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Atlanta
Topic Author
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:00 pm

Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:11 pm

Hi all, just a few questions about buying a new Macbook Pro.

1. Will a refurbished computer from MacConnection, MacMall, PCconnection etc... Be fast and work well? I found $1449.99 for a 15" w/200GB hard driveand $1699.99 for a 15.4" w/250GB hard drive

2. What is the differance between a 15.4" w/ 320GB hard drive and a 17" w/320GB besides a bigger screen?

3. Will a 200GB hard drive work for a main computer?

4. To continue question 1 Should I go new or used?

5. Are MacConnection/ used stores etc. safe and reliable?

Thanks in advance, I am just VERY confused.  banghead 

Atlanta
 
flynavy
Posts: 2179
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 1:48 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:32 pm



Quoting Atlanta (Thread starter):

If you're going to buy used, go with Apple's certifed refurbished products. They have a number of MacBooks and MacBook Pros to choose from. Shame you didn't buy one yesterday, as the Apple Store had some fairly good discounts on the entire product line.

The refurbished products link is at the bottom of this page: http://store.apple.com/us. Scroll all the way down, and under Special Deals, click Refurbished Mac.
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:53 pm

You should be aware that refurbished MacBooks at this point will almost certainly be the old models which have just been replaced with the new unibody ones. I would recommend you to get a current model instead, since the price difference currently isn't that attractive; You might have to wait some time until these will pop up as refurbished offerings.

I would also second Flynavy's remark above. Apple's refurbished offerings come with the exact same manufacturer's warranty as new machines; Theoretically there can be minor cosmetic blemishes but in general they are flawless.

At this point the 17" MacBook Pro has not yet been moved to the new technology; Apart from getting minor specification upgrades it's still the old model. It will probably be switched over some time later. The old model MacBook (plastic case) is also still available. The new ones are the 13" MacBook (unibody) and the 15" MacBook Pro.

Since Macs usually have a rather long useful lifespan, I would generally get in at or near the beginning of a lifecycle, not at or near its end unless it's really a big bargain.
 
waterpolodan
Posts: 1628
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:46 pm

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:15 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
You should be aware that refurbished MacBooks at this point will almost certainly be the old models which have just been replaced with the new unibody ones. I would recommend you to get a current model instead,

The current one does look pretty awesome, but IMO the older one is still a great machine, in terms of hardware it is no slouch, still very current and it's incredibly well built and attractive, definitely a good buy if you aren't paying the astronomical price for a new one.

Quoting Atlanta (Thread starter):

3. Will a 200GB hard drive work for a main computer?

Maybe, I have a dell with a 200 gig drive but I had to buy a 320 gig external for backups and for another 120 gigs of movies and tv shows, and I'm thinking of getting another one for extra storage, but external drives are relatively cheap and if the price difference between the 320 gig drive and the 200 gig drive computer is more than 100 bucks, IMO it isn't worth it.

Quoting Atlanta (Thread starter):

2. What is the differance between a 15.4" w/ 320GB hard drive and a 17" w/320GB besides a bigger screen?

Go with the smaller laptop, they both have basically the same hardware and although it's nice to get more screen real estate with the 17 inch computer, if you ever carry your laptop around you won't be as happy with that one. It still isn't heavy, MBPs are slim and light for their size, but the width makes it inconvenient for carrying around. I went from a 17 inch gateway laptop to a 15 inch dell, and I haven't regretted the size change one bit.
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:45 am



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 3):
The current one does look pretty awesome, but IMO the older one is still a great machine, in terms of hardware it is no slouch, still very current and it's incredibly well built and attractive, definitely a good buy if you aren't paying the astronomical price for a new one.

The prices are merely adequate for what you get (although many people prefer cheaper quality at cheaper prices).

The refurbished machines are not dramatically cheaper. And as I said: At the relatively small price difference the disadvantage of getting the older model at this time isn't really worth it. I'd wait for the new models appearing in the refurbished section. Or I'd check out which regular rebates or bundling offers might apply.

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 3):
Go with the smaller laptop, they both have basically the same hardware

Without knowing anything about the individual preferences and requirements I would not make any such recommendation. For me the large screen of the 17" MBP is essential. For others a compact 13" MB is preferable. Again others like the 15" machine in the middle.

The main differences:

- Unibody MacBook: Latest chipset, fast integrated graphics, DisplayPort connector, illuminated keyboard, adequate speakers, no FireWire.

- Unibody MacBook Pro 15": Like the unibody MacBook, plus very fast dedicated graphics accelerator, FireWire 800, ExpressCard slot, good speakers.

- Unibody MacBook Air: 13": Basically an extremely thin unibody MacBook without an optical drive, tiny speaker, just one USB port.

- Previous model plastic MacBook: Lowest price, older chipset, slow integrated graphics, mini-DVI-I connector, FireWire 400. Probably still being offered as an option to still get FireWire at the low end and to extend the price range downwards.

- Previous model MacBook Pro 17": Older aluminium case, standard DVI-I output, FireWire 400+800, ExpressCard slot, very good speakers for such a thin notebook, soon to be replaced with a unibody model. This is the only MacBook at this time which can still be had with a matte display (optional). All others are glossy only.

Of course there is always the option of getting a used machine, but at this point I'd rather spend a little more (or wait a little longer for a new refurbished one) and get the new model. It will remain useful for a longer time and thus provide more value for a very similar price.
 
mirrodie
Posts: 6797
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 3:33 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:43 pm

just saw teh new apple macbpk pro 15'. what exactly is the unibody? didnt see much of a difference.
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:29 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 5):
just saw teh new apple macbpk pro 15'. what exactly is the unibody? didnt see much of a difference.

The lower casing is machined from a massive block of aluminium; It has no visible seams any more, it is built to tighter specifications and it should be even more rigid than the old casing.
 
Lufthansa411
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:54 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:02 am

I have a 15" MacBook Pro, one of the old ones. My mom just got one of the smaller new ones. I would recommend going with one of the new ones if you can justify the cost.

In terms of which one, It depends on what you normally do with it. My mom uses hers mainly for word processing and a few photos, so the smaller one was the better decision. I use mine mainly for photography, a bit of gaming as well as a LOT of writing. The bigger screen was described by the Mac store salespeople as being designed for people who spend hours gaming, or doing high processor activities.
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:03 am



Quoting Lufthansa411 (Reply 7):
The bigger screen was described by the Mac store salespeople as being designed for people who spend hours gaming, or doing high processor activities.

It is also important if you simply want to view more information at the same time, even if you don't make much use of the more powerful graphics or the faster CPU options.
 
mirrodie
Posts: 6797
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RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:28 pm

THanks.

I may be picking up an older one (15 Mac G4, as I mentioned to you Klaus some time ago) as well as a new one in 2009.
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:02 pm



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 9):
I may be picking up an older one (15 Mac G4, as I mentioned to you Klaus some time ago) as well as a new one in 2009.

If you've got an intermediate solution which can carry you far enough, you might even want to wait for the combination of the upcoming Nehalem CPUs ("i7") and USB3 in a subsequent generation... These will probably be the next larger leaps in technology after the current upgrade in outer casing, DisplayPort and faster integrated graphics.
 
CHRISBA777ER
Posts: 3715
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 12:12 pm

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:07 pm

Got one from work a month ago and it is absolutely fantastic!

Love it long time.
 
mirrodie
Posts: 6797
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 3:33 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:09 pm

Whats the ETA on that? I can wait until 2009.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):


If you've got an intermediate solution which can carry you far enough, you might even want to wait for the combination of the upcoming Nehalem CPUs ("i7") and USB3 in a subsequent generation... These will probably be the next larger leaps in technology after the current upgrade in outer casing, DisplayPort and faster integrated graphics.

 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:41 pm



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 12):
Whats the ETA on that? I can wait until 2009.

I don't have any firm dates, but I would guess the new processors to appear in MacBooks towards the middle of the year; My guess about USB3 would be closer to the end of 2009.
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:05 pm

So .. i hate to hijack- but seem all kinds of mac enthusiats are here..

I decided to give the ol' Dell dektop the boot and replace it w a Mac laptop. I just cant deal with desktops any more..

So i'm between the 2.0Ghz and the 2.4Ghz machine.. Amazon has great deals on them (24 month no interest, no shipping, no tax   - I have the $$, but much rather use their money)

Apart from HDD (not an issue) and the lighted keyboard.. does the 0.4Ghz really make a difference? Price diff is like $300.

[Edited 2008-12-01 13:08:48]
 
Klaus
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:16 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 14):
Apart from HDD (not an issue) and the lighted keyboard.. does the 0.4Ghz really make a difference?

It can if you really need every bit of computing power you can get, but most people do not, really. 2.0GHz is already very fast and it should not limit you noticeably in the most popular tasks.

The illuminated keyboard is very nice and practical in various situations, but of course it's not an essential for everyone.

What are you planning to use it for?
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:54 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 15):
What are you planning to use it for?

Itunes, internet, word, excel.. ect.. nothing to dramatic...

I know is not comparing apples to apples (get it?) but my work laptop is a 1.8Ghz Centrino with 3GB RAM running XP - and i consider it fast enough.. i would assume the 2.0 would be better than this?

Thanks agian!
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:25 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 16):
Itunes, internet, word, excel.. ect.. nothing to dramatic...

I know is not comparing apples to apples (get it?) but my work laptop is a 1.8Ghz Centrino with 3GB RAM running XP - and i consider it fast enough.. i would assume the 2.0 would be better than this?

You won't have a problem there... The latest Core 2 CPUs are quite a bit more efficient even at the same clock rate, they have dual CPU cores instead of one and they use a much faster frontside bus.

MacOS X also makes good use of the respective graphics processor, so it should be a good user experience all in all, even with the lower of the two clock rates offered.
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:58 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 17):

You won't have a problem there... The latest Core 2 CPUs are quite a bit more efficient even at the same clock rate, they have dual CPU cores instead of one and they use a much faster frontside bus.

Deed is done. Klaus i am blaming you  Smile I went with the 2.4GHz machines.

$1645 on amazon including MS Office..
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:04 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 18):
Deed is done.

Congratulations! Big grin

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 18):
Klaus i am blaming you

At least I hope to be included in the positive responses, not just the negative ones...!

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 18):
I went with the 2.4GHz machines.

It will essentially extend the useful life of the machine even further. Not a bad choice.
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):

It will essentially extend the useful life of the machine even further. Not a bad choice.

yea that what i figured.

Quick question... my company just upgraded our webmail service to Outlook OWA something or other. I am assuming it will work OK with my new mac (which shipped today  Smile) right?
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:15 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 20):
Quick question... my company just upgraded our webmail service to Outlook OWA something or other. I am assuming it will work OK with my new mac (which shipped today  ) right?

I have no experience of my own with that infrastructure, but as long as it offers POP or IMAP access you should be fine.
 
Atlanta
Topic Author
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:00 pm

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:14 pm

Thank You, for all the responses.

I ended up going all out and buying the new 15.4' with the 320GB hard drive I love it and it works great!!!

Thanks Again,
Atlanta
 
User avatar
LTU932
Posts: 13725
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:45 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 20):
Quick question... my company just upgraded our webmail service to Outlook OWA something or other.

OWA (Outlook Web Access) is web based. You access your account (which AFAIK should be Exchange-based) through a website. So you should be OK on any platform.
 
User avatar
KaiGywer
Posts: 11183
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:59 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:55 pm

Klaus. question for the expert. I have been offered to buy this one for $500. Good deal?

MacBook4,1
Hardware Overview: Model Name: MacBook Model Identifier: MacBook4,1 Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Speed: 2.1 GHz Number Of Processors: 1 Total Number Of Cores: 2 L2 Cache: 3 MB Memory: 1 GB Bus Speed: 800 MHz Boot ROM Version: MB41.00C1.B00 SMC Version: 1.31f0 Sudden Motion Sensor: State: Enabled

He says he installed 4GB of ram, so he's taking it to the Genius bar to figure out why it's only showing 1...

[Edited 2008-12-20 09:57:16]
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:20 pm

The RAM might be defective, unsuitable for the machine or just installed incorrectly.

But otherwise it looks like a decent machine if it runs reliably with proper RAM. It would be from the last series before the new aluminium ones, so it is "almost fresh". Actually, that model is still being sold for $999,– since the new ones don't have FireWire any more (only the MacBook Pro still does):

MacBook family
 
Klaus
Posts: 21638
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Buying A Macbook Pro Questions?

Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:33 pm

Just to add: Up to that model, Apple used Intel integrated graphics which isn't really up to gaming or flight simulation. The new Aluminium models have a far more powerful graphics unit (still integrated, but about 4-6 times as fast). The price difference is not just in the more expensive metal casing.

But if 3D graphics performance is not an issue for you, the offered MacBook can be a good deal. It does have pretty good CPU performance and you can connect an external monitor digitally if you want. Ideally you should check it out before buying it "in the bag".

If the current owner had extended warranty for the machine, it should still be active. I'd ask him/her about it.

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