When is it time to upgrade?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ataboc, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. ataboc, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

    ataboc macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Hi guys!

    I'm running a 2007 2.2 santa rosa macbook. I upgraded to 4gbs of ram and installed an SSD.

    My trusty whitebook handles most of what I throw at it. But, I can tell that she's getting tired... the fans run a lot. I run in clamshell and push to a 28" 16:10 monitor and use lots of external drives for media.

    Part of me wants to hang on to her as long as I can. But lately, I've been eyeing the new imacs. They're pretty sweet aren't they?

    My question to you, when do you upgrade your mac?
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I got tempted to upgrade my early 2008 Penryn Macbook when those new Macbook Pros came out earlier this year and again when the new iMacs came out. Instead, I popped in 4 gig of ram and a Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB "hybrid" 7200 RPM / SSD drive. I can easily hold out another year. One criteria I could use is the end of Applecare. Another is the beachball. When the beachball spends too much time in my face, it's time to move on.

    After all the upgrades, I noticed my fans were still running and my machine was still slow. I finally gave up on Firefox and went to Chrome. Now I have a usable machine again. Whereas I used to leave FF running with 100+ tabs open and frequently found my Mac unresponsive upon my return, I leave Chrome running with a few dozen tabs and have no such problem.

    Another criteria for upgrading a Mac might be end of life support. I have an old G4 mini that can't run Snow Leopard or Lion when it comes out. Another criteria is a full HDD. I may have two reasons to part with that unit which also has only about 4 gig free on the HDD.
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i think it's a good time to upgrade either when you absolutely have to in order to run certain software or if you feel like your current computer is showing its age in terms of performance. in the second case (which is basically your situation, yes?) you can purchase an upgrade and also have the original as a backup as it hasn't died out just yet.
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    If you're comfortable with it, have you tried opening your mb and checking the fans? Running fans may mean nothing more that it has picked up dust and lint over the years that is clogging up the exhaust.

    It's always a bit of a balancing act in deciding whether to repair/upgrade your existing unit or buy new. As long as the CPU and GPU work for what you need it to do, maxing out the ram and replacing the HD are your best bangs for the buck. A good hybrid drive or reasonably priced SSD can give your present rig a bit more zip in its doo-dah and get a bit more life out of it; you can also cull them if necessary and transplant them into a new machine.

    You may also only need to go through your HD and find apps and files that you no longer need or use, or possibly try a nice HD utility.
  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    This is about the best answer to the question asked that I have seen. Excellent, and a lot better than mine, which would have been something on the lines of 'when your computer is showing its age badly' without all of the thoughtful explanations added. Anyway, I agree completely with you. So, it is time to think of changing your computer when new software cannot run easily or at all, or when memory is no longer sufficient for your needs, or when it seems sluggish no matter what it is asked to do.

    Also, this is a good thread, and asks a serious and well-merited question. This makes it a rather welcome change from the many threads which impatiently ask whether a change, refresh or update of a given model is imminent, and, if so, whether their two week old, or three month old computer can be sold as it is already viewed as obsolete. Heaven help us.

  6. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    When it can't do what you need it to, even with some moderate considerations for its age.

    I've had my white MacBook C2D (Late 2006 model) since March 2007. It is perfect for 80% of the things I want to do. The 20% it isn't? Gaming.

    I run a partition of XP in Bootcamp solely for gaming, mostly stuff on Steam. My laptop is so old with its Intel GMA 950 graphics, that I didn't even consider buying Portal 2, because I figured it wouldn't work (Portal original just runs all right in XP, not really at all in OS X).

    So now I've been debating in my head whether it is worth $1,200-$2,000 to either exploit the Microsoft or Apple's back to school offers for either an HP or MBP 15" with the Radeon 6770.

    It's just trying to decide whether or not $1,200-$2,000 is worth that 20% of usage. I have a couple games in mind that I'd like to purchase/play if I could, but I still can't conclude whether or not it is worth it.
  7. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    I'll upgrade when the either (or a combination) of the following occurs:

    1. I have enough expendable cash to expend that won't set me back financially. <-- most important
    2. A really expensive repair occurs and Applecare has expired.
    3. The notebook simply breaks down.
    4. I feel that performance of the current generation is drastically better than what I currently own.
  8. Performa636CD macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Cair Paravel
    I usually upgrade/replace my laptops every 4-8 years with 2 year minimum purchase stagger between the laptops so that they don't both go "out of date" at the same time.
  9. cubbie5150 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2007
    What an apropos thread for me!! My 2.16 C2D MBP from early (March) 2007 is still chugging along. I have maxed-out RAM @ 4GB (though it addresses only 3GB of it). I still have the puny stock, 120GB HD but use external Firewire 800 drives for storage & iTunes. I'm gonna roll the dice & see how Lion runs on it. I figure @ only $30, not an overly costly expense. My hope is to get at least another year out of this thing. It's treated me very well the last 4+ years.
  10. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I'm using a second-hand black Macbook from 07 right now. Runs like a champ. it's upgraded with 3 gigs of ram and an upgraded HD, however the graphics card is a GMA 3100(?) so I can't really play any newer games. Aside from that, it does everything I want it to do. Videos, editing, web browsing, it does it all.

    Currently trying to sell it though as I've been bit by the upgrade bug; getting a new Mac would be a great going back to college present :)
  11. ataboc thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    I need to do this : http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-MacBook-Core-Duo-Fan/290/1

    I just installed a fresh copy of 10.6. Lion doesn't play nice yet.
  12. RichardBeer macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2009
    I am considering an upgrade next year. To a top of the line iMac; whatever that may be at the time. Mainly because the weak point of my system; the GPU, is not upgradable as it's integrated. And for my future intended usage. (Star Wars: TOR, WoW, Second Life) I could use some more substantial power.

    The CPU is still addressing my needs excellently, and the RAM is plenty that I don't see any benefit in upgrading. I did however swap out the old drive with a 60GB SSD (I keep most data on a 1TB external). I need to get that RMA'd however.

    The thing that I really love about my mac is the display. It could be bigger but the LED sharpness and vibrancy is awesome and a comparison with my external cheap LED monitor really puts the quality in context. So a good display is a must on a new machine.

    Even if i can upgrade in the coming year, I'll likely keep this machine and load a light linux distribution onto it when it gets too old for OS X. Or if i'm feeling generous; I'll give it to a friend for free or a big discount.
  13. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    WoW definitely doesn't require substantial power. No one knows on the SW: TOR specs yet and Second Life is just odd.

    The main issue I have with Apple GPU offerings is that the best are only offered in the significantly larger or more expensive upgrades. The best GPU that can easily run current games and would be a bit future proof is only found in the 27" iMac. If I could have it in the 21.5" iMac, I'd probably go that route and keep my MacBook for portability, really, but I will not take the 21.5" iMac with its current GPU offerings. Or same could be said with the 6770 only being offered to the super expensive 15" MBP.

    It's this lack of availability that has me eying the Microsoft B2School options, plus you get a 360 to boot. That is - if I do actually upgrade my 2007 (Late 2006 model) MacBook
  14. Al1n, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  15. Mitchelino macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    As others have mentioned, it's best to upgrade when your computer can't do what you intend for it to do. My computer can still do everything I need it to do, but it's running slower. I'm hoping to tough it out 2 more years before re-evaluating my needs and buying a new Mac, as I have 2 years left of university.
  16. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    For my Workstation systems, I tend to upgrade my machines insides before I actually replace them (since I tend to always be using a tower for video editing and development reasons, so it normally gets dragged up several CPU speeds). But replacement happens for me whenever the old one is maxed out, and I decide I've gotten sick of waiting for Compressor when I compare it against whatever is current at the time.
  17. skate71290 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    I would recommend upgrading your notebook or desktop every time a significant design change comes out, i had a Rev A MBA and when the Rev D (changed design) i decided to switch to the MacBook Pro, and when the design significantly changes on the MacBook Pro, perhaps to a carbon finer body, higher-res display then i will upgrade :D my preferred method of payment would be to get a credit card with £1500, and simply buy a mac with that, rinse and repeat ;) stimulating the economy and staying up to date with technology :D

Share This Page