Business Major: MB or MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by moore09, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. moore09 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    I will be going off to college next year and I will obviously need a laptop. I am a business major so expect to have to run Windows XP or use Parallels frequently during class, otherwise I will be OSX. I do not do any heavy editing or heavy gaming beyond possibly The Sims 2 or 3. I will really only need my laptop for research, Internet, minor image editing, listening to music, watching movies, producing Word/PowerPoint/Excel documents, or using Skype. Just average college kid stuff.

    I didn't know though, since I will have to rely on BootCamp to run XP (7 when it's released) often, if I should invest in a more powerful MacBook Pro. I also do not know how important the FireWire port and ExpressCard slot are that are lost on the MacBook. The only reason I could think of needing FireWire is for my backup hard drive.

    My main concern is that Windows will bog my Mac down so I want to make sure it can handle what I throw at it. If I get a MacBook, I will get the highest configurable model. I just don't know if I should fork out the extra bucks for a middle road 15" Pro at $2600 and a faster hard drive. What are your opinions on the specs I need?
  2. miggitymac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    I'd get the 2.4 GHz'll be more than enough for what you need. If you want more RAM, don't get it from's a lot cheaper to buy the RAM somewhere else and install it yourself.

    TBH, I think you'd get by fine with the 2.0 unibody or even the updated whitebook (with a bigger hard drive to balance out Windows).

    But, if you have the money to spend, the 2.4 GHz will just make everything run "snappier" and you'll get DDR3 RAM and a backlit keyboard.

    You definitely don't need a MBP.

    EDIT: if you're not sure if you need firewire, then you most likely don't. You can just hook up a backup HD via USB cable.
  3. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    I too am a business major and have had no real use for the power of my old macbook yet (for classes, I'll leave other things aside) and my old early 07 MB with the GMA 950 is more than adequate for running Vista Ultimate, which should use more resources than 7. I personally would go for the recently updated plastic white MacBook: it still has firewire, it now has the good Nvidia card... It should be more than fine for the stuff you do in business. Don't bother dumping all the extra $$$ into a Pro. That's my opinion, at least.
  4. moore09 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    Luckily money is not really a problem for me because most of my tuition is being covered by scholarships. Because of that, I don't have a problem splurging on the 2.4GHz MB or even a 2.5GHz Pro. I just want to make sure that when I'm running a lot of programs at once, it's not going to bog down much and it will still run smoothly 4 years from now.

    Thanks for the quick responses though! They help a great deal!
  5. ideonode macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I'd echo others above, and go for the 2.4MB. I'd also up the memory to 4GB, if money is indeed not an issue. Remember that portability will be important, so only get the larger laptop if screen real estate and/or firewire are that important to you.
  6. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    Don't go with the white, by all means. Creaky plastic, ancient trackpack, non-sturdy design, DDR2 RAM ... it just makes more sense to go with an aluminium model.

    I'd go with the 2.4 MB also, beautiful machine.
  7. moore09 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    Another question:

    I've always been advised not to buy my laptop until right before school starts. I'm strongly considering, though, getting my MacBook now because my current PC is about to croak.

    What disadvantages to I face I buy it now? Will I miss discounts or updates?
  8. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    Save your cash, get a regular MB and get an Apple display to hook up to it, 20 or 23 inch.
  9. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    I think the back to school specials aren't really that compelling. Usually $100 off and an iPod. Meh.
  10. miggitymac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Yes to both.

    There will most likely be at least small revisions to the notebooks by the time the next school year starts. And depending on what you believe, there might even be some major revisions (new i7 chips, new batteries, matte screen option, etc...) Snow Leopard will probably be shipping with new laptops by that time as well.

    As for discounts, they have a back-to-school promo around late-summer. They usually give away ipods (or ipod touches) with the purchase of a notebook. Not sure if they'll discount the laptop more than what the educational discount already is, but you could always just sell the free ipod to make up a bit of the cost. ;)
  11. savvos macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    If you wait to buy the MB, you'll have that much extra time of having the computer under the free warranty. I did the back-to-school special last year and scored a free iPod Touch and a printer. I also got a student discount. All that stuff adds up and I think it was worth waiting for.
  12. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Aluminum MacBook. Trust me, the business majors at my school are always running around between classes, group projects, meetings, etc. etc. etc. And of course their laptops usually go with them! You'll appreciate the smaller form factor and weight of the MB versus the Pro. In fact, I would take a good long look at the MacBook Air. Virtually the same performance as the Aluminum MacBook, but lighter. Only downside is the 2GB RAM cap, but I run parallels and XP on my BlackBook with 2GB and it's completely manageable. :)
  13. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    All you need is a MacBook. Save the extra money for books or food or beer or whatever else you need. OSX is really good at multitasking, so rest assured that it will be able to handle multiple applications at once.
  14. robie1208 macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2008
    You should give the bookstore at your future school a call because they might have some deals out there. I know at the college I go to, they are selling the last gen 15" mbp with apple care for about $1549 plus tax. Not a bad deal. But if you end up waiting until right before school starts, try to purchase it from your school's bookstore since you might be able to get it cheaper there than just going to an apple store and using your education discount.

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