Which MacBook is the right MacBook? - ehMac.ca
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Old Mar 11th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #1
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Which MacBook is the right MacBook?

I am doing a presentation system installation and must now decide on the right MacBook.

The system includes two projectors and two 19" LCD panels connected through a matrix (splitter box).

Given the high price of the projectors I must keep the price of the controller laptop down as much as possible. The laptop will be a multi-user item and some are saying Windows is a must, while other don't care.

I am going to go with a MacBook to cover both Mac OS and Windows OS but which one is best right now?

My options are:

1. Refurb aluminum MacBook ($1199)
2. Refurb black MacBook ($1149)
3. Refurb white MacBook ($1049)
4. New white MacBook ($1149)

Here are some of the considerations I must contend with.

Aluminum MacBook is 2.0 GHz, no firewire, has the new mini-Display port (which I don't like) but does have better graphics for running HD content.

BlackBook is 2.5 GHz, has firewire, has bigger hard drive, has mini-DVI port but has less capable graphics.

Refurb white MacBook is 2.1 GHz, has firewire, has mini-DVI but less capable grahics but is best price.

New white MacBook is 2.0 GHz, has firewire, has new mini-Display port (which I don't like) but does have better graphics.


Given that we will need to be running Windows some of the time, is the BlackBook better with it's faster processor? Is the graphics in this model up to running HD content within a presentation or on it's own (I'm pretty sure it is)?

The new models have better graphics but are tied to the new mini-Display port. Is the port going to cause me problems outputting to projection system? Weren't there issues with the display port not outputting some HD content unless connected to the new Apple display?

I'm guessing the BlackBook will be gone soon. Should I just go for it?

Need some input fast as I'm really having a hard time pulling the trigger (which isn't usually like me).

Thanks.
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Old Mar 11th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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i do not think you really need the extra 500mhz for windows. the dual core 2ghz is still a very powerful machine.

the GMA x3100 graphic will play high resolution without any problems. From what i tried... X3100 does not have X.264/H.264 hardware decoding, hence making 1080p x264 content playback awful.

the new white macbook still has a mini-dvi with the 9400m graphic. display-port to DVI adapters are available, so you will need to get converters one way or the other.
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Old Mar 11th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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It seems like the new White MB is the best bet for you - cheap, still has a Mini-DVI (not Mini-Displayport) and has the 9400M graphics. With an EDU or EPP discount, it's pretty much cheaper than the Black or Aluminum Refurb.
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Old Mar 11th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I didn't realize the new white MacBooks have the mini-DVI.

New, white sounds good then. Firewire, new graphics, mini-DVI. Would like the extra 500 MHz but can live without. Hard drive is easily upgradable if the need arises (ie. large partitions for bootcamp)

Not as much of a rush now as I can pick one up just about anywhere.

Thanks again.
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #5
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Futureshop and BestBuy sometimes have "Customer Appreciation" sales where they feature $100 off MacBooks. Might be good if you can wait to see if one of those pop up -- of if the White 2.0Ghz 9400m models pop up in the Refurb store at apple.ca
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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depending on the content you need to output you might be better off with an older machine.

the new macbooks CANNOT output video that has HDCP. There is a hardware block on that content (unless you're going to the new mac displays)

**just rereading your post you seem to be aware of it***
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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I have the BlackBook (2.16Ghz). One of the few places where this machines struggles is HD content onto a second screen, or complicated Keynote effects like "Sparkle" onto a second screen (like a projector). You want a machine that has at least the 9400M on board.
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