Going into CS in Uni: Keep 2007 MacBook or Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mattyu007, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. mattyu007, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012

    mattyu007 macrumors member

    mattyu007

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #1
    So I'll be entering into the co-op computer science program at the University of Waterloo in September.

    I currently own a 2.16 GHz Mid-2007 White 13" MacBook that has 2.5 3 GB RAM and a 320 GB HD. For the most part, it still works fine, but the fan ramps up relatively easily, the battery life is shorter than what I'd like (~3 hours typical with WiFi on), and many graphics and animations are stuttery. This machine has also seen its battery been replaced 3 times, hard drive twice, and top case once. I have an external monitor on my desk at home, so the small screen size doesn't bother me too much right now.

    I've wanted a new MacBook for some time now, and since I won't be able to bring my external monitor to residence, I've been looking at the base 15" Pro (~C$1950 with student discount and tax) as a possible replacement.

    My two main concerns are:
    1. The cost is a little high, but my family is quite averse to purchasing refurbished products, even if they are from Apple. Is the cost going to be worth it in the long run?
    2. For many general tasks, my current MacBook is still relatively competent (albeit a bit slow), but it's not like it would suddenly decide to stop working if I purchase a new one. What should I do with it? Give it to a family member? Sell it?

    If you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.
     
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #2
    It's too bad that your family has an aversion to purchasing refurbished products(even from Apple) because I would say that might even be smart than buying one new. With a refurbished model, not only do you get the same initial warranty as a new product and a nice price cut, Apple has also inspected it and fixed anything that went wrong with it. It's almost like getting a brand new computer at a discount.

    But yes, the initial high cost of an Apple computer is worth it in the long run. I have a 2009 20" iMac that cost more than the PC I replaced it with and has not given me any problems. I can also upgrade it to Mountain Lion and maybe even the next version of OS X as well. Apple does a great job of optimizing their systems and they are definitely worth it. SO if you do decide to buy a new one, then it will be worth the money.

    I bought my AppleTV2 refurbished along with an iMac. Neither of them failed me and I even recently sold my 1.5 year old AppleTV2 for more than I paid for it.

    Once you get the new MBP, sell the older one on eBay, or see if someone on campus wants/needs one.
     
  3. mattyu007 thread starter macrumors member

    mattyu007

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    I think my family just has an issue with the perception that since the computer has been "repaired," it's somehow less "perfect" than a brand-new computer. The only issue I personally have with the refurbished models is that they're previous generation, and I don't want my computer to become obsolete as quickly (like how my current MacBook won't officially run ML).

    Thanks for your advice, I'll definitely present it to the family when the decision of whether or not to buy it rolls around, which will hopefully be soon, seeing that school starts in less than a month… Aaaah I'm so nervous for September, no idea what to expect :(
     
  4. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #4
    Since it has been repaired, it's more perfect that a brand new computer. A brand new computer has been put together in an assembly line and shipped out, sometimes with malfunctions that need to be fixed.

    A refurb has been thoroughly checked out by a technician to make sure there is nothing wrong with it after having repaired the fault (which sometimes is a mistake in production). You're less likely to have problems with a refurb than with a brand new computer.

    Also, sometimes you can find current generation computers as refurbs...

    Either way, don't buy a new computer just to buy a new computer. Wait and see if you really need a new one first...
     
  5. mattyu007 thread starter macrumors member

    mattyu007

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    I personally don't have much of an issue with refurbished items, I think they're a great way to save a little money. :) It's just my family (which will have a big influence on what I get) that doesn't like them.

    That's partially what I'm debating; my current computer still works fine, but there are quite a few minor things that add up to me wanting to replace it for uni (and likely for use beyond uni). ;~;
     
  6. comradejon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #6
    I'm no expert on Macs, I only moved over (to a 15 inch MBP) a year ago, but you've gotten five years out of your Macbook. That's pretty impressive, and it has probably run its course. I want five years out of this laptop because I agree, it's a lot of money, but the build quality is so astounding that I think it's likely to happen.

    An alternative solution would be an iMac. I don't know what your living/studying situation is, but you could keep your Macbook as your go to library/portable typing machine, purely for smaller tasks. I never even thought about an iMac before starting uni last year, but if my old Windows laptop hadn't packed up I would have and should have gone for an iMac instead, since they're not that much of a deal to lug in and out of accommodation. Since my laptop died and I needed something I could take with me, the MBP was the only real option.

    Just a few suggestions!

    EDIT: In an ideal world where I'm made of money, it would be a top of the range iMac at home/uni, and then an 11 inch MBA for laziness/films/libraries, so you can see where I'm coming from with the MB/iMac combo
     
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #7
    If they're paying, why not? ;)
     
  8. mattyu007 thread starter macrumors member

    mattyu007

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #8
    comradejon: For $2k, I'm pretty much expecting it to last at least 5 years :rolleyes:. (Also that's how long my university program is going to be, and I refuse to replace computer halfway through my program!)

    I can definitely see where you're coming from with the iMac / MBA combo. I never considered getting an iMac actually, mostly because I don't anticipate spending that much time in my residence suite where the iMac will sit; I'll probably be in the libraries or something, and an iMac isn't exactly portable. I would also prefer not having to worry about keeping two computers in sync. (Unrelated note: I would prefer a 21.5" iMac / 13" MBA combo; 11" is too small for me)


    hafr: Even if I'm not the one paying, it's still a lot of money :p. Don't forget, this is in addition to the already incredible $21k/year for tuition and residence, not including textbooks.
     
  9. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #9
    Library comment: haha, how cute. You'll see... ;)

    Portable comment: I beg to differ!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mattyu007 thread starter macrumors member

    mattyu007

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    ಠ_ಠ

    Okay well actually I don't really have much of an idea of what to expect, except that I've heard many horror stories about CS students. :(


    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OOOKAY THERE.
     

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