Macbook tough choice

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jejeson, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. jejeson macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
    hello guys,

    am faced with a tough choice. i have 2 macbooks, a 2.0ghz and a 2.4ghz, both white. the 2.0ghz has the new Nvidia graphics card, while the 2.4 ghz has the older intel based card. a friend asked me to sell him one of the two, which am yet to do. but being interested in video editing, i have tested the 2 with final cut express to see the performance. i have noticed the 2.0ghz one is significantly slower in rendering (HDV) than the 2.4ghz one, even with its better Nvidia graphics card.
    Am also running some 3d apps like cinema 4d and vue 6, but i assume these should perform better on the Nvidia card. So am stuck with a choice between one slow computer running almost whatever i need but like i said, really slow (2.0), and one fast one (significantly faster) that wont be supported by some 3d apps (2.4). i dont have the money to buy a macbook pro as of now.

    my question is; will an upgrade of the 2.0ghz' hard drive from 5400rpm to 7200rpm + upgrade of ram to 4gig make a significant increase in performance, assuming I decide to stick to the 2.0ghz? i already know about the heating issues. Please advise me. accordingly.

  2. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    What does activity monitor say on the 2.0 when you're using it? Have you used all of the ram? Does it show pages outs? If so, you'll be able to tell a difference.

    I could tell a difference in going to a 7200 with my macbook pro with anything having to do with intensive disk use. Booting up a system with a 5400 drive just seems to take forever now. File transfers are much snappier.
  3. jejeson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009

    just performed a final cut render with a number of effects applied on HD footage. the 2.0 macbook isn't showing any page outs so far, but the 2.4 is showing page outs = around 448.XX, but rendering faster even with more effects.
  4. phjo macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008
    It is normal that the 2.4Ghz macbook is faster at some CPU intensive tasks, but it shouldn't be that significant...

    If you monitor a large difference of performance towards the older macbook, it could well be it is equipped with a faster harddrive...

    I would run xbench on both macbooks (after a fresh reboot) and compare results, especially the ones regarding harddrives...

    For video editing, I suppose a 7200rpm harddrive wouldn't be a luxury...
  5. Old Mac Geezer macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Intel GMA graphics are horrible. Even the X3100 only compares to about the equivalent of a Nvidia 5500 in performance and forget the 950. The 950 graphics was the only thing stopping me from getting a new Mini. Now that they have FINALLY upgraded, I'll have to start thinking about it. As someone mentioned, the difference between the CPU's shouldn't be as dramatic as it seems to be. There has to be something else going on there. A faster hard drive and more RAM will probably help to close whatever performance gap you seem to be experiencing. You may need to do a little tweaking of your OS and software, as well. I won't go into that here, though. There are plenty of places you can Google to find out how to speed things up.
  6. jejeson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
    thanks for the response. i have done several benchmarks on both machines even after rebooting, with final cut. it always turns out that the 2.4 macbook renders faster, and amazingly, even with more effects than the 2.0 one.

    does this mean i would get better performance (noticeable) with the 7200rpm upgrade?

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