macbook decision (somewhat urgent)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by seahawks237, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. seahawks237 macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    so i am going to buy a macbook/macbook pro sometime this month and need some help with a decision. i can either buy a
    -refurbished macbook pro 2.4 ghz with 2gb RAM (15 inch) NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory for $1,649
    -the new mid level macbook 2.4 ghz with 4 gb RAM for $1,500

    i will use the laptop mostly for web browsing, iTunes, homework, watching movies, and playing around with garage band and camera. I might also play some games but not very much if at all. i am in high school and will need this laptop to last through college.
    which one do you think i should get?

    also, how are the refurbished computers compared with the new ones... are they in good condition w/o scratches or other problems?

  2. jmadlena Guest

    I'd go with the new MacBook. Unless you are going to be using graphic intensive applications (Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut...) the graphics card isn't going to do a lot for you. Until Apple does their magic on OpenCL.

    You get 2 GB more of RAM, which will seriously boost your performance.

    My $.02
  3. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    Photoshop and Illustrator aren't graphic intensive but processor intensive...
  4. jmadlena Guest

    Really? Wow. I must be out of the loop, haha. I always knew that I didn't know very much about graphic cards.

    Now I am especially looking forward to Apple harnessing the power of the graphics card with OpenCL.
  5. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    Since you're planning on keeping it for 4+ years, (in HS now, want it through college), I'd say go for the Macbook Pro. The dedicated graphics in the pro will age better than the x3100 in the macbook. You can always upgrade the ram later.
  6. Bobjob186 macrumors 6502


    Apr 16, 2005
    Laguna Beach
  7. dcx3 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    tough choice...with refurbished you never know what your going to get. You could get a customer return that is completely perfect, or a little scuffed up. At least brand new you know your the original and nothing has been tampered and you can baby it how you want.

    I bought an iBook (currently using it) my Junior year of high school. I am now a senior in College and it still works fine for what i need it for. I havent upgraded anything. Still has the original 900mhz processor, 256 RAM, and 40gig HD. say a macbook would do you just fine, just from my experience. I really wanted to get the 12" powerbook instead of the ibook, but i opted not to. The macbook also has 2 more gigs or ram...that is pretty sweet.

    Or you could do what the post above suggested and getting refurb macbook and adding ram... ahh too many decisions! good luck - both MB and MBP are great.
  8. seahawks237 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    is RAM easy to put into the macbooks? i'm not very good with computers.
  9. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Very easy.
    It's a matter of 5 minutes at the MOST.

    You can look it up on youtube.
    It's not hard at all.
  10. xwilx macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2007
    The major differences are RAM and video here. MBP has a better GPU, and a larger screen. I think the former is not very important if you're not doing graphic intensive stuffs. But the larger screen is a real difference to many people.

    For the RAM, I forgot, the MBP can max out to 4GB, is it? Anyway you can go check it yourself. I would say 2GB is sufficient for many people who are not doing a lot many different things at the same time. A browser session, document editing, a email client, itune, etc, 2GB won't give you sluggish feeling. And RAM these days is cheap anyway, so you can always upgrade it later. So RAM is not that big a deal here.

    I don't have experience with refurbished products and can't tell what the quality of them. This may be another concern here.

  11. kallemia macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2007
    Get the Macbook

    Either would be fine. I think the Macbook is a better deal. Except I think you might be figuring the price with Apple Ram, correct? DON'T DO THAT. RAM is much cheaper elsewhere.

    Why I think you should get the Macbook:

    • You don't need the dedicated graphics chip now, nor likely in the future
    • You'll be saving more than $150... especially if you buy the RAM and install yourself (easy peasy)
    • The MacBook has better Airport reception... critical for college and student needs
    • The MacBook is, IMO, more durable - I have a PowerBook G4 and it is sturdy, but has dented easily


    Karl Maria
  12. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    I'll elaborate slightly on my previous post. Because of the amount of time you want to keep it, the dedicated graphics will really help to keep the Macbook Pro more usable. Any future version of OSX and applications are sure to run smoother on it than on intel graphics.

    A 5 yr old PC with motherboard graphics is almost unusable today, but if you pop in even an old graphics card it improves immensely. This is the reason that older PowerPC Macs are still so usable, they may not be fast, but the dedicated graphics takes some of the load off the processor, smoothing out performance, making the interface run faster.

    Either way, you should upgrade the memory yourself, it's trivial and will save you money.
  13. seahawks237 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    Thanks for all that advice
    alright i decided that i will get the new macbook and buy the 4 gb RAM from can anyone help me pick out good 4gb RAM from newegg?
  14. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    I really think you should listen to ihabime. Those $149 will get you much more of a computer.
  15. seahawks237 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    i guess i will look a little more into the pro. especially if someone with a macbook
    recommends getting a pro. do i need to look for a specific type of RAM for the pro versus the macbook or is it all the same?
    it would really help me if someone could pick out 4 gb RAM for me.
    thanks again
  16. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I recommend the refurbished Macbook unless you explicitly need the Pro. Keep in mind most of the people on this forum can't tell the difference between needs and wants.


    Get the cheapest you see there. It's all by the same 3 or 4 manufacturers, so read reviews and pick whatever you like.
  17. seahawks237 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    things important to me:
    -good internet connection (my room is kind of far from the router)
    -fast internet, itunes, garage band
    -battery life
    -it needs to be able to last about 5 years.
    -price and value

    things not important to me:
    -screen size
    -i will never have to do any 3d stuff
    -video editing

    by doing this list i've discovered that a macbook would be perfect for me, so i'm going to order a new 2.4 ghz midlevel macbook.
    THANKS for all of your help:D
  18. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    Good choice. I'm changing my opinion because of two little words I just remembered, Snow Leopard. This OS will supposedly make many things faster compared to 10.5, prolonging the life of out MacBooks. yippee!:)
  19. applgeek macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    bakersfield, CA
    Macbook pro.

    I had a macbook. But i also had a desktop with a 19 inch monitor to stare at most of the time. My macbooks case cracked a lot, and It just wasnt as durable as the ibooks. They scratch just as easily as the mbp's, and they have a small screen. The Macbook Pro definitely worth it. You will want the Pro. When Watching Dvd's or other graphical entertainment, you will appreciate the pro. The pro doesnt technically have a high end graphics card, but its better than integrated crap. It also doesnt use up some of your ram (which you will need in 5 years)

    Just an FYI, refurbs have new casing. it looks, feels, smells new.

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