Buying a new mac, 2.0 or 2.4GHz?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by smurfslayer, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. smurfslayer macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2008
    Hello all, first time poster, and i have a quick question. i am ordering a macbook later today and need help deciding between getting the lower end 2.0GHz version or upgrading to 2.4GHz version. I can always upgrade the RAM and Hard drive later, so it is simply a question of processing speed. The situation is that i am going into college next fall and am an aspiring architecture student (architecture school at Kansas University). I have a tight budget, but if you guys think the upgrade is necessary for me i will go ahead and do it (i would like this computer to last me through college).

    THANKS :eek:
  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    The difference between 2.0 and 2.4 will be virtually unnoticeable. We're talking fractions of seconds of difference in completing tasks here, not anything worth actually splashing the cash for.
  3. smurfslayer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2008
    What about future-proofing it for college? am i good there too? i know i will need to run some architecture programs for my major
  4. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    I'm sure your fine there. What will you be running? You can always add more ram down the road.
  5. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    There is NO WAY to future proof a laptop purchase. It's going to get old faster than you'd like whether you buy the fastest model or not. Buy what you need TODAY. If you need more in the future sell the computer and upgrade to a faster model. Personally I'd save the cash with the 2.0 model, put the rest in a CD specifically to use as upgrade money and then in two years sell the 2.0 and use the upgrade money to buy the latest model.
  6. alanlindsay macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Man, get a MBP refurb, $1350. A fair bit less than high end MB and all the sauce.
  7. mediumofmeaning macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2007
    the lower mb doesnt have the backlit keyboard, despite the typo on the site which claims it does, just so you know.
  8. aimesbw macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2008
    I'm currently facing the same decision...considering getting the 2.0 and bumping up to 4GB memory and and 250GB HDD. Is this a better idea? I don't really do anything CPU-intensive that I can think of. But I also probably won't be buying another computer for 3+ years. However, that backlit keyboard is pretty you think that if I bought now while they still have the typo, Apple would have to replace it when I said that it said "Backlit Keyboard" when I made the purchase??
  9. Jimbo Slice macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2008
    Oakville, ON
    Hey I MRoogled this thread as I too am wondering the real world difference between 2.0ghz and 2.4 ghz.
    What are CPU intensive tasks? Like ripping or converting movies with Visual hub/Handbrake, what kind of difference can I expect?

    Also I was wondering, will that lower CPU frequency and lack of backlit keyboard have any kind of positive effect on battery life? Just some food for thought...
  10. Awesome-o/ macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    HI yeah so im in exactly the same persition. Im a student and will be using the macbook for logic studio, and will need it to last me a few years. Will the 2.0 macbook be sufficient ? ? ?
  11. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2006
    I think you'll be okay. Are you able to wait 3 seconds longer for something that might take 30 seconds as opposed to 33 seconds? Or is that wait time worth a few hundred bucks?
  12. twistedbydesign macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    One thing to consider is if the programs you will be using are compatible with a mac.
    This is my first post but I've read a lot of similar questions and the advice I've seen through out the forums that seems to make the most sense is to get the best thing you can afford.
    No matter what you get, it will eventually be considered obsolete (though it may well still serve your needs), but you won't regret spending a few extra bucks as long as you can spare it. However if you get the low end model you might always have that "what if" in the back of your mind.
  13. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    The difference should be negligible.

    For most people I really don't see the point of the 2.4GHz MacBook.
  14. cheapa55 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2007
    I agree, i tend to rarely get the cheapest or bottom of the line for that reason. The 'what if' in the future keeps me from getting the 2.0.
  15. Formativeyears macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2007
    Sorry, but this is getting really old. I plan on buying the 2.4 Macbook within the next month. I want the backlit keys, the glass screen, the improved aluminum enclosure, the larger hard drive, and the 13 inch size. I think the new design is a huge improvement over the design of the old macbooks and macbook pros and I'm sure that I am not alone in this.
  16. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    For the record, all MacBook Pros have backlit keys.
  17. MacsBestFriend macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    upstate ny (purgatory)
    Yeah I looked at that just now: the high end MacBook Alu. has exactly the same specs but with a graphics card that isn't defective, hahaha:p
  18. plerb macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2008
    If you want a future-proofed laptop you should wait at least a few weeks to see what peoples' complaints are about this new update. It could be that you want to wait until a revision/update, especially if you're not going to be in school for another year almost. If you want a show-off machine that you have before everyone else (not saying that's bad, or good), then you should go for the 2.4 simply because it has the backlit keys.
  19. kurzz macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    If you don't care about backlit keys, the extra speed isn't going to make any difference. And you can upgrade the memory and hard drive yourself for much cheaper later on.
  20. mugtastic macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2006
    what recording interface will you use with logic? new macbooks don't have firewire.
  21. alanlindsay macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    The difference in speed between the 2.4 and 2.0Ghz is 20%. That's pretty big in my opinion. The price difference between the 2.0Ghz model and the 2.4Ghz model is 23%. So, if you pay 23% extra you get

    1. 20% more performance
    2. 90GB extra HDD space
    3. Backlit keyboard

    Unless you are on a tight budget, I think the high end MB is the smart buy. Personally, I'm surprised Apple didn't choose the 2.26Ghz P8400 for the low end MB and differentiate itself more performance wise from the plastic 2.1Ghz MB.

  22. scottintosh macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2008
    I will be purchasing the 2.4ghz MB because it seems to be a notable speed increase about 20%. So on even on a seemingly short video conversion (30 minutes) it would take 6 minutes off. That is actually more than I expected, I just quickly did the math to prove a point.

    I can see that 2ghz will be plenty for most, but my point is that for $250 more (which I think is minimal compared to the already high cost of $1250) you get a 20% percent faster processor and a larger harddrive (which would cost somewhere around $85 to upgrade yourself) and a backlit keyboard.

    If you wanted to get the 2.0 and upgrade to a 250GB HD for even a low price of 70 dollars. The total difference in cost then would only be about $180.

    Those prices are with the student discount.
  23. scottintosh macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Nicely put.

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