I just inherited a MBP 2010...um...now what do I do with it

I am the lucky receiver of a MPB 2010, 15 inch, 2.53, Corei5, with 500g SATA hard drive.

Seems like a solid machine (and also on the Mac obsolete list…booo).

I’d love to keep it if I can find a good use for it (in great shape)

Any suggestions for how I can put this old workhorse to good use, and not out to pasture?

I will advise to change the drive to an ssd… attached some 1tb external and use it as a plex server to stream some movies to your TVs. And even as time machine backups to your other computers.


Good advice @LuisMartinez, also update to the latest possible OS which I believe is High Sierra.

Some options

  • plex server
  • file server
  • Owncloud server
  • time machine backend
  • Hazel rules machine
  • VPN machine

For my 2011 13" MBP I added an SSD and some more memory. It is now perfectly serviceable but won’t go past High Sierra so I use it for the following:

  • Backing up iPads and iPhones
  • Backing up photos
  • Creating Micro-USB Raspberry Pi images - as my work laptop’s USB ports are locked down.

Both of the upgrades were easy and so should be on the 2010 model.
So, a fair amount of use left in it. I will replace with goodness-knows-what with an Apple Silicon processor in it, probably next year (2021).

If you have any family members still using Windows you could use it to convert them over. With a SSD upgrade it will be better than many recent PCs.

almost forgot to mention: A linux mac is always a possibility. It should support the latest and greatest easily.

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And if you don’t want to geek around constantly with Unix but want something easy to use, Elementary OS is a stripped down version of stable Ubuntu Unix with a user interface you might find familiar…

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I have the self-same 15" MBP mid-2010, but fitted it with an SSD and maxed out the memory. Both upgrades came from OWC. It did really well until I “upgraded” to High Sierra, but now it seems (according to istat menus) to suffer from continuous memory pressure and feels really clunky. I thought about converting it to a Chromebook using Neverware Coudready, but I didn’t succeed. I wanted to try running it from a USB before committing to reformatting the SSD and never got past the boot screen. I’ll may be try Elementary OS.

One thing about that MBP is that there is something called the “C9560 Tantalum capacitor”, which if it fails causes GPU panics. Mine failed in early 2018 and I thought that would be that. I discovered an outfit called Macupgrades where the aforesaid capacitor was mentioned as a likely source of the problem; they fixed it and it’s been fine for the past two years.

I tried ElementaryOS. IMHO it’s just a different shade of lipstick.

Don’t know what that’s supposed to mean but if you know Ubuntu you’d know Elementary is a simplified, slimmed-down version, designed to be consumer-friendly and no require the typical amount of Linux admin.