Would this be a dumb descision?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kiki1234, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Kiki1234 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2007
    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!
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    2GB of RAM in the older model is better (IMO) than 1GB in the newer. 160 Mhz will not be much difference.
  3. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    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 :)
  4. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    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.
  5. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Agreed, 160Mhz wont make a world of difference but 2GB of RAM you will notice a difference.
  6. Gav macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2007
    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.
  7. kwood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2006
    In the Great White North.
    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.
  8. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    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.
  9. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    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.
  10. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    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!
  11. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    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
  12. Kiki1234 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2007
    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.
  13. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    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. :)

  14. steamboat26 macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    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.
  15. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    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...
  16. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    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. :)
  17. Kiki1234 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2007
    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.

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