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Purchase First Mac


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#1 Rick Ross

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:53 PM

Hello, everyone!

I am a long time Windows User from 3.1 to 7, and I am considering purchasing my first MacBook. Would like to know if I purchase a system with 2 gig of memory, would that be slow when compared to my Windows machine with 2 gig? I thought I saw somewhere that 4 gig would be better to make OSX operate faster. I was looking at the MacBook with 2 gig, Dual-Core, but when you add another 2 gig of memory, well, at BestBuy, that would get me a MacBook Pro at 2.4 gHz. I assume it would be better to purchase the MacBook Pro instead of the cheaper one with only 2 gig.

What are the memory requirements for most of the Mac software when compared with Windows?

Thanks for your expertise for a Mac Owner Wanna Be!
Phil 1:6

#2 Ron Priest

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:07 PM

Hi Rick, and congratulations on your decision to go to a Mac, you'll wish you had done it way back there when you upgraded to Windows 95!

It's always hard to recommend a new system for somebody else because it really just depends upon what all your going to use it for. I'm a videographer, so my requirements would be more than the average guy/gal. But if you can afford it, I would recommend as a minimum, to go with a 13" MacBook Pro with the 4 GB RAM. Every other feature is really just icing on the cake, but in my opinion, you need 4 GB of RAM. Do you feel more comfortable purchasing it at Best Buy? Personally, I would go to the Apple Store, and if that's not feasible then think about ordering it online.

Here is the comparison chart at the Apple Store, Let me know if you have any more specific questions, I will be glad to help you any way I can. I've only been on a Mac myself for about 3 years, so I'm sure there are a lot of other people here in the forums that can probably give you more information, but I have been around the block a time or two.... although I don't have a MacBook, I have a Mac Pro so Im not as knowledgable about the MacBooks.

Oops, I forgot to give you the link to the Apple Store MacBook comparison chart:
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#3 Rick Ross

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:16 PM

Thanks, Ron. Yes, I remember all those wonderful Windows upgrades complete with new drivers, printers, etc. Oh, an not to forget the 5 1/4 floppies, and the famous F2K non-event. I will look at the Apple Store to see if the price is better there. I will be just an average user, nothing fancy, as I will probably keep the Windows machine around for some other software I use, but I could always look at VM for some of that I am sure. OSX looks really nice and less cluttered on the desktop.
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#4 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 08:19 PM

The online Apple Store also offers refurbished units, at reduced prices, but with the same warranty as new machines, and the same option to purchase Apple Care.

Earlier this Spring I bought a refurbished 13" 2.53 GHz MacBook Pro with 4 GB of RAM. If I'd bought new, I would have bought a slower processor (2.26). But for $50 more than the new MacBook Pro I was looking at, I was able to get a faster machine with twice the RAM. If I'd had Apple up the RAM on the new machine to 4GB, it would have cost me $100.

I've been very happy with my machine. I might have been less comfortable with this decision if I had not also bought Apple Care, but with Apple Care (which I would have bought with a new machine, too), I didn't have any hesitation buying Apple certified refurbished.

I opted for the MacBook Pro over the MacBook primarily because of the firewire port.
The SD card slot was a bonus, but that in and of itself might not have swayed me.

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#5 MicheleS

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:53 PM

I second the idea of the Apple store refurb! It's a great idea and a good buy for sure.

I bought a refurb in March - a 21" iMac. Love the screen real estate. As a seven year Mac user now, and using a WinPC at work and also in the family, I would recommend you put your extra money into all the RAM and processor and hard drive you can afford. Those three things - cannot ever have too much. My iMac is extremely responsive. She has 1 GIG of drive and lots of RAM and the processor is fast enough though could have been faster. I saved about $300 on the unit.

I felt that purchasing a refurb and getting Apple Care this time was the right way to go. I bought an eMac in 2003 (which is still fine, runs like a top, never a problem - but it has gotten left in the dust by speed and media on the web) and Apple Care which I never needed. However, three days into this iMac and it literally died. The motherboard went out and the symptom was an overloaded fan that sounded like the unit was going to take off. I took it to Small Dog Electronics here in town (they are an Apple warranty service provider, and Apple directed me there), and they had it fixed and back to me in two days, so I don't complain. I think a refurb is a terrific buy and you don't have to feel that you are taking a chance! What happened to my iMac could have happened to any electronic item.

I am going to give you another tip - buy Microsoft Office Home and Student for Mac unless you need all the features of the full package - you will save a lot of money. When I first went Mac I tried all the Mac word processors and quite frankly they were not at all up to competition with WORD as word processors, so I finally bought WORD for Mac, and this time I bought Office Home and Student. However, many folks like Mellel, which also has a full Hebrew functionality, which makes a lot of sense for your Accordance if you want or need the Hebrew word processing.

Good luck!

Edited by MicheleS, 08 July 2010 - 10:55 PM.

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#6 jackcav

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 12:10 PM

I will look at the Apple Store to see if the price is better there.


There will be little variation in price on a new machine no matter where you purchase. Apple keeps tight control over price. The advantage of purchasing at the Apple Store is the knowledgeable assistance that is available there. Also, do not fail to purchase Apple Care with your MBP, whether new or refurbished. Then, if you need repair, always go to the Genius Bar @ the Apple Store. The techs at Best Buy do not have the same training as those at the Apple Store.

#7 Greg Terry

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 02:59 PM

Hello Rick:

A few weeks ago I purchased a refurb MacBook from Apple for about $760. It only has 2GB of Ram and is the previous generation. My thoughts were to upgrade the RAM to 4gb soon after getting it. However, I have not seen a compelling reason to do that considering how and for what I use the MacBook. It isn't my primary computer so I don't edit movies or play hi-tech games on it. For anything else, it works just fine as is and I am quite happy with it. BTW, when Apple refurbs a computer, it is essentially a brand new computer at a discount price with full warranty. In fact, they even replace the external case components. It is a great deal.

Welcome away from the Dark Side!
Peace!

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#8 Ron Priest

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 03:06 PM

Hey Rick

I also wanted to mention something about upgrading your RAM. I don't know how it is for MacBooks, but for the MacPro I was told to never purchase RAM from Apple to do your own memory upgrade, but to purchase it elsewhere. Reason being is that RAM from Apple is way over priced. So that's what I did after I purchased my MacPro, I purchased the RAM from MacSales.com and did the upgrade myself.

Now it's my understanding that you can do a RAM upgrade yourself on a MacBook, but I don't have a MacBook, so I really can't say one way or another. If you do end up purchasing RAM and doing it yourself, just remember you get what you pay for. I would never purchase the cheapest memory, so just be a little cautious there.
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#9 Bob Deacon

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 06:36 PM

Now it's my understanding that you can do a RAM upgrade yourself on a MacBook, but I don't have a MacBook, so I really can't say one way or another. If you do end up purchasing RAM and doing it yourself, just remember you get what you pay for. I would never purchase the cheapest memory, so just be a little cautious there.


Yes you can do a ram upgrade on a MacBook and it is incredibly easy AND Macsales is the place to get your ram.

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#10 JamesN

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 07:35 AM

I have a Mac Pro and an iPad. There is a LOT of information on getting the most out of your Mac computer (any kind) at this location:

http://macperformanceguide.com/

He gets kind of hyper on performance and you could spend a fortune if you get into substituting solid state drives for hard drives
in portables- but the basic information on adding RAM and where to purchase it are all covered. It's a great source for Mac information.

#11 Frank

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 02:20 PM

Rick,

I don't know if you have already purchased your laptop or not. Let us know when you do!

I have purchased two laptops this year. My first was the move from winworld to apple in early January. I purchased a refurbished 15 inch macbook pro. I saved about $300 or so over a brand new one. At the time, it was current generation. I do recommend that you get applecare on any laptop you purchase. I just brought my second for my son for college, a 13 inch macbook pro.

If you have children in school you can get an educational discount which saves you $100 on the lower priced macbook pros. You only get $50 off the macbooks. Presently refurbished macbooks are hard to catch on the apple refurbished website. You need to check morning and evening daily to catch anything. I do recommend the 13 inch macbook pro over the regular macbook. My son likes the aluminum over the white plastic. Also the extra 2 gig of memory is important. You are buying a laptop for the next 3-5 years with apple computers. When I was in the windows world, I had to purchase a laptop every 2-3 years. In 3-5 years, I would guess that the extra $100 for the memory (and the macbook pro extras) will not be missed.

Now I have to save for my wife. She likes the macbook air but that has not been processor upgraded for a long time. I am steering her to a 15 inch model.

In short, save another $100 and get a macbook pro. I don't think you will regret it. Oh, get it from Apple direct.

Frank

#12 Julie Falling

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:45 PM

Yes you can do a ram upgrade on a MacBook and it is incredibly easy AND Macsales is the place to get your ram.

Bob


I second Bob's recommendation for buying from Macsales (= OtherWorld Computing). We have been buying from them for years and years, probably at least a couple of decades. We have never purchased any memory from them that was defective, and usually buy the OWC brand.

I also have OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro external drive for Time Machine back-up. It is very, very quiet, and can easily be dropped in a Zip-lock bag and put in the basement, a fire-resistent box, safe, or safe-deposit box when you're out of town.

When I don't know what I need to purchase for my machine, they're great for coaching me through the process. Highly, highly recommend.

Julia

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