a student's dilemma: MBP or Unibody MBP .... or iMac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Zechsy, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Zechsy macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2008

    This is my 1st post but that's only 'cause I'm a ''lurker''. I have a serious problem. Today is 31th October, the last day to make use of the students promotion (atleast here in Belgium).

    Ever since I got myself an iPhone I'm just blown away by the keen eye for detail. So now I want to try out one of their Macs/Notebooks. The problem? The few Unibody MBP's we got flew out of the stores with the speed of lightning, the're sold out across all shops in Belgium.

    So I'm wondering, should I just go for the older MBP or even try an iMac? Basicly I want Mac OS X and play some games like Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, Crysis Warhead. I'm not studying any kind of professional editing or something. I'm just a student, fed up with Vista that digs Apple's style and want to play some games when he comes home tired after studying math for 8 hours straight.

    Mobility isn't really the issue here, I'm just looking for a decent Mac, 13inch is too small for me, and the Mac Pro too expensive so it kinda leaves MBP, MBP Unibody and iMacs left to chose. I'm also doubting wether I should get an iMac, 'cause I heard the're updating them in 2-3 weeks, so ... dunno. :/

    So, I'm looking for a bit of advice.

    P.S.: If it matters, price tag max €1650 (including student promotion)
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    Which country will you be ordering in? Some countries have a Higher Education discount that'd mean you'd be a loon to get a refurb machine.

    Edit: As crazy as it sounds, the MacBook Pro is currently a better gaming machine than the iMac because it has superior graphics, however the iMac will be upgraded very soon.

    You can get the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro for €1655.28 with the standard Education discount. My advice would be before looking any further, call up Apple and find out if there is a higher education discount, just say "I've been told I'm eligible for a Higher Education discount, how much can I save?". Its usually about 14% vs the standard 8% Education discount and in the UK you also get a 3 year warranty for free too.
  3. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, if today is the last day to order using the HE discount, you better get your ass in gear!

    Here are my thoughts:
    - iMac will be refreshed shortly, so no (you will have a very bitter aftertaste)
    - Old MBP is still a great machine, but there is that 8600gt problem, the yellowish screen, and mildly dated looks.
    - The Unibody MBP is a great machine, faster than both the iMac and old MBP, but it costs a fortune.

    Personally, I think the Unibody MBP is the best choice, but only if you can afford it. If you're really tight on money, you can buy the stock model, sell the RAM/HD, and upgrade the machine yourself with less expensive or used components.

    Best of luck!
  4. Be3G macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Personally, I'd opt for the iMac. Even though it's due for a refresh shortly, the fact is that you still get a lot more for your money than you do with a similarly-priced laptop; in buying a laptop you're paying extra for mobility which it sounds like you don't need. (Bear in mind that you'll probably get more recommendations for MacBook Pros in this forum because this is the MacBook Pro forum...) As for graphics, technically the new MBP has a newer graphics system than the iMacs, but you can add an 8800GT to the 24" iMac as a build-to-order option, which is still a powerful graphics card - indeed, it's quite possibly clocked higher than the laptop graphics cards are because of less of a concern about heat generation, so it may offer better performance than the new MBP's 9600GT.
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    Just saw the bit about the student deal finishing today, I'm guessing that's the iPod deal. Managed to miss the bit about which country you're in too before.

    In that case, call up Apple and find out whether they offer higher educational pricing versus just normal educational pricing in Belgium. I'd say go for the Unibody MBP, get the 2.4 GHz model or if you think you can scrape together enough (and get enough of a discount) then go for the 2.53 GHz model. I think the extra cash is worth it for the bigger hard drive, faster processor, more processor cash, double the memory and the added video RAM.
  6. Red-red macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    If you don't care about mobility why are you posting in the MBP section. Get a 24" imac.
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd say go for the refurb MBP; (yes, it has aged - a little), but for the money it is a terrific machine, is tested and tried, comes with Apple's warranty and a generous discount, and you can always sell it later on when you have more disposable income to spend on a newer model.
  8. blurb23 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    I'm a student right now, and I had an iMac until October 17th... at which point I sprinted home and got a new MBP.

    Choosing between a Unibody MBP and an "old" MBP is your call, but I'm just gonna say this - avoid the iMac route if you can.

    Yeah, it's an awesome computer. Yeah, it's good for (light) gaming. Yeah, it's got a big beautiful screen.

    But it's a desktop; it was an incredible pain to be tethered to my desk the whole time, and being unable to move around. Yes, there are flash drives and such, but it's nothing compared to being able to actually move your whole computer around.

    I'd definitely say for a MBP.
  9. CalumC macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2008
    Leeds, UK
    So the 9600 as gfx is better than the 8800?

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