Upgrade or replace 2010 Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by EmmaBeth, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. EmmaBeth macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    #1
    Currently I have a fairly low-end mid-2010 Macbook Pro 13" with the initial 256GB HDD and 4GB RAM, running Mavericks. The battery health still shows as good--about 85% of original capacity.

    I'm not a heavy user or gamer. I mostly use the computer for writing, blogging, social media, iTunes, some light photo editing and the occasional use of Garageband for music collaboration or practice tracks with friends.

    This computer has been great for my needs, for the most part. Where I do get frustrated: first of all, it takes *forever* to start up (several minutes--I think close to three last time I timed it). I end up leaving it up and running on my desk most of the time just because I don't want to deal with the wait. Secondly, it is slow to open and switch between applications. Lots of beach balling, and the fan tends to kick in a lot. It also hiccups quite a bit on intensive websites like Facebook.

    Would upgrading to an SSD really give me enough of a performance boost to buy me a lot more time with this machine? Or am I better off selling to someone less particular (I have a family member who is interested in it, though in no particular rush) and getting something a little newer?
     
  2. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    Aug 18, 2009
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    Upstate NY
    #2
    I had that exact same machine, so here's my take:

    If you add an SSD, you will see a speed increase, but since the MBP is SATA II, it will be around 250MB/sec. A HD barely goes faster than 50MB/sec.

    You will notice faster boot up times and iPhoto opened up for me extremely quick. It did not increase my battery life at all.

    I upgraded it to 8GB...NO change. If you don't need the memory, it will do you no good.

    I ended up selling mine just because I wanted SATA III, but honestly, with your usage, I highly doubt you would be able to tell (I couldn't).
     
  3. jdblas69 macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2012
    #3
    I still have the same unit kicking around and did an SSD and ram upgrade.

    Firstly I did a ram upgrade to 8gb really not too much difference for my use.

    Secondly installed a crucial SSD and by far noticed a nice bump in performance.

    If you decide to keep I think you will get more bang for your buck with an SSD upgrade. Boot up time for mine is around 20-25 seconds and opening of programs is much more responsive.
     
  4. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    #4
    Thank you to both of you. One other (probably stupid) question: did the SSD upgrade also make it come back more quickly from sleep?

    Ugh...I really wish this was a simpler decision. New is shiny, and I'd love to have something lighter, but I know I probably don't really *need* new.
     
  5. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #5
    Three of these exact MBP,s in my house. All have been upgraded to 8GB RAM and SSD drive. All machines got a nice boost in speed. Almost instant awake from sleep. Mere seconds to open programs. Less than 30 seconds to start. Will get at minimum 2 more years from all 3 machines if not 3 years.

    If you do not want to spend the big dollars right now then this is the best thing you can do for you MBP. We use ours for a little more than you do and the upgrade was well worth it. Gave the MBP,s a new life.
     
  6. jdblas69 macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2012
    #6
    Yes mine responds from sleep fairly quickly.

    I understand it being a difficult decision, however the cost of SSD's nowadays are pretty low and can really give you a performance boost that would allow you to enjoy the machine for a bit longer.

    I will put it this way, my MBP is not used as my daily machine, however whenever I use it I have to remind myself that the machine is about 4 years old. It really runs smoothly with the SSD and for the light tasks I use it for (probably similar to yours) I don't think I would notice any huge improvement if I was using a newer machine.
     
  7. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    #7
    For me, start up from powered off was barely 20 seconds. 250GB EVO SSD.
     
  8. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
  9. jdblas69 macrumors regular

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    #9
  10. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    #10
    BTW, I noticed your battery health is 85%. Realiza at some point you will need a new battery, so that's something else to consider.
     
  11. tshort macrumors regular

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    Jul 20, 2007
    #11
    I have a similar, but 2009, 13" MBP. I've upgraded to 8GB and a 250GB SSD. Much better performance. My battery is about at the same capacity. I think it may last me another year or so.
     
  12. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #12
    Run activity monitor to determine if a memory upgrade will provide any benefit. If you're on Mavericks, check the memory pressure. If on a previous version then look at page outs - 0 is ideal. As a rule of thumb, 4GB is adequate for many, 8 is needed by those that multitask a lot, and 16 is needed for those running virtual machines.

    A SSD is the best upgrade you can make to a computer. It takes me longer to login than it takes my MBP to boot.
     
  13. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    #13
    I checked memory pressure after starting all the programs I'd usually have running plus some applications that tend to run slowly, like iPhoto and Garageband, and it still showed in the green. So I think just the hard drive might help. And I guess it's probably an upgrade worth doing even if I end up selling a little down the line. I'd hate to foist a super slow machine off on someone I like. ;-)
     
  14. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    #14
    So...I ordered a Crucial MX100 256GB, a toolkit that includes a Phillips 00 and Torx T6, and an external drive bay. Here's hoping it all goes well! Thanks for the input, all.
     
  15. HandyNerd macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2014
    #15
    Good deal. I was gonna suggest an SSD upgrade. Made my 08 MacBook fly.

    Good luck. :)
     
  16. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #16
    I am in the exact same position with a white MacBook from 2010. The hinge is already a little broken. I am worried if I do through money at it I through it out the window.
     
  17. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #17
    In my experience, MacBooks, 13" MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and Mac minis (and maybe 21.5" iMacs depending on configuration) are built and spec'ed to last 3-4 years before feeling sluggish. Part of that has to do with the age of the hard drive, part of that has to do with the rate at which you accumulate things (assuming you don't wipe and reformat regularly), and part of that has to do with the fact that as newer software comes out, it makes the older hardware show its age more.

    That being said, even getting an SSHD, would probably improve things drastically. SSDs are great too, just make sure that you get one that allows for everything you're going to put on that machine plus a healthy amount of free space (as full drives are an insanely common cause of system slowness; and 250GB isn't that large by 2014 standards). If you go the SSD route (and you don't magically happen into an Apple OEM drive), make sure you either use the TRIM enabler or manually edit the kernel extension file (KEXT) for the SSD driver so you can enable TRIM on the drive (assuming you're not using a fancy-schmancy OCZ drive that has built-in garbage collection, in which case you do not want to do any of that). Whichever way you get TRIM enabled, make sure you do it every time you update to a new version of OS X, i.e. from 10.9.4 to 10.9.5 or to 10.10, etc.

    Another thing you can do to help things is up your RAM to 8GB (your machine's maximum).

    Barring all of that, if you felt like it was time for a new MacBook Pro, I don't think anyone would necessarily blame you. Again, consider that:

    (a) 13" MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, Mac minis, and some 21.5" iMacs will only last you about this long

    (b) the "current" non-retina 13" MacBook Pro is already using technology that is two years old

    (c) retina 13" MacBook Pros need to be priced out carefully, given that, unlike non-retina models, they can't be easily upgraded aftermarket (or at all, in the case of the RAM); same goes for the 15" and the MacBook Air models as well.

    Best of luck regardless!
     
  18. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    #18
    Thanks!

    Some of this is above my knowledge level. I can see I need to Google "TRIM." In my defense, I've never had a personal system with an SSD....

    I think it's worth trying to boost the system a bit even if I don't keep it long. Might make it easier to sell, if nothing else.
     
  19. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68000

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    Aug 16, 2007
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    Canada
    #19
    I have an early 2011 MBP 15" and have been considering an upgrade to a new Mac also. My memory pages outs are over 108,000. I have 8GB of Ram. Does that mean there is an issue? I rarely restart or turn off my Mac. Also I have an SSD in my MBP. How do I enable TRIM?
     
  20. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #20
    Best way to measure memory usage is to reboot, start activity monitor, then run all your normal apps. See what activity monitor shows.

    For trim enabler go here
     
  21. thetechfixer macrumors 6502

    thetechfixer

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    #21
    Definitely give the SSD a go, it should help out
     
  22. bigpoppamac31, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014

    bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Okay. Also is it worth it to get Trim Pro?

    Here is my activity monitor after restarting my Mac and loading my regularly used Apps. Safari uses a lot of memory due to lots of tabs being open.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=481833&stc=1&d=1406056278
     

    Attached Files:

  23. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #23
    I bought the Pro version because I wanted the extra features and I like to support good developers. If you just want to enable trim the free version is sufficient.

    It doesn't look like a memory upgrade will help you very much. Better to spend the money on a SSD. About the only time I really need more than 8gb is when I'm running Parallels and Windows.
     
  24. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    #24
    Well, I'm up and running with a Crucial MX100! I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my old hard drive to the SSD in an external bay, then swapped the two. I did the TRIM thing, so that's taken care of. It's not *quite* as speedy at startup as my work desktop, but that's not really a fair comparison. It did scare me the first time: after the "bong" my computer goes to a grey screen for about twenty-five or thirty seconds before displaying the apple and going into OSX, and--especially since the drive is silent--I thought maybe it wasn't doing anything. But now I know. And although thirty seconds might be a lot longer than some of the brand new systems, it's a lot better than the three MINUTES it was taken with the old drive.

    Most importantly: applications open crazy fast, and everything just feels snappier. Even iPhoto popped open with barely a bounce, and I can actually scroll through without horrible lag.

    I think it's bought me time to see what Apple does next, at least!
     
  25. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

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    #25
    Congrats on the (sort of) new MBP.

    I didn't need to weigh in earlier since you got so many good answers, but I have a 2009 13" MBP with upgraded RAM (8GB), an OWC SSD (512GB), and a new battery (after the machine told me it needed service) - and the thing is good for at least another couple of years. It handles a 22,000 song iTunes library and another 60GB of iPhotos just fine - heavy CAD/BIM/graphics work I do over VPN on a work computer.

    I would love a Retina MBA someday, but it's just hard to justify when my old 5,5 works so well.
     

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