Non unibody Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bookboy, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. bookboy macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    New to the forum here, hoping for some input, appreciated.

    I've long worked in publishing, about to retrain and move to graphic/web design. Am still with my old G4 PowerBook which has been brilliant but it's time to upgrade, clearly. Will be running CS4/MS Office, Quark at times.

    Question is, given I am about to take courses, between contracts here so $ is an issue, I'm considering---

    Older Non-unibody MacBook Pro 15" 2.33ghz, 2RAM (needs an upgrade to 4), 500gb drive OR

    Can get a brand new white MacBook unibody, 13" 2.4ghz, 4RAM, 250gb drive.I realize the screen is considered superior in MacBook Pro (in either case 13" or 15" I would run an external monitor too at times)

    The deal I can get on a new MacBook works out to same cost essentially as the used Pro.

    Would you even consider an older MacBook for starting out ie Core 2 Duo at 2 ghz, 2RAM, 120gb drive or is that likely going to be far too sluggish?

    I am just starting out here, I'd like to not have to upgrade for at least two years (I will also at some point be investing in an iMac desktop).

    Thoughts? Or perhaps something I've not thought of here?

    Much appreciated!
  2. pullman macrumors 6502


    Feb 11, 2008
    I just checked quickly for Geekbench scores and it seems (provided I've found the right models) that the 2.33 15" gets 2961 and the 13" 2.4 gets 3338.

    I run MS Office and CS5 on my late 2008 Macbook (2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, unibody, non-Pro with 4GB RAM) and it works without any problem. It has a similar Geekbench score. I don't know about Quark though.

    The screen may be worse in the Macbook but if it is at least like the screen in my Macbook then you'll be fine.

    Since you'll run an external screen anyway, perhaps the 13" would be better since you'll also get a warranty?
  3. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    I recently(couple months ago) just bought an 08 in mint condition. Got it for $500 from Craigslist, took a while to talk the guy down as he tried to sell it at $850.

    Here are the Specs:

    The only difference was the seller upgraded it to 4GB RAM and a 200GB at 7200 RPM.

    So far I couldn't be happier. This is my first Intel based Mac. The only time I've seen any type of lag was when I was messing around running two virtual machines at once (W7 & Linux Mint). Running just one VM feels as fast as running native. GPU is better than any new notebook that I can get for $500. Screen has a matte look which I prefer, not sure if it's really matte or not tho.

    Now since you said, "The deal I can get on a new MacBook works out to same cost essentially as the used Pro.", Why would you go used? I'd say go for the 13 Macbook or find a better deal for a used MBP.
  4. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    I'd do a little more checking on that non-unibody, if I were you. If it has the fabled bad graphics chip in it, I would give it a pass. Nvidia 8600, I believe.
  5. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    I'd steer clear of the 2.33 GHz MBP--it is OLD these days. You'd be much better off with a new 2.4 GHz Macbook. That said, keep your eyes open for a used unibody MBP--they are out there and getting more affordable after the release of the new MBPs.
  6. Achiever macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    I have a pre-unibody 15" MBP which I have upgraded to 4 gb RAM and a 500 gn HDD. Love it. For Office it's more than adequate and as a light user of CS3 it does just fine for me. I don't use Quark so I cannot speak to this.

    As such I would recommend the MBP for two reasons: 1) as you said, the screen resolution on the MBP is superior and 2) the screen real estate; if you are going to be using things like CS4, screen real estate is important whenever you are not around the external monitor. The 15" here excels in a way that cannot otherwise be overcome. That said, I think the MBP only is the better option if you are prepared to upgrade the RAM and HD with an SSD possibly being an even better improvement for the system).

    One additional thing to consider will be battery life. If the MBP you are looking at has an original battery, you will likely need to think about replacing it as it likely doesn't hold its charge too well (mine does not). Here, the MB will be better. If you always use plugged into your MagSafe, though, disregard this difference.
  7. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    The screens in the current white Macbook 13" and the MBP 13" are the same, just FYI. At the current prices, I would be tempted to buy a refurbished 2010 MBP 13" ($929) over a new ($999) or refurbished ($849) MB 13"
  8. bookboy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    Thanks everyone for the input, great info, almost narrowed down here lol

    Have let go notion of older Pro and the MacBook.

    Likely ordering a refurb 13" Pro from Apple online for $979 (Canada here so is a bit more than the $929 in US) though 'my guy' from whom I've bought my last two PowerBooks has just called saying he has a Pro unibody, wondering how it might run CS4, Quark (if anyone is still using)?

    2 RAM (for now am going to leave at 2, will upgrade later)
    160 HD

    It's about $350 less than the refurb off Apple though the refurb is more current at 2.4 and 4 RAM--will it be a substantial/frustrating speed diff ie the $350 will be worth?


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