deciding between macbook models

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aethelbert, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    Chicago, IL, USA
    #1
    Hi,
    I became a definite mac convert about a month ago, but am going to buy my macbook in about a month after a two week trip to Europe. I'm just a high school student and my funds are obviously limited. I've got about $1200 and my mom is going to give me $150 as she is going to buy the ipod for herself and take the $200 rebate when it comes. I will either buy the base macbook at 2.0 or the mid-level one at 2.16. If I buy the base model, I can upgrade to 2GB of ram from newegg, but I won't be able to afford it if I get the 2.16 model. I mainly want to know if Tiger runs without problems on 1gb ram (I usually don't have any more than 5 apps running at a time) and if you think that 1gb will be signifigantly slower than 2GB running 10.5.

    I'm looking to know if you think that it's worth my $125 to drop the 2GB and move up to the next model. By the way, I am getting the education discount, so that won't be a problem (yes, it'll work. I know that I'm not in college, but I have 2 connections in my immiedate family that will never use a mac in/working for universities).
    Many thanks!
     
  2. netguy macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2007
    #2
    I would always go for the unit that has more memory. You will never notice a .16 difference in processor clock speed. However you will notice an additional 1GB of ram, in most things that you do.

    As long as the lower end unit is still a Core2 chip, go for that.

    I would take a 2.0 with 2GB of ram, over a 2.16 with 1GB of ram, anyday of the week. Its a no brainer.

    Is there anything you sacrifice with the lower end unit?
     
  3. 66217 Guest

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    Jan 30, 2006
    #3
    Unless you are going to use Parallels or intensive apps, you would be perfect with 1GB.

    And the mid-range MB has superdrive, which comes in handy sometimes. You can always upgrade your RAM later.

    I suppose Leopard should run OK with 1GB or RAM.
     
  4. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #4
    hate to rain your parade, but i don't think the education discount is applicable towards high school students. concerning the macbooks, though, keep in mind that the base model also lacks a super drive, so you wouldn't be able to burn dvd's unless you get an external. still, i think you should invest in as much ram as you can.
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #5
    I would definitely go for the 2.16 Superdrive model. Save up for Leopard and RAM later.
     
  6. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #6
    The processor difference isn't that significant.

    The real question here is: Do you need/want another 40 GB of storage and a DVD burner that will come with the middle model, but not the lower?

    If so, go for the middle model; but don't just for the processor difference alone.


    For the record, Tiger/Leopard will/should run fine with 1 GB or RAM, but of course more RAM is always better. ...Just remember, if you buy the middle model now, you can always save up and buy the RAM later (if you decide 1 GB is not enough, it will still be plenty to tide you over for now).


    Also, have you thought about AppleCare?
     
  7. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    Chicago, IL, USA
    #7
    I'll just be using it for basic web browsing, maybe some DVDs, iTunes in the background. Possibly some video editing via iMovie for school (that's where the superdrive would come in handy), but nothing very intensive. There is a game that I play but I've been told that it runs perfectly on 1GB with a mac. Like I said, I don't think that I'll ever have many apps open at once. I'll get Apple Care at the end of the 1 year, but I can't afford it right now.
     
  8. rainydays macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 6, 2006
    #8
    I don't think you will notice much difference between the CPU speeds. However, the mid-level has a larger HDD and a DVD-burner (superdrive). The HDD can always easily be upgraded later on, but the optical drive is much more difficult to replace.
    So is DVD-burning important to you? If not, go for the base model and add 1GB of RAM. The extra RAM i really nice to have.
     
  9. 66217 Guest

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    Jan 30, 2006
    #9
    But the back to school free iPod is not only for college students. Is it?:confused:

    The mid-range is $1,299. So he can afford it.
     
  10. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    #10
    Well, my sister is in college and my mom is a professor but neither would consider buying a mac, so I plan on using their discounts.
     
  11. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #11
    Basically, if you want to do any video editing, a SuperDrive is a must. If that's the case, I would go for the second model.

    It's available for anyone qualifying for the edu discount - but no one else.
     
  12. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    #12
    On the base model, there is only a combo drive and the hard drive is 2/3 the size of the mid-level one. Also, the small bump in the processor, but I know the the FSB and L2 cache is the same, so the difference is ever so slight.
     
  13. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #13
    it's only for people who qualify for the education discount, colleget students and professors. not for high school students or the average joe.

    in that case, get the midrange macbook. also, ask your sister and mom to check the student store prices, because they may actually be cheaper than the online store price. you might also want to see if they have older macbooks still in stock. i saw new 2.0 ghz c2d macbooks (w/super drive) for $999 when the line was updated. you never know.
     
  14. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    #14
    I asked them a few weeks ago and neither school sells anything Apple in their student stores. :(
     
  15. Igantius macrumors 65816

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    Apr 29, 2007
    #15
    Absolutely! So slight that you won't really notice it.

    Or you could get a (faster) external one.

    Personally, I think the 2.0GHz model would be a great option for akonrad (I know some reasons have been pointed out already):

    a) You're on a tight budget.
    b) You can always get an external burner; they're not too expensive (and you don't need to get it straight away)
    c) The extra 0.16GHz processor is pretty negligible - but by all means check out a few benchmarks (OWC has a few, speaking of which... http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/MacBook/Testing/Memory_Benchmarks)
    d) Given how cheap and easy it is to install hard drives, the extra storage in the 2.16GHz isn't such an issue; when you do upgrade, buy an enclosure and you've got a new pocket drive.

    BUT

    On the flipside, with you could manage on 1GB now with the 2.16GHz machine and upgrade the RAM when your budget allows - as Roco has wisely said. The extra storage and DVD burner is nice, but it's something you can (eventually) add yourself, the processor you can't.
     
  16. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    #16
    This is similar to my mental debate before the update (I wasn't really expecting one since I had not been following Apple) between the 1.83 and 2.0. I realize that the difference now is not as big (CPU power would not be as different in the current generation). Still, upgrading the hard drive to 120GB would still cost me ~$100 and the internal superdrive would be nice. I'd love to get the mid range with the RAM upgrade but I don't think that I can get enough by selling my current desktop.

    Will I notice any lag in 10.4 with 1GB (Will all of the OS components run well assuming that I'll only have a few programs open?). The 2GB would be great, I agree, but I want to know how 1GB will be.
     
  17. MattJessop macrumors regular

    MattJessop

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    Manchester, UK
    #17
    1GB would be fine. Honestly.

    Even 512MB would get the job done :) (just some problem with the resource heavy apps like Parallels)

    Of course 2GB would be much better than 1GB, but it depends on what you intend to do with it.

    If you only have about 5 apps open, then 1GB would be a plenty. Of course, depends on the apps you have open..... 5 copies of Final Cut Pro? *shudders*
     
  18. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    #18
    I really can't think of having much more than a few Safari windows, pages, and itunes on Dashboard to be open at once. iMovie might be open as well, but I would expect a slow down there anyway.
     
  19. 66217 Guest

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    #19
    The superdrive is something that while you can upgrade later, would void your warranty. But you could always opt for an external one, but this is quite unpractical if you ever want to burn something on the road.


    Although you can run Tiger and Leopard with 512MB, you'll have a hard time if you have 5 apps running. You'll be seeing the beach-ball very often.
    But I agree with MattJessop, 1GB is perfect for your needs.

    With 1GB you'll do perfectly. With 512MB you might have some problems, but nothing that bad.
     
  20. -Nick macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2007
    #20
    Well, coming from another student who'll be going into University next year, I'd highly suggest the middle-range model.

    I think 1GB will do just fine in terms of RAM, for both Leopard and Tiger. And you can always do the upgrade yourself in the future if you see fit. But you'll definitely want the Superdrive, a DVD burner is something you'll almost definitely wish you had later on if you got the baseline model. And the extra 40GB on the hard drive will probably be something you'll be thankful to have. I think that the middle-range Macbook would just serve you better overall, with the extra features, and even with only 1GB of RAM.
     
  21. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #21
    Personally I think the price increase is worth it, since you're getting the DVD-/+RW drive, the extra 160MHz, and (if you're going to use the built-in hard drive), a 50% larger drive. $200 isn't a bad deal for all that at all. And you've already said you plan to use iMovie.

    But on the other hand...I can see wanting to go for the cheaper model to save money.

    For me personally, any new computer I get I'm going to throw in at least 2GB of RAM at this point. But 10.4 absolutely runs fine on 1GB for what you're describing. I've used an old G3 iMac with 768MB, and it came close, but didn't have to page out with more apps running than what you've described. And RAM is something you can upgrade easily down the road (whereas you're stuck with the CPU and optical drive, more or less). (If you were running Windows at the same time frequently through VMWare or Parallels, you'd need the extra RAM more, since you'd be basically running two full operating systems.)

    So...I don't know. :confused: I don't think you'll be making a mistake either way.
     
  22. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #22
    Thanks everyone for the input. After taxes and the $150, the price comes to $910 for the baseline and $1120 for the mid range model. I'm going to see how much I can get for my desktop, I am hoping $400 but that might be optimistic. I'll post it in the market place soon, I guess (It's a Windows based system :( )
     
  23. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #23
    What kind of hardware? It would have to be pretty new to get that much.

    And those prices you're quoting-that's after getting $200 for the iPod from your mom? And if that's the regular price, how are you doing that? My prices are $999 and $1199 before taxes (I think)
     
  24. aethelbert thread starter macrumors 601

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #24
    Yeah, the prices that I said were after I get the $150 from my mom that she's giving me so that she can take the $200 rebate. Also after our 6% state sales tax.

    This is my current system. I think that I could get $400 because of the software (maybe someone could give me a better idea of a price?):
    1GB ram
    2.0 ghz amd processor
    256mb nvidia 6600
    120gb hard drive
    48x CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive
    802.11g wifi
    front mounted card reader and audio ports
    Windows (yeah, I know :mad: ) Vista Ultimate
    Office 2007 Enterprise
    keyboard, wireless mouse, and a three piece speaker set with subwoofer
     

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