Unibody MBP or early 2008 MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zer0tails, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Hi, power wise/small screen the macbook air didn't cut it and I've decided to go back to a MBP. i was hoping some of you could give me some input so I can make the correct choice.

    I'm contemplating getting the Unibody 2.66 GHz model for 2199 + tax (Using ADC discount).


    the refurbished 2.5 GHz MBP for $1599 + tax.

    It's going to be my all purpose work laptop running scientific programs, wireshark, and huge excel sheeets, managing databases. Will be traveling often with it.

    This laptop should last me 3 years. I like the keyboard on the unibody and the better build quality but am unsure about the glossy screen. I like the early 2008 MBP because of it's great price and the fact that it's a proven performer i.e. not rev A.
  2. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I was in your shoes when the Unibody came out.
    I got a very good deal on an demo-model of the 2.5 classic MBP
    and went for that.
    The convenience of having both FW400 and FW800 was important to me as well as the price. (Yes I can use a FW800 to 400 cable, but I don´t always remember to take a cable along with me, and I often transfer lots of gigabytes to clients etc when away from home (HD footage)).

    The big difference to me in these 2 computers is the build quality, the new one feels much more solid.

    I plan to use this MBP for 3 years, and then keep it for another 2 years for everyday tasks.

    My wife still use our 4,5 year old ibook everyday, my iMac that I sold to get this MBP (needed portability) I had for over 2,5 and I could have used it easily for another 2 years I think.

    I was using it to edit HDV and EX HD footage on it without probrms. Rendering took awhile, but it still does on my MBP.

    I think both MBP will last you equally long if you take care of them.
  3. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    thanks for your response yoak. since i'll be traveling with this around a lot I am wondering if it's worth paying abit more for the unibody just for the added durability.
  4. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    The classic MBP is a better deal over the long term if it's a refurb direct from Apple. Buy it with Applecare and you may well end up with a free (updated) replacement from Apple before 3 years is up (due to the design flaws in the nVidia 8600M GT.)
  5. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    I would go with the UMBP. For one, it has more up to date hardware. It also has a better build quality. And, it will have a higher resale value.

    The glossy screen shouldn't bother you, as long as you aren't going to be working with it outside a lot, or editing photos (not family photos, where exact true color doesn't matter).

  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I've had my MBP for 3 years now and it travels back and forth from Boston to Switzerland. I use it for similar things- root/linux, excel, running scripts, and some custom software for my particular experiments. It's still in nearly perfect condition and I've never had any durability issues with it. Having handled the new unibodies, I honestly don't get the sense that it's "more sturdy."

    I have a glossy screen, and don't really have a problem with glare. I honestly think this is more of a perception thing- people who want to notice it tend to notice it more.
  7. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    can anyone here tell me if faster processor speed i.e. CTO to 2.93 GHz will be noticeable in multitasking?
  8. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    There will be a difference of maybe 6-10% based purely on clock speed but it still a dual core processor. If you're gonna be keeping the machine for 3 years then get the maximum processor you can afford
  9. colickyboy macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    I hate the glossy screen. Many others do too. So regarding the comment on higher resale value for the unibody MBP, that's only true if the purchaser doesn't mind the glossy screen. If the buyer doesn't like the glossy screen, then the early 2008 MBP will have the higher resale value. It's all relative.

    I need FW400. I don't want to buy an 800-to-400 adapter or whatever.

    The build quality of the unibody MBP may be better than the early 2008 MBP, but the early 2008 MBP is still solidly built. It wasn't a dealbreaker for me.

    It will be a very minor difference in processor speed. It's not like we're talking quad cores vs dual cores here.

    Not sure whether you're made of money, but a $600 difference is huge to me when the two are so comparable. I don't really see why this is even up for debate. Buy the early 2008 MBP and either buy new versions of your scientific software with the $600 you saved or donate the $600 to charity.

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