Blackbook or refurbished pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fatchay, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. fatchay macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #1
    Hello,

    I am trying to decide between a new blackbook and a refurbished Macbook Pro. With my educational discount, the Blackbook is $1534- I plan on upgrading to 2GB RAM, so the specs are:
    2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB memory
    160GB hard drive1
    Double-layer SuperDrive

    My other option is the refirb. 15in Pro at $1699, and the basic specs are:
    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    15.4-inch widescreen display
    2GB memory
    120GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 128MB of GDDR3 memory
    Built-in iSight Camera

    I use Photoshop and Illustrator (for my own projects/enjoyment), as well as the basics (itunes, iphoto).

    I am not leaning either way about it now, just not sure if it is worth the extra $ for the Pro.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. David G. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Alaska
    #2
    DON'T BUY APPLE RAM. Sorry for shouting but seriously, it is a ripoff of the most extreme.
     
  3. fatchay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #3
    So if I go with the MBook, skip the RAM?
     
  4. mBurns macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Definitely, their RAM is known to be overpriced. Shop around online like at Crucial or CDW (I bought my MacBook Pro RAM their). Also, I don't think anyone will argue that the MacBook Pro will be more future proof. The dedicate graphics card is definitely nice to have and does help future proof a machine. That being said, if you're in love with the MacBook, you can't go wrong either way. It all depends on the amount of time you're going to own the machine and your portability needs.
     
  5. zirkle2007 macrumors 6502

    zirkle2007

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    #5
    I'll throw my vote in for the Pro. Adobe will benefit a lot from its graphics.
     
  6. David G. macrumors 65816

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Alaska
    #6
    Yes. Buy some from Other World Computing(OWC) or Crucial. I just priced it out on the MacBook and you could buy 4GB of RAM from OWC for $50 less than 2GB from Apple.:eek:
     
  7. fatchay thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #7
    By "future proof", do you mean it is going to last longer? I intend on owning it for 2-3 years- or longer. I have an emac now (should i be blushing?)- so I keep my computers for a while. Thing is, I have been drooling over the Pro for a while now, I just want to make sure the extra $$ is worth it- that my eyes aren't being too big.
     
  8. fatchay thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #8
    Wow, thanks, that is so much cheaper. But would I need to have someone else install it?
     
  9. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 16, 2007
    #9
    Adobe is CPU based, not GPU based. There would be no real difference between the MB and the MBP for adobe in general use, except for maybe certain plugins and filters.
     
  10. mBurns macrumors 6502

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    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    By future proof I mean having more capabilities to do graphic-intensive things down the road. If in the future you decide to become a gamer for example, you have the ability to with the Pro. I feel like for the price difference, there is NO doubt you should go for the Pro.
     
  11. JohnAltidoreITT macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #11
    I'd say pro, the little benefits like the backlit keyboard really make it feel like a real awesome machine.

    I doubt you feel the same way, but to me the Macbook looks toyish in comparison to the MBP, although still it looks far better then most PCs.

    You also get a bigger, and better screen.
     
  12. fatchay thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #12
    I totally agree. I love the look of it too.
     
  13. joekix macrumors 6502

    joekix

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    earth, long beach CA to be exact
    #13
    no, it's very easy. if you order from owc, they throw in pictured directions on how to do it. takes less than 10 mins.
     
  14. firstapple macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #14
    Also in the instruction booklet/guide from Apple that comes with the macbook, there are instructions in there on how to change out RAM
     
  15. BlueZombie macrumors newbie

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    Jan 22, 2008
    #15
    Another vote for the MBP. Upgrade RAM from OWC as someone mentioned previously (OWC is cheaper than Crucial). I purchased 4GB RAM for less than $100.

    I purchased a refurbished aluminum iMac and am very happy I did. I saved a bit of money and when I received it, there were no problems at all with it and it is basically brand new, minus the brand new box. I'm sure it will be the same for a refurb MBP.
     
  16. YuriVoorhak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #16
    You didn't ask for unbiased opinions*, so I'm going to vote for the Macbook.

    (Because I hate big portables, and black = stealth. :D )
     
  17. ericsthename macrumors regular

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    Apr 13, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    #17
    I would take a macbook pro 1.8 ghz over a macbook simply for the GPU. In all honesty, as much as these two machines appear similar they are completely different based on that one feature. Everything from streaming video to simple quartz rendering and obviously games will run as it should with any of the dedicated cards in the MBP, whereas the shared card in the Macbook will suffer.

    off subject, but of conversational value, I still can't figure out why apple changed their outlook so drastically when they went from ibooks to macbooks.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18
    No it won't.

    In fact, from what he says he uses, the machines would run at around the same speed. You wouldn't notice any difference (if there was a difference).


    The MacBook is more portable (and I prefer that), but the MBP has a higher res screen, which may help you with Photoshop and Illustrator (if you don't have an external monitor). Personally, I'd rather have the MacBook, though. A 13" screen is perfect for portable use.

    If you intend on leaving your laptop on your desk most of the time, I guess you don't need the portability. In that case, the MBP may be better.
     
  19. fatchay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #19
    Thanks so much for all of your input! All of your arguments make sense- too much, in fact, so I am still in limbo on this decision.

    I am heading to the mac store again this weekend to really take a look at the size and features and figure out which I am most comfortable with. But if you have anything that might sway either way, let me know!
     
  20. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #20
    You will most likely notice that the size isn't all that different.

    [​IMG]

    They are also the same weigth but the MacBook Pro comes with an LED-screen, which will give you a much more uniform screen.

    The added screen real estate will also help greatly when running applications like Adobe with all their toolsets etc.
     
  21. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
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    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #21
    I sold my Blackbook for a refurb Pro. The main reason was for the dedicated graphics card, but I like the increased screen real estate. The only thing I'm missing is the option to swap out the hard-drive without voiding my warranty.

    Another advantage is you can plug in a DVI monitor to the Pro without a £15 dongle. Plus you get firewire 800 which is great! In terms of processing power there is virtually no difference between the two. Both can have 4 GB of RAM.

    :Edit: Also - the MBP has an expresscard slot, which you could use to plug in an eSATA card. Then you could use a SATA hard-drive for your Photoshop scratch disk. SATA is much faster than USB, FW 400 & even FW 800. You might not need it now, but could prove useful later if you start doing heavy Photoshop work. One final thought - with a MBP you can choose between a matte or glossy screen. Just wait until the one you want appears in the refurb store.
     
  22. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #22
    Why not a refurb black MacBook? That would be even cheaper, and leave even more money for extra goodies such as external displays etc.
     
  23. fatchay thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #23

    I have an educational discount, which makes the new MB $1399 vs. $1299 for the refurb., so I figured for the extra $100, I'd go for the new one.
     
  24. bennyboi macrumors regular

    bennyboi

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    West Coast
    #24
    mbp

    I love my refurbed mbp, and I recently bought a 1TB Raid Array (as seen in my sig). I use a SATA card in my express-34 slot found only in the mbp, not the mb. There are other professional expansion options for the express-34 slot the mb can never offer. I love my RAID. It screams past firewire 800. But for graphics, don't know if u would need it. Still- the point is, it's more professional. So it all depends on what u want.

    Plus, when it comes down to looks, imagine you start getting clients here and there for graphics gigs. Are you going to show up with a macbook and look like an amerature (no offense macbookies!) , or are you going to show up with the macbook pro and look professional.

    Plus Plus, I highly recommend aluminum casing in mbp's. Apple tech told me of older iBooks- plastic casing allows more contraction / expansion in temperature fluctuations, making it easier for parts to move in bad directions. Hence, the breadth of ibook repairs back in the day vs. powerbook repairs. Things could be different nowadays, but still. Metal beats plastic like rock beats scissors.

    Good luck deciding!
     
  25. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #25
    Damn bennyboi has just reminded me - the blackbook smudges very very easily. You'll need to clean regularly. I had a Powerbook G4 for over a year and I didn't have to clean it once. Yay metal!
     

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