Student deciding between MB & MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ib4walrus, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. ib4walrus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #1
    So the new school year is coming up and I've decided to get a mac laptop instead of windows. I'll be going into the 11th grade however I would like to use the laptop during college years also.

    What I would use it for:
    - Music and movies viewing (over 40 GB)
    - Occasional gaming
    - Portability & durability (scratches and such really annoys me)
    - I tend to run multiple applications at a time

    I was deciding between either the mid-range MB (unless the blackbook is much better in a way) and the base MBP. Once I choose which one, should I choose to upgrade the RAM (how much would I really need?) and HD through Apple or myself (is it difficult?). I would like to get it before the school year starts but are there any new updates in the near future which I should hold out on? In the topics that I have read some users have said that the MB would not be able to handle future OSs and such so would that be an issue since I want to keep it for as long as I can. I'll be getting this by myself so I'm trying to keep costs as low as I can, however if the MBP would serve me better then I would wait out till I get more money to buy it.

    One last question should I get the Apple Protection plan? My parents almost never buy extended warranties but since this is a big investment for me I think I should. Sorry for asking so much I just like to be informed as possible before I buy something. I won't be able to buy it until I return to the US August 1.
     
  2. MacGeek7 macrumors 6502a

    MacGeek7

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    #2
    Get a MacBook.

    In terms of AppleCare, you don't have to get it right away. I got AppleCare for my MacBook just before the warranty expired a year later.
     
  3. 119576 Guest

    119576

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #3
    the MacBook is designed for exactly what you want to do.
    you're much better off with AppleCare.

    you should upgrade the RAM yourself (it's incredibly easy).
     
  4. dylangurl21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    #4
    I have used different gens of both as an undergrad and now as a grad student. If you want to take your computer with you to classes inc ollege, I'd definitely go for the MB. My MBP is just a bit too big to feel comfortable walking around (grad school its ok b/c there are less classes a day--namely 1). I think for your needs the MB should suit you fine. I also only buy my Applecare right before my year expires... I do recommend it though. Even if your battery goes dead in that 3 years..your purchase price is more than half covered.
     
  5. ib4walrus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #5
    Mb

    So I've decided to go with the MB thanks!
    But are there big differences between the mid- and high-range MB? Except for the color and HD size are they both the same?
     
  6. sargent bannana macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #6
    i say go with waht everyone else says
    1)blackbook
    2)UPGRADE YOURSELF its alot wahos flippin cheaper and it takes only 5 min u can look for a video on youtube to help
    3)apple care after the year expires

    Have fun :)
     
  7. dylangurl21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    #7
    Oh, sorry. I wouldn't go with anything higher than the mid.... but thats b/c I wouldn't pay 200 extra dollars for black.

    As for RAM/HD.. i would do both of these myself. Although, I have found that to start with, the mid range macbook fine for the sister's things.
     
  8. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #8
    It all depends on how much you want to spend. I personally wouldn't get the black one as it's a waste just to get another color. If you're looking to spend that much, though, you could upgrade the hard drive on the mid-range one to 250GB for $100 and then upgrade it to 4GB of ram yourself (probably $60-90). You'd still come out a bit ahead and your computer would definitely be able to get you through the beginning of college. Though I don't think that anything that you buy now will be able to get you through the next six years too well.

    Although some have suggested to upgrade the hard drive yourself, I wouldn't do that, at least not right now. You can upgrade it to 250GB for only $100, but buying a 250GB drive would cost you significantly more than that. That's because the $100 is close to the difference in unit price between the default 160 and the upgrade. Also, it wouldn't be under warranty either and you wouldn't be risking the chance of screwing up the upgrade. But you should definitely upgrade the memory yourself.
     
  9. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a

    kingcrowing

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #9
    Um... Get your facts straight:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152111
    and its only $38 for a 2 year replacement plan and you'd always have your original HD that you could put back in. If you're going to get out the RAM you literally just pull out the HD its no more likely that you'd screw up the HD than the RAM so if you're doing stuff yourself spend the extra $10 and you'll get a 320GB drive, and then you'll have a 160GB that you put put in an external enclosure for maybe $20 and be way better off.
     
  10. a104375 macrumors 6502

    a104375

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    Matamoras, PA
    #10
    definitely get the low-mid range mb because you can always upgrade it later when you find that you need more space or more ram
     
  11. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #11
    Do *NOT* get a Macbook if you intend to play games on it ever. Intel graphics are next to worthless. The only drawback to the Macbook Pro is it (STILL) has a sealed hard drive that's much harder to access than the typical notebook.
     
  12. capple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    #12
    just so you know.. screen quality of mb is nowhere near that of mbp.
    its alot more comfortable to look at a mbp screen.
     
  13. illidian macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #13
    If you need to game, then the Pro is your only option. The MacBook can run some of today's games, but even the lowest-end tax the chip. Trying to run games on it in six years is a joke - but then again, the card in the Pro is going to struggle quite a bit by then too depending on what kind of games you're into.

    If you can sacrifice the gaming aspect, you get a much more portable notebook (and cheaper) with the MacBook. 3D graphics (including gaming) is essentially the only compromise, from a performance standpoint.
     
  14. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #14
    I think we're a little confused on the definition of "gaming" here, so perhaps the original poster can give us more information. I've done extensive testing on my 2.2GHz MacBook and I've come to the conclusion that games released in 2004 or before will be just fine. That means games like Half Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Far Cry work just great but I wouldn't hope to get anywhere over 5fps in Crysis or Race Driver: GRID.
     
  15. ib4walrus thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 5, 2008
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    US
    #15
    In the gaming aspect, I generally play FPS like Counter Strike or old RTS like Age of Mythologyy. However, since I only play when I have a sudden urge every (other) month or so, this aspect isn't essential but I would like to know that I can be able to play when I want to.
     
  16. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #16
    Counter Strike and Age of Mythology will work fine on a MacBook.
     
  17. kjwarren macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #17
    I would go for the MBP, but that's just me.
    I have an MBP and my roomie has the blackbook. We were both able to play WoW just fine, but it's a game known for not needing a whole lot to function.

    You would probably be just fine with the MB, but just make sure you aren't going to want an MBP after a couple of months.
     
  18. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a

    kingcrowing

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #18
    I agree, If you like the MBP more get it if you can afford it, you won't regret it, its only slightly heavier (.4lbs) and it gets better battery life... so you might as well.
     
  19. dibara2003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Location:
    Hawaii!
    #19
    i would say to go for a refurb. MBP. Price wise, it's near a MB, but you still get the advantages of the pro.
     
  20. ib4walrus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #20
    Thanks for all of the help guys!
    Now I think when I return to the US I'll visit the Apple store and test out the feel of both machines to make sure I won't regret my decision in later months.

    As for refurbished items, are those from Apple really durable and dependable as users have said? I had an iPod 4th generation and when it had the infamous frown face I got it exchanged for a refurbished in return. The refurbished however only lasted for about 4 months sadly.
     
  21. dibara2003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Location:
    Hawaii!
    #21
    refurbished items are generally "better" than new as they have been thoroughly tested after being repaired. I know several people who bought refurbed macbooks and macbook pros and haven't had any issues. You still get the standard 1 year warranty as well.
     
  22. Mueslimonster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #22
    Speaking as a student myself, I would always advise to opt for a refurbished MBP.
    You will probably end up doing countless presentations or writing lots of papers and there the extra screen real-estate of the MBP comes in really handy. From personal experience, it just gets tiresome to work on such a small screen, especially due to the fact, that you can't view your research notes and your word processor, for instance, at the same time. So if this is supposed to be your only computer, do yourself a favour and get the MBP.

    The refurbished items are great value for money and from personal experience indistinguishable from a brand new unit. On top of that, you might just get lucky and get upgraded.
    I purchased a refurbished mid-range MBP, but to my surprise received the top of the line unit. So on top of my saving by going the refurbished route, I got a free CPU, RAM, GPU and HDD upgrade. Overall savings of $1500!!

    Tim
     

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