MBP Options, do I need all the power? Do I even need a MBP???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BlaineWasHere, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. BlaineWasHere macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Currently I have a first gen 13" Macbook and I am about ready to replace it. The Battery is completely DEAD, space bar is broken and the rest of the keyboard is hurting, it only has a 40G HD and its about 3 years old. I do enjoy its size and portability.

    Thinking about stepping up to a 15" Pro. I'm just not sure I NEED all of that computer, so I'll ask a few Q's... Thanks in advance for helping a n00b.

    I don't do video editing or anything that really requires MAJOR computing power, I do photo edit as a hobby so I will run CS4. I do want a MASSIVE HDD because I am a History Teacher and I want most of my video clips I use on the HDD and not on an external unit. So the 320GB drive is a must.

    1)Is the uni-body significantly better than the older case?
    2)Is the 2.66 worth the $$$ over the 2.4?
    3)I have seen some refurb units with the 2.5 or 2.53. Anything wrong with those chips?
    4)Do I even need a MBP or will a properly equipped 13" unit do the job? Other advantages of the 15" I don't know about?
    5)Other Advice?

    Thanks in advance for answering all my questions. I just don't want to drop this kind of cash without some educated answers/opinions.
  2. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    I have done some more research I think I answered one of my questions. The 2.66 is worth it if I want the 320GB because it is included in the price (and just $50 more for 7200PRM). Also 4GB ram upgrade.

    Also when I specd out a 13" unit I was approaching Pro price... So why not get the Pro? I'm starting to think a Refurb unit may be my best bet. Yes/No?
  3. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    The high end macbook should be enough for your needs. If you absolutely need a 320GB buy it from a third party and install it yourself

    Refrubs are a great idea
  4. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    I was looking at that and installing a 500GB drive, but won't that void the warranty or potential Apple Care Purchase?
  5. Subwaymac macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2009
    I don't see how you were aprosching MVP price when a MVP is 2500 and a mb is 1600. The mb with more ram and a 320 at 7200 is less than 1800
  6. TakeManhattan macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    I recently got the 17" MBP. It already feels not big enough (getting old.)

    I'd say get the biggest you can! You probably already know about the Apple education store (8% discount). Do you know about the Apple Developer Connection hardware discount? (20% discount... after you buy the student membership for $99.)
  7. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    A refurbs are great
    B regular macbooks are great if you're not a Pro, Pros are not okay if you're a Pro, if that makes sense ( just kidding about the matte thing)
    C Ram and HD is user replaceable, as long as you keep the original in case you need to send the Mac back for repairs, since you could receive back a machine with similar specs to the ones you payed for, and not the "custom" ones, and Apple prefers you send the machine back with the original items in it, of course.
    D Buy Apple care off ebay, a lot cheaper.
  8. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    I know a MB would be enough computer for me, but I keep thinking if I am going to buy a new computer, why not get a Pro? I guess I am just looking for excuses or a justification for a new computer.
  9. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Aside from the second graphics card the 2.4 MBP isn't any more powerful than the 2.4 MB; however, the 2.66 has twice the L2 cache so its speed increase will feel like more than just the slightly faster processor would indicate.

    If you want the MBP you can prob find a used 2.4 MBP on eBay or CL for around what the 2.4 MB will run you from Apple.

    There is nothing wrong with choosing the 2.4 MBP over the 2.4 MB just for the larger, better, and higher res screen. That kind of benefit is much easier to see than the second GPU which you may never really tax.
  10. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    What about just tossing a 500G HD, 2G ram, and a new battery on my current older Macbook. Do I have to worry about other failures with any of the other hardware being 3+ years old?
  11. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    If your current hardware is fast enough then upgrading it is a good idea.
  12. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    It's slow... but fast enough for what I am going to use the computer for...

    I'm not going to buy a "new" macbook, I guess I would rather just upgrade mine. I'm gonna go to the Apple Store (I have one 10 min from my house) and see if having a 15" screen would really be awesome.

    Is it hard to do a HD install on a 1st Gen Macbook?
  13. PeterQC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2008
    Palm rest and screen bezel cracks, but it's a known flaw and will be replaced even after the warranty is out.
  14. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    MB with a larger HDD seems to be enough for your needs, but personally I always prefer a larger screen. I think it's a matter of preference and whether you find MBP portable or not. I carry my MBP 17", but some think even 13" models are too large and heavy.
  15. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Overall the MacBook Pro is a still better computer than the MacBook; it's has nicer quality screen, has dual video cards when you need it. Some of that is very nice to have.

    As with the model, if I were to buy one today, I would get the 2.4GHz model and upgrade the RAM and HDD myself; no need to spend that extra money on Apple and get a small improvement.
  16. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    I think I am going to get the 15" MBP 2.4... I can't justify the bigger processor for what I need. I think I will however upgrade the HDD.

    I can sell my 13" unit to offset some of the cost.


    There is a refurb 2.4 MBP for $1699 is that a good deal... AND can you add a student discount to the refurb computers?
  17. assassinm4 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Hong Kong
    i'm a high school student and have been using macbook (2nd gen with 1.83 C2D) for past 2 years, then i switched to a refurb mbp when the price was a real bargain ($1500 USD for 2.5ghz pre-unibody MBP)
    this is my personal experience after carrying MB to school for 2 years and MBP for half year:

    they weigh nearly the same- check it out on apple.com. - 5.5lb vs 6lb i believe. but in hand (especially when you are hugging it instead of carrying it in the bag when moving around in school) the macbook is significantly smaller since it's got a smaller screen. you wont notice the weight difference if you have been carrying your macbook.

    if you are using the 1st gen macbook - with core duo instead of core 2 duo, i do think you should replace it. the CPU in the pre-unibody macbook pro/ current macbook are just screamingly faster. they are WAY faster. check the benchmark. even the white macbook apple is still selling are running on penryn C2D and 9400M. they are really good CPU and GPU.

    CS4 does not rely on GPU speed AFAIK, but i heard next generation would hugely depend on GPU? the 9400M on the macbooks are in fact very fast, half the speed of the 8600M from the old macbook pro. graphic cards are pretty much for gaming and 3D only.

    it's a personal preference thing is it? well if you like your macbook's outlook, then stick with it and buy a white macbook they are selling now. alternatively you can go for unibody macbook/ macbook pro, or if you prefer the "old" macbook pro, go for a refurb.

    alternatively, if you are happy with the speed of your macbook, you can repair the keyboard (spare parts can be ordered from ebay or websites like ifixit. fixing keyboard is very straightforward and shouldnt take more than 30 minutes. harddisk is just next to the RAM module, so you can order a 500gb 7200rpm harddisk and replace it yourself. wont take more than 10 minutes. and adding more RAM would increase the performance significantly on macbook.

    or, if you dont like it, fix it up, sell it, then buy a new one.

    if you use projectors a lot for lecture- be aware. old macbook uses display port that's different from the unibody. you'll have to order a mini display port adapter IF you are ordering the UNIBODY mb/mbp.

    hope you get a new apple btw :D
  18. assassinm4 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Hong Kong
    if you are going for a macbook pro, consider this:

    there are non-unibody refurb mbp which can cost you much less with very close performance to the unibody mbp

    i got my refurb 2.5 ghz non-unibody mbp (MB134LL/A) ordered from apple canada. was $1599 + 13% tax (omg :mad: VAT!!!) = $1809 CAD. that is around $1500 USD.

    the unibody mbp that apple is currently selling starts with 2.4 ghz, for $1999 USD.

    what's the difference?

    CPU : 2.5Ghz ($1500) vs. 2.4Ghz ($1999). both intel penryn 45nm CPU, T9300 vs. P8600
    GPU : 8600m GT w/ 512mb DDR3 ($1500) vs. 9600m GT /512mb DDR 3+9400 ($1999). 9600 is about 2% faster than 8600, shown in various benchmarks
    RAM : DDR2 2Gb ($1500) vs DDR3 2Gb ($1999) this is the main difference, where the unibody uses DDR3 rams. yet the advantage hasn't shown much improvement on performance...

    minor difference: trackpad.. screen BAZEL (not the screen itself!) .. structure (non unibody vs. unibody) etc.

    but there is one point i shall make very clearly : the hard drive on the old macbook pro is NOT user serviceable. you will have to take off 25 screws and the keyboard before seeing the hard drive. the process is not hard if you follow through guides on ifixit, but it will still take you a careful hour. the unibody takes you 5 minutes to replace the hard drive.
  19. assassinm4 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Hong Kong

    this is the one i'm talking about and it costs $1599 CAD, $1809 CAD with tax. that's $1500 USD. i would strongly suggest you to buy it from Apple canada if you have an address in canada. since CAD has been cheaper lately

    mind you this model ran out of stock all the time.

    it comes in glossy screen but a matte screen protector costs like 10 bucks?

    and no edu- discount for refurb
  20. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks for all of the info...

    How come when I look at the 500GB HDs there is like a DYI install kit or something. Do I need that?
  21. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    The Unibody MacBook Pro 15" 2.66GHz is the most powerful apple laptop on stock at any Apple stores on the market today.

    The 15" MacBook Pro 2.66GHz can also be upgrated up to 8GB of Ram.


  22. sm0 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Wellington, NZ
    whether you need it is irrelevant. if you want it get it.
    life's too short for 'what ifs'.
  23. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    if you crave power like voldemort or sauron...get the 2.66

    On a more serious note: I think the best advice is to buy the best machine you can afford. Therefore, if you can afford the 2.66 then I'll suggest you get that. If money is tight, and the 2.4 is more financial sense, then go for that.

    Performance wise..you'll enjoy both machines jsut as much :)
  24. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    The extra $$$ won't really kill me that bad, but the thing is for what I do I just don't NEED the power. It would be like buying Cummins Turbo Diesel truck to pull my pop-up camper. Not to say you still can't do that...
  25. BlaineWasHere thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Well, I ordered my 500GB HD... just not sure which computer is going in yet. I think I am just going to go with the 2.4 MBP, anything else is more computer than I will ever use.

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