Need Advice: To Upgrade or Purchase a New Computer

Nov 2, 2011
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Your Mac's Specs
Late 2011 13" MBP 2.4 GHz i5 16gb RAM, Early 2008 Mac Pro 2.8Ghz 8-Core Xeon 6gb RAM OSX 10.9.x
Hello everyone, in about a year from now I'll be heading off to college for mechanical engineering and I've been debating on whether or not I should purchase a new macbook or upgrade my current one. My current machine a a late 2011 13.3" MBP 2.4Ghz i5 upgraded to 16gb of RAM. I do a lot of photo and video editing on it now, and in college will probably have to dual boot windows to run some sort of cad software. Should I upgrade to an SSD and keep it, or should I look into selling it and buying either a new 13.3" non retina i5 or a refurbished 15" non retina June 2012 MBP i7 with 1gb of graphics

My thinking is the current non-retina 13" Pro doesn't have a significant amount of performance over my late 2011 and that an upgrade to an SSD would make it perform up to par if not a little better since i have 16gb of RAM (although my ram would still be slower)

Is it worth upgrading the machine I bought nearly for years ago in hopes of it getting me through 4+ years of college considering everything I use it for or, should I buy the equivalent model brand new, or should I buy a 2012 15" that on paper looks like it should out perform and have a longer useable lifespan than the new 13"?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


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Jan 23, 2008
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Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
If you have the funds to purchase a newer MacBook Pro, that would be best. You want something that's going to last through four years of college. And since you're not planning on going for another year, it's best to wait until then, not buy now. You can continue to use your current MacBook Pro in the meantime. Also consider that the MacBook Pro line will no doubt be refreshed at least once before you're off to college.


Actually, the OP is correct -- there is surprisingly little difference between a 2011 model and a new one. Sure you have a faster processor and Thunderbolt 2 (rather than Thunderbolt) on the 2013 model, and marginally better graphics. Apart from that -- an SSD install would give him very similar performance.

I'd say go for the SSD update now, and re-evaluate in two years.

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