Retiring my 2008 macbook, what should I get next?

roxics

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
247
67
I have a late 2008 aluminum unibody macbook I've had for five years now. I got it from my girlfriend who had it for a year before me. She bought it refurbished. It's a 2.5GHz core 2 duo with 8GB RAM and a 320GB HDD.

I use it every day as my web browing, photoshop, whatever machine. At home I have a 2012 i7 mac mini with 16GB of ram I use for video work and everyday stuff. But my macbook comes to the office with me every day.

I don't need anything too fancy and will probably buy used. This machine works well, generally speaking, but its biggest issue is that it chokes heavily on internet video. Especially HD video. It probably doesn't help that on average I keep about 20 Safari tabs open at all times.

So I need something that will playback HD video well and would prefer something with USB3 jacks on it. I would rather not spend over $800. Just because I don't have a ton of money to spend on computers. But it also needs more storage than I currently have (320GB) because I keep my entire music library on it (about 80GB) and it's what I sync my iPhone to since I always have this machine with me. I'd also like to stick with a 13" screen.

What do you recommend?
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
I have a late 2008 aluminum unibody macbook I've had for five years now. I got it from my girlfriend who had it for a year before me. She bought it refurbished. It's a 2.5GHz core 2 duo with 8GB RAM and a 320GB HDD.

I use it every day as my web browing, photoshop, whatever machine. At home I have a 2012 i7 mac mini with 16GB of ram I use for video work and everyday stuff. But my macbook comes to the office with me every day.

I don't need anything too fancy and will probably buy used. This machine works well, generally speaking, but its biggest issue is that it chokes heavily on internet video. Especially HD video. It probably doesn't help that on average I keep about 20 Safari tabs open at all times.

So I need something that will playback HD video well and would prefer something with USB3 jacks on it. I would rather not spend over $800. Just because I don't have a ton of money to spend on computers. But it also needs more storage than I currently have (320GB) because I keep my entire music library on it (about 80GB) and it's what I sync my iPhone to since I always have this machine with me. I'd also like to stick with a 13" screen.

What do you recommend?
Have you considered just replacing the hdd with an ssd. It makes a massive difference to the machine!!
 

roxics

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
247
67
Yeah I have considered that. But I don't know if that will improve the playback capability of HD video on the internet. That seems more like a GPU/CPU thing to me.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
Yeah I have considered that. But I don't know if that will improve the playback capability of HD video on the internet. That seems more like a GPU/CPU thing to me.
Moving over to an ssd has vast benefits. But also using safari with html5 on YouTube can offer benefits too
 

roxics

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
247
67
Yeah I've been using youtube with HTML5 for a while. It defaults to html5 now. But there are others like Vimeo and so on that Im not sure of. Not to mention all the news sites with their proprietary players.

I think I just need a faster/newer CPU/GPU combo. Any suggestions?
 

BrettApple

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2010
1,098
375
Heart of the midwest
Well a current model (2013-now) MacBook Air should do just fine. The HD5000 and the i5 are perfectly capable of HD playback without heating up like crazy compared to the Core 2 Duo and 9400m.

I bought a Late 2013 13" MacBook Pro with retina in July last year for a couple hundred off and it's been great. It plays 2k off YouTube on the internal display with no issues and hardly even heats up. Very efficient CPU/GPU and much better thermal design. Better asymmetrically spaced fan blades, better ventilation etc. But it would be more than $800 for sure.

Best bet would be a used/refurbished 2013 13" MacBook Air. I've seen them for $800 a few places.

In fact, Apple has one for $799 right now. Only probelm with it is it will have less RAM and less storage as the base ones are only 128GB SSD with 4GB RAM. Still faster than the '08 though.

With mine I offset it with two 4TB USB 3 drives. Holds my iTunes and Aperture libraries just fine. I keep a subset of my music on it, but mostly just keep my old 80GB iPod with me. I have a new classic, but hardly take it out of the house, it's so shiny.
 

roxics

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
247
67
Good luck finding what you're looking for with the upgrade.

If you're interested in a stop-gap between then and now this plugin for Safari usually defaults most videos to HTML5.

http://hoyois.github.io/safariextensions/clicktoplugin/
Thanks. I'm giving that a try.

Well a current model (2013-now) MacBook Air should do just fine. The HD5000 and the i5 are perfectly capable of HD playback without heating up like crazy compared to the Core 2 Duo and 9400m.

I bought a Late 2013 13" MacBook Pro with retina in July last year for a couple hundred off and it's been great. It plays 2k off YouTube on the internal display with no issues and hardly even heats up. Very efficient CPU/GPU and much better thermal design. Better asymmetrically spaced fan blades, better ventilation etc. But it would be more than $800 for sure.

Best bet would be a used/refurbished 2013 13" MacBook Air. I've seen them for $800 a few places.

In fact, Apple has one for $799 right now. Only probelm with it is it will have less RAM and less storage as the base ones are only 128GB SSD with 4GB RAM. Still faster than the '08 though.

With mine I offset it with two 4TB USB 3 drives. Holds my iTunes and Aperture libraries just fine. I keep a subset of my music on it, but mostly just keep my old 80GB iPod with me. I have a new classic, but hardly take it out of the house, it's so shiny.
Good advice. Thank you :)