Penryn vs. new MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by glhiii, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    I wanted a matte screen, so I bought a used 15" penryn 2.5, 500 mb graphics, 4gb RAM for $1200 and put a 500gb drive in it. Unlike the present unibody 15" machines, it has an expresscard slot and a firewire 400 (along with 800) port. As I see it, my machine is in many respects as good as or better than a new MBP. I don't like the hd antiglare display (which, of course, costs extra), I find the older keyboard better, and I like the fact that I can replace the battery whenever I need to even though it may not last as long as the newer Macs. As for speed, that is largely restricted by the 2.5" hard drive, so in real life I doubt there's much difference between my MBP and the newest i7's. Another problem with the new MBP's: it costs a small fortune to upgrade the RAM from 4gb (of course, that is true with my Penryn also). The only significant advantage I see to the new machines is that their unibody construction seems more solid. But in other respects, I like the machine I have better. (One other thing: my Penryn does not have a minidisplay port, which could be important if you use the Apple ACD). Getting a used machine does sometimes have issues -- after 4 months, I discovered its mike wasn't working. I paid $30 or so (Powerbookmedic), got a new speaker assembly, installed it in an hour and it all works perfectly. The point of this: Macs can last a long long time if you take care of them. Over the past 2 years, the improvements to the MBP have been incremental and, I think, sometimes negative. You can save money and get as good (or better) MBP by getting one used. But you do have to know how to take them apart and fix them -- which isn't really very hard.
  2. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    It's great that you like your MBP and it apparently is serving you well.

    However in your analysis you fail to mention the significant upgrades in processor and graphics performance of the latest unibody Macbook Pros. This is not an incremental speed boost but a substantial increase in performance for many programs including the Adobe CS suite and many other processor/graphics intensive programs.

    Having just come form a 15" (version 3.1 MBP), I can tell you my new MBP is an improvement is every way. The display is more vivid, I love the extra resolution, the slim unibody case is very light. battery life is much better, the big multi-gesture track pad is truly a thing of beauty, I much prefer the new chicklet keys, and my baby runs cooler than my previous MBP. Since I have the 17" model I have the express 34 slot. To your point, I don't know why Apple removed the express 34 slot on the 15" as that imho is a downgrade.

    Don't get me wrong, my 3.1 MBP was a very nice capable machine and still is and Snow leopard ran well on it. I guess that is why even them older MBP hold there value pretty well. However, with that said, I much prefer the new MBP I now have. Faster sleeker better. It's not even close.
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    I have the same machine that you have (OP) early 08' 4,1, and i really enjoy it. I bought it from the clearance section of Apples' website in mid October, 2008 for $1600 or $1700, don't remember. I have another year and a half of AC on it.

    As for the new ones, I wouldn't mind a new one, but I am not going to sell mine and upgrade. I will wait at least another year and possibly upgrade. I do not like the looks of the new ones. I wish they would have kept the keys the same color as the case. The track pad i don't really worry about, as my MM is with me all the time.

    I do wish i could upgrade to 8GB or RAM...I do like my Matte screen though!
  4. 1BadMac macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2010
    My work-issued machine is very similar to the (OP) machine. It was a huge upgrade from my HP laptop and the performance is nice. It is AG and I do like the keyboard color, although I prefer the keyboard on my '10. The performance is much better on my '10, but my work issued machine does everything I need (Xcode, CS4, Office, etc.) with no hesitation.

    Don't get caught up in benchmark results. If your machine does what you need it to - then you have a good machine! :D

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