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MatthewConnelly
Sep 2, 2006, 03:09 PM
Just a little background info. I've been using Windows for a long time now and i've been looking for an alternative for a while. I tried Linux and the GUI just didn't do it for me. Then about a month ago, I did some work for a graphics design company in my area. They all used Macs, and I instantly fell in love!

I want a laptop, so I was looking at the MacBooks and MacBook Pros. I don't really game a lot, and I want something portable, so I decided to start having a look at the MacBooks with their 13" screens. The resolution is still as high as my current 19" monitor now, so that made me happy to see! However, being new to Macs, I didn't know what customisations to choose.

I know I definitely want to upgrade the RAM from 512MB, but I don't know how much difference there is between 1GB and 2GB, apart from 280! When I upgraded from 1 to 2GB on my PC, I didn't really notice that much of a difference. So for web browsing, graphic design in Photoshop & Illustrator and general Mac usage, would you recommend 1GB or 2GB?

Then there's AppleCare Protection Plan. On the Apple Store it doesn't really make it clear to me. Here's just a little quote from the APP section:

Every Mac comes with 90 days of telephone support and one year of service coverage at an Apple-authorized repair center. By purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan with your Mac, you can extend your coverage to three years.
Does that mean I get 3 years, or up to 3 years? There's only one price option so i'm not sure if you get 1, 2 or 3 years for purchasing the plan.

Now i've seen all those video previews for Leopard on the Apple site, and some of the features like Time Machine and Spaces are very appealing to me. I couldn't find a release date for Leopard, so I was just wondering if anyone knew of a rough release date. The same goes for the new chip rumours, anyone know a release date for them? I don't want to be spending close to 2000 on a machine that will be out of date as soon as I get it, this is going to be a replacement for my main desktop!

I hope someone out there has some answers for me! I'll be sticking around here as well, seems like a cool community!



WildCowboy
Sep 2, 2006, 03:19 PM
Have a look around the forums...a lot of the questions you've asked have been addressed many times before. But here are some brief answers:

At this stage of the game, I would recommend 2 GB of RAM...several pro level applications (like Photoshop and Illustrator) have not yet been converted to run natively on the new Intel-based Macs, so they won't be running at peak efficiency until the new universal versions come out (rumored to be Q2 next year). But don't buy RAM from Apple...it's overpriced. Historically, people here have commonly trusted mid-range vendors like OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com) and DMS (http://www.datamem.com)...terrific companies. But people seem to have been having a fair amount of success with even cheaper RAM...search the forums for feedback on specific brands/lines.

Apple's standard warranty is 90 days of phone support and one-year of hardware warranty. Purchasing AppleCare extends both of these to a total of three years from the date of purchase. You don't have to buy AppleCare at the time of purchase...as long as you purchase and activate it before your standard one-year warranty expires, it'll be valid.

New notebook chips from Intel (Core 2 Duo, codenamed Merom) have just been released. Other manufacturers have announced machines with the new processors, but none are shipping yet. Apple has not announced new machines, but it is widely expected that the MacBook Pro will see the new chips very soon (as in within a couple of weeks). The MacBook may see them as well. The current processors are solid...there's been varying information on the performance gain to be expected from Core 2 Duo chips.

Finally, Leopard is expected to be released early next year...no dates given yet.

MatthewConnelly
Sep 2, 2006, 03:22 PM
One thing I want to do, is buy everything from Apple. I don't really have any hardware experience with Macs or laptops for that matter, and I would feel better having Apple branded hardware in my machine.

How much is a typical Mac OS upgrade? Would you recommend buying sooner and then getting an upgrade, or just waiting for Leopard to come out?

gadgetgirl85
Sep 2, 2006, 03:26 PM
One thing I want to do, is buy everything from Apple. I don't really have any hardware experience with Macs or laptops for that matter, and I would feel better having Apple branded hardware in my machine.

How much is a typical Mac OS upgrade? Would you recommend buying sooner and then getting an upgrade, or just waiting for Leopard to come out?

I'm not sure how much in American the OS X is but here it is $199 for an upgrade. You could buy now (or wait for merom) your choice but it is very easy to upgrade your OS X you will just have to pay a little cash for it. Even G4s can have Leopard

WildCowboy
Sep 2, 2006, 03:28 PM
One thing I want to do, is buy everything from Apple. I don't really have any hardware experience with Macs or laptops for that matter, and I would feel better having Apple branded hardware in my machine.

How much is a typical Mac OS upgrade? Would you recommend buying sooner and then getting an upgrade, or just waiting for Leopard to come out?

Buying everything from Apple is fine if you don't mind the price premium. Some people find it more convenient to do so...so feel free to do it!

OS X upgrades have historically been US$129 for a single license, or US$199 for a family pack allowing you to install it on five computers in your household. Tiger is currently 89 for the single license and 139 for the family pack...I don't know if those prices have fluctuated with exchange rates over the years.

MatthewConnelly
Sep 2, 2006, 03:34 PM
Buying everything from Apple is fine if you don't mind the price premium. Some people find it more convenient to do so...so feel free to do it!

OS X upgrades have historically been US$129 for a single license, or US$199 for a family pack allowing you to install it on five computers in your household. Tiger is currently 89 for the single license and 139 for the family pack...I don't know if those prices have fluctuated with exchange rates over the years.
I figured that if i'm going to spend a lot of money on this machine, I may as well go all out and get everything at once!

I couldn't actually find an upgrade CD/DVD in the Apple Store. Do you just have to buy the full OS X disc and there's an upgrade option on it?

One final thing! Do you get a .mac account when you buy a Mac, or do you still have to pay for it?

Shadow
Sep 2, 2006, 03:37 PM
Well Leopard isnt out yet, so you wont find an upgrade disk :( . You dont need to buy OS X separatley-it comes with all Macs. You can upgrade this installation.

Nope! .Mac is about 70/year, IRC.

WildCowboy
Sep 2, 2006, 03:39 PM
I couldn't actually find an upgrade CD/DVD in the Apple Store. Do you just have to buy the full OS X disc and there's an upgrade option on it?

One final thing! Do you get a .mac account when you buy a Mac, or do you still have to pay for it?

Right...there is no separate upgrade price. Even at full price, it's still a bargain. And if there ever isn't enough in a new version to convince you to upgrade, Apple releases updates often enough (generally every 18-24 months at this point) that you can just skip it and wait for the next one without really getting out of date.

You do not get .Mac for free. It's US$99 per year, though they'll sometimes run promos (official or unofficial) that will let you get the first year for US$69. I'm not a .Mac subscriber, so I'll let others tell you if it's worth it or not. It seems to have some nice features, but there has been some grumbling about the performance of the system recently.

MatthewConnelly
Sep 2, 2006, 03:40 PM
Thanks for all the quick and helpful responses guys and girls!