Upgrade 2009 MBP or Buy New

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ccastillo, May 2, 2016.

  1. ccastillo macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2016
    Should I spend ~$300 to upgrade my 2009 MBP (battery, 8GB RAM, 500 GB SSD) or just buy a new MBP?

  2. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    What do you use it for? What CPU/model is it? Do you dock it or use the built-in screen mostly?

    Need more info! :cool:
  3. ccastillo thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2016
    Sorry about that, it is a MacBook Pro5,5. I haven't used it for a few years now. I would mostly use it for word processing, excel, web browsing (google drive suite) and would use the built-in screen mostly.

    I took it to the genius bar and they ran a test which indicated that only the battery failed. Do you think the display has a chance of failing soon?
  4. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    The display is probably fine. The batteries tend to fail from lack of use so that isn't too surprising.

    My brother just upgraded his 2009 13" MBP to 8 GB of RAM and an SSD and it works quite well at the tasks you describe (general use browsing, office, etc). It wouldn't be well suited for gaming, photo/video editing, CPU/graphics intensive software, or having a busy workflow with tons of apps open.

    If you can live with the form factor (screen quality/size), I don't see much reason to buy a new one. I just bought a mid-2010 17" MBP, and with 8GB of RAM and the SSD, it's great for daily tasks (office, web, moderate programming).

    I do find that Windows 10 runs a tad snappier on it than OS X.. I think it's better optimized for older hardware.

    Maybe try one out at the Apple store and see if it's something you want to spend the money on.
  5. ccastillo thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2016
    Appreciate it
  6. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010
    I'd upgrade it :) Maybe though to keep costs down, stay with 4GB of ram as the SSD will make a bigger difference. I upgraded my Aunt's 2008 Macbook unibody to an SSD but left the 2GB of ram, and she still finds it great!
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Putting any money into a 7 year led laptop is just a poor economic choice unless you really have no other option.
  8. bcotran macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2016
    Buy new, dont upgrade such an old laptop.
  9. joelank macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2012
  10. ccastillo, May 4, 2016
    Last edited: May 4, 2016

    ccastillo thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2016
    I appreciate everyone's responses.

    I'm still not sure if buying new is justifiable since I would probably end up buying more computer than I need. Like I mentioned previously, I would mostly use it for word processing, excel, web browsing (google drive suite), and Netflix.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Since the MacBook is now 7 years old, it's probably not worth putting much money into it. At the very least, you'd need a new battery -and- an SSD to make it competitive. This would run about $200 or so.

    IF you can afford it:
    You might consider waiting just a while longer until the new MacBook Pros are introduced (it won't be all that far off), and then picking up a closeout "2015 model", perhaps the base retina model.
  12. bcotran macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2016
    I'd sell the 2009 mbp and get a macbook air if your going to stick with Apple.
    If you drop 300 into that laptop its still going to be worth around 400. Looks like untouched they're going for around 300. The processor in your mbp is also pretty darn slow compared to today's standards. The battery life on the mba is phenomenal.
    If your going to do anything with that laptop as for upgrades, I would say get 256gb ssd for about $80 and leave it at that. I don't recommend putting much money into such an old laptop.
  13. frank.deale macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2010
    I was in a similar situation with a 2009 MacBook Pro and just bought a $300 Chromebook to do tasks similar to what you will be doing. Haven't looked back.
  14. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2013
    If you're watching a lot of videos, your eyes will definitely benefit from the retina screen. Its not just the resolution, the colors, brightness, and viewing range are significantly better than the 2009 model. I use to have a 2009 13" until I upgraded last year and didn't think there would be such a significant difference. Additionally, I found the Core 2 Duo rather slow while even web browsing but my dad seems fine with the speed (in addition to having issues playing some high bitrate videos).
  15. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Actually that's probably the best advice here. I always forget about those.

    They're made for exactly the kind of thing OP is looking for.
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    the only knock I'd have is you're leaving the OS X platform and I think OS X has a lot to offer even if its just basic word processing/online stuff.

    If the battery is still good, I'd upgrade that.
  17. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    I still use and work on a number of 2008/2009 MacBook/MacBook Pros and just upgraded a couple of '09s for a family member and a friend. There are some cheaper ways to go about it and still have a great Mac.

    I went with this Anker battery for $55 off Amazon, plus a Crucial BX200 SSD in 240GB form, the 480GB model is about $120. And I'd keep the RAM if it has 4GB already, if it's 2GB it would be worth upping that to 4 or 8 but for the cost this would be almost half as much as the OP. I wouldn't put in more than $200 on it though as it's an aging Core 2 Duo model but does still have life left in it.

    Heck, our production Early 2009 iMac that runs our stage lights and ProPresenter in one auditorium still has plenty of life in it and it's already got over 50,000 hours (that's roughly 5.7 years of uptime) on it and it's still ticking.

    Any more than $200 and I'd look for a refurb 13" MBA or last years 12" MacBook if you don't need the ports or extra power as it has a much nicer screen and is lighter and deals can be had right now. Otherwise, I'd try to wait it out for the 2016 rMBP refresh.

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