Need some real life opinions. 2.0 vs 2.4 GHz Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by 55orangeave, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. 55orangeave macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #1
    Starting a new thread. My questions started in someone else thread but wanted to start dedicated

    I am driving myself crazy over this choice. I as well will be upgrading the ram to 4gb and 7200rpm HD. I see benchmarks everywhere, but nothing tells me straight up. Is there anything the 2.0GHz can not do that the 2.4 can, other than the obvious time to do these tasks in question.

    I have watched countless Youtube videos and read many forums. Can I have some real people with knowledge express their opinions, to give us a hand?

    Oh!, My last Mac was a 24 inch 2.16GHz iMac with 128mb video card. And 2gb of ram. Will this macbook score a better rating than the iMac?

    About me:
    Software developer Like to dabble in some video editing(dont worry about firewire).


    Here is the hardware I was looking at:
    Memory:
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16820146878

    Harddrive:
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16822136279


    What do you guys recommend for this upgrade? Are my choices alright?

    Any help would be great, Much thanks!!
     
  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #2
    The main thing to remember is that the faster, bigger or better components will only be of benefit to you if you can actually use them.

    A good way to think of this is to consider real world objects. For example, the processor speed can be likened to cars - you could buy a Ferrari which is capable of 200mph, but if you only intend to use it to drive around a city at 30mph, then there is no point to having it.

    The memory is another thing which people often think "hey, I'll buy as much of that as possible because apparently it will help!". This is the wrong attitude - more memory will only give you a performance boost if you regularly exceed the amount which your system currently has installed.

    Real world example of this - you have a room in your house where you store boxes. When you are doing more things at once, there are more boxes, but sometimes when you are really busy you have lots of boxes, so you have to go outside and store some of them in the garage. When you start using the garage to store boxes, that's when you need a bigger storage room, or in computer terms, more Random Access Memory (RAM).

    If you never have more boxes than fit in your storage room then you will see no benefit to making it larger. This is the same for memory - if you never exceed 2GB then there will be no performance boost whatsoever when you install 4GB.

    I think the spin speed of hard drives provides an extremely negligible performance boost. It's the sort of upgrade I'd go for if there was absolutely no other way I could make my computer better and I needed it to be better, but if you are just putting it in to say "hey, I want it because that is what is best" then I think you are wasting your money.

    I'm a pretty heavy user and I have the 2.0GHz MacBook with 2GB RAM and the standard hard drive. It is more than sufficient for my needs.
     
  3. miggitymac macrumors 6502a

    miggitymac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #3
    I don't really see the problem here...you're aware that there's a difference in time that it takes to do things...the 2.0 will be slower than the 2.4...slightly.

    That's it.

    If you want a bit more speed and a bit more future-proof, go 2.4

    If you want a bit cheaper, go 2.0.

    Not really worth the drama or making yourself go crazy, is it? :confused:
     
  4. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #4
    So far you have been one of the best to kinda of help me, and not so much of the explanations, but because of your last line.

    Define heavy user, what kinda of stuff are you using it for?

    As far as the HD, well maybe I don't need it. But the ram is a must, I am a heavy multitasker. Many programs running mean need big garage.
     
  5. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #5
    The little thing drive me crazy. I'm working on it. I will live I think

    As far as future proof, how do you mean. Are you referring to Snow Leopard as many others do? If anything Snow Leopard will help the 2.0GHz, not hinder it.
     
  6. megacrazy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    #6
    JUst get it for the light up keyboard :). Every laptop should have this.

    Either way, 2GB is a must if you want to comfortably use your laptop and not worry about RAM. 4GB is even better and you will probably never run into any issues (for a while).

    As far as hard disk, go for speed not size. YOu can always get external HDs that are high capacity. Also, it's a laptop. YOu want it to turn on/off fast and work fast. You don't need all your music/movies/games/etc on it.

    That being said, both configurations will be just fine for now. If you have the cash, get the more expensive one, otherwise get the cheaper model. No need to be cutting edge ALL the time.
     
  7. miggitymac macrumors 6502a

    miggitymac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #7
    The 2.0 and 2.4 both have core 2 duo processors, so snow leopard will help both. Neither should be hindered by snow leopard...

    By future proof I mean if you get the 2.4, it will be able to handle newly developed software and games longer than the 2.0 will be able to. In other words, as software system requirements are constantly increasing and demanding better performance from hardware, a 2.4 GHz will be able to stay relevant longer than a 2.0 GHz.

    A 2.4's resale value will also be higher than a 2.0's.
     
  8. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #8
    I appreciate the thoughts, and your right but no issue for me, will switch to new macbook in the a 1-1.5 years from now, and it will be past down to son at that time.
     
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #9
    I use it for Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, FTP, XCode and a bit of gaming in Windows too. It does everything just fine.

    Is the RAM a must though? A couple of years ago when 2GB was the "high standard" like 4GB is now, people were always saying "nobody could need more than 2GB!". I don't think the way these people use their computers has changed.

    I don't know why everyone gets so hung up on future proofing. Yes there will definitely be a point where this MacBook is obsolete but it will likely not be because the processor is 400MHz slower than the other model. I think we are many years beyond the time when clock speed was something that would make a computer obsolete.

    Normally it is the new features which a new processor generation introduces which make the old one obsolete, not the clock speed. Since both MacBooks have the same processor (one is just clocked slightly faster) I don't envisage buying the 2.4GHz model will save you from anything like this.
     
  10. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #10
    Well explained and written.

    ;)
     
  11. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #11
    I also agree. Keep it going people, this is a great help.
     
  12. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #12
    Though it is not the specific computers you are talking about.

    Leaving my Macs aside, in my house we have a 1.86Ghz Core 2 Duo Desktop, a 2.0Ghz Pentium Dual Core and a 2.5 Ghz Pentium Dual Core. For the CPU intensive tasks performed by them I do not notice a difference switching between them. If you do not know the Pentium Dual Core is a Core 2 with less cache.

    However the big difference seen between the three relates to RAM installed, Video Card and Hard Drive speed. The 2.0 and 2.5 have Radeon 3870 and 3850 video cards respectively and multiple hard drives ranging from 400 to 640GB. The only time I can tell any difference between the two is when many programs are running since the 2.5 has 4GB of RAM while the 2.0 has 2GB. The 1.86GHz Core 2 is overall the slowest mainly due to 1GB of RAM, two old 160GB hard drives in RAID 1 and a Radeon X1600 (no GPU processing for HD video).

    Personally with either a 2.0 or 2.4Ghz Macbook I would max the RAM and look at the Hard drive benchmarks at Toms Hardware Guide for the laptop drive with the fastest read/write speed that meets my storage requirements. Though I would get the cheaper white model and use the $600 saved to put towards something else.
     
  13. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #13

    Very well explained.
    I often thought about the white one as well, since the upgrade to the video card and processor. But I have to say that the unibody is so tightly packaged, that it is to hard to pass up.
     
  14. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #14
    Lets run down this scenario:

    2.0GHz VS. 2.4GHz

    both with 4gb ram
    both with 250gb rpm HD


    Actively Running-

    Photoshop
    Illustrator
    Adium
    Word
    Itunes
    Mac Mail
    4 Terminals
    Parallels (Windows)
    Torrent Client
    Eclipse (Syntax Editor)
    Safari
    Firefox
    iChat

    and
    iPhoto


    Technically speaking these 2 machines in this scenario should pretty much run the same. Am I correct

    Maybe with the 2.4GHz I would shave 2 minutes of my day?
     
  15. miggitymac macrumors 6502a

    miggitymac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #15
    In that case, get the 2.0 and put the money you save towards the one you'll buy in 1-1.5 years. The entire notebook lineup will probably have major revisions and improvements by then.
     
  16. pellets007 macrumors 6502a

    pellets007

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    At very best. The processor isn't going to the weakest link in a MacBook at all. If anything it'll be the RAM, HDD, and the IGP/GPU. And seeing on how you can't upgrade the latter, just buy 4GB of RAM from someone other than Apple.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, I DO NOT have a MacBook, but honestly, you don't need the specific hardware in front of you as long as you can look at reliable benchmarks and have a fundamental understanding and first hand knowledge with computer components. 400Mhz isn't going to make a large difference. If you notice it, at all, I'd be extremely surprised.
     
  17. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #17
    True, but another thing to consider is how long one wants a computer to last. If it's several years, then future requirements should be considered as well as present needs. Applications continually increase in power, and need more resources. Memory can be added later if one wants to open up the case, but Macs no longer offer easy CPU upgrades.
     
  18. ari gold macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #18
    Biggest thing to catch my eye too. My vote is for the 2.0 and save the couple hundred in the bank for your next computer.
     
  19. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #19
    If the two processors were significantly different then I'd be inclined to agree, but they are so closely matched in performance that there is no real perceivable difference between the two in day to day operations. There isn't ever going to be an application which runs wildly faster on the 2.4GHz model compared to the 2.0.
     
  20. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #20
    I was at the Apple store tonight. With 2 of them side by side and running every app I could which came to about a count of 18. iCal,iMovie,iPhoto,iTunes,quicktime,Safari and Firefox running 3 pages of picnik.com and photoshopexpress(heavy Flash content) in both browsers. in 4 spaces so a total of 12 browser windows. Photoshop Elements, the list goes on and on.

    They both were 1.2gb active ram.
    cpu fine and not hardly moving while not interacting with the applications.

    While trying to to switch spaces and use expose then to dashboard. Over and over, neither hung up at all. I was impressed.These machines can go. As far as my decision, it is very clear now that the 2.4 is a waste. Gimmick if you will. I suggest if your going for the 2.4, then what you really want is a MBP.

    So I am going with the 2.0 and then upgrading the ram which I dont think I will ever need anytime soon, and the harddrive which will boost write and read speeds and give me more space.

    For those reading, and have read other threads about this 2.0 vs 2.4 macbook, I'm sure you have all seen people swear by the backlite keyboard. Personally I don't see why. Tested under my jacket. That screen is enough to lite the keyboard up on its own. You don't need it, or maybe you do? But really I dont think you do. LOL

    Conclusion...
    The bigger the computer is like the type of guy getting his big truck. He dosn't need the big truck, but somehow it makes him feel bigger, if ya know what I mean.

    Thanks for all your thoughts, I say we continue this conversation to see others thoughts, and any intersesting arguments for the 2.4 other than it is backlite.

    Cheers
     
  21. SevenEleven macrumors member

    SevenEleven

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #21
    I just had a similar thread, actually I think I remember you posting. Anyway, I decided to go for the 2.0. I am very happy. Coming from a 2.4 blackbook with 4g of ram. I have the stock 2.0. I run dreamweaver, and photoshop regularly. And of course the standard email and internet. Not sure I could really ask for it to be much snappier. I do plan on upgrading the ram and HD at some point. But for now like I said, I am happy and dont regret my decision at all.

    Oh and I am running XP in bootcamp and it is really fast. Have also had W7 and it ran great also.

    Hope this helps.
     
  22. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #22
    I got a 2.0 today as well! new w/ 3 year apple care from a local craigs lister - $985 =)
     
  23. CalMin macrumors 6502a

    CalMin

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #23
    Sounds to me you're not a gamer or a power user. Get the 2.0. The only reason I got the 2.4 is that I wanted the backlit keyboard.
     
  24. mkgm1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #24
    Out of interest, doesn't the unibody Macbook contain DDR3 as opposed to the DDR2 in the white one? Would that make much of a difference...?
     
  25. 55orangeave thread starter macrumors member

    55orangeave

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    AB, Canada
    #25
    It does use DDR3. And from what I have read and can tell, it makes a big difference. I would imagine it helps a great deal when it come to the 9400m. Considering that it uses the system memory.
     

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