MB or refurb MBP or wait for Santa Rosa?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RedTomato, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..

    Now that the C2D MBP's are out, I'm considering upgrading, but would like a bit of advice.

    I'm trying to decide between getting a MB or a refurb MBP (not C2D) or waiting till Leopard / Santa Rosa.

    Current setup: PB15'' 1.5 GHZ with 1.25GB RAM, which is working fine now after a recent repair.

    Reasons for upgrading:

    1. I'm studying theatre lighting design, and some of the programs I'd like to use are on Windows.

    2. I use sign language a lot, and the integrated iSight would be *very* helpful. I already own an external iSight, but I hardly ever use it as it is just too much clutter, the cable is too long, it doesn't perform well in low light (the light level typical in my room), adjusting it so that it takes in my face as well as my hands is a pain when using the laptop attachment, and I've ended up never taking it out of the drawer. I'd love to sell it.

    Prices in the UK:

    MB = £750
    MBP 15'' refurb £930 (37% discount)

    Other option: wait till Santa Rosa (6months? ) and see my PB15 go down in value even more. (but get Leopard free)

    The extra speed of a C2D over last week's MBP doesn't really bother me. I do some video editing on my PB15, and I'd be happy with a MBP, C2D or not.

    The big advantage of a MB is it's smaller and lighter than an MBP, but it doesn't seem all that much of a difference.

    Should I wait till C2D pops up on the refurb site, or the MB gets C2D?

    I don't think I can wait till Santa Rosa, and I'm not sure if it will make that much difference over the benefits of being able to start using Windows and the integrated iSight.

    I'm kinda leaning at the moment towards selling my PB15, hopefully for £800, selling the iSight for another £100, getting the refurb MB (non C2D) for £930, then I can choose to keep it or sell it when Santa Rosa comes out (probably keep it to avoid the hassle of selling again).

    Good plan?
  2. eenu macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    can't help with your decision though one thing i have noticed....on educational discounts the refurbished are only a tiny bit cheaper.

    Don't know about you but i would rather pay a tiny bit extra and have it new. Given that are educational purchases have a 3 yr warranty to.
  3. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
  4. williamsonrg macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Denver, CO
    With the Intel transition, small speed bumps will probably happen more frequently, which I think makes it more compelling to simply buy now as opposed to waiting for the "next" thing. Besides, I love my new Macbook (especially with its new heatsink..:cool: )
  5. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    Not knowing how GPU demanding the Lighting apps you use are, makes it a bit tricky to give advice, but...since you can get the 37% price break on the MBP, if I were in your shoes, I would buy that.
  6. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006

    I'm a lighting designer so maybe I can help a bit. I can certainly help more if you let me know specifically what programs you're looking to run.

    For drafting, the industry-standard (at least in the US) Vectorworks runs great on your Powerbook, and it will also run great on a MB or MBP. AutoCAD will also run fine on a MB in Windows, and it will run great (even in 3D) on a MBP in Windows.

    All of the offline editors for the major consoles will run fine on a MB because they aren't usually very graphically intense. I run most of my offline stuff in Parallels so I don't have to reboot.

    Visualization software is a different beast. If you're looking to run ESP Vision or WYSIWYG, you should invest in a MBP. These programs are very taxing to the GPU and, though I haven't tested it, I wouldn't trust them to a MB.

    None of these programs take any advantage of 64bit processing, and judging by the speed of software releases over the last four years in our industry, I don't expect 64bit to become a necessity for a very long time.

    I wouldn't wait for Santa Rosa. Like you said, your Powerbook will only continue to depreciate, and the refurb Core Duo MBPs are a great deal right now... then again, so are the education discounted Core 2 Duo machines. There's really not much that is compelling in Santa Rosa for our industry, so buy a MB or MBP (if you're going to visualize anything) and be happy.

    I hope that helps...
  7. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    On the UK Edu Store, theres no refurb offers. Just special offers on software and hardware. finance too.

    Back to the OP. I have the same Powerbook, and looking at ebay, you'd be lucky to get £600 for yours.

    £100 for the isight is close seeing as they're not for sale in the UK anymore.

    Your other best option is to get what cash you can, then get a credit card with 0% interest (Mint has an offer of 0% till august 07 and an extended bonus of 0% till March 08! That or you can just move the balance around on 0% balance transfers ;) )
  8. eenu macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    i never said there were! you read my post incorrectly....i didn't phrase it right....but what i meant was the refurbs are only a tiny bit cheaper than the ed discounts
  9. rstorm macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2006
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Buy what you need today and don't look back. There will always be something better coming later.

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