Upgraded White MacBook or New Aluminum MacBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stephalope, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. stephalope macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2008
    So, my 12inch Powerbook G4 is dead and I am looking to buy a new laptop but I am torn.

    My schools computer store is selling the white 13-inch Macbook 2.4ghz, 2g ram, 250g hard drive, with fire wire 400 port for $999 with a free printer (which I don't want, but could sell, retail $99). This is not the standard white Macbook sold online right now, it is the Macbook that was $1199 over the summer and my computer store is trying to sell out there stock. OR I could buy the more aesthetically pleasing, aluminum 13-inch Macbook 2.0ghz, 2g ram, 160g hard drive, with no fire wire port for $1249.

    Pro's/Con's? I feel like the white macbook is a better value (better specs, firewire [just got a usb/firewire terabyte external]) but the aluminum's sex appeal is hard to turn down.

    What would you do?
  2. raxafarian macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    I would buy the white one and then maybe sell it and get the next macbook revision if they actually put better processors in them at that time.

    Buying a 2.0ghz at this point in time is a bit silly, imo.
  3. briansolomon macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2005
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Everything else aside I would never consider a white macbook if I had a choice. The cases are flawed. Crack easily, squeaking, chip easily.
  4. castanzarules macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2008
    My 2.0 Aluminum hasn't let me down. It is gorgeous! I find myself missing firewire sometimes though:( My parents have a miniDV camcorder and it would be nice to be able to transfer video from it, but thats an argument for a different thread.

    I think it comes down to two things - whether you want your new Mac to look sexy or not and money. From your description, I'm assuming you won't be doing any processer/graphics-intensive work so, performance-wise, you most likely won't notice a huge difference between the machines.

    I say go with the newer model but I am biased.
  5. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    I think that the new MB's faster clock speed on the FSB and memory, as well as the updated graphics card, outweighs the white MB's 400 extra mhz. The ram is user-upgradeable, so you can always bump yourself from 2GB to 4GB if you so desire at a later date. For longevity and functionality, I'd take the new MB over the old one. You'll see greater performance improvements with the new MB's when Snow Leopard comes out as well.
  6. ccolaco macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    I'd go with the aluminum MacBook. just $250 more and you get faster proc, ram and graphics. not to mention resale value.
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    :rolleyes: My first-gen BlackBook hasn't cracked, squeaked, or chipped in 28 months of ownership.
  8. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008

  9. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    Well, speak for yourself. I have a white Macbook from September 2006 and I'm on my 3rd top case that I got from Apple, tonight. Thank God for Applecare or I would be out a couple hundred bucks from all the times my case chipped. :rolleyes: Don't get me wrong, I love my Macbook and it's been my favorite laptop, but it's been in for repairs a lot... I've gotten 3 top case replacements, a new battery, a new logic board, the inverter replaced several times (and my screen is still flickering). Applecare was the best $180 I've ever spent! LOL.
  10. timsutcliffe macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007

    I'd go aluminium. The specs for the white one seem better, and it's a good price, but it is the previous model, so resale value will be less. If the processor speed is important, then you could save a little longer and get the 2.4 aluminium.

    I also think that the new aluminium ones feel really solid to hold and to carry around, as well as being a little lighter and thinner.

    In reality, you won't be unhappy whichever you choose.
  11. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    I faced that exact same dilemma and I went with the new Aluminum 2.0 and I have absolutely no regrets. It has a look and feel of quality that the white one never will. Plus the LED-backlit screen rocks! And, for me anyways, it seems to run much cooler all the time -- and as hard as I try, I can't even hear the hard drive inside; this thing is absolutely silent. And the new unified trackpad is a great feature too (once you get used to it). I just love the three-finger-sideswipe to page back and forward in Safari. Sure the lack of FireWire sucks, I've got a Canon FW camcorder that I can't use with it anymore, but now much better USB camcorders cost half as much. My advice, get the Aluminum -- you won't regret it! :apple:
  12. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If you need the graphics card, get the aluminum. Otherwise, white will be fine for what you do.
  13. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    As an owner of the White MacBook myself, "Late 2007 Model" which is the same as the model on sale now (Except larger hard drive and more memory standard).

    The White MacBook is good, but for some things it's not so good.

    - The MacBook's graphics card is crap. I have really bad problems with screen tearing. When scrolling through the dock, icons seem to mash together. And even video on iTunes suffers. Screen tearing happens when watching video podcasts, TV shows and Movies, and can be really annoying.

    - The MacBook gets very hot (Don't think this is as much as an issue with the new model) but I have clocked my MacBook at around 78c. This also causes this problem:

    - Cracks! Just by doing a simple Google search, you'll find this, I have been plagued with these problems, and even it's a known design fault, Apple still won't change the grooves at the top of the screen. This is very annoying, they will also only replace cracks on the keyboard plate, not on any other area of the plastic, unless you have an :apple:Care warranty. Most cracks happen on the bottom/fan area due to the heat!

    - The Memory on the new MacBook is also DDR3 instead of DDR2 so it'll be faster than the previous generation of the MacBook. And it can also be upgraded to 8GB (I think?) instead of 4GB.

    - Another question to ask yourself is whether a SuperDrive comes with the White MacBook, I know mine didn't.

    So, I would go with the Aluminum MacBook. Theres also mre reasons to go with the aluminum model, like an LED display, mini-display port (Which you'll see in future Mac products)

    Hope this helps...
  14. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2007
    Stretch to the Alu and it'll be a great laptop for many years allowing you to enjoy and benefit from Snow Leopard.

    Overall your total additional investment will pay you back each and everyday you use it, including the day you finally sell it when a realistic portion of the additional cost will come back to you...

    The Alu is the generation of Macbooks for the next few years - the white macbook was from the generation of the last few years...
  15. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Apple made significant progress with cooling on the new models - my new aluminium one is much, much cooler than my previous 2.2GHz black MacBook.
  16. therealdt macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2008
    northeast region
    That extra 250, can be spent on accessories, or elsewhere. If the WB has a superdrive, I say go fot it.
  17. yojimbo1 macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2006
    The aluminum MB is in the refurb store for $1,099
  18. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2005

    Yup!!! Buying accessories (more RAM, another hard drive) makes more sense. And if you get tired of the white MB, you can sell it before your 1 year warranty ends and get the newest one at that point in time. The deal you're currently getting for the white MB (price plus the printer) seems much better than the deal for the Alu MB.

    As with any laptop, handle it with extreme care:
    1. While moving around with it, ensure it's sleeping or shutdown.
    2. Get a neat laptop cooling stand/pad to keep it well ventilated at all times.
    3. Never ever keep the laptop on any soft surface, since that adversely affects ventilation.
    4. Treat it good - white MBs are prone to visible scratches.

    If you decide to keep the laptop beyond the 1 year warranty, get AppleCare right before the warranty expires for peace of mind.
  19. tsice19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2008
    It's rare for the machine to get that bad.

    The graphics card isn't that bad, and unless you are gaming you won't even notice it.

    If you had the knowledge to use smcFanControl, then you could have you MacBook running at 45C on about 1600RPM all the time with normal usage. (In fact, right now mine is 43C on 1102 RPM)

    If the MacBook cracks, Apple replaces it free regardless of your warranty status.

    Superdrive can be upgraded when purchasing, or can be upgraded yourself with iFixIt.

    You say that Mini-DVI is dead, but I would bet money we will see adapters at some point. Not to mention, people with the DisplayPort are still having to buy adaptors to use their DVI and VGA screens.

    You can't go ragging on a MacBook like that. They are not that bad, and it obviously shows as it is one of Apple's top selling mobile computers (Possibly the best selling of all computers they make).

    However, if you can afford it, get the new MacBook. The new MacBook could last longer than a White MacBook (although my goal is to get 3 years out of mine). Keep in mind though, the White MacBooks are pretty much bug-less ATM because they have been on the market so long. And if you do have a problem, the geniuses are quick to fix it (and usually for free w/ Apple Care).
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Essentially, it seems to come down to a decision based on the better value and possibly better spec (i.e. firewire) of the White MB, versus the more sexy - and admittedly stunning - appearance of the new aluminium MB.

    The decision is yours, but try them out side by side. If money is no object, and you can live without the firewire, choose the new unibody MB; if, however, you need to monitor finance carefully, opt for the White MB. Both are excellent computers and I imagine you'll hugely enjoy whichever one you decide to buy.

    Cheers, good luck and Merry Christmas
  21. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    OK, first off, I think the MacBook is a fantastic machine, but those were just a few things that I found to be really annoying.

    With the graphics card, the Intel card isn't great, and with fast motion, like watching movies etc, screen tearing is present. The NVIDIA graphics chips seem to be a lot better from what people are saying.

    I know about smcFan Control and I use it myself, and I only posted those results because not everyone uses it, and some people don't know about it.

    Apple fixed the cracks that were on the keyboard plate - but said that if I wanted the cracks fixed around the bottom case and near the fan vents, I would have to par for the repair. If you have managed to get the bottom case repaired, please let me know!

    When I say Mini-DVI is dead, I basically mean that Apple has moved onto a new product, the MiniDisplay Port, and will probably be focussing on that.

    Don't get me wrong, the MacBook is a fantastic machine, and apologies if I made it sound like a piece of crap! I absolutely love it, and have decided to buy a new iMac when (hopefully they will!) new models come out in January!

    Sorry if I made the MacBook look not so good, but I must say, with some of the problems I have had, Apple has fixed them. Also, the crack problems are mainly a design fault more than anything else.

    But, if I had the money I would go for the Aluminum model. The MacBook has been my first Mac and I'm never switching back - apologies again if I didn't explain some things well etc, but thanks anyway for the reply!

    Speak to you soon...
  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Newer of course. Would you be happy with an iPhone EDGE when you know for about the same price, you could get the iPhone 3G? The MacBook is great (I have one) but the unibody is hard to turn down. I'd rather buy the latest instead of sticking with "value".
  23. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
  24. KJdanReuben macrumors regular

    May 22, 2007
    If it were me, I would go with the Aluminum MacBook. This is coming from an owner of both. The main selling points, besides the much better graphics card and faster RAM, are the LED screen and just how solid it feels. It's hard to explain but the unibody MB feels like it should cost way more than it does. There's just something about it. The screen is also great (and by great, I don't mean it is the best screen on the market, but that the LED backlighting is awesome). My old MacBook suffered from the same cracks that many on the thread are talking about. I did have the top case replaced, but it had a crack in the same spot not even two weeks later. Mine cracked where the screen would meet the palm area. After it cracked the second time, I decided not to worry about.
  25. 1rottenapple macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2004
    I'd go with the alum mb personally. The lighted keyboard is superconvinient to have. Plus I love the build quality.

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