Aluminum Macbook 2.0GHz vs. 2.4GHz. Worth the upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by wellsws, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. wellsws macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Seattle, Washington
    I'm planning to pick up a new Macbook tonight, but can't decide between the 2.0GHz and 2.4GHz models. Is it worth $300 to get the 2.4? I don't think I really need a backlit keyboard. I can always upgrade the hard drive at a later time. I really just need something to carry around. It's not going to be my main computer. I have an iMac at home. The Macbook will be for travel. Is there a major performance difference between the 2 models? I guess that's what it comes down to.
  2. mlemonds macrumors 6502a


    Apr 9, 2008
    Lexington, KY
    i couldn't justify it

    i will be upgrading the HDD to 7200 rpm drive (320 GB most likely) and the RAM to 4 GB shortly; the price for those upgrades is about $230 on newegg and will give you far more performance gain that 400 MHz
  3. kellte2 macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005

    I did the 2.4. Processor can't be upgraded later, RAM and HDD can. DDR3 prices will go down by the time you need to upgrade. Backlit keyboard is sexy.

    Go big.
  4. mlemonds macrumors 6502a


    Apr 9, 2008
    Lexington, KY
    this is true.

    to OP:

    what are you going to be doing on the MB? how long do you plan on keeping it?

    if it is just mail, web, chat i wouldn't worry about the 2.4, but if you are going to use it at night or in any low light situation, the backlit kb would be nice. it is harder to type in low light with the black kb than it was with my whitebook and white kb
  5. christiemp macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2008
    I agree. Go big or go home.
  6. mlemonds macrumors 6502a


    Apr 9, 2008
    Lexington, KY
  7. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Go home with $300 plus tax savings in your pocket. 2.0GHz will do everything the 2.4GHz will do.
  8. mcruzader macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    I was in the same exact position last night. I decided to go for the blacklit keyboard and have not regretted it one bit. It was basically the selling point for me. I doubt you will notice the difference in 400MHz although, I guess it really depends on what you are planning on doing with it. I produce music on Logic and sometimes edit video with Final Cut Express, so speed is always a plus. Besides you can always get ram and hard drive upgrades for any of the 2.
  9. dhowse macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2008
    Processor speed wasn't the deciding factor. Backlit keyboard was. With my old MacBook I was always having to squint or adjust the screen so I could see the keys in the dark. The new backlit keyboard is great. I convinced myself that I would be keeping this MacBook for quite awhile. All metal construction should allow this machine to last for awhile.

    Another vote for "Go Big"

  10. MacLadybug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2008
    Bigger is better...

    All my stuff has 2.4 Ghz right now with 2x2GB Ram. I could definitely notice a difference. I bought online, it's cheaper than going to the store and having them put it in. In the store they take out the 2 - 1GB, replace them with 2 - 2GB and give you the singles back. Online they just build it so you don't pay the extra for the 2 singles. found that out the hard way.
  11. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    I think is key in your decision - what is your replacement timeframe as well as your usage needs? If you're planning on keeping this particular laptop a while and can swing the extra $, you'll likely appreciate "going big." On the other hand, if you switch every 12-18 months, then it may not make a difference to you.

    My general principle is always buy as much speed as you can afford at the time, keeping in mind to save $ for RAM as that will also enhance your user experience greatly.

    I had the same thoughts & ended up going with the 2.4 - haven't regretted it one bit.

    Best wishes!
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Honestly, the real life benefit of the speed bump is almost non-existant. I would say unless you need the backlit keyboard then you're ok with the base model. For me, the backlit keyboard was a deal breaker ... I would have otherwise saved my money.
  13. wellsws thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Seattle, Washington
    Lots of advice to take, thanks! I can really see the benefits of going for 2.4. I tend to upgrade every couple of years and this laptop is not going to be a "work" computer. It's more for travel, watching movies, surfing the web at cafes, etc... As for the backlit keyboard, I do like to watch movies in bed, but I don't generally type in complete darkness. So, I don't really need it. I believe I'll go with 2.0. I think for me, it will be enough. I can pocket the extra $300 for something else later down the road. Thanks everyone for your advice! I love this forum!
  14. fishniw macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    can someone give me a real life example of the difference in processing speeds between 2.0ghz and 2.4ghz? Using a common app such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Garageband, etc...
  15. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
  16. fuzzielitlpanda macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2008
    i say go for the 2.4 so you won't have any regrets. it's only $20 more a month and yes you CAN afford that. the backlit keyboard alone is worth the money to me
  17. fishniw macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
  18. bonkiebonks macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2007
    Auckland, NZ
    I just got my new Aluminum MacBook last night, and I must say the backlit keyboard is totally worth it!

    If they had a 2.0GHz with backlit keyboard, I'd go for it in a heartbeat. As someone said in an earlier post, the backlit keyboard was also the deciding factor for me, not the faster processor or the bigger hard drive.
  19. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
  20. TFMTASAD macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2008
    I picked up a 2.4ghz and had the apple store upgrade it to 4gb RAM now that they reduced their price on ram. I chose this model mainly because of the keyboard. I had a penryn MBP and I used the backlit all the time. I just couldn't live without it.
  21. DsurioN macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2007
    Totally worth it just because of the backlit keyboard. ;)
  22. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008

    Like some of the other people on here also I decided to go with the 2.4 because of the backlit keyboard is what got me.
  23. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    Working on the same decision-- can you turn the backlit keyboard off?
  24. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006

    amazing what people will pay for two little lights behind a keyboard
  25. StingerT125 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2008
    Dutchess County New York
    The backlit keyboard really wasn't the deciding factor for me.

    I had been in the market for the black MacBook and waited to see what the new ones were like. The processor bump and the extra HDD space weighed more to me. It was $100 more than I had planned to spend so the improved graphics accounted for that difference for me.

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