New SR MBP w/ 128MB Nvidia or Refurb MBP w/ 256MB ATI

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kepardue, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    Now I'm coming to realize that the new MBP's only offer about a 3% increase in actual processing performance over the previous generation and are barely noticable for the LED-backlight differences, I notice that on the Refurbished store I can get the previous $2499 MBP for $1999, which otherwise has all the benefits of the newer MBP's (2GB RAM), but also has a 256MB ATI graphics card, vs. the 128MB Nvidia graphics card on the $1999 current MBP.

    Sooooo, which would actually be the better deal here? I'm not *much* of a gamer, though I may put boot camp on there and play Flight Simulator 2004 or Flight Simulator X, but I would like to run a 23" external monitor on it. Possibly but less likely a 30" only if I decide to go crazy when I order.

    Are there other subtle benefits to the new SR MBP's that I'm missing?

    Edit: I should also add that I'm planning on getting a WD Scorpio 250GB 5400RPM drive to the system and have it installed by a certified technician, regardless of the system.
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Lower power consumption, better WiFi, memory to 4GB.
  3. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    I'd go for the newer $2000 machine. The processor will be on par, you'll get a much faster graphics chip and the LED backlighting.

    If I were to place bets on what would win in benchmarks, a Geforce M8600 128MB or a Mobility Radeon X1600 256MB I'd put the money on the M8600 every single time. Despite some of what's been going around video RAM is not the end-all be-all of the graphics discussion. As I've said, the performance difference between the 128 and 256 versions of the 8600 won't get past the extremely low single digits...

    Unless they run Doom3 with uncompressed textures. Then maybe...
  4. hawaiian macrumors member


    Ask yourself if you really need 256MB of VRAM over 128. Also, are you willing to risk a lemon with the refurb? What can you afford? How long to you plan on keeping this computer before getting a new one?

    Try thinking of the differences in what you get and what you need/want your computer for. I think that'll help you decide.

    Good luck!
  5. mms macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2003
    While I have never bought refurb myself (when I do buy, I go for the latest and greatest), the general consensus on this board seems to be that "risking a lemon" should not be a concern with refurbs. Apple checks their refurb computers so thoroughly that many posters here have suggested that you are less likely to get a lemon refurb than a lemon regular computer.
  6. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    That certainly seems to be the case - I can't even remember the last time I read a poster complaining about a duff refurb unit.

    Also, it's worth remembering that a unit can be referred to as 'refurbished' for a whole host of reasons.
  7. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Get the new one.

    The battery life should be significantly better and the LED backlight does look better if you haven't seen one in person.
  8. hawaiian macrumors member


    True that computers do get refurbished for many reasons. However, I have heard both success and horror stories about refurbished computers. Whether they be cosmetic or technical, they have been sent back to Apple because of something that the original user found it to be unsatisfactory. So unless there is some evidence to suggest that one would have a greater risk of getting a lemon by getting a new computer over a refurb, it makes sense that getting a computer that was once considered to be unsatisfactory is still, in a sense, more risky than a new one.

    That having been said, I do agree that it is unlikely that you would end up with an unsatisfactory computer by going with the refurb. Since Apple certifies their computers to be "good as new" and includes a 1 year warranty, should you experience any problems, you can always take computer back to Apple as if it were a new computer.

    Good luck =).
  9. kepardue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    Thanks guys, I've just about decided to favor the new system over the refurbed. Even if the other improvements do offer incremental improvements at best, they do seem like they would do me a lot more good than an older grpahics card with more VRAM. Especially since I now realize that the price fo the refurbed unit wouldn't go down with the education discount that I'll be using.

    I don't think I'd have a problem with buying refurbed systems though. I know two people that recently bought 17" refurbed MBP's and have, so far at least, had no problems whatsoever with their systems.

    Heck, the money I'd save on the education discount almost pays for the cost of that hard drive I'm planning to put in!

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