Time for a new Lappy: 2.66 or 2.8 MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jamesixgun, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. jamesixgun macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2009
    Ok. My 1st generation MacBook (2Ghz CoreDuo) is on it's last legs and I've decided that it's time for an upgrade.

    I'll use the lappy for:
    1) light CS3 use
    2) gaming. Specifically Diablo 2 and hopefully Diablo 3 when it appears in 2011.
    3) the usual word processing, email, web stuff.

    I want:
    1) a 7200 rpm 320Gb HD
    2) a Matte screen

    I must have:
    1) a computer that will last and be extremely useful for a minimum of 3 years, and I would prefer something closer to 5.
    2) a computer that will spend far less time in repair than this one: 5 logic boards; 4 superdrives; 3 hard drives; 3 cases; and one entire rebuild with all new parts except for the screen.

    So. I've narrowed down to the 2.66 or the 2.8. With the upgrades I plan to have installed, the 2.66 will be $2099, and the 2.8 will be $2299.

    The question: are the video and processor upgrades worth the $200, given my needs/wants/and must haves?

    Thanks in advance for your help/advice!
  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    In my opinion you'd be making a big mistake if you bought any of Apple's computers right now. This is especially true if you're interested in gaming - the performance to price ratio is so ridiculously weighted towards price that it's just not funny any more.

    Nothing you've said that you want to do is exclusive to OS X, so there's really no reason to narrow your choice down to a single manufacturer. In fact, any game will run far better under Windows than OS X, primarily because graphics drivers in Apple's OS have been junk for a long time and even with Snow Leopard they still are. That combined with the awful job that many companies do of porting games to OS X makes the MacBook Pro a bad choice for any gamer.

    To help you out, I had a look at Dell's store to see what they have on offer, and it might surprise you. I compared the Dell Studio XPS 16 to the Apple MacBook Pro 15" with the options you mentioned.

    2.8GHz Core 2 Duo
    4GB RAM
    ATI Mobility RADEON HD 4670 1GB
    500GB 7200rpm HDD
    16" LED backlit display with 1920x1200 resolution
    2 Year Warranty
    PRICE: $1649

    2.66GHz Core 2 Duo
    4GB RAM
    nVidia GeForce 9600M GT 512MB
    320GB 7200rpm HDD
    15" LED backlit display with 1440x900 resolution
    1 Year Warranty
    PRICE: $2099

    According to this website, the GPU in the MacBook Pro you are considering scores 6077 in 3DMark 06. This compares to 7620 for the GPU in the Dell machine.

    It's really a no-brainer to me. If you buy the Dell you will get significantly better gaming performance and a machine which will last much longer as a result and you get that for less money than Apple wants.

    Now I'm not saying you should buy this specific laptop, but it is astounding just how much more you can get for your money if you have a look somewhere other than the Apple Store. If you can, wait until October and buy a machine once they're shipping with Windows 7. It's not that bad if you have to buy now though since all of Dell's machines are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes along.

    Good luck!

    (PS: Apple has never sold a single core Intel based laptop)
  3. jamesixgun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2009
    @neiltc13: thanks for the advice, but 1) my CS3 is the Mac version; 2) I did, after all, post this on a mac forum; 3) Longevity and ease of use are my main concerns, not price, and I've had nothing but trouble from windows-based machines.

    As to:

    And you're right. . . I mispoke. It is not an Intel Core2Solo. It is an Intel CoreDuo. . . Apologies. Let's see if I can edit that. . .
  4. snakesqzns macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2007
    Diablo 3 will be a generation (or two) beyond the 9600M GT. I suspect it will still be playable at reduced settings though.
  5. jamesixgun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2009
    I am sort of afraid of D3 being beyond the capabilities of any mac I buy today, but expect to be able to play at minimum settings, if not slightly better. If it ends up that D3 is unplayable on the computer, well I'll curse a bit and then look for a way to replace/upgrade.

    I did think about getting a 13" mbp and planning to hold on to it long enough to find out the D3 reqs, then buy another new computer, but the glossy screen really bugs me, and I feel a bit silly purchasing a computer that I know I'm just going to turn around and replace in two years or so.

    Actually, I'd love to be able to keep using this macbook, but it's having increasing issues, and I've spent more than the purchase price on repairs (by about two times). I really have no desire to a) pay for yet another repair or b) loose a bunch of data because the hard drive dies during a backup (again), so it's time to upgrade.
  6. TonyBaloney macrumors regular

    May 7, 2007
    Katy, TX
    At one point Apple did in fact sell a particular mac mini with a CoreSolo... Just saying :)
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Perhaos, but it made for a really ****ty laptop, now didn't it. Plus you'd have to carry around that LCD.

    Personally, I'd buy a MBP later. If the next MBP doesn't come with a better video card capable of possibly supporting Diablo 3, I guess you can blame me. However, the game is coming out in the far future, so it's difficult to say whether any laptop video card that's commonly found/available in laptops today will run it smoothly. All we can do is guess. Perhaps the next MBP, which may have a better video card, wouldn't run it well either. If you wait, and this is the end result, then you'll wonder why you ever waited at all!!!

    Buy the 15" MBP now, get the slower model. In 2 years, sell it and get a newer one. If the MBP gets a much better video card in 1 year, then perhaps sell the current 15" MBP in 1 year.

    EDIT: And yes, I do think it's silly to plan such a purchase around the release of a single video game in 2011, but I'm not a gamer, so what do I know? :eek:
  8. jamesixgun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2009
    @Abstract: thanks for the advice on waiting/buying a cheaper model. . .

    Long story short (for anyone who cares):

    I went to order the 2.66. In my excitement I typed in my cc # incorrectly. . . 3 times. . . got a message to call Apple, said "screw" and cancelled the order.

    Thought about it all day yesterday and most of the night, and decided to go 13" despite the glossy screen.

    Woke up this morning, went to the apple store, got a sales guy, pointed at the lappy and said "I want that."

    So, I am now the pleased (if not proud) owner of a 2.53 13" mbp.

    FYI: it plays D2 waaaaaay better than the rev A macbook: the fans don't ramp up, it doesn't get ludicrously hot, and it has about 15% faster fps. Tomorrow, I'll install CS3 and see how it plays with Snow Leopard.

    FYI2: the new macs do not come with Snow Leopard pre-installed (mine didn't anyway), but there's a disk in the box. I installed SL straight away, before migrating data or anything and it had me a bit worried: blank screen for ~40 minutes, then a re-start and now 10.6 meh.
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Get a mac. Neil3ek or whatever his name is hates mac and its obvious in every...single...post....

    Not to mention Dell is trash as of late. Every single new dell our work has got has crappy trackpads and failing western digital harddrives. We're talking 30% of the new computers and we order in the hundreds.

    But buy if you wish...

    EDIT: Oops I see you bought your mac. Glad you are happy with your purchase! :)
  10. Sndsrtaud macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2009
    Melbourne Beach, Florida
    Agreed chrono. My wife's company buys loaded Dells for their employees. They get hot, have lousy trackpads, constantly have keys falling off and the hinges and locking mechanisms are second rate.

    She's envious of my MBP.

Share This Page