Qualms about potential MB purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by weilawei, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. weilawei macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    I have 3 dead desktop computers, and 4 dead video cards. All were well behind the curve. I'm currently posting this on a desktop which isn't mine.

    I'd like to purchase a Mac, less for the power than for the OS. I'm a programmer, doing work in two primary areas: systems work and statistics. I'm very comfortable in *nix environments and always have a terminal open.

    The large issue here is my limited budget and need for computing power. I understand that a laptop isn't ideal for this--but I need -a- computer and I'd really prefer one that I can take to the local coffee shop and work on.

    So here's how it breaks down. I have a budget which maxes out around $1500. I can barely afford that as it is.

    Most of the time, I can cope with limited computing power. (As my computers died, I was forced to use a P3 933mhz with 512mb of RAM.) The systems end of my work isn't really dependent on power so much--after all, most of it will run on another platform eventually.

    The statistical area is less demanding in raw cycles than in memory. It's very helpful to have a lot of space to cram data in. Time/space trade-offs are rampant.

    I'd really love to have a dedicated video card, but it isn't an option in the MB. GPUs are better suited for parallel processing. Also, CUDA is available on the 8600M GT.

    In my spare time, I'm -usually- listening to music, browsing the web, looking at stupid pictures. I'm less of a gamer than I used to be, but I still like to play the occasional game of HL2 and TFC. (Yes, I'm well aware these aren't typically supported, but I'm used to playing them under Linux with Wine--and compiling stuff doesn't scare me in the least.)

    So with all these factors in mind, what would people suggest in terms of: purchase time-frame/release cycles, base model, options? Also, I'd like to hear from people if they have any experience doing work/recreation in my particular areas.
  2. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    At this minute there is a MB Pro on the refurb page for $1449. It won't be there long but it will be back.
  3. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    There's your limiting factor. In that range you can get yourself a 20" iMac, which will have a dedicated graphics card or a Macbook which has portability. Since portability seems more important to you than game playing, I would go with the 2.4 MHz Macbook.

    Although I prefer working at a desk, I recently bought a Macbook because I travel. It is the first laptop I have owned that I haven't felt was a compromise. The processor is fast and the screen size is adequate. I am no gamer but it is fine for the occasional game. Look for refurbs to save a little extra.
  4. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    I'd go refurb Macbook Pro 15" If you can score one for around $1400-$1500, keep your eyes open on the apple refurn page that would do everything you want, and I just got 4GB of RAM for my macbook Pro for $52 on newegg too.
  5. sahni130 macrumors 6502


    Jun 25, 2008
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    GET the refurbished macbook pro from apple's website, it should be around $1449 or something like that but it won't be there for long so get one as soon as you can and you will not be disappointed at all.
  6. Indohottie macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
    third teh refurbished macbook pro .. or imac if portability is not necessary..
  7. sahni130 macrumors 6502


    Jun 25, 2008
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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