Older refurb Macbook vs New SR

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jmack549, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. jmack549 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2007
    Still debating, especially after the price drop of the refurbs.

    Here's what I do with my laptop:

    1. Chat on iChat.
    2. Browse the web.
    3. iTunes.
    4. Dual boot Windows.
    5. Very rarely torrents (for work).

    I would LOVE to save $200 on the Macbook. Is the Santa Rosa REALLY going to mean that much more to me?
  2. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    My opinion: No.

    The update is nice, don't get me wrong. I love my bright screen and my slightly faster processor, but I'm not going to lie, you don't need it for what you'll be doing. Take the extra 200 and buy yourself a new nano. :)
  3. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Everything you list is not proc intensive, and you look like you don't have a need for (slightly) better graphics or (slightly) more memory.

    Save the $200 and get the last revision. Most likely the refurb store is selling 'new' older macbooks that they cannot get rid of otherwise... But don't quote me on it.

    Anyone buy a refurb last-gen MB recently? Can you attest to it's 'newness?'
  4. What macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2006
    does the new os work better on the sr macbook than the older models? i wouldn't mind saving some money but i want the leopard to run perfectly.
  5. GStreakT macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2007
    I was actually considering this too. A refurbed would do you better. You could use the money you saved on buying something else.

    I heard that the refurbed Macs are usually good. I have yet a bad review to hear (Although I wonder if it has happened altogether) . But the box they come in won't be as fancy and designer.

    Also, would anyone know if student discounts apply to refurbished macs?
  6. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    No, they do not.
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I bought a 1.83 CD macbook not too long ago. Came looking brand new, except the box.
  8. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Of course, but not by much. It's newer, again, but not by much. ;)

    Perfect is subjective. This isn't Windows where if you don't buy the top shelf you will lose functionality. Everything will work, short of highly intensive 3D, at a decent clip. Could it be faster? Sure, but then you need to drop another thou for a pro. ;)
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    The macbooks didn't get new screens. The SR macbook should have the same screen as the C2D macbook.

    As for the OP's situation, I'm going to be the one dissenter I guess:p However, my dissent is based on a few important questions:

    1. How long do you want to keep the macbook?

    2. Are you cash strapped?

    If you intend the macbook to last for more than 2 years, then at some point, RAM will become a problem. I'm sure that your current computer usage will not remain stagnant. You will discover new programs, new interests will develop, etc. Unless you're retired and really don't do anything but email pictures of your grand kids to everyone at the home, your computer has to be ready to evolve with you. For those reasons, a C2D macbook wouldn't be the best idea right now. Since the RAM limit is 3.3GB, you might find a few years that the computer can't handle certain programs as well. With an SR macbook, the limit is superficially 4GB, but that is largely believed to be a limit imposed by the current lack of larger RAM sticks.

    Furthermore, the other minor gains like a cooler running machine, a machine with better ventilation in the back, the .1 lb weight loss (hey, it's important to some :p), and satisfaction of having a new computer might be worth your while.

    Which brings me to my question about cash. If you have the money, but are simply looking to save a few bucks because you think you'll be ok, I suggest you don't carry on with that line of reasoning. Unless you know that the macbook will be sold by next year, plan on having as recent hardware as possible.

    Finally, suppose you wait a little longer and snag a refurb SR macbook in a few weeks? That would let you have your cake and eat it too;):p
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I say always buy the newest technology you can. Unless you are cash strapped, the $200 is negligible.
  11. GStreakT macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2007
    Actually I am curious about these refurbished macs of Apple. I imagine that the very fact they have been returned means that they stand greater chances of not being defected in any way compared to a brand new Mac. But has anyone had a bad experience with them?
  12. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Jun 6, 2005
    I've bought two MacBooks refurbished (for family members). They were each flawless AND came with bonus RAM. I fully intend my next Mac to be a refurb, as well.

    The poster above made a good point about RAM... you will want more, and in two or three years, may want more than 2 GB.

    But so what? As long as you get a C2D processor, you can get up to 3.3 GB. That's going to be plenty. (If you get a CD processor, you will be limited to 2 GB, and that *might* be a distinction that makes a difference).

    Get the refurb, max the RAM.
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Would you pay $200 for a GPU upgrade, boost in VRAM, and a 33% boost in max RAM?
  14. jmack549 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2007
    Nope, and that's my main point. I'm full time in college and make $110 a week, $60 of it going to gas. $200 is a LOT of money to me.
  15. What macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2006
    I don't see how an increase in ram capacity is important because 2 gb seems more than enough for everything i do.

    i am in college so money is getting short. I can spend the extra 150 dollars (since im buying with education discount for the new one if i do) if needed, but if its not really significant, i could use the savings.
  16. koshper macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007
    I'm making the same decision myself and considering the financial aspect of your decision, you should go for the 2.16 refurb. Here's my reasons why -

    1, you save 200 dollars

    2, the kinks have all been ironed out in the 2.16 revision since it's been out longer

    3, your needs don't require a (slightly) more powerful graphics card and up to 4Gb ram

    4, a lot of people have said that the new sr macbooks screen are inferior to the previous models (unconfirmed by myself)

    Ultimately since you won't have both models at home then you're not gonna see a difference (better OR worse) so go with the cheaper model.

    Nobody complained about it before the SR version in terms of spec so why should two weeks make a difference.

    Buy it and enjoy!
  17. jmack549 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2007
    Good points. I'm 99.9% sure I'm going with a refurb. That .01% is wanting the pretty box!
  18. koshper macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007

    For what it's worth I've just ordered the 2.16 white rfb from the UK Apple store.

    Expected within the next 2-3 days, I'm so excited!

    I saved £160 (20%) off the retail value of the new sr model and since I don't believe the new model is 20% better I'm a v happy man.

    Plus I am in no doubt after reading something on apple's website about their plans for more eco friendly materials by end of 2008 - that the macbook will be aluminium by next summer so this will keep me from going crazy in the meantime.

    My first mac!
  19. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Hold on OP, I think you might have mixed up some of your numbers.

    First off, you say that you're looking for a 2.16 refurb right? Online, those are going for $1049($1050). The new macbook, with a student discount, would be $1200. The difference is a total of $150.

    Also, have you checked out your university's computer store? Many offer macbooks at an even lower price than this (the mid macbook has been offered by many universities for as low as $1000).

    I think you should check this out before you pounce.
  20. jmack549 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2007
    The low-level Macbook with my edu discount is $999. The refurb is $899. I know it's not a lot, but to some people it is. I just can't justify spending an extra $100 on something that won't make a difference to me.
  21. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    At your university store though?

    Check it out and make sure they don't have good deals. Sometimes the price will be the same, but they'll give you things you might need (Applecare, software, etc) for free.

    I don't know...I know what you mean about the money. When you don't have a lot, $100 seems like an immense amount.

    On the other hand, it all depends on how long you plan on keeping it. A new macbook might last you 6 months longer than a refurb. If you replace your computer after 3 years, the $100 "savings" end up costing you more than a new macbook would (when amortized over 3 years).

    Just food for thought.:eek:
  22. briansolomon macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2005
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I have a refurb MacBook that's been riddled with problems. It buzzes, display had to be replaced twice, there were visible signs that the case had been opened when I first got it and that could not be changed. Now the inverter is going bad....Nothing major but I'm not buying a refurb again. Was not in like new condition when I got it...You might want to keep in mind mine is a Rev. A system but still... Not worth it. Maybe you'll have better luck
  23. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    Quite the opposite for me: If it's only a 100 dollar difference, I would save up the extra money and buy it new. The long term life of the computer could end up saving you a lot more than 100 bucks.

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