Still worth buying Core 2 Duo MacBooks in 2013?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by anarti, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. anarti macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012

    I'm looking to replace my thinkpad X200s running Ubuntu for an apple cheap macbook. I have found this nice auction for Late 2009 13" Macbook Pro.
    I'm not looking to gain any performance. I will swap ssd on my X200s to the macbook and add some memory (8GB max I guess).

    X200s is quite snappy with SSD but it is not OSX, and that's my purpose of buying the cheapest alu 13MBP out there.

    The one I found is in fantastic condition for about £400 BIT so I need to decide quickly.

    Do you think that buying Core 2 Duo macbook (this one is still compatibile with OS 10.9) in 2013 is not simply pointless? For £200 more I can get 2011 13 mbp but need to buy something cheap, and not plastic.

    These are the oldest macbooks that are still on the market and are pretty compatibile with modern software etc.

    Thanks for any advice in advance.
  2. chrisperro macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2009
    I would get the 2011 , at least is an I5, only 200$ more but is a lot faster.
  3. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Be careful with 2009 13" MBPs. I can tell you from experience that Apple was using some very cheap cables to connect the internal parts, and they tend to fail. You're also looking at a SATA II connection, so an SSD won't be as big of an improvement as the packaging says. You can max out the RAM to 8gb though, which I would do if you plan to run Mavericks.

    Overall they're not bad machines if your uses aren't intense. I just replaced mine because of a constantly failing SATA cable and a recurring not waking issue, but it served my needs well when it was working.
  4. InfinitiG macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    as long as it is a 64 bit processor which the 2009 is, you are good
  5. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Rule of thumb, unless you are getting it really cheap its a bad idea to spend money on 4 year old electronics.
  6. anarti thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    cheers guys.

    As I said, I have found an auction with but it now price on it for £400 in UK which is around 640 US dollars. This was the cheapest on ebay but still in very good condition.

    I need it for short work trips. I have 2012 retina at home, that I use as a desktop replacement.

    I think that iPad air would do the job instead of buying macbook....I like to play with keyboard maestro and with OSX overall (leftover from being on Linux for many years) and therefore macbook first came to my mind. I don't need it for any CPU intensive tasks, mostly internet, writing, etc.

    This macbook is still available on ebay, I need to make my mind shortly :)
  7. ElliottG macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2013
    I was in the same situation as you and decided on holding off for an early 2011 13". The i5 is apparently a lot faster than the C2D and the 2011 comes with a lot of better upgrades, one being the 720p HD webcam.

    I ended up getting mine for $660USD and it's in pretty good shape with only 198 battery cycles on it....barely used. Came with all the original cables, CDs and reading material.

    I'm guessing the UK prices are a bit higher, though, and I did end up waiting a few weeks to find the perfect one.
  8. triplelucky macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2012
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    I was surprised when I got my first i5 that i didn’t feel much faster than my core 2.

    Turns out that in general use, if you don’t have lots of windows open at the same time or render a lot of hd video the core 2 still does a pretty good job.

    Yes the core 2 is still very useful in 2013.
  9. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    I would much prefer an iPad Air over a 4 year old C2D Macbook. Although in fairness I would choose many things over the latter.
  10. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    With eventual upgrades to an SSD and 8GB of Ram + Mavericks, you'll be fine with a Core 2 Duo for a couple more years. I have a friend still using a White Macbook with 512 MB of Ram. She only does iPhoto, iTunes, and Facebook, but its a good example of not everyone needing the highest end config.
  11. anarti thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    Thanks for your thoughts guys. I think that iPad Air it is. It will do the job.

    As someone have mentioned, 4-5 year old technology is quite old....Another year or two and all those MacBooks with "i" processors will drop their prices and Core 2 Duo ones will be really old, not worth investing.
  12. yabot macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2013
    i sold a 2010 13inch macbook pro, core 2 duo, 8gb ram, a few weeks ago.

    it was an absolute work horse, never really lagged and still managed to run some demanding apps, but maybe i just got used to waiting... i dont know. but yeah it was a decent bit of tech.
  13. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    My SATA cable failed like 6 times :mad: My 2010 13" MBP was a workhorse for sure though and I disagree I had an Intel 520 SSD sped my 13" MBP up pretty well although I only got 120MB/s read and write >:/ i5/i7 is just so much better than a Core 2 Duo.
  14. bds120 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2013
    Well, I hope I dont get ran up out this thread but I picked up a 2008 from a fellow motorcycle rider just to be the doorway into the mac world.

    I have a Desktop Custom Built Gaming PC which is my powerhouse and I have a HP Laptop that I use for basic web skimming and youtube and such.

    I been wanting to see what Mac was like and he sold me his 2008 early MacBook with the 2.4ghz, Core 2 Duo, 4gb RAM and 250gb HD with 3 batteries and a new 85w Apple charger for $100(which is a steal in my book).

    Issues are batteries have not been charging but works fine on the new charger(which from reading, I thought the new charger would not fit the charging port but obviously it does...). I have a couple of things I am going to try to check out then I will get a new Apple battery later. I just bought a 240gb SSD. So in total I have spent $200 for a 2008 Mac Book Pro which even before the upgrades on paper beats my HP G60-230US laptop I am writing this message on.

    2008 MBP = 1440x900, 2.4ghz, 64bit, 4gb RAM, 250gb SSD

    2010 HP Laptop = 1366x720, 2.0ghz, 3gb Ram, WINDOWS, 32bit, 500gb maxtor hard drive.

    If I can figure out the little battery issue(which I am going to reset the SMC, then follow some other procedures I found on here, and lastly remove the logic board and do the cook in the oven on 375 for 7:30 min trick, then I will chalk this up as a good buy.
  15. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    $100 is pretty good, I got a mid 2007 MBP for $325 on Amazon, and added a SSD and 4GB RAM for about $160. I removed the logic board and reapplied the thermal paste, and she's been running great for my girlfriend going into graphic design.

    I wouldn't bake the logic board if it's not dead though, it could make it fail faster.

    I've also got my late '08 MB with an SSD, and it's been a great machine for the last 5 years, going through all sorts of upgrades, and I just recently upgraded to a 2010 15" and moved all my parts over.

    Interested to see what you find out about the charger though, I know the Intel Macs down clock to run off the Magsafe without a battery. I had to do that when my battery for my '08 was shipping, and it was much slower with intensive tasks. So without the battery working, it may be slower than it would with it working.
  16. bds120 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2013
    Ah good info. I would not bake unless its a last resort. What I just read is

    "Turn off your computer, flip over the laptop and remove the battery, hold down the circlular button on the battery for 10 seconds, the green light should go out. Re-install the battery and turn your computer on. Your new charger should work fine."

    So I am going to try that first. After that, I will then update the SMC firmware because I am not sure if that will make a difference. And lastly, the 3 batteries could just be bad. So I may get a brand new one and see. I will have the laptop in hand tomorrow so I can see for myself what it does. See if I have indicator lights and see if the batteries are bad or what. From what I remember, I was told from his memory that he believed each was around 200-300 cycles.
  17. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    They're on their last legs. Like all Apples, they'll likely be good for quite a few more years but of basic service, but will be slow and increasingly lacking in compatability with newer hardware and software. Sandy Bridge is about as old as you want to go these days.


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