Buying advice for novice - MacBook (White) v MacBook (Aluminum) w different specs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ruthie76, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. ruthie76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #1
    I am considering buying my first Mac and could use some advice about which is the better deal.

    I am looking at refurbs to save some money and am torn between an $899 MacBook White with 2.2Ghz but only 1GB memory and 120BG hard drive vs. a $1099 macbook aluminum with only 2Ghz processor but 2GB memory and a 160GB hard drive.

    I know that the processor can't be upgraded so it might be better to go with the higher processor and up the memory and hard drive later. I am torn about the value of getting the aluminum version though, which is slightly lighter (I travel a lot for work) and sleeker. I have heard complaints about the aluminum's display.

    My needs are not that high, as i mostly use my computer for word processing, surfing the net and watching movies. I currently have a 5-yr old dell that is practically a paperweight, so any upgrade is going to change my world.

    Any opinions on which is the better deal. Is it worth the extra $200 for the newer model?
     
  2. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    phased to this universe
    #2
    The uMB will perform at least the same or faster. Although is has a slightly slower processor, the architecture has a faster bus, faster ram and more capable integrated video.
     
  3. ruthie76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
  4. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    phased to this universe
    #4
    If possible, you should go to a local reseller to look at the display and see if you can live with it. You mentioned it was a concern. They may even have an older model you can compare it with.
     
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #5
    Avoid the old plastic MacBook. The new one, which has upgraded graphics and more standard RAM, is a far better machine. You can get one new for $999. Of course, I'd rather the unibody refurb for $1049 than the white one.

    If you travel lots, you might also consider a refurb MacBook Air. It's not the most powerful machine in the world, but would suit your needs fine, and has the benefit of being light. :)
     
  6. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #6
    It's glass, highly reflective. Under some condition you might see some reflections, but that's not too bad. The other complain is that people expected better screen with the alu Macbooks, but Apple just put in a Led display with around the same quality(crappy) and called it a day.
     
  7. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #7
    While I think the new Macbook is a better machine, it is not a "far better machine". It is a slightly better machine, but I digress.

    OP, do you plan on using a miniDV video camera? If so, then go with the white (either one). I also agree you should check out the screens in person if possible.

    IMO, if you are only using the machine for internet, email, word processing, and movie watching, I'd get the cheaper machine. Anything will be a huge upgrade for you from that Dell and you don't really need the minor performance boost you will get from the new Macbook.

    I know people here will disagree, but many people here think they need the latest and greatest to do anything, which is not true. And then you'll get the people who will insist that you won't be able to run Snow Leopard on a refurb white Macbook (which is opinion, not fact).

    You are a casual user. If it was me, I wouldn't spend the extra money for a minor performance increase that I would never take advantage of.
     
  8. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #8
    I'm for new and prettier for one reason - resale value. The uniMB will hold a higher value longer simply because the white (whatever its specs) will be considered a "previous gen".

    Upgrading RAM is oh so very simple, so don't let that play into your decision.
     
  9. smooth macrumors 6502

    smooth

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Detroit
    #9
    I'd suggest going with a new $999 white MacBook. It's a solid machine for the price. You can always upgrade the memory and hard drive later, though with your usage you probably won't need to for a while. You won't notice the .2 difference in processor speed.

    Another option would be to grab the refurb white MacBook and take that $100 in savings and upgrade your RAM to 4gb right away. It'll have the old graphics, but for your usage it won't be noticeable. Then you may just need to upgrade the hard drive down the line.
     
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #10
    The NVIDIA graphics completely blow the old Intel graphics away. It also comes with more standard RAM and a Superdrive. So yeah, it's a far better machine.
     
  11. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #11
    Not for the OP's purposes it's not.

    A hydraulic drill is better than a black and decker, but not if I only have 2 holes to drill in a 2x4.

    This is a very common sentiment around here. People ignore the tasks the user is going to perform and always suggest they spend more money for the better machine, when in reality they will gain nothing from the better machine. The resale value is the only valid point, but most people don't resell their machines.

    Let me ask you this question, if you wouldn't recommend a white Macbook to the OP, is there a situation where you would ever recommend one to anyone? My gut tells me you never would, which makes your recommendation worthless.

    For users like the OP, who only do the basics, I always recommend spending the least amount of money possible. And lets be fair here as well. The white Macbook is a more than capable machine for many things above and beyond what the OP wants to do.
     
  12. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #12
    +1 for the $999 new white Macbook

    I know we sometimes over-recommend because we like to think of what WE would want, but you've got to consider that the 2.2GHz Macbook is a 2007 model with a Merom C2D, not the newer Penryn. So in other words, that 2.2 is going to be equal, maybe even slower, than the 2.0 in either new Macbook. Throw the nVidia graphics in the mix and I would be 100% for the new white MB. And even though Apple refurbs are GREAT, I'm still for new any day. :D Personally, I wish that I had known that a new nvidia white MB was coming in November when I bought my close-out MB at BB. Now I'm stuck with the X3100 graphics (which suck) - but I still have a great machine overall. Get the new white MB - its got everything the aluminum has (well, most everything) and its new and its cheaper.
     
  13. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #13
    Uh-huh. Or, instead of making baseless and idiotic assumptions, you could scroll up, and read my post where I suggest the OP buy the updated white MacBook. I simply suggested he avoid the old MacBook with the Intel graphics, and opt for the newer NVIDIA-based one.

    If you'd actually read any of my posts on this board, instead of making ill-informed assumptions, you'd see that I very commonly suggest the plastic NVIDIA MacBook. It's simply the best value Apple offers in a laptop (and, imo, computer period) right now.

    As to why the NVIDIA MacBook is worth the extra money over the Intel one: for the $150 difference between a refurb Intel-based machine, you get a newer processor, twice the RAM, a Superdrive instead of a Combo drive, and 500% better graphics. Snow Leopard promises to utilize the GPU far more than Leopard does - for future proofing reasons, the extra money for the better GPU is well spent. Even for someone not doing intensive tasks, all those upgrades are well worth the money. There's only one reason to buy an Intel-graphics MacBook: if cost is a huge, huge deal. Otherwise, skip that and get the updated one.
     

Share This Page