Macbook Pro 2.5 Refurb Last Gen Good Buy vs new AL Macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Semiopaque, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Semiopaque macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008
    My girlfriend has been wanting a laptop for awhile and really liked the Macbook Air but I convinced her to look at the new Macbooks and the older gen ones. She only liked the new aluminum ones. She'll probably use it for games and surfing mostly with some office work. I will have to put Windows on it for her and she wants to learn Photoshop.

    Finally just jumped in and bought a refurb old gen Macbook Pro for her (the 2.5 GHz one) for $1500 instead of going with the newer aluminum Macbook.

    I need some validation on this so I can decide if I need to buy her a different one (guess I'll have to keep this one for myself if that's the case.....heh).

    It just seemed like this Macbook Pro was a slightly faster model than the new AL Macbook with better integrated graphics. Plus has the matte screen and the FW 800 and 400 ports which I reasoned may add to its resale value down the road when she wants to upgrade. Any thoughts on that?
  2. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    But I'd have to say the new Al is very appealing, shoulda listened to the gf..
  3. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Well... it probably won't add a higher resale value, as older models tend to have lower prices than newer models. For an example, on craigslist, I see lots of 2.33GHz Pros for 1000 now and they are about a year old. The new MacBooks will probably see a higher resale value when a new model comes in.
    Looking at her needs, I think a MacBook will be pretty good, but think about the following...
    Do you think she will need Firewire?
    Does she prefer Matte or Glossy?
    Does she want the portability?
    Both machines perform well for those uses, but Photoshop maybe a little better on the Pro. The new MBs actually have great graphics card. According to CNET, they say that the older MB and MBP only has a slight difference in terms of performance, so there won't be much of a difference on light stuff.
    The new MBs look better though. The aluminum feels better and looks more clean.
  4. Semiopaque thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008
    Yeah the looks of that new AL are definitely nice hehe, much cleaner. She'll be happy either way I'm sure, though, as long as it works.

    The main thing that made me change my mind over to the older Pro was the performance of the integrated graphics. From researching, the 8600M GT w 512MB looked better than the current 9400M w 256MB. Is that incorrect? Overall performance on the old Pro and the new AL was similar but graphics wise it didn't seem so. Plus, the 2.5 GHz Pro refurb was $100 cheaper than a 2.4 AL.

    She definitely wants the portability. I told her many times I could build her something more powerful for 1/3 the cost but stationary.

    Admittedly, she probably won't use the FW much, but I might...a bit selfish yes, however, I've found FW to be so useful on Macs and since I have a few now I didn't want to dump it yet in the event that I needed it to do something with it.

    Worse case scenario at this point, though, is she hates it , I get her something new, and I get a new Macbook Pro. Also want to see how this performs in some of the things I use my Mac Pro for to see if I want to sell it and move to a Macbook or Macbook Pro myself. Honestly, have this Mac Pro and I am completely under utilizing it and thinking of selling before it's worth alot less.
  5. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I would go with an AL macbook for the girlfriend. It is more than enough for her needs, and the MBP might be a bit overkill. I have a 15" MBP and it is too big for me sometimes, and it is only confined to my desk as a desktop replacement.
  6. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    get her something she will get the most enjoyment out of. It's not always about specs. Maybe for us guys, but I think if because of the 13" portability she'll carry it around alot more and have more fun using, then having firewire etc. doesn't matter.
  7. Semiopaque thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008
    Thanks for all the input. Checked tech specs on some of the games she might be playing , the Macbook would probably work relatively well. I think as far as her portability needs, though, she's probably not going to really be lugging it around too much except maybe to and from car when she takes it to work. Honestly, I think she mostly wants something that she can work with while she sits on the couch and watches TV.

    I think I just need to get her back to the store and have her compare the Pros with the Macbook since she didn't look at the Macbook Pros too closely. The two spots she's probably going to be using this the most have lights that will be right behind her and frankly, that glossy screen would drive me nuts. Maybe it won't her, but I'm certainly not looking forward to having all the lights off in the place everytime she wants to redo her myspace page while she watches TMZ.
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Are you wanting tech or relationship advice?

    You can't go wrong with getting her what she wants. If you get her something else, and there's something she doesn't like about it, she's going to reflect upon that, and be reminded about how she didn't get what she really wanted, every time she uses the other product.

    That being said, either machine would work well for her purposes, and would be a good buy. Does she want the portability or the latest look? Macbook. Bigger, nicer (or matte) screen and seperate video card? Macbook Pro.

    You may also want to mosey over to the Air section and see what experiences people there are reporting using photoshop on that machine.
  9. Semiopaque thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008
    Well, my GF got a chance to see both the old Macbook Pro and new AL Macbook side by side today. She doesn't like the glossy, likes the bigger screen size on the Pro and didn't like the glass trackpad (cause she wants it to have a button though she'd probably get used to it).

    Guess she's getting the Pro and I won't have to keep it for myself and get her another one...rats...

    I need to get her a keyboard protector for it, though. Any recommendations?

    Also ordered some CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 667. For $35 after rebate seemed like it was worth seeing if the lower latency on it made any difference.
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Glad to see your girlfriend is showing some discernment and tasteon this matter, by opting for a MBP . Seriously, the MBP is a better machine, better spec, faster, more powerful and comes with an excellent screen and with Apple's warranty. I have a MBP myself and am very happy with it, it's an excellent computer.

    Cheers and good luck
  11. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    Check out - nice microfibers cloths fitted for Apple laptops.

Share This Page