Upgrade 2009 MBP or Buy New

ccastillo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 2, 2016
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0
Should I spend ~$300 to upgrade my 2009 MBP (battery, 8GB RAM, 500 GB SSD) or just buy a new MBP?

Thanks
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
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:
 

ccastillo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 2, 2016
4
0
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:
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?
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
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.
 

ccastillo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 2, 2016
4
0
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.
Appreciate it
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,303
5,701
Australia
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!
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Putting any money into a 7 year led laptop is just a poor economic choice unless you really have no other option.
 

ccastillo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 2, 2016
4
0
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.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,209
5,554
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.
 

bcotran

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2016
2
0
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.
 

frank.deale

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2010
109
4
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?
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.
 
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RoboWarriorSr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2013
884
45
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).
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
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.
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.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,860
30,383
Boston
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.
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.
 

BrettApple

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2010
1,098
375
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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