Best Apple Intel Laptop For The Job

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by skateny, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. skateny macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2012
    New York, NY
    Hi. I've been given an opportunity /mandate to get an Intel Mac. They're willing to cover part/all of the price.

    I don't know very much about Intel Macs, and I'd like to get one second-hand that would stay useful to me for years to come. I understand that the earlier MacBooks cannot be used with later iterations of OS X, so I need to avoid those models.

    All input will be appreciated.
  2. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    My recommendations

    Hey Skateny!

    Well, if you really want a great deal on a MacBook Pro, look for the 2008-2009 unibody based models. Those were great for the price and you can run Mountain Lion on them as well. I believe they are Core2Duo based. I might get a 2008 Unibody MacBook Pro as my Gateway Laptop is dying and I just prefer Mac to begin with.

    I hope this does not mean you will be leaving us?? :(

    Your a great contributor to the PowerPC community. Still support us though. I mean, what the heck.. I use a 6-core Mac Pro as a heavy file and print server while my main everyday machine is a G5 Quad, along with my PB G4 1.67 which I am writing this currently on.

    You are right about the earlier MacBooks/MacBook Pros.. 2006-2007 models won't work with Mountain Lion as Lion is the only version you would be able to upgrade to. My recommendation therefore: 2008 unibody and beyond. Those can go as high as 8GB of memory and will serve you well - plus you will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion as those 2008/2009 models support 64-bit.

  3. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    If you look on the MacBook section of Everymac you can not only see the specs but see the maximum version of the OS each one can run...

    So if you want something that you can keep for a few years, assuming you would like (or need) to stay on the current OS (10.8) or close to it (as Apple drops support for these older MacBook's in future OS releases), the late 2008 Unibody MacBook's can still run 10.8, and everything newer than that. The Unibody MacBook's look like MacBook Pro's and were only made one year, then Apple switched back to the white MacBook case. You do need to look closely at the various models to see what can run the most current OS, because there were previous MacBook's with the same clock speed that cannot run the current OS. Example, the late 2008 Unibody MacBook's had 2.0GHz and 2.4GHz versions, they can run Mountain Lion. But there were 2.0GHz and 2.4GHz versions in early 2008 and they cannot support Mountain Lion.

    If you are looking for a MacBook Pro,, the mid-late 2007's and newer can run 10.8.

    But if you want to hopefully be able to upgrade to whatever comes after 10.8 you should probably try and not buy the lowest/oldest model that currently supports 10.8, and instead buy something newer, as Apple will likely move the support requirements up a full model year with each new OS released.
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I'm looking at the A1261 next year with my tax refund. It's 2.5 or 2.6Ghz with an Intel Core 2 Duo (mid-2008 offering). And as has been mentioned above, it will run Mountain Lion.

    I'm choosing this particular Mac because I understand that it's the last 17" MBP that uses the same bodystyle as the Aluminum PowerBook G4s. I may have to get an MBP next year but at least I can keep it looking as close as possible to my two current 17" PBs.

    That's just my suggestion.
  5. skateny thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2012
    New York, NY
    Hey, thanks for your kind words and your input. Nothing in nature is going to separate me from my iBook. Regardless of whether or not I upgrade for work, I intend to stay firmly planted with my iBook. Even considering getting a G5 Mac just for the hell of it.

    Besides, the plan is not yet written in stone, and I'm not eager to jump to Intel. Naturally, to the extent I'll be more productive with an Intel Mac, this would be very useful for me. It's difficult explaining to non-Apple folks (and to some Apple folks who don't know from the PowerPC) that, for most critical tasks, I'm able to be as productive without an upgrade. My other out is letting someone I supervise use the new laptop.

    Thanks again.


    Thanks for all your help CCK!


    Thanks. That's very helpful. As so often happens here, people seem to be confirming each other's thoughts. And yes, that often doesn't happen here as well. :D

    Thanks again.
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    If you want a desktop, go for the 8-core variant of the third generation Mac Pro ("MacPro3,1"). Goes for around $1,100.
  7. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    If you want something more future proof, get an i5 or i7. When will Apple drop support for all C2Ds
  8. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland

    You have to appreciate, that all machines wear - even hough they might only have a few moving parts, usage wears them out (and there are some non-moving parts inside computers which also do not stand the test of time - those are usually related to the power supply). Also plastic does not match up agains metal, so drop the plastic/polycarbonate macbooks of your list. Therefore I'd recommend the newest beast you can afford.

    Basically, I'd recommend any unibody macbook pro (From Late 2008 onward). Memory expansions are cheap and you should always go for at least 4 GB of RAM. Also dropping in a SSD (if you do not need the space a HDD offers) make even a 4 year old machine seem brand-spanking new.

    P.S. If the MBP's are out of your price range, also the 2008 aluminium unibody macbook is a very good machine (So good in fact, that Apple quickly "dropped" it and rebranded it pro :) ). I have been the happy owner of one and shed many tears as I let it go on to the next happy owner.
  9. RSL macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2012
    Be careful with those machines, as they have the defective nvidia 8600m gt GPU.

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