Deciding which MB to buy. 2.0, 2.4, Pro? University Student.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SteveMobs, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #1
    Hey, and thanks for clicking in. I did search thinking this was a common question, but no, so I figured I'd start my own thread. It can be fairly specific.

    So I'm a freshmen in my first semester at GMU, I commute, so there hasn't really been a need to buy a laptop yet, and I wanted to wait for the new ones, when I heard all of the rumors floating around end of summer. But that time has finally come, so;

    I need a laptop and I'm sold on apple, that's taken care. But which one? I was going to get the white 2.4 ghz from the last generation but decided to wait. And now with the base being 2.0 ghz, I feel like I should get the new 2.4ghz. I think the MB Pro is overkill for me but I like the backlit keyboard, big HD and processor speed. So I think I'm slowly settling on the 2.4 ghz MB. What is the difference between the 2.4 ghz and 2.0 ghz MB? Backlit keyboard, 250 GB hard drive, faster processor, did I miss anything? And then what's the difference between the 2.4 ghz MB and the base MB Pro? Sorry if this is hard to follow. I don't do a lot of video editing, I'm sure I'll make a video once in a while, but don't feel like I need the separate video card. I think the backlit keyboard is cool, the added HD space will come in handy (a good amount of music), and the faster processor of course. And it's only $300 dollars extra and I get $100 student discount.

    I've also heard about the MB and MB Pro having different screens. That the MB Pro screen was of higher quality and did a nicer job showing dark colors. Is that different with the 2.4 ghz MB? Anybody know anything about that?

    And in searching, I found a lot of talk about defects in workmanship, function keys being messed up, etc. What's up with that?!

    Well thanks for helping me out, hopefully I'll be a full fledged user soon.
    -Steve
     
  2. SteveMobs thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
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    #2
    Ich brauche hilfe. <-German
    Ik heb hulp nodig. <-Dutch
    I need help. <-English

    And that's all I know, I guess I need to be creative.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    -Steve
     
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #3
    i dont know much about the MB's, but it seems that with what you stated, that a MB would be just fine for you. I think a MBP would be overkill for you. I bought a pre 10/14 MBP from apple and love it. I bought it because i am in school for web design and need a powerful computer that i wont soon outgrow.

    Dont make the backlighted keyboard a dealbreaker/maker. It is nice, but honestly, typing in a dimly lit room isnt the best idea. I mean it is cool, but not worth $150...

    i have a 250GB HD in my pro, and have 99GB left. I will probably get a bigger drive, when they release a 400+GB 7200 rpm drive, and then use the internal drive that is in it now for an external drive....

    good luck with your purchase
     
  4. SteveMobs thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    #4
    Yeah you're probably right on the backlit keyboard thing, it just seems like such a cool feature. Even though I can look away from the keyboard and still type, I'm not the "hunt and peck" type user. I'm sure I wouldn't need it. Other than that though, is the added HD space and faster processor worth $300? But then again, that's also relative. I guess.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #5
    You sound to be set on 2.4 MB :)

    The screen of the MBP is in a different league to that of the MB's screen. You'll get it when you see them side by side. Then again, the MB's screen is just enough to do work on, but terrible viewing angles make it rather bad for watching movies. Definitely enough for casual use.

    Now to the kb backlighting. Though I've never owned a notebook with kb backlighting, most people that have it say they adore this feature. Mind you, its useful not only for typing, but for using kb shortcuts as well, which makes it more useful even for touch-typists. And it looks so gooood :D

    As for performance, you won't notice the difference between 2.0 and 2.4 ghz, unless you count every FPS in Handbrake ;)

    The HD is easily swappable on both MB and MBP and you can get a much higher capacity 2.5" drive for Apple's upgrade price. Then you can use your stock internal drive as an external :)

    For University student form factor is also important. I'm an Uni student myself and while I was at the local store that sells Macs I compared new MB and new MBP side by side... They are both sleek, thin, beautiful, but MB seemed so much smaller and more convenient to carry around for 5+ hours a day.

    Note that MB now doesn't have FireWire, so if you want to edit video from a firewire camera you're out of luck.
     
  6. descartes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #6
    you wont be able to upgrade the process or add the backlit kb. if those things are important (sounds like the kb is at least) go for the 2.4 rather than regret it later.
     
  7. SteveMobs thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    #7
    Thanks for the helpful info. It really can go on all day though, now I could say well if I add $400 I can get an MBP. What are the major differences between the 2.4 MB and 2.4 (Base) MBP?

    And could you play the new Call of Duty World at War on the 2.4 MB? I'm not a big gamer at all, but that game just looks really cool. Other than that I would use the comp for school work, web surfing, and maybe some fun stuff in iLife. I promise. At least until I find other cool stuff to do, haha.
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8
    I think right now the 2.4 over the 2.0 GHz processors is not too important, but it may be critical to run a program three years down the road. You can upgrade the other things like HD and Memory, but you cannot upgrade the CPU, so for $300 more, it's worth it for the 2.4 GHz CPU.

    What I don't like is the upgraded MB has the same amount of memory as the lower end Al. MB. So, you need to upgrade that whichever route you go.

    The high-end MB has a bigger HD, BUT it is a slower HD at only 5400 RPM. You will have a faster machine by upgrading to a 7200 RPM HD yourself. And it's a simple upgrade.

    So, as far as the HD and Memory are concerned, I think the low-end is the way to go. But again, the CPU issue MAY be a big deal later... although probably not a noticeable difference now.

    Last thing is the illuminated keyboard. It is nice to have, but you don't need it. In fact, I used an LED USB light for my Dell for years. It worked great at night. It's on a stiff cable that you can adjust to shine above KB and Display to give light on the KB at night. Worked well and costs about $15. Always a possibility if you want your keyboard lit up at night. But, I truthfully only look at the KB for the first few letters I type. So, it really does save on the first few keystrokes. Then your hands know where they are. But it does help on eliminating those first few keystrokes.

    So, I thought one day that I had done the wrong thing by buying the high-end MB. Then I thought well, I could NEVER upgrade that CPU in the future and while it definitely doesn't matter for minimum system requirements now, a program a few years from now may need the upgraded CPU. But the trend is actually not that. The trend is for more cores, faster memory and front side BUS. So probably not, but you never know. I also thought, the HD was a waste for the Upgrade, but I use the 250 GB HD that came with my MB as my portable HD now. I bought a 320 GB 7200 RPM HDD at NewEgg.com and for $3 more, they give you an external HD enclosure. So I have that one in the enclosure working off my AirPort Extreme as my backup. So, it gives me plenty of backup space - 90 GB more than the low-end Al. MB.

    At the end of the day, it just matters what the difference is in value TO YOU. If you can afford it, I think the value is acceptable but NOT exceptional. But fair enough if you can get some use out of the upgraded HD, the Illuminated KB, and eventually the CPU. So, I think it is a fair argument you can make either way in value. But if you don't have the extra money, it ain't worth it.

    Good luck whichever way you go and Happy Holidays.
     
  9. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #9
    MBP:

    Screen
    Graphics card
    FW port

    MB:

    Size
    Weight
    Less $$

    I think MB would run COD5 at lowest settings, but don't expect it to be smooth. MBP would be fine for it.
     
  10. itou macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #10
    buy the most you can afford.
    that way, you'll only regret not getting something because you couldn't get it. not didn't.
     
  11. svndmvn Guest

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    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #11
    Soes anyone know if with future OS updates, 10.5.6 maybe not so much, but what about OS X 10.6 or OS XI, there would be a bigger performance gap between 2.0 and 2.4 models?
     
  12. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #12
    get the refirb macbook pro 2.5 it is about the same as a macbook 2.4 and you get a dedicated graphics card with 512 ram. that should definatley be able to play call of duty world at war plus ram is very cheap for it. i have the al 2.4 with 4 gb ram and i can play call of duty 4 at a decent frame rate. if i bought a new computer now that is what i would do. i bought in feb and got a replacement.
     
  13. SteveMobs thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    Washington D.C.
    #13
    Well as far as buying the old MBP at the price of the Aluminum 2.4 MB, I'm not sure about that. Yeah, the old one has had all of the kinks worked out and is nice and ironed like a clean shirt, but I feel that when it comes to the ever changing notebook market, it's best to buy the latest and greatest, because it'll last longer. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  14. Metuas macrumors regular

    Metuas

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Under a rock.
    #14
    The screen. Oh, the screen. I don't know about your screen size needs, but from my experience (2.2 SR MBP 15.4" vs 1.6 Merom MBA 13.3") the 15" screen feels a lot bigger. Maybe I'm biased towards larger screens, as a frequent photoshop user, but from my experiences, the bigger screen alone is worth the money.
    Also, if you're going to be playing that game, more screen is always better!
     
  15. SteveMobs thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Washington D.C.
    #15
    ?Anyone have experience with this debacle?

    I think I'm headed to the Mac store today or tomorrow to see what they have to say.
     
  16. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #16
    having a dedicated graphics card is better than an integrated one. if i were buying now i would buy last gen mbp. the apple store will try to sell the latest. what every you decide get apple care. macs last a long time your not buying a cheap hp.
     
  17. sandiegokiwi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #17
    Hi- I am having the same debacle as you (old gen vs. new gen), and posted a question to this effect on this forum yesterday. See the thread titled "New Gen MacBook Pro vs. Previous gen" for the communities answers. Old gen prices make you really stop and ponder....

    I'd love to know what you decide as I am still debating, although leaning toward the newer machine (I love the new multi-track pad, the screen, the keypad).
     
  18. SteveMobs thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    #18
    I think I'm almost definitely sold on the New Generation, it's just, that with a price that competitive, the old ones make a strong case for themselves. For the 2.4 MB you can basically get the old MBP for the same price, and it's faster and all that but it's also older. It's a toss up, no doubt.
     
  19. TopGear300 macrumors regular

    TopGear300

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #19
    In the same boat

    Steve!!!

    There seem to be more then a few of us out there with this dilema:confused:. I too found myself asking the same thing and I am also going away to college next year. I need a laptop for school (which I will only consider apple) and wasn't sure to go pro or top of the line macbook. I am pretty sure I have settled on the top macbook for the following reasons. To me, the portability was the most important thing because we will be lugging this thing around all day and it will be our life line. The MBP is surprisingly a lot bigger which is good and bad. only good because it has the bigger screen which yes, is nicer. You can't really rely on the graphics because they both have the 9400M and you need to switch and restart the MBP to use the dedicated graphics card which will eat ur battery pretty good. They have the same processor, superdrive,HDD, memory and vram, and well, what else makes a computer. The $400 wasnt scaring me away from the pro but with all that said, my decision has been made. I am fortunate to own a 20" iMac 2.4 which i simply can't let go of but even so you will not regret the macbook. It really is the perfect portable machiene. HOPE THIS HELPS?!!! :D
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #20
    I think by the time OS 11 is released, what we have these days would be equivalent of what people had 15 years ago relative to today.
     
  21. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Location:
    Russia
    #21
    Haha so true ^^

    Reading old threads is so fun when people debated which one was more "future-proof" iBook 800 MHz or 933 ^^
     
  22. SteveMobs thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Washington D.C.
    #22
    Well yeah, I've got a decision to make. I called apple today, and got some lady who wasn't much help, basically just read the web site verbatim, as if I haven't read everything on there already. I think I'll go pay the store a visit tomorrow. Get some hands on time.

    Thanks for all of the input so far.
     

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