New Apple Convert: Help choosing between Alu Macbook and Old Gen MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Aboo, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008

    I am a prospective Mac convert after using the PC platform for more than 15 years. My main need for a mac is quite moot actually - more than 75% of my colleagues and mentors use macs and create all of their presentations, etc. on a mac. Despite my repeated pleas they still don't insert images/format text properly so a Mac PPT ends up looking completely distorted and the images appear with the dreaded "No Quicktime Decompressor" error within MS Power Point 2007. Anyways, after trying to battle this out for the past few months, I have finally given up and decided to get a mac. Hopefully the experience of the Mac OS will be well enough to fully convert me ;)

    On to my question - right now I am trying to decide between the Aluminium Macbook 2.0GHz model and the previous generation 2.4 GHz Macbook Pro. Size/weight is not really a consideration for me, and the only reason I am considering both of them is that they both come out to be about the same price (within 10 to 20 dollars).

    I realize that the MBP has a faster processor and dedicated graphics as well as a 15.4" screen and an illuminated keyboard, but at the same time it still uses the penryn procs and lacks the clickable trackpad (does it still support the gestures?). Anyways, I am hoping to recieve some input regarding the two systems and would greatly appreciate any advice offered.

  2. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Go for the Macbook Pro. Just the higher quality, larger screen will be more comfortable to use. The gestures work on the trackpad, the only difference is that the button is separate.
  3. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I'll cut you some slack because you're new, but you may want to search the forums about your topic; this has been asked and answered numerous times. You'll be able to find information about this topic now instead of waiting a day or two for answers to trickle in.

    That said, it's a judgment call. You named many of the points yourself:

    Old MBP: Larger, nicer screen, matte option, seperate video card, firewire ports, express card port, older established design. Dirt cheap ram upgrades.

    New MB: Sturdy, cooler (in terms of neatness and heat dissaption) design, portability, faster FSB and ram, longer battery life, new display port video output (chances are Apple's going to use this as their new standard), easier to replace HD, cheaper applecare. In addition the nvidia card in the older MBP (8600) is said to have manufacturing/design defects, whereas the ones in the new MB (9400) so far does not. New trackpad and new gestures not available on older machines.

    Benchmarks show that performance wise it's roughlyt a tie between the two machines. Whichever one is better for you depends on what you're using it for. I know you said that size and weight is not an issue for you, but it can matter. I've used both the new MB and the MBP and the MB is the better roadwarrior machine. If you're going to use it primarily at a desk, move it between desks, or hook a lot of stuff up to it, I'd choose the MBP. The new trackpad does have nice features, but those are mostly negated if you're going to use it at a desk hooked up to a mouse, etc.

    Again, search the forums for a lot of in depth analysis you can use right now. Good luck!
  4. Buskape macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
    NGC 4889
    The better choice is to always go for the Pro model, get the Pro
  5. robzr macrumors member

    May 4, 2006
    I'm a happy owner of a new 13" unibody MB, but since you've stated portability and weight are not an issue, I'd say go for the MBP. The larger, higher quality and higher res screen would be a nice benefit. The clickable trackpad with multi-touch I personally don't really care for that much, it takes more effort to click, I just use tap to click, which you can use on the MBP as well. I'm still not in the habit of using the new multi touch gestures (non-beta firefox doesn't support them), the only one I really think would come in handy very often for me is previous/next webpage with three (four?) fingers. From the benchmarks I've seen the new processor & chipset and DDR3 isn't much faster. Battery life will probably be better on the MBP, the unibody MBs took a hit in that department. The dedicated graphics will be nice when you're playing GTA IV between presentations too :)

  6. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    Yup, unless you really really want the big trackpad I think the Pro would be better suited for you.

  7. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    I agree with these guys. The Macbook Pro is the better value. However, you are taking a risk if you do go that route because the older MBP have a known manufacturing defect on its Nvida GPU. It may or may not break in a year or so of use. I believe that Apple released an advisory stating that they will repair the laptop for free if the GPU does go bad within 3 years of purchase so you are covered for a while but if you are the type of person who keep your laptops for more then 3 years I suggest to get the Alu Macbook instead.
  8. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    Hang on... hes getting a Macbook (primarily because of presentation usage) and hes being recommended the Pro machine (lol)?

    For his needs, I think he would be better off with the Unibody MB.
  9. new-Mac-owner macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    The only reason for you to buy a MBP is to cook your breakfast on....... It gets way to hot go for the new Gen MB it well be plenty fast for what you need Trust me MB I have had all.:apple:
  10. Aboo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thank you very much for the quick responses. To make matters worse, I have a local retailer (actually the owner is a good family friend) and he is offering to sell a brand new new generation MBP for 1680$. I looked at the Apple website and it appears that the low end MBPs are going for about 2150$. This is only adding more options to my already large list of choices.

    After looking at the previous gen MBP yesterday and comparing it to the new unibody MBs, the previous gen MBP doesn't feel as well built. The new unibody MBs/MBPs feel rock solid. That being said however, the screen on the MBP is really beautiful. So right now I am dwindling down to the following choices:

    MB Alu 2.0Ghz (@1260$)
    MB Alu 2.4 Ghz (@1540$)
    MBP Alu 2.4Ghz (@1680$)

    The price range is quite broad, but honestly, spending a couple hundred more for a machine that would last me around 4 years is okay for me. Given my uses would you guys recommend any of these options?

    Thanks again or all the advice and Happy New Year to everyone!
  11. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    Go for the base model 2.4 MBP, there is a huge difference in the screen quality. I kept mine for 2 weeks trying to convince my self that I liked it. I did the size was perfect better then my air i.e more practical. I swapped it out for a MBP and not been happier with the screen, it is perfect no bad viewing angles, screen bleed and washed out colours. etc.

  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Same here.
  13. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    +1 for MacBook Pro Unibody.

    For that price, you'd be daft not to!

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