$825 more for a MBP worth it vs. a MB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by akadmon, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. akadmon macrumors 68020

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    New England
    #1
    I need to buy a laptop for my college bound daughter in the next few weeks, and although I would prefer to buy her a MBP, I will either buy her a PC laptop or, perhaps, an MB, unless new MBPs are at least announced by the end of February.

    When both are maxed out on RAM and equipped with the same fast hdd, the price of the low-end MBP is $825 higher than that of a mid-range MB. Here is the rundown:

    Base Price (edu): $1199 for MB (no sales tax), $1799+5% sales tax for MBP

    4GB RAM (third party): $99 for MB, $99 for MBP

    200 GB/7200 rpm hdd: $180 for MB (third party, no sales tax), $247 +5% sales tax for MBP (wold buy from Apple since an MBP hd installation is not user friendly)

    Apple Care: $183 for MB, $239 for MBP
    ___________________________________________
    Grand Total: $1661 for MB, $2486.30 for MBP

    Is the MBP really worth it, when the only real difference is the video card and screen size? My daughter does play WoW occasionally, and I hear that MB is OK for Wow. I'm having a hard time justifying a MBP, unless a new model comes out at the same price point as the existing one, given that the MB won't be upgraded for a few months after the MBP (based on past release history).
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #2
    Any chance you can look at a refurbished MacBook Pro?
     
  3. heatmiser macrumors 68020

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    #3
    As a graduating student, I'll easily say not worth it. A Macbook will be fine for just about everything--heck, any Windows PC would be fine for just about everything. You'll simply be paying for Jobs' next batch of SSD drives if you go with the Pro. :D
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    Why no sales tax on the MB but one on the MBP? Just curious, esp. as it seems you're not custom building the MBP.

    Edit: also, do you really need to upgrade the internal on the MBP? 120GB is pretty decent, and an external drive can be had for very little - 500GB can be found hovering near $100 anymore.
     
  5. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #5
    I am custom building the MBP. See the comment about the hdd. I'm not willing to mess with installing it on a MBP, but hear it's a snap on a MB.

    Des not change the answer much (maybe by $50). There is no edu discount on refurbs, so the refurb price is only slightly lower than an edu price. Plus you can get a refurb MB also.
     
  6. mrtune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #6
    You're dilemma was the same as mine. There is a huge gap in cost between the mb and mbp. I couldn't justify paying that kind of increase in price for a bigger screen and better video card. Wasn't worth it to me. I ended up with a midrange macbook, because the base model didn't offer a dvd burner.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #7
    It changes it $100 for both laptops.
     
  8. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #8
    The greedy bastard! :mad::D
     
  9. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

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    #9

    I would second that - I am tempted to jump on one of the $1600 ones there myself.
     
  10. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Therefore does not change the difference.
     
  11. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

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    #11
    With the MBP, you get FW800 and an express card slot in addition to the graphics capabilities and the bigger screen. Oh, and a backlit keyboard and a matte option.

    But, what is she going to use it for?

    Unless she's doing a specialist course in 3D computer graphics, I don't see why she'd need the MBP.

    And does she really need a 7200rpm hard drive? Would she even notice? You could save a few bucks there too.

    The MB will also be cheaper to replace than the MBP if it gets lost/stolen/broken (pretty likely if the colleges in your neck of the woods are like the ones round here).

    If you've got spare money left over, I am sure there's plenty of accessories she'll be needing.

    SL
     
  12. nikhsub1 macrumors 68010

    nikhsub1

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    #12
    I couldn't agree more. Unless she will be hardcore gaming, or MUST have a 15" screen, a MBP would be a waste of money.
     
  13. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #13
    OK. I'll point her to this thread. She can think about it.

    I still would love her to have a MBP, but given the current specs it makes no financial sense. It would be a different story if I could get a MBP with a 2.5GHz Penryn, 256MB video and a user replaceable hdd for the price of the current low-end MBP. We'll see where we are at the end of February, which is the MBP drop dead date I put down on the calendar that hangs in our kitchen :)
     
  14. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

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    #14
    I thought so, but then I do a lot of graphics work, so the extra power and larger screen was pretty much essential. Ultimately it depends on the kind of use she's going to give it, but for regular 'business' type use (word processing, net access, spreadsheets), then I'd say save your money and go for the MB.

    If she's going to be doing much with apps like Adobe CS or the like, however, then that extra screen real-estate is worth it (unless of course you just fix her up with an external screen for those occasions).
     
  15. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #15
    I have both (well, the MBP is mine and the MB is my dad's) and the MBP is definitely worth the money (and my dad agrees), but only if you think you'd make use of the extra features/better performance.

    I'd personally say stick with a MacBook in that instance...
     
  16. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 2, 2007
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    Ontario Canada
    #16
    Honestly the Macbook Pro isn't a whole lot faster than the Macbook. 200mhz difference isn't a lot maybe the graphics but if your not doing 3D or playing games then the MacBook is sufficient.
     
  17. pjrobertson macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #17
    I'm in the same boat, but went for a MB. It's got everything I need, and I'll probably buy a bigger screen (19") with the extra money I saved.

    There's really no need for a Pro like eveyone else has said.
     
  18. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #18
    I'd disagree. Just moving around OS X, the difference in performance between my dad's latest gen MacBook and my (now replaced) 1st gen MacBook Pro were noticeable.

    The MacBook Pro is faster than the MacBook for general use, even if the clock speed on the MB is higher...
     
  19. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Both had the same RAM and hdd? Hard to believe that there would be a difference, unless you're talking graphics intensive stuff.
     
  20. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    #20
    I just bought a 2.2GHz brand new for $1650...no tax or shipping
     
  21. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #21
    And your point is? If you can get MBP for $150 under an edu price, you can probably do the same with a MB. Back to square one.
     
  22. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    #22
    Well...for your daughter I think a MB would be great. If I could run WoW fine on my old iBook, I think that the MB with the X3100 can handle it fine. I think that a MB would be perfect and you can replace her hard drive at your own price. But, does she want a larger screen/better graphics card? I don't know what your daughter does on her computer (is a graphic designer or something in that nature)?

    I think your MB setup was perfect for that price.
     
  23. Paix247 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    #23
    As a current college student who has owned both a MacBook Pro & a MacBook, I would say that the Pro is a better choice. You are getting a $200 discount, but on the MacBook, its only a $100 discount. Keep in mind that most of the new games will not play on the MacBook AT ALL. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but I miss my x1600 from my MBP. The aluminum is a much better material for resisting scratches and cracks, the MBP backlight keyboard has helped me in many classes during presentations. Plus, they Pro is nearly the same weight as the MB. Plus, if living in a small apartment or dorm, the bigger screen is so nice for watching movies! :D

    This is just my opinion, but I'm going to sell my MB and get the new Pro as soon as it comes out. I only sold my Pro so I could afford an iPhone...
     
  24. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68020

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    New England
    #24
    All good points, you guys. If I don't go with a pro, I'll probably get her a 20" Dell LCD, which can be had for ~$300. That's still $500 under a MBP.
     
  25. uncleSmurf macrumors regular

    uncleSmurf

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #25
    Heres my opinion... as a college student myself

    She's female so chances of her gaming are slim. I don't game myself, I only use it for reports, email, web surfing, aim, and storing media. The macbook handles basic photo editing and basic tasks just fine. Chances are she's only going to use it for the same reasons listed above which makes the Macbook just fine. I have never even found a time where I have ever needed firewire ports or the express card port. I've never even used it to attach an external monitor....

    The macbook is the better purchase overall for those reasons.
     

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