Is buying higher speed processor worth it to normal users?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by osustudent, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. osustudent macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2005
    I apologize if this has already been talked about elsewhere ...

    I'm looking at purchase a new laptop between now and June. While hoping that the new MacBook/iBooks are announced in March, I was curious as to how much I would be able to tell the difference in processor speeds on the MBP.

    It's nearly a $700 difference between the 1.83 and 2.16 processors. The most I'd be doing is having ms office apps, IM clients, iTunes, etc., open at the same time (the normal college student stuff). Should I spend the extra money on the more powerful processor, or settle with the lower one?

    While this all could be a mute point when the MB are announced, the issue will still be the same. How much is the extra power really worth to the average user?

  2. stridey macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2005
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    I say buy the cheaper one and spend the extra money on as much RAM as you can afford. That's where you'll really notice speedup. :)

    Edit: This is my 1000th post! Goodbuy "macrumors 6502"!
  3. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    Not very meaningful to the average user.
  4. AuPhalanx macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2004
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    I have to agree with what was said: it is not that big of a deal for the average user. That being said, though, it is always a good idea to get the "most" computer one can afford at any given time. The reason for tha is just longevity - how long the computer will last before it becomes "obsolete".

    For example, my 800-MHz iBook works just fine for just about everything: email, web surfing, building web pages, Office apps, and even PhotoShop and InDesign. True, it is a tad slow compared to my PB, but of course it would be. It is showing signs of age, though, especially when playing QuickTime videos and many games will not run on it now.

    If you can afford it, it's almost always the good choice to get the BEST computer that you can.

    Have fun... Tony.
  5. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    I would say you dont even need a MacBook Pro the current Ibooks would be fine for those programs.
  6. iPie macrumors regular


    Feb 21, 2006
    Milan, Italy
    You can also check out:

    I had the same question.

    The advice I got was to go for a basic system and buy third party RAM which is significantly cheaper. This seems the way to go. You also don't need to outlay all of that cash at once, you can wait and see how the system operates before upgrading RAM.
  7. osustudent thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2005

    Thanks to everyone who posted a reply! This really helps me!

    So, I'm now planning on buying a new MB when they are released and cranking up the RAM. Or, maybe the MBP. Or, ...

    I'll keep checking back to see if there's any other advice/opinions. Thanks again!
  8. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    It's not always just about the processor speed if you go up a model. An improved video card etc can also make a difference to the longer useful life of your computer.

    When I bought my Powerbook 2 years ago, I had a choice of the 1Ghz or the 1.25Ghz version. The 1.25Ghz was a few hundred pounds dearer and I debated it long and hard. Retrospectively, I'm glad I bought it - it had the Bluetooth and Airport as standard, it had a Superdrive and it had the better graphics card which meant that when Core Image came out, my Mac wasn't so outdated it couldn't use it.

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