Upgrading: 2008 Unibody to...?

MDirk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2020
2
0
What do I do. My 2008 macbook unibody just can't keep up with daily demands any longer. Websites are slow to load...its time to upgrade. Thank you for your service trusty Macbook.

I'm not too excited to drop the $ on a brand new 16" if I don't have to, especially given the feedback and issues some have had. Is the 2015 rMBP's 15" really the second (maybe first) best option? Will this unit become obsolete in a matter of a couple years and I'll have to go through this whole process again?

Needs:
-Light video editing (& not necessarily 4K)
-Multi window browsing with youtube/netflix/live sports streaming in background
-Lots of typing/school marking etc
-Frequent use of Microsoft word/excel/powerpoint

Thanks everyone
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,874
2,123
Now is not a great time. The keyboard fiasco appears to be behind us with the release of the 2019 16", but the current 13" and 15" still suffer. A 2015 15"? If you can get a good used one at a good rate, it could be a winner. The battery is a risk. And as you said, obsolescence is not too far away, though that machine did heave a great lifespan.

I think a good deal on a used 15" might work since your requirements are not extreme, and then that gives you time to wait for the keyboard to flow to the rest of the models. Or go for the 16".
 

MDirk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2020
2
0
Now is not a great time. The keyboard fiasco appears to be behind us with the release of the 2019 16", but the current 13" and 15" still suffer. A 2015 15"? If you can get a good used one at a good rate, it could be a winner. The battery is a risk. And as you said, obsolescence is not too far away, though that machine did heave a great lifespan.

I think a good deal on a used 15" might work since your requirements are not extreme, and then that gives you time to wait for the keyboard to flow to the rest of the models. Or go for the 16".
Awesome insight, much appreciated Howard2k
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,874
2,123
I should add - when I say “Now is not a great time”, I mean for those people on the lower end of the processor power requirements. The 16” looks great (though not flawless), but it’s a lot of machine and a lot of money. It’s obviously for a reasonably specific market.
 

JokerPower

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2017
101
84
In my understanding, you’re buying a device for years (not planning to upgrade in the near future). That’s correct? In this case, I would go directly with 16’. Yes, it’s expensive. But take note that it will serve you much longer than a refurbished 15’. And you’re getting the newest tech.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,275
6,135
If you want a 13" MacBook Pro, DON'T "buy now".
Wait until the 2020 version with the improved (scissors) keyboard is released -- think April-June.

I have a 2015 MBP 13", and I'm very happy that I bought it and not the 2016 model with the butterfly keyboard.
Having said that, I would only buy one now IF you were able to find one in very good condition for a very good price.

I wouldn't buy ANY MBP with a butterfly keyboard.
Just too much potential trouble "down the line"...
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,108
2,576
US of A
Like you OP, I like to keep my machines for a while, if they are still performing at a reasonable level. My main, non-graphic task, daily driver is a 2012 15” cMBP with upgrades.

Having said that, I’d either look for a 15” 2015 MBP, or wait for an updated 2020 13” model. I would NOT buy a dual core MBP and I certainly would not buy a MBP with the butterfly switches. So that leaves you in a tight spot, when it comes to current options.

i wish you luck, but would suggest holding out for an updated quad core 2020 13”, which should last for WAY longer than the alternatives.
 

ocnitsa

macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2011
399
706
If you want a 13" MacBook Pro, DON'T "buy now".
Wait until the 2020 version with the improved (scissors) keyboard is released -- think April-June.

I have a 2015 MBP 13", and I'm very happy that I bought it and not the 2016 model with the butterfly keyboard.
Having said that, I would only buy one now IF you were able to find one in very good condition for a very good price.

I wouldn't buy ANY MBP with a butterfly keyboard.
Just too much potential trouble "down the line"...
I agree with this. Based on your usage, I'd soldier out a few more months and go 13 inch (might be 14 inch), when the new ones come out. I know the 2015 is a good machine, but if you are future-proofing and if you are concerned about using the new versions of OS, I would probably wait for the newer machine which will have a scissor keyboard, be cheaper than the 16 inch, and get updates for quite a while. (FYI, I'm typing this from my 2012 MBP 15 inch retina, so I get what you mean by keeping a machine for a long while.)
 

bsamcash

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2008
236
88
Cupertino, CA
Any particular reason you want the Pro? You uses don't seem to require the dGPU or extra cores. I ask because you can get the 2019 Air at a really good price and it should be able to handle everything you need just fine with the only downside being very slightly longer render times for video editing.
 

Viamusic10000

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2019
203
92
Any particular reason you want the Pro? You uses don't seem to require the dGPU or extra cores. I ask because you can get the 2019 Air at a really good price and it should be able to handle everything you need just fine with the only downside being very slightly longer render times for video editing.
And a broken keyboard
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,108
2,576
US of A
Any particular reason you want the Pro? You uses don't seem to require the dGPU or extra cores. I ask because you can get the 2019 Air at a really good price and it should be able to handle everything you need just fine with the only downside being very slightly longer render times for video editing.
Are you really advising someone who keeps their machines for 10 years, to get a dual core laptop?
 
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JokerPower

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2017
101
84
Yes. Hell, I’d advise a single core if you could still find them. A quad core is not necessary for the uses the OP listed.
Single core?! I see you don't quite understand what you're talking about.

I have a MacBook Pro 13 with i5 dual-core processor, and it's barely performing with office/web tasks. Loading complex websites can quickly push the CPU to 80-90% of usage. I'm not even talking about video editing or other resourceful tasks.

It's a bad choice of getting dual-core in 2020, especially if the device will be used a couple of years.
 

bsamcash

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2008
236
88
Cupertino, CA
Loading complex websites can quickly push the CPU to 80-90% of usage.
I'm not sure what sites you're visiting or what browser you're using, but that does not sound right. I may have been a bit unrealistic with saying I would suggest a single core, but for a vast majority of tasks, a user will see no benefit with more than two cores.
 
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JokerPower

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2017
101
84
I'm not sure what sites you're visiting or what browser you're using, but that does not sound right. I may have been a bit unrealistic with saying I would suggest a single core, but for a vast majority of tasks, a user will see no benefit with more than two cores.
It sounds right when you load content-rich websites. Additionally, when you're multitasking across tens of tabs and several browsers, it loads the CPU pretty well. That's why dual-core is not a good choice in 2020. Especially if the topic starter is looking for something to future proof.
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,601
3,149
What do I do. My 2008 macbook unibody just can't keep up with daily demands any longer. Websites are slow to load...its time to upgrade. Thank you for your service trusty Macbook.

I'm not too excited to drop the $ on a brand new 16" if I don't have to, especially given the feedback and issues some have had. Is the 2015 rMBP's 15" really the second (maybe first) best option? Will this unit become obsolete in a matter of a couple years and I'll have to go through this whole process again?

Needs:
-Light video editing (& not necessarily 4K)
-Multi window browsing with youtube/netflix/live sports streaming in background
-Lots of typing/school marking etc
-Frequent use of Microsoft word/excel/powerpoint

Thanks everyone
I can do all that on a 2017 MBA that is a dual-core i5 1.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, HD Graphics 6000 with 1.5 GB VRAM. These are my battery stats as well, just yesterday, with a slightly heavier-than-usual workload. Started with 11:30 AM yesterday and went till a little over midnight. I should say that exactly 3 hours out of this, I was not in front of the laptop. The battery is at around 85% capacity and I did this exercise since I hadn't done it in over a year.

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 11.49.02 PM.png


I use this computer to do these tasks daily:
- email
- browsing with several tabs open, sometimes even over 40, tamed down as I finish reading
- working with a few apps open as I switch between them for work
- extensive typing as I write to earn.

Some of the software I use:
- Affinity Designer
- Swift Publisher
- Safari
- OmniFocus
- OmniOutliner
- Bear Notes
- Day One
- Microsoft Excel
- Canon Digital Photo Professional for RAW photo editing
- Handbrake
- VMware Fusion for Windows 10 in a virtual machine.

At some point or the other, I have worked with several of these open together including having the VM in the background and working on Safari with over 20 tabs, OmniFocus and taking some notes in Bear, and switching from macOS to the VM for certain things.

I used to use a 2011 MBP 15" with 2.4 GHz quad-core i7, 256 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM. Then moved to 2016 MBP 13 with 2.9 GHz dual-core i5, 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM. Now I am doing all of the above on a 2017 MBA with 1.8 GHz dual core i5. What this means is, choose a computer you can afford today and you will be happy with it for your needs that you mention. I have even played a game on my 2017 MBA with integrated graphics and 8 GB RAM that my 2011 quad-core with dedicated graphics and 16 GB RAM ran poorly!

A 2015 MBP is still more than enough for your tasks, but is not a good buy today considering its proximity to the vintage title. See if you can pick up a 2017 MBA for a steal somewhere. You will find a lot of users here on this forum itself who are using this petite machine happily.
 
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fuchsdh

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2014
1,532
883
Now is not a great time. The keyboard fiasco appears to be behind us with the release of the 2019 16", but the current 13" and 15" still suffer. A 2015 15"? If you can get a good used one at a good rate, it could be a winner. The battery is a risk. And as you said, obsolescence is not too far away, though that machine did heave a great lifespan.

I think a good deal on a used 15" might work since your requirements are not extreme, and then that gives you time to wait for the keyboard to flow to the rest of the models. Or go for the 16".
If you're upgrading from an obsolete model, moving to a vintage model doesn't seem like much of a risk. Battery replacement is pretty cheap.

My SO still uses a 2015 model and it runs well, can easily handle 1080p video editing.

It really comes down to the price.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,655
8,506
Austin, TX
This is just not a good time to need the device. Within months I think there will be a new MacBook Pro 13" which would be perfect for your needs with (what I suspect will be) a more reliable keyboard.
 

niray9

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2019
38
7
Depends on your budget, but for long term(10 years) use best value from your use case in my view would be the base 16". They keep appearing every few months from some online retailers for @$2000.
 

pneves1975

macrumors member
Dec 4, 2018
54
19
Portugal
What do I do. My 2008 macbook unibody just can't keep up with daily demands any longer. Websites are slow to load...its time to upgrade. Thank you for your service trusty Macbook.

I'm not too excited to drop the $ on a brand new 16" if I don't have to, especially given the feedback and issues some have had. Is the 2015 rMBP's 15" really the second (maybe first) best option? Will this unit become obsolete in a matter of a couple years and I'll have to go through this whole process again?

Needs:
-Light video editing (& not necessarily 4K)
-Multi window browsing with youtube/netflix/live sports streaming in background
-Lots of typing/school marking etc
-Frequent use of Microsoft word/excel/powerpoint

Thanks everyone
I did just that, but because I needed a 15 machine without the dreaded heat-generating dGPU (coming from a 2018 15"). I found one that had a battery recall job done so 1 cycle on the battery, e new keyboard and warranty extension up to 2021. Yeap, I am a lucky son of a 🤣

If a 13 machine is good for you I would wait for March/April expected release.
For me a 16 as it stands is just overkill and I much prefer a cooler machine than a beast. I hope that this machine holds for 3 years which is fine for me as I expect Apple to launch a revised 16 without dGPU in the meantime (ARM? Intel 10nm?).

I really like the machine, I dare to say more than the 2018 (which I am trying to sell now), and I don't hate the BF keyboard in any way. But the heat with an external monitor was driving me nuts...

Here in Portugal the 2014/2015 machines are way overpriced (I see asking prices around 1300-1500 euros) but I was lucky with this one.

Wrapping it up, if you can get a 2015 machine in mint condition and for a reasonable price I would go for it.
 
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