Looking to upgrade my little warrior, will the MBr do?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by hagr182, May 5, 2015.

  1. hagr182 macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2010
    Well hello there,

    Currently I own a 13 inch mbp from mid 2009, the little warrior´s specs are as follows:

    • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @2.53Mhz
    • HDD: 500 GB Hybrid drive @5400 RPM (500 GB plus 4GB SSD)
    • RAM: 4 GB DDR3
    • VRAM: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M @256MB

    The little warrior has seen me through law school, some engineering years, my work as both a lawyer and a photographer and even helped me write a few basic apps and play windows games.

    The problem is that after almost 7 years the little warrior is showing up his age, his battery is now broken (seriously, the charge lasts 1.5 hours if im lucky) and it sometimes hangs on me like crazy, specially when watching videos or editing photos.

    The cost for replacing the battery, getting a fast SSD and maxing the ram is of 550 USD plus tax, if I do the replacement myself. My question is, would it be better to just buy the new MB with the 1.2 GHZ option or would I be served better by just upgrading the little warrior and keep him chugging along for an extra year or two?

    Will the new MB be useful for what I do? (basic programming, legal drafting, photo editing (Mainly lightroom and Aperture) and some light gaming)

    Will it be miles faster to what I currently own?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013

    It'll be miles faster in everyday use, it'll be much better for the photo editing (better CPU) and gaming (much better GPU).

    I think you may want to take a look at the rMBP as well though as it is still light and slim and will blow your old one away.
  3. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Agree - a midrange 13 from late 2013 or better will give you performance.
    The new Book is all about form, as in small/light, but no one can judge the fit for another. You have to test one and find out. Hard to do without buying right now.
  4. kingofwale macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    I would recommend a MBA instead, or MBP if you have the money for it.
  5. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2013
    Seems like you do a bit more than just browse and you keep them a while too.

    I'd recommend a Pro. Who knows how sluggish the rMB will be in years to come. If you USE it you may be disappointed.
  6. Alekto macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2012
  7. ratigator macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2012
    Michigan, USA
    Have not used it personally, but I would say you should stay away from the rMB if you want your games and photo editing to happen smoothly. I'd be looking at refurbished 13" rMBP if I were you, if you're on a tighter budget.
  8. junkw, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015

    junkw macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
    probably every time it touches the 5400rpm hdd. Replacing by a SSD would cure this.

    I have somewhat the same machine as you (the 2.26 2009) but upgraded ram to 8 GB and 128 SSD. The rMB is about twice as powerful as my machine.

    you can see comparison here: http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks
  9. davys, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015

    davys macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2010
    Thanks to the OP for posting about his little warrior and to Junkw for providing the link to the benchmarks for all the laptop models.

    I have the same 2009 MBP as the OP but I upgraded to 256 SSD and 8gb last year and truth be told it does me just nicely. I don't use it daily but do use it for photographs when on the road...backing up to a portable hard drive and for very light editing in Photoshop and Capture One, with Nik software as well. However the main editing gets done when I get home on the large iMac.

    I was thinking about replacing this with the new MB retina, but was worried that it may not have the power of my 2009 machine, but thanks to the comments above I can see that it should handle quite easily what I use it for as it should be double the speed of what I currently use.

    I did think about retina MBP 13" but having seen the new MB in store, I'm blown away with the size and weight of the thing, even in comparison to the 13" MBP. I'm beginning to think this is the way I should go ...it will even replace my aging iPad as well, me thinks.
  10. ldpm14 macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2014
    Southlake, Texas
    I would recommend that you either get a new Retina Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air as the new 2015 Macbook isn't about power/specs at all. Period. I honestly think of it as a regular consumer laptop for someone that just wants to look at Youtube and occasionally write a few papers. Just my 2 cents. :)
  11. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Get the MBAir. Much more powerful processor, great battery life, small footprint and it HAS PORTS and a SD car reader built right in!:eek:
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If you've managed since 2009 with a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo, you should be able to get by with a MacBook. I wouldn't expect to get 6 years out of it, though, since it's at the lower end of the performance spectrum (still easily twice as fast as your Core 2 Duo even before considering the SSD) and programs will start requiring faster processors by then. The 1.3GHz model is about as fast as the base MacBook Air. Be aware that photo editing will be the most taxing on the processor, since the fanless design won't let the CPU stay at the top Turbo Boost speed for very long.
  13. hagr182 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2010
    Thank you all for your replies,from what I gather, yes the new MB would be faster at everything I currently do!, however it would seem it would not last relevant as long as my little warrior due to it being rather on the lower spec end of the apple performance spectrum.

    TBH I can wait until I can afford a rMBP, which would be on the holiday period. Having the mac freeze every so often is driving me nuts, but I can cope. The other idea I had was to buy the rMB and getting an imac a year or two down the line to serve as a "home base" of sorts. (My main setup right now consists of my little warrior and an external monitor).

    Once again thank you for all your replies, it seems the rMB would serve only as a temporal solution since i´d have to buy another one sooner rather than later.
  14. Dayv macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    I would not consider the Air at all. With the new retina Macbook out, the Air is only $100 cheaper once you spec the MBA similarly to the rMB. On top of that, the Air's display is laughably bad compared to either retina model.

    I moved from a very similar machine (mid-2009 13" MBP with 8G RAM and 7200 rpm hybrid drive) to the retina Macbook, and I love it.

    But if you really want to do heavier gaming or very intensive photo editing (e.g. large batch jobs), you might want the 13" MBP.

    Either the retina MB or the retina MBP is a great computer. The choice comes down to CPU power and diverse ports versus smallness and lightness.

    (I just tried playing Portal on the MB today. It runs fine at maximum resolution, around 55-60fps. The bottom does get rather warm after a while. Obviously not the newest game to try with, but I'm not hardcore by any means.)
  15. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I can't see more than $400 to make your 09' MBP roughly matched in specs with a 15' rMB. It's about a third the price of a rMB.
    1. 250GB SSD: ~$110,00
    2. 8GB DDR3 1066 RAM: ~$70,00
    3. Battery: ~$100,00

    Total: $380,00.

    The performance improvement is not like what the others are saying, and you'll lose some valuable ports. Geekbench will say the rMB has no more than 2,5x the performance of your 2009 MBP.

    It's not an easy decision as it appears to be:
    2009 MBP:
    +upgrading cost
    +use the SSD as external storage in the future
    +screen size
    -processing power
    -battery life (7h)

    2015 rMB:
    +battery life (10h)
    +processing power
    +screen quality
    -purchasing cost
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I think it should be fine for 3-4 years before it starts feeling sluggish. You are getting a much faster GPU, more powerful CPU, and a fairly snappy SSD. Factor in the price of some adapters, but Amazon and eBay are starting to fill up with reasonably-priced alternatives to Apple's adapters. I picked up a 4-way USB hub for about $30.

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