Laptop For The Future

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by James21090, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. James21090 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #1
    Ok, so i fully intend on buying my first ever mac after the next refresh, whenever and whatever that may be. However i am undecided on which macbook to go for (2.0 0r 2.4). i will not be doing anything too strenuous but i want this laptop to last me as long as possible. In order to future proof would you suggest getting the 2.4ghz model or is it likely that they will become outdated at around the same time. Thanks
     
  2. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #2
    You don't know whether the next generation will have those CPU speeds.

    Anyway - although a 2.4 model would be 20% faster CPU-wise, this won't have much to do with the machine being outdated. Both will be fast enough to perform tasks and run software they were built for and when they become outdated, it will be because they simply won't support certain newer things, not because of CPU speeds.

    My suggestion is to therefore buy the machine you need now. If you're planing on using it for a while, it would IMHO be wiser to get the lower-specced machine and instead spend the extra money on the 3-year warranty package (you can get it cheaper on eBay).
     
  3. generationxwing macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Location:
    Calgary
    #3
    I had the same questions as you, needing a laptop for the same reasons as you. I ended up going with the 2.4GHz Macbook for future-proofing reasons. 25% faster CPU and an extra 90gigs in the hard drive.

    Not to mention the backlit keyboard. That's what sealed the deal for me.
     
  4. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #4
    The CPU is 20% faster in clock speed, but in terms of real-world performance, it's not 20% faster...
     
  5. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #5
    I got the 2.4 for the backlit keyboard. I work in a lot of environments (many in dim light) and am not a touch typist so that feature alone was enough for me. But the speed bump and extra HD space add to that for most folks.

    Memory and HD are easily upgradable later though so you just have to decide if the KB and CPU difference is worth it for you. The 2ghz is still pretty snappy so maybe it comes down to the KB for a lot of folks.
     
  6. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    #6
    Future proofing is one thing but here's my way of thinking about that problem.

    First, let's estimate the life expectancy of the 2.0 at 3 years.

    So price by month : 1300 / (3*12) = 36.111

    So, how many months would it take to get the 2.4 ?

    1600 / 36.111 = 44.3 months, or 3.7 years, or 3 years and 8 months and 12 days.

    Mind you, in my opinion they'll both get outdated at about the same time : .4 Ghz will be fairly meaningless as the machines are expected to double in speed every four years, possibly more with grand central.

    I'm planing 3 years but I ram my computer. If you're a casual user and performance isn't as much an issue, you can then budget for 4-5 years and the .4ghz is fairly meaningless to you... And both models will probably be useless because the technology in them will be completely passed. What will it be? Who knows but apple makes great machine but they don't tend to support their machines for long, they move on and expect their customers to change their computer at a certain rate. For example, apple stopped shipping power PCs mid 2006 and all ready it's seems to be a pain in the ass to use them with the new software.

    If you want to future proof your laptop and not in a hurry to get your laptop, in my opinion, wait for snow leopard. I wouldn't be surprised to see fairly big changes to the mb. Kind of like when they released the macbook, a few months later, big upgrade. I think the processors in them right now are approaching their life cycles, nVidia might come up with something new, priced on ddr3 ram is falling... Also, you'd be sure to have something that will keep up with apple for a while as they'll probably work a lot on the new core features in Snow Leopard.

    Either way, if you need a laptop now, buy it. 2.0 seems to be a better investment.
     
  7. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #7
    How can one ensure they get the most future-proof computer for the cheapest amount?

    Choose the fastest processor available for the desired model, and skimp out on memory and HD space. You can upgrade these components yourself, very easily, for at least half the cost Apple will charge you.

    Processor speed, while not directly proportional to actual calculation power (a 2.4ghz CPU won't work 20% faster than a 2.0ghz CPU), does have an affect in cases such as compressing, editing and converting files. Aside from that, other components, especially memory, play a larger role IMO.

    That said, unless you're video editing, using lots of power hungry apps, encoding like crazy, or gaming like nuts, the CPU discrepancy doesn't matter. However, keep in mind, the CPU is the one component you cannot upgrade so easily (you can in reality, but it's ridiculously pricy).
     
  8. James21090 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for the advice. I am in no rush to buy, i will need a new laptop before going to uni (october). It seems like the best idea would be to wait for the next update. Am i correct in thinking there will be an update in the macbook fairly soon. If so will this be a processor update and if not when will the processor update likely be. Thanks.

    P.S. i'm not very computer savvy so simple answers would be appreciated if possible.
     
  9. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #9
    Where do you people pick this stuff up? It's true that the performance of the entire machine won't improve 20% because many parts of hardware and other factors affect it, but the actual "calculation power" difference between two processors with a 20% difference in frequency is exactly 20%. What you're saying is like saying actual "storage power" improvement of a 1.5 TB drive compared to a 1 TB drive isn't 50%.
     

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