What Macbook version should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by icalicokitties, May 5, 2014.

  1. icalicokitties macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2014
    Your closet
    So, I am buying a Macbook from a secure Mac site.

    I have a pricerange of 0-$400 (or maybe a little over like $430) and I don't know which version should I get.

    Apple MacBook 13-inch 2.0GHz Core Duo (Early 2006) - $250 :apple:

    Apple MacBook 13-inch 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo (Mid 2007) - $300 :apple:

    Apple MacBook 13-inch 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (Early 2008) - $350 :apple:

    Apple MacBook 13-inch 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (Early 2008) - $400 :apple:

    Apple MacBook 13-inch 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo (Mid 2009) - $400 :apple:

    I never have bought a Mac in my life.:confused: I don't know any big differences...And also, if you can find another Macbook (I don't care about the size.) from a CERTIFIED seller for 0-$400 (or a little over) please give me the links! :)
  2. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    If you had to pick off your list it would be a toss-up between the last 2.

    The 2.4ghz model has a faster cpu, but slower ram and graphics card than the later 2.16 model. But the 2.16 model has slightly better battery life and a years less use, along with better graphics and faster memory.

    You might get lucky on private sales with a later unibody macbook for around the $430 mark from ebay or craigslist.
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    The newer the computer you buy, the less issues you will have. At your price range I would recommend either following bigeasy's advice, or getting a new chromebook and installing linux on it. The good thing about getting a used Apple computer is that you can sell it once you are done with it for a decent price. Just as a fair warning, used macbooks will have issues over time, so be prepared to do repairs and pay a little bit more down the line to keep your computer running.

  4. mactumors macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    I think most people would be better off with an iPad than any of the machines you listed.
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I would save up the double and buy a current Macbook Air. Much more worth it, and immensely better resale value if you don't like it.

    I find those prices pretty outrageous.
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I would be worried about battery condition in any of those machines, unless they have already been replaced. I have a 2008 MBP that I only use for ripping DVD's at home.

    A couple months ago the battery completely died - one morning it just refused to charge. It would cost ~$150 to replace the battery, and I'm not going to do it because it would be like pouring money down a hole at this point. Something else is going to die before long on a machine of that age.
  7. h9826790, May 6, 2014
    Last edited: May 6, 2014

    h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to buy a 5 years old laptop. The performance to money ratio is not that good. And the battery is a real potential problem.

    However, I assume that you completely know what you need, what you are doing, and this is the best option for you.

    Form the table, I will pick the 2009 version. A little bit faster CPU on the 2008 Macbook doesn't mean much. I don't think that you plan to use this computer for any heavy duty job (e.g. HD video rendering). Even though you do, the CPU thermal throttling will appear in a minute (when the fan run at full speed), that makes the higher clock frequency means nothing. On the other hand, the 2009 model is a much better balanced version, should be better for daily use.
  8. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I agree with this. The 2009 model looks like your best choice.

    Also, keep in mind that $400 will get you a very capable PC laptop. I got a brand new Asus Vivobook X202E-DB21T about a year ago for $400. It has a 1.8 GHz P2117U CPU (essentially an i3 with some features removed, as far as I can tell), 4 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive. It's a really nice laptop, especially for the money, and would likely have better performance than those Macbooks. Of course, it came with Windows 8, so if you need OS X for some reason, you'll be out of luck. It does have a touchscreen though, which makes Windows 8 much better.
  9. macs4nw, May 7, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014

    macs4nw macrumors 601


    I know this is not what you want to hear, but I agree with mactumors and T'hain Esh Kelch above, and would recommend an iPad, or a little more saved up cash for a newer machine. Even the newest of your choices, a 2009, is an about five year old model, which will go legacy within two years max, at which point it will become more difficult to obtain replacement parts, should you need them, ie third party vendors only.

    You may also soon run into the problem of not being able to upgrade to the latest software, all that in addition to other poster's mention of likely battery replacement.

    The upside of spending some extra money for a new, or at least fairly recent machine, is having a laptop that'll give you at least 5-6 years of reliable service.

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