Upgrade to SSD or new MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cdembek, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. cdembek macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Currently have a 15" mid 2009 MBP 2.66 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 8Gb ram

    Trying to decide between upgrading to a 2012 mbp (specs below) or a SSD drive.

    Pro/cons anyone?

    2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    SSD is cheaper for now and give your MBP new live.
    A new MBP might be needed if your computational needs require a faster MBP, as the 2012 MBP has two more cores and is at least three times faster than the 2009 MBP. It also has USB 3.0 and a beefier GPU (if you need one).

    So in the end, the decision lies with you and YOUR computational needs. My 2009 MBP is still fast enough with 8 GB RAM and an SSD+HDD combo for my needs (video editing and compositing, using a www browser, doing some other stuff), but sometimes it is quite slow transcoding footage (depending on the amount of footage).
  3. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    The C2D is getting old.
    However for now, you can update to an SSD and last another 2 years.
  4. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    Depends on whether you need the features offered by the newer model, or if you just want more speed. The SSD will make booting, starting programs, saving files, etc. much faster. But if you're maxing out the CPU, the SSD isn't going to help that. Do you need the improved graphics card, USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt, etc.? It really all depends on what you need and where you feel your current MBP is coming up short.
  5. Beezzy macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2011
    What are your main uses for your MBP currently?

    If you're just looking for a speed boost go with SSD, if you need to performance boost for photography/video/gaming then upgrade.
  6. ivoruest macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2010
    Yep, it all depends on what are you doing with your Mac. The new machine is a HUGE improvement over the actual you've got. But if you really don't need that much power, then the price tag may be too high. If this is the case, I suggest getting an SSD. Or paying the premium and start having fun with the new one.

    One thing I know is, if you upgrade to an SSD in your older Mac performance can feel better than with the newest and latest MBP out there. An SSD is a lot faster than HDD. (I suppose you won't upgrade to an SSD in your new Mac, will you?)
  7. cdembek thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Programs I use on a daily basis..

    Photoshop (reviewing comp files), Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Mail, Outlook, Safari, Chrome, Firefox and sometimes VM ware. Also watch Netflix and Hulu in the background.

    Can't remember the last time I did any video edits, but do use iPhoto to store photos/videos.

    I keep activity monitor running in the background to watch CPU usage and the only time it is pegged out is when I run Carbonate or watch a video in iPhoto.

    I was not planing to go for the SSD in the new MBP. I know my 2011 MBA seems like it blows my 2009 MBP out of the water except when I have my 30" connected as a dual monitor.
  8. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Why not compromise and get a 2011 and use the money you saved to put towards an SSD?

    IMO, SSD is the most noticeable improvement you can do for a computer. I feel the 09 C2D may be too old to use as your primary machine, but just for kicks then if you really want to give it a new life then for $90 you could easily find a 128GB SSD to throw into that machine as well.
  9. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    It does depend on what exactly you think your current computer is missing that prevents it from performing better. My pre-unibody 2008 MBP definitely got a new lease on life after upgrading to SSD, but then again I don't do much video editing or transcoding and don't play any new graphics heavy games. The only thing that really pushed me to upgrade is my photography hobby, and to be honest the SSD made viewing and editing photos significantly faster. If money was no object, I'd just get a rMBP, but if you have to ask, that's probably not the case. Consider buying your SSD from a store with good return policy so that if you don't see a good enough improvement, you can return it and put the money towards a new computer.
  10. cdembek thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    FWIW % Idle bounces between 43% and 5%. The 5% is when I watch Netflix which uses the SliverLight plugin

    Also I am not a gamer..
  11. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    So you've got a 2011 MBA? That's surely better than your MBP in every respect (perhaps not the GPU?). The real question is what you're expecting to do. If you can't run powerful tasks on the MBA then you need a new model.
  12. cdembek thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Can run everything, only sluggish part is using the 30" Apple display.

    Should also mention I have Apple care till April
  13. cdembek thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    FWIW I ended up buying an Crucial SSD drive. Going to add the drive to my current MBP and test. Most likely will also purchase a new MBP and install the SSD drive.
  14. mjn298 macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2011
    Palisades, Washington, DC
    my philosophy is to buy according to need.. pop that SSD in there and see if it does everything you need it to do

    i typically find that new software generations are more of an inspiration for me to buy new gear than new hardware generations (especially because we don't have a 64bit logic pro yet.. come on!!)

    that said i do like to get the most out of what i have and an SSD over an HDD is probably the most performance-catalyzing upgrade an end user has ever been able to make
  15. cdembek thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Installed the Crucial M4 512Gb over the weekend and now my MBP loads and responds like my MBA.

    When watching NetFlix the CPU usage is user 40% and system is 10%. Also noticed that the CPU jumps to 100% quick.

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