High-end MBP vs. high-end MB: worth the US$1,200 difference?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gentleman, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. gentleman macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    Looking at the Buying a MacBook versus MacBook Pro on the MacRumors website:

    There is a difference of $1,200 between the high-end MB and the high-end MBP.
    What the evident differences are:

    1) 0.24 GHz in processor clock speed (2.16 vs. 2.4)
    2) 1 GB RAM (1 vs. 2)
    3) 2.1" more screen space (13.3" vs. 15.4")
    4) 40 GB more hard drive space (120 vs. 160)
    5) improved GPU
    6) other, non-performance-based differences

    The question I have is: are these differences worth the MBP price?
    Two high-end MBs ($2,600) are almost the same price as one high-end MBP ($2,500).

    I consider the RAM and the hard drive space to be somewhat unimportant. You can upgrade those for around $200 or so, making the difference between configurations around $1,000.

    What I would like to know is
    1) Whether the clock speed and additional screen space alone justifies the $1,000 price difference,
    2) Whether the much better GPU must be included to justify the price difference, or
    3) Whether none of these enhancements justify the price difference?

    Your thoughtful opinion is appreciated.
  2. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    screen space and clock speed : no, unless you prefer a bigger screen/higher resolution.

    GPU: I'd say yes.

    I'd say they are justified.
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    The screen is LED backlit providing better battery life and more even brightness thus more accurate colour reproduction. The MBP can be upgraded to 4GB of RAM vs 3GB for the MB. The MBP's GPU is about 5 times faster than the MB's. The MBP comes with an express card slot and FW800 and an aluminum case.
  4. Satori macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2006
    Don't forget you're getting an LED backlit screen and more energy efficient processor in the MB pro, which should make a substantial difference to the battery life (even if the quoted battery life from apple is a little optimistic!).

    Overall, it's going to depend on what you need your laptop for. If screen real estate and extra processing power (both GPU and CPU) are important to you then obviously the extra money is worth it. If you are just using the machine for email, word processing, surfing and ilife then a plain old 13" mb will do you nicely.
  5. heatasmallhouse macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    what are you going to be using it for?

    I needed a mobile Final Cut machine, so it was more than justified. If you're poking around, the MB will be more than fine.
  6. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    Just wait until the MB's get Santa Rosa and/or the MBP "ultraportables" come out. The $1,200 difference will NOT be worth it at that point.
  7. gentleman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    Thanks, flopticalcube. The LED consuming less battery power and possibly better color reproduction I consider performance enhancements and thus should be consider among the justifications for the price difference.

    However, the RAM expandability, the card slot, the FireWire 800, and the aluminum case are not features I am considering. The reason being: I would like a powerful machine, and not caring what peripherals I might use or the prettiness of the case. The RAM expandability is relevant, but I'm not sure how much better 3GB vs. 4GB would be. At any rate, my head-to-head comparison is on the 2GB installed level.
  8. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    I say yes it is worth the price difference. It wasnt on Monday... but as of yesterday, the MPB is worth the extra 1200$
  9. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    You really need to let us know what you would be using it for. For me the increased resolution would be a must, especially if it was my main computer. It's not an "improved GPU", the MBP actually has one, and it's very good now. The 3GB ram vs. 4 GB is important for dual channel, if you plan to add that much RAM. I personally think the money is well worth it, but once again, depends on what you will be using it for.
  10. gentleman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    I work as a statistician. Some of my work requires a great deal of computational throughput. Thus my focus is on processing "muscle."

    However, part of the difficulty that I find when buying a computer is that I often find myself wanting to upgrade the computer to take advantage of (unanticipated) innovations. Obsolescence is a given, but ameliorated if the price paid was low.

    For example, buying the high-end MB today and a high-end MB, say, two years from today, would be approximately the same cost as buying a high-end 15" MBP today, in present value terms. Thus, I am trying to determine whether purchasing the MBP vs. the MB is a good strategy. If the MBP can hold up for 3 1/2 years without my feeling that I need to upgrade, then good. But would it be "smarter" to have the "trade up" possibility of buying a second MBP in case an unanticipated innovation comes up? An MB two years from now may very well have the same specs as the MBP today. So the disutility from having an comparably underpowered machine for around two years would be around $1,200. Could that $1,200 be spent more wisely (e.g., AppleCare, peripherals, etc?)

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