Advice on customization of my first MBP &education discount

in General Discussion edited January 2014
So in the coming months i will be purchasing a MBP. I have considered other laptops and have landed on the MBP. Anyways, so at first 15inches was the perfect size for me, but when looking at the prices, seeing the 17 inch is $200 more, i am not sure anymore. I dont plan on taking the laptop anywhere (in backpack or work or anything). Any advice from owners that choose 17 and are happy or not happy?

Next up is $300 more for 4 gigs of memory. I was thinking i should do it, cause the more ram, the more future proofed laptops are in a way. But $300 is steep. Any advice? Is that extra 4 gigs really worth every dollar of the $300?

Second, is the hard drive. Im 99% sure of the 7200rpm 500 gig HDD. The only reason to realistically go for SSD is if you really need the speed right? Like picture editing or movie making. If i am just turning it on, loading up web pages and using i-sight...7200rpm HDD is the way to go right?

Lastly, i noticed the Education discount, i currently am taking classes at a college (one that by the way is on their list of schools when you input your zip). I am curious about what makes you eligible. I cant find anything on that explains how you prove your in classes. Or anything. Just cause i am enrolled in college and on and off take some classes, i get the discount? So if anyone has any experience and can clarify, that would be awesome.

Thanks for the help and advice. its very appreciated.

Edit: Also opinions on Glossy/anti glare would be nice. I love the look of glossy and i wont get much glare in my house haha, so is glare really just for that? people that use their laptops outside?


  • Reply 1 of 6
    dayrobotdayrobot Posts: 133member
    Originally Posted by M3rc Nate View Post


    Second, is the hard drive. Im 99% sure of the 7200rpm 500 gig HDD. The only reason to realistically go for SSD is if you really need the speed right? Like picture editing or movie making. If i am just turning it on, loading up web pages and using i-sight...7200rpm HDD is the way to go right?


    SSD's are more for data security if you drop your machine often. But with Apple's laptops having had accelerometers for years, i don't think it's much of an issue, since AFAIK they stop the hard drive while the machine is in freefall.

    But data recovery in the case of an SSD failure might be trickier if not impossible.

    SSD's can be both fast and slow, depending on the manufacturer.

    I don't own Apple or know who makes their SSD's but in the PC world, i've seen a few examples. Factory SSD HP Mini's are slow, AND only hold 16gb, but with Apple having put out the iPod touch and the iPad using specifically flash memory, i'm sure they are better chips.

    People that have replaced their Mini's standard, disc based HDDs with Runcore's SSDs have noticed a speed improvement though... it really depends. There's a homebrew write-leveling driver for Windows out there as well that speeds things up as well, but that was in beta last time i checked and sometimes failed to write data to disc during shutdowns, so it was really alpha grade.

    I think you may be better off saving money and getting a platter-based HDD, and spending that money on a backup device of some sort, since you mentioned you don't like to lug around your machine.

  • Reply 2 of 6
    Thanks Dan, check SSD off my question list. Deffinitly going with 7200rpm 500gig HDD. And yeah along with not taking it anywhere, it will be on my lap or safely on desk, so no risk of dropping it.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Come on guys you cant tell me you dont have any opinions on these things...
  • Reply 4 of 6
    dayrobotdayrobot Posts: 133member
    Sure, no problem

    I hope someone can also answer your Apple-specific questions in the next few days. It's been slow, so most posts are made around noon to 1PM. I believe trolls have made people rethink where they spend time posting.

    As for the glossy screen, that's a good way to future-proof your machine.

    A "naked" LCD panel isn't going to remain in a "factory fresh" condition for very long. Vaporized cooking oils, spray air fresheners, and smoke/exhaust can all stain the screen yellow with time. You will not notice the changes as they happen, but if you compare a two or three year old screen with one that is brand new, the difference shows. And IMHO, a yellow screen is a bit annoying.

    Finger (or fried chicken) oils can also transfer to the screen when the lid is closed, (unless you wipe down the keyboard with alcohol every time) where they will work their yellow magic.

    A matte screen is only worth having if you have a constant light source behind you, or strong reflections.

    Those require special cleaners, whereas glossy screens don't.

    Whether it's film laminated or uses an actual glass (or acrylic?) pane, your LCD will be sealed from the outside world, and when it collects some dust and fingerprints, you can just spritz it with some rubbing alcohol and wipe down with a cotton ball.

    Either screen type can be dusted with a microfiber cloth if there are no fingerprints.

    If you can face away from reflections, you will also notice richer color and better contrast with the glossy screen, because the "glass" traps light that travels parallel to the screen, while a matte surface tends to scatter it in all directions, producing a grey haze.

    Anyway, i hope i've not been too in-your-face with this. But it sounds like you've already made up you mind, so i'm not worried of talking you into something you don't want


    I suppose the memory question can be answered as well, by me again . If you are waiting till the new MBP comes out (rumors...), as soon as specs become available, you may be able to check with Mac-compatible memory manufacturers if they can offer a better deal for replacement RAM. If you are in luck and decide to buy from them, you can always put our old memory in an anti-static bag and sell on eBay to offset you cost. Please see skivies' memory thread here in General.

    As for the screen size, it's always subjective. If your MBP will spend a lot of time at home, then why not, get the bigger screen

    I believe bigger screen means more room for memory and stuff like USB ports in the lower half. But that's how it is in the PC world. I can't guarantee anything, but that's just basic math..

  • Reply 5 of 6
    Thanks that helps. Yeah i think i'll be going with glossy. I think i'll be able to handle the sun light issue. As for memory, yeah i think someone already mentioned getting aftermarket ram and it was more than $300 (which is the price on Apple) so i think im leaning towards just getting the 8 gigs to future proof my MBP as much as possible.

    I think thats just about all my questions have been answered. Though if anyone wants to add to anything with their opinion or experience, feel free.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    dayrobotdayrobot Posts: 133member
    Good luck with your purchase then

    Having looked at the parade of gleeful shareholders in the thread above, i now hope you'll ask about the educational discount at another Apple forum... just in case no one here will care to reply \

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