Core Duo/Core 2 Duo mixup

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 354

I just picked up a MacBook off of Craigslist, advertised as "2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor". I am in the process of getting it set up and I realize that it is a plain ol' 2 Ghz Core Duo, not the "2" version.

Of course I checked the "About This Mac" at the point of purchase, but I overlooked that little missing "2".

Should I feel ripped off? The web seems to lead me to believe that Core 2 is better, but is the amount it's better worth the hassle of making a fuss? It was such an amicable transaction, and I can tell that this person wouldn't have intentionally been misleading over this detail. It's otherwise a fine machine and I'm sure I would have never noticed if I hadn't looked more closely in the profiler. My instinct is to just keep it with no fuss.

I'm just disappointed because I thought I got a pretty good deal and now it feels like just an average deal. Value really is a matter of subjective perception.

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gsmcten's picture
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Re: Core Duo/Core 2 Duo mixup

dead_elvis wrote:

I just picked up a MacBook off of Craigslist, advertised as "2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor". I am in the process of getting it set up and I realize that it is a plain ol' 2 Ghz Core Duo, not the "2" version.

Of course I checked the "About This Mac" at the point of purchase, but I overlooked that little missing "2".

Should I feel ripped off? The web seems to lead me to believe that Core 2 is better, but is the amount it's better worth the hassle of making a fuss? It was such an amicable transaction, and I can tell that this person wouldn't have intentionally been misleading over this detail. It's otherwise a fine machine and I'm sure I would have never noticed if I hadn't looked more closely in the profiler. My instinct is to just keep it with no fuss.

I'm just disappointed because I thought I got a pretty good deal and now it feels like just an average deal. Value really is a matter of subjective perception.

Elvis,

Does it perform the function for which you purchased it? If so and it was a good price, then I would live with the decision.
That's just my two cents.... Smile

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1204
So...

Basically, here's the "important" differences, assuming we're comparing a first-rev Core Duo MacBook to its immediate Core Duo 2 speedbumped successor:

A: The Core Duo 2 supports the EMT64 instruction set extensions. The original does not. That doesn't matter much now, but "someday" when Apple is deciding what machines to no longer support with the latest release of OS X, well... requiring a CPU capable of supporting 64 bit mode would be a very logical place to draw the first line.

Thus, in theory, you might have to worry about your machine being declared obsolete as early as OS X 10.7's debut... say a year and a half, two years from now. (There doesn't seem to be any good evidence to suggest that 10.6 is going to force the 64 bit issue.) If you're happy with getting two years out of your laptop then you don't have anything to worry about.

(Figure in two years other issues, like minimum acceptable RAM and video performance requirements, are probably going to make the Core 2 models just as functionally obsolete anyway.)

B: Depending on what you're measuring, clock for clock the Core Duo 2 runs about 10% faster then the original. Hardly a make-or-break difference, and probably not "perceptible" under most conditions, but it's there.

C: By definition a Core Duo MacBook is a "first rev" model. The first few batches of MacBooks had some fairly serious hardware bugs. (Including the infamous "Random Shutdown" problem, and there were also some allegations about bad case plastics.) Probably any system that had those problems is either fixed or out of service by now.

Anyway. Whether it's worth making a fuss over those differences is *totally* a personal value judgment. You didn't say how much you paid for this thing. The very bottom of MacBook pricing seems to be a bit above $500, so if you paid around that and it's in decent physical shape you can't *really* say you got "ripped off". The most you could really demand from the seller in terms of a discount for the difference would be $50 or so, maybe less.

(As usual, I can't help but note again how the average price difference between used "recent-ish vintage" Mac laptops and Apple Store refurbs tends to make buying someone's two-year-old castoff a questionable decision by definition, but... if you *must* have one before it's possible to save a couple hundred more bucks I suppose there's no choice.)

--Peace

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 354
As far as forward-compatabili

As far as forward-compatability, I was originally leaning towards a 15 inch 1.5-1.67 Ghz G4 Powerbook (can be had used in the $500 range), so just being on Intel is a leap forward for me. Issue B I can probably live with, I don't think 10% is all that noticeable. Issue C, yeah, I was feeling better about the purchase when I thought it was a rev. B, but the person I bought it from bought it "refurbished" from an online reseller (Expercom) with a 90 day warranty, so any drastic problems should be covered for another 2 1/2 months.

I haven't seen *any* MacBooks under $600, this was $700, but it's been bumped up to 2 GB RAM and the hard drive to 120 GB, so I think it's about the right price for a rev. 1.

Quote:

(As usual, I can't help but note again how the average price difference between used "recent-ish vintage" Mac laptops and Apple Store refurbs tends to make buying someone's two-year-old castoff a questionable decision by definition, but... if you *must* have one before it's possible to save a couple hundred more bucks I suppose there's no choice.)

This was prompted by my silent G4 tower finally kicking the bucket*, so we were looking to get something ASAP. Thing is, it's not just the $200 difference- there is also the sales tax, which on a purchase this large adds up to a real chunk of money. Plus, my personal philosophy is that computers are flaky and breakable, whether new or used or refurbed, so I like to keep the investment as low as possible. I assume that someday my lucky streak will run out, and when that happens I'd rather be out $6-700 than $1000

*I wish I had a screenshot of a kernel panic this thing does, it's spectacular. The whole screen slowly scrolls up with the text interspersed with the desktop/dock image. This is actually one of many different kinds of crashes it does, which have become very consistent and I don't have the time, money, or patience to troubleshoot more than I already have.

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