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MacBook Pro late 2008 or early 2008?
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Nov 5, 2008, 12:10 PM
 
Aside from the unibody construction and easy-to-change hard disk, I don't see a lot of advantages to the new MBP over the previous model. The "old" MBP has:

- FireWire 400 and 800
- matte display option
- compatibility with PwnageTool
- lighter by 0.1 pounds

Am I missing something?
     
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Nov 5, 2008, 03:53 PM
 
The new laptop have a faster FSB, dual GPUs, DDR3 memory, and easy access to the hard drive. Sturdier construction - less flexing of the case. One less USB port, one FW port. minidisplay port instead of dvi and of course it comes in glossy. Also don't forget about the buttonless trackpad that can use the expanded two-finger trackpad. latchless lid closure

It all depends on what's important to you. If a matte display matters or you need fw400 and 800 then the older machine may make more sense.

I have an 07 MBP and I just purchased the new one and I've not had any buyer's remorse. Great machine, the glossy screen is fine after I calibrated it and overall I've been very happy with it.
~Mike
     
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Nov 5, 2008, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
The new laptop have a faster FSB, dual GPUs, DDR3 memory, and easy access to the hard drive. Sturdier construction - less flexing of the case. One less USB port, one FW port. minidisplay port instead of dvi and of course it comes in glossy. Also don't forget about the buttonless trackpad that can use the expanded two-finger trackpad. latchless lid closure
According to tests I've seen, the faster FSB and DDR3 memory don't seem to have made much of a difference in performance. I wonder why.

The dual GPU thing seems gimmicky. Let's see: they were standardizing the integrated 9400, but the previous MBP had a dedicated GPU and video RAM, yet battery capacity had to be reduced, so they decided to add another GPU and make the user choose: either get poorer graphics performance than on previous MBPs and slightly reduced battery life, or get better graphics with substantially reduced battery life.
     
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Nov 5, 2008, 05:45 PM
 
Well it seems you've already answered your own question. You're unimpressed with the dual GPU, and the faster FSB/DDR3 memory is not providing a large enough bump in speed. That's cool, but it looks like the older model MBP is a better fit for you.

fwiw, I'm liking the dual GPU, and with SL I'm hoping that I'll be able to change the GPU on the fly.

To each his own, and the older model is no slouch by a long shot, its a great computer
~Mike
     
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Nov 6, 2008, 07:44 PM
 
I think I am going to wait for more more Rev before I upgrade from my 2.33 MBP. The 2nd Rev usually gets all of the kinks out (and should offer a 3GHz model!)
     
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Nov 7, 2008, 06:18 AM
 
I am with TailsToo - but I will wait till the Rev B 17". I got the Penryn 17" MBP and it is still awesome.
     
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Nov 7, 2008, 07:13 AM
 
I faced the same dilemma before choosing the late 2008 MacBook. The newer features, such as DDR3 memory and button-less trackpad just sold it to me and I'm glad I made the decision to go for it!
     
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Nov 7, 2008, 07:24 AM
 
Each person has their own needs so I can understand where tailstoo is coming from but for my situation, I'm so glad that I got the new machine, its awesome. I'm not going to sell my older laptop for a decent amount to offset the purchase somewhat.
~Mike
     
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Nov 7, 2008, 12:51 PM
 
I ended up grabbing a refurb mbp for 1350. The $650 difference didn't warrant the new changes, but i have to admit...I really like the new trackpad gestures (which seems to only work with the new buttonless trackpad). If snow leopard releases these gestures for older mbp's then I think I made the right decision, considering that either was going to give me the same amount of usage before I upgrad again.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
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Nov 7, 2008, 02:11 PM
 
LATE 2008!

It has firewire, it has a better screen, it has a faster processor, and better graphics to battery life ratio, and IT ROCKS!
     
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Nov 7, 2008, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
I ended up grabbing a refurb mbp for 1350. The $650 difference didn't warrant the new changes, but i have to admit...I really like the new trackpad gestures (which seems to only work with the new buttonless trackpad). If snow leopard releases these gestures for older mbp's then I think I made the right decision, considering that either was going to give me the same amount of usage before I upgrad again.
Ditto. The refurb MBPs are a crazy good deal right now. You can get a computer roughly equal to the low-end MBP for just slightly more than the midrange MacBook, and a computer roughly equal to the high-end MPB for the same price as the low-end MacBook Air. Mine should be arriving Tuesday.
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Nov 7, 2008, 02:31 PM
 
Yep, I just got the 17" MBP a few days ago.

Edit: With a matt screen!
     
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Nov 7, 2008, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by applesbiggestfan View Post
LATE 2008!

It has firewire, it has a better screen, it has a faster processor, and better graphics to battery life ratio, and IT ROCKS!
The old one has more Firewire ports and the CPU in a $1800 refurb is better than the one in a $2000 late-2008 model (and the GPU has more VRAM too). I can't tell that the screen on the new MBPs is better — are there any tests showing it is?
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Nov 7, 2008, 06:15 PM
 
yeah...that one test that measures opinions of people ; )

there's no such thing as a 'better screen' because viewing a screen is purely subjective. I prefer matte (as shown by my many rants in other threads) so I feel I chose the better computer for me.

Personally I feel this 'update' was purely cosmetic with lil focus on the hardware side, iow...if the old style didn't bother you then by all means do yourself a favor and get the prev version and use the money you saved this time around to help with A. goodies for your computer B. goodies for yourself/sig other C. investing in an account that'll kick back a few pennies your way so when the i7 is released you'll have a $700 sensibility rebate™ (this is assuming your computer funds are tight like mine).
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
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Nov 8, 2008, 08:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
Aside from the unibody construction and easy-to-change hard disk, I don't see a lot of advantages to the new MBP over the previous model. The "old" MBP has:

- FireWire 400 and 800
- matte display option
- compatibility with PwnageTool
- lighter by 0.1 pounds

Am I missing something?
Starting with what I feel is missing from your list of features on the previous model that are as appealing or more appealing than current one...
  • Higher capacity battery (60Wh vs. 50Wh) with longer actual run-time per charge, especially when you need or desire the performance of the discrete GPU when not tethered to the AC adapter.
    In AnandTech's "heavy usage scenario" battery tests, the early-2008 2.5GHz MBP bested the late-2008 2.4 GHz MBP by more than one hour when both machines are running their discrete GPU. (3.38 hours vs. 2.37 hours). Even when throttling back the late-2008 2.4 GHz MBP's GPU processing capability to that of the onboard 9400M chip , run time still came in at 3.13 hours (3h 08m), about 15 minutes short of the early-2008 2.5 GHz MBP's result. The 9400M may be fast enough to satisfy many general usage scenarios, but falls far short of the 9600M GT or 8600M GT when doing anything in Photoshop, FCP or other apps that make use of OpenGL and the likes.
  • Slightly narrower and shallower dimensions
  • For those who already own a 23" or 30" ACD, no need to buy the Mini DisplayPort adaptor
  • Price is now up to $1,000 cheaper with full one-year warrantee
And now, in favor of the new "unibody" MBP:
  • The four-finger (only) gestures. (The previous model has the others.)
  • iPhone headset support
     
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Nov 8, 2008, 06:55 PM
 
Well said.
     
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Nov 8, 2008, 08:30 PM
 
Got the early-2008 MBP. Used the savings for RAM, larger HD, esata card, external 2.5" esata/usb enclosure for original internal HD. Love the matte screen and the illuminated keyboard.

Especially loved the $150 savings over the $1600 MacBook.
     
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Nov 8, 2008, 10:47 PM
 
The new late 2008 MBP can have 6GB ram.....ideal if you also have take Windows on the road...Rumors are that 8Gb is going to be supported via software update....

The only thing stopping me now are the current ram prices for 4GB sticks.....
     
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Nov 8, 2008, 11:13 PM
 
marsim, the early 2008 MBP can support 6 gigs as well, and I am sure it will support up to 8 with snow leopard.
     
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Nov 10, 2008, 08:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by marsim View Post
The new late 2008 MBP can have 6GB ram.....ideal if you also have take Windows on the road...
Keep in mind that only the 64bit version of windows can access any over 4 gig.
~Mike
     
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Nov 10, 2008, 09:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by issa View Post
Starting with what I feel is missing from your list of features on the previous model that are as appealing or more appealing than current one...

And now, in favor of the new "unibody" MBP:
  • The four-finger (only) gestures. (The previous model has the others.)
  • iPhone headset support
Thanks so much. Is that all that is in favor of the new unibody MBP? It seems that Apple hasn't released a very compelling upgrade!
     
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Nov 10, 2008, 09:27 AM
 
Well, better design, better graphics card, faster FSB... There are more than issa is saying
     
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Nov 10, 2008, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by calverson View Post
Well, better design, better graphics card, faster FSB... There are more than issa is saying
Thanks, calverson. I had listed those features in another thread, but dropped what I thought La Flaneur had already included in his original post. Seems I was a bit careless in what I cut. (Where's the "blush" smilie thingy?)

From what I've seen, the newer graphics card and faster FSB can gain the user anywhere from a few percent to maybe ten or fifteen percent in speed, depending on the operation. Most users won't notice this difference in everyday use. However, if you are compressing video or doing some other heavy lifting for long periods at a time, it could save a handful of minutes per day. MInd you, those speed gains are only attained when running the discrete GPU (9600M GT) on the unibody MBP.

Various benchmarks are available for perusal on the web. For example, on BareFeats or AnandTech. (Anand goes as far as to conclude, "But if you want to know, the new notebooks aren't any faster in normal usage than the old ones. These changes are far more aesthetic.")

I purposely omitted the better design as I figured La Flaneur covered that in mentioning the "unibody construction and easy-to-change hard disk".
     
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Nov 10, 2008, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
Thanks so much. Is that all that is in favor of the new unibody MBP? It seems that Apple hasn't released a very compelling upgrade!
No, that's not quite right:

And now, in favor of the new "unibody" MBP:

- The four-finger (only) gestures. (The previous model has the others.)
- iPhone headset support
- trackpad that won't smooth out over time
- keyboard illumination that's MUCH better to read in half-lit situations
- improved graphics (should Snow Leopard be able to access multiple chipsets at once, this difference will increase significantly)
- improved memory throughput and stream performance
- MUCH improved build quality (if you haven't had a hands-on with both series, you MUST before making a decision).
- MUCH simpler hard drive swap/replacement - this was an argument HUGELY in favor of the regular plastic MacBook over the old MacBook Pro for anybody using machines in a production environment. Being able to swap a dead hard drive and be completely up and running with a fully-restored system in under an hour is an *immense* boon to anybody who depends on these machines for a living.
     
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Nov 11, 2008, 03:30 PM
 
Is it possible to get 6GB DDR3 RAM for the Late 2008 Macbooks?
     
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Nov 11, 2008, 03:36 PM
 
Yessir Viaosbiggestfan.
     
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Nov 11, 2008, 04:34 PM
 
Just bought a early 2008 2.4GHz MacBook Pro.

Reason? Cause it is $400 cheaper than the late 2008 version, no need to buy a DVI or VGA adaptor, and 4GB RAM is only $45 at fry's.

I might get the new MacBook though. I like the feel of how solid the new MacBook is and it does look great.
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Nov 11, 2008, 04:38 PM
 
Yeah, I just bought the 2.5GHz 17". It is awesome. I don't need the HD res, nor want the gloss display.
     
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Nov 14, 2008, 01:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
No, that's not quite right:

And now, in favor of the new "unibody" MBP:

- improved graphics (should Snow Leopard be able to access multiple chipsets at once, this difference will increase significantly)
Sadly, this doesn't appear to be possible with the unibody MBP because the 9600M GT is not "GeForce Boost enabled". "GeForce Boost" is required to run both the discrete GPU and "motherboard GPU" at the same time. It seems that the best users can hope for is "HybridPower" support. This supposedly shuts down the discrete GPU when the power isn't required, thereby extending battery run time per charge.

Reference to these two distinct features (and a chart showing "enabled" GPUs) can be found on the following page:
Hybrid SLI® technology

It'd be great if Apple can implement "HybridPower" before Snow leopard, lest they continue to require unibody users to log out to shift between GPUs until next summer.
     
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Nov 15, 2008, 10:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by issa View Post
And now, in favor of the new "unibody" MBP:
The four-finger (only) gestures. (The previous model has the others.)
It looks as though this difference can be scratched from the list before long, as it turns out that the trackpads on the early-2008 MBP and 1st generation MacBook Air are also capable of handling the four-finger gestures. At least, that's true of the hardware itself. So, unless Apple wants to elicit a colorful variety of finger gestures from users of the earlier machines, they will quite likely add the software change to support them with the next update to 10.5.6. (And if they don't, I'm sure simple hacks will appear.)

As one example of reports on the 'net, a member of MacRumor's forums posted his hack to get the four-finger gestures working on his 1st generation MBA here. And another user reports using the same method to get it working on his MBP at the end of the thread, here.
     
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Nov 15, 2008, 03:10 PM
 
I just picked up a 2.6 GHz Early 2008 15" matte display a few weeks ago.

Upgrading the RAM is less expensive. I got the G.Skill 4 GB kit from NewEgg for $50. Great deal, very little performance difference. Also, if you want a little bit better performance, there are companies that sell low-latency SO-DIMMs, but I'm not sure they are worth the cash. I don't know why the MacBook Pros, current or previous versions, won't fully work with 8GB of RAM. I don't think there's been a good explanation of the reasons either way, but hopefully we'll one day get some clarification.

I can't stand one FireWire port, even though it is FW800. I use too many peripherals simultaneously, and the ExpressCard FireWire 800 cards don't do bus powering. Epic fail on Apple's part, IMNSHO.

I cannot stand glossy displays, though I don't think that matte screen overlays are far behind. I have the anti-glare cover on my iPhone, and since the new units are glass, there is no good reason why something like that cannot be adapted for the new MacBook Pro.

I just installed a Western Digital 500GB WD5000BEVT into the MacBook Pro, and though it would have been easier on the new units, I've been working on these for a long time and it was not (personally) an issue. Sure it would have saved time on a new machine, but meh. Whatever. Either way, 500GB is way better than what any of Apple's portables comes with stock.

I suppose the video performance of the new machines is better, but for what I do personally, CPU performance is a much bigger concern. I know 2.8 GHz is an option on the new units, but combined with what I see as the other weaknesses, the < 10% processor speed difference is negligible going to 2.6 GHz.

Plus, there's always the issue of a completely new form factor. I don't see THAT MANY problematic version 1.0 issues on Apple's hardware, but there are bound to be little ones here and there, and I prefer to stick with proven reliable hardware because I am sunk without my equipment.

There's my opinion on the different machines. Personally, the trackpad on the new ones is annoying, but not a dealbreaker. I don't frequently use the backlit keyboard, and I don't have the need for the new iPhone headset on my portable machine. Obviously, your needs will be different, but that's my take.
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Nov 15, 2008, 04:43 PM
 
Good post. And welcome.
     
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Nov 16, 2008, 03:42 AM
 
Actually I'm quite surprised how well the rev A unibodies are doing. There's a fairly big group here that always stays clear of rev A Macs. But this time around I have yet to see "rev A issue". There has been this thing about not registered clicks on the new glass trackpad though. We'll see what software updates do there.
     
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Nov 20, 2008, 01:24 AM
 
I waited until October 10 to buy the replacement for my black MacBook. Yes, October 10, as I knew that Apple was releasing new laptops on October 14, and I wanted to make sure that I could get exactly what I want, and still be within the 14 day window to get a refund of the inevitable price drop.

I did misjudge one thing, and that was how much better the price drop would be on the high-end MacBook Pro than on the low end. I bought the 2.4GHz with a matte screen and absolutely love it and the $400 refund I got, but I would have liked the $700 refund even more. Put another way, an extra 100MHz and 256MB of VRAM were not worth $500 to me, but at a difference of only $200 I probably would have bit the bullet.

Oh well, I still have about the nicest laptop that I've ever put my fingers to, with a nicer keyboard, the all-important matte screen, better battery life, cheaper memory upgrades (for now) and the confidence that comes with Rev D instead of Rev A hardware. All at a $400 price savings makes this a winner.

Actually, even had prices not dropped at all on the outgoing model, I would still be happy and not seeking an exchange. I've been badly burned by Rev A laptops from Apple, TWICE. My 867MHz 12" PowerBook cooked the lacquer off a desk and my CoreDuo MacBook shut itself off to beat the heat. Both had to be replaced by Apple, the 12" with a 1GHz model that I still own and use, and the MacBook with three successive units that had the same and additional problems.

Apple worked the kinks out of both models by Rev B, but I'm just not willing to be a beta tester anymore. It does seem, however, that Apple put a lot more time into internal beta testing with the new models than with the original MacBook and MacBook Pro. By a month after release the internet was filled with horror stories back then, but this time about, its pretty much only glossy and firewire rants rather than any serious show stoppers.
     
   
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