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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Which MacBook should I buy?

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mknightretke's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 28, 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 29
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Mac Specs: 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GiB RAM, 80 GiB hard drive, Intel GMA 950, SuperDrive

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I'm intending to treat myself to a new MacBook for Christmas! Based on my <$1000 budget, I've narrowed it down to either a 2010 MacBook Pro for ~$800, or a refurbished 2011 MacBook Pro for $929. (I was also briefly considering a MacBook Air, but the specs are so low that it just doesn't seem worth it.)

At first glance, the 2010 model seems like the one, but I need some experienced buyers' input. I'm a moderately heavy user and will probably be multitasking a lot (web browsing, iWork, iLife, etc.) I'll also be doing some gaming - mostly nothing too new, although I've seen a couple YouTube videos of Skyrim running on one of these, so I'm definitely ordering that. I want to keep this machine at least until mid-2012, so the specs should be able to hold their own until then.

I guess what I'm really asking is whether the 2011 is better enough to justify the price. Does the i5 make that much of a difference? And how does the NVIDIA 320M stand up against the Intel 3000, gaming wise?

1.83 GHz Mac Mini (80 GiB) | iPad 2 Wi-Fi (16 GiB)
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19birel's Avatar
Member Since: Nov 02, 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 222
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Mac Specs: Late 2011 13" MBP 2.4 GHz i5 16gb RAM, Early 2008 Mac Pro 2.8Ghz 8-Core Xeon 6gb RAM OSX 10.9.x

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Well the i5 is going to stay current for a longer time, so you won't have to worry about the next version of OSX not running on it. And for only $130 more I would say it is well worth it. The MacBooks in general are not gaming computers, they were mostly designed for programs like photoshop etc. So IDK if skyrim would run on the intel chip. For gaming I would imagine that the nvidia gforce would be a little better but I'm not totally sure on that. They will both do all the multitasking that you plan to do and if need be you can go up to 8gb RAM for increased multitasking capabilities. However, If you are just going to be surfing the web and doing power points etc. you don't really need the i5 and you can just buy the 2010 C2D and save the extra money. It all depends really on what you need the computer for, with this in mind if that is all you will be using the computer for (not saying this will happen) the possibility of not being able to run what comes after lion wont be a bad one necessarily. I use my 13" Core Duo 2Ghz macbook for school notes and a little gaming, light programming, and a lot of photography editing and I'm still running snow leopard, and tbh not running lion isn't a real inconvienece for me. So im sure when the time comes for the C2D not being updated you wont really miss out on much. Just buy what you NEED unless you really think it is worth getting the extra bit.
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