Packages: You pick I buy! :P (MB vs MB 2.4 vs MBP 2.4)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by darshan, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. darshan macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    hey guys...

    ive posted few threads n u guys have been great in answering my questions...

    i just need final help before finalizing the purchase...

    ** all macbooks mentioned are the new aluminum macbooks
    *** all macbook pro mentioned are the older gen macbook pros

    Macbook 2.0 + 4 GB of ram + 320 GB HDD upgrade in future *may not purchase the hard drive if i find my lacie external 1 TB USB 2.0 drive to be of help* but as always onboard drives are much more useful n practical then external

    cost = roughly 1300$


    Macbook 2.0 + Dell S2409W 24-inch Screen for extended desktop use

    cost = roughly $1350

    *** if i do this then ram upgrade will have to wait till summer... when prices come down n i have accumulated enough cash to buy it (im a student so ye it'll take a while)


    Macbook 2.4 + 4 GB of ram (*no need for additional on board storage as 250 is more then enough IMO*)

    cost = $1400


    Macbook 2.4 + Dell S2409W 24-inch Screen for extended desktop use

    cost = $1600


    Macbook Pro 2.4 (older gen) + 4GB upgrade on DDR2 ram (70$ max)

    cost = $1400

    Package 6

    Macbook Pro 2.4 (REFURB) (older gen) + 4 gb ram upgrade + Dell S2409W 24-inch Screen for extended desktop use

    cost = $1500

    Package 7

    Macbook Pro 2.4 + Dell S2409W 24-inch Screen for extended desktop use

    cost = 1600

    1) what do you guys think is an good deal?

    2) does any one know how well the Dell Screen performs with the macbooks? (i heard there are alot of flickering problems with alot of different screens (does this seem to have it?)

    3) how often do users use this monitor? is it worth the spending extra $360 CND (300 USD)?

    4) the only reason for the upgrade on external monitor (besides the wow-cool-awsome factor) is the blacklevel difference between the new MB vs MBP... are they really that bad? (would i really care/notice if/unless i have the two side by side for constant comparision?)

    4) is it necessary to do 4 GB upgrade? i mean i was using a laptop with 512 ram for over 2 years before i decided to upgrade it to 2gb ... n i think its a good strategy to make ur computer feel faster (i.e. wait for a while before upgrading just so that u feel (psychologically) that ur computer has been "Re-amped" and that its not slugging behind the latest laptops...

    5) portability is not that big of an issue but still how bad is MBP in competition with MB (im a uni student (barely take my laptop to classes thou)) - the only time i need portability is when im taking my laptop to the library (which is usually during exam time)

    lastly, an i mentioned before, im a student

    things i do with my laptop:
    downloading, unzipping rar files (regularly), looking but not sure whether or not ill follow up with video editing (perhaps youtubing), movie/tv watching, microsoft word

  2. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Right now, there are way too many packages that you're thinking about. I'll help you narrow it down a little bit.
    Package 1 would be one of my top choices. It's an affordable upgrade for a powerful computer, but you'll be missing out on some minor upgrades such as a more powerful processor and backlit keyboard. I don't find those a major issue, but those upgrades just make the computer look better and slight improvements on performance.
    Package 2 is not the best choice. A 13.3" screen isn't that bad and if you want an external monitor, you'll have to get yourself a keyboard and mouse for better usage, otherwise the monitor isn't that useful. It's useful if you plan on watching lots of movies and pro apps.
    I prefer Package 3 over 4, as I already stated why an external monitor may not be useful. Package 3 is also a decent upgrade over the 1st package, but if you don't need the extra power and backlit keyboard... it's not worth the upgrade then.
    Package 5 isn't that bad as well. It's actually a good choice too. If you want to go for the Pro, make sure you actually take advantage of the power and screen, as the Pro is only worth the money for some intensive work, but for only 100 more than the 1st package which is pretty nice.
    I won't worry about package 6. 15.4" is pretty big.
    Okay, I am going to compare package 1 and 3 to 6. The previous MBP has a processor that's about the same as package 3 and is built from many different parts of aluminum. If you need Firewire, then you'll want to get the Pro. According to CNET, the performance is about the same compared to the White and Black MBs. If you want to work with some intensive apps, all 3 packages will work, but the Pro was built for working w/ Pro apps. All three have decent graphics. I would get the Pro if you don't care about portability, as the price difference between packages 1 and 3 isn't that big.
  3. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    i would get package 5 and consider a hard disk upgrade. you can get a samsung 500gb for US$175 easy which will give better performance and the obvious storage advantage, though speed is key here really for you it seems.

    the refurb MBP offers larger, nicer lcd. matte screen. significantly better graphics performance than the new MB.

    the need for a 24-inch monitor would depend on your usage patterns and applications, but really, in this case I would not trade in on performance. if you watch a lot of movies with other people, that might sway me...

    as for ram question, it depends what you're doing - how many apps your run concurrently, etc... but frankly, at the cost of ram these days, why not.
  4. darshan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    firstly thx guys for the reply... i know it was a long post...

    but ye guess i understand what u guys are saying about package 5

    however, i was just reading forum posts and people have complained about the heating of the older gen MBP and also the sometimes faulty nvidia logicboard...

    those seem to be too big of factors to go ignored...

    i know that apple will fix it if the problem does come within a warranty but what if it comes after (and im not lookin to purchase an extended warranty for the MBP as i wasted it on my dell inspiron 6000 (no problem ever came on it)
  5. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    re: the graphics issue

    apple is providing an extra year of warranty for issues relating to the 8600gt. that being said, while there are still some sceptics and nothing is hard and fast, recent revisions of logic boards appear to be a revision which apple employees say are fine. not a watertight guarantee, but a pretty good bet considering the 2 year warranty.

    as for heating, they do get warm. and so does the macbook. a price you pay. my experience is that even when the fans are going full bawl at 6000rpm they're not 'whiny' or particularly loud.

    it seems like an easy choice to me unless you want more portability (MBP is a little bulky, though the weight is not a great difference) or want a huge screen for something like watching movies...

  6. darshan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    arent the new macbooks significantly cooler in performance compare to older gen macbook and macbook pro


    sry if i didnt clearify
  7. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    yes, yes. the unibody MB, it was clear from the pricing. i don't think the temps, even under load were ever that bad for me either with a classic MBP or a MB. but the new unibody MB is meant to run cooler. the redesign has also meant that some hot areas that bothered people is now in other areas.

  8. darshan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
  9. darshan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    edit: guys i would really like more then 2 opinions (even thou they have been very helpful i'd just like some insights on what other people would choose had they been in my shoes
  10. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Package #3. I think that is a great computer and I wouldn't get the Dell screen. Maybe later if you really think you need it.
  11. CoreyMac macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    Package 3 is the exact thing im purchasing from Apple this week...... 2.4GHz MacBook/4GB RAM/250GB HD

    So im going to say that one :)
  12. holysmoke macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2008
    yeah, 3 is the best
  13. StuBeck macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2008
    Package 7

    I really dislike the glass screens, but it is better than the previous glossy MB screens. I would upgrade to 4GB RAM since its so cheap and will help sometimes. Getting a great external display like the one you posted is a good idea since it will last a long time and will be a lot better than the built in screen.
  14. snessiram macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Let me start by summing op some pro/cons of the different options you have in your different packages and also throw in the white macbook. As I might be mistaken sometimes, feel free to correct me.
    (+ = pro, - = con, o = depending on personal opinion)

    White macbook
    + Lighter than macbook pro, heavier than aluminium macbook.
    + Firewire 400.
    + Smaller than macbook pro.
    o No Displayport but mini-dvi.
    o Plastic is possibly more durable than aluminium, which is stronger. Please do not start arguing about this.
    o Runs quite hot. I have a coreduo macbook and I find it acceptable, certainly after I undervolted my cpu with CoolBook. As far as I know later core2duo macbooks are already a lot cooler. Check it out for yourself if you want to be sure.
    - Smaller screen (and resolution) then macbook pro.
    - Cracking problem (personally haven't really had the problem on my 1.5 year-old white macbook), but can be fixed even out of warranty if I read it right.
    - "Weak" integrated graphics card.
    - CCFL screen.
    - Screen less good than macbook pro (black levels etc.).

    Aluminium macbook 2.0
    + Glass multitouch trackpad.
    + Smaller than macbook pro.
    + Lighter than macbook pro.
    + Led screen.
    + Better graphics card than white macbook, less than macbook pro.
    + Runs very cool.
    o Displayport. Can output dual dvi, adapters are a little bit pricier and there appear to be problems with various monitors
    o Aluminium is possibly less durable than plastic but it is stronger. Please do not start arguing about this.
    - No firewire.
    - Smaller screen (and resolution) than macbook pro.
    - Screen less good than macbook pro (black levels etc.)
    - Ultraglossy screen.
    - Various current problems you can find info about on these forums. Question is on how many units this actually happens and if it's already fixed.

    Aluminium macbook 2.4
    Everything from the 2.0 with addition of:
    + Backlit keyboard.
    + More cpu power.

    Old macbook pro
    + Led screen.
    + Dedicated graphics card.
    + Better screen.
    + Bigger screen.
    + Multitouch trackpad.
    + Matte screen option.
    + Firewire 400 + 800.
    + Backlit keyboard.
    + More cpu power than 2.0 aluminium macbook and white macbook?
    o No displayport but does have dual dvi.
    o Runs quite hot? (no experience here)
    o Aluminium is possibly less durable than plastic but it is stronger. Please do not start arguing about this.
    - Graphics problem?

    External screen
    + Much more workspace than on a laptop screen (both macbook and macbook pro), certainly handy if you want to put things next to each other (browser + word document for example).
    + Much bigger, certainly handy if you want to watch a movie (with friends).
    + Better colors etc than on a laptop screen (I'm not sure about the macbook pro).
    + Allows a better sitting position as the screen is more at eye-height. (this is mostly assuming you're using it as your primary monitor with an external keyboard and mouse)

    4GB ram upgrade
    + Might give better speed if you actually use it.

    So I would say... look over the possibilities... look at what you really need/want and see what the price of all that would be.

    Looking at your packages seems to give me the impression that you absolutely want to spend at least a certain amount of money. Why buy more then you need?

    Here's an idea: Suppose you don't need to spend more then $1000 to get what you want/need. You could sell your machine before your warranty is over, combine it with the cash you saved by not spending it the first time and buy a new machine with:
    - Snow Leopard
    - A fresh warranty
    - Possibly upgraded specifications
  15. halogan macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    I'd go for package 4. You need a portable computer and that's exactly what the new MB is. Plus that 24" is great for long time work or some video stuff.

    If you want to save some cash and don't need that extra CPU and backlit keyboard... then go for package 2.

    I'd wait with that RAM upgrade until... let's say summer. The price will go downhill.

    (I bought my 533 DDR2 1 GB for nearly $150 2yrs ago, now it's like $25 or so)
  16. darshan thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    the reason why i was looking in to the bigger screen is because macbook has such poor black levels... i mean i had the previous whitebook and i found it to be decent when it came to watching a movie... but now that the whole talk around forum is going about... i feel like im more SELF-conscious towards the whole screen thing...

    however bigger screen should be helpful especially since it has an hdmi input jack (incase i decided to put the xbox360 in my room)... but practically speaking THE QUESTION I NEED HELP ANSWERING ... is it really worth it?
    i mean the kind of guy i am... i dont like to sit on the desk and work alot so even if i get a big screen it'll likely be across my bed (kinda wall mounted) for movies alone... i doubt ill be doing alot of "work" on it (mayb occationally when im writing up a report and constantly need to shift between many screens)

    in terms of ram... i was thinkin holding it off till later... just cuz i heard with x64 bit OS-X snow leopard will be able to utilize more ram...
    im wondering in your opinion if macbooks will be able to support the more ram (or will it need an entirely new logic board (say, in the next update you maybe able to upgrade the ram to 6-8gb)

    you're right about the ram and the price drop it experiences in a short period of time...

    either way if i was planning to buy a ram ill be buying it when snow leopard comes out... or try to put it off untill i really need it...

    its just my psychology, that once the computer starts to feel slow... that boost in ram will make it faster (hence ultimately feeling like new again)

    so even in later years i'd feel content with my system


    and since i heard in terms of the difference between 2.0 vs 2.4 there isnt that much of cpu difference i'd rather get the 2.0 n the screen

    what do you think? but then again with the new OS right around the corner... n rumored to be built for speed... how much well that .4 will be in terms of performance...

    and for that matter, how will the 2.4 alu with faster frontside bus be in respect to 2.4 macbook pro... with the release of snow leopard

    this is something that will help me greatly with makin up my mind, and perhaps future-proofing my choice
  17. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Out of curiosity, how are you getting the high end alu macbook and 4GB RAM for $1400?
  18. MidMoTiger macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    Central Missouri
    I have same question, looking to buy a 2.4 MB this week.

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