Entry level 13 MBP ok - Should I have gotten the 2.53?

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
3,743
162
I had planned to purchase my mother a MacBook Pro for Christmas, the 2.53 GHZ 13" model. However, when Amazon had black Friday sale on the 2.26 model for only $1049, I couldn't pass on it. I mean $1049, with free shipping, etc. quite a bit savings along with other benefits of amazon.

However, I started thinking about the way Apple has this machine put together with only 2 GB of memory and a measly 160 GB hard drive.

Actually, for my mother, that machine would still be plenty good enough, and I could swap hard drives and memory, for about half the price difference between models.

Nevertheless, the 2.26 seems on the low end these days.

Should I consider returning it, or you guys think this model is still a great choice especially at this price? I guess I just normally try to not to get the very base model.

Thanks for any advice.
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
you said its for your mom? right?

2.26 is the low end, however, for the basics, its overkill.

13" MBP is $1050 AR at macconnection, has been since they were first introduced

both the ram and drive can be updated, not hard

unless you need everything you own with you, then a 160 gig drive is plenty -- just plug into something larger when you are home?
 

Azathoth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2009
659
0
Does your mother render 3D movies? Does she solve Computational Fluid Dynamics problems? No, let me guess, she performs optimisations of millimetre-wave slot antennas with co-planar waveguide matching networks.

I cannot think of any task in which the 10% clock speed difference would be crucial. Unless she does a lot of video editting or runs virtual machines, then I doubt 2GB is even an issue. As for hard disk space, you're better off spending a hundred bucks on an external drive and use that for backup. The advantage of having limited HDD space is that it forces users to clean up their drives...

PS I'm sure your mother will be pleased
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
Does your mother render 3D movies? Does she solve Computational Fluid Dynamics problems? No, let me guess, she performs optimisations of millimetre-wave slot antennas with co-planar waveguide matching networks.

I cannot think of any task in which the 10% clock speed difference would be crucial. Unless she does a lot of video editting or runs virtual machines, then I doubt 2GB is even an issue. As for hard disk space, you're better off spending a hundred bucks on an external drive and use that for backup. The advantage of having limited HDD space is that it forces users to clean up their drives...

PS I'm sure your mother will be pleased
Agreed. 10% clock speed is not noticeable. Your better off going for other upgrade paths:

1. RAM to 4GB, 7200RPM HD
2. SSD

Both will result in noticeable improvements and save money over the 2.53.
 

Dan73

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2009
505
0
Yes unless you're doing large tasks that require the CPU then you will NOT notice a difference.

If the computer seems slow then upgrade the hard drive.
 

shambo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 4, 2009
647
0
Most regulars around here know my feelings on the matter but just to clarify for you if money is no problem ALWAYS buy big to future proof your investment for longer.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
3,743
162
Thanks all. Sounds like I probably made the right move as I can even put a bigger hard drive that runs at 7200RPM in for her, if she needs it.

at $1050 plus a few percentage I'll get back on amazon card, it just seemed like a wise decision than pay at least $350 for the extra clock speed. Glad to hear that reconfirmed a bit.

AT that price, even if I have to buy her another in 2-3 years, I think thats a decent decision.

She does use photo apps a bit, but still, with a memory upgrade, should be fine.

Thanks again. Can't wait to wrap it up.
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
Most regulars around here know my feelings on the matter but just to clarify for you if money is no problem ALWAYS buy big to future proof your investment for longer.
Because we all know that 10% clock speed will make your laptop last an extra year.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
146
Not just clock speed my friend.
God I wish you knew something about computers. You would know that a 10% difference in clock speed feels like next to nothing. And that is right folks, anything that is bigger is always future-proof. :rolleyes:
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
Not just clock speed my friend.
4GB RAM = $85
5400RPM 250GB = $50
7200RPM 320GB = $70 (faster and more storage)
7200RPM 500GB = $90 (^)

Both of which can be upgraded when you want to.

So yes, it is just clock speed my friend. At the price of .26GHz for $165 (plus tax) more.
 

smchan

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2008
96
1
I just bought a 2.53GHz 13" MBP. I immediately upgraded the drive to a 500G 7200 RPM drive and am thinking about bumping the memory to 8G. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased the entry-level 13" and applied the money towards upgrades or a Mac mini for my kids. The clock speed difference is not a big deal.

Sam
 

foiden

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2008
803
0
The 2.26 was close enough to the 2.4 is used in an older machine, so I was happy with the purchase. And like some others here, I weighed what I really needed compared to what I could easily upgrade. The processor was good enough, and so was the video card. Since the HD and memory were all upgradable to the same, I went with the low end model.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
3,743
162
Thanks again everyone.

With the sale and cash back, I ended up paying $1,000 basically spot on the nose for the 2.26 model. I could return it and buy the 2.53 model for $1,400.

However, $300-$400 extra doesn't seem worth it, I mean 40 percent more money is a bit much I think.

The entry level system with more memory and maybe faster/bigger hard drive if needed, should be fine I hope.

Thanks again.

Sad thing, I wish I had one now too! The box looks so nice. Can't wait to see my mother open it up. Should be a big surprise. I don't really have use for notebooks much myself though, so I still use an old 12 Powerbook, since 99.999 percent of the time or more, I'm on my desk with iMac.
 

Mintin8

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2009
689
0
United Kingdom
Not just clock speed my friend.
If you're so keen to future proof. Why didn't you get a 17inch matte unibody with a 3.06GHz processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD? As you said it another thread, it's all about what you buy at the time of need. So why didn't you buy that 17inch?
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
If you're so keen to future proof. Why didn't you get a 17inch matte unibody with a 3.06GHz processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD? As you said it another thread, it's all about what you buy at the time of need. So why didn't you buy that 17inch?
And just to prevent the counter-point of the 15" somehow being better despite claims of going bigger being better, that exact model is available in a 15" MBP as well.
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
I had planned to purchase my mother a MacBook Pro for Christmas...Should I consider returning it, or you guys think this model is still a great choice especially at this price? I guess I just normally try to not to get the very base model.

Thanks for any advice.
As has been mentioned, it's ultimate going to depend on what you use it for - and even that's more relevant between deciding if you need a 13", 15" or 17" screen, if you need an express card slot or not, or if you need a discrete graphics card, etc not so much for less than 1.0 difference in processing speed.
If you're the type (or in the case, your mom) is the kind to obsess over every bump in specs then maybe buying the 2.53 would make you feel better when the processor speed is ultimately bumped but I would say the .26 is fine.
 

shambo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 4, 2009
647
0
If you're so keen to future proof. Why didn't you get a 17inch matte unibody with a 3.06GHz processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD? As you said it another thread, it's all about what you buy at the time of need. So why didn't you buy that 17inch?
I have explained this before, ad nauseum. The 17' Frat Boy is way too big and clunky. The top end 15 incher IS Apples sweet spot. Always will be. :cool:
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
146
OP: I seriously doubt you'll feel the speed difference. I know it is minor in real life applications.
I have explained this before, ad nauseum. The 17' Frat Boy is way too big and clunky. The top end 15 incher IS Apples sweet spot. Always will be. :cool:
You need a large sign and a corner to spew your propaganda. Just be sure that you know the difference between ' and ". ;)
15_4-ever.gif
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
0
England
I don't even understand why people are suggesting SSDs. What's the point? If all it's going to be used for is things like web surfing and word processing, it's really not worth paying that much. Also, 2 GBs of RAM is fine. It's not perfect, but it still runs great. Save your money and put it towards a future purchase where it'll be worth a lot more. Why pay $400 for a 10% performance increase now, when $400 in the future could buy much more and you'll be able to buy sooner! "Future-proofing" is pointless, always by what you'll need in the medium-term (of course if you're a pro user you'll always need the best). Computers are not long-term investments like houses.
 

JamesGorman

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,123
1
Winnipeg
2.26(besides the air) is the lowest for current gen mac computers. But when compared to some pc laptops on the market, some with amd or intel processors, and most of them dual core, you can still find processors clocked at 1.7, now that seems a bit to slow for me.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
3,743
162
Hey I do have one question that might seem a bit odd.

The torx screws you remove on bottom to upgrade the RAM -

Do they look scratched up a bit after on screwing them? That might be a reason to buy the computer with memory you want already in it?

I know like on my old powerbook, the RAM access door screws, look less shiny after opening it up.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.