Worth Upgrading from 2.53GHz MBP to 2.80GHz Version

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RetroGamer360, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. RetroGamer360 macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2008
    I purchased my 2.53GHz 15" MackBook Pro this past Sunday and really like it however being a power hungry tech geek I feel this need to return it and get the 15" MacBook Pro with the 2.80GHz processor and the discrete 9600M graphics chip.

    With tax and the open box return fee it will cost me a total of $766.00 to make this upgrade and I need some input as to whether this will be worth while or a waste of money.

    On the Mac side I use the MBP for web surfing, Office and photo projects which aren't too intensive so I figure I would see little to no benefit here. I also plan to install Windows 7 via Boot Camp so that I can play some games. This is where I wonder how much of a benefit I will see going with the faster processor (double the L2 cache) and 9600M.

    I think I want to do the upgrade but I wanted to get input from outside my own perspective.


  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    9600M vs 9400M in terms of gaming is, ehh.. no difference?
    The 9600M will double the framerates in any recent 3D game!
  4. Gypwag macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    I agree, for gaming the 9400 will be a nightmare. As for the processor, if it has double the cache then you should see a noticable difference there also. I am currently waiting to see what the September update is before I purchase my 17".
  5. jstate1983 macrumors newbie


    Aug 23, 2009
    Nixa, MO
    I have the new 2.8 and I will say, overall if you are doing minor tasks that are not resource intensive then you probably wont see any difference. If you do any gaming or resource intensive applications then the 2.8 might see a little difference especially in gaming but if you dont game a lot or the ones that you do play arent graphic intensive then the 2.53 will probably do just fine. Keep in mind, the only differences between the two systems are a .16 GHz difference in processor speed (which is hardly anything), a jump from a 3 MB to a 6 MB cache difference (which is where the slight difference would be between resource intensive applications), a jump from a single integrated graphics card (Nvidia 9400) to a integrated graphics card (Nvidia 9400) with a dedicated graphics card (Nvidia 9600 GT) which is what might help boost your gaming a bit. You just have to ask yourself, is that worth the money. :apple:
  6. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009
    you have no idea then....

    the 9400 will play many games very well....

    my air plays doom 3 , crysis...you name it.

    9400m is a perfectly good card.
  7. docal97 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    I don't believe that the minor speed improvement that will be had with the upgrades that you mentioned are worth over $700. I don't think you will notice much of anything with the processor bum, and I can't comment on the video card improvements, b/c I am not a laptop gamer.

    But for me the cost vs. benefit does not even come close. There are far better thinks than you can do with the money.

    Now if you didn't have to pay the restocking fee......different ballgame entirely.
  8. Thunder82 macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2008
    Chicago, IL

    9400m is a great card, but (depending on the game) it will not be sufficient for avid gamers. I like to run my games at a decent resolution, so the 9400 was a no go for me. Take for instance Aion Online, playing the beta on a buddies Dell M1530 with 9400M is a complete joke, whereas the 9600GT via bootcamp on my 17" unibody handles the game amazingly.

    To answer the OPs initial question though, you'll notice a bigger difference spending that money on a decent SSD, instead of dumping the money on a 250~Mhz CPU jump. (Yes, the added cache would certainly be nice)
  9. RetroGamer360 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2008
    Thank you to all of you for your input and suggestions. I just wanted to be sure that 12 months down the road I am struggling performance wise. I do have to admit that my Alumi. iMac 2.4GHz has held up very well performance wise over the last 18 months.

    One last question ... Would the difference between the 2.53 and 2.80 MBPs be similar to the performance differences between my iPhone 3GS and my wife's iPhone 3G?


  10. Brandon Heat macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2008
    jus doooooo iiiiit.. you'll sleep much better
  11. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.

    My girlfriend was playing AION beta recently with her new 13inch uMBP with the 9400M card.

    And I can say with complete honesty that you're talking complete and utter nonsense about the card. Probably lying about 'your mate'. The card handles the game excellently, and on high settings with only 2GB of RAM.
  12. LedCop macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2008
    For everyday tasks, you won't notice a difference between the 2.53 and 2.8 unlike the 3GS and 3G.

    But I noticed that you want to bootcamp and play games too. The discrete graphic card will give significant and noticeable performance improvements and the processor will definitely improve frame rates.

    But for that kind of money to upgrade, you could get a cheap gaming PC that performs even better! But if you plan on playing while out and about... But you would have 2 computers. Also, your 2.53 will have better battery life than the 2.8.
  13. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    for 700 you can just pick up a gaming pc.

    4x2 ddr2
    250gig hd
    600w modular psu
    dvdrw drive
    9800gtx to even a gtx280

    should be about 500-700 depending on the grphx card...
  14. airplaneman macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2009
    No, no even close processor-wise. The 3GS is way faster than the 3G, whereas the 17MHz difference in processor speed is hardly worth a tenth of what you are considering paying.

    GPU-wise, it's a different story. With the 9400 vs 9600, it depends on if you really need the laptop to play games. For instance, I use my Mac for everyday stuff and even a little video/photo editing, but my old PC with a very very very good graphics card to play any games I want. If you need to game on your Mac, by all means, go for it. There's no stopping you if $$ doesn't factor in.

    In my opinion, the upgrade isn't worth it. That's because:
    1. $$ factors in for me
    2. You can overclock your GPU in bootcamp anyways

    It's totally up to you, but I hope my 2 cents helped sway you one way or another.:) Good luck whichever way you choose to go!:apple:
  15. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    If you're going to drop >$700 I can assure you a SSD will give you more everyday bang for lesser buck. You'll see the difference immediately instead of trying to find processor intensive tasks to justify the extra dough and give you itty bitty speed boosts. Buy an Intel X25M 160 Gen 1 or 2 for under $500. The increase in speed of your computer will astound you.
  16. RetroGamer360 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2008
    Thank you all once again for your suggestions. I have decided to keep the 2.53GHz and purchase either a SSD or 500GB 7200RPM hard drive and use the extra money to build a gaming PC. I agree with the suggestions that I will get more bang for my buck that way. Besides ... I will avoid throwing money out of the window paying the Apple restocking fee.


  17. shadow1 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    You notice a dramatic improvment in Graphics performancewith the NVidia Geforce 9600M GT. THe proccessor will be .27 GHz faster and have double the Cache. You hard drive will be double 500 GB
  18. shambo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
    How do you get bootcamp to run the 9600M processor?
  19. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    It does use the 9600M by default
  20. metanoia macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Do it

    Do it... I did. I was happy to pay the extra 760 because I wouldn't have to buy a new computer in a year.

  21. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    What do you do exactly, that 2.53 Ghz won't be able do next year? What kind of software do you use?

    Just asking.
  22. Thunder82 macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I appreciate your complete honesty, I really do, but I think you overlooked where I said I liked to play my games at a good resolution. I wouldn't consider your girlfriends MacBook at 1280x800 resolution "good."

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