What to Buy I am so confused what to buy

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bluebird3, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. bluebird3 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    I have this opportunity to buy my friend's 2008 Mac Book (white plastic ? body) for $150.

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: MacBook
    Model Identifier: MacBook4,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 800 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: MB41.00C1.B00
    SMC Version (system): 1.31f1

    I have been using Power Mac G4 from I believe 2002 ? But want to go more portable. Then there are other options such as buying used MacBook Pro from last year on place like eBay, etc. Or refurb from Apple. Then of course buy brand new ( either current model or soon to be updated model. All those options will cost me more, a lot more of course.

    I need to use it for personal computing purpose ( daily eMail, daily Web Browser, Occasional Skype, use of iTune music (import / rip CD, etc), occasional use of iMoivie if I ever traveled, and Organizing personal Photos and editing). I would also need to transfer all the files ( music files, photos, documents) from my current desk top Power Mac G4 to A lap top (do not know how I can safely do this). I have a feeling Desk Top is more? reliable than Lap top also? Anyway...... I like the idea of down sizing and its portability. I do not know what to do (what to buy). I have been thinking about this for a long long time but I just do not know whats the right thing to do. Should I just buy my friend's computer for $150 for now and buy another one later but shortly ? Need feedback please.
  2. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    What is your maximum budget?
  3. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    $150 is probably about what it's worth, but I'd save that money and get a Macbook Air. Of course you'd need a CD drive to rip - but I think the $150 would be better spent on a newer Macbook.
  4. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    I have US $2000.00 saved up but does not mean I want to spend it all. Besides I am very hesitant to spend this kind of money then few months later its already consider as "old" or the price drops.... I would also need to buy Wifi Router and would like a protector cover, etc, etc. not sure if I need "apple care" .
  5. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    The computer listed in the OP is old now. I wouldn't worry about how much older it will be a few months from now.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You can't get apple care with such an old machine, it is belong any warranty period.

    $150 is not bad at all for that laptop. Of course, even the macbook air will be much faster, but your needs seem pretty basic and if the machine is in a good shape, why not? Then get 4Gb of DDR2 laptop RAM (just get it off ebay, should be pretty cheap) and an SSD (I wouldn't get a used one here to be honest) - and you will have a absolutely decent machine for what you want to do with it.
  7. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    not sure if I want air vs pro ? (why air over Pro?).


    for my friend's computer, no apple care. arnn the memory, 4GB is max on this machine then. How about OS ? I know currently it got OS 10.5.8. also I am thinking I do not know how to install SSD ( do not even know which one to buy).
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    If I am not mistaken, the maximal supported OS is Snow Leopard. Installing SSD takes a screwdriver and 3 minutes time ;) As to SSD, you could get this one rather cheap: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147248

    Of course, its too fast for your machine, but who cares :)
  9. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    If I were to buy my friends computer that is in good shape other than tiny cracks, what are the things I need to do to bring it back to original ? clean condition of HD ? I do not think she has the original disk or all the accessories other than power cable. I guess I would want to "clean up" the machine to make it all mine sort of speak.
  10. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    The reason I recommend against spending money on the old laptop is because the up-to-date software you'd install on it would just drag it down.

    Case in point, my iMac was really fast in 2008, but as updates came along and I started using newer software, the hardware wasn't enough to keep that "fast" feeling.
  11. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    Thank you for the link. So it would cost me about US$400 at least to get the machine going if I installed a SSD (is there space in the machine for SSD ? ) and WIFI router... not sure if $400 is worth this old mac book ?


    I see. that make sense, and the more update on the software you do (which happens so often these days), the more memory and speed it will eat up is what I am really concerned. :( So, installing a SSD to the old machine make sense.

    But US$400.00 (with the machine, SSD, and Wifi Router), not sure if its worth spending now..
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008

    No, this macbook is certainly not worth $400, but the SSD is worth its $200 ;) Don't forget that you can reuse the SSD if you decide to get a faster machine in the future. Or just pack it in an external Thunderbolt/USB3 enclosure. Of course, a newer MBA will be much faster, even for simple tasks - but just for checking emails the 2008 machine is still rather adequate and an SSD will make it much more enjoyable. I would even say it will be more enjoyable then a 2012 MBP without an SSD ;)
  13. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Yeah, put it this way, if you buy the $150 laptop, don't upgrade it. Save the money for a new machine. And the $150 can be a good emergency backup.
  14. redkamel macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2006
    My experience is unless you enjoy spending time getting computers to work, this is going to be hard to update. You are going to have to find older versions of OS's, maybe some programs, its going to run slow, it will be limited, and it won't be supported in the future.

    $150 dollars is very little for a computer.

    My advice is:
    If you like having a computer, plan to use it for many things, want it too be good, up to date, and sync with your iOS stuff and do so for many years, spend the money on a new computer, or at least, a 2010 or 11 model.

    If see a computer as necessity you can't avoid, want a computer that does very little, go on the internet, send email, and do minimal activity get the $150 dollar one. For example, I don't think the 2008 models support the App Store.

    of course, there is how much you need the money too. That computer will be enough to get you through life for a while unless you have a job that requires lots of computer work.
  15. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    He would needs to add $130-140 for a new battery...
  16. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013


    That's an idea.... :)


    Very clever advice thank you so much. I feel like now I need to buy something used but not that old such as 2008.... find something on eBay for about $800 or something with software, etc.... but of course not sure which one to bid on there are so many...
  17. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    Where did you get this information from? I am using a late 2008 MBP and App Store runs fine on it.

    If I were the OP, beside getting this 2008 Macbook for $100, I would get the 13" MBA + superdrive or the 13" cMBP if the former doesn't convince me. It is always good to have a backup machine...
  18. Byzanti macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    The 2008 Macbook will struggle with these.
  19. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    May I ask why ? I meant to watch movie (DVD) and edit / organize personal photos ( currently on my Power Mac G4 2002 model, I have 1000 ? photos). Its getting slowing down for sure tho.

    sighs cannot decide ... so hard making decisions. :(
  20. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    On this site most people are after the latest and greatest (why else would they care about "Mac Rumors"), while older systems will actually do just fine for most users.

    You really don't want to spend a lot of money on an older system. What's the point when it doesn't really add to the value. You've saved enough money to buy a new machine but have decided that with your usage an older one would do fine and you can avoid spending the money. Good for you!

    Quite possibly the only thing you might want to spend money on is a new battery, especially if the old one won't hold a charge and you intend to use the system away from an outlet. Anything else is a waste of money.

    I had a MacBook3,1 (bought January 2008), so it is one model older than what you are considering. I used it to run engineering computer aided design software (using Windows under Parallels) and also did screen captures. I ran Aperture and other fairly hefty programs on it. So they are really plenty powerful. I accidentally got water in it and "destroyed" it in June 2009, so I bought a new MacBook. However I managed to get the old one fixed and gave it to my daughter who was in need of a computer. She used it for an additional three years (no repairs beyond the water damage), when she got a new one and passed it on to a friend.

    I'd say go for it as long as it works well.
  21. dylin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2010
    He has made very great points.

    If this machine will do everything you need it to do, and are able to make use of your software for years to come, then you will find that you have made a great savings.

    As for other things to breath more life to your machine, the first would be to get a new battery. those can cost ~100 or 150 from apple.

    Ram would be 60 bucks, take a visit to OWC.

    then Follow up with an SSD. The storage space all depends on your needs. but if your going for a decent size and dont need all the storage, a 120-128GB SDD can go from 80 bucks to 120.

    Even with the total costs, its still lower than 500.

    i think the cheapest refurb macbook pro right now is 1000, and the cheapest macbook air is 960.

    So decide what you feel is best. Just dont think there is a right choice. Successful people dont make the right decisions, they make their decisions right.:)
  22. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    Thank you so much both of you. If I upgrade it to SSD in the future, yet it does not support the latest OS or related to software, how good is it to upgrade it other than storage space? I am bit concerned how much life it got left in this computer since it can not keep up with the software or does it really matter which OS it uses ?

    Also, please recommend me a WIFI router. that is good and reliable. I will need one, probably go to Best buy? or Walmart.....

    what is OWC ?
  23. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    Thank you so much. How does one know when to buy a new one other than when the machine brakes ? I've learned that you can upgrade memory space and buy a new battery ( so far its holding a charge ok ) but any other issue may arise when browsing the web ? I am asking this because I have a Power Mac G4 2002 desktop model and when trying to browse, it shows message something about Flash and Plug Ins and Acrobat Reader, etc is not supported etc. I have not had that concern with this 2008 Macbook yet....


    OK, I just found this and copied and pasting it... here is the battery information. Will I need a new battery ?

    Battery Information:

    Manufacturer: SMP
    Device name: ASMB013
    Pack Lot Code: 0001
    PCB Lot Code: 0000
    Firmware Version: 0102
    Hardware Revision: 0300
    Cell Revision: 0100
    Charge Information:
    Charge remaining (mAh): 5580
    Fully charged: Yes
    Charging: No
    Full charge capacity (mAh): 5586
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 11
    Condition: Good
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): 0
    Voltage (mV): 12532
  24. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    I have a Power Mac G4 from 2002 and running good. Is this 2008 Macbook better / more powerful than my current desktop ? Also how do I transfer all the files on to this lap top if I were to purchase it ? :(

    What about router ? what kind of router do I need ? I know newer faster wifi is already out / on their way for newer more powerful mac and if I bought the new one, then I guess I will need to buy a separate wifi router for the new one ?

    Also, can USB 3 communicate with USB 2 ? (when trying to transfer file, iPod Nano, flash memory stick, etc).

    Sorry for BUNCH of questions but I MUST decide this today. So I wanted to ask you guys who are knowledgale.

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