Which Macbook should I use for my business?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by luggy615, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. luggy615 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    Hey everyone. Big fan of this forum. Always has some helpful advice.

    I am in the process of starting my own web development company. I recently purchased a Thinkpad SL500 (complete garbage) and sent it back within a month due to many problems. I have decided that the conventional windows based computer just will not cut it. With that said, I have opted for the new 13.3" Macbook. However, I am torn between the 2.0 and the 2.4. Starting my own company causes many financial constraints, but I just don't know if being stingy on my main computer would be the best option. The 2.4 offers the extra 400mhz and bigger HD, and the backlit keyboard is a plus :). But would the higher end 2.4 model be my best bet if I am running VMWare Fusion with XP, or would the 2.0 be enough with a 4GB upgrade? Some say the 2.0 may lag and to go with the faster processor, while others say 2.0 is enough. I just can't decide :confused:. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you! :D
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    The 2.0 with 4GB of RAM will be more than enough more most any business application I can think of (outside of CAD type stuff).

    As far as the backlit keyboard, if you touch-type, it shouldn't make a difference other than visually to other people. The main reasons I went with the 2.0 were that I touch type, I have an external drive for any large video type files if I ever need to offload stuff, and the 2.0 is more than fast enough for 1080p video output.

    Spend that $300 saved on a RAM upgrade, an external hard drive for Time Machine backups, a nice case, etc, etc...
  3. alexbates macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    I think XP in VMware Fusion should run fine with only 2.0 and GB of memory but it is well worth the upgrade to the 2.4GHz model if it is for a business.

    I would also consider the intro-level MBP. It is worth the bigger screen for web development.
  4. rdowty macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2008
    I have a MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM (via Crucial.com) and I run Fusion all day long because I write apps with Visual Studio 2008. I personally wouldn't want my computer to be any slower so I'd go for the 2.4GHz. I also really like the screen of the Pro which is bigger, better quality and higher resolution than the MacBook. The way the development environment works is you have tools scattered around the edge of the screen leaving about 1280x800 exposed which is about the size of the target resolution of my apps. If you're going to be sitting at a your desk working I'd probably consider a MacBook with an external monitor and not go for the Pro otherwise I'd say pay up for the 2.4GHz Pro.
  5. luggy615 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    The backlit keyboard is really just a luxury as I touchtype as well. You have a great point on just getting an external HD for Music, etc. I think the 2.0 is my best bet to keep my overhead low until I can get on my feet. Thanks for the help!
  6. luggy615 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    +2 for the 2.4 model.

    A lot of my web designing is going to be sub-contracted to a partner company. This macbook will be used mainly as my "all-in-one" tool. It will be on the road most of the time (visiting clients, e-mail, making presentations, making proposals, giving demos, etc.)
    The 2.4 sounds like the safer bet when coming down to running VMWare smoothly.
  7. squaros macrumors member


    Feb 25, 2008
    If you're trying to keep costs as low as possible, I'd go with a refurbished model. In US dollars, a refurbished 2.0 is $1099 and a 2.4 is $1399. They carry the same warranty as new products and the only real difference is the box they ship in.

    If you are sold on the new 2.0 at $1299, a refurbished 2.4 might be a tempting choice.
  8. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    I agree with that. Refurbished ones are just like getting brand new ones, but in a less fancy box.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If what you're aiming for is the lowest price for the tasks you want to do, I don't think it makes any sense to get the 2.4 GHz version.

    For business, there is nothing you can't do on a current 2.0 GHz MacBook that you can't do on a much older 2 GHz Merom MacBook, so I don't really see the need for a new 2.4 GHz MacBook. Yes, it would be faster, but exactly what intensive apps are you using?

    MS Office is a pretty large app, and it takes around 9 seconds to open on my 2 year old MacBook. On a brand new 2.0 GHz MacBook, it may take around 7 seconds. How much faster can a 2.4 GHz MacBook do it, perhaps in 6.5 seconds? :confused: In fact, opening up that sort of app is just as dependent on harddrive speed, so just invest your money on the new Seagate 500 GB 7200 rpm harddisk rather than the faster processor.

    There's only so much speed that you need for the apps you run, but I guess if it's worth paying an extra 30% or so for a backlit keyboard and around 10% faster real-world processing speed (based on reviews), then so be it. It's your money, and is a business expense.
  10. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    I'd agree that for you the best bang for the buck is the 2.0 model. Your in a position where you will see unexpected expenditures arising left and right. The only way to prepare for that is going to be to cut corners and save what you can right now.

    I can't justify any reasons to purchase the 2.4 unless you really want backlight keys, performance wise your not going to see a colossal difference per coin you spend.

    MS Office is a garbage application that does hog the resources. I've switched to iWork myself, and the Export feature works fine for when I have to send a document to a colleague or a client.

    Besides the most important thing is that your just starting out. The 2.0 Macbook is not a basic laptop in any sense, and if your company does well, upgrading is no big deal. :)
  11. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    I second this.

    Heck, I would even go to the extent in saying go for a Blackbook - will be cheaper.
  12. desiringGod macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    I would go to the refurb store either get a previous generation MBP ($1350 or $1500 when they are in stock) or the 2.0 Alum ($1099) and then upgrade the ram and hard drive.
  13. harry454 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    I second the post as well, you will be off fine with a blackbook
  14. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    You will be just fine with a 2.0. In fact, if you say you will be on the move a lot, you might want to look into a refurb MacBook Air. The portability of that thing is just awesome, even though people argue that the MacBook is "portable enough", but apparently they never had an Air for an extended time :p And with that I would suggest some nice display (I think that your average 24" is 300$ or so. In fact, NewEgg has a 28" for 350$!) and you can then use that with your next update, which I'm guessing would be some kind of a desktop powerhouse :p
  15. Cali3350 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2009
    Get a 2.0 and upgrade the HDD to a 7200RPM drive from Newegg. Better performance then the 2.4 for a cheaper price.
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Functionality wise, you should have no issues with the 2.0 model; it is adequate enough for probably everything you need to do.

    If you're going to get a 2.4, the only justification I can see, is if you got the refurbished one instead.
  17. luggy615 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    Thanks for all the help everybody. After a long and painful process, I have decided to go with the 2.4 model. I appreciate all the help you have all given me.

    The only issue now is whether or not I actually need to VMWare XP Pro. The actual dirty work of the web developing will be done by other people within my company. So basically I will be the man on the move selling, presenting, marketing, etc. I know I can get Office on my Mac, however my main concern is not having Outlook. Will I have problems using Entourage such as synching, integrating, etc? I want to set up my e-mail accounts as user@mycompany.com. Will I have a problem doing this if I am using a Mac and everyone else using Windows?

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