Assuming they don't update until March/April.... what one should I get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ajdb9, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. ajdb9 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #1
    Hi

    I'm starting an Bachelor of Engineering degree at University (college) at the start of March.

    **Assuming Apple don't upgrade the Macbook Pro until well into March, or April**

    Buying ANY Macbook Pro is a stretch on my budget, but I love the OS and am trying to afford one. The 15" MBPs start at $3000 here, I could get an equivalent-spec PC for about $1300!

    Of the three 15" models (15" is a good compromise on portability vs usability for me), is the lowest model (if I upgraded it with an HD screen and 500GB HDD) a good computer, capable of some Windows-based CAD type work (part of the degree)?

    We bought a bottom-end 15" Macbook Pro towards then end of 2008 and it's already starting to seem obsolete by now (2.4 C2D 2GB 200GB) - is buying the base model always a stupid thing to do, if there's the possibility of avoiding it?

    Is it worth me not eating breakfast and lunch for the 5 weeks until university so I can get the next model up!? :D

    How much more worthwhile is the extra processor and - in the top model - graphics card? And are those the only differences? (I don't game much, and if I did it would be for fun with mates, not for 'OMG look at the hardcore graphics' :rolleyes:)

    Also, are there any reference pics of HD vs non-HD screen?
    That's a pretty worthwhile upgrade, right?

    Thanks!
    Alexander
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    #2
    I think if you go with a baseline 15" MBP, you'd be fine, but then after purchase I would max out the RAM from an aftermarket provider like OWC. Don't buy RAM from Apple because it is always grossly overpriced.

    Otherwise I think you'll be fine with what you want to do and it should last you a long time properly taken care of.
     
  3. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    What tasks does your existing MacBook pro seem slow doing?

    If it's just slow in general than a solid state hard drive will put a spring in it's step and make it fast again.

    If it's tasks like encoding then a ssd wouldn't help.

    You can always sell your current mbp and use the funds to get the new one.
     
  4. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Your Core 2 Duo is still a very capable CPU for most everyday tasks. What's it not doing that you want it to do?
     
  5. ajdb9 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #5
    Hi

    Sorry, should've explained better. It's a family computer. So:
    1. Can't sell it (as I don't own it)
    2. Need my own computer (as I don't have 100% control over it, i.e. taking to University every day etc)

    Thanks!
    :)
     
  6. mickbab macrumors 65816

    mickbab

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    If things are looking like a stretch on the budget have you looked at refurbished models? I'm typing this up on a refurb 15" MBP I bought back in mid 2009 - it's great and saved a significant amount of money, or you could also go for a higher specced model with the same amount of money you were originally prepared to pay.

    Just something to consider.
     
  7. ajdb9 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #7
    Cool! Thanks for your reply. Are there any downsides to refurbished Macs?

    [Still interested in answers re new ones too :)]
     
  8. mickbab macrumors 65816

    mickbab

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
    Another family member and I both bought the same refurbished Mac at the same time.

    Mine has a minute ( ~1mm across ) ding along the top right edge of the screen bezel, which I noticed at first but really doesn't matter and I soon learned to ignore, and for the price discount I don't really mind. The other one came with no cosmetic defaults. From most people I have spoken to on MacRumors, refurbished Macs generally have no faults at all.

    Both computers run perfectly fine as you would expect a brand new computer to.

    As an added bonus, both of them came with AppleCare already purchased - I think they both must have been in a batch where the previous owner bought AppleCare for all of them. (don't go expecting this if you purchase one though)

    So yes, if you are unlucky and get a little ding you can get your downsides, but it isn't going to be anything too major and I would say the price reduction compensates for that. I would definitely purchase refurbished again and can recommend it to others.

    Good luck with your decision!
     

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