Buying used MB or MBP to help extended rehabilitation

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by joeybagadonutz, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. joeybagadonutz macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Current My grandmother just broke her neck. I have an 8-12 hr. care shift for the foreseeable future. I need to buy a mobile with superdrive and want to learn CS3. (I gave my iPhone a workout this week.)

    Background Thanks largely to this forum and the wonderful members, we made the switch with the base iMac. We planned on purchasing CS3 Prem. Edu. suite (my wife is HS teacher and college student) to see if I could do online training. If it sticks and I generate any income, I'll upgrade to retail.

    Options I have about $1,000-$1,200 of mad money for this
    My wallet says buy the scratched black CD MB off CL for $600, buy CS3 now
    My brain says buy refurbished C2D MB for $949 plus tax, buy CS3 later
    My heart says buy the best used CD MBP I can get for $1K, plus CS3 later
    The devil on my shoulder says buy a $1200 MBP w/ CS3 loaded
    The other devil says go into debt w/ a better MBP and use refund or rebate money for payment and CS3 (I'm not listening to him, but he is screaming)

    I'm trying hard to avoid stolen laptops and illegal software. I found sites referenced in this forum to check for stolen SN. I'll add applecare if it is available. If I buy used, any tips for testing machine would be great.

    I'm sorry about another CD vs. C2D, MB vs. MBP thread, but it's been a crazy week. Your time and thoughts are appreciated.
  2. Golcondio macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Ok, so you NEED a portable Mac AND Photoshop CS3.
    I'd automatically rule out the "buy CS3 later" options (what does "later" mean, anyway? have you got a sure source of income?), since you seem to need it now: no sense in having one without the other, I'd say.

    Aside from stolen goods, I'd stay clear from used too: the difference in price with a refurb isn't great enough for me to want to forsake the 1-year warranty.
  3. Harolddd macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2009
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    As you have noted you have a lot of options so I just want to throw in some general notes.

    There are some noticeable performance differences between the 1st generation (i.e. oldest) Core Duo Macs and later generation Core 2 Duo Macs. The next generation of the Mac operating system (10.6) will apparently take advantage of the C2D processors much better than the older CD processors.

    Regarding stolen goods/illegally copied software, the simple answer is to only buy from authorized sellers. I realize that you have a budget, but with brand new C2D Macbooks from Apple (the white version that still has FireWire) at only $999 and others available at very attractive prices in the Apple Refurbished store online, buying used off a third party is not nearly as attractive. Yes, we can build up your geek knowledge index and tell you all the things to check on a third party machine, but in the end it still may be stolen (remember not everyone who has one stolen knows about those sites that offer to register stolen serial numbers so my gut feeling is the vast majority are never entered on those sites), but in the end you still get what you pay for whether it be a beauty or a painful memory!;)

    Since your wife is a college student, have her check with the bookstore for special academic student and staff pricing on Adobe software. Where my son goes to college for instance, they have extra special pricing for students- he recently bought the entire CS4 Design Premium set (which is the currently shipping version of Adobe products vs. the CS3 you mentioned) for $308 and it is legal and fully licensed by Adobe. The retail price for it BTW is $1799.00! :eek: Just do NOT fall prey to the "cheap OEM software" spam offers you get in your email. I will just leave it at that.

    Finally, since it sounds like you would be using this for a learning system I do not think your options of going into debt over it to get a little bit faster system is really the best choice. When you become proficient enough to begin earning money with the software (which in Adobe's case can be a long road) sell the existing machine and upgrade. It is amazing what % of value used Apple's hold for one thing, but just as importantly you will know what you like and dislike about the performance and features of the machine you started with so you can make a more informed decision about the advantages offered by different models than you would be able to right now. Natuarally the base desire is to just get the hghest price thing- it must be the "best" right? Not always if it doesn't meet your needs or does not have a particular feature you have come to rely on! ;)

    OK, you didn't ask about this but I will include it anyways- just make sure you set aside a small amount of money to get an external drive to use as a backup for your hard drive! Your new computer's hard drive will fail and leave you high and dry without a backup and that is something that we deal with on the forums far too often. Might that not be for 5 years? Sure. Might it also happen next week? Yep. :(

    Also, for Adobe training be sure to look at for excellent training vids and such for a very reasonable subscription price IMO.
  5. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Ummmm, ok. Also from the Department of Unrelated Thoughts, a bunny with pancakes on its head...

    Attached Files:

  6. dickchow macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    If I were you, I will use the money to buy the best machine possible...I would say the 1st gen C2D is the minimum I can accept...

    for software wise, I will use trail version CS from adboe for couple months then I will wipe the drive after and install another trail CS from the book you buy for learning CS (usually they come with trail in order to teach you, right?)..

    at least that get you started, and I guess couple months later you can afford the edu CS?

    just my 2cents..
  7. mbpnewbie macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    You know, I just had pancakes because of your post... I was so hungry

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