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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:18 AM   #1
computorgirl
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Economical way to buy new or upgrade macbook and iphone

Hello,

I have had my macbook (2010) for a few years now and don't know if I should buy a new one or upgrade it, and since I just lost my phone I am now also in the market for a new iphone. I will be using the computer for my studies and also some photo restoration and graphics. I don't want to spend a lot of money and would be open to a refurbished model, but I'm a little worried about buying something used. I'd appreciate any advice from the veterans here. Nice to meet you....
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 04:33 AM   #2
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Since you're a student, I think you try upgrading the RAM and keeping the MBP for a few more years -- the 2010 is still a very capable machine. RAM is the cheapest and easiest upgrade you can do to prolong the life of your Mac. Take a look at Crucial. I just bought RAM for my 2009 MBP and they had the best price and easiest purchase process. You can find step-by-step install videos at Other World Computing who also sells RAM but didn't have the best price when I purchased.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:38 AM   #3
macman312
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OP- do you have a 2010 macbook or macbook pro?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 07:13 AM   #4
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If you need an iPhone, take a look at the 4 or 4S on Craigslist. I found Apple had the best deals online aside from eBay but there are a lot of good phones on CL b/c the sellers just HAD to have the iPhone 5. I didn't go the eBay route as I didn't want the hassle of having to possibly return a damaged/non-functional phone. I picked up a 4S for about $200 less than Apple's $550. Of course if the 3GS suits your needs, you can find even better deals on those.

The seller met me at the Apple store where I had set up a Genius bar appointment for them to check the phone (no charge).
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 12:45 AM   #5
computorgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macman312 View Post
OP- do you have a 2010 macbook or macbook pro?
I have a Mac Book Pro 2.4 Ghz. Thanks

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Quote:
Originally Posted by designs216 View Post
If you need an iPhone, take a look at the 4 or 4S on Craigslist. I found Apple had the best deals online aside from eBay but there are a lot of good phones on CL b/c the sellers just HAD to have the iPhone 5. I didn't go the eBay route as I didn't want the hassle of having to possibly return a damaged/non-functional phone. I picked up a 4S for about $200 less than Apple's $550. Of course if the 3GS suits your needs, you can find even better deals on those.

The seller met me at the Apple store where I had set up a Genius bar appointment for them to check the phone (no charge).
Thanks, I never thought of trying craigslist. I'm really just looking to get the most for my money and I would be happy with an earlier version so I can get one as soon as possible. One other question, what about the compatibility between the phone and my computer, would there be any issues? Thanks again!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by designs216 View Post
Since you're a student, I think you try upgrading the RAM and keeping the MBP for a few more years -- the 2010 is still a very capable machine. RAM is the cheapest and easiest upgrade you can do to prolong the life of your Mac. Take a look at Crucial. I just bought RAM for my 2009 MBP and they had the best price and easiest purchase process. You can find step-by-step install videos at Other World Computing who also sells RAM but didn't have the best price when I purchased.
Thanks for the tips, what do you recommend for the tools I'll need to install the RAM?

Last edited by computorgirl; Nov 9, 2012 at 12:39 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 04:09 AM   #6
DoghouseMike
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You just need a little Phillips screwdriver to replace the ram, it's pretty easy.
RAM is a pretty cheap upgrade, but unless you're regularly running out of it, you won't notice much of a difference. You can use activity monitor to check, have a look at the "memory" section and see if you have any "page outs". That'd be where the computer runs out of nice, speedy RAM and starts using the hard drive to store stuff. If there are lots of page outs and/or you often have a lot of program's open at the same time, more RAM would probably help.
Otherwise, you might notice more of a speed increase by replacing your HDD with an SSD. The bottleneck in my MBP (same model as yours) is often the disk I/O, so the CPU will be sat there waiting for something to do while the HDD is trying to feed it info or whatever.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:08 AM   #7
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One other question, what about the compatibility between the phone and my computer, would there be any issues? Thanks again!

I haven't seem any compatibility issues between the 3GS or the 4S and my '09 or '12 MBPs or my MP.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:47 AM   #8
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Upgrade

The most economical thing is to keep that laptop and upgrade it. Maxing the RAM and swapping in a solid state drive are both easy upgrades that will make the computer feel like new. I have a late 2008 15" MBP that I added a SSD to, and replacing the optical drive with a 500GB hard drive. I'm pretty sure all of these upgrades cost me about $300, and the computer runs great.

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With iOS 6 updates and whatnot are done over the air. Combine that with iTunes Match and backups to iCloud and you really never need to connect the phone to your computer. That said, all iPhones are compatible with any computer with a USB port and iTunes installed.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:54 AM   #9
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It's important to note where you feel like your machine is held back. If you indicate where it's acting slow, I might be able to offer a real comment. When it's my own machine, I simply try to determine if the performance continues to meet my requirements when a new one comes out. I'm never sure if these posts are motivated by necessity or simply adequate funds and a desire to upgrade.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 03:09 PM   #10
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It's important to note where you feel like your machine is held back. If you indicate where it's acting slow, I might be able to offer a real comment. When it's my own machine, I simply try to determine if the performance continues to meet my requirements when a new one comes out. I'm never sure if these posts are motivated by necessity or simply adequate funds and a desire to upgrade.
Well quite honestly, I was playing around with my friend's brand new 15" Retina MBP and I had envy! As far as the performance in my 2010 MBP 2.4ghz, I was OK with it before, works basically fine and sometimes freezes, though I'm sure there are other things I haven't though of in terms of bringing it up to date, as some of the newer macs caught my eye. So basically I'm trying to decide if upgrading is enough to make my jealously go away! and if not, how can I get a newer model either refurb. or discounted. Thanks for all the replies..

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralphalph View Post
The most economical thing is to keep that laptop and upgrade it. Maxing the RAM and swapping in a solid state drive are both easy upgrades that will make the computer feel like new. I have a late 2008 15" MBP that I added a SSD to, and replacing the optical drive with a 500GB hard drive. I'm pretty sure all of these upgrades cost me about $300, and the computer runs great.

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I am considering the solid state hard drive... thanks

With iOS 6 updates and whatnot are done over the air. Combine that with iTunes Match and backups to iCloud and you really never need to connect the phone to your computer. That said, all iPhones are compatible with any computer with a USB port and iTunes installed.
Good to know, my old phone was not an iphone so this is new to me. I'm def. gonna check out what used models can be found on craigslist and also ebay.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoghouseMike View Post
You just need a little Phillips screwdriver to replace the ram, it's pretty easy.
RAM is a pretty cheap upgrade, but unless you're regularly running out of it, you won't notice much of a difference. You can use activity monitor to check, have a look at the "memory" section and see if you have any "page outs". That'd be where the computer runs out of nice, speedy RAM and starts using the hard drive to store stuff. If there are lots of page outs and/or you often have a lot of program's open at the same time, more RAM would probably help.
Otherwise, you might notice more of a speed increase by replacing your HDD with an SSD. The bottleneck in my MBP (same model as yours) is often the disk I/O, so the CPU will be sat there waiting for something to do while the HDD is trying to feed it info or whatever.
Thanks, Mike, I had never heard of "page outs" before but that explains some of the issues I was running into when using my adobe programs.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 01:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computorgirl View Post
Well quite honestly, I was playing around with my friend's brand new 15" Retina MBP and I had envy! As far as the performance in my 2010 MBP 2.4ghz, I was OK with it before, works basically fine and sometimes freezes, though I'm sure there are other things I haven't though of in terms of bringing it up to date, as some of the newer macs caught my eye. So basically I'm trying to decide if upgrading is enough to make my jealously go away! and if not, how can I get a newer model either refurb. or discounted. Thanks for all the replies..
Freezing is usually something hardware related. It can be drivers/firmware of external devices. It's rarely a 100% software issue. SSDs can be a nice update in terms of responsiveness. If you're at 4GB of ram, those can go up to 8. Lion and Mountain Lion aren't very efficient on memory, so I could understand why you might want to make such a change. Only the 2011 and 2012 models can go to 16. I can easily make use of it. 8 is actually restrictive, and 16GB kits are cheap these days. They've dropped off almost 95% since early 2011. Most people find it a little excessive. On ssds, newegg has some good deals if you watch them. Samsung makes some excellent ones. In terms of 2012 models, I like the rMBP. I just don't like how restrictive it is. I like to be able to replace a drive myself either the same day or with overnight shipping. OWC has some for the rMBP at a fairly high cost, but it doesn't take standard parts. The drive is also not officially user serviceable. That and things like the mentions of display issues and other things make me want to stay away from the first generation.
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