Macbook 4gb Ram vs Aluminum 2gb

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by brianpitta726, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. brianpitta726 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Here is my problem..

    I am buying my first Mac and my main issue is speed and the computer not slowing down with programs running. Which would be better... a regular ($999) macbook white with an upgrade to 4gb of ram or an aluminum macbook with 2gb of ram. The aluminum macbook has the DDR3 that runs faster but is this better than 4gb of the DDR2 ram.

    Please let me know what you guys think.

  2. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    Get the aluminum because its already really fast and if you need more you can easily upgrade in the future... and the aluminum will make your friends jelous
  3. longball11 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2009
    The newer, the better. It has been upgraded technology and getting more RAM later will be cheap.
  4. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    What completely misguided advice.

    The white MacBook has the same processor as the base unibody Macbook. It has "slower" DDR2 RAM, but in the real world, the speed difference between DDR2 and DDR3 RAM is virtually nothing.

    Performance between the two, equally specced, will be very, very similar. As in, so similar you probably won't notice it.

    If price is a concern, buy the white one and upgrade the RAM yourself. It's cheaper to buy, and the DDR2 RAM is cheaper than the DDR3 RAM the unibody will take.
  5. és: macrumors 6502a


    RAM is so cheap from a third party that 2GB shouldn't be the deciding factor on such an expensive purchase. 2GB from Crucial (lifetime warranty) is $25.

    Get the nicer, newer machine which will have a stronger resale value, nicer aluminum body and newer look.
  6. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    Here are benchmarks which will help you compare performance of the white macbooks with the new aluminum models:

    Also, the price comparison isn't completely identical. As this poster mentioned, DDR2 RAM for the White Macbook is ~$50 third-party (2GB x 2), so you're looking at $999 + tax + $50 vs. $1299 + tax for the aluminum.
    Even if you got the RAM from Apple ($150), you're still $150 less than the aluminum.

    From a performance standpoint, I don't think the 2 machines are all that different in everyday use, so the question is one of aesthetics as well as budget.

    Good luck!
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    It depends on your own personal needs. If finance is particularly stretched, the white MB offers exceptionally good value for money at the moment, and, as many posters have indicated, can have its RAM upgraded. However, if money is no - or not much of an - object, then go for the newer, more aesthetically attractive, and more stylish, product and buy the aluminium MB. It is a stunning looking computer, but you are getting superb styling, rather than any significant difference in performance. Your call.

    Cheers and good luck
  8. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Or you could do what I'm doing and convince yourself that you need the aluminium macbook and the white plastic one won't cut it! :cool:
  9. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008

    It's important to note that those benchmarks compare the old whitemacbook, not the new model with 9400m graphics, which should be plenty faster. I.e. the difference should be even closer. I'd really try to ignore the RAM when making your decision, unless you do massive image editing and can't afford to upgrade the aluminium one later, but RAM is so cheap this seems unlikely. I'd try and work out which machine you prefer - if possible try them in person side-by-side.
  10. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    I'm not going to repeat whats already been said, so:

    Just as fast in practical application

    Newer, Better Resale Value down the line

    Personally, I'd buy the white macbook and get a nice monitor with the $300 I saved.
  11. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    Haha. That's the best way I've seen someone buying something! :p Too bad I can't convince myself I need a MacBook Pro :confused:
  12. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    It depends on if:

    A much larger, multitouch trackpad, glass LED backit display, slightly faster RAM, and a much sturdier aluminum body

    is worth $300 + the loss of FireWire.
  13. MacAgent84 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    I was thinking of this myself before I purchased my Aluminum MacBook, if the previous generation MacBook with 4gb ram would be a better deal. Even with 2gb of RAM, the new machine will still be faster than the previous generation MacBook with 4gb. For one thing the RAM in the new MacBook is DDR3 and not DDR2, so you will notice a difference there. And, the upgraded video card really makes a difference in speed when viewing webpages, videos, artwork in iTunes, or loading image previews in Finder (in just about anything graphical there is a noticeable difference). I know this from comparing my top of the line white MacBook with the new Aluminum MacBook. Not to mention the newer MacBook is much more beautiful and sturdy. You would be much better off getting the newer one even with less RAM.
  14. brianpitta726 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2009
    Aren't the video cards in the two computers the same?
  15. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If he said his main concern is speed, who are you to tell him that the new MB with 2 GB of RAM is "fast enough"??? :confused:

    The fastest machine you'll get is the MacBook with 4 GB of RAM, but only if you multitask often and you use up the RAM, or the application you intend on using requires a LOT of memory. If you don't run a lot of apps simultaneously, or your apps aren't memory intensive, there won't be much advantage having 4 GB instead of 2 GB. If that's the case, get the Alu MacBook. If you start using more memory, you can always buy more RAM later. It's never too late.

    The DDR3 vs DDR2 thing makes little difference, maybe around 5% real-world improvement judging from numbers you see in reviews in the interwebz. You won't notice this 5% increase unless you use your computer to perform tasks that require several hours of processing. For most people, opening MS Word may take more time than anything else they do, and how much is 5% of 8 seconds? Not much, and certainly not worth paying extra for.
  17. JonMcDonald macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Just to re-iterate what others have said, if price is a concern now go with the White MacBook, and upgrade to 4gb of DDR2 RAM. You'll actually see faster results than with the Alu (@ 2g DDR3). If resale value is important, realize that in a couple years the Alu will hold value, and the White will lose it slightly (though I actually imagine it'll hold steadfast for the most part).

    Short: White with 4gb of Ram will be faster than the Alu (@ 2gb) for the most bang for your buck!
  18. MacAgent84 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Sorry, I forgot that just recently Apple did a silent update to this machine. Only a few months ago it was using the Intel GMA X3100 with 144MB of shared RAM (link). Now with the boost in the video card, it is a much more attractive machine. But you would still have the older slower DDR2 667 MHz RAM instead of DD3 1066MHz RAM. More significant than that however I think is the LED LCD Display, which is nearly impossible to find in most laptops today, and the difference in brightness and lifespan is worth the extra few hundred alone.

Share This Page