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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > I need help with a MacBook Pro purchasing decision

I need help with a MacBook Pro purchasing decision
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ThisGuy
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Feb 16, 2009, 12:21 PM
 
Refurb like this:
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB...mco=MjE0NDk5Mw
Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
15.4-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
2GB memory
250GB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Built-in iSight camera
Illuminated keyboard


or
A new older model:
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MB134LL-...762554&sr=1-13
2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6 MB on-chip shared L2 cache, Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard
2 GB RAM (two SO-DIMM) 677 MHz DDR2 SD-RAM (PC2-5300), 250 GB 5400 rpm Serial ATA hard drive, slot load 8x Super Drive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
One FireWire 400, one FireWire 800, two USB 2.0 ports, and ExpressCard/34 slot
Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit); built-in 54 Mbps AirPort Extreme (802.11n); built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
15.4-inch (diagonal), 1440 by 900 resolution, matte TFT LED widescreen display with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 512 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM and dual-link DVI


I am torn between the two.
     
Laminar
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Feb 16, 2009, 12:25 PM
 
What are your specific needs? What do you like/not like about each model?
     
Simon
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Feb 16, 2009, 12:37 PM
 
They're sold out right now, but the refurb store had the previous high-end MBP on sale for $1499.
• 2.5 GHz
• 15" glossy or matte screen
• 2 GB RAM
• 250 GB HDD
• 8600GT, 512 MB VRAM

IOW, Amazon is overpriced. Check the refurb store again.

http://forums.macnn.com/69/mac-noteb...-refurb-store/
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...ac/macbook_pro
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 16, 2009, 12:43 PM
 
I like the design of the newer model better. Beyond that I don't know if it matters.
What I am looking to do is sell my current 1st generation 2GHz MacBook and use the MBP like I use the MB (web browsing, email, etc). Over the next few months I would like to get rid of my dual 2 GHz PowerMac G5 and begin to use the MBP as a desktop replacement. All of the external drives that I have (4 Lacie) are FireWire 400 or 800. I mostly would use it for managing large iTunes and picture libraries and for image editing on Photoshop. I sometimes rip DVDs using Handbrake and that is about the extent of it at the moment.
Also, thanks, guys.
( Last edited by ThisGuy; Feb 16, 2009 at 01:12 PM. Reason: to express gratitude.)
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 16, 2009, 12:47 PM
 
     
Maflynn
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Feb 16, 2009, 01:50 PM
 
I'd go with the unibody model as long as the lack of firewire isn't an issue.
The unibody model has a vastly superior GPU, faster memory and a faster FSB to go along with that.

Just my two cents but why go with last years model when this year's software is demanding more and more of the GPU.
~Mike
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 16, 2009, 02:28 PM
 
I hear ya. Also, what is preventing me from throwing a. Expresscard Firewire 400 card in there if I need to?
     
mduell
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Feb 16, 2009, 02:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
I'd go with the unibody model as long as the lack of firewire isn't an issue.
The unibody model has a vastly superior GPU, faster memory and a faster FSB to go along with that.
The MBP still has Firewire.
     
Cold Warrior
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Feb 16, 2009, 02:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThisGuy View Post
I hear ya. Also, what is preventing me from throwing a. Expresscard Firewire 400 card in there if I need to?
The MB doesn't support expresscard.
     
Maflynn
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Feb 16, 2009, 02:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The MBP still has Firewire.
my bad, I thought he was asking about the MB
~Mike
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 16, 2009, 02:57 PM
 
Sorry, I guess I assumed too much. I meant getting a FireWire 400 Express card for the MBP.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 16, 2009, 03:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThisGuy View Post
Sorry, I guess I assumed too much. I meant getting a FireWire 400 Express card for the MBP.
Why would you, seeing as you've got a FW 800 bus on there already?

If you *really* need the bandwidth of a second, unshared Firewire bus, then why not get a FW 800, or better yet, an eSATA, ExpressCard, too?
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 16, 2009, 04:10 PM
 
Of the 4 drives I have I believe that only 2 have FireWire 800. It really isn't that big of a deal, but I just want to make sure that any Mac I get has FireWire.
So, is the technology difference between the new MBPs and the previous generation MBPs really that different?
     
Simon
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Feb 16, 2009, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThisGuy View Post
Yeah. Exactly that one.
     
Simon
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Feb 16, 2009, 04:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThisGuy View Post
So, is the technology difference between the new MBPs and the previous generation MBPs really that different?
Not really. The unibody 2.4 GHz and the Al 2.5 GHz will show similar performance (unibody has a faster FSB and mem bus). In any case you should get 4 GB RAM. That will be a tad more expensive on the unibody (DDR3 vs. DDR2). If you want matte over glossy, you have to go with the Al since there's no option on the unibody.

The price difference is $200. You can ask yourself if the new design and the better battery life (when you switch to the 9400M) are worth it.
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 18, 2009, 02:47 PM
 
Anybody know how often they update the refurb store?
     
Cold Warrior
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Feb 18, 2009, 08:40 PM
 
It seems erratic. I've never found a pattern. MacNN often posts a news story if refurbs are added/available, so you might check there and also just bookmark the store's refurb section.
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 19, 2009, 12:41 PM
 
Luckily, I was able to snag the refurbished 2.5 GHz yesterday evening. They appeared for a matter of minutes and I quickly purchased one. Thanks again everybody for your knowledge and assistance.
     
yaroldb
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Feb 19, 2009, 02:33 PM
 
I just got on of 2.5GHz unibody yesterday. Man I love Apple's refurbs. They look brand new. To fix your firewire problems, bet this

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fw_adapter.html
-8gb Iphone
-iMac 20inch 2.16GhzC2D 2Gb Ram, 500GB HD
-White Macbook 2.0GhzCD 2GB Ram, 120GB HD
-White 30GB iPod Video
-Black 30GB iPod Video
     
Simon
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Feb 19, 2009, 03:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by yaroldb View Post
To fix your firewire problems, bet this

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fw_adapter.html
$15 for a dongle?

Here's a $3.99 6pin-9pin FW cable.
     
iREZ
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Feb 19, 2009, 04:00 PM
 
i wish i got the 2.5 when i purchased my refurb, I waited till the unibodies were released and after I was left unimpressed went directly to the refurb site to snag a good deal figuring it'd be the last time I saw them online only to see that the 2.5 had been sold out and only a 2.4 being available.

So I pulled the trigger on the 2.4 in fear of those selling out as well and wanting to avoid going another route (amazon, Marketplace here, ebay :shutter: ). Still VERY happy with my purchase, but would've been more so had I got the 2.5 with the more VRAM.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
RMXO
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Feb 21, 2009, 02:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
i wish i got the 2.5 when i purchased my refurb, I waited till the unibodies were released and after I was left unimpressed went directly to the refurb site to snag a good deal figuring it'd be the last time I saw them online only to see that the 2.5 had been sold out and only a 2.4 being available.

So I pulled the trigger on the 2.4 in fear of those selling out as well and wanting to avoid going another route (amazon, Marketplace here, ebay :shutter: ). Still VERY happy with my purchase, but would've been more so had I got the 2.5 with the more VRAM.
I was once in the same boat as you. I was either going to get the new unibody or 2.5 w/ 8600GT 512 VRAM. I ended up getting getting the 2.5 model that was discontinued in Oct 08 i believe. I really love this machine and glad I got the 512 VRAM version. Plus, I got a great deal and saved a bundle.
MacBook Pro 15" Unibody | iPhone 16GB 3G
     
Simon
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Feb 21, 2009, 05:12 AM
 
Just a quick heads-up, the 2.5 GHz model is back on sale right now for $1499. It's the matte one only this time though.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB...jE5MA#overview
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...ac/macbook_pro
     
iREZ
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Feb 21, 2009, 10:40 PM
 
show offs...

NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
ThisGuy  (op)
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Feb 24, 2009, 11:41 PM
 
     
   
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