New MBP or upgrade old one

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bchaplin, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. bchaplin macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2006
    I'm still trying to puzzle out what to do with my MacBook Pro. It is the early 2008 "Penryn" with a 2.4GHz processor. It needs a new battery, some extra RAM, and a larger hard drive, to be really useful to me in the next year or so. Those will cost about $300-$400.

    Or I could sell it and buy a new one. The price to upgrade after selling my current laptop would be about $1200-$1400, depending on the configuration. I'd upgrade to the same 15inch screen I'm using now, so it would be a 2.6 or 2.8GHz processor.

    Based on the initial numbers, it seems obvious that I'd be better off upgrading, but I am not completely sure. First, if I wait a year or so, the resale value of my MBP, currently estimated at $950, plummets. Second, I don't really know the lifespan of my laptop -- I've been pretty rough on it and dragged it around the world more than a few times. So if I can get a good value for it I might want to trade up before it becomes obsolete and/or craps out on me. The alternative philosophy is to just invest some money on upgrades and hope that it lasts me another 2 years. My luck with laptops after the 2 year mark has so far not been great, hence my worry.

    The most processor-intensive thing I use it for is loading raw photos which I process in Lightroom. I also will be using it to run Parallels & Windows 7, but not doing anything very power-hungry on the Windows side.

    And yes, yes, I know ... wait for February to upgrade.
  2. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    LOL, then ask again in February?

    Until the new MBPs come out and we find out how much they cost and what chips they get, its kind of a guessing game...
  3. bchaplin thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2006

    Because I might want to sell my current laptop in the next few weeks. I have a quote that is only good through mid-January.
  4. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    So really, why not just do that? If you're not doing anything terribly processor intensive, you may be totally fine with maxing your RAM and putting in a faster/bigger HD. And if you put in an SSD, you could even make yourself believe that you do have a new MBP. :)

    But, from the return on investment perspective, it may probably at this stage be better to just get a nice 7200 RPM HD. So you're looking at a $400 expenditure (including RAM and battery). The new laptop you're probably thinking of getting is going to depreciate that much with the 6-8 months after you bought it. I would upgrade your current machine, stash the money into the piggy bank, and keep saving.... A year later you may be ok to go ahead with an SSD upgrade and further extend the lifespan of your MBP, or maybe at that stage buy a new MBP with SSD in it.

    So, what do you think? :)

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