College n00b needs assistance

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by alangheim, May 25, 2009.

  1. alangheim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #1
    Hello all, I'm going to be a freshman in college this fall and really need help deciding and purchasing a macbook. I have been researching features and specs for a few months now, but now that I actually have to purchase one- I'm drawing blank. I'm planning on getting the new aluminum Macbook, but can't decide which model to get (2.0 ghz or 2.4) In addition, if you could share where you got yours and prices etc. I will be studying business, and the laptop will essentially be my technologic "hub" for the next 5 years. Any insight you have for me will be greatly appreciated! :eek:
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
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    #2
    honestly, id get the white macbook. has firewire and is cheaper while having essentially the same specs
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    I think the base alu MB will be fine for you. There's no major differences between those two: 2.4GHz model has faster processor and bigger HD, but that's it. If there's Apple Store near you but it from there, it's the best place to buy a Mac. But if you don't, look at MacMall's and ClubMac's prices, they usually have little lower prices
     
  4. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Location:
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    #4
    I have the 2.0. Only get the 2.4 if you have the extra money the performance difference isn't really noticable. I got the EPP discount so I got a bit over $100 off when I bought it at the apple store.
     
  5. alangheim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #5
    I contemplated that, and appreciate the suggestion. But for me, it doesn't seem practical to purchase last year's model- especially when I am tethered to my choice for a minimum of 5 years. We all know that technology becomes obsolete rapidly, and I am no computer savvy person- so upgrading isn't really an option for me. If you were to get a (new) macbook, would you go 2.4 or 2.0
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #6
    you do know it isnt last years model right? it is a current model


    buuut if you were set on a aluminum one, id get the 2.0 mainly to save money

    you wont be able to tell a difference in day to day things

    i still cant justify updrading from my 2006 first gen mb if thats any indication lol. for day to day things, i see no real difference between my quad core mac from last year and my mb from 3 years ago to be honest
     
  7. alangheim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for your help, I know the feature set isn't really awe inspiring in the 2.4 to justify the extra $300. I'm really ticked that I can't get the illuminated keyboard though, that really would be nice :( Looks like the base model is the best choice for me, especially since I don't run a bunch of programs simultaneously and I don't do graphic art or anything. Thanks for the quick replies guys!
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
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    #8
    i will say, wait until later this summer so you can get the free ipod or maybe an updated model
     
  9. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    I'd get a refurb 2.4ghz

    If you want this for 5 years, the 2.4 is better for "future proofing".

    Also, you could look at it this way...it's only an extra $50-$75 more per year
     
  10. RDM3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    Concordville PA
    #10
    I say go with a refurb or check Best Buy, the one near me, in Delaware, always has 5-6 returns or display models, right now they have about 4 alu macbooks and one white macbooks, they knock 10% off the price.

    I was lucky, I got my white Macbook for $549, it was a display model, no battery and just the power cords, I got a battery using my education discount at the Apple store, paid $116, so I made out, since then I bought a Microsoft bluetooth mouse, HP H470 portable printer, a 1TB External HD and a Hanpsree 20" monitor, along with a cyberpower 425va backup to protect the macbook, hd and another strip I have on it it is a pretty nice setup.
     

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  11. Ov3rlord Falc0r macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    #11
    HAHAHA I LOVE YOUR SET UP! its just a tad overkill tho IMO. :)

    Personally, just go with referb man. They're cheaper, just as good if not better than new. Go with the base alum model or whitebook and upgrade RAM/hard drive yourself for cheap (newegg, got both for under 100 bucks on sale)
     
  12. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    Refurbished 2.4 model. For the 5-year period you want the machine to last, the upgraded processor is your best bet. As for refurbished, you might as well save some money. Check on those prices vs. the education discount for your school. There's a good chance that the refurb units are cheaper.

    I'm in complete agreement with the post mentioning that the higher price of the 2.4 is a small investment when you break it down over five years.

    At this point the only reason to consider new is the (presumed) upcoming Back to School deal. Wait until it starts to consider whether you want a new computer plus iPod, or just a refurb. Typically slightly more expensive than refurbs, but still cheaper thanks to the ed. discount. You can always sell the iPod to put yourself ahead again.
     
  13. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #13
    You guys realize there are no macbook 2.0 and 2.4 refurb's in the store now right (Well US store)? Only one listed is the ssd for $1900.
     
  14. alangheim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #14
    Wow guys thanks for all your help!
    My last question concerns the 2gb RAM, would you recommend I upgrade to the 4 gb when I buy... I'm not heavy into graphic art or any fancy programs so is it a worthwhile investment?
     
  15. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #15
    No matter what anyone says, you can never have too much ram. I say yes, go for it and upgrade to 4GB. It really has nothing to do with running multiple apps. The widgets take up a decent amount of ram, multiple tabbed pages in your browser eat up ram plus the system reserves a portion of the existing ram to run the OS so you're not really getting the whole 2GB to use.
     
  16. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    Where in this thread did it say that the buyer had to make the purchase today? The refurb store is refreshed on a near-daily basis, excluding weekends. There may be no refurb MBs today, but chances are high there will be some in there again this week.

    Refurbs are always a wait and watch game, especially when there's a (perceived) product refresh on the horizon. With WWDC just around the corner, I expect that a lot of people are keeping an eye on the store and rumors.
     
  17. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #17
    True but I've been checking daily and they've been out for over a week.
     
  18. jman240 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    #18
    Personal opinion here and a little biased since I am a college student and I just bought the 2.4 Unibody Macbook. I got it mostly for the back lit keyboard. I recommend you go all out and just get it if you can afford it. Even on the lowest setting the keys are easily readable in a dark lecture hall. This is great for those professors who over use the little projectors they have.

    My whole paradigm behind choosing the more expensive one was that I really can't easily go back and "upgrade" it later if I am suddenly overcome with buyers remorse and really want that back lit keyboard. If you have a chance to go look at them i'd suggest that. It really helped me choose between a Macbook 2.0, 2.4 and the Macbook pro since I was considering between all 3. With the education discount the 2.4 Macbook fit right into my budget but to each his own.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Apple all life macrumors 6502

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Ny
    #19
    Don't get the 2.4 because now I can never use a computer without illuminated keyboard.
     
  20. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #20
    Well refurb macbooks are in the store now. So tempting ....
     
  21. caf9128 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #21
    We just picked up a 2.4. Went 2.4 mainly for the bigger hard drive. We seem to outgrow the harddrive on every laptop we've had, even though it always seems big enough at the time we bought it.

    Also had to have the backlit keyboard because it irritates me that even our $800 HP laptop has really cool blue lit keys.
     
  22. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    Aha! Justice! :p

    Seriously, OP, consider the refurbs because they are a good price compared to new. I've bought two refurb products in the last few years, even though I qualify for the education discount. The savings can be significant: rights now the refurb 2.4 MB is $200 cheaper than what's on offer though the education discount of my university for the same computer new.
     
  23. alangheim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #23
    Well it looks like the back to school special started today! So the student discount of 100 bucks plus the rebate of 249 on the 8gb touch is (hopefully) a saving of $350... nice. Thanks for all your help/suggestions guys, these forums are amazing.
     
  24. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #24
    Good luck with your purchase, if it isn't too late I also suggest getting the 2.4ghz model, because if you're planning on using it for 5 years, you want the best you can get for the cheapest price (so not mbp price) but the highest end macbook.. and yeah, upgrade to 4gb ram and try to get an external hard drive to use for backups.
     
  25. dan5.5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #25
    I would go with the 2.4... the backlit keyboard is amazing at night...
    Either way you look at it... the umb's are great computers!
     

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