Barely Used Black MacBook (Early 2008) or Go New

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AGreenerMachine, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. AGreenerMachine macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    I'm wondering if anyone can give me some advice here.

    Recently my iBook G4 has been giving me some trouble, and well frankly I believe it's time to let it have its rest. I tend to work my computers pretty hard, with some recreational but extensive and intensive graphics and video editing.

    I recently stumbled upon an option to buy a Black 2.4GHz MacBook w/ 250 GB HD (Early 2008 - i.e. Core 2 non-unibody, I believe) for $800.00, being a student and all it peaked my interest and since a brand new MacBook 13" 2.4Ghz with equivalent HD would cost roughly $1,600 w/ education discount. (Oh and p.s. $ are Canadian), seems like a pretty good deal. Am still hoping it is the unibody version but specs the guy has given me say it's not despite him purchasing it only in November 2008.

    Just wondering how much performance I would be sacrificing with the older video card (GMA X3100 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 4.0 vs. NVidia 9400?) and the slower BUS and RAM speed, and if I'd notice a difference? I figure it'll be miles ahead of the old iBook G4 I'm running, but I'm wondering if it'll bother me down the road. Anyone have any experience/advice?

    I want a computer to last me another 2-3 years and wouldn't mind putting a little extra money in to it to make sure, it will.

    Oh and anythoughts about dual booting w/ Windows or Linux?
  2. AGreenerMachine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    Bump, kinda a bit of an urgent situation. The biggest limitation me is financials, but there is a bit of leeway there. Any one with big objections to the purchase, at this time of year?
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    $800? Why not just purchase a new white MacBook for $1100? It's far cheaper than the $1600 price you mentioned. Besides, the harddisk is the cheapest part of the system to replace. You can get a 500 GB 7200 rpm harddisk for around $150, I'm sure.
  4. arklab macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2005
    I'm chiming in 'cause you have so few responses yet and say "It's urgent" to get input.

    You say video editing is a central task for you. From what I know the editing is CPU bound, with the more cores and faster speeds the better.
    As you are coming from a G4, you should get a VERY nice boost with any core2 duo based Mac.

    As to video playback, I believe NVidia 9400 vs. GMA X3100 is like comparing a bunny to ... well a large rock.
    Check out the reviews of the new graphics, but I think you are looking at a least 4X better performance.
    I understand that some games that would not even work at all with GMA play OK with 9400.

    Also bear in mind that the graphics grab system memory, so increasing RAM from 2Gb to 4Gb may allow faster graphics - but could be done later. Be SURE to check this out with others and reviews - I could be wrong on this

    So it sure looks like your best bet may well be a new rev Whitebook.

    Good Luck
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    What's wrong with your ibook? Is it the hard drive going out? If so, it may be a wise investment to spend a couple of hundred bucks to max the ram and for a new hard drive with 250 gigs than to spend a thousand or more for a new system if your current rig otherwise meets your needs. At least, you could use it as a secondary computer to haul around and use as a netbook.
  6. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    try to get a refurbished white macbook early 2009 with the nividea gpu. it should be around $999. (there is none in the refurb store now but they will come.)

    that should be good enough for video and graphics. and the new nividea GPU is much better than the GPU in the early 2008 macbook.

    if you think about spending $1600 then I would choose a refurbished MB early 2008 over the Macbook. Much better screen and GPU.

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