Which to Buy: New Macbook or Last Gen Macbook Pro (Same Price)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nicksurra, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. nicksurra macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    My grilfriend is shopping for a new computer and thinking about a mac. She's a pretty light user email, internet, word processing etc. nothing crazy or video intensive beyond watching an occasional DVD. We were looking at the new Macbooks and she liked them, but felt like the 13" screen was just too small.

    I went looking online and it looks like the you can buy a previous generation Macbook Pro (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, 2GB Memory, 120GB Hard ) for the same price as the new low end aluminum Macbook. I'm inclined suggest she go for the last gen Macbook Pro rather then the new Macbook, but I just wanted to see if anyone had any big reasons not to suggest this. Obviously she'll be minus the fancy touch pad, an updated video card, and slightly more solid frame, but to be honest she could probably care less about those things. Plusses for her are a bigger screen and light-up keyboard.

    Anything else big I should think about?

    I guess my big concern is all the talk about starting to use graphics cards for simple non-video processing in the near future. Any word out there on whether last gen Macbook Pros will also be able to do this with an update? I really don't want to suggest that she buy a computer that will be significantly handicapped and outdated in a year.

    Thanks for the help,

    Nick
     
  2. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #2
    Hi!

    First of all, the 2.2 GHz MBP isn't last gen, it is pre-last gen from mid 2007 model.

    Secondly, the video card in this MBP is much much faster than MacBook's Geforce 9400 because its a real dedicated card and not an integrated chip that uses main memory. It also supports h.264 decoding on the hardware level, but Apple is yet to turn this feature on.

    You decide if you want latest smaller, lighter and less graphically powerful or the older, bigger, but with bigger and better screen laptop.
     
  3. roylikeswaffles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    #3
    I have a Macbook, (white) and the new ones should be perfect for what she needs. I use it for my word processing for school, and I constantly check email, go online, and occasionally watch a DVD. For me, I think the Macbook's screen size is perfect for what I do, but idk it'll suit your girlfriend. It's nicer to have a bigger screen sometimes when you're watching a movie or when you have a lot of windows open at the same time, but I prefer the portability my Macbook offers, and the new ones are half a pound lighter and more durable. For the things your girlfriend wants to do, I'd suggest getting a Macbook since its lighter, smaller, more durable, has a new trackpad and an LED screen, and new gestures. However, if she really wants wants the bigger screen + backlit keyboard, you could get the Pro or spend $300 more or get the 2.4 Macbook that does have the backlit keyboard if its a necessity. Either way, you're getting a good computer. :)
     
  4. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Jan 10, 2005
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    Russia
    #4
    The 2.2 GHz MBP has a LED screen too. Of much higher quality.
     
  5. DanBUK macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #5
    I would get the old MBP. Always am a bit wary of 1st gen products and you know that the old one had a long time to iron out issues. It is also a better machine I think.
     
  6. nicksurra thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #6
    eXan thanks, it is the 2007 version that's the pre-Penryn version. What is the significance of the Penryn update over the previous Core 2 Duos?

     
  7. nicksurra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #7
    eXan thanks, it is the 2007 version that's the pre-Penryn version. What is the significance of the Penryn update over the previous Core 2 Duos?

     
  8. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #8
    9400 has h.264 decoding, 8600 does not. Well it does, but its not enabled.
     
  9. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #9
    Nothing significant.. They had 65nm CPUs instead of 45nm penryns which potentially makes SR run hotter, but I didn't notice the heat difference when using 2.4 GHz SR and 2.4 GHz Penryn. Also, SR still had the Remote included, while in Penryn models they "replaced" it with a polishing cloth ( :rolleyes: )

    Thats what I was saying...
     
  10. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #10
    The Old MacBook Pro has few advantages over the New MacBook, The only thing it really has is a slightly better graphics card for games and the bigger screen. But the 9400M will be better for general Performance due to it's H.264 Support. If you want the bigger screen and Firewire than the Pro is more of a consideration. However the MacBook will be built better and looks Nicer IMO.
     
  11. NightFlight macrumors 6502

    NightFlight

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    Feb 25, 2007
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    Northern Virginia
  12. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #12
    primarily, the Penryn just consumes less power, so you get 4-5 hours of battery instead of 3-4.

    if she doesn't take her off her desk very often, then definitely Pro. If she does, she may or may not like carrying the extra weight.

    the 8600M GT in the older Pros will do fine.
     
  13. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #13
    It won't make that much of a difference. Maybe ten minutes if that. What it really does is reduce heat like eXan said.
     
  14. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #14
    When I had the same choice, I went with the MacBook. But I wanted a lighter computer. If she wants a larger screen, get her the 15" MacBook Pro.
     
  15. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #15
    I just bought the classic MBP. I was used to an 12 iBook and I really think this 15" is almost to big if you are going to lug it around a lot.
    I needed it´s features, so I have to live with the size.
    I think the MB would probably suit her well
     
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #16
    Sounds like you have already made up your mind. When I bought my MBP, the driving force was the larger screen. Like you, I felt the 13 inch screen was just too small.
     
  17. Lexoticstylez02 macrumors 6502a

    Lexoticstylez02

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #17
    If she's gonna be watching a lot of movies, go for the older MBP. It has almost identical specs to the new MacBooks plus a few extras. The 15" screen will be a huge difference when watching DVDs, if it wasn't for the bigger screen to watch movies I would go for the MacBook.
     

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