2.0 Ghz or 2.4

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Murphy235, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Murphy235 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2008
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm planning on buying a MB for college soon. I'm not sure if I should buy the 2.0 Ghz or the 2.4 Ghz. I'll primarily be doing low intensity school work (text editing, presentations, etc.). I've heard I'll almost surely want to get the 4 GB upgrade for RAM as the school uses Windows specific programs on occasion, and I would prefer to use VMWare or Parallels, rather than native Boot Camp.

    Other than that I plan on doing light gaming (Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, and Sins of a Solar Empire are the only ones I'm interested in). However, I'm not sure how practical it is to run Sins under virtualization, but I don't really care about resolution/quality as long as it's at a decent FPS. Also, the backlit keyboard is of little consequence to me.

    With this, should I get the 2.4 Ghz? Or would I be better off to just save my money and use Boot Camp?
     
  2. Doju macrumors 68000

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    #2
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    You'll see little difference but I loved the backlit keyboard and hard drive difference.

    But if the latter two don't matter go with the two. But remember you can't upgrade the processor later if you change your mind. So be weary. If I were you Id go with 2.4 just in case.
     
  3. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    #3
    Your money would be better spent on the RAM upgrade
     
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    I'm with dubhe. Since you said the backlit keyboard doesn't matter, go with the 2.0 GHz. The 400 MHz difference is negligible and it's not that difficult to get an HDD and upgrade it yourself if you ever wanted a bigger hard drive. You also get a nice little external from it if you go that route.
     
  5. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #5
    2.0 for sure. If you're a touch typist like me you'll never look at the keyboard while you type so the backlight is useless, even in the dark.

    The games that you mentioned will run fine at 2.0 as your graphics card will be the limiting factor.

    4 gigs of ram for sure if you're going to run a virtual machine. I have 2 gigs of ram and it's incredibly tight memory wise in VMWare. I'll be making the upgrade myself although the Apple install isn't that badly priced if you want convenience.

    Bootcamp right now is terrible on this thing. You'll either need to run a virtual machine or use Windows on a different machine to keep your sanity. It's obvious the drivers were rushed out the door so a lot of stuff is just plain broken under bootcamp right now.
     
  6. Murphy235 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2008
    #6
    Thanks! I forgot to mention, this laptop needs to last me at least 3 years, preferably 4 though. If that would affect anyone's suggestions.
     
  7. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    #7
    400 MHz isn't going to make much of a difference, even in 4 years in my opinion. I still suggest 2.0 GHz. I only got the 2.4 GHz cuz I had the money and wanted the best :p
     
  8. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #8
    Let's put it this way. My desktop, which is probably around 2 years old by now, has a SLOWER chip than my Macbook. It's 1.8 ghz and the ram is slower too, being DDR2 instead of DDR3. But in terms of performance the thing smokes my Macbook because it has a faster hard drive and a much better graphics card.

    The CPU means very little these days if you're not constantly doing number crunching on it and will become even less the limiting factor as the years go on as things concentrate more on graphics card speed and as applications scale sideways instead of vertically (more cores versus more speed).
     
  9. yOyOYoo macrumors 6502a

    yOyOYoo

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    CA
    #9
    It's all about the backlit keyboard. I didn't think I wanted the 2.4Ghz until I saw the backlit keyboard. It is so awesome! haha.
     
  10. sangosimo Guest

    sangosimo

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    Sep 11, 2008
    #10
    most workstation apps aren't cpu intensive. If you are doing something that is cpu intensive 400mhz will not make a big difference.
     
  11. youssefm macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #11
    for gaming DONT use virtualization software, use boot camp. Parallels and fusion don't allow 3D virtualization, so games are gonna suck =[
     
  12. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    #12
    I disagree, although you can type in the dark without looking, it makes just trying to find the odd letter or number (say when filling in credit card details) with one finger difficult.
     
  13. darshan macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2008
    #13
    honestly thou how often do you type ur credit card numbers in the dark...

    do you really think spending 400+ on backlit keyboard is worth it... when u can simply just a) make few mistakes untill u get the number right or b) simply turn on the lights

    (dont get me wrong im on the same boat as him but im just saying typing numbers shouldnt be a major selling point for backlit keys)
     
  14. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    #14
    Ok, I used that as an example, but for me I spend more time pressing random keys than I do typing, and I often work in a dark environment, so I will be buying backlit for my next MB.

    But even just websurfing in bed having a backlit keyboard would be handy :)
     
  15. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

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    Nov 27, 2007
    #15
    Since you don't care about the backlit keyboard, just get the 2.0. While the speed difference is significant, you won't notice it for regular day-to-day use (web, word processing, photos).
     
  16. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #16
    People here will maybe not agree with me when I say this, but, you should get the 2.4GHz model.

    Here is why:

    1. Ram is updatable at any point.
    2. HD is updatable at any point.
    3. CPU is not updatable. Once you choose a 2.0GHz CPU, you are stuck there until you buy a new computer.

    You mentioned the MacBook has to last 3-4 years? Well, the 400MHz may not seem much of a difference now, but in the long run, it is. Why? Because as year passes applications will be more demanding. A higher processor is sure to help out when those future apps come. In college, you want to be as future proof as possible since students don't have that much $$$ to spend on new gadgets every year.

    Also, with Snow Leopard [OS X.VI or 10.6] looming soon. That means that the power in that Core 2 Duo and 16 cores of graphics processor in the nVidia chip will be used in a much, much better fashion. That makes your new MacBook one hell of a powerhouse at a portable level.

    So, those are my reasons for a 2.4GHz. Many might/may agree others might not. Just my $0.02
     
  17. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

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    Nov 27, 2007
    #17
    The above post made a very good point. It may well be true in 3, 4 years from now.

    However, if I look back 3, 4 year ago. In 2004, Apple was selling ibook with processor 1.0 - 1.2 GHz. Would the faster model really be faster today... I'm not so sure. They're both too slow :p
     
  18. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    #18
    It doesn't matter if you can upgrade now or later the memory and HDD, you still have to pay for it sometime. If money is an issue, the 2.0 will be almost as fast, and you can afford the RAM upgrade now. If money is no issue then why not go for the 2.4. It depends on your budget, if you can afford the upgrades in the future, then why not splash out now and be done. If you can't justify it now, then what's different in six months time?
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #19
    You don't need a 2.4, as 2.0 is fast enough. However in 3 years, you may want the 2.4, so therefore for sake of long term planning, get the 2.4
     
  20. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #20
    Good point but the difference between the processors is TINY. Check out the latest MacWorld benchmarks.

    If they were different processors I would agree with you but they are the same chip, except one is clocked slightly faster which makes a negligible difference. The price you pay for this is $300 and that is definitely not worth it in my opinion.
     

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