I can't decide on old gen 2.5GHz or new 2.4GHz Unibody???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JMann2380, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. JMann2380 macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    I need help guys. I have spent hours at the Apple store and Best Buy looking at the Unibodies and I can't decide.

    Amazon has the old gen 2.5 for $1599 free shipping, no tax

    Apple has refurbed 2.4 Uni's popping up for $1699 + tax

    Apple has refurbed 2.4 old gen's popping up for $1349 + tax

    I just can't decide for the life of me... I was all set on the old gen from Amazon, but after playing with the new Unibodies, I like the trackpad and the case. However a matte display would probably be better for me... sigh...

    I will be using it for web design.. photoshop, flash, etc and dual boot into XP for my business running quickbooks, office, etc. Nothing super intensive I guess, although I do have a lot of programs running at once. Not sure if the 512mb graphics card on the 2.5 is needed or if the graphics card on the 2.4 is plenty??

    Any guidance is appreciated! I need to make a decision soon for my own sanity!

  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'd go with the new unibody MBP, personally.

    However, if I were to go for a 17" MBP today, I'd get the previous gen with the 2.5 GHz C2D, 512 MB of vRAM on an 8600 GT, and the high res LED-backlit screen. Pretty much the same specs as today's machine, but with DDR2 RAM rather than DDR3, and.......that's it. I think the old design will carry more cachet with tech-heads in the future. It may not seem special now, but in 3 or 4 years, people will admire the older design quite a bit more. I think the newer design will get old more quickly, and I really don't see it lasting for 8 years like the old PB/MBP design.
  4. rdowty macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2008
    If you're doing web design I'd argue the matte display is not necessary. Most web viewers have glossy displays.

    I sold my old MBP for the Unibody when it came out and there are a few things that I really like:

    1) touchpad doesn't seem to get shiny like my old one did almost immediately. If you get the old get a protector if that's going to bother you.
    2) No gaps around the casing like the old one. I hated those and I never was impressed with the build quality of the old one.
    3) The power button isn't an eyesore like the old model.
    4) The screen is noticeably brighter and clearer.
    5) Works with the new ACD which I have so one less power adapter to buy.
    6) I love the new touchpad. Waiting for it on the MBA before thinking about getting one for my girlfriend.

    Things I don't like:
    1) USB ports too tightly spaced. I sneaker-net files alot and I had to get a really small thumbdrive (Sandisk Cruzer Skin) to be able to use it while the other port was in use.
    2) The battery takes longer to charge 100%. Before I got my ACD I'd move from desk to couch alot and I used to be able to work at the desk for an hour or so and go back to unplugged for a few hours. I haven't tested to see what the time to charge 80% is vs the old model.
  5. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    They are about equal in performance so go by which design you want more. If you are unsure then get the unibody. It will have better resale value later.
  6. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    If you don't care about how stylish these computers are... 2.5GHz. If you really like the new look... 2.4 Unibody. The Unibody computers are great.
  7. JMann2380 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    Thanks all... I still can't decide :eek:

    How much performance difference is there between the old gen 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz. Or between the 256mb and 512mb graphics card that are in them respectively? And how do these two compare to the unibody 2.4GHz model?

  8. macjay macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2003
    I'd make the decision based on whether you prefer matte + classic keyboard or glossy + chicklet keyboard.
  9. sephcor macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2009
    Drive Speed

    I'm having similar troubles deciding but something that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that the old MBP's have a 5400 drive while the new design uses a 7200. This may be important if you plan on doing video editing. On Amazon, one of the buyers stated the 5400 was laggy. When I intalled Premiere on my PC, the recommendations were for a 7200 rpm drive. I'm no expert but something to consider (other than aesthetics).
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Why wouldn't you want the trouble free graphics card, dual graphics, faster RAM, beautiful display, glass trackpad, and far superior construction in the unibdy MBP?

    Seems like a no brainer to me.

    Good luck with your new Mac whichever way you go.
  11. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    It is kind of a tough choice ....

    I've owned/used both, and I wound up buying the unibody 15" MBP myself -- but I did a custom order with the 2.8Ghz processor too. (Yeah, it cost more, but I felt a little better about going with the latest model, knowing it was a decent speed bump above anything you could get in the previous models.)

    I have to say, I liked the look of the older-style keyboard more than the chicklet keyboard they have now. I can type about equally well on either one though. As people keep saying, the chicklet keyboards actually work far better than they look like they would.

    On the other hand, what someone else posted is VERY true. The previous gen. MBP's build quality of its case wasn't NEARLY as nice as the unibody. Over time, what started out as a very small gap in a corner would become noticeable. (You could push down on a spot and watch the gap close together, nearly tempting you to squirt some epoxy in the crack and clamp the thing down for a while or something!)

    And the clincher for me? The unibody 15" makes hard drive replacements SO much easier. I know the matte vs. glossy screen thing is a HUGE debate with many people - so I won't even try to suggest what you do about that. All I can say is, for me, the glossy display works just fine. Sure, it does reflect a lot of things - but outdoors, I think it provides a far more readable display than the matte version, which tends to wash out in sunlight.

  12. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    re: drive speed

    This is true, but it also depends a lot on the specific drive in question. For example, you can't even currently buy a 500GB laptop drive that's 7200RPM. They all run at 5400. BUT, some of the benchmark tests indicate the newer ones still perform comparably to 7200RPM drives, despite running at only 5400, because they have more/faster cache memory on-board the drive itself to compensate.

  13. sinser macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    I was facing your same problem. In the end, I went for the old one. Honestly the only thing I like better from the new model is the unibody and maybe a slightly better graphic card. But then I have 2 FW ports and a matte display. The design is still superb and will remain an all time classic. I'm not a web designer and can live without perfect color calibration but the reflections on glass give me incredible eye strain.

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