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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2014
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    MBP Replacement vs Upgrade Advice
    Hi experts,

    I am currently using late 2011 13" MBP with the following specs:
    Quadcore 2.8GHz
    8GB RAM
    750GB HDD 5400

    I am considering to upgrade my machine to the 13" Retina Display MBP to stay current, but just can't justify it yet. My primary use of my mac is for personal RAW photo editing, which the retina display will definitely boost the experience, but just cannot be sure whether it is worth it. Occasionally use it for iWork, but most of the time just a simple mail and web surfing.

    As an alternatives, I am thinking of upgrading the current machine with 16GB RAM and probably a 1TB hybrid Seagate SSHD (Seagate 500GB SSHD Thin Hybrid Drive Review - Legit ReviewsThe SSHD Goes On A Diet). I believe my CPU power should be able to live for an additional 1-2 years.

    There are no major issues with my current mac, except that is is a bit sluggish, but we concluded (in a separate thread) that it is most likely a harddrive problem, which I am going to replace with my alternative option anyway.

    So, any thoughts?


    Tx, bonds1972

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Although your hard drive is certainly part of your problem, I suspect that the bigger problem is the integrated graphics processor that is used in the 13" MBP. They are weak performers that share memory with the system. Getting a new, 13" model will not resolve this bottleneck.

    EDIT: actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure that a more powerful GPU is all that helpful for photo editing. But what you have now is still taking away from the available RAM, so at the least you should consider upping that to 12 or 16 GB.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2014
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    Thanks life..

    so what you're saying is that upgrading is a better option than replacing?

  4. #4

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Specs:
    4GB Mac Mini 2012, 13" MBA, 15" MacBook Pro OSX 10.7, 32 GB iPhone 3GS, iPad2 64gb 3G
    Quote Originally Posted by bonds1972 View Post
    Thanks life..

    so what you're saying is that upgrading is a better option than replacing?
    Upgrading is usually a better (and cheaper) option.

    Normally we find ourselves in one of three situations:

    1) My gizmo already does everything I need at an acceptable speed. In this case, obviously we buy a new one . . . although wisest is just to wait

    2) My gizmo does what I need, but is getting slow. Often can be fixed with a little maintenance and some upgrades

    3) My gizmo won't do XYZ that I want/need to do. Here is where replacement is usually the best option

    FWIW my opinion
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  5. #5

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonds1972 View Post
    Thanks life..

    so what you're saying is that upgrading is a better option than replacing?
    I think you'd benefit now from upgrading your drive and doubling your RAM. A newer one should perform somewhat better, but these two upgrades should serve you pretty well. I don't know to what extent your issues may be related to your actual OS installation and what may be running in the background... some basic maintenance with Onyx and re-assessment of any 3rd party software you have installed may be in order also. Bear in mind that a 2011 MacBook Pro was state of the art in 2011 and will perform just as well today as it did then, so long as the bottlenecks to your performance are properly identified and managed. If you buy a new one and under-spec it for your needs or have software-related issues, then you won't be much better off.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2014
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    thanks raving & life, that really helps.. I think our thoughts are similar..
    I'll live with what I have now and be better off upgrading the hardware..

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