Vintage Mac Living

MacBook Pro: What's Up with Bumping the Speed When Apple Can't Even Meet Demand?

- 2006.02.16

Five weeks after Apple announced the new Intel-based MacBook Pro, they've already upped the speed and introduced a new model.

The MacBook Pro has begun shipping in 1.83, 2.0, and 2.16 GHz configurations. The first two are the same price as the previously announced 1.67 and 1.83 GHz models. The 2.16 GHz model is a build-to-order upgrade for the 2.0 GHz model that costs a whopping $300 more!

I have two problems with the new models:

  1. Apple is having a hard enough time getting the models they had out the door because Intel can't supply CPUs quickly enough, yet they decide to drop the 1.67 GHz speed and introduce 2.0 GHz and 2.16 GHz speeds (that won't ship to new customers for 3 to 4 weeks).
  2. The 2.16 GHz model. Who in their right mind is going to pay $300 for 160 MHz of additional processing power in this day and age?

What is Apple thinking? They couldn't even get the ones they announced out the door and have a backlog of orders. Are the faster CPUs going to be more readily available than the slower ones? Why replace models you can't ship with models you're going to have an even harder time shipping?

It doesn't make sense.

Overpriced 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro

And what's with the 2.16 GHz model?

Some of you might recall the days of the Sawtooth G4. The 450 MHz model was released at US$2,499, and the 500 MHz model was announced at $3,499. That was 40% more money for 11% more speed.

But this is different. The only change is processor speed.

With the top-end Sawtooth you not only got an 11% power boost for your extra $1,000, you also got 128 MB of additional RAM (twice as much), 7 GB more hard drive space (35% more), and an upgrade from a DVD-ROM drive to a DVD-RAM drive.

Sure, the new 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro is a bit faster than the 2.0 GHz model, but is it really worth an extra $300?

A Better Way to Spend $300

I have a hard time giving away a 300 MHz machine these days, so why would anyone pay $300 extra to make their new laptop 160 MHz faster?

If you're thinking about buying the new top of the line 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, don't. It's simply not worth it to get about 8% more processing power for 12% more dollars.

If you think it is, email me at tedahodges (at) yahoo (dot) com and tell me why.

A better choice might be to take your hard earned $300, buy a Blue & White G3 or a Sawtooth G4, put Mac OS 9 and VNC on it, and run your Classic apps remotely from your new MacBook Pro, since the Intel Macs don't support Classic. LEM

Link: That Extra 10%, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 1998.10.24

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