$400.00 decent for a 2008 Aluminum Unibody 2.4 GHz MacBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dmk1974, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #1
    I found a 2008 MacBook aluminum unibody 2.4 GHz (the MB467LL/A model) on Craigslist for $400.00. Is that a decent price? Am looking for a cheap MacBook for my daughter and as long as it may work for another year or two, I'm thinking of buying it.

    Or do you think it's not work chancing it on a 4-5 year old machine? Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I'd say that sounds about right if the battery is good and the computer is in good shape (no scratches, dings, etc)

    Remember you can add an SSD ($100), 8GB RAM ($40), and new battery ($60).

    The next step up is a 2009 Pro (better screen, Firewire) $500, then a 2010 Pro (320M instead of 9400M, bigger battery) for $600
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #3
    Thanks. Yeah, I would likely install a small SSD for her (64 GB or 128 GB). Maybe up the RAM as well. The older sticks just cost more unfortunately.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    They use DDR3 which are still cheap.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    As long as you avoid the 8600M GT models, you're probably fine. I think all of those came out in 2007, but they were sold into 2008. You should try to determine the battery health. Some widgets can tell you how many cycles it has. Battery replacements are expensive, and you never know if this is the original battery. You should also look at the display and see how much brightness it has lost and that it doesn't flicker. Try some typing on it to ensure it lacks any bad keys. Make sure the charger isn't starting to fray. Old ram does cost more per GB. That has always been the case. My point was to ensure that you don't spend well above the asking price on the machine to get something in perfect working order.

    I don't think Snow Leopard is a bad OS for an older system. It's actually a very good OS, and it lacks some of the memory management headaches. Lion and Mountain Lion are garbage when it comes to memory management in that I've had many gigabytes of pageouts even when a lot of inactive memory is available, and closing applications does not always restore enough of it.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #6
    Would the 2.4ghz 4gb of ram macbook aluminum play games good?
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI
    #7
    Not really.. and the screen sucks on it.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    #8
    Having actually owned this model, I can verify that at least on the initial versions the screen is perhaps the worst ever used in any Mac. It has a terrible viewing angle and very gray blacks. That said, towards the very end of the run, and before it was turned into the 13-inch MacBook Pro, they gave it a better screen. If the one you're looking at has the newer screen, it's a decent machine albeit with a smaller, but replaceable without a screwdriver battery.

    Might be best to look for a 13-inch MacBook Pro so you can be sure on the screen and have a bigger battery. Both can run Mountain Lion and they are otherwise very similar.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    #9
    First post here, created an account to reply to this since I love my unibody NON-Pro MacBook (a rarity these days): :D

    I still use one of these bad boys today, purchased in November 2008, Black Friday actually. The battery in mine is shot but it's connected to a 24" Asus monitor and always plugged in, although it doesn't get much use anymore as I have a computer I'm on at work all day and other devices (iPad, Nexus 7) at home.

    Point being, it still works well for me, runs great and I love I like I did when I got it.

    Never noticed this, but I suppose I'd believe it... Would this affect my 11/08 machine? Just curious...

    Can't wait for this summer's 15" Haswell rMBP refresh so I can blow my money on one of these as soon as it comes out and enjoy it for the same 5 years (or longer) I've enjoyed my current 13"...
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI
    #10
    Not saying this in a negative way but you aren't exactly using this laptop as a laptop so your point is essentially irrelevant to the topic... You have an external monitor (so the terrible screen is of no concern) and always plugged in (so battery life is also not a concern)...powerful enough to do daily tasks yes so it would be good for you.

    I'm assuming the OP is going to use this for what it's intended... a laptop. I have owned the Aluminum Macbook as well and it lasted not even a week before I returned it because of the screen. I guess if you are on a very tight budget and can live with it... go ahead. Otherwise I would just highly recommend you look for a Macbook Pro.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    #11
    Just vouching for its usability, even 4.5 years down the road... I used it as a dedicated laptop for roughly 3 of those years and it was spectacular. Didn't notice the screen, but it was my first Mac so I was happy regardless... Just have an affinity for this machine so I figured I'd put my input in.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #12
    I've got one of these, only mine is the "base" 2.0GHz model. I bought it the day it was announced. I've just recently replaced the original battery (after 4+ years) and I've also swapped the stock 160GB HD with a 240GB OWC SATA-3 SSD. Oh and a couple of years ago I doubled the stock RAM to 4GB. I use it every day *as a laptop* and it still "feels" new. As someone else mentioned, this particular model sets new standards for serviceability with the easiest-to-replace RAM, battery, and HD ever. BTW mine will have the crappy screen but it still looks fine to me.
     

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