Would this be a dumb descision?

Kiki1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
13
0
I have an 1.42 GHz iBook now but im going to get a Macbook in late August for the start of school. My problem is, i really want the black one, yet its just too expensive with the 2 gig of RAM i want. So i found Small Dog Electronics and they're selling new last generation BlackBooks for $1,279. This seems like a good deal to me because the specs between this Macbook and the current ones dont seem that big to me, but im not sure. Heres what i know:

- The hard drive space in the older model is fine with me at 120 gigs. Its twice as much as i have now anyway.
- I know i could get a macbook with 2.16 GHz as apposed to 2.0 but its the difference that noticable? (see below)
- The superdrive is 6x rather than 8x, is it that noticable? I wont be using it too much, but i will be using it.
'- Also, the older model has 2 MB L2 Cache as apposed to 4 MB. Is that much noticable? (again, see below)

**What i want to do with with this thing is basically typical student stuff (note-taking, itunes, safari) and a podcast that i do in school. I use Garageband, iWeb, and iPhoto for that. Also, before you mention it, i considered a Macbook pro, but it was too expensive for now. Thanks for any of your help!
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,400
12,410
2GB of RAM in the older model is better (IMO) than 1GB in the newer. 160 Mhz will not be much difference.
 

Aea

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2007
838
208
Denver, Colorado
I have an 1.42 GHz iBook now but im going to get a Macbook in late August for the start of school. My problem is, i really want the black one, yet its just too expensive with the 2 gig of RAM i want. So i found Small Dog Electronics and they're selling new last generation BlackBooks for $1,279. This seems like a good deal to me because the specs between this Macbook and the current ones dont seem that big to me, but im not sure. Heres what i know:

- The hard drive space in the older model is fine with me at 120 gigs. Its twice as much as i have now anyway.
- I know i could get a macbook with 2.16 GHz as apposed to 2.0 but its the difference that noticable? (see below)
- The superdrive is 6x rather than 8x, is it that noticable? I wont be using it too much, but i will be using it.
'- Also, the older model has 2 MB L2 Cache as apposed to 4 MB. Is that much noticable? (again, see below)

**What i want to do with with this thing is basically typical student stuff (note-taking, itunes, safari) and a podcast that i do in school. I use Garageband, iWeb, and iPhoto for that. Also, before you mention it, i considered a Macbook pro, but it was too expensive for now. Thanks for any of your help!
A blackbook with the HE discount is $1,399.00, you also get a rebate for an iPod nano which you can turn around and sell for $150-$180 easily, and of course you can also try and sell the printer, but probably won't get far (just keep it). That is, if you're a college student, the regular education discount doesn't net you an iPod :)
 

ricgnzlzcr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
802
0
I'm pretty sure the last gen macbooks (with the exception of the lowest end model) had 4mb of L2 cache. I think it's a wise decision since there is nothing really different and performance will be hard to differentiate.
 

Gav

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2007
185
0
Too expensive? You should buy it with 1GB of Ram and add some more. A 1GB notebook stick costs about $45 delivered.

Apple overcharge on the memory. Also, the last generation MacBook IIRC, unless they've had another generation in between was based on the Core Duo processor. A Core Duo is only 32-Bit, and isn't the best choice. Apparently a 2.0Ghz C2D wipes the floor with a 2.0Ghz CD.
 

kwood

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2006
834
0
In the Great White North.
I'm pretty sure the last gen macbooks (with the exception of the lowest end model) had 4mb of L2 cache. I think it's a wise decision since there is nothing really different and performance will be hard to differentiate.
The last generation does have a 4MB L2 Cache Link. I personally got the 2.0GHz C2D Black Macbook for school come September. I use it for all the same reasons you do and it is perfect. I got mine refurbished from Apple for $1189 Canadian.

I really don't think you will need the RAM upgrade personally if all you will be doing is iTunes, Word Processing, and Safari. I play Lego Star Wars II on the MacBook through Vista and it runs just as smooth on 1GB of RAM as it did with 2GB on a desktop.
 

munckee

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2005
1,216
0
That sounds like the model I bought off the Apple refurb site for $1049. You might want to check there for a week or so and see what pops up before you order from small dog.
 

Igantius

macrumors 65816
Apr 29, 2007
1,240
1
'- Also, the older model has 2 MB L2 Cache as apposed to 4 MB. Is that much noticable? (again, see below)
If it does have a 2MB cache, then it's one of the Core Duo models, rather than a Core 2 Duo machine. The doubling of the cache and better processors made a quite difference to performance - but it does depend what you use it for - check out http://www.barefeats.com/mbcd8.html

When it comes to very CPU intensive tasks, the C2D machines have a bit more pep - there are a quite a few benchmarks comparing the two types of processors, but to be honest I think the link above is most relevant to your situation.

From what you've said you would be using it for, that machine would serve you well.

Another difference between the CD and C2D MBs is that the latter can use 802.11n (or rather a draft version as the IEEE as yet to ratify it) - this is nice, but not something to kick yourself over.
 

jackiecanev2

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2007
1,030
2
You can get a revB blackbook 2.0 from the refurb store with 1049+tax (free shipping) and opt for a 3rd party ram upgrade (fry's usually has some on sale with a rebate, 2gb should run you >$80 if you score a deal. :)

good luck!
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,269
339
norcal
Agreed, 160Mhz wont make a world of difference but 2GB of RAM you will notice a difference.
this is true today, not so much for most people just a couple of years ago

i used to tell my computer repair clients to get 128 megs of ram, back in 2000, because that was the difference which would make your computer perform over 64 megs of ram...and cost one very little money

then the next big jump was from 512 to 1 gig of ram and for a long time, for most of my clients, 1 gig was more than enough and affordable for most...2 gigs existed but way pricey and over the top for the majority of computer users both on pc and mac

i think with osx getting very graphic and fancy (bells and whistles), and with ever growing adobe products, if you get any, 2 gigs of ram is a pretty good yardstick

i know a person who has a mac pro and he had 2 gigs and i put in 4 gigs but he only saw the difference on high end things...and a small number of people here prolly have 4 gigs on some machine and consider that their minimum

i hope this helps
 

Kiki1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
13
0
You can get a revB blackbook 2.0 from the refurb store with 1049+tax (free shipping) and opt for a 3rd party ram upgrade (fry's usually has some on sale with a rebate, 2gb should run you >$80 if you score a deal. :)

good luck!
What are the refurbs from the apple store like? Are they used, like do they have problems? Are they scratched and whatnot?

EDIT: I cant find this price on Apple.com refurb store... the lowest i can find is $1300, and i can already get a new one for less than that.
 

panzer06

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2006
3,022
78
Kilrath
What are the refurbs from the apple store like? Are they used, like do they have problems? Are they scratched and whatnot?

EDIT: I cant find this price on Apple.com refurb store... the lowest i can find is $1300, and i can already get a new one for less than that.
The refurbs are very stable and have no blemishes on the two I've owned.

Stock changes constantly, that why someone else suggested checking for a few days to see if you can get the $1049. One of my sales team bought that version 3 weeks ago and loves it. Full of oily smudges from his hands but he doesn't seem to mind. :)

Cheers,
 

steamboat26

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2006
1,123
0
Arlington VA
As others have suggested, i would go with the new or refurbished C2D black macbook and upgrade the RAM yourself. It will not be that much faster than the last gen blackbook, but you get a 64 bit processor, and better battery life.
 

mr_matalino

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2005
528
34
For typical student stuff you can get away with a lot. The processor clock speed is a non-issue as well as the MB cache. The RAM will make a difference but only if you use a lot of apps at once/processor intensive apps. It will help in Leopard but for safari, itunes and ilife stuff, you can squeek by with 1GB. Now if you were doing Photoshop/Final Cut stuff, that's a different issue...
 

jackiecanev2

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2007
1,030
2
apple puts up new refurbs regularly... they usually post them in the early hours (2-3am) and there are always more the earlier you check, until they are all sold. they refresh the refurb page daily, so theres usually a black c2d 2.0 available at least every few days (or so its been lately).

just be patient for the next day or two, and check as early as you can. :)
 

Kiki1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
13
0
Im thinking im just gonna get a white 2.16 C2D for $1,200 with my schools discount. Its too risky with thrying to get a black one.