MacBook Pros (previous gen) are cheap!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by unwinded, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. unwinded macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2007
    Amazon has the previous-generation MacBook Pro (15” 2.4 GHz) for only $1444.00 after rebate with free shipping and no sales tax! The week before the unibody macs were announced, I sold off my 2.4 GHz white MacBook in anticipation of the update. The new models definitely look great, but I just couldn’t justify the cost for what you’re getting… So now $1299.99 gets you an aluminum Mac with better graphics and an inferior processor. I’d have to spend $400 more to get similar CPU performance to my previous model (but at least the hard drive is bigger and the keyboard lights up). The student discount is also less this time around making these Macs more expensive than the models they replace.

    I saw the Amazon price drop on the MacBook Pro (which was selling for hundreds more just last week) and I started thinking about the pros and cons compared to the new MacBook. Then I went to the Apple store and actually compared the two. The new Mac feels more solid but they’re both made out of aluminum and look/feel great. The new Mac’s trackpad is bigger but it has the same ‘feel’ to it.. it doesn’t feel like glass to me. Both trackpads support multitouch but the new one has the four finger expose now (no big deal, maybe they’ll even update the old one). The glass on the new Macbook screen looks great but now if you drop it you have to not only worry about the LCD breaking but also the glass.

    Compared to the base 13” model, the previous-gen MacBook Pro has a faster processor, a much better dedicated video card, a higher resolution 15” screen, a larger hard drive, a backlit keyboard, firewire, and an actual dvi port. Most important to me is the difference in price. I live in Michigan where we have 6% sales tax. A new 13” base model MacBook would cost me $1,380 ($1,325 if I could still get a student discount) versus $1,444 for the much-better Pro model. I think the additional features are worth that extra $64. I also picked up a Kingston Apple 4GB RAM kit for $55, cheaper than Newegg charges even.

    The only things I’m not a fan of are the keyboard (I prefer the chiclet keyboard), the matte screen (Amazon doesn’t sell glossy, but honestly it isn’t a big deal to me), and the Nvidia video card issue which is kind of concerning but at least I’m protected for 2 years if there is a problem. The new models are currently unproven so they could eventually have their share of problems too.. That’s my story.
  2. eifer macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2008
    I think many people are facing a similar decision.. Isn't there a well known problem with those MBP w/ the video card malfunctioning? That makes me kinda worried.
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    To be honest, I'm not sure you can go wrong with a MBP refurb. The prices are very attractive, the machines are tested and tried (individually) and they come with Apple's guarantee. It would be my recommendation and they are a terrific machine, powerful, great performance, attractive aesthetic and a superb screen.
    Cheers and good luck
  4. bushbaby macrumors 6502a


    Aug 12, 2007

    In July, Nvidia informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would incur a $150 million to $200 million charge to cover repair and replacement expenses resulting from "a weak die/packaging material set" in certain versions of its previous MCP and GPU products employed by various notebook vendors.

    "The previous generation MCP and GPU products that are impacted were included in a number of notebook products that were shipped and sold in significant quantities," the chipmaker told the Commission. "Certain notebook configurations of these MCP and GPU products are failing in the field at higher than normal rates."

    Apple only just recently admitted the problem although frustrated customers had been bringing in dead video screens and having to pay for repairs themselves.

    Last Modified: October 10, 2008
    Article: TS2377

    In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

    What to look for:
    _ Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen
    _ No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on

    “Perez said that the $196 million charge Nvidia took two months ago would cover the additional cost of any reimbursement to Apple. "Yes, Apple falls under that amount," he said.

    Both 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models are included in the potential free repair. The symptoms, said Apple, include no video, or distorted or scrambled video. Only MacBook Pros with the GeForce 8600M GT processor manufactured between May 2007 and September 2008 are affected, the company said.

    However, all MacBook Pro models now for sale on Apple's online store still contain the GeForce 8600M GT processor.”

    [note: the article was written before the Oct 14 release but still applies to the refurb and clearance machines]
  5. Alex72 macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Does anyone know if there has been a solid fix for the GPU issue? One that doesn't involve de-tuning it or cranking up the fan? One that may well be deployed in the refurbs?

    I'm wondering, because I noticed that refurb 8600-equipped MBPs are now selling for less than the x1600-based models at equivalent VRAM configurations... Is it Apple trying to clear good stock tainted by all the rumours, or is it Apple trying to get rid of known bad stock cheaply and quickly..?

    Under $1400.00 for a 256MB 8600-equipped 2.4GHz MBP just seems like such a deal, is the thing -- at least if it's been "fixed."
  6. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I don't think the issue has been fixed for the cards that were already installed. It's a game of numbers. They figure that a certain percentage will fail and out of those, a certain percentage of people will actually try to get them replaced. If you buy a last generation MBP, you are playing the odds that your machine won't be affected. Sure, Apple is willing to repair them up to two years... but who wants to deal with having their machine go out to service? My luck, I'd buy one and it would crap out right in the middle of an important project while out on the road. If you are a casual user who can get by without a computer for a week or two, then you might find the older machines a good buy. Otherwise, I don't think it's worth it no matter the price drop.
  7. Alex72 macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I guess what I'm wondering is if Apple is likely to have inspected the refurbs specifically for the 8600 issue and then, having done so, implemented a fix or a workaround -- perhaps in the hopes of minimising potential returns. Pricing the 8600-equipped models under the x1600 ones seems to suggest an awareness of the issue, if not a desperation to sell tainted stock...

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