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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Good Deal or obsolete Tech?

Good Deal or obsolete Tech?
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DCaddict
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Feb 24, 2011, 01:37 PM
 
Once the new models came out today I checked the Apple refurb store and found this:

Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 - Apple Store (U.S.)

It's last April's 15.4 inch Core i5 model for $1269.00 ($1381.00 with tax) That's $530 off the regular price.

I'm having second thoughts though. It's last year's computer which doesn't have light peak or the other upgrades. Perhaps I'd be better off buying new later on with my student discount.
     
rambo47
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Mar 4, 2011, 04:21 PM
 
Actually it looks like a good deal. LightPeak won''t be a widely used industry standard for some time and there are no peripherals yet that support it. The Core i5 processor is still very powerful and you're getting the full 4GB of RAM. It will serve you well for years.

If you can get a newer model for only a couple hundred dollars more, then perhaps buying new is the better option. But the refurb you're looking at is still a pretty good deal.
     
imitchellg5
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Mar 4, 2011, 04:36 PM
 
You'd have to spend nearly $600 more for a new model. Refurbs are generally very well-priced. Even though it's last year's model, it's definitely not obsolete (heck, there are some people in my house still using a PowerBook G4 )
( Last edited by imitchellg5; Mar 4, 2011 at 05:29 PM. )
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 4, 2011, 04:55 PM
 
The low-end 2.3 GHz MacBook Pro 13" clobbers it by 20% and is $70 cheaper:

MacBook Pro Benchmarks (Early 2011)

The low-end 15" MacBook Pro, at $500 dollars more than that refurb, is almost 80% faster.

Thunderbolt may not be in wide use all that soon, but how long is your next machine going to stay with you?
     
imitchellg5
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Mar 4, 2011, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The low-end 2.3 GHz MacBook Pro 13" clobbers it by 20% and is $70 cheaper:

MacBook Pro Benchmarks (Early 2011)
That's not true graphically. If he's doing any work with graphics or gaming, the 13" MacBook Pro will be nearly unusable.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 4, 2011, 05:46 PM
 
Yep. But for $530 more (not the $1000 you've now edited out ), he'll get MASSIVELY better real-world performance AND Thunderbolt.
     
imitchellg5
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Mar 4, 2011, 05:57 PM
 
If you're a student, $530 isn't exactly chump change.
     
CharlesS
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Mar 4, 2011, 06:26 PM
 
^ If you're a student, it's not $530 more, either. The price for the base 15" model at the edu store is lower than the regular price, and like SH said, even the 13" models are going to smoke the refurb not only in performance, but, unexpectedly, in expandability, since the new models have Thunderbolt and the previous model doesn't even have ExpressCard.

I'm going to agree with Spheric and go with "obsolete tech" on this one. The new models are so much better than the old ones that even a $500 discount isn't enough to make up the difference. If you need to get a refurb, wait for refurbs of the new model to show up in the Apple Store. The older models just aren't worth it.

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DCaddict  (op)
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Mar 30, 2011, 12:06 PM
 
Well, I ended up ordering the refurb 15 inch MBP. However, when I set it down on a table--it turns out the whole computer was warped (a LOT) and would not lie flat. It wobbled as I typed which I couldn't stand so I returned it the next day. Aside from that, when I compared basic tasks like web browsing, video playback, multiple apps open, etc it was not noticeably faster than my 2006 Core Duo MBP.

I've ordered a 2011 13 inch MBP which will arrive late this week. I'm excited to see how I fare with that one. I don't do a whole lot of gaming on my laptop anymore, but I was hoping to use Second Life from time to time. From what I've read, gaming on the 13 MBP is not going to be ideal because of the sucky integrated graphics. However, with a PS3, an iPhone, and maybe an iPad in the future I'm not sure this is a deal breaker like it would have been for me in the past. There doesn't seem to be a lot of games for the mac anymore--or laptops in general. Everything is going mobile.

I really appreciate everyone's responses and input by the way! Thank you.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 30, 2011, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by DCaddict View Post
I was hoping to use Second Life from time to time
Ah, I was wondering who that one last guy was…
     
Waragainstsleep
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Mar 30, 2011, 04:16 PM
 
Good choice. I'm guessing you didn't get a student discount on the refurb?

In which case you could get a bigger external display with the saving you made.

I'd love a new 15". Mine is starting to feel a little old now despite an 8GB RAM upgrade. Too rich for my blood though.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Young Spade
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Apr 1, 2011, 04:33 PM
 
You should definitely get it. If you're worrying about the specs being obsolete, don't; I would consider anything with netbook specs (1.xghz, 1 gig of ram) obsolete; anything with a dual core processor or around 2 gigs and up of RAM should be able to handle anything you throw at it.

And of course this all depends on what you do; if you aren't watching any HD video or playing games or editing, a netbook will do fine; if you're into more CPU intensive applications you'll have to get something a little better.
     
PB2K
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Apr 1, 2011, 05:59 PM
 
my advice : buy what you need. look for a new computer next year

Early adapters are suckers
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cgc
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Apr 2, 2011, 07:31 AM
 
Do you need Thunderbolt? If not, get the refurb.
     
PB2K
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Apr 3, 2011, 05:40 PM
 
refurb + SSD will make you laugh about early adaptors
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Spheric Harlot
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Apr 3, 2011, 05:49 PM
 
What is "early adopter" about the final generation of unibody machines?
     
SierraDragon
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Apr 4, 2011, 03:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
Early adapters are suckers
Makes no sense vis-a-vis the boxes in question. The hardware is evolved, Sandy Bridge is new but reporting as solid - and is way powerful, which is relevant for folks who need laptop power (me). Please elucidate.

-Allen
     
DCaddict  (op)
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Apr 5, 2011, 03:40 PM
 
I received the 13inch Core i5 MBP I ordered and I'm quite impressed with the bump in speed of processor intensive tasks like video encoding. It also seems so light and portable compared to my older 2006 15 inch MBP. The screen resolution is a little lower than I would want, but I knew that going in. After using it for a few days I notice the resolution a little more though.
     
Young Spade
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Apr 20, 2011, 07:42 PM
 
I'd go for it; as others have said (and as I personally believe) lightpeak won't be widely used until sometime in the future; that and I personally wouldn't have any use for it; usb 2.0 and firewire do everything I need them to do.

It has great specs and you're saving money. Go for it.
     
CharlesS
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Apr 21, 2011, 09:11 PM
 
It actually has quite rotten specs, even for the time it was released, and you'll end up replacing it far sooner than you would a current model, so you're not saving money either.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
   
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