MBP Refurb

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Meldar, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Meldar macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
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    #1
    Hey,

    So my late 2006 black MacBook died recently (motherboard failure, I'm just about sure) and being at college right now, I'm rushing to get a new computer so I can get back on my feet.

    I'm looking at a MacBook Pro (15.4") and found one with the 2.66GHz Core2 Duo for a pretty decent price - refurbished.

    Does the education discount not apply to refurbished products? I'm unable to find that information anywhere...the listed price didn't change when I logged in as a student, but I just want to be completely sure.

    Also, advice:

    I'm a student, sure, but I do a lot of other stuff besides essay-writing. I do a lot of Photoshop work, a lot of Garageband stuff, use Guitar Rig to play through the computer, and play a bunch of FPS games besides. There were times I'd have Photoshop, Photomatix, Garageband, Audacity, Guitar Rig, iTunes, and Firefox running simultaneously on my older 2.0GHz, 3GB RAM MacBook with few issues (though if anything froze, it was Garageband or Firefox).

    So, for me: Core 2 Duo at 2.66 GHz or i5 at 2.53 GHz?

    The latter is $150 more expensive and has no SD card slot (which I can deal with); the hard drive isn't an issue because I'll be swapping out the stock for my 640GB WD drive and keeping as a spare the either 320GB or 500GB Snow Leopard stock drive. Both the ones I'm considering are refurbished models...remember, college kid in a hurry here.

    Can anyone enlighten me? :)
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    They should both have SD slots (unless one is a 17"), but the C2D model will work fine for you. The i5 is a little nicer, but is it worth the $150 for a small performance bump?
     
  3. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

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    #3
    Uh yeah...they both have SD slots. How did I miss that? ok then, that's that.

    So, this "small performance bump" of which you speak - I've read that the i5 is "substantially better" and offers "up to 50% better performance than Core 2 Duo models." Now mind, this is from Apple, so...maybe they just really wanna sell me one.

    Basically, is the i5 really as amazing as it sounds? I'm not going for a 17" anyway because then I'll need a new carrying bag and that's just a hassle...the Core 2 Duo 15" MBPs are discontinued anyway, so I'm led to believe that an i5 is actually better. Truth or clever marketing?

    All the multimedia stuff I do - will the C2D suffice after all?
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #4
    It certainly will suffice, as what you do isn't super CPU intensive. What apple says is basically just marketing. In ideal condidtions, maybe, but that would be like rendering HD video. For games though, the GPU in the i5 would be a bit better, but if you're not a hardcore gamer, the 9600GT in the C2D will be fine
     
  5. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

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    #5
    I don't render HD video...wish I did, but nope, only H.264 and/or DV stuff. And at that, not too often.

    Most of what I do is music, and I use an M-Audio USB box to play my guitar into the computer...accounting for processing (effects and all) it was a 24-27ms response time. That on a four-year-old, 2.0GHz C2D. So I guess a .66GHz upgrade will make a bit of a difference, but I already had a good thing going, I suppose.

    I am a hardcore gamer, but the games I play are OpenArena and Urban Terror - Quake III clones with which I was able to achieve fairly decent graphical performance with the GMA 950 (running OA at 125 fps consistently - that's all I need to play). I had some fps problems with UrT but then again, I'm not particularly good at it anyway, and it is more graphically enhanced.

    Plus I'm a student; I play recreationally. Often, perhaps, but still recreationally. From what I've read, Quake III Arena runs at 450 fps on a GeForce 9600M (what the MBP uses for performance I take it), and that's more than enough.

    I'm not doing intense gaming. Mainly online first-person shooters with minimal graphical enhancement.

    All that said - the Core 2 Duo, although on an older model MBP, will be enough or more than enough for what I'm looking for?

    --

    Nothing personal alust2013 - you've been a considerable help - but I'd like opinions from others as well.

    Though if this represents a common opinion, I guess I've got what I'm looking for!
     
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #6
    I highly recommend you go with the i5 (if you can find a 2.4ghz i5, that would be awesome too!)

    For simple and obvious reasons, the i5 is more 'future proof' because its the new [2010] architecture; the i5 will also be faster than the Core 2 Duo.

    $150 bucks is a lot of money, so don't worry - I understand. (I know some people toss money around here when they talk :D)


    Its your choice though. I think you might easily cover the costs of $150 if you sell your Macbook as is on Ebay or something.
     
  7. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

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    #7
    Thanks for the input. The whole "but this is more up-to-date" argument came to mind here too.

    Looks like I'll need to speak with my financial advisors on this one. My father has been a Mac person since the early early years and is more than likely to view a higher-end laptop as an "investment in my future," especially seeing how long my old one lasted (not to mention his Centris). The extra money is an issue, but this being refurbished, we do still technically pay less.

    Oh, and if you can find someone willing to buy a 2006 MacBook with no battery, RAM, or hard disk, send 'em my way. :)
     
  8. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

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  9. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

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    #9
    So it looks as though I'm getting the i5 after all. It will probably be better overall, though the C2D may have been sufficient.

    Ah well, I'll live a little :)
     
  10. Perdification macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2010
    #10
    Its a pity you can't wait for sandy bridge, and maybe lightpeak or usb 3.0. We are almost halfway (if not more than halfway) through the life cycle of the current macbook pros before the next update.
     
  11. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

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    #11
    Yeah, that crossed my mind. Thing is, I'm a college student and I need a computer. This i5 is damn good for what I need (as someone mentioned, maybe even overkill).

    Believe me, I love brand new, top-of-the-line things as much as the next guy. My dad used his Centris 660AV until 1999, even though it still functions to this day - he's a huge Mac fan and would jump at the chance to spend a bunch of money on a shiny new 2011 MBP (even more so if it was for him) but I just can't go however many months without.

    My mom's going to need a new computer soon, though - perhaps I can work out a "trade-up" with her :p
     
  12. Perdification macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    #12
    Its always a good thing if you can wait, and its always the longer the better. The macbooks will always get better and better with every update, that's granted. But what's special about the next or maybe the one after the next update is usb 3.0 (unlikely) or lightpeak (more likely), which is superior to anything like firewire or WLAN or usb 2.0 to backup your school work and stuff like that, especially if you've got HUGE video files. Well, if you have your mum to swap your old macbook then you're definitely in luck! All the best for college!
     
  13. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

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    #13
    Well thanks for your insight and advice! :)

    I am looking forward to USB 3.0...seeing as I found out about it the day before you posted it here. :p
     

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