2.0 or 2.4 alum Macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lazyboy922, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. lazyboy922 macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    I did a search, but didn't really come up with what I was looking for. I currently own a 2.16 white macbook, and want to upgrade.

    I am a design professional (work mostly in CS3, not much video stuff), and was curious is the extra money for the 2.4 is worth it? I don't care about the larger harddrive, as I already have one I am going to put in there.

    I have read the benchmarks, and see that the 2.4 is close to the new 15" MacBook Pro. I'd rather have the 13" screen as I use an external monitor. But if there isn't a huge difference in speed between the 2.0 and 2.4, i'll get the 2.0.

    Any thoughts?

    Again, sorry if this has been answered.
  2. Lexoticstylez02 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    Isn't much difference besides the bigger HDD and backlit keyboard, if neither matter you, go for the 2.0.
  3. techster82 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2006
    I figured I would throw my two cents in since I was in the same situation and made my purchase of a new Macbook today.

    I went back and forth for a few days between the $1300 and $1600 models and ultimately picked the $1300. I basically listed the differences between the two and assigned values to the differences and what I couldn't upgrade myself. First off lets list the only differences between the two models:

    Processor: 0.4 difference and can't be upgraded in the future
    Hard Drive: 90GB increase with the higher end model but EASILY upgradeable
    Keyboard: Backlit on the higher end model

    Now the rule of thumb with notebooks has always been to purchase the best model you can because upgrades were hard to do and costly. Apple has done a great job of solving some of these problems by making the ram and hard drive very accessible.

    A quick search on Newegg finds that a 320GB hard drive can be purchased for $70. This gives you a larger drive than the $1600 model for a fraction of the cost. Say that you choose to go with the $1300 model and swap the hard drive. That puts you at $1370. Then lets say we decide to bump the ram from 2GB to 4GB for $100 (once again Newegg). We are now at $1470. The only thing we have lost is a backlit keyboard (don't miss it one bit) and a small bump in processor speed. Remember though, we are still $130 under the price of the higher end model and have twice the amount of ram and a larger hard drive. When you approach it from this angle I think the $1300 model is the way to go.

    Oh, it also helped that I picked up an open box Macbook at Bestbuy and saved another $100. If you watch Apple's outlet section you can pick one up for just $1100 making it a great deal.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your decision.

  4. lazyboy922 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thanks for your input, Clay. Yes I already have a 320gb that I plan on putting in there right away. I am also going to upgrade the ram to 4gb. I guess that was my main question, is the .4 really make that much of a difference? I really can't justify the cost, and I really don't care too much about the backlit keyboard.

    I think I will choose the 2.0 as you did. Thanks!
  5. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    The backlit keyboard is so useful, not just in the dark but in dim lighting, too.

    Is it worth the cost by itself? Maybe not. It it worth the cost noting you get a marginally better processor and some extra storage? I think so.
  6. techster82 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Given I have only had my new 2.0 Macbook a day so far, I really haven't missed the backlit keyboard. The only time it came in handy was when I would lay in bed at night surfing the net before going to bed with the light out so the fiance can sleep. I maybe used it every now and then to find a function key. Thats exactly where I am as I type this and find my hands hitting every key without the need to look at the keyboard. Bottom line is while the backlit keyboard may be nice for bragging rights, if you can't type without looking at the keyboard you shouldn't own a Mac. That coupled with the minimum performance gain in processor speed tells me Apple can keep their 2.4 model.
  7. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    I never use the backlit keyboard on my MBP. The Mac keyboard are all pretty standard you shouldnt need the backlight.
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    If you're going to have it for awhile, why not get the better model. Here is the thing, the illuminated keyboard helps tremendously with eliminating first few stroke errors. It is a high-end feature. The CPU is 20% faster, that is nice. While you may upgrade the hdd, you can use the extra 90 GB of space while using as a backup/USB drive. You're already saving money vs the MBP or MBA.

    I bought the high-end MB and love it. I just think over time, it's worth the extra money. I guess for someone using at a desk during work hours doing simple code or something wouldn't see much advantage in the upgrade. I use mine all hours of the day, at the desk, on the patio, in bed, and while traveling. So I guess what matters is how YOU intend to use it.

    Good luck with your decision.
  9. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    Im a designer myself, and I'd recommend getting the 2.0GHZ save money!! Adobe products are memory intensive, so I don't think its worth it to shell out cash just for the 400MHZ upgrade..
  10. cy88 macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2006
    Toronto, Ontario
    I personally went with the 2.0Ghz since the money saved can go towards other stuff such as 4GB of ram upgrade. I've upgraded my 2.0Ghz MB to 4GB today and I would say it feels as quick as my iMac.

    Just an advice - since you are design professional, you might want to consider about macbook pro if you decide not to use an external monitor. The color on the panel is MUCH better. The macbook display looks washed out, even after calibration. I am into photography, but I don't do it for a living. I got the macbook for the portability, and I already ordered an external monitor for photo processing. Just a thought!
  11. JackSYi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    I agree on the quality of the screens. The difference is noticeable, try to compare them at the Apple stores.

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