Worth while upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ZD8062, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. ZD8062 macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2014
    Hey guys,

    I'm currently running a late 2011 MacBook Pro 13" with the 2.4Ghz core i5 processor and a standard HDD. Torn between upgrading to the new MacBook Pro 13" with the standard function buttons or just upgrading my current laptop with more RAM and an SSD. Main reason I want to upgrade is every time I look at the Retina display, it isn't very enjoyable going back to the 1280x800. That alone, isn't enough for me to upgrade. When I'm looking at processors, the standard in the new pro is a 2.0Ghz, I know there's more to it than raw speed, but not sure how to compare. I've considered buying the previous generation new, but if I'm going to spend the money, I would like it to be a bit more future-proof with USB-C, so not very interested in the previous generation. Also, the "dongle" issue doesn't bother me, only one I'd need to purchase is the standard $9.00 USB, and I also like the idea of being able to get a dock and only connecting one cable for everything.

    Appreciate any help in understanding the processor differences. I'd assume 5 years of innovation has improved the i5, but I have not idea what practical benefit it will bring.

  2. Clint_Barton, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016

    Clint_Barton macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2016
    Im doing a little research and will get back to you
    EDIT: I would totally go with the new one, its worth the upgrade simply on the SSD speeds alone
    Reasons to upgrade:
    Display- retina
    Speed- blazing fast SSD speed, faster than anything that you could possibly put in your late 2011
    Graphics- 350% faster http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compar...s-Intel-Iris-540-Mobile-Skylake/m7647vsm37386
    Size/weight- lighter and smaller than your 2011
  3. Rhinoevans, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016

    Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2012
    Las Vegas, NV
    Save your money and put in a new SSD and ram if needed and wait a year or too. I have the 2012 model and like a new computer with new SSD/ Ram. Much less than a new 2016. Sure I want a new one, but until mine breaks, no need wasting all that cash, because at the end of the day probably not much differents on email, Internet, MS Office. I will maybe seriously consider it when I can no longer upgrade to the new OS. On second thought that might be you on the next Apple no longer support list.

  4. azntaiji macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2014
    For me it was worth it, going from 2012 13" (non-retina, swapped CD drive for SSD, upgraded to 16GB RAM) to 2016 15" (Radeon Pro 455, 500GB SSD, 2.7Ghz). These are the biggest improvements I have seen:
    • Display: Retina is so much sharper. Display is a lot brighter. More screen real estate is nice (larger screen, higher resolution can fit more stuff on it)
    • Keyboard: I was really hesitant on the MacBook style keyboard, but after using it for a few weeks now, it's so much better than the older style. It's very clicky which is satisfying, and I can type way faster. Only downside is it's loud
    • Speed: It's pretty damn fast compared to my old dual core 2.5Ghz and the dGPU really helps for more intensive tasks.
    • Battery life: WAY better than my old MBP, but this is probably because I was still on the original battery (only got 3 hours). New MBP gets anywhere from 6-10 depending on usage
    • Form factor: Every time I pick it up and use it, it feel sexy and of very high quality. It's thinner and lighter than my old MBP and, and its footprint really isn't much larger.
    Things that I'm not completely satisfied with
    • Touch Bar: You get used to it, but it's really awkward at first. The more I use it, the more I like it.
    • Touchpad: I love the Force Touch, hate how large the trackpad is. I've had to adjust how I right click because of it (I used to right click by clicking the bottom right of the trackpad, but now that it's so damn large, that is a really awkward method now. But I have adapted to control + click)
    • OS issues: MacOS is buggy at times - I think is is mostly a software issue though, not related to hardware
    • USB Type-c: Doesn't bug me much, once you have adapters you're good to go. Only thing I hate is no magsafe - in the past, with Windows laptops, I've broken a few of them due to tripping over power cords, so naturally I get really nervous when this thing is plugged in and not being used.
  5. tomviolence macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Have an Early 2011 2.3GHz MBP 13", bought with 8GB RAM, and upgraded last year to SSD. The jump to SSD really made an enormous difference. It felt/feels as new. That being said, I am making the jump now to a 2016 13" NTB (with 16GB RAM). Have a friend’s one here (albeit with 8GB RAM) and it does remarkably better on all of my "real world tests" (i.e. exporting video and pdf files, boot up time, copying files, etc.). Not to mention all other perks (display, keyboard, airdrop, usb-c, thunderbolt 3,…). I say jump.
  6. duervo, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016

    duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    CPU: Since 2010, single core performance improvements have been mostly incremental. The focus has mainly been on multi core performance enhancements as well as power efficiency. Biggest benefactor of these improvements will be the 4c i7 CPU since it has double the cores, but the i5 should benefit as well.

    Battery life and multi core performance will be noticeably better with the newer.

    RAM: DDR3 in the 2011 vs LPDDR3 in the new. Both can be upgraded to 16GB (older with aftermarket parts, newer at time of purchase only.)

    Battery life will be noticeably better with the newer.

    GPU: Both old and new use integrated GPU.

    Performance and battery life will be noticeably better with the newer.

    Storage: Old has a SATA3 HDD slot, and either a SATA2 ODD slot (if early 2011 .. depends on time manufacture), or a SATA3 (if early 2011 or late 2011.) New has PCIe NVMe. Older can be upgraded after purchase. Newer must be upgraded at time of purchase.

    Newer is faster by an order of magnitude, even if you put an aftermarket SSD into the older system.

    Battery life should be noticeably better with the newer, assuming the older still uses a spinning HDD and ODD. If they have been upgraded to SSD, then the difference will be smaller, but I suspect that the newer should still be noticeably better.

    Display: Older has a 1280x800 glossy display. Newer has Retina display.

    Bottom line, given the above only, is that if you're coming from a 2012 retina, it's probably well worth the upgrade. Coming from a non-retina 2012? Definitely worth the upgrade. Coming from something older? Without a doubt ... worth the upgrade.
  7. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Coming from a late 2011 ( with upgraded SSD and RAM) the new Mac has been a worthwhile purchase.
  8. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    I'll give my two cents adding on the good comments above. It sounds like you don't have a huge need to upgrade, but that depends on your computer budget. Probably not huge strides in CPU over the last several years. May or may not matter depending on your apps. I came from an '09 so different situation, but everything just works much faster. Startup, shutdown, sleep, apps, etc. I don't know how long your bootup takes (mine was about a minute I think), but this is up and running in 5-10 seconds, including opening all the apps I had open previously. Much smaller, lighter (old is 50% more), screen, speakers, massive jumps over our generation MBP's. Just nicer experience on a daily basis. These are all nice to have if you don't really need these things, but I could still work on my '09 too, just don't have to. I was in limbo past couple years waiting for an upgrade that never happened. You could wait a year or two, but no one knows what the hell Apple is thinking.
  9. tomviolence macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2012
    This. One of the reasons I went for a 13" without TouchBar. Updated specs, updated design, familiar user interface. With a great trackpad and ditto keyboard, I have everything I need.
  10. wchigo, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016

    wchigo macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2015
    Sorry if this seems condescending as that is not my intention, but I have to satisfy my curiosity. Do you know you can click with two fingers (or tap with two fingers if you have 'tap to click' on) to simulate a right-click? That's what I've always done on my MacBooks and I actually honestly only learned about the control + click thing recently, lol.
  11. Mr. Bean macrumors member

    Mr. Bean

    Nov 20, 2016
    10 Downing Street, Not-in-England.
    I second this. At the end of the day, do you need to change computer? If your current one works fine exept that it is slow or running out of memory, then perhaps changing to SSD and upgrading the RAM might be a more cost-effective solution for the next year or two whilst waiting for all the known issues with this generation's model to be addressed by Apple. Using myself as an example, I'm currently using a 2010 15-inch, and would not have changed computer and upgraded the components instead, but my GPU is kinda busted, so I've decided to buy a new machine instead. On the other hand, if I were to be facing the same situation but my machine is a 2014 machine or later and still going strong otherwise, I might consider only fixing whatever needs fixing (depending on the cost of repair, of course).
  12. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    BUT remember the shelf life of sexy is only one year on Apple devices! - dbag
  13. skids929 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2011
    No way, upgrade your current since you can and hold on to it. Always ride the wave for as long as you can. Save your $$, which Apple will happily take and put it into some other toy. Computers are for utility, and the one you have should give you a few more solid years of service once you upgrade it.
  14. Macalway macrumors 68030

    Aug 7, 2013
    Depends on what model you have now, and how much money you have. If you have anything after late 2013, then it's purely a matter of how much money you have, as an upgrade is not essential, and the upgrade would be in some ways, frivolous.

    If you have the cash to blow, go for it.

    I upgraded a late 2013 15" retina. Wasn't that much of an upgrade. Just is a little nicer. This set me back $2500. Serious money. Of course i'll sell the 2013, for about $1000. Diminishing returns.
  15. Mr. Bean macrumors member

    Mr. Bean

    Nov 20, 2016
    10 Downing Street, Not-in-England.
    Hehe. This is probably a personal opinion, but I think my MBP still looks prety good for its age. Indeed I have taken great care of it so it looks almost new, but the design itself is still good enough to compete with most non-Apple laptops on the market right now.
  16. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Financially, upgrading yours is a much better bet. 16 GB of RAM is ~$85, and a Samsung Evo 750 512 GB SSD is $135. The screen won't be as nice, as you know, but your Mac would feel new.

    So the choice is to spend ~$225 or $1499 on a machine that would have half the RAM and half the storage.
  17. azntaiji macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2014
    Yeah but I am a keyboard shortcut kind of guy, so touch gestures are really weird to me besides scroll. Personal preference
  18. Kn!ghthawk macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2016
    If you don't have an urgent need to upgrade I would hold off. As has been stated earlier for under $350 you can upgrade the RAM, put an SSD in it and probably replace the battery for that matter. Run it for another year or two and see where you are. For me it made total sense coming from a mid 2009 17" MBP to jump to the 2016 15". Given the age and what I am doing now the machine was having trouble keeping up. If you don't need to spend $$$$$$ then don't. If you need to but can wait a few months for any QA bugs (hardware or software) I'd wait.

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