mid 2010 MBP - upgrade or replace?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iMedic, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. iMedic macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2017
    I have a mid 2010 13" MBP that is in needs to be upgraded. The main issues are that the battery is dead, and the computer is quite sluggish.

    When purchased, it was the basic model, 4 gigs ram, 2.66 Core 2 processor - honestly not that special of a machine.
    So here's my conundrum, do I upgrade? Swap out the battery, up the ram to 8 gigs and put in a SSD, or do I buy a new MBP (probably a refurb'ed).
    What it boils down to is, I wonder if it is even worth it to upgrade my current MBP? Would I see an significant improvement in performance for my current MBP if I do upgrade it? Would this improvement last? Realistically speaking, how much additional time would upgrading buy me for my MBP?
  2. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The machine is 7 years old this year, it's time to let go (IMHO).

    Spending money to ugprade a 7 year old machine only to have something on the motherboard die would suck.

    That said, the only upgrade I'd consider would be a 256 GB SSD.

    Why? Because 256 gig drives are obtainable cheap (like, well under a hundred bucks), and any recent 256 GB SSD will give you a massive performance improvement.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Woah, woah, woah. There's still plenty meat on that bone. Now you take that home, add some extra RAM, an SSD, a new battery... baby, you got a stew going.

    Even a replacement battery will make a positive impact. Macs throttle the CPU heavily when the battery is dead. An SSD will mean it'll run very quickly and the extra RAM is dirt cheap, so you might as well do that too. It wouldn't cost you anywhere near the price of a refurb system and it might even run quicker than a refurb (assuming the refurb doesn't have an SSD from stock).

    It is still a very capable machine as it can still run the latest iteration of Mac OS. It would be a shame to bin it. Of course if it transpires that the cost would approach that of a refurb, there's little point in upgrading it and you might as well get a new one. Otherwise, upgrade it! :)
  4. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    New battery, new RAM and an SSD and you're halfway to the cost of a few year old Macbook Air (or maybe 13" retina) which will be faster and supported longer... and outperform it in all respects. Especially CPU/GPU, battery life, SSD speed, etc.
  5. iMedic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2017
    I've been pricing things out. To replace the battery (which is definite need as I think it may be warped - the trackpad doesn't click anymore) and upgrade to 8 gigs ram would cost about $150. Pretty cheap.
  6. Mefisto, Jan 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017

    Mefisto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2015
    The North
    I was exactly in the same position as you a few weeks ago. MBP 2010, battery dying, the works.

    I chose to buy a new computer. I needed a working one immediately, so that was the way to go for me. Still have the old one, and on Monday I'm selling it to someone who for some reason is willing to pay handsomely for it.

    But if your machine is in otherwise working order (and does everything you need it to do), I'd juice it up. Battery, SSD and RAM upgrade do wonders even for an older laptop, so that will extend the computer's life expectancy by quite a bit.
  7. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    what are you doing with your machine? Just basic internet, word processing?
  8. iMedic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2017
    Nothing too extreme. Probably the most intense activity is photo editing, and that's pretty limited. I didn't migrate to PS after aperture was discontinued, though I probably will at some point in the future.
  9. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    An SSD would help performance a lot, and a RAM upgrade would help noticeably too.

    It's a tricky situation. I think Core 2 Duo is a bit old at this point, but it really depends entirely on what tasks and software you use.

    I have a 2010 17" with the i5 (first-gen), SSD, and 8 GB RAM. It runs well still for what I do, though OSX doesn't run that great on it (especially Safari). But when I boot Windows or Linux, it runs very, very well. When a computer starts to get old, the software starts to really matter.

    If you can get an SSD for low cost, I'd consider doing that. That gives the biggest performance jump of all the upgrades, IMO. It's easy to do and you can get a decent one for under $100.

    I just did a Core 2 2010 MBP upgrade for a family member last year and they've been happy with it since.
  10. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    I just upgraded from that machine, although I had an SSD in it. The SSD will make it feel "modern," but holy hell did I love upgrading because retina screens are oh so nice.

    The thing is, even if an upgraded machine fits your needs, there's a very real chance it won't be able to run 10.13 or 10.14. Apple is already making machines of that year obsolete. So for that reason alone I'd be hesitant to sink more money into it.
  11. iMedic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2017
    That's one of the things I'm afraid of.

    Anyway, after some careful thought today, I decided to just swap the battery. The $65 cost for a replacement is pretty insignificant, and it's something I can tolerate losing if I only get a few more months out of this mbp.

    I am, however, looking forward to the day when it finally craps out and I have to replace it :p
  12. iMedic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2017
    Quick update -
    I replaced the battery this just now (gotta love Amazon prime!), and while the computer is stillstill slow, I have noticed a slight improvement overall. Plus it's nice being able to use the laptop without being tethered to the wall, not to mention how lovely it is to be able to click my trackpad now that the deformed battery has been removed.

    Even if I only get a few more months out of this MBP, the $65 I spent was well worth it.

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