Considering a white Macbook 13 in... But not quite sure what to get.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by booste, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. booste macrumors member

    booste

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    #1
    I'm a high school student in Grade 11 approaching 12 and I need a laptop for school stuff life essays and because I'm in computer courses I need it for coding and a bit of game development as well.

    I want to get a white MacBook because cost is an issue, i'm looking at getting a refurbished one for $999 (I'm in canada so that's $150 CAN off) Are the refurbished computers worth it? And how low will this computer last me as I plan on going to university for Computer Science after grade 12.
     
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #2
    Refurbished Macs are a fantastic deal. They're good as new, come with full warranty, and you can buy extended AppleCare for them if you want.

    As for the white MacBook: it's an excellent machine, and should serve you well for many years to come. My MacBook will be three years old in short order, and handles all of my general computing needs with ease. It even does some light video editing without breaking a sweat.

    I'd say you can't go wrong with the white MacBook. Just be careful when ordering: I know the Canadian refurb sites have the old 2.1GHz model for $959, and the newer 2.0 one for $999. Make sure you're getting the one with the NVIDIA graphics - it's a much better machine than the older one. :)
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #3
    Make sure it is a Nvidia9400m instead of the Intel X3100 integrated GPU.

    While both machines are good, if you ever plan on playing a game you'll definitely want the Nvidia chipset.
     
  4. booste thread starter macrumors member

    booste

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    #4
    Thanks guys, I'm defiantly going for the newer model even though I don't play graphic intensive games. But are you sure It will last me about 5 years assuming I don't get a new one?
     
  5. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #5
    there's about a million threads on here recommending to spend another 2-300 dollars and get an alu' UMB.

    trust me. it's worth it, i almost went with the white and i'm so glad i didn't. IMO i would have wasted all 1,000$.
     
  6. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #6
    If you believe this, then you are an idiot. Independent testing puts the speed difference at <5% between the two machines.

    Here's a thought. Instead of another post saying "there are reasons", how about actually providing some? The only differences between the WMB and the UMB are:
    -construction
    -DDR2 RAM vs. DDR3 RAM
    -Glass trackpad and display
    -Mini-DVI and FireWire vs. Mini-Display Port and no Firewire

    The UMB will not offer any substantial performance advantage. Except for some fancy features like the trackpad, and the nicer shell, it's the same machine.
     
  7. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #7
    Same machine hardware wise, but completely different cosmetically and by ease of use. IMO the trackpad makes it - you never have to leave the keyboard area when using the UMB.

    I also like the latest and greatest and thought that the white MB was dated.

    For the OP, I would get the white MB and save your money. 11th graders don't need to be dropping $1,000+ on a computer.
     
  8. booste thread starter macrumors member

    booste

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  9. mrj205 macrumors regular

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    #9
    original poster....that's you...
     
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #10
    No argument with the trackpad, and no problem wanting the latest and greatest. I would have a hard time talking myself out of a UMB if it weren't for the lack of Firewire (fortunately, I guess, that little oversight makes it nearly useless to me, so I haven't done something stupid and bought one for the sake of having one yet! :D).

    I do object to posters categorically dismissing the WMB will false claims like "it's better", or worse still "it's a waste of $1000". I've seen a lot of this lately, and it drives me nuts. For many, many people, the WMB is an excellent choice. People shouldn't be buying a more expensive machine - especially in this economic climate - because someone on the internet told them it was "better". They should be making an informed decision, based on the facts. :)
     
  11. Beerfloat macrumors regular

    Beerfloat

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    Feb 21, 2009
    #11
    And as you've demonstrated in those threads before, it apparently still hasn't sunk in that the latest whitebook is now a full featured Nvidia Mac which offers almost exactly the same functionality and performance as the unibody for 200$ less with a bonus firewire interface thrown in.

    Whitebook is the probably currently the best Apple buy period.
     
  12. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #12
    I'd get the UMB because it's sturdier. And 5 years is a long time for CCFL backlights. If you really plan on using this thing past 3 years, go for the UMB. The UMB's LED backlit panel will last much longer than a CCFL backlight. Multi touch trackpad, glass screen, thinner construction, faster memory all make it a good buy. But if cost is an issue, then the WMB is also a great choice. But don't think the UMB is a waste of the extra $200-$300.
     
  13. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #13
    just bought the whitebook nvidia...excellent machine and certainly where the money go's from those more interested in performance over form .

    the white macbook nvidia is all the machine the OP needs, yeah the aluminum macbooks look nice but ask yourself do you really want to spend 300$ extra for something that looks nice over the white macbook which also looks nice!!

    ....bottom line there is very little difference speed wise between the two machines with same 2.0 CPU.

    whitebook FTW
     
  14. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #14
    I don't think anyone is saying it's a waste. Just that the WMB is an equally good machine, and dollar for dollar a better machine. The UMB is still good value though, imo.
     
  15. booste thread starter macrumors member

    booste

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    Mar 25, 2009
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    #15
    Wow, thanks for the great tips, I think I want to get a WMB for sure now, I'm not going to pay ~$200 more for cosmetics and bigger trackpad when I use a mouse usually anyways, and I'm used to using a mini trackpad on a netbook I have.

    The main reason I'm going for a mac anyways is the compatatbility, lack of the need for security software and now I can try at developing iPod touch apps!
     
  16. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #16
    ..How often do backlights burn out anyway? I have laptops older then me that still have working backlights. All my iBook's backlights still work..

    Seriously. I'm sure there are reasons to get a unibody over a white MB, but I don't think this is one of them.
     
  17. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #17
    glad to help you see through the marketing -just remember that any computer is only as secure as the user lets it be.

    good luck...hey another bonus of th whitebook is the RAM is cheap tobuy should you want to upgrade-real easy to do as is upgrading the harddrive to a 7200rpm....just things down the road for you.. given the stated uses for the mac, but good to know all the same.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    Pretty much agree with this; at the moment, the white MB simply offers the best value for money in the entire Apple notebook lineup. Yes, the aluminium MB looks stunning, but beneath that attractive appearance, it is much the same machine as the earlier model of MB, and lacks firewire, to boot. If finance is an issue, go for the white MB; it is a very fine machine, and you'll certainly get several years good usage out of it.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    It's the fading that's the problem, not "burn-out".



    Anyway, the white MacBooks are far better value. That's not to say I'd get one though. I'd rather have the aluminium one, although I realize I'm paying more for appearance (better), glossier screen (worse), supposedly a more durable machine (I've never had one fall apart on me in the past anyway....), LED back-light (nice), and a new trackpad that lacks a real button and yet is supposedly an improvement (it's neither better or worse, IMO).
     
  20. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

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    #20
    IMO, the trackpad alone is a good reason to upgrade. It's simply stunning how useful the gestures are. Plus, I like not having to move my finger to the "button" everytime I need to click. In addition, 5 years for a laptop, I think is pushing it. In 5 years, the MacBook specs will be very dated, and for a machine that has had so many problems with the palm rest, etc. the aluminum unibody is even more tempting.
     
  21. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

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    #21
    The 9400 is better than the 3100 on my white MB. Otherwise, there's
    not much difference. Backlight IS a non issue-my 5 year old ibook still works fine.
    And mine is a 2.4 ghz!
     
  22. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    #22
    The trackpad really is quite an improvement. If you've only used it for a short time period, you don't have time to get adjusted to it. Once you do and get used to the gestures, going back to other trackpads makes you realize how great the new one is. Going back between my Macbook Pro and my sister's white Macbook, it feels so small and it's weird not being able to click. That being said, for the OP the white Macbook seems like a better deal.
     
  23. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #23
    Future proofing as a factor in deciding which mac model to use is illusory, since we can't exactly predict what the future will bring.

    Case in point, recently bought a 12" 1.5 g4 powerbook as a tertiary, home basic use machine. It is almost four years old, according to coconut battery. With the ram maxed out, and the safari 4 beta, it is quite useful for browsing, email, word processing, etc. But I wouldn't have the patience to encode a video file on it (I really didn't when I had a new one five years ago.).

    I got the idea after my elderly father got tired of frakking with windows malware and bought a g4 ibook, 12" 1.07 ghz model. I took it home to download all the system updates over my wifi connection and discovered that it was pretty usable. Fell back in love with the form factor as well.

    Why the powerbook over the ibook? For me it was the keyboard, better graphics chip, and scrolling (semi multifunction) trackpad in the powerbook. The almost 50% increase in cpu power was not that much of a factor.

    To extrapolate this to today's line, I'd say there's not going to be much of a difference performance wise between any of the laptops now available in three or four years down the line. Processors and ram are roughly equal. Video cards are roughly the same unless you get a mid level mbp with a 512 video memory. I'd say to either go the cheap route and get the white mb with nvidia graphics or the top end uni mb for the trackpad, the backlit keyboard, and the potential retina scorching brightness of the screen. If cost is an issue, get a refurbed or one off craigslist. (A guy in OKC was selling a 2.4 for $1200, and I sure was thinking about it...)
     
  24. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    EU mostly
    #24
    ye me too, which is why I like my whitebook early 09 so much....I can click & right click, drag n drop etc, all without using the button...it's easy to set up in System Preferences>Trackpad: then just check the relevant box and hey ho off you go clicking/dropping etc on a whitebook :)....



    edit* this thing is really good machine, no probs at all and believe me I'd tell if there was!.

    I was taking a quick movie with iMovie and the built in webcam the other day for youtube.....the video was online well within 30 minutes of me pressing stop record.......direct to my yt account from iMovie.
    The only gripe is that I will have to upgrade the RAM to 4Gb and maybe the HD for a 7200rpm for my intended uses( audio editing/production with Logic and dj work with Serato and Traktor Scratch).
    Then again I might just use my external 7200 'n just stick 4Gb Ram in it, ......yep I'm doin that -this thing will fly then , without any doubt.it's no slouch with 2Gb RAM in ....just for my intended purposes I will need the extra RAM,.......the OP will not imo....

    whitebook FTW..either that or get a Mini...they're real good aswell & also excellent value for a Mac:)

    Honestly, don't get suckered in by marketing!.
     
  25. upsguy27 macrumors 65816

    upsguy27

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    Arizona
    #25
    I'm trying to decide the same thing as you... White MacBook or Unibody. I love the look of the Unibody, but I might need FireWire for my video editing... I'm just not sure. Did you decide on what you were going to get?
     

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