Main difference between $1299 and $1599 MacBooks?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Anthony T, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Anthony T macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    I'm thikning of ordering the $1599 MacBook ($1499 with student discount), but I'm starting to wonder if it is the right choice for me. I can't afford to add anything to it (if I get that model), just the standard one.

    I mostly just go on the internet, download photos/music/videos, and sometimes I'll play a game like Diner Dash or Family Feud, but nothing like Call of Duty, etc.

    Which one would be best for me? Should I just go with the higher end model in case I use my MacBook for other things in the future?
  2. themightyspitz macrumors regular


    May 16, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    You've got the only model with a backlit keyboard. It's a more powerful processor, so it should make doing work really enjoyable. If I had the extra $500, I'd get it, especially for the keyboard.
  3. ec51 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2008
    The difference in processor speed for what you do will really be unnoticeable. It is a small difference. The backlit keyboard is cool, but unnecessary IMHO. If you know how to type, do you really need to see the keys?

    The only thing I would take into consideration when choosing between the two models is the HD size, do you need that much? Do you have an external, a desktop, etc, etc.
  4. G5power macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    ec51 has some great points for you to consider.

    With both fo the new MacBooks coming with 2GB of RAM there really won't be any reason for you to hurry to upgrade the RAM. For your described usage that will be fine.

    There is never enough hard drive space in the long haul, but at the same time the 160GB drive on the $1299 model is a lot of storage. For example how much drive space are you using on your current computer?
  5. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    My son, who has a MBP, told me that an illuminated keyboard really isn't necessary because the screen lights up the keyboard just fine.
  6. Halon X macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    Malibu, CA
    With the low cost of drives these days and ease of replacement on the new models, I'd look at the hard drive the same was as I do the memory.

    Cheaper to upgrade yourself, especially with a nice 500GB drive.
  7. ajpprc macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2006
    I would suggest going with the $1299 version and spending your money on a RAM upgrade to 4GB, it's actually reasonably priced directly from Apple now. It will still be cheaper than the $1599 version and you will see a bigger jump in performance with the RAM jump than the increase in processor speed.
  8. mayanka89 macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2008
    I don't think in the long run the processor will make much difference. The backlit keyboard, in this case, is a lure to get your extra money. The hard drive can be replaced yourself with a larger one down the road when they become cheaper.
  9. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2006
    Agreed - backlit keyboard isn't that great
  10. pbkiller macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2007
    Puerto Rico
    Not true... I have a PowerBook with the lighted keyboard and a Black Macbook and the Macbook screen does not light the keyboard up. On the other hand the PowerBoook screen does luminate the keyboard, because they keys are gray... It's not the case with the black keys...

    So it is a cool feature...:cool:
  11. hogfaninga macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2008
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    The screen on my black Macbook lights up my keyboard good enough. If it is a serious problem with those then they can buy a $6 usb light that will illuminate it just fine. The screen does it fine for me 99% of the time though.
  12. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I had a powerbook, with backlight keyboard. I loved the feature, but to be honest, I rarely used it. It was even more rarely that I actually *needed* it.

    Now I have a MB (santa rosa) and I've noticed that my typing speed has actually increased, now that I have no backlight and sometimes have to type in the dark.

    Make of that what you will.
  13. Anthony T thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    what would you guys recommend for my needs? The 2.0 ghz with 4 gb of ram and 250 gb hd or the standard 2.4 GHz?
  14. Jpoon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2008
    Los Angeles California
    Get the 2.0 GHZ with 4 GB of RAM and the 250 GB HDD. Backlit keys are lame. They should just offer a blank keyboard for the MacBook and go Das Keyboard style.
  15. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The backlit keyboard is really a matter of personal preference. I personally love it, but that's because I type fastest looking at the keys (I've tried to learn the "proper" way, but I hit 110 wpm looking at the keys, so I'll stick with that ;)). So, in my case the backlit keyboard is a big plus.

    However, $500 is a lot for a backlit keyboard, and in the end, that's the only major difference. RAM and HDD are user replaceable, so neither should affect your decision, and the processor bump is negligible.

    I keep fighting with myself over this decision because I can spare the money, but if you can't, you aren't going to be missing much with the $1299 model.
  16. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    The main difference is processor speed, which is negligible.

    I'd spend the extra money on upgrading RAM and hard drive on the 2.0GHz instead.

    Backlit keys are mostly a gimmick IMO.
  17. Anthony T thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    2 more questions....

    1. Is it possible to upgrade your RAM if you buy it at a local Apple Store rather than online?

    2. Can you upgrade your RAM later on or do you have to do it when you buy the computer?
  18. sjc83 macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2008
    1. Not sure.

    2. yes,
  19. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
  20. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you buy at the Apple store (as opposed to online) you can upgrade the RAM later by yourself, but you Apple won't do it for you. All things considered, this isn't a big deal. Replacing the RAM yourself is VERY easy, so don't let that sway your decision.
  21. Tummy macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    If your budget is limited, get the less expensive model.

    On the other hand, I fly to my client site twice a week (for the last 4 years) and using the keyboard on the airplane is much easier with the backlight. I've had several Powerbooks, MacBook Pros, a Macbook Air, and now the MB with it and just love that feature.
  22. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    If they would have put backlit keyboards on the low ends I would have already pulled the trigger. ARRRGG :mad:
  23. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    holy crap it's just a ****** light behind some keys

    i would only find the backlight really cool if the lights were super-precise and lit up the letters only
  24. fuzzielitlpanda macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2008
    using my educational discount, the difference came out to be $250 between the two MB versions. I ordered the 2.4ghz version. here's why:

    -Back-lit keyboard is a fantastic option to have in case you get into a low lighting situation
    -additional 400mhz is 20% increase in cpu performance.
    -slightly larger HD space is always nice to have.
  25. surfdog_2005 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2005
    You'll still want to upgrade that RAM. That'll make a lot more difference than the minimal bump in processor speed. I still think Apple is ripping people just to try and get them with the backlit keyboard.

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