Macbook: low-end vs. mid-end

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rightlyso, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. rightlyso macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    #1
    In trying to decide between the low-end white macbook and the mid-end white book, here are the differences I've found and where I stand on them:

    1 Gig vs. 2 Gig: Doesn't matter in the long run because I'll update to 4 Gig from third party supplier; although having only 1 Gig will force me to upgrade sooner.

    120 Gig v. 160 Gig hard disk: doesn't matter because I'll be getting a third party 320 Gig disk.

    Combo drive vs. super drive: Doesn't matter because I have an external DVD burner for those rare times when I need to burn DVDs.

    2.1 Ghz v. 2.4 Ghz: In the short run, I doubt I'll see the difference, although in the long run the 2.4 Ghz might be a viable machine for a bit longer.

    So I'm thinking I'd put $200 in my pocket and get the low-end machine.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    It looks like you've already made up your mind. :p
     
  3. jroller macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2008
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    Charleston, SC
    #3
    No question, for you the stock low-end machine is all you need.
     
  4. rightlyso thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2008
    #4
    I was hoping to get an opposing view point. No one views the 2.4 Ghz processor as important? Worth $200?

     
  5. TSE macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #5
    The midrange model will hold it's value a lot better in the longrun if you decide to sell it.
     
  6. FuuFuu macrumors regular

    FuuFuu

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    Jul 8, 2008
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    Roselle
    #6
    well first

    Does your 3rd party hardwares have insurance?

    and whats the difference between customized macbook and the macbook if bought in apple store with the all the same specs?

    if no insurance, i'm a little iffy on that, i would rather just buy it from the apple store if the price range isn't all that well. the only difference is the max capacity of the hard drive? not much difference.
     
  7. TSE macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #7
    You cannot customize your macbook in the store. Only online.

    I would check out the Apple refurbished page.
     
  8. rightlyso thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2008
    #8
    The difference is price.

    4 Gig from Crucial is $100 and dropping. Apple charges $200 to upgrade from 2 --> 4.

    Name brand 320 Gig hard disk is under $100 and falling. Apple charges around $100 to upgrade from 160 Gig --> 250 Gig.

    So that's my basic reason for getting the base memory and hard disk, and upgrading them later when I start hitting a performance ceiling.

    Whether I should start with the very lowest or mid-level is still something I'm not too sure about.

    As for warranty, I'm not concerned about the memory and the hard disk going bad since they're easy to replace, and I might not upgrade them until after Apple's 1-year US warranty has expired.


     
  9. rightlyso thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2008
    #9
    That's probably true.

    Would anyone actually notice a difference between 2.1 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz?
     
  10. robo456 macrumors 6502

    robo456

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    I know you said you have the external DVD burner, I'm in a similar boat.

    But the more I thought about it, unless you're going to be carrying your burner everywhere you go with you, I think it's well worth the $200 over the course of the laptop's lifetime to have the built in feature. The other stuff (hard drive, memory, processor) is all bonus for me.

    --rob
     
  11. TSE macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
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    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #11
    Everyday use, no.

    Huge file transfers, ripping data, etc. - Yes.
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #13
    If you spend the entire day with your CPU at 200% load then yes. Otherwise not really.
     
  14. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #14
    I wouldn't say a lot better because really you are only talking about a .3 Ghz difference. I think the upgrades play a much bigger role and contribute more to the resale value.


    That being said, not having a DVD burner would probably detract from it. I'd probably get the higher end one..
     
  15. muldul macrumors 6502

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Location:
    West Sussex, England, UK
    #15
    Depends on how long you want to keep the machine and if you want to sell it afterwards, if so, then the white 2.4 model would better for you as it will hold up longer, but for now, it looks like the 2.1 will fit your needs
     
  16. dejakke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #16
    high end, definitely...

    I bought the first macbook (1,83ghz core duo) in the low-end version, with the same reasons you come up with...

    1. sometimes, on rare occasions, you will be happy you have the faster processor.

    2. (more important) it keeps it's value better (I had to sell mine second hand, for MORE than 200$ LESS than the high end version, just because people kept asking me: is there a superdrive included?)

    3. (most important) don't think that an external DVD writer can do anything your internal apple superdrive can do... I for instance had an iDVD project (made up from imovie), which I couldn't write on a DVD with an external 3rd party DVD player... the only option was to find another mac with a DVD writer AND imovie installed to get things done.

    well that bothered me alot, since I had to finish the DVD by dawn the next day...

    When you use your macbook for let's say 2 years, you will definitely come in the same position as I was: damn, I should have gone for it...
     
  17. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

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    Jun 10, 2007
    #17
    Apple really need to drop the combo and just offer a DVD superdrive. It really stinks
     
  18. emac82 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    #18
    Yeah, it is definitely ridiculous that they still include that in any of their models....

    I'll always buy a mac, but their price points could be improved, and getting rid of the combo drive.
     
  19. bc008 macrumors 68000

    bc008

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #19
    i would go for the mid-range simply for resale.

    +.3 GHz, a Superdrive, and higher resale seems worth $200, to me at least.
     
  20. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #20
    Take a look at the refurb site, you will probably find a mid-range (2.2GHz Nov2007) model for cheaper than the (2.1GHz present) low-end model.

    They have the same graphics card (X3100) but you get a faster processor and a superdrive.

    You are going to upgrade the ram and HD anyway..so that doesn't matter.

    this is what I did at least..very happy with it.:)
     
  21. oacory macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2008
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    New Jersey
    #21
    I am sorry can you send me a link?I must be skipping right over it but I can't find 4 gigs (2x2) for that price. The best I found was 79.99 on sale from best buy for a 2 GB module. Other then that I get about $100 for 2 GB at the cheapest some even over that not $100 for 4 GB
     
  22. Vaphoron macrumors 6502

    Vaphoron

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    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #22
    Just go to Crucial and enter the computer that you have but here is an example.
     
  23. oacory macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #23
    wow I am dumb. I need to check the website I am was on. I was on a redirected site not the actual crucial site. Thanks
     
  24. rightlyso thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2008
    #24
    Someone on the forum claimed that the combo drive actually costs Apple more than the Superdrive, but they do it either (1) to differentiate the mid-range and justify its higher price or (2) because test centers demand a machine that doesn't burn DVDs. The first possibility seems much more likely.
     
  25. rightlyso thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    #25
    No Mac for now

    Sad to say, but my trip to Apple Store actually pursuaded me to stick with my Dell until it totally breaks apart.

    Just having to wade through the throng of people to actually get to a white machine, and then waiting for someone to be done with their personal email (I can't believe they let them do that...one gal was doing research and furiously taking down notes, another guy was looking up neighborhood restaurants, yet another was jotting down driving directions), by the time I got to the machine I was very much disposed not to be impressed.

    I was surprised to confirm (as TSE pointed out) that the Apple store will not configure a machine for you (other than memory, which I would never buy from them anyhow). So out the window goes the number 1 reason for getting it there and not at Amazon.

    The iPod rebate thing is annoying; I like to buy things I want, not be influenced by what the vendor wants me to have. And it's not really free since I'd be paying sales tax on it. And I hate rebates in general. The $100 off a printer is even worse.

    The 4 1/2-year old Dell laptop does the job and I see no reason to get rid of it yet.

    Thanks for your insights!
     

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