Upgrading from Macbook Pro 2008 15 inch

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tabrown4, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. tabrown4 macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    Greensboro NC
    I am thinking about upgrading from my current machine (Aluminum 2008 Macbook Pro) to a new 2.3 i5 13 inch macbook pro. I know that I will be going from a larger screen to a smaller screen but I have played with it in the store and I really don't think I am going to mind. I also know that my current machine has a dedicated graphics card and that my new machine will not. Ultimately what I would like to know from members of the community is whether or not there will be a substantial speed increase on the new machine versus my old machine. I have googled repeatedly trying to find some type of benchmark test but almost everything out there compares the new machine to the previous model and of course mine is several generations behind. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. rattler macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    The Core i5 processor in the 13" Pro is a lot faster than the Core 2 Duos in the older generation Pros, but unless you're using it for CPU-intensive tasks (such as compiling audio or editing video) you probably won't see a big difference.
  3. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    depends on what you do.

    for "general use", an SSD and more RAM will create a more noticeable jump than a new CPU.

    The integrated GPU should be at least as fast as what you currently have (at best an nVidia 9600M in a late 2008).

    Benchmarks are pretty much forever if you are into those numbers. The tests rarely change (which is why they are benchmarks). You should be able to find scores from reviews that were done in 2008 when your MBP was new. It's numbers haven't changed much...

    If you really want to test, go search for GeekBench - which is a test suite you can download and run on your current machine. I'm sure you won't have trouble finding people posting scores for the current models.
  4. donklaus macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2011
    I have both machines and use them daily

    Both are strong and capable machines. My 2008 15-in 3,1 2.4 Ghz C2D MBP has been upgraded to six gigs of ram (yes it recognizes and uses it all in spite of Apple's official specs) and a 750 GB Scorpio Black 7200 rpm hardrive, then a clean install of the OS and all apps, so she's a fast, capable machine that is handling everything I throw at it with ease. Granted, I'm not doing much video encoding, but it does well enough when i do. MS Office 2011 apps start virtually instantly, and CS4 apps are quite acceptable. Upgrades followed a replaced logic board and new 4 GB of ram by Apple, so it's virtually a new machine. It took the Lion upgrade without a hiccup and actually seems faster. It is now used as a nearly-dedicated desktop, with an aluminum laptop stand that suspends if off the desk for better cooling, a 24" IPS monitor, three external drives, a USB hub, speakers, and ethernet to my Airport Extreme. When the new MBPs came out and MicroCenter promoted a $999 deal on the new base 13" MBP, I snatched it up to be my go-anywhere, do anything machine. More powerful and quicker than my older machine and more portable too, its easily the best computer I've ever had -- and i"m sitting next to quad-core windows 7 machine with a full gig of gpu memory that I never even bother to boot up anymore.

    I'm happy with this setup, though am getting into more high-end photo editing and experimenting with video work. We'll see how this two-machine setup continues to work, though the new 13" still has substantial room for upgrades (I could drop in a 7200 rpm hdd and at least 8 gb of ram - even 16 gb if the prices come down)
  5. tabrown4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    Greensboro NC
    MacRumors Members are Awesome!

    Thanks for the replies so far. For the most part I do web browsing and use the iwork suite but I also do play around with videos in imovie so I am hoping that I will see some difference there (thanks rattler). I have almost filled the hard drive on this one and I have watched the HD upgrade videos on youtube but it still looks like a lot of work on the aluminum model (a mental thing I know because I upgraded the drive in the old imac g4 and an emac but a laptop just seems more fragile). The new machine is a simple swap.

    Panch0 thanks for the advice... I put in geekbench and sure enough I found a website that had all of the geekbench results for the current and all of the previous machines and it appears that the new machine almost doubles the old machine. It was just a case of knowing what to look for and the term geekbench made all of the difference.

    Thanks also to donklaus because like you I am not ready to part with this machine. Apple just replaced the logic board in it (NVIDIA issue) and now I feel like I have the macbook pro I was supposed to have when I bought it (although the constant full blast of the fans is slightly annoying but the cpu not half as hot as it used to run). I am planning on letting my girlfriend use this machine (she has a pretty old Dell) and all she ever does is facebook and pictures so this will be more than enough. Hopefully we can get a few more years use out of it before another NVIDIA failure.

    I got a five hundred dollar gift card and today is the tax holiday in NC so based on all of this I went ahead and pulled the trigger. I went with the low end one just because of the other talk on the forums about Ivy Bridge being better with the possibility of USB 3 (I really don't understand all of the technical differences in the chips) but I figured the 2.3 i5 would be a good holdover machine and wouldn't depreciate too drastically if something better was on the horizon (plus I got the education discount, the printer, and the 100 gift card).

    Thanks to each one of you for replying to my post. You were all very helpful.
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Awesome. I know i didn't reply but just letting you know ythat you got the "right" MB. I just picked up a 13 inch 2011 as well and I love the machine; for what I do, I know that this will be able to last me at least 3 years or more.

    Take the time to get to know the system. Definitely get Better Touch Tool from the App store and get some new gestures in there; I can pretty much do anything now with the trackpad and once you're fluent with it, you'll wonder why you didn't get one before.

Share This Page