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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New White MacBook versus low end Aluminum

New White MacBook versus low end Aluminum (Page 2)
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Chinasaur
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Feb 3, 2009, 09:05 AM
 
Soo, without Firewire™ Target Disk mode, how do buyers of the unibody macbook transfer from their old Mac? USB?
iMac - C2D, 2.8Ghz, 4GB, 320GB
MacBook - C2D, 2.4Ghz Uni, 4GB, 500GB
     
Maflynn
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Feb 3, 2009, 09:24 AM
 
ethernet or wireless
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Simon
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Feb 3, 2009, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chinasaur View Post
Soo, without Firewire™ Target Disk mode, how do buyers of the unibody macbook transfer from their old Mac? USB?
Migration Assistant offers several options including network connections and TM backups. If FW TDM were the only way to migrate, what would MBA owners have done?

FW TDM is important when you're troubleshooting. Fortunately accessing the disk in a MacBook has always been very easy. So instead of TDM you just take the disk out and put it into an enclosure or dock. Sure, that's not quite as simple as TDM but it works just fine.
     
adeyj
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Feb 3, 2009, 01:17 PM
 
First of all hi to everyone and thanks for having a discussion that finally provoked me to sign up

I've been using a 1.83 MB since July 06 and the magsafe went on it so I'm having to upgrade. To be honest it's served me tremendously well. I've never had any problems with it despite it being on about 99% of its life (literally). I've travelled with it a lot around Europe and now I'm due to be going away for 6months to work in India, so it's been extremely difficult for me to decide. However, after having played with my friend's new unibody macbook last weekend, I love the unibody. As an industrial designer, I can appreciate how revolutionary it is. Here is my analysis of it for my needs:

Alu pros in order of importance for me:
Multitouch trackpad
Doesn't overheat as much (although I'm interested whether this is more down to the chipset so maybe white ones aren't that bad any more?)
Thinner, lighter, much more solid build
Wipeable display (and brighter)
Better battery life
Looks awesome

Alu cons:
Price (I'm a student)
I already own 2 mini-dvi adapters for vga and dvi, so would have to replace these to drive my 24".
Expensive RAM
No illuminated keyboard
Extremely reflective display
Lack of that 'soul' that the white one has. It's just so clinical and a lot of people are saying "Oh, it's nice, but don't they make the white ones any more?"

White pros:
Price
Cheaper RAM
Less glossy display
It's cool I find it easy to change the colour of mine if I feel like it:
I've had one for nearly 3 years and have loved it

White cons:
More fragile case will get dirty
Heat
Slower RAM
Screen gets dirty easier and is more difficult to clean as well as being uncovered
Worse battery

So basically I think I'm going to get the white one and upgrade the RAM (which I couldn't afford to do on the alu, so it should be faster), try to look after it while in India and wait for Apple to decrease the price on the alu or at least improve the spec/add illuminated keyboard, at which point I will sell the white and upgrade. Firewire is not an issue for me as I don't do video, only a lot of photography, and my backup drives are USB.

Sorry for the long post but felt like joining in on the discussion
     
Eug
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Feb 3, 2009, 01:35 PM
 
Doesn't overheat as much (although I'm interested whether this is more down to the chipset so maybe white ones aren't that bad any more?)
What kind of overheating problems did you have? I had a Core Duo 2.0 I bought years ago and now I have a Core 2 Duo 2.1 and haven't had overheating problems. With the Core 2 Duo I actually run it with the lid closed when I have it hooked up to my LCD projector.

P.S. I use a region free DVD drive in a Firewire enclosure with the MacBook when it's hooked up to the projector. For PAL, the MacBook can put out 1280x720 and 50 Hz, which my projector can accept.
     
adeyj
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Feb 3, 2009, 02:35 PM
 
By overheating I don't mean that it ever turned off on me or anything like that, but it just got hot so I couldn't put it on my lap without fear of becoming sterile. lol. Only problem really.
     
fisherKing
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Feb 3, 2009, 03:49 PM
 
i'm sitting here typing on my 2.4g alubook, next to my friend's white macbook; we BOTH agree, the alubook feels faster, gets less hot, has a brighter display; both prefer the new trackpad, the smaller size, weight.

he likes his macbook, but, if he could do it over, he would get the alubook (the 2.4, with the backlit keyboard...which i love using...great for nighttime work)...

personal choice, budget...all good reasons to consider one item against another. but outside of the (pathetic, imho) lack of firewire, the alubook just seems the better machine...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
Urkel
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Feb 3, 2009, 04:04 PM
 
I had a Gen1 Black Macbook and got my wife a white one the following year. My Black one got extremely hot, the fan would always run and in its final months it would shut down from heat and the fan would grind. The white one was better but not "lappable" and the fan was equally loud.

We now have an Alum Macbook and MBP. Both are unbelievably cool, the fans are so silent you don't know when they're running and I can easily use it on my lap. The MBP with the 9600 running does spin the fan up more often and while you know it's on, it isn't too distracting. As for the 500GB drive upgrade I installed, it munches away pretty loudly but I'm not complaining.
     
Eug
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Feb 3, 2009, 04:22 PM
 
My 1st gen white Core Duo 2.0 got warm but that's it. It was "lappable".

My white Core 2 Duo 2.1 is even cooler.
     
Simon
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Feb 3, 2009, 04:35 PM
 
My 1st generation Core Duo BlackBook can get really hot. Just push it and it becomes very hot. Borderline lappable.

The C2D MBs were better but they're still hotter than what a unibody MB gets.
     
adeyj
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Feb 3, 2009, 07:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
i'm sitting here typing on my 2.4g alubook, next to my friend's white macbook; we BOTH agree, the alubook feels faster, gets less hot, has a brighter display; both prefer the new trackpad, the smaller size, weight.

he likes his macbook, but, if he could do it over, he would get the alubook (the 2.4, with the backlit keyboard...which i love using...great for nighttime work)...

personal choice, budget...all good reasons to consider one item against another. but outside of the (pathetic, imho) lack of firewire, the alubook just seems the better machine...

I won't argue that the alu macbooks run cooler and are thinner, lighter, moer stylish etc, as I agree. However, my budget was basically overstretched if I had bought the basic alu one anyway, so 2,4 was out of the question.

I love the new trackpad and that was the biggest reason for me to buy the alu one along with the unibody, but I just thought that without the illuminated keyboard, it's not such a great deal for someone on a budget, especially considering the price of DDR3.

Don't get me wrong, if I could I would buy the 2,4 alu macbook and max out the ram I would, but that unfortunately wasn't an option for me. So for now at least, I will use my new white macbook with pleasure and flog it in a few months to upgrade to a (hopefully) 2,4 unibody with illuminated keyboard and customisable multitouch gestures for a nice student price

On that note, anyone else disappointed that you can't, for example use 3 fingers left and right to skip through itunes tracks and up/down to pause etc?

Anyway, just got back from the Regent Street Apple store, so time to open my new macbook
     
Undo Redo
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Feb 4, 2009, 10:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by adeyj View Post
Anyway, just got back from the Regent Street Apple store, so time to open my new macbook
Enjoy it!

I think I'm finally going to pull the trigger tomorrow on a white MacBook. I've been waiting for a new Mac mini that seems like it's never going to come. So I'm going to use my current 2006 MacBook in clamshell mode instead of a new mini and get a new MacBook for portable use.

The super glassy screen, higher price, black keyboard and lack of Firewire are the big drawbacks of the new aluminum MacBooks. Everything else is insignificant or a wash, IMO.
     
jamester
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Feb 4, 2009, 11:33 PM
 
Yes, do enjoy it. I think I'm going to bite the bullet in about 2-3 weeks and pick up the 2.4 ghz alubook. I haven't had a mac notebook for a while now - I had an ibook back when, and then I switched to the 12" powerbook, but haven't had one since then. I longed for the white (and then black) macbooks, but the alubook just seems like too much to pass up.

Firewire doesn't mean anything to me - all my goodies are USB, so there's no big loss there.

Now I just have to sell my PC to help finance this monster.
2.4GHz Macbook. 22" LCD. External 640GB HD. Yum.
     
Eug
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Feb 5, 2009, 12:44 PM
 
In terms of most every day usage, I don't see a point to getting 2.4 over 2.0. However, if you do some heavy lifting on the machine then it can make a significant difference.

IOW, it depends on what you're doing. If you're using mainly office apps with surfing and say occasional Photoshop, then getting the 2.4 for the extra CPU speed is almost pointless. If you're doing more heavy duty stuff like media encoding, then the 2.4 can be a nice boost. For example, for my usage, the biggest benefit of the 2.4 would be the backlit keyboard.

In fact, if the entry-level aluMacBook had a backlit keyboard, I'd be more inclined to buy it over the whiteBook. Since it doesn't, the entry-level aluMacBook is a lot less attractive to me given the price premium.
     
jamester
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Feb 5, 2009, 01:25 PM
 
I won't be doing heavy lifting, probably. I may play the occasional video game (I'm a recovering WoW junkie), but I do plan on this machine replacing my desktop. (It's for sale on Craigslist right now, but there's not a lot of demand for PC desktops.)

The backlit keyboard is actually one of the main draws for me for the 2.4... I can imagine that'd come in handy at times. This laptop will be travelling with me this summer. We're likely flying, so it'll be a nice fit, so to speak.
2.4GHz Macbook. 22" LCD. External 640GB HD. Yum.
     
Simon
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Feb 5, 2009, 01:31 PM
 
$200 $300 buys you
• faster CPU (can't be upgraded later)
• backlit KB (can't be upgraded later)
• bigger disk

I would definitely get the high-end model for an extra $200 $300.
( Last edited by Simon; Feb 6, 2009 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Fixed wishful thinking. ;))
     
Undo Redo
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Feb 5, 2009, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
$200 buys you
• faster CPU (can't be upgraded later)
• backlit KB (can't be upgraded later)
• bigger disk

I would definitely get the high-end model for an extra $200.
It's a $300 difference, isn't it?
     
jamester
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Feb 5, 2009, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post
It's a $300 difference, isn't it?
Yep - 1299 to 1599. I'm thinking the 1599 is worth it, especially if you can find any discounts like an edu discount.
2.4GHz Macbook. 22" LCD. External 640GB HD. Yum.
     
Undo Redo
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Feb 5, 2009, 11:40 PM
 
I was going to order a white MacBook this morning instead of the Mac mini I've been waiting for (forever). After sleeping on it, I've decided to wait longer. If a new mini finally arrives and the specs aren't so great, I may still go for the MacBook. The newly upgraded white model is the first Mac that has really appealed to me in a long time; having the right specs at a fair price.
     
Eug
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Feb 5, 2009, 11:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post
I was going to order a white MacBook this morning instead of the Mac mini I've been waiting for (forever). After sleeping on it, I've decided to wait longer. If a new mini finally arrives and the specs aren't so great, I may still go for the MacBook. The newly upgraded white model is the first Mac that has really appealed to me in a long time; having the right specs at a fair price.
The refurb of the previous white is a pretty reasonable deal too, although it doesn't have the upgraded GPU and unfortunately it comes with less memory. I don't do anything GPU-intensive on my MacBook, so I didn't care. Any GPU-dependent stuff and any heavy lifting for me is done on my iMac... which is why I'm anxiously awaiting a quad-core iMac...
     
Simon
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Feb 6, 2009, 03:33 AM
 
Do NOT go with a refurb 2.1 GHz white model!

All you save is $150. In turn you have to live with an anemic X3100 instead of the 9400M and this nothing you will be able to upgrade later. At the latest when SL arrives this will become a huge handicap. In fact SL is the very reason for this recent upgrade to the white MB. To make things worse, with the refurb you get only 1 GB of RAM. IOW you need more RAM right of the bat which makes the refurb more expensive.

Refurbs are usually always worth a look. But in the case of the white MB, trying to save $150 by going for the outdated model is a really bad idea.
     
imdipped
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Feb 14, 2009, 12:28 AM
 
In checking the specs, I just noticed that while the new white MB can support external 1920 x 1200 resolution (24 in. monitor) with its mini DVI, the alu MB can support 2560 x 1600 (30 in. monitor) with its mini DP. I didn’t realize it was capable of dual link. That 9400M must be a pretty decent chip.
( Last edited by imdipped; Feb 14, 2009 at 12:29 AM. Reason: added the word new)
     
 
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