Buying my first Macbook, Need some advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thekoolninja, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. thekoolninja macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    Well i am on a mission to get myself a new computer by the end of the week and i have been browsing for a new macbook. I am very tempted by the Air but the cheapest price i could find was the refurbished one for one grand, and i am having no luck finding used ones. So i moved on to the regular macbook and i have found one for about $650 used it is the white model with 1.83hgz, 2gb of ram and 120gb hd. Is that a good deal? Can i do better? If that does not work i may just save my pennies for either the refurbished aluminum macbook for a grand or the macbook air.

    i could use some tips on whats reasonable prices on used macbooks, thanks.
  2. booste macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2009
    Canada, In an igloo obviously.
    I was initially going to go with the white refurbished model, but have decided to go with the refurbished alu 2.0 MB because of the trackpad and better build qualty.

    I would defiantly save for the refurbished 2.0 alu MB it's well worth it...

    I can't wait to buy mine the second I can afford it,
  3. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    That is probably a core 2 duo and would not be a bad price. Make sure it is C2D and not just core duo. It could also be a combo drive which means no dvd burner. You can get a new one for $999 or refurb unibody for $1099. If you watch the refurbs you can get a white one for about $850.
  4. kindablue09 macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    It all depends, what are you looking for this laptop to do for you?
  5. thekoolninja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    A little more on on the specs, it is about 3 years old, it has intel 950, intel dual core 1.83 and dvdrw. So i am guessing that it is core duo and not C2D and what are the disadvantages of it? can it be upgradable?
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Pass. Its a Rev A and they had problems. The Core Duo is slower and hotter than the Core 2 Duo. Ram is limited to 2GB vs 3.3GB on the C2D. Slower WiFi. Not upgradable.

    $850 refurb is a great deal.
  7. thekoolninja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    Just want to try OSX and i want something smaller and lighter. Right now i have a 15 inch notebook so a 13 inch would be more suitable to take to school i believe.
  8. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    You will be very happy if you get a new or refurb from apple. Hold out and spend about a grand or get a clearance mini for $499. You can watch the refurbs and get a C2D mini for $419.
  9. kindablue09 macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    Hmm, if your 15" still has some power and longevity left in it, you might want to look into getting an old 12" powerbook. They can run leopard (barely) but I hear they prefer tiger (I run leopard on mine). The 12" is the size of piece of notebook paper and weighs .1 lbs more than the current whitebook. It isn't a bad deal, just make sure you don't pay any more than $400 for it. I hear they go for around $500, which is just crazy imo. I use mine for in class notes, mostly through powerpoint. Office 08 lags to the point of being quite annoying on the G4, but I am pretty sure office 08 would lag if it was placed in a room by itself. I wouldn't go beneath the 1.33 processor model and for it to be properly used the ram should be maxed out... or so I hear (I still have 512mb on mine and it gets by). Long story short, its a great notebook to stuff in a backpack.
  10. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    save about 300 dollars more and you can get a refurbished whitebook from Apple that'll be close to brand new and with a full one year warranty. Not to mention have wayy better specs. I highly recommend that so hold on for bit and watch the refurb store.

    If you're spending 650 of your hard earned/saved $$ you might as well do it right and get the best deal you can. :)
  11. thekoolninja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    Thanks for the advice :). However i will only be spending $400 for the macbook since i am giving in part an HTC g1 for it. So the trade/sale would be HTCg1 + 400. I am thinking of just selling the phone outright and just saving up for a refurb since that is what most recommend.
  12. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2008
    Just sell the phone, add it to your $400 and save the rest. You wont regret it.
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Save up the money for a refurbed current model white model with the nvidia graphics (NOT the intel integrated ones). You'll get a much more capable machine for only a little bit more money.

    Once you get it, continue saving to buy applecare on ebay.

    If you're really wanting to get into osx with a cheap portable, look on ebay and craigslist for a late model g4" ibook or powerbook. You can find a 12" ibook for a couple of hundred dollars if you're lucky. But if this is going to be your main computer, and you're going to use it for anything more than web browsing, email, or word processing, then stick with the refurb white macbook from the apple store after you've saved enough money.
  14. migsev macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    if you're just looking to use it for schoolwork (i assume light browsing and word processing?), try for an ibook or the 12inch powerbook.

    other than that, the $1099 refurb 2.0 unibody macbook looks to be a pretty good deal.
  15. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Why try a 3 year old computer? You won't get the current experience.

    You should get refurb. Looks like new, has same warranty as new.
  16. thekoolninja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    Found myself a macbook guys, here is the model number and specs:

    Processor Type Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed 1.83 GHz
    Hard Drive Capacity 60 GB
    Installed Memory 2 GB
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard with iLife 08
    Optical Drive Type CD-RW / DVD
    Video Resolution Standard WXGA
    Video Card Type Intel GMA 950
    Networking Connection Type 802.11b/g, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth
    Weight 5.2 lbs

    Model: MA699LL/A

    Let me know if this is a good model guys, i got it at a great price ($550) and i would like to know if the processor is upgradeable or the ram. Thanks
  17. migsev macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    processor isn't upgradable, but ram is. i think you can get around 3gig into that thing. a hard drive upgrade would do you well too. :)
  18. dentedG4 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    That look like a great deal for a Core 2 Duo. The hard drive is the lowest possible you could get on a C2D, so you might wanna factor in the price of upgrading the hard drive or adding an external firewire drive as im sure you will fill this thing up sooner rather than later.
  19. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    that harddrive is a bummer, but nice find otherwise.
  20. desiringGod macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    I just bought a refurb of the new white macbook. For $850, it is hard to beat.

    I would suggest waiting until you have the money and buy a refurb.
  21. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    Great computer. Exactly what I've had for the past 3 years, though I'm itching to upgrade soon. Hard drive is an easy (and cheap!) upgrade that you can consider if you run out of space.

  22. thekoolninja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    What kind of hard drive does the macbook take? What should i buy and what are good prices? I would also like to upgrade ram if it is possible on this notebook. I want it maxed out :)
  23. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    That's a good deal you got there. :) To answer:

    1) Hard drive: Figure $50.00 for 250-320GB 5400 RPM. Add a bit more if you want 7200 RPM. You need a 2.5" SATA drive - those approx. prices are from (best place to get it from, IMO).

    2) Memory: Memory is upgradeable to 3GB and change in that model (I think). But a 2GB stick to add to one of the 1GB's that's in there and you'll be set. You need 2GB DDR2 667MHz (for a laptop, obviously) - around $25 or less from

    With those upgrades, it should serve you well. Good luck!

    EDIT: If you are interested, here are the COMPLETE specs for that model from :)
  24. thekoolninja thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    Thanks a lot on the site js81, now i will be looking for some deals on the hard drive especially, the memory can wait 2gb is enough for me at the moment. Plus i hear OSX is not as hard as windows on ram.

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