Would a macbook with 4GB RAM be better than base level Pro model

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fightinirishpj, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. fightinirishpj macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2009
    Hey guys, this is my first post, so i hope i'm obeying all of the rules.

    Anyways, I am going to college this fall and am looking for my laptop to bring. I plan on using it for basic web, email, text docs etc. as well as some basic recording (no more than 4 tracks simultaneous). I fall right in between the Macbook and Macbook Pro models because of this I feel and wanted to know what mac would be best:

    Option 1: 2.4GHz 13.3" Macbook for $1600
    Option 2: 2.4GHz 13.3" Macbook with upgraded RAM for $1700
    Option 3: 2.4GHz 15" Macbook Pro for $2000

    I want to know if the upgraded Macbook would be better than the Pro model. I wish the Macbook had firewire, so I might upgrade just for that, but also I am slightly concerned about the shared memory that Macbooks use compared to the dedicated memory the Pro's have. Is this a noticeable difference? Let me know what you guys think is best! Thanks!
  2. gerbilboy macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    If money is not a problem, then go for the pro! It will perform better than the macbook, even with upgraded RAM.
  3. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    you need to add some proof in your suggestions otherwise it's just noise.

    any way a the MBP has a better graphics card which will increase performance.

    a simple MRoogle or Google will yield results like these:

  4. eddietr macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2006
    FWIW, the new MBPs have two video options, one using shared mem and one discrete video with dedicated memory.

    I hardly ever use the latter, because the shared memory option runs so much cooler. Unless you're playing 3D games, I find the extra performance of the discrete card is not very noticeable (at for what I do). Just for reference, this is on a 2.93Ghz MBP 15" with 8GB RAM.

    Also, I would say that right now almost any Mac with 4GB of RAM is going to perform better in real world use than almost any other Mac with 2GB. 2GB is pretty tight.
  5. yoyomaster macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2009
    Actually right now there's a refurb MBP 2.53Ghz with 4GB of RAM and 320HDD for $1999, so you could technically get more than you planned. Just thought I'd throw that out there
  6. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    Since there is so little differentiating these (200 bucks) you should think about the size difference. If you have the means, I would go to the Apple Store and consider screen size and weight - if you enjoy the smaller laptop more, then I would get that and upgrade the RAM. For a user such as yourself, the specifications between the who aren't really all that important, except for the RAM.

    If money isn't an issue and you still are indecisive about size, then hell, go for the MBP, it'll just have more power in the long haul.

    But if you're like the rest of us, I personally might consider the MB with some upgraded (NOT APPLE) RAM.
  7. fightinirishpj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2009
    where can i find this refurb MBP with 4GB of RAM you speak of?!
  8. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    if i were you I would just save the money. You probably won't use the dedicated memory option on the MBP that often so it seems. Upgrading the RAM should do you just fine, I'm on a 2.4GHz MBP with 2GB RAM, its a couple years old, but I don't have issues running some of the top 3D modeling, CAD, and Adobe programs out there on a daily basis. It doesn't sound like you'll do anything like that so I can't imagine you'll have any power issues with the MB. But my computer is 2 years old and still working wonderfully with heavy use, so maybe that just says something about the MBP and how though technology has improved I'm still able to run intensive programs without much problem. And for games/ windows programs I use bootcamp.
  9. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Why not just get a new/old white macbook with the nvidia chip, max the ram and put in a larger/faster hard drive? It is more than sufficient to meet your needs, is half the cost of the base MBP, and has firewire.
  10. baditkoff macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2009
    Southern NH
    Please do not forget the the education discount. That's another $100 of the MB/MBP price.
  11. IrishSniper87 macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    Do what I will be doing soon.

    Refurb 2.4 MacBook Unibody Aluminum

    2.4 Ghz
    2GB RAM (easy to upgrade yourself, 4GB off NewEgg is like $60)
    250GB HDD (again, easy to upgrade to larger HDD or wait and go SSD)
    NVidia 9400M (can run COD4 Modern Warfare on medium settings)
    Backlight keyboard



    and it has the 1 year warranty of a new device, refurbs are like-new (many are new, are guaranteed to work, and some even have little "surprises" like HDD bumps and RAM bumps)

    the MacBook Pro is overkill really, unless you want to play top of the line games, in which case, you wouldn't be getting a Mac anyway

    I'm of the opinion that Apple way overcharges for the luxury of a second graphics card and a larger screen. Heck, even the $300 for the backlight keyboard and slightly faster processor is a scam, haha.

    However, if your on a budget, I believe this is the best computer you can buy for the money and OS X.

    Portable, powerful, beautiful, not too expensive. Buy an external LCD for your desk (and appropriate connector from Apple) and that helps with screen real estate also.
  12. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    Or check out Amazon which often has better deals AND you don't have to send 7-9% of your purchase price to GM!
  13. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    If this is all you are planning on, a MBP would be overkill.

    Don't forget about doing the "ADC Connection" for $99 and get a better discount on a MBP (even after spending $99) if you are set on going that route.

    Search the fourms about this option. It has been well documented.

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