MacBook (2008 Unibody) to MacBook Pro Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sawtooth811, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Sawtooth811 macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Alsip, IL
    Hello all, once again. :)

    This may sound ridiculous, but after having my beloved Unibody MacBook (Late 2008) since last August, I still need to upgrade due to the following reasons:

    1. It plays and edits full HD videos nicely in iMovie '11; However, video capturing--even old 3D games in HD or standard definition in low resolutions--is a struggle for this MacBook, even after spending days on trying various video capturing software and formats.

    2. Anything relating to the Unreal 3 Engine with below mid-range graphics settings on this thing is a death warrant.


    4. Resolution is just barely too small for GarageBand '11 and Logic Pro (was considering an external HD display, but maybe not).

    5. Need something a little faster with productivity.

    Is a MacBook Pro (Unibody) the way to go? I need something with a significantly better graphics chipset, but I'm not taking this 9400M for granted because I've experienced a terrible X3100 AND a far more painful GMA 950 before. My buying range will probably be around $1200. Maybe a 15" MacBook Pro i5/i7? Thanks!
  2. jimthing, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

    jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    $1200, are you serious? Even secondhand you're unlikely to get something better than you have already (though bumping up to 8Gb RAM for $50 [NOT from Apple] would help):
    MacBook Unibody Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 4GB 500GB 9400M Snow Leopard & SheepShaver

    Anything in that range will only last you a short time before needing to be upgraded in a 2-4 months when Lion arrives.

    I don't fully know your exact needs, though they sound in the upper-echelons of portable processing power to me.

    Hence I'd suggest preferably waiting until the next MBP revision and getting the best 17" processor they are offering then (or 15" if more portability needed, but not the 13" cause their spec detail is never as good as the larger two).
    If you really can't wait until then, then get the 17"/15" they are offering now (2.2/2.3GHz Quad i7), as that'll surely last you at least 3 years without many issues.
    See here:
    (also, try either Apple's refurbs and/or Ebay to save some money.)

    An extra monitor is always nice. If splashing the cash (and don't mind the glossy screen issue some users do) get Apple's great 27"; if cutting back get a Dell or another 3rd party for less.

    If you don't need to move the machine, then the iMacs save you some more money, at the loss of convenience.

    Of course all my suggestions blows the budget, but low-cost credit is useful sometimes, if you can afford the extra payment each month ;-)
    Again cost is always a concern, but investing in quality, especially at the higher ends of user, normally gets you something you are really happy with for a period of time without the re-hassle of early upgrades.

    Even the Apple refurbs are likely to be costing you $1700+ for something to last maybe 12 months before possible re-upgrading!
    Remember to actually SELL your current machine (once moved your data onto new one, wiped it, and reloaded the OS fresh back on it, of course), as this significantly helps to cut your new purchase costs thanks to a pretty good resale market.
  3. Sawtooth811, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

    Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Alsip, IL
    I didn't realize how much superior i5/i7 MBPs cost from Apple, but after looking at some Core i7s on eBay, $1200 is good enough to get something quite better on eBay if I sell this MacBook to add onto the $1200. I found some good ones (Buy-it-Now) for under $1700 with FREE or reasonable shipping, but I'll take what you say and wait. I'll wait also because I'm not in DIRE need to get a replacement just yet, but I'm willing.

    Definitely NOT getting a 17" because I have a phobia of BIG notebooks, and I might as well get an iMac if I do that. I will consider a 15" since it has better resolution than anything smaller, yet it is not too large to carry around frequently (I'm REALLY used to the ergonomics of the PowerBook G4 12.1" and 13.1" MacBooks).

    And you're definitely right about getting an external display because I just remembered that my cousin bought a HANNS-G 22" HD LCD for about $160 almost two years ago.

    Also, I want to add that I'm used to flipping notebooks; I've been doing so for two years, now. So in a way, I don't really have to wait, but I won't take any risks since this is some high-end stuff we're talking here. :D

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