Want a Mac Laptop to last 3-4 years.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by weekend warrior, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. weekend warrior macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Well this is my first post and I feel bad for adding another generic "macbook vs. macbook pro" problem, but I'm simply torn.

    My current PC laptop feels like its on its last legs and I want to upgrade while it still has some value left, (its not quite 3 years old), and I swore to myself I would not buy another PC.

    So, for the past few weeks Ive been looking at everything from G4 ibooks, up to the current MBP's (and EVERYTHING in between). From Craigslist to eBay to Macmall. I dont live near an Apple Store, but i can get to one (~100 miles) and would prefer to buy in person.

    For awhile I've been leaning towards a 2007- early 08 MBP. I like the look, the power, the backlite keyboard, the likelyhood that this thing will still be great in 4-5 years. But the potential failure of the graphics card scares the hell out of me.

    I'm sorry, I should have started this by telling you what i plan to use it for. Nothing Intensive. Internet, online poker, word ( a little), no photo shop, no video editing. And a few games (Civilization 4, Civ 5 when it comes out, maybe Spore, maybe other games of this type).

    I realize that i probably dont need a Pro to do this, but i want this to last a good 4-5 years. It seems like the Pros age alot better. Not many people seem to be using G4 ibooks anymore, but the Powerbooks are still pretty good. Plus, the last gen MBP's seem like a good deal at about $1300-1600.

    I also really like a computer to feel speedy. Fast start-up, fast shut-down, click an app and it opens. Not sitting around waiting, unsure if the damn computer registered the click or froze.

    So I guess I dont know. I want a MBP but buying a product with a known faulty card makes me mad. The Macbooks are cheaper but dont seem like they could stand up to time as well.
  2. therealdt macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2008
    northeast region
    I'm not a Mac pro, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Go to Apple refurb store and get MacBook
  3. smurfjammer macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    If you want a laptop to last 3-4 years buying secondhand is not a good idea.
    You are already 1 year behind on current tech and you have no guarantee that the previous owner/s have looked after the laptop.

    If you want 3-4 years buy brand new and get Applecare.
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Anything Intel will last you at least four years. My 8600M GT works perfectly fine, and Apple will replace it if anything happens even out of warrantee. It's fine.
  5. isethx macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2008
    i'm typing on a 5 year old dell. 512mb RAM and a P4 processor.

    i still do minor photoshop stuff, have a million tabs open in firefox, word , e-mail and all that jazz. i mean yes it is slow sometimes but it's more than usable for basic computer stuff.

    so when i buy a new 17 inch MBP if they ever update it i sure hope it last me for 4-5 years becasue it will be a lot nicer than this was when i bought it 5 years ago
  6. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    I have a 4 year old iBook G4 1.33 GHZ laptop and it is still running quite well, thank you!
  7. semicharmed macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    New Orleans
    I have a 1.67 Powerbook, the next-to-last rev. before the switch to Intel.
    Bought it in June/July of '05, and it's still going strong. The only problems I have had were resolved super-speedily by Applecare (logic board on a run of PBs was faulty...).
    And for what I do with it (Photoshop, pretty intense Illustator/InDesign work, constantly have iChat/iTunes/Mail open, generally Word too... the occasional game of Civ4, some Vectorworks, some Sketchup...), it's still more than powerful enough. And it definitely held it's value better than PCs my friends/roommates got around the same time - one is on her second machine, one's laptop has a shot battery & is essentially a desktop (a slow one that crashes a lot), one has a (heavily upgraded) desktop.
    So if you're going to buy a laptop and want something to last for 3-4 years, I'd say definitely buy new, and invest in Applecare.
    And know that you'll have something in 3-4 years that will still look amazing and function well.
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Get the new aluminum MacBook. It's newer technology, small form factor with a great LCD LED backlit screen. The higher end model ($1400) has the backlit keyboard and a CPU upgrade along with bigger hard drive. The graphics card is not for hard core gaming but will be able to play CIv5 I believe, just fine.
  9. Semiopaque macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008
    If there is an Apple reseller in your area, (like a Frys or maybe even Best Buy) that has some of the old MB Pros and new aluminum Macbooks on display I would go check them out side by side. The new Macbooks seem to be built very well.

    I personally wouldn't get any of the older Macbooks or anything with less than 2.4GHz if you want it to last that long, but it depends on how often you get new software.

    Also agree with the buy new theory or get a refurb from the Apple store and go on Ebay and buy Applecare there.

    I think the official word from Apple on the Pro graphics issue is they will replace/repair it for two years even if it is out of warrant. Up to 3 assuming you have Applecare.
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Get a MBP refurb. It's a great computer - I have one -has been tested and tried, is fast, powerful, has a great screen and comes with Apple's warranty.
    It will most certainly last you for three to four years, and then upgrade if you like/need what has been issued since then.

    Cheers and good luck
  11. millar876 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2004
    Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
    I'd get a Pro. My wife still uses a 12" Powerbook G4 Alu as her primary Work (from home and comuting) machine, sure I've upgraded a couple of things, RAM (1.128GB up from 128MB) HD (80GB 7200rpm from 40GB 4200rpm) and i chucked in an apple airport Extreme card (802.11g up from not installed) and a new battery, all in all not bad for a 5-6 year old machine, still runs great and handles her 80+MB XL spreadsheets (accountants, meeh, what can you do) and she's about to get herself one of those 3G mobile broadband dongles because she's fed up bighting with me over the 512kbps broadband connection (pathetic speed i know, but we kinda live in the middle of nowhere)

    So yeak get a macbook pro, best you can afford, possibly even a refurb, theyre just as good as new ones, same warrenty and support. and Ordering online from apple is quite good, infact its usually Verry good (atleast in my experiance). Good luck, and let the forums know what you decide
  12. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    depending on your needs you may make a 2nd hand laptop go another 3-4 years. I got my MBP 1.5 years ago and won't even consider upgrading for another 1.5 years, probably more.

    my last laptop lasted 3 years and I only upgraded because it was a PPC and I wanted to run vmware/parallels/bootcamp and so required an intel mac.
  13. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    I second this notion. The new unibody machines are built way way better than the older gen. Given that you want you first mac to last long enough I would say get either the base model unibody macbook or the one with the backlight.
  14. jdwingnut macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2008
    In the Redwoods, California
    ANYTHING with Applecare will give you a 3 year warranty.

    If it dies within this time frame, Apple gives you a new one.
  15. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. This set up should easily last you 3-4 years. Also, like others have said, get Applecare as well.
  16. sfh macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Sacramento CA
    Just buy applecare it is worth every penny. get the pro yopu will be happier with it too.
  17. weekend warrior thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2008
    thanks for the replys. I think my decision is going to come down to size. I have a 15" PC now, but I might like the 13" more. I'll have to check best buy again but they never seem to have apples on display.
  18. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    Haha, okay man. Every PC i've EVER used that was older than 2 years was a total paperweight with ONE application open. Especially with 512 MB of RAM, that is ridiculous.
  19. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    If you want your stuff to last just take care of it.....
  20. mknawabi macrumors 6502


    Feb 5, 2006
    Irvine, CA
    Invisibleshield it, buy a padded case, and protect the wrist rest and keyboard. Format once a year, and buy spare batteries for when the charge cycles on your old ones run out.
  21. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  22. Battlefield Fan macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    Mar 9, 2008
    In all honesty dude I would say you should look at getting a new 2.4ghz macbook. It's keyboard is backlit, it's light and since you want something to last a while you should start with a new machine.

    I also would suggest buying AppleCare
  23. slotcarbob macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2006
    mknawabi and Consultant nailed it. may I add to also get the Education discount if you can. I just did this yesterday, and got a 2.4 for $1349.
  24. MacsBestFriend macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    upstate ny (purgatory)
    Great advice here! +1!!!!;)

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