Which MacBook to buy?

My Mom has been needing a new computer for a few months now. She wanted a Mac, so I told her to hang on since the rumors were that the MacBooks were going to be refreshed in October.

On Tuesday, Apple introduced redesigned MacBooks and MacBook Pros. They have a fancy new trackpad and are made using a new manufacturing process which I frankly don’t care about. I’m not sure why anyone would.

Anyway, once they came out, it was time to make a decision. Go for an older model at a discount or get the new one?

So I put together a spreadsheet that compares the features of each.

Based on the price, she’s getting the older MacBook (Black). Between Amazon’s discount, rebates and cash back from my Amazon Visa, it’s a pretty good deal, even better than an educational discount.

I wish I had data on the new machines’ performance with their new video cards, but the 2.4 Ghz machine should do her well for some time. Hopefully Barefeats will get their hands on them soon.

Update: Early benchmarks show nearly no difference in processor performance over the old models. Of course the processors haven’t changed, just the memory and bus speed, so this is expected. The graphics are where we’ll see the most difference and even more when OS X 10.6 comes out and offloads more work to the graphics processor. My mom’s not a big gamer though so I think her web pages and email will load just fine. 🙂

Update 2: MacWorld has published their Speedmark test results. The new graphic cards help for sure, putting the 2.0 Ghz new MacBook at the same level as the older 2.4 Ghz MacBook. Note that the tests are heavy on GPU processing though, testing Quake and Photoshop and MP3 encoding. My Mom doesn’t do any of these intensively. I’d like to see a benchmark that tests the speed of web page rendering and sending email!

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