Which Macbook Pro to Buy? CD vs C2D, etc.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by potdude, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. potdude macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I am planning on switching from a 1.6ghz P4 PC to a Mac for the first time. I am going to purchase a Macbook Pro which I plan to use for the next 2-3 years. I will more than likely be working with graphics in Photoshop, doing some casual video editing, and storing digital photos. I am on a budget of 2K and the closer I spend up to that amount the more of a financial strain I will put on myself.

    I am unsure of which model to buy, but I have limited my choices to only refurbished 15" models. The Macbook Pro models at the Apple store I am considering are the CD 1.83ghz for $1,299, the CD 2ghz for $1,349, or the newer C2D 2.16ghz for $1,599. After adding an 8.8% sales tax in my state the cost goes up another $100-$140 dollars.

    I also have the option of ordering the following "reconditioned" Macbook Pro with a 90 day warranty from another store for $1,079 with no tax and free shipping: 15.4" 2.0GHz 512 80 SuprDrv iSight Front Row Apple Remote Glossy Widescreen. I can also order this same machine Apple refurbished from another online retailer for $1,349 with free shipping and no tax.

    Is it worth spending an extra $700 for C2D machine over the cheapest one above? Is it worth it for a person buying his first Mac to strain his budget to get a Core 2 Duo machine over a Core Duo machine?

    I know if I was going to purchase a machine for the long term I'd buy from the Apple store to get the 1 year warranty which I would later upgrade. Would the machine that only had a 90 warranty more than likely fail after that period is up? Would it be worth it to buy the $1079 machine to get acquainted with using a Mac and then re-sell it after a few months when I have saved up more money to buy a better machine with better warranty?

    Does anybody have any opinions or buying recommendations on this matter? Thanks
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Honestly, I think you might want to consider buying a refurbished MacBook Core Duo from Apple. If you can find one, it'll run you ~$1000 with enough RAM (1.5GB - 2GB) to be useful.

    Is it as good as a MacBook Pro? For your purposes, probably close enough. You'd want an external monitor with either solution. And you can buy a newer MacBook - or used MacBook Pro - in a year or so with little more than you saved by getting one this time, and that system will be faster than any Mac laptop you can buy now.

    Just something to consider.
  3. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    No. OSX is easy enough to figure out even for people new to it; no need to get complicated.
  4. adamyoshida macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2006
    I basically agree with you, save I'd recommend that he get a MacBook Core 2 Duo, simply because I think that, in the case of the regular MacBook, the heat and so forth issues are pretty greatly improved.

    But, yeah, I agree in general with your sentiments - as a casual user, he's not really in need of a Pro machine.
  5. adamyoshida macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2006
    Hold it, hold it, this is what I get for not reading:

    Get that, get it now. It's a good system at a great price and, if you're a computer flipper, it'll hold its value pretty well - better than a MacBook IMHO.
  6. potdude thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Thanks for your opinion. I actually did end up ordering the $1,079 Macbook Pro Core Duo system because there was only 1, but I can still cancel that order. I figure that I could probably sell the system on craigslist within a few months for maybe a profit as long as it works fine. I am wondering if anyone thinks there is any reason that I should not get this system and go for a better one right away rather than jump on this one time deal.

  7. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Mind telling us what store that is?
  8. adamyoshida macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2006
    You won't regret it.

    Just throw an extra Gig of ram into that sucker, and you'll have a hell of a system.
  9. potdude thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I wouldn't really consider myself a casual user but rather a hard core user. I spend many hours a day in front of a computer and do some programming as well as a lot of Linux stuff. The thing I said I am doing casually is video editing, where I may edit 500 short videos per year. I don't like Macbook because it dosen't have a dedicated video card and the screen size seems cramped. I will use an external monitor when at home but while on the go I think i'd need better screen resolution. I'm also not too concerned by the increase of size between the MB and MBP. When I've bought used PC notebooks i've always bought Thinkpads because of their build quality, and so I'd also like to buy whatever is Apple's best machine. Thanks for all of your advice regarding the $1,079 CD MPB. Hopefully it is a bargain and not a lemon that causes agony.

  10. csimon2 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Could you let us in as to where you are getting these prices? I can understand why you didn't do this initially, but now that you have purchased it would be nice to spread the wealth. Thanks.
  11. pianodude123 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2005
    in the internet
    I wouldnt buy that system IMHO not because the price looks suspicious, but because all of the information you have given us is that its "reconditioned." That really doesnt mean anything if its not coming from apple or another reputable company. If it doesn't have a warranty, and it causes you hell, you're going to be wasting your $1,079 even though the price is that low. I'd also watch out because a lot of those earlier models have had squeaking mooing, meowing, barking, yelping, oinking problems, and the trip to the vet for the pro line costs a leg without applecare. I don't know if you are eligable for it buying this machine.
  12. kermit4161 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    In my opinion, you'd be better off getting the MBP Core 2 Duo for what you are looking to do.

    I don't like the system you purchsed for a few reasons. One it is a reconditioned system from someplace other than Apple (without a warranty). Secondly, it is the Duo Core, which has had problems with heat, etc. The Core 2 is about 38% faster and runs cooler... plus has better battery life per charge.

    If you are going to be doing movie editing and photoshop work, the Core 2 will give you better bang for your buck. I think you'd have a happier overall experience going that route.

    Good luck.
  13. potdude thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    It was Mac Connection which was selling these new for $1,299 with free shipping. Those models became sold out but I saw this one pop up.

  14. potdude thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Just to add a sidenote to this thread if anybody ever searches and finds this topic. I received my $1,079 MBP Core Duo this week and the machine has been working wonderfully as well as came in pristine like new condition. If anybody is looking for a good deal on a MBP CD definitely check out MacConnection from time to time. I saw another one of these machines pop up the other day for the same price, but somebody quickly bought that one too.

    There is only a 90 day warranty, but with free shipping and no tax I ended up saving nearly $400 off the price of buying a refurb from the Apple Store. With the money I saved I went out and bought 2gb of ram for a couple hundered dollars and I still have an extra couple hundred dollars in my pocket. I still may upgrade to a newer model MBP in a few months to get a better processor and hard drive, so having a short warranty doesn't bother me but rather will only end up some day bothering person that I sell this machine to whenever I upgrade.

    While I am happy with the machine, I cannot say that I am 100% satisified with MacConnection. I jumped on this offer before I could read reviews on MacConnection and I read a number of people had problems with getting their items shipped in a timely manner. Apparently MacConnection needs to call you to verify, or if they don't get around to calling you, you need to call them to talk to their credit department before they ship your order. Their website stated my order would ship the same day, but it never shipped that day and apparently wouldn't have shipped unless I called them, whch I decided to do a day later since nobody ever called me about the order. Once I called them they shipped my laptop out the same day. Other than this minor issue which has to deal with waiting time more than anything, I am very satisifed with this purchase.

  15. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    The one selling point for me would be the 64-bittedness of the C2D.
  16. potdude thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007

    Yes ofcourse, but as for this particular thread and what I main point that people will see if they use the search function is that mac connection has some good deals. It is a known fact that the C2D is 64 bit, but as it pertaining to this thread nothing will take advantage of 64 bits for at least a few more months. The $1,079 MBP CD is a good deal for now and whenever the day comes that a 64 bit machine is worth having, then I or others who may be able to get in on this deal can sell these and buy those.

  17. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    I would not go with a MacBook hence you want to do some video editing and photoshop stuff. You will enjoy the extra screen real estate and the power from a real graphics card.

    Don't forget that you have to pay for Photoshop and I guess Final Cut Express as well. Adobe has very good deals for students and Apple somewhat better deals then the regular ones.

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