Upgrade 2010 MBP or Buy 2013 Retina MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by megasad, Jul 11, 2013.


Upgrade 2010 MBP or Buy 2013 MBP?

  1. Upgrade 2010 13" MacBook Pro

    3 vote(s)
  2. Buy New 2013 13" MacBook Pro

    1 vote(s)
  3. Buy New 2013 13" Retina MacBook Pro

    8 vote(s)
  4. Leave this all alone until Apple update the MacBook Pros!

    15 vote(s)
  1. megasad, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013

    megasad macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2009
    First, a pre-emptive TLDR; would you recommend upgrading a 2010 MBP or buying a new 13" rMBP?


    Second, the too long portion ;)

    My current computer is a 2.4GHz 13" MacBook Pro from 2010. With a 256GB Crucial M4 SSD and the original 4GB RAM, it's more than powerful enough to do all the things I currently need a computer for:

    • Web Development (BBEdit and Acorn)
    • LEGO LDraw modelling (Bricksmith)
    • Podcast Recording & Editing (Skype Call Recorder and GarageBand, 50GB)
    • Comic Book Library (7GB)
    • iPhoto Library (8,000+ photos, 43GB)
    • iTunes Library (35GB Audio on internal drive, 200GB Video on external drive)
    However, there are three areas in which it's currently lacking:

    1. 256GB SSD is constantly full. 5GB free right now, but it was down to 300MB yesterday :O
    2. "Service Battery" warning started appearing recently, it currently lasts ~3 hours
    3. 4GB RAM runs low when using Windows 7 virtual machine, things get choppy
    So, I contemplate the following three upgrades:

    1. 960GB Crucial M500 SSD, 554€
    2. New Battery, 129€
    3. 8GB RAM, 66€
    Which comes to 749€, which leads me to consider; should I spend that much upgrading this machine? Or should I put it towards a brand new one?

    The Mac's display is an important factor in my decision.

    I use an 11" MacBook Air plugged into a Thunderbolt display at work and HiDPI 1280x720 at 109ppi is amazing at 30" distance. However, the built-in 1366x768 display at 135ppi is too dense for me to use long term, the same is true of the 13" MacBook Air's 1440x900 at 128ppi.

    I've been using a 113ppi 13" 1280x800 display since 2006 and am comfortable with it, the 13" Retina MacBook Pro's 226ppi HiDPI 1280x800 should work just as well, with additional Control-Scroll smoothness when I zoom in.

    Two options I see for a new Mac are:

    1. 13" MBP (2.5GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 960GB SSD), 1819€ (1199+66+554)
    2. 13" rMBP (2.6GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 768GB SSD), 2399€
    Discounting the 749€, that's 1070€ for the MBP and 1650€ for the rMBP, though the rMBP has a 192GB smaller SSD.

    Finally, I originally bought the MBP in April 2010, intending for it to last me 10 years. As I say, other than the three issues above, the CPU, GPU, feel and quietness of the machine all continue to satisfy me.

    Finally finally, I lean toward upgrading my current machine as that will still be at least 1070€ cheaper than the alternative.


    And so, after all that, please do tell me what you think!
  2. Quash macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007
    If you can wait I would to see what the next generation rmbp goes for.
    Pricing on ssd may go down a bit also remember that you can still sell a 2010 MacBook Pro with ssd for quite a bit of money.
  3. ka-spot macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2012
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    I choose "Leave this all alone until Apple update the MacBook Pros!"


    If you really need to buy something then buy one retina 13" 2.6/256 for me :rolleyes:
  4. megasad, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013

    megasad thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2009
    Hmm, I'd forgotten about this option. Do you know what the going rate is?


    EDIT - Whoa, over 700€!
  5. megasad thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2009
    And so then the new logic board, the one that was necessary to fix the SD card slot, that was installed in March 2013 (just before the AppleCare expired in April 2013), that logic board died a couple of weeks ago, 30 days past the 90 day warranty for said new logic board…


    It will cost 465€ to repair, so I'm glad I had yet to buy any of the upgrades I was considering. The logic board also fried my 256GB SSD in its death throes, but happily that is being replaced by Crucial as it was only two years old.

    And so now I wait for new MacBook Pros, like everybody else. If I can convince Apple to fix the logic board for free, or at least for far less than 465€, then that will be nice, but otherwise I'll continue booting from an external hard drive on another machine for the forseeable future. It will make the jump back to super-fast SSDs even more appreciable!
  6. megasad thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2009
    And then Apple were nice and charged me 50€ instead of 465€, it was the "hard drive bracket" instead of the whole logic board in the end.

    The battery still says "Service Me" but I'll wait until that's completely dead before replacing it, will then see what 8GB RAM and a 960GB SSD cost.

    Hopefully I'll be able to keep this as my main machine until April 2020 after all!
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Upgrading your existing machine seems to be a good choice. Check whether you really need the 960GB SSD, that will drive up the cost no matter which option you go for.

    8 GB RAM upgrade is a no brainer. It is weird that RAM seems to have increased in price compared to last year.

    If battery life is important to you, it might be worth waiting to see what the Haswell 2013 rMBPs bring to the table. However I understand that you urgently need a solution for the storage problem.
  8. faocisco macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2013
    I would replace that battery asap.
    Battery's in poor condition are prone to problems.
    It can start to swell or even burst in worse case scenario.
  9. youngplaya0228 macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Any reason why you're going for that big of an SSD?? If you could drop that price or the size down, You can't just add a regular HDD for significantly cheaper or get an external drive for the files that you don't access much? If not, might as well wait and upgrade since you're going all out anyways
  10. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    That's quite expensive for that SSD upgrade, have you considered the Samsung 840 EVOs? Also they just upgraded the MBPs less than a week ago for what that's worth.
  11. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    You fell in the previous poster's trap who resurrected the thread for no reason.
  12. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Yeah I did! I guess the July 11 OP threw me because that wasn't that long ago. :D
  13. Rbk23 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2014
    Yea I would definitely put a regular HDD in the optical slot.
  14. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    Why are you paying so much for that M500? They sell for like 360-380€ here in the Netherlands.

    Anyway, I believe the new Macs have enough extra features that would warrant an upgrade of your 2010 machine. USB 3, Thunderbolt, Hi-Res display, QuickSync (H.264 hardware encoding), smaller and lighter formfactor, the list goes on.

    I personally am very tempted to buy a 2014 retina myself as my 2010 is only barely able to run FCPX, but for some reason I just want that 14nm Broadwell chip in there...
  15. megasad thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2009
    This is too old a thread, but since it's revived anyway I can reveal…
    1. In June 2014 I got a 1TB Samsung 840 EVO for 375€, they're down to 355€ right now.
    2. In July 2014 I got a new battery for 129€, I now get ~7 hours instead of the ~2 it had dropped to.
    3. "Swap Used: 0 bytes" is what Activity Monitor tells me 99% of the time, since I stopped using Virtual Machines, so I've not bought the 8GB RAM that now costs ~83€.
    4. In September 2013 I also got a Dell U2713HM, have continued to happily use 1280x720 HiDPI.
    Those all sound like useful features and I look forward to enjoying both them and more when I do eventually buy a new machine.

    I decided to upgrade instead after learning my MacBook will be able to run Yosemite.

    Even if 10.11 drops support, that's at least ~14 more months of using a machine I enjoy, with no appreciable compromises. And then I'd need to decide whether I mind not running the latest OS.

    Finally, I leave the optical drive in place as I still use it frequently enough for it to be worth it.

    Finally finally, I realised that repeatedly filling my 256GB SSD is most likely what killed it, so the replacement always had 25GB free, I leave at least 100GB free on this 1TB SSD.

    Finally finally finally, I did not need a 1TB SSD, but having all my working files in one place, with only video and backups on external drives, is very convenient. I had a 1TB HDD back in 2011, so I like having all that space again yet at this 195MBps/235MBps speed.

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