Stumped! Which macbook would you buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ozreth, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. ozreth, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #1
    So I'm looking at buying an 08 aluminum MacBook, here are my two options:

    2.0 ghz
    320gb @ 7200
    4gb
    9400m
    $500

    2.4 ghz
    250gb @5400
    2gb
    9400m
    $650

    The problem is while I can upgrade ram and HDD on the second one, I'll always be stuck with the 2.0 on the first one. But the first one is only 500, the second is 150 more plus the money to upgrade (at least) the ram and probably HDD.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    Have you checked out the geekbench scores for the two configurations? They might not be as far apart as you think. More RAM and a faster HDD will probably make more of a difference than .4 Ghz difference in CPU speed.

    I was in the store the other day and they were selling a used iMac 3.06 Ghz for around $1400. I ran geekbench on the thing and it ran slower than our slowest Intel Mac Mini. I don't know what those guys did to the thing but it was S L O W. Before you buy a machine, run geekbench on it to see if it is performing at or better than the specs when it was new.
     
  3. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    You didn't say what you were intending to use it for. Perhaps performance doesn't really matter (browsing, itunes, office apps) in which case the lower cost choice makes the most sense. And unless you are processing video or doing some other processor intensive task, the lower cost system might actually run faster since it has the faster hard drive and more RAM.
     
  4. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #4
    Good call. I won't be using it for anything intensive (light imovie and learning photoshop will be the heaviest things). I'll do the occasional gaming in windows but they should both be the same (assuming I upgrade the 2.4 machines ram to 4gb).

    I guess my only concern is knowing I will eventually give the 2.4 machine 4gb of ram and a 7200 HDD, making it a better machine but costing around 200 more for only a slight increase in processing power.

    Also, the 2.0 was owned by an elderly couple, so it could possibly be in better condition (pristine according to them, havent seen it yet though).

    Im leaning towards the 2ghz. As far as geek bench I've never actually used it, I'll have to figure it out when I get home before I try it on some other peoples computers : ) Good advice though.
     
  5. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #5
    I know the processor isn't a ton faster but its still cheaper to upgrade ram and storage than a processor. even if you didn't do it right away. A 4 GB ram upgrade is dirt cheap for that computer now. Not to mention a new harddrive as well. you should have no problem doing those upgrades relatively affordably. even if you have to wait a few weeks or months. I've always told people pay more for what you can't upgrade yourself. The geekbench might be worth doing though.
     
  6. biohead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    West Drayton, UK
    #6
    The 2.4GHz model comes with a backlit keyboard, whereas the 2.0Ghz model doesn't. Does that make a difference?

    Here's the Mac system geekbench typical scores: http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/

    My 2.4GHz comes in with a Geekbench score of 3413 (with 4Gb RAM).

    Typical values of the 2GHz one are 2800.
     
  7. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    The backlit keyboard on is really nice. I dont think I could live without it, but for $150 plus a necessary RAM upgrade on the 2.4 I would say the 2.0 is the better deal. I would get that and throw in a SSD and you would be very happy.
     
  8. briansolomon macrumors 6502

    briansolomon

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    #8
    Bigger HDD and more Ram is more important than 400 Mhz. Plus it's a $150 cheaper. It's a no-brainer. Go with the $500. That's a steal. And faster harddrive. I understand it's easy to upgrade components especially if you are so inclined, but it's nice not having to take apart your machine if you really don't have to!
     
  9. ozreth, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    bbaaahhh! you are all making sense, which dosen't help : )

    I'll have to ponder this, I'll let you know what I decide. Feel free to continue commenting. It helps.

    How much can RAM be had for? I dont mind if it isn't from apple as long as it is %100 compatible and works as well.
     
  10. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #10
    Meh, looks like it'll run me around $100 for another 2gb. Gonna go with the 2.0ghz, hopefully I dont change my mind by tomorrow :) Thanks guys!
     
  11. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #11
    Bumping to get some last opinions on this before I pull the plug today :)
     
  12. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    OK, I'll add a last thought. I just realized that I've got the 2.4GHz model you are looking at. I ended up upgrading both the RAM to 4GB and the hard drive (7200 RPM hybrid), which does show I found that lacking. I said before to get the 2.0GHz model and I'll stick by that!

    (You might appreciate the 2.4GHz model's lighted keyboard if you use your computer in darkened rooms and don't touch type. But I haven't found that particularly important.)
     
  13. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Go for the 2.0 and enjoy it. Thats a good deal and you wont miss the backlit keyboard if you never had it to begin with.
     
  14. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #14
    you should not have to pay 100 for the ram, that will be in the 50 range.
     
  15. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #15
    So 50 for ram, say 80 for the HDD? Thats almost 800. At that point I'm approaching what I could probably find a 2010 13" pro for used.

    In what kind of situations will I notice the .4ghz increase?
     
  16. jegbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    #16
    I agree. Check www.macsales.com, newegg, and 18004memory.com.

    I would think for a $100 or thereabouts you should be able to upgrade the RAM to 4GB and get a 7200 RPM drive.

    So, is one of these a plastic MacBook and one a unibody aluminum? Or did the original aluminum MacBook 2.0 not have the lighted keyboard and the 2.4 had it?

    I love the lighted keyboard and when you want, you really enjoy it. But the times you need it tend not to be all the frequent in reality.

    If they are the exact same body, the 2.0 is probably fine. But if one is plastic and the other aluminum, the ports might be different.

    It's a tough call. .4 GHz doesn't sound like much, but percentage-wise, it's 25% faster, which seems pretty significant.

    That said, for what you need to do, the speed may not make that much difference, and the $500 machine is ready to rock out of the box.

    And with Time Machine, there's no reason you couldn't sell it down the road and buy something different. Do you have an external drive for Time Machine currently? OWC (macsales.com) provides drive upgrades with a case for your old drive, so *having* to buy another drive could be good, as you could use what you take out as your Time Machine drive.

    Rambling now.

    Good luck!

    Post back with your decision. :)
     
  17. jegbook, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

    jegbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    #17
  18. jegbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    #18
    Rendering in iMovie are effects in Photoshop...
    Most other kinds of things probably not so much.

    Probably just go for the 2.0 that is ready out of the box. Babied by a nice old couple. :)
     
  19. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #19
    Welp, I'm an idiot and waited too long. The 2.0 has been sold. Thanks for the advice guys, looks like my decision just got a little easier :p
     

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