SSD + New Battery (2010 MBP i5) - or Retina MBP (for free)


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2010
Hi all -

I have a 2.53gz 2010 MBP with 8GB ram and an HDD.

So here's my dilemma. I'm a graduate student in Neuroscience that does work with brain imaging and frequently uses ram intensive software (i.e. Mango) and virtualized linux environments. Frequently I have many apps running concurrently.

I'm getting significant lag on programs like Powerpoint and the computer is just generally not very snappy.

My lab has offered financial support to upgrade to a new computer, however I believe I could get 2 more years out of this with an SSD and new battery. I have 6 years in the program so waiting for the upgrade may be a better approach.



macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2004
I'm not sure what your labs situation is but grants being what they are if there is funding available now that needs to be used I would go for the new mac.

From the sounds of the workflows your performing I think the biggest boon you would see is moving from your current dual core (ala 13" MBP) workflow to a quad core system (ala 15" MBP) with an SSD and lots of RAM if your virtualizing. The baseline 15" rMBP would more than do the trick.

In the lab I work in we do a considerable amount of data analysis on large datasets (Microarrays and RNAseq) performing annotations and elucidating functionality.

For snappiness an SSD would definitely help and aid pushing through large datasets. Previously I had a 15" 2011 MBP and running even basic analyses were in R were definitely sped up quite considerably when I moved from an hard drive to a SSD.


macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2012
I would get the new machine, as everything would be faster. But adding an SSD and more ram would help.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2013
The only problem I can foresee is being able to get your linux and whatever else you're running back onto the new machine, but that's pretty minor with backup software.

I can vouch for the new machines, they are pretty awesome for battery and power. You'll see a huge improvement.
If you're still leaning towards the other option then a big SSD, RAM and battery would definitely speed things up.
Both are good options truly, but the new machine seems like the better option.