To do or not to do: Upgrade from 2008 Macbook to 2009 Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by theLemur, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. theLemur macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    I've had my Macbook for almost 3 years now and aside from an out of warranty Cd-Rom replacement that I installed myself, it's been good to me. It's a 2.0Ghz with 4GB ram and an 80GB HDD. I run spaces for virtual desktops and at any given time usually have the following running at the same time:

    -Safari with 5-10 browser windows open
    -Excel with 2 or 3 spreadsheets
    -Word with 1 or 2 documents
    -Azerus/Vuze downloading a movie
    -Itunes playing music

    It handles all that pretty well, but it seems to be at its limit. I was thinking about upgrading and noticed some nice Macbook Pro's from mid 2009 on ebay for about $1200. They aren't the new i5 processor, but that's out of my budget anyway.

    I have been looking on ebay at a 15.4" 2.53ghz with 250gb HDD and 4GB ram. Do you think I would see a substantial difference? A big enough difference to warrant a $700 upgrade? ($1200 less $500 sale of current macbook)

    My friend suggested that I just get a brand new unibody Macbook, and it's pretty close to the same specs as the Macbook Pro on ebay. It almost seems like the Pro's are overpriced for the specs they have, what do you think?
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    If you are not upgrading to at least an "i" series processor, then its not worth upgrading.
  3. theLemur thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    Good to know, perhaps I should wait until the prices drop then. The cheapest i5 I could find on ebay was $1600.
  4. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    You certainly should wait. Don't forget to look at Apple's Online Refurbished Store. I think you can get a refurbished i5 for $1500ish or so.
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I don't think so. while the performance jump from a 2GHz Core 2 to a 2.4 Core i3/5 is bigger than to a 2.4+ Core 2, that doesn't mean another Core 2 isn't worth it. there is more to computing than the CPU speed.

    OP: you can grab a 15.4" 2.4Ghz Core i5 for $1529(+tax) refurbished. same price as a 2.66 Core 2, so might as well go for it. I think the Nehalem-based processors (i3/5/7) get something like 10% (at least) more performance at the same clock speed compared to Core 2.

    anyways, if you can't afford a $1500 computer, go with an older one with Core 2. it will be faster.
  6. mr0c macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2010
    Virginia, US
    2 options worth considering:

    1. pop in a new hard drive: an SSD will speed up items and almost remove the bouncing apple beach ball. (I mention this as you don't mention that your current 80GB is too small).
    You can get an OCZ 120GB from around $255
    Or this Intel X25-M 80GB for $220

    Check out other online shops for other prices (or, this was just a quick search.

    2. try the refurbished store:
    This i5 is $1529: Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core i5
    maybe slightly higher than you want to spend so maybe save for a couple of months ;)
  7. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    +1 for this suggestion. You can save a bunch of $ going this route, get what is essentially a brand new unit and have one year standard Applecare warranty. Much safer than rolling the dice with eBay.
  8. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Correct, the Core 2 Duo will be faster, but it may not be the type of increase in speed the OP was looking for; especially for that price jump.

    That is why my recommendation is to hold out a bit. Core 2 Duos are being EOL'd anyways, so if you are looking for a serious, worthwhile upgrade, the i5 will be your ticket.
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    what's it matter if it's EOL'd if you can't replace it anyway?

    if the OP can't afford a Nehalem-based Macbook (which seems like the case) and needs a performance boost soon, a 15" Core 2 MBP will give him that. bang for buck doesn't matter if you can't afford it in the first place.
  10. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I'm not saying that you can't replace it. You can even replace it with a iBook G4 if you want.

    But to answer this question, in my opinion.

    I have to say no, its not worth $700.

    I would recommend saving up a little longer and get something that is probably more worthwhile.
    Its less of a gamble to go with refurbished products too as they come with warranty and you know that they are guaranteed to look like a new machine.

    If thats not possible, then sure, go for the Core 2 Duo MBP.

    You might be better off with an SSD and more RAM rather than getting the Core 2 Duo MBP though.
  11. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm coming up on my 3 year date and my 160 gig hard drive is full. I have a 1 TB firewire drive so whatever I get would have to have firewire. I noticed that the 13 in Macbook Pro has an audio in/out jack. This means no listening to headphones while recording. I can't believe a "Pro" model leaves out dedicated mic and headphone jacks. Wow. So when I do upgrade, I'll be looking at the 15 in Macbook Pro. Who knows? By then Apple may release some upgrades that bring more Pro features to the 13 inch model in which case I'd go with a 13 in unibody.

    Then there's the whole cpu thing. Hmm... I have the 2.4 Ghz Penryn, 2 Gig ram model so I'd be looking for some cpu jump but I'm not hurting as it is. I see the beachball a few times a day. No biggie really. I would tend to avoid ebay for something this expensive. An Apple refurb is a safer bet. Let us know what you decide...
  12. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2009
    New Jersey
    I disagree with most people on this thread, i own a mid 2009 13 mbp and love it, more than enough speed for what i want. I photoshop, final cut and logic alot and my 2.26 GHz Processor is more than capable.
  13. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    No one said it didn't have enough speed.
    I just said the i5 is probably worth the extra ~$300 bucks. It's not all about the the processor though, the graphics is just much better too and I believe the new Macbook Pros have better battery life. There is a lot of reasons why I recommended the i5 over the Core 2 Duo, not just the processor :rolleyes:

    My most recent computer has a 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo and its more than enough for me. :)
  14. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    we're talking about the processor. x processor/GPU/socket on a laptop being EOL'd is irrelevant because the user can't change any parts anyway. if it's better, it's better, if it's not, it's not.

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