MacBook 13.3" (Aluminium) or MacBook 13.3" WHITE

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Haeqal, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Haeqal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #1
    I'm just a student in Singapore and I thought of buying a MacBook.
    There's this laptop deal in my school for MacBooks. I need advice on which MacBook should I buy cause my budget is >SGD$2.5k, so don't advice me on buying MacBook pro. I'm not an avid gamer but I just need the notebook to have a reliable speed and performance.
    Here's the specs of the deals:

    MacBook 13.3" WHITE
    2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    160GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of shared DDR2 SDRAM
    AirPort Extreme built-in
    Bluetooth 2.1 built-in
    Built-in iSight camera
    Built-in 10/100/1000 Base-T (Gigabit)
    Two USB 2.0 port
    One Firewire 400 port
    Full-size keyboard
    Scrolling trackpad

    * BUNDLE with 4GB RAM upgrade, AppleCare Protection Plan (3 yrs on-site warranty incl. parts & labour, 1 yr for battery), Mini DVI to VGA adapter, Retractable USB Mouse, Carry bag & Notebook numeric lock
    S$1,977.36

    MacBook 13.3" (Aluminium)
    2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    160GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of shared DDR3 SDRAM
    AirPort Extreme built-in
    Bluetooth 2.1 built-in
    Built-in iSight camera
    Built-in 10/100/1000 Base-T (Gigabit)
    Two USB 2.0 port
    Multi-Touch trackpad

    * BUNDLE with 4GB RAM upgrade, AppleCare Protection Plan (3 yrs on-site warranty incl. parts & labour, 1 yr for battery), Mini DVI to VGA adapter, Retractable USB Mouse, Carry bag & Notebook numeric lock
    S$2,341.16

    Any advice on which to buy or pros and cons of the MacBook?
     
  2. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    I'm sorry that you have to pay so much in Singapore.

    Anyway, for $350 you are getting 0.5 less pounds, 30 more minutes battery life, LED backlight which is brighter, cooler case, faster DDR3 RAM, multitouch trackpad (great feature), and an improved design that won't crack like the polycarbonate MBs).

    FYI the info given for the Aluminum MB is wrong. It uses DDR3 RAM and not DDR2.

    On the downside, the Aluminum MB has no Firewire 400 if you need it.

    I'm biased because I have the 2GHz Aluminum MB, but I love the machine. Multitouch is a great feature. It's nice never having to click and to have all of the little gestures to save time. It's also a very cool running notebook and takes a lot to get the fans running.
     
  3. wetrix macrumors 6502

    wetrix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #3
    I think that if you are asking this question, get the Alu MacBook. Only go for the white one if you can't afford the Alu one or you need firewire. The Alu will retain its value MUCH MUCH better than the plastic one from yesteryear.
     
  4. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #4
    This is terrible advice. "If you don't know what you need, get the more expensive machine." :rolleyes:

    For your needs, the polycarbonate MacBook would be fine. The only reason to go to the unibody would be if you really want some of those features, or if you simply have money to blow. If you're sensitive to price, the plastic offers all of the performance for less money.
     
  5. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #5
    I'll give you the less weight argument, but the rest needs another view.

    My white Macbook gets almost an HOUR (5 hours) longer battery life than my sister's aluminum (less than 4.5 hours) - yeah, I know on paper the aluminum is supposed to be better, but my experience is that it is NOT, but YMMV.

    LED backlight definitely IS brighter, but I know that my sister NEVER turns hers all the way up because it feels like its burning your eyes out. I think the lighting is harsher on the LED, but the colors are more vibrant. The only big advantage I see to the LED over the CCFL is instant-on - mine has to "warm-up" to full brightness, hers is instant.

    As for the cooler case, yeah - but that's just because its new. I always liked that Macs were white - made them stand out. The new aluminum can blend in with PCs (though similar looking PCs are silver plastic, not aluminum). And aluminum dents (of course, plastic cracks). Again, YMMV.

    Faster DDR3 RAM? Yeah, on paper - in reality, not much to be gained. Except double the cost of the upgrade (4GB DDR3 is $75+ - 4GB DDR2 is <$40).

    Multitouch trackpad - yeah, now that's cool. What's not cool, though, is the button-less design (at least in my opinion). I hate it (and yes, I've used it quite a bit). This is an opinion though, and opinions are like buttholes - everybody has one. :D

    And an improved design? Well, its a different material, but last I checked the aluminum (other than the unibody construction technique) is basically the same design. Oh, except it DOES NOT have firewire. And has a batter cover that is prone to be loose. And has an uber-glossy screen. And has a crappy LCD panel (not that the white's is any better...)

    So, can you guess that I favor the white Macbook? Well, I do - I personally think its the best value Apple product on the market right now (the new Mini is a close second). If you like the white, get it - its a great machine for the price. If you like the look of the aluminum, get it - but DON'T get it expecting it to be faster or more capable. For the most part, its just prettier.

    **DISCLAIMER** This is MY opinion. Feel free to disagree, but don't flame ME for it. Thanks. :)
     
  6. kabunaru Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #6
    Get the polycarbonate plastic MacBook. It should be more than good enough for you.
     
  7. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    I agree. the White is cheaper. Though the 4GB of RAM is standard in both of the machines the OP is talking about so the price argument doesn't matter.

    The DDR2 is $35 and $53 for DDR3.
     
  8. briansolomon macrumors 6502

    briansolomon

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    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    #8
    Go aluminum. LED + Better case that won't crack are two reasons alone that are worth the money. Also, I would imagine they will hold their resale value better, too.
     
  9. Haeqal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #9
    Okay, thanks for the advices. But 2.0 GHz Aluminium has backlight? Is it the keyboard backlight? I heard it's only for the 2.4GHz MB and MBP?
     
  10. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    That's correct. The backlit keyboard is only available on the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook 2.4GHz. However, the Aluminum MacBook uses an LED-backlit display, which is definitely better than the white MacBook display.
     
  11. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

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    Mar 4, 2007
  12. opera57 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 15, 2009
    #12
    Personally I would go for the Aluminium macbook. It feels much nicer (being aluminium), and the screen is much brighter. When using my MBP (with led screen) and then using a friends white macbook, the screen is very dim compared. The Alu MB also has the nVidia 9400, which is quite a good gpu considering its integrated! [​IMG]
     
  13. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #13
    ...the "new" whitebook also has the same GPU...
     
  14. zorahk macrumors 6502

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #14
    It's not terrible advice.

    The build quality on the polycarbonate macbook is non-existent.

    Trust me, get the aluminum
     
  15. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #15
    1) The advice "buy the unibody because it's more expensive" is terrible advice. There are some good reasons to opt for the unibody - the fact that it costs more is not one of them.

    2) That "non-existent" build quality would be why Apple built and shipped hundreds of thousands of iBooks and MacBooks over the years, I guess? And why so many of the products you use every day are made out of plastic? The unibody is certainly better construction, but there's nothing wrong with the poly. :rolleyes:

    3) The plastic MacBook offers the same performance and most of the same features as the unibody for less money. Whether those extra features, better construction, and nicer aesthetics are worth the money is up to the buyer. But from a performance/dollar standpoint, the plastic is the clear winner.
     
  16. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #16
    there are more than several reasons to get the UMB. i'm just not sure if there are more reasons than threads on this current topic.

    the aluminum kills the whitebook by far. there is no comparison. however using the handy MRoogle would have yielded many results and not added noise on a widely discussed topic
     
  17. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #17
    I love this. Make a completely general statement with absolutely no backing (or truth, for that matter) whatsoever.

    How, pray tell, does the aluminium "kill" the whitebook? Because according to the spec sheet, well...

    CPU: Same.
    GPU: Same.
    RAM: Same. And DDR2 and DDR3 are so close in real-world speed it's barely worth mentioning. In fact, given that they're so close in speed, one might argue the DDR2 RAM is better because it's less than half the price of DDR2 RAM.
    HDD: Unibody has a slightly larger drive.
    Optical: Same.
    Connectivity: plastic has Firewire, so score one point there. Mini Display Port is better than mini-DVI in that it supports higher resolutions, but to get that resolution requires a $100 adapter. Call it half a point for the potential for higher resolution, and the white still comes out on top for offering a port the unibody lacks entirely.

    Of course, the unibody also offers some neat features like an LED screen and glass trackpad for your money, plus that awesome unibody shell. But as for "killing" the white one? For your extra $300, you get a different enclosure, trackpad, and screen, a marginally larger HDD, and insignificantly faster RAM. A better machine? Yes. Worth the extra money? Depends on the buyer. Whitebook killer? Hardly. From a performance standpoint, they're the same. From a performance-per-dollar standpoint, the whitebook kills the unibody easily. Same performance for less money... pretty simple equation.
     
  18. zorahk macrumors 6502

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    Jul 18, 2008
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    North Korea
    #18
    The specs are not the point.


    The screen on the whitebook is something I would expect to find in a 200 dollar dell.

    The plastic is so cheap I would also expect to find it on a 200 dollar dell.
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #19
    CCFL backlights fade and become less bright over time. I have owned 2 white MacBooks, and they have all done that. I'd rather have an LED backlight. If it's too bright, then turn it down. Simple. And the backlight has nothing to do with the saturation of the colours you see on the screen.

    To be, the only things about the white MacBook that may be better are a slightly better battery life (not much according to controlled reviews), and the strength of the WiFi you get. The white MacBook's WiFi will be able to find signals that none of the aluminium laptops can. This has dated back to the PowerBook days, so it's not new.



    Between the 2 systems, I'd get the aluminium MacBook. No, you don't "need" the aluminium model considering how similar the specs are, but when did people start getting the bare minimum for everything? Do we eat just enough food to survive or stay healthy? Probably not. Do you only buy $5 t-shirts and $5 shorts? No, although that's all you'd technically "need". Even people who aren't spoiled or rich will buy more than what they need more often than not. Computers are no different. Both machines fall within the budget you provided. Get the Aluminium machine.
     
  20. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #20
    Have you ever actually seen a $200 computer? The plastic used in the MacBook is far heavier and more durable than the plastic used in most comparable computers from Dell, Toshiba, etc. The hundreds of thousands of customers that bought iBooks and MacBooks obviously agree that the plastic is good enough, too.

    As for the screen... I've had zero complaints about the screen in my plastic MacBook. I do hear lots of complaints about the screen in the new one, though. So I'm not really sure how the unibody MacBook having a crappy screen means it "kills" the plastic one.

    You strike me as one of those people that thinks the unibody is better because it's aluminium and looks nicer, but can't produce a shred of substantiating logic. The fact is, the plastic offers the same (or better, if Firewire is important to you) performance for less money. It's the clear value winner.
     
  21. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #21
    If i had known how dependent I really am upon Firewire, I don't think I would have taken the plunge for the aluminum macbook.

    I cannot boot it into my other machines. it really is a sort of universe unto itself. i need it for on the go interviews and stuff but I am on my powermac g5 all day long and very happy. The lack of firewire for me is a freakin nightmare.

    Try to get the 2.1ghz macbook as cheap as you can get it new or refurbed. I'm sure it is as fast as the aluminums despite the claims. Oh, the reason I got the aluminum was for the graphics card, but now the new whitebooks have the same graphics card, plus firewire, so there you are.

    For real work done on a laptop, the whitebook has all the scrolling trackpad stuff that I have ever needed, and I used to do all my work on a 12" Powerbook G4. The multitouch is actually kind of annoying to me.
     
  22. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

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    Dec 31, 2008
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    KY
    #22
    Agree 100% about the CCFL fading - and as for the colors on the aluminum, I never said it was because of the LED. The better colors are most likely the result of the uber-glossy screen and glass covering. As for only buying what we "need," I agree again. However, I can't justify paying more for the same thing. Give me better quality and I'll agree to it, but I just don't see the $300 difference in the aluminum versus poly, unless of course you simply WANT the newer look. Oh, I agree - the aluminum is MUCH nicer. But the poly is a good machine, too. :)
     
  23. Nojja macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    #23
    The white macbook is more bang for the bucket. But 2.0 Ghz is too little, but on the other hand the 2.4 Ghz costs too much. Seriously, i think Apple screwed up a bit when they introduced the Alu Macbook. Sure it got a better display and graphic card, but it uses the same processor as the macbook did in early 2006, thats a long time ago.

    They should have raised the base model to at-least 2.2 Ghz, and maybe keep the whitebook at 2.0 Ghz. If i were you, i would skip the extra 2GB and all the other **** (yes, like crappy USB-Mouse and especially apple-care!) and go with a 2.4 Ghz Macbook Alu. Or you can wait a couple of months and wait for updates. Even better would be if you could ask a relative or any other person who might go to USA or another country with cheaper macs. Then, for the same money you could get a freaking Macbook Pro.
     
  24. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #24
    I'm sorry, but this post is chock full of incorrect information and straight up terrible advice.

    For starters, the aluminium MacBook does not use the same processor as the original MacBook. That used a CoreDuo processor, this uses a Core 2 Duo processor. The clock speed is the same, yes, but in the real world the new C2D 2.0 is far faster.

    Second, 2.0GHz is not "too little", unless you're doing CPU-intensive tasks like rendering. For nearly any consumer - semi-pro user, the 2.0 is more than enough grunt. If students in Singapore are anything like students in Canada, then the OP will be writing papers, surfing the internet, and using email. All tasks easily handled by the 2.0 machine. Upgrading to a 2.2GHz processor would show next to no real-world performance gains.

    Finally, most users will notice and appreciate the $75 upgrade to 4GB of RAM far more than they will notice or appreciate the $300 upgrade for a paltry 400MHz increase in clock speed. And AppleCare is far from ****... :rolleyes:

    So, OP: if you ignore pretty much everything the last poster suggested, then you'll be on the right track.
     
  25. zorahk macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    North Korea
    #25
    You sure seem to be insecure about your white macbook to be defending it.

    The fact is I have used both apple's plastic computers and aluminum computers over the years and the plastic doesn't even compare.
     

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