mid 07)version, and it is still running fine for me. A touch hot under load, but then thats not too significant a thing since I don't really use it any more for the heavy duty stuff like CS or the like.
  7. BacklitFirefly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina
    Awesome. Thanks for the advice! I'm more than happy with my current laptop, just running out of space. I really just want more capacity, and if not an increase in speed, then at least no decrease, and solid state is not a priority. I am also thinking of getting a Time Capsule or something that we can all use on the home network to backup our Macs/devices.

    Any advice for a specific compatible hard drive? Or maybe a place I can plug in my model number and get a bunch of compatible results?
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any hard drive will work, as long as it has the right connections (USB, Firewire, etc.). You can format the drive to suit your needs.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  9. BacklitFirefly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina
    Excellent, thanks.

    Okay, I find this one at OWC:

    Looks pretty good and comes with software for getting my new one set up and using the old drive as an extra, which is nice.

    If I do this (it's not very expensive, surprisingly) then I also need to have some kind of network ready external storage device for everyone to back up to. Is Time Capsule the best thing, or are there others you prefer?
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This one is the same, and a bit less expensive. You only need to buy the screwdrivers, which are cheap.
    You don't need their software. Just use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your internal drive to the new external, then swap the drives, putting your old drive in the external enclosure. Now boot up from your new internal drive. If you ever have a drive failure, simply boot from your external drive.
    You can plug that drive into any Mac on your network and share it, so others on the network can access it. You don't need a Time Capsule for that.
  11. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    Exemplary advice that I strongly agree with.

    I still have the 15" Titanium PowerBook I bought new from the Apple store in Palo Alto CA in Nov of 2002.

    It's a 9.5 out of 10. Looks like new, is all original and runs like the day I unpacked it. With good care, any Mac is destined to provide excellent service & long life.

    The key is to remember one can have a component failure at any time, it's the nature of things. A failed hard drive, or other issue, none of which reflects on Apple. They buy their components from vendors just like the other manufacturers.

    My favorite primary machines currently under heavy use, are my 17" 2010 BTO MBP & 2010 BTO Mac Pro.

    With the excellent service provided by the 3yr AppleCare warranty (I always buy with a new Mac) insurance as needed, one is set for a very enjoyable computing experience.

    That's my take on it :)
  12. jimray macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2012
    I find with computers in general, if they last that long without issue, you are probably not going to have one. I got 5 years out of my last PC which still runs fine, i just wanted a change. Hoping to get 5 years out of my new MBP.

    If the power still suits your needs, for sure pop in a new hard drive. I was really apprehensive about putting in a SSD. But I'm so happy I did. Put it in myself, was a piece of cake, no problem flashing the firmware. Got the 256 Crucial M4 based on everyone's recommendation here. Even more than the speed, i like the extra durability of the SSD a lot. I decided to bite the bullet and just deal with the external drives for most media.

    Pop some RAM in there too if ya can, refresh that MBP with a second life.
  13. rb4havoc macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    Swap out for a bigger hard drive and add more RAM. Honestly, if you're not running into any sort of hardware failures, and the technology in your laptop is able to keep up with your current demands, then there's no reason to get a brand new laptop.

    I have a mid-2010 17" i7 MBP that I've taken with me on two separate deployments now with the thing running almost all the time while in theater (this deployment it's basically been running as a server since I've been here), and the computer still runs like a champ with no problems, even with this country being as dust-ridden as it is. The only reason I'm going to buy a new MBP when they refresh the line is because of my job that I do in the military and the gaming I do in my off time always demands more performance. I'm not really getting rid of it either. I'm just simply going to give it to my wife and she'll keep using it :)
  14. BacklitFirefly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina
    I've already done the upgrade to 8gb of RAM, so after the new hdd and battery replacement, this is going to be one wicked little laptop. It's good to hear experiences from others who have kept theirs a long time.
  15. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    Your biggest performance gain will be had by adding a Solid State drive...this is from experience owning five Macs with Solid-state drives -- the speed increase is astronomical. Applications will load 5x faster or more, Photoshop loads in less than two seconds, machine boots in less than 10 seconds (would take over a minute on an HD). It really makes all the difference in the world. I would recommend the ~ 240GB size if you are looking for a good size with ample space. Hard Drives will give you larger storage options at a much cheaper price, but the access times of an HD are crippling compared to the processing capabilities of modern computers such as the MacBook Pro. The bottleneck is the storage access time when loading data and applications, etc.

    A few good solid-state drives to recommend would be the OWC Mercury Pro Extreme, the OCZ Vertex 4, the Intel 330 series, and the Samsung 830 series.

    I own two OWC drives (, and they have been wonderful and really helped my Mac Pro and iMac perform at lightning speed.

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