The Future of the MacBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jnkm32, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Jnkm32 macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2006
    Alright, I’m new to the apple world, my grandfather just sent me a giftcard that’ll cover my next laptop. But before I get all of the “search the board” chants, I want you all to know I’ve been doing my homework since May. I know all of the basics and I understand that the differences between Merom and Yohan are negligible to the consumer (like me). I understand that the big difference between the two will be distinguishable when santa rosa comes out. I know most of the pros and cons I just have a few questions before I buy a MacBook for college.

    First of is it really worth the wait? I’m not concerned with the latest technology rather this Macbook will be my computer for the next 4 years. Should I be worried about buying a 32-Bit processor when the computing world is heading towards 64-bit. My theory: if I was buying a new TV now there is no way I would buy anything but HD (unless I ahd a tight budget), a year ago I could have gone either way and those few $100 I would have saved seem pointless in this new era.

    Also I have a few questions on the main difference of 32 opposed to 64 bit. I;ve read a bunch of tech savvy threads about it, but I can’t make head or tale of it really. Basically, and in lame-man’s terms what’s the difference.

    A few other quick things. When Santa Rosa comes out (I’m not waitin for that or playing the waiting game), can I just update my macbook myself? I’m guessing no but I was just wondering. Also, should I be worried that in 3 years that 32bit will be obsolete. And lastly; Black or white, I just can’t decided?

    I’m sure the thread brought some of the wrong crowd but I think my questions would help the bulk of the MacBook future buyers and may bring up some points the technical people might be overlooking in the consumer market, or I could be totally wrong. Just a thought.

    Thanks for you help hopefully.
  2. quruli macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2006
    It will be replaced next week by the 12" minimacbook Al.

    Next tuesday I'm guessing.
  3. steamboat26 macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Arlington VA
    I can't answer many of those questions, but if you wanted to update your macbook, that is possible, but expensive. Since everything is soldered onto the logic board, you would have to replace the entire logic board with one that will fit in the given space. And a new logic board runs about 300-400 dollars now, a logic board with merom will probably be about the same, if not more.

    Also, black-looks cooler
    white-cheaper, but still cool

    I hadn't heard that 32 bit processors were going to be obselete in 3 years whats the deal with that?
  4. Jnkm32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2006
    well i ahve no idea since i dont really get the diffrence im just assuming 32 is like the rest of technology, compatible with the next gen for only a short time span. i may be completly wrong

    thanks for the reply that may be worth in 3 years if i'm right and i have no more warrenty

    also jsut another question, do i need iwork in any way shape or form if im gunna have office?
  5. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I've been thinking about the same stuff. I've been holding out for a merom processor since I think that 64-bit will be important at least 2 years down the road if not during leopard. I tried to research santa rosa but all I could see was something about some bus speed increasing to 800 and the new wireless which I don't really care about too much. I don't play games and the integrated graphics are fine. I do more dvd ripping and encoding and the processor speed is the most important to me. I think a 64 bit macbook can really last me awhile.
  6. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I think you'll find that MacBooks won't get the 64 processor, that's more a MacBook Pro detail.

    What's more likely is minor speed bumps from time to time but the MacBooks will probably remain 32. Apple blurred the line between iBook and Powerbook with the 12" Powerbook and it's unlikely they'll repeat this with the Intel range of laptops.

    If you get your MacBook now you can rest assured it will be a capable and compatible machine for the next 3 or 4 years.
  7. Jnkm32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2006
    Thats what makes sense to me but i guess im wonder: will i be pissed in 3 years if i buy today and should have waited two weeks. I can wait but thats not ideal. I'd like to get used to OS X as im getting use to college (that sounds really wierd, i promise that i wont be as concerend with my laptop as my life).

    this may be an annoyin question but when could i see these speed bumps, i know they dont matter but hey, if paris brings us higher core duos instead of core 2 duos for the same price, then why no wait?
  8. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I don't think the macbooks will stay 32 bit. If Apple were trying to differentiate their products they would have given the macbooks a core solo, but they didn't. I just think that Apple will continue to cripple the graphics and have the screen size as a selling point. Also, the clockspeeds won't be as high for the macbook vs macbook pro. Where the pro will have a 2.33 processor the macbook will have a 2.0 merom. I predict the MBP will get merom a month or two beforehand though
  9. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    64 bit is soo overhyped and is actually quite insignificant right now and will be that will for at least 2 or 3 more years. Also 64 bit offers little performance gains when doing everyday things like email, web, word processing. Future apps will also be backwards compatible with 32 bit so there's no need to worry about your hardware being useless in a couple years.
  10. iUserz macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2006
    64 bit is waaay overhyped. It isn't going to make your computer run at double speed or anything like that, in fact your computer won't really take advantage of it until Leopard which will support 32 bit as well.

    Look at it this vista isn't even going to be 64 bit, linux has 64 bit distros but they aren't as popular because the driver support isn't there.

    64 bit just isn't as important an upgrade as it is hyped to be. Its only real benefit will be in scientific fields, mathematics programs and the like. In fact, in some cases 64 bit is actually slower than 32 bit (however 64/32 really isn't a speed issue, so don't think of it like that...)

    It isn't at all comparable to HD and will be supported for a long time.
  11. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    True, I do not believe that 64 bit will be that important at all but I've waited this far, I might as well wait for the new processors. 64 bit is a plus!
  12. Jnkm32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2006
    well funny you should mention that, i will be a math major but i plan to do a BA instead of BS so i can focus on other things as well. would this effect me, i personly doubt it but maybe some math or science guru will know. also i assume if i ever need to do something that pwerfull and complex, id be able to work at a school computer

    im think im jsut gunna go ahead and buy tomrrow and hope it gets here before next friday (thats when i leave). but i still cant decided: balck or white. i dont think i can justify $150 for style..i dunno but yeah thanks for your replies so far.
  13. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    64 bit won't be important until there are 64 bit applications that take advantage of it. And even then, right now, I don't think it will matter unless you plan to run Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, or other processor-intensive tasks. I think a MacBook should be able to hold it's own for the next four years.
  14. iUserz macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Anything you can do on a 64 bit processor you will be able to do on a 32 bit processor for a long time to come yet.

    What you have to understand is that a 64 bit processor is simply a larger chunk of memory space (64 bits instead of 32 :p) its not a phenomenal upgrade.

    Your macbook will still have the same life as it normally would if there was no 64 bit upgrade in the pipes. In fact, I ordered mine yesterday!
    If you want it to get there by friday you might wanna do the express ship, its a lot shorter and only 23 dollars.
  15. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    The 64-bit thing isn't much of an issue for one main reason, there is basically no software our there that takes full advantage of 64-bit technology. So don't worry because I don't:cool:

    Note for Apple users
    Even though the G5 processors of the Apple Power Mac series are 64-Bit CPUs, 64-Bit applications are not entirely supported by the OS X operating system. Only command line based programs can take advantage of the 64-Bit memory adressroom. Programs with a graphical user interface (GUI) can only run in 32-Bit mode.

    Therefore we can unfortunately not offer a 64-Bit version of CINEMA 4D for Macintosh.

    Read this
  16. somevelvet macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2006
    As a video dude, I gotta ask, will 64-bit have a noticeable impact on video editing software any time in the near future? In dealing with HD?
  17. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Hardware wise, 64 Bit gives us the ability to have more than 4gb of ram in a machine. So, with laptops, the advantage hasn't really appeared so far since there aren't modules or laptops that have a large enough capacity to outgrow 32bit addressing.
  18. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    That is a plus also. I'd like to know that if I hold on to this laptop for 5 years I can max out the ram to that much. Almost how the rev A 12 inch powerbook has a ram max of 640 but the rev B has a max of 1.25
  19. ToastCabbit macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2004
    Centre College
    I agree with you. As a fellow student, I have better things to spend my money on than $150 for a different color of laptop. Use that money to buy yourself a bigger monitor, external HD, keyboard, or mouse! The insides of the machine are what count.
  20. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    Yohan? Lol. I thought he was talking about the difference between the Merom processor and our Cy Young winner Johan Santana...both quite fast, but I'd take Santana any day. :D

    I think you meant Yonah :)
  21. XP Defector macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2006
    If you want to play PC games, don't buy a MAC. As for 64-bit processors, it's going to take a while before the software catches up, whether this is months or years I don't know.

    However what will be instantly obtainable is the advantage of having higher amounts of RAM, though I'm not sure how this will translate into the notebook market, seeing as heat and space are always issues.

    No doubt you're going to be able to buy MacBook Pro's with 4GIG of RAM in them, but I wouldn't be suprised if MacBooks stayed at 2 GIG. What's more, you might be waiting a long time until MacBooks upgrade to Meroms. Lastly, judging by the news today, the Merom has been all talk and no action.

    As for me I bought a MacBook, once I install a 120gig Harddrive and a 2GIG of Ram, I'm pretty certain this computer will last me for the next five years.
  22. Easy Rider macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2006
    All I know is that we are in another good period of growth.

    I don't know if you're young enough to remember the race to 1 GHz but it was an amazing time. Back then 450 versus 500 MHz was huge. Today we're in the core wars.

    2007 will bring along quad core, and 8 cores will happen in 2008. Intel has stated they want to hit 32 cores in 2010! Source:

    So honestly I say buy now otherwise your life is an eternal waiting game. 64 bit means nothing now. It will start meaning something when the "low end" Macs start shipping with 4GB of RAM. We are a long ways before that time.

    Buy something because you need it now, not because you want to make sure you have the fastest thing for the longest time. In 6 months you're going to be rendered obsolete anyway.

    We like to comfort ourselves by saying a computer will last us X amount of years, but we don't know that. My ThinkPad is 2 years old and it's feeling fine for my needs. It has a single 1.2 GHz processor.

    Buy now, enjoy. Don't fret because your signiture isn't amazing since your notebook is old.
  23. XP Defector macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2006
    Well said, I think.

    Jnkm32- What are you intending to do with it?
  24. flyguy451 macrumors regular

    May 3, 2005
    I agree with almost everything you said except this:

    You're never really obsolete - you just fall further and further behind the current state of the art but if you're needs don't change you can continue to use the same machine for a loooong time. For example; I still use my 333 mhz, Lime Green iMac. It sits on my desk and is perfect for reading the news, checking the weather, doing email and keeping the kids entertained. My daughter does her school assignments and spends hours on Neopets. The machine is something like 10 or 12 years old and is still on 8.6. It works perfectly. The point I'm trying to make is that if you buy a machine to meet your current needs you can expect it to fullfill those needs almost indefinitely, it's when you buy a machine expecting it to meet some future, unspecified needs that you'll become dissatisfied.

    PS. I'm not a Luddite, I do have a new Macbook that I use for work and more advanced computing needs.
  25. Jnkm32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2006
    haha sorta dislexsic. Actualy thats my excuse for realllly sucking at spelling.

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