Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 1st Gen. MBP vs. New Macbook

1st Gen. MBP vs. New Macbook
Thread Tools
drewcifer
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 31, 2008, 06:36 AM
 
I'm an architecture student currently using a first generation Macbook Pro and I am considering upgrading to the 2.4ghz Macbook. I do work in Photoshop and 3D rendering programs.

My current computer has a 2.16ghz core duo, 2GB ram, 7200rpm drive, and ATI Radeon X1600 256MB VRAM

The plan is to sell my current computer to purchase a 2.4ghz macbook. At some point down the road I would up the ram to 4GB and install a 7200rpm drive. How much of a performance increase can I expect from this new machine? What areas will I see improvements in? Am I sacrificing anything by making this change other than the larger screen? What about graphics performance? Is this a worthwhile upgrade?

Being a college student I'm strapped for cash (otherwise I would just upgrade to a new MBP) but I can probably swing a 2.4 Macbook after selling my current machine on ebay. The new macbooks are obviously superior from a design perspective but I'm just wondering how significant the difference is performance-wise.

Your responses are much appreciated.
     
Maflynn
Professional Poster
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 31, 2008, 09:01 AM
 
Here's a set of benchmarks from MacWorld that seems to answer your questions.

Going from a MBP to a MB generally means a step back in terms of performance but the differences between the two models (2.4 MB and 2.4 MBP) are razor thin, with the following exception: The GPU on the MBP is faster (as a discreet GPU vs. an integrated one will be). However if you don't play games or use software that leverages the GPU then the MB will suffice (except for CS4, photoshop was more dependent on processor speed/power and gpu power)

Screen size and quality is another issue you need to mull over, a 13" display to do photoshop work may be a little too cramped unless you attach a monitor to it. Additionally there's been complaints that the MB's display panel is inferior to the MBP's, that is colors are washed out and viewing angle is diminished.

Finally the lack of FireWire may (or may not) be an issue.

Is it worth the upgrade? Only you can answer that, but I'd say that being a cash strapped student, it may be better for you hold on to your MBP and wait till you have more money or a need to upgrade.
~Mike
     
drewcifer  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 31, 2008, 12:30 PM
 
Actually, I'm interested in comparing my first generation macbook pro machine with current generation macbooks. I don't think that website mentions the older mbp's.
Macbook Pro 15" (fully spec'd out)

...waiting for 6g ipods.
     
drewcifer  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 01:34 AM
 
cmon help me out here guys i know you all are experts on this stuff.
Macbook Pro 15" (fully spec'd out)

...waiting for 6g ipods.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 04:45 AM
 
You already have the answers. The new 2.4 GHz MB will definitely be faster than your old MBP for everything, but GPU-dependent tasks. The MB screen is not as good as the screen on the MBP, but the new LED-backlit screens are better (instant on, even backlighting) than the older CCFL types like your old MBP has. You will be losing FW capability with the new MB.

Make sure to get 4 GB RAM ASAP for best performance.
     
clockworkwar
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: England
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 12:26 PM
 
I am also an architecture student and debating whether to purchase a MB, I think as I have to get a train to the uni every day for me a macbook seems better then I will hook it up to a monitor at home.
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 03:15 PM
 
I am pondering this question. What would each of YOU do in this situation:

Buy a refirb 2.4 or 2.5 Ghz MacBook Pro (Old style) or a brand new 2.4 Ghz MacBook?
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 03:21 PM
 
I would decide first if I want a MBP or a MB. I you want a MBP but can't afford it, then go for the refurb. But there's no reason to get a refurb MBP if you actually prefer a MB.

Personally, I'm fine with the 15" size and I want the extra performance, expansion, and screen quality so I'd get the MBP. But not a refurb. One of the cool new unibody MBPs.
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 03:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I would decide first if I want a MBP or a MB. I you want a MBP but can't afford it, then go for the refurb. But there's no reason to get a refurb MBP if you actually prefer a MB.

Personally, I'm fine with the 15" size and I want the extra performance, expansion, and screen quality so I'd get the MBP. But not a refurb. One of the cool new unibody MBPs.
I prefer the MBP, but with the economy being what it is I'm trying to keep costs down. Since the refurb MBP is about the same price as the MB it makes a reasonable question.
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 03:39 PM
 
Well if you prefer the MBP and a refurb MBP is no more expensive than a MB, why the heck not go with a refurb?
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Well if you prefer the MBP and a refurb MBP is no more expensive than a MB, why the heck not go with a refurb?
Older generation vs. new generation laptops.
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
clockworkwar
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: England
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 03:43 PM
 
I like the small form factor of the MB. It's upto personal taste.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Older generation vs. new generation laptops.
Both are current tech. So why should that be of any concern if you clearly prefer one over the other?
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 06:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
You already have the answers. The new 2.4 GHz MB will definitely be faster than your old MBP for everything, but GPU-dependent tasks.
When is 9300M not faster than X1600?
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 06:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
When is 9300M not faster than X1600?
9300M... Huh?

The MBPs X1600 will outpace the MB's 9400M at tasks involving VRAM and bandwidth.
     
exca1ibur
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Oakland, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 06:34 PM
 
     
drewcifer  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 08:41 PM
 
OK looking at those benchmarks it seems that my current graphics processor is slightly better.

SO i can expect a new MB to be better performance-wise in all areas except for a slight graphics disadvantage? Hmm, I could also consider a refurb mbp.
Macbook Pro 15" (fully spec'd out)

...waiting for 6g ipods.
     
drewcifer  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 08:45 PM
 
could someone please explain the hardware/performance differences between the refurb MBPs being offered and the new unibody MBPs?
Macbook Pro 15" (fully spec'd out)

...waiting for 6g ipods.
     
Cloud
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2009, 10:02 PM
 
I am also an architecture student and I just bought myself the new MBP with the 2.8ghz processor 4GB of RAM and the 512MB graphics card.

i havent fully tested out the performance of this computer with all the programs freshly installed on it, however i have had no problems shuffling through all the other programs i keep on at once. and keep in mind this is on the lower performance configurations i have setup using the 9400 GeForce setup as well as the longer battery life option compared to the powerful graphics.

i think youll be fine, just take the plunge and buy the mbp, youll really enjoy it.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 2, 2009, 04:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by drewcifer View Post
SO i can expect a new MB to be better performance-wise in all areas except for a slight graphics disadvantage? Hmm, I could also consider a refurb mbp.
I think you are asking the wrong questions. There's another thread where we were debating a similar issue.

You should first ask yourself what you want: MBP or MB. Do you want smaller, lighter, more battery life OR do you want bigger/better screen, more graphics performance, more expansion?

Once you know the answer to that question you either get a new MB or (if you're on a tight budget) a refurb MBP for roughly the same amount of money.

The new unibodies offer new features and great new looks, but in terms of raw performance they're no huge step forward (apart from maybe X3100 vs. 9400M). Buying a refurb now is not buying outdated tech. It's a smart way for people who could only afford a MB to get the MBP they prefer.

But first of all, people need to find out — apart from the money issue — which one they want/need/prefer.
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 2, 2009 at 05:19 AM. )
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 2, 2009, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The MBPs X1600 will outpace the MB's 9400M at tasks involving VRAM and bandwidth.
9400M has more bandwidth (21GBps) available than X1600 Mobility (6.5GBps) and 945PM (10GBps) combined.

9300M is the same graphics core as used in the 9400M chipset.
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 2, 2009, 03:52 PM
 
How does the 9400 chipset in the new MacBooks compare with the ATI Radeon 9700s in the old MBP?
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 2, 2009, 06:22 PM
 
The MBP never had a 9700. They started out with the Radeon Mobility X1600 and then moved on to the GeForce 8600M.

The rev B, C, and D 15" Al PowerBooks used a Radeon 9700 back in 2004-2005. It doesn't stand a chance against the 9400M.
     
drewcifer  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 2, 2009, 07:57 PM
 
thanks for the advice simon. i think i'll most likely be going with a refurb MBP. I definitely would prefer a MBP and Im sure it will blow my current machine out of the water. Also, I should be able to make it fit the budget.
Macbook Pro 15" (fully spec'd out)

...waiting for 6g ipods.
     
jsnowbordr47
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jan 2009
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2009, 12:07 AM
 
The graphics of the new MB will be at a slight disadvantage compared to the chip in your Gen 1 MBP. However, the CPU should more than make up for that slight disadvantage. The Gen 1 Macbook Pro uses Intel Core Duo Processors, a 32bit processor, the New Macbook uses Intel Core 2 Duo Processors, 64bit processors that are clocked much higher than the Gen 1 system you have.

I don't know about your 3d programs, but Adobe CS3/CS4 are optimized for 64bit processors.
     
kw14
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NorthEastern US
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2009, 02:42 AM
 
I had an early 13" ibook. I love everything about it except for the screen size when I had to do real work. When I was coding with multiple source files and when I was manipulating images, I felt claustrophobic. It got a lot better when I moved to a 15" screen. Then I got spoiled with a 17" MBP and a 30" cinema display. Now I am back to a 15" MBP. Unless the computer is mainly home use (email, iTunes, etc.), I cannot see going to the 13 inch.

Since you are an architecture student, I would suggest playing with some of your drawings on the 13" at the Apple store first before making your decision. I don't know if an iMac may be an option for you.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2009, 05:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by jsnowbordr47 View Post
I don't know about your 3d programs, but Adobe CS3/CS4 are optimized for 64bit processors.
Not on the Mac they aren't.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2009, 05:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by drewcifer View Post
thanks for the advice simon. i think i'll most likely be going with a refurb MBP. I definitely would prefer a MBP and Im sure it will blow my current machine out of the water. Also, I should be able to make it fit the budget.
That sounds like a good plan. If you prefer the MBP but are on a MB budget, you should definitely check the refurb section.

As I already advertised a while ago, you can find some excellent deals there. Some are there only a short while, but reappear later. It's a good idea to check frequently till they have exactly what you're looking for. My favorite's the 2.5 GHz 15" MBP (Early 2008, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD, 8xSD, 8600M/512MB) for $1499. That's the previous high-end 15" MBP for the price of today's high-end MB.
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2009, 11:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The MBP never had a 9700. They started out with the Radeon Mobility X1600 and then moved on to the GeForce 8600M.

The rev B, C, and D 15" Al PowerBooks used a Radeon 9700 back in 2004-2005. It doesn't stand a chance against the 9400M.
Sorry ... my mistake. What was *I* thinking? LOL

How does the 8600M (with dedicated memory) compare with the 9400M?
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2009, 11:58 AM
 
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2009, 12:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Thank you for the links to that EXCELLENT web-site. Much appreciated.
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:06 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,