New Macbook vs. 2007 Macbook vs. 2007 MBP - Film Student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Essenar, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    I tried to make the thread title as specific as I can. I'm a college student, but I'm what one would call a "late bloomer". I'm 25 years old and trying to get a degree kind of late in the game. Because of that, a lot of what I do and pay for is on my own. That being said, I've learned from a lot of financial mistakes I made in the past. Now I save money.

    I need a laptop for school. I have trouble studying at home, I'm studying film production. I have a powerful Windows computer at home, but I need a laptop. It would also be nice to use Final Cut instead of Premiere/Vegas.

    Here's the thing: The store I work at has a lot of 2007 Macbooks up for grabs and my financial aid check comes next week. Because they want to move the 2007 models out to have room for the new ones, they're letting the old ones go to employees for amazing prices. The standard price drops are nice, but the employee prices are just insane.

    Macbook 403: 2gb, 2.4ghz, 160gb, white, x3100 = $700-750, open box 600-650 if there are any.
    Macbook 404: 2gb, 2.4ghz, 250gb, black, x3100 = $850-900, open box $700-750.
    Macbook Pro with 256 vram : $1200. They have an open box display model with scratches on the case and they'll let us have it for $600.

    Or I could get the standard $200 off a new Macbook.

    I have maybe roughly $2500 to spend in total expenses this semester. That's clothes, travel, commuting, extra activities, dates, games. Whatever stuff I need besides food and bills. The thing is, I get financial aid again next semester.

    I talked to my mom about it, because your mom is always a good source of advice in situations like this and she basically told me that I'm an advanced user so I should invest the money into a good laptop to make sure it lasts. I knew getting an Apple off the bat makes sure of that, so the question becomes, do I get something with power? Do I take advantage of the deal on 2007's? Do I get a new Macbook? I really like the new designs and the battery life. The 2007 Pro is amazing and the deal I'd be getting is even more so amazing. But the battery life of the 2007 Pro compared to the 2008 Standard Macbook or even the 2008 Pro is atrocious. Something like 3.5-4 hours compared to 5-6 on the Pro and 6 on the standard?

    I sat up for a few hours thinking it through. Trust me, this has been a 2-3 month decision in the making and I keep looking at advantages of one machine over the other. I know the only advantage of the new Macbook or the 2007 Pro over the 403/4 is the better video card, which doesn't matter for Final Cut Pro or Photoshop or Premiere, but it would give me the ability to play a game every now and then.

    But then, the problem with me studying at home is that I get distracted by those games. Having a laptop that can't play games, means that if I take my laptop to school, the only thing I can do is study or watch movies. When I make conclusions like that, I realize that there's no solid advantage of the new Macbook or a Pro over a 2007. But it's a 2-3 year investment. I don't want to have to take a hit on my expenses a year from now just to get the Pro that I ended up needing or vice versa.
  2. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    I'd snap the 2.4 MBP up in second, scratches and all. You will actually make good use of the dedicated graphics card with Final Cut (Motion 3 requires it). The extra screen real estate is nice compared to the MB... and its matte.

    Aside from its computing advantages (pro always > consumer in computing capability), realize that first gen MBP Core Duo machine (somewhere around 2.5-3 years old now) are still going for $600 here and on places like ebay. Even in its scratched state, you could sell it in 2 years for what you paid for it now. And if you follow the bottom line and have your heart set on getting a notebook, $600 is the cheapest of all of the options that you spelled out.

    And if you spend your money wisely, maybe you'll have some dough for FCS when all is said and done. :)

    As for the games... its a matter of self control. Or, alternatively, set up a second used with limited access to programs during specific time intervals and a time limit, as a gentle reminder to get off the computer and go do something productive.
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. $600 is an amazing price, even with the scratches.
  4. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Essenar, i was in the same situation as you. I get $1500 every three months for school, which i have financial aid for. So I have to pay this stuff back. I was so set on an iMac 24" 3.06GHZ, but last week, after reading through this forum, i decided on getting a clearance MacBook Pro 15" 2.5GHZ w512MB VRAM for $1599. I ordered it late yesterday afternoon at 3pm, and it was shipped last night and will be here in 24hrs!!!! I didnt even pay $18 for the 2 day shipping. I guess it helps living 9 hours from the warehouse.

    I am going to school for web and graphic design. My girlfriend has a nice Dell XPS desktop, and i figured i didnt need 2 desktops.
  5. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Run, don't walk, and snap up the MBP for $600. That's the no-brainer in the group for someone who wants to do Final Cut.

    If you don't get it, I'll buy it from your for $700... :)
  6. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    MacBook Pro for $600, no hesitation. As a film student you'll appreciate the dedicated graphics and larger screen real estate versus the MacBook. It also has Firewire... I'm assuming your school's cameras use FireWire, not USB (I know our Sony HD-DVs do). You'll also appreciate being able to plug in a FireWire external drive, since HD capacity is a limiting factor of mobile editing.

    If I were you, I'd run and buy it now before someone else does. If I were given that opportunity I would certainly take it, and I don't even need a computer.

    With money being tight, there's no other choice imo. :)

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