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Which MacBook to get?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Several weeks ago we got a MacBook Pro for my son and he loves it!! So now it's time for Dad to get one! Have never had an Apple. Have been a PC user for 20 years and now it's time to try something new. I'm planning on a MacBook but am unsure if I should go for the 2.0 or the 2.2. I know the better one has a bigger hard drive and the SuperDrive but I'm just not sure if it's worth the extra $200 for what I will use it for. It will not be my main machine. The PC I have is only a year old and does all I want. It has a DVD burner so the SuperDrive doesn't really pull me. So could someone give me some feedback? Also, should I spring for the extra for 2 gig of memory?
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clucas View Post

Several weeks ago we got a MacBook Pro for my son and he loves it!! So now it's time for Dad to get one! Have never had an Apple. Have been a PC user for 20 years and now it's time to try something new. I'm planning on a MacBook but am unsure if I should go for the 2.0 or the 2.2. I know the better one has a bigger hard drive and the SuperDrive but I'm just not sure if it's worth the extra $200 for what I will use it for. It will not be my main machine. The PC I have is only a year old and does all I want. It has a DVD burner so the SuperDrive doesn't really pull me. So could someone give me some feedback? Also, should I spring for the extra for 2 gig of memory?

I'd go with the cheaper one if all you're going to be doing is the basic stuff.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clucas View Post

Several weeks ago we got a MacBook Pro for my son and he loves it!! So now it's time for Dad to get one! Have never had an Apple. Have been a PC user for 20 years and now it's time to try something new. I'm planning on a MacBook but am unsure if I should go for the 2.0 or the 2.2. I know the better one has a bigger hard drive and the SuperDrive but I'm just not sure if it's worth the extra $200 for what I will use it for. It will not be my main machine. The PC I have is only a year old and does all I want. It has a DVD burner so the SuperDrive doesn't really pull me. So could someone give me some feedback? Also, should I spring for the extra for 2 gig of memory?

I would get the entry level model and either get the 2 gbs of RAM from Apple or install it yourself. Macs really like the extra RAM.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks! That's the kind of info I was after. Have ordered the basic with 2 gig of Ram.
post #5 of 27
Yes I agree that you can just get the entry level model .
post #6 of 27
Just make sure not to get the combo drive. Try and get the super drive if you can.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueFiberOptics View Post

Just make sure not to get the combo drive. Try and get the super drive if you can.

To be honest, you only need the super drive if you plan on burning DVD's. I personally have only burned 1 DVD in the last couple years and that was to play with my new super drive haha A friend of mine just bought the entry level Macbook and she absolutely loves it. As a secondary computer that will only be doing the basics, there is no need for any more ram, hard drive space, dvd burner, etc. Save some cash and just buy the lowest model. Most people have a hard time telling the difference between what you NEED and what you WANT. You don't NEED any more than 1Gb of RAM with this operating system to cruise the net, check email, type papers, etc. Hell I did all that on my iBook G4 with 512Mb of RAM haha
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clucas View Post

Several weeks ago we got a MacBook Pro for my son and he loves it!! So now it's time for Dad to get one! Have never had an Apple. Have been a PC user for 20 years and now it's time to try something new. I'm planning on a MacBook but am unsure if I should go for the 2.0 or the 2.2. I know the better one has a bigger hard drive and the SuperDrive but I'm just not sure if it's worth the extra $200 for what I will use it for. It will not be my main machine. The PC I have is only a year old and does all I want. It has a DVD burner so the SuperDrive doesn't really pull me. So could someone give me some feedback? Also, should I spring for the extra for 2 gig of memory?


The 1 GB RAM can be easily upgraded (if you need it at all).... and the combo-drive is good enough... and if in the future you do want to burn a few DVDs... you can go for an external dual layer DVD burning drives which come at dirt cheap prices!

The 0.2 GHz isn't worth the extra bucks... in fact the base model Macbook is the best value for money Apple notebook... with its easy scalability... I know of friends who have upgraded the HDD and the RAM on their own and the external DVD burner is a serious option...

everything else remains the same throughout 3 models in the Macbook line... be it the graphics card or the wireless/bluetooth capability or the iSight!
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post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CNUco2007 View Post

To be honest, you only need the super drive if you plan on burning DVD's. I personally have only burned 1 DVD in the last couple years and that was to play with my new super drive haha A friend of mine just bought the entry level Macbook and she absolutely loves it. As a secondary computer that will only be doing the basics, there is no need for any more ram, hard drive space, dvd burner, etc. Save some cash and just buy the lowest model. Most people have a hard time telling the difference between what you NEED and what you WANT. You don't NEED any more than 1Gb of RAM with this operating system to cruise the net, check email, type papers, etc. Hell I did all that on my iBook G4 with 512Mb of RAM haha

I agree about the super drive in this user's scenario. I would spring for the extra RAM unless it's a deal breaker. Part of the enjoyment and benefit of Macs is working with multiple apps open at the same time. That requires extra RAM. Right now I've iPhoto, iTunes, Address Book and Camino open. I'm a little over 1gb of RAM in use.
post #10 of 27
I think the White/2.2GHz is the best deal. I just hope you did not pay Apple for that extra RAM.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I agree about the super drive in this user's scenario. I would spring for the extra RAM unless it's a deal breaker. Part of the enjoyment and benefit of Macs is working with multiple apps open at the same time. That requires extra RAM. Right now I've iPhoto, iTunes, Address Book and Camino open. I'm a little over 1gb of RAM in use.

Actually, chances are you are not actually using that much RAM. When you bring up Activity monitor and look at what RAM is being used, keep in mind that it is taking into account Inactive Memory, which is memory that is not actually being used by anything. The OS is just keeping the data there in case it needs it again, but that space will be given up the first second another program requests it. Your current usage (in the sense that you are referring to) is more accuratly calculated by adding Active Memory and Wired Memory. Like I said, for the basics (cruising the net, iphoto, chatting, paper writing, etc.) you will not need more than 1Gb. I ran all that stuff at the same time with 512Mb and a 1.2Ghz G4 on my iBook. The only time you will honestly start breaking into the need for 2, 3, and 4Gb of RAM would be Photoshop, Video Editing, and Gaming really. There's others too but you get the point. A casual computer user will be happy with 1Gb, even if they are running everything at once. Check out this page for more info on how OS X handles memory:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107918
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CNUco2007 View Post

Actually, chances are you are not actually using that much RAM. When you bring up Activity monitor and look at what RAM is being used, keep in mind that it is taking into account Inactive Memory, which is memory that is not actually being used by anything. The OS is just keeping the data there in case it needs it again, but that space will be given up the first second another program requests it. Your current usage (in the sense that you are referring to) is more accuratly calculated by adding Active Memory and Wired Memory. Like I said, for the basics (cruising the net, iphoto, chatting, paper writing, etc.) you will not need more than 1Gb. I ran all that stuff at the same time with 512Mb and a 1.2Ghz G4 on my iBook. The only time you will honestly start breaking into the need for 2, 3, and 4Gb of RAM would be Photoshop, Video Editing, and Gaming really. There's others too but you get the point. A casual computer user will be happy with 1Gb, even if they are running everything at once. Check out this page for more info on how OS X handles memory:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107918


Good points and upon checking I only had about 500 mbs actually in use. Another 1 gb was inactive(I've open ical since my last post to check an appointment).

Supposedly page outs to the HDD really impairs the performance of your computer. With 2gbs in my MBP, I've never had that occur. I guess if its a deal breaker then just get 1 gb of RAM. But additional RAM is usually considered a good investment and has worked well for me.
post #13 of 27
Superdrives can really come in handy to back up data. Just saying.

It looks like someone new has seen the light!
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Good points and upon checking I only had about 500 mbs actually in use. Another 1 gb was inactive(I've open ical since my last post to check an appointment).

Supposedly page outs to the HDD really impairs the performance of your computer. With 2gbs in my MBP, I've never had that occur. I guess if its a deal breaker then just get 1 gb of RAM. But additional RAM is usually considered a good investment and has worked well for me.

I certainlly can't deny that... I have 4Gb in my computer
post #15 of 27
RAM is good. For a long time I remember there was a sort of rule that it's good to have 1/10th of your program memory in RAM. In other words, if your disk was 64K/1MB/40MB you should aim for 6+KB/100KB/4MB of RAM. With 250GB disks at the bottom of the sales roster, things have changed. What's crazy now, though, is that basic use has more resource requirements than heavy technical use. The proliferation of Java and Flash on the internet gobble RAM like "Hungry Hippos" at the hands of coked-out investment bankers (if you grasped that illustration, I salute you). To a rational degree, even the boldest mathematical analyses don't exceed more than 1GB.

To summarize:
1GB is OK
2GB is great
3GB is killer
4GB is like having Zlatan on your team
More than 4GB, there are no fun metaphors.
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

To summarize:
1GB is OK
2GB is great
3GB is killer
4GB is like having Zlatan on your team
More than 4GB, there are no fun metaphors.

More than 4 GB: you are the King, the universe bows before you. Well, for the time being.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

To summarize:
1GB is OK
2GB is great
3GB is killer
4GB is like having Zlatan on your team
More than 4GB, there are no fun metaphors.

I totally agree with your list 1Gb is enough, but nothing wrong with more. I have 4Gb in my computer but to be honest, so far I have not used more than 3Gb at one time... I need to find something really intensive haha

to the OP... Keep us updated on what you decide to do
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
As I said earlier, I opted for the basic but went with 2 GB of RAM. I'm of the opinion to get as much RAM as you can. Maybe I'm stuck in the PC world but it's probably a good thing. If I have to I'll burn DVD's on my PC. Or use my son's Pro!

It's supposed to be delivered tomorrow so I can;t wait!
post #19 of 27
Did u get the 2Gs from Apple?
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes I did.I suppose I could have bought the extra RAM elsewhere and installed it myself but this is my first Apple and, at this point, I'd rather not do that.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clucas View Post

Yes I did.I suppose I could have bought the extra RAM elsewhere and installed it myself but this is my first Apple and, at this point, I'd rather not do that.

Now please do tell us how your experience is.... you liking it or what?
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post #22 of 27
I have 4GB and I max it out occasionally.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've had it for about 5 hours now and so far, so good! It's hard to put it down! I do have a question that I'll post related to shared computers so look for it so you can answer!
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clucas View Post

I've had it for about 5 hours now and so far, so good! It's hard to put it down! I do have a question that I'll post related to shared computers so look for it so you can answer!

Glad to hear its going well.

When I switched back to a mac from a pc, I had a period of about a month where it seemed awkward to work on my Mac. I was used to running spyware and virus programs daily. Not doing that and other troubleshooting on the Mac seemed unnatural at first. Then it became second nature to work with the Mac.

Now I hate to work with a pc.
post #25 of 27
I'm an ol' Windows veteran, planning on fetching a Mac this spring. Please advise, you cogniscenti?

I'm a web designer. I seldom (well, let's say, never) use more than two USB ports at a time. I DO use a smart card/SD card slot (to be handled by Apple Express card). Looks like, the POWER (cpu, memory, possible disk capacity for MY needs) are ample and about the same, on both Macbook and Macbook Pro. I'd want to run Parallels/Windows.

So, now. The differences, as I count them, are: Macbook Pro has larger screen, one more USB port, aluminum case. Macbook has camera, and could be less expensive, equally equipped. Is that about it?
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjpoblam View Post

I'm an ol' Windows veteran, planning on fetching a Mac this spring. Please advise, you cogniscenti?

I'm a web designer. I seldom (well, let's say, never) use more than two USB ports at a time. I DO use a smart card/SD card slot (to be handled by Apple Express card). Looks like, the POWER (cpu, memory, possible disk capacity for MY needs) are ample and about the same, on both Macbook and Macbook Pro. I'd want to run Parallels/Windows.

So, now. The differences, as I count them, are: Macbook Pro has larger screen, one more USB port, aluminum case. Macbook has camera, and could be less expensive, equally equipped. Is that about it?

The biggest difference is the dedicated GPU on the MBP. The Macbook uses integrated graphics. If you don't need the graphics card the Macbook is a good choice.

The MBP has an integrated isight camera like the Macbook.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

The biggest difference is the dedicated GPU on the MBP. The Macbook uses integrated graphics. If you don't need the graphics card the Macbook is a good choice.

The MBP has an integrated isight camera like the Macbook.

What would I gain from a "dedicated GPU"? (What IS a GPU, pray tell? Sounds like, I'm guessing, a Graphics Processing Unit? Does this sound like something a web designer, who, indeed, uses Graphics, needs?)

I have an HP dV5000 now, and also an ol' IBM Thinkpad A31...would a Macbook have graphics equal in quality to those two?
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