New 2.0 Macbook vs. 2.16 Macbook Purchase

MountainMamma

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2007
6
0
I'm a college teacher whose 5 yr. old 14" G3 iBook just died. So, it's time to replace the well-loved workhorse with another that I hope lasts me just as long. I really need to get the most value for my dollars since this is an unanticipated expense (I know--5 yrs old & I thought it wouldn't need replaced soon?) on top of an expensive year financially for me. I have to buy within a few weeks since I must have it ready to go for school the third week in Aug. I will be using it primarily for word processing, powerpoint lecture presentations, internet, & statistical analyses, so I can't decide whether or not to go with the base 2.0Ghz model or the middle priced 2.16Ghz model. On the face of it, it seems that I should spend the extra $200 to get the superdrive & larger hard drive, but would it be better to use that $200 to upgrade the base model's RAM to 2 GB? I won't be using it for games, but admit that I would like to be able to burn onto DVD some of the movies I've bought from iTunes, but could always buy an external dvd burner later if I really felt the need.
 

aethelbert

macrumors 601
Jun 1, 2007
4,288
0
Chicago, IL, USA
I had the same problem recently. I decided to go for the 2.16 model. It's running really well on 1GB, so you should be fine on that. It will be even better with 2GB. But remember, you can't upgrade the CPU to 2.16, and getting a Superdrive in the future would be VERY expensive. Upgrading the hard drive would be another cost in the future as well. I say get the midgrade model and get the RAM later. That is what I decided on, so I am somewhat biased.

Either way you go, though, you'll be getting a great computer.
 

GMacDaddyTPO

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2007
26
0
It would be more to your benefit to get the Middle-weight model, and reallt not even worry about the RAM. With 1GB, the thing will still fly, and you can update a few years down the road when it starts to become out of date.

You won't be sorry, it's a great little computer.
 

jackiecanev2

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2007
1,030
2
try a refurb 2.0 from the online store. they usually have the white, 2.0ghz, 80gb (middle model, last gen) for 999+tax, free shipping.

it ends up cheaper than the edu store, and you wont notice the difference between 2.0 and 2.16 for what you do. really, it will smoke your g3.
 

crazycat

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2005
1,319
0
There is no different between the 2.0 and 2.1, you will not be able to tell the difference. Having a superdrive on your laptop is very important in my opinion, i do not think i can live without one. Apple charges an arm and a leg for its RAM, you can find much cheaper ones online and you can replace them yourself without a problem.
 

nsbio

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
634
0
NC
Power Point presentations work not very well on Apple Intel notebooks. Too sluggish. The Keynote is a better choice, unless, of course, your presentation is about beachballing.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,030
647
Pennsylvania
Power Point presentations work not very well on Apple Intel notebooks. Too sluggish. The Keynote is a better choice, unless, of course, your presentation is about beachballing.
I would disagree, but in a year when Office is universal, it won't matter.

Personally I would go with a model with a superdrive. It's one of those things that you don't need, and probably won't use, and then that one day when you need it, you'll end up cursing yourself out for not buying it. At least, that's what happened for me as a student in high school.
 

MountainMamma

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2007
6
0
Thanks to all for your input. I think the $200 difference is best spent getting the superdrive & larger hard drive for now (I doubt that I will really notice the difference in processor speed between 2.0 & 2.16), which is what getting the 2.16 model would do for me. My husband wants me to keep it at the psychological $999, but I think I'll opt for the 2.16 model. If 1GB RAM works well, then I'll feel even better about the choice, & as you say, I can always add more RAM if needed.
 

Tom B.

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2006
1,459
0
London
Thanks to all for your input. I think the $200 difference is best spent getting the superdrive & larger hard drive for now (I doubt that I will really notice the difference in processor speed between 2.0 & 2.16), which is what getting the 2.16 model would do for me. My husband wants me to keep it at the psychological $999, but I think I'll opt for the 2.16 model. If 1GB RAM works well, then I'll feel even better about the choice, & as you say, I can always add more RAM if needed.
I really think that you should consider a refurb. You can get a 2.16GHz model for $1099. The only difference between new and refurb is the box, and the refurb may have a a few little marks on it, but you will save $200.
Also, you might already know, students and teachers can get a discount from Apple. It doesn't count for refurbs though.
And while I still recommend you should have a SuperDrive, it is not possible for you to burn iTunes movies to DVD, due to DRM. :(
 

drake

macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2005
532
0
Base model + External DVD burner. Especially if you're only going to be burning disks occasionally, plus the external will likely be higher rated burning speeds than the one provided in the Macbook.
 

aethelbert

macrumors 601
Jun 1, 2007
4,288
0
Chicago, IL, USA
Base model + External DVD burner. Especially if you're only going to be burning disks occasionally, plus the external will likely be higher rated burning speeds than the one provided in the Macbook.
Yes, but the external will just be something else to cart around. If the OP will only be burning discs occasionally, then there's no need for an external drive since the speed won't make much of a difference. I say either a new 2.16 or a refurb 2.0 from the previous generation (rev b).

The superdrive may not seem important now, but, as stated above, if there ever comes a time where you need to burn a DVD, you'll regret not having it.

Whichever you choose, though, you're getting a great computer.
 

drake

macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2005
532
0
Yes, but the external will just be something else to cart around. If the OP will only be burning discs occasionally, then there's no need for an external drive since the speed won't make much of a difference. I say either a new 2.16 or a refurb 2.0 from the previous generation (rev b).
Not sure I follow you? If she only burns disks occasionally, she doesn't need to lug it around (can keep it at home) and the speed is the same regardless if its internal or external. I burn disks using an external drive, and it burns at full speed. An external drive will run under $100.
 

MountainMamma

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2007
6
0
Later comments have me reconsidering and I guess I should add some information. My oldest daughter's 2 1/2 yr. old 20GB non-photo iPod is working intermittently and she'd like a new one for her 21st birthday. She agreed to pay half from her summer job, but if I buy a new Macbook from the Apple store, I can get her the model she wants for $50. I have seriously considered the refurbs, but when I look at the total cost of the two items together, I will pay basically the same price for the new Macbook + iPod & with the 2.16 model, as the a refurb black 2.0 model for $1049 before taxes and buying the 30GB iPod elsewhere (currently Amazon has the cheapest price). Even though my daughter is willing to go halves with me, since we end up paying for her college expenses when she runs out of money, I might as well look at total price. So, I'm back to my dilemma & have started looking at prices of external DVD burners since an advantage there is that we could use it with all our other Macs--we have a 2 1/2 yr old iMac at home, husband has a G4 iBook, & same daughter is still using her G3 iBook that was her high school graduation present. She's on her own for replacing that one after she finishes college & gets a job!
 

iliketomac

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2006
92
0
Since you’re a teacher you are entitled to an educational discount of $100 from an Apple retail store or online (new Macs only, not refurbs). The difference in processor speed between the base & middle config will be barely noticeable for your intended use – so it’s not a significant factor (for now). You have a good sense of what you’re contemplating on, so why not just get the base model ($999 after your edu discount) and then get an external DVD burner, as you suggested. But IMO, I would go for the middle one ($1199 after edu discount) since you'll be getting the Superdrive plus an extra 40gb of hard drive space, and of course the small bump in speed (which will be an advantage when Leopard comes out)... Good luck!
 

thon

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2007
16
0
I also agree with your conclusion. I used the EDU discount to get the ipod (and $100 rebate towards a 99$ printer) on the middleweight model. After much research I think with the superdrive it really is worth the extra coin.

Also, forget MS office, just download openoffice.org, it'll run power point presentations just fine and is 1) free and 2) more efficient/quicker in my experience.. at least on my linux and windows boxes...i'm waiting until friday to pickup my macbook (tax free weekend)

good luck!
 

crazycat

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2005
1,319
0
If you have a DVD burner on your other mac you can always transfer the files you need onto the other mac then burn them. I used to do that when i had an iBook without a built-in burner.
 

maccompaq

macrumors 65816
Mar 6, 2007
1,152
3
If you have a DVD burner on your other mac you can always transfer the files you need onto the other mac then burn them. I used to do that when i had an iBook without a built-in burner.
Regarding the DVD burner: I hardly ever used mine and then it died. I did replace it, but just be aware that even if you do not use your DVD burner much, it can still die.
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
36
Also, forget MS office, just download openoffice.org, it'll run power point presentations just fine and is 1) free and 2) more efficient/quicker in my experience.. at least on my linux and windows boxes..
Really? well I find NeoOffice to be a bit slow to load, but once it does load, it's usually ok. I haven't bought Office for Mac yet, but I can guess that 04 is going to be slow on Intel Macs. We all have to wait for 08.
 

MountainMamma

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2007
6
0
I've kind of decided to wait until after Aug. 7 to see how the new iPod models change the equation regarding new vs. refurb & total price for a Macbook & an iPod purchase. But a few responses brought up another question, that I'll also post on software---does Keynote run significantly better than Powerpoint on the Intel Macs? Would it be worth adding iWork to my purchase?
 

amc382

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2003
102
0
There should be only 1 macbook model

I believe there should be only 1 macbook model. Here are my arguments: apple has always tried to keep things simple (especially for consumer models) and the differences between the 3 of them are too subtle for many to recognize...

1) Obviously there is virtually no difference between 2.0 and 2.16 ghz chips. Although not everyone realizes that (above) and this leads to confusion. There should not be anything to decide over. Keep it simple. They could go with either speed, it really doesn't matter.

2) Superdrives. In this day and age you really do need them. They are commodity parts, ever PC except bare-bones sub-$400 machines have them. A laptop over $1000 should definitely have them standard. This will probably happen in the next revision anyway, it basically has too.

3) Apple should have 1-model, superdrive standard, for the price of the entry level machine. They can keep the 2.0 ghz chip. Give it a gig of RAM and 120gig hard disk. You can always change these at the online store.

4) Get rid of the blacktax. It should be like the ipod, your choice. It would also be interesting if the offered a product (RED) model for $50 more, with the balance going to charity. Girls would dig it.

... This type of discussion is exactly why there should be only 1-model. They're not supposed to be Dell's with an endless array of confusing configurations. Apple's should be easy to use even *before* purchase!

Does anyone have an opinion on this?
 

maccompaq

macrumors 65816
Mar 6, 2007
1,152
3
Really? well I find NeoOffice to be a bit slow to load, but once it does load, it's usually ok. I haven't bought Office for Mac yet, but I can guess that 04 is going to be slow on Intel Macs. We all have to wait for 08.
OpenOffice loads on my 2.41 Ghz Athlon 64 Compaq in about 15 seconds, much faster than MS Word loads. Also, the files saved to HD by MS Word & Excel are so much larger than the exact same files created by OpenOffice (about 3 times larger).

NeoOffice is somewhat slower on my Mac, but what do you expect on a 400 Mhz G3 Mac Blue & White tower? I have used both NeoOffice and OpenOffice for over a year and can report extreme satisfaction using them.

I wish Apple would join with OpenOffice.Org to further develop the suite to overcome the threat hanging over the Apple corporate head from Microsoft threatening to stop developing MS Office for Mac.

If Apple announces a headless iMac on August 7, I will buy it as soon as Leopard is released. Then I can give better reports on NeoOffice on the Mac.
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
36
I believe there should be only 1 macbook model. Here are my arguments: apple has always tried to keep things simple (especially for consumer models) and the differences between the 3 of them are too subtle for many to recognize...

1) Obviously there is virtually no difference between 2.0 and 2.16 ghz chips. Although not everyone realizes that (above) and this leads to confusion. There should not be anything to decide over. Keep it simple. They could go with either speed, it really doesn't matter.

2) Superdrives. In this day and age you really do need them. They are commodity parts, ever PC except bare-bones sub-$400 machines have them. A laptop over $1000 should definitely have them standard. This will probably happen in the next revision anyway, it basically has too.

3) Apple should have 1-model, superdrive standard, for the price of the entry level machine. They can keep the 2.0 ghz chip. Give it a gig of RAM and 120gig hard disk. You can always change these at the online store.

4) Get rid of the blacktax. It should be like the ipod, your choice. It would also be interesting if the offered a product (RED) model for $50 more, with the balance going to charity. Girls would dig it.

... This type of discussion is exactly why there should be only 1-model. They're not supposed to be Dell's with an endless array of confusing configurations. Apple's should be easy to use even *before* purchase!

Does anyone have an opinion on this?
The line up is pretty simple already. It isn't hard to tell the difference between a slightly faster processor and a Superdrive. Add a slightly larger harddrive and the color black, and you pay a little more. I don't care for the "black tax" either, but you can't say it's complex. All the other core features of the macbook line-up are consistent, so consumers don't need to worry about not having a crucial feature like graphics or screen type be different. Compare Dell's line-up of "consumer" notebooks, and you'll see how complex it can get.