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Old Sep 27, 2006, 08:58 PM   #1
alligator22
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Where's the best place to buy a mac

I'm definitely switching to macs this year. I want a 20" imac and my wife wants a macbook. There is a Mac store near us as well as compusa. I've seen some things on MacMall but I'm not sure where to get the best deal. I also want to upgrade the ram in both machines and don't want to get taken by the mac store. Are there good sites for deals on mac ram? Also, how hard is it to install ram on these two machines? I've done it on PCs but never on a mac. Thanks for any help you guys can give us.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 09:02 PM   #2
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I would recommend Amazon with their rebates if you're going with a stock configuration available there. Otherwise you'll have to go with the Apple store for a custom-configured model.

Third-party RAM is the way to go and it's very easy to install in both machines. A lot of people here recommend OWC and DMS for their RAM purchases...terrific companies that know Macs and stand behind their products.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 09:06 PM   #3
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i like buying from the Apple store because i get instant satisfaction. usually CompUSA doesn't have better prices (and i've even seen them tag on $0.99 to the sale - like an iMac for $999.99 instead of just $999 - not that this is a big deal but i'm just saying).

Amazon.com usually has good deals on computers. check the front page of MR for the "Lowest Price" listings.

i got my MBP's RAM from OWC but newegg.com and crucial.com are good, too.

it is quite simple to add RAM. there are many threads on this forum about adding RAM, so search for those. the user's manual that comes on your computer will have instructions, too.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 09:08 PM   #4
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I buy from Apple during their rebate deals for education. Otherwise I agree with Amazon. Save some money on the stock models by not paying sales tax.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 09:11 PM   #5
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There are some resellers that have commonly upgraded systems for sale. B&H Photo is one, there may be others.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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I'd recommend Apple or Amazon. I haven't tried any other place, and I'm slightly afraid to.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 09:20 PM   #7
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thanks

Thanks for responding so fast guys. That's a good tip about amazon. I want a bigger hard drive than the stock model, though. I'll keep researching.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 10:00 PM   #8
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Don't buy from apple... Very shakey return policy even on many dead pixels.... Go with a place that has an established protective return policy.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 08:53 AM   #9
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ram swap on Imac

To add ram on the Imac remove it from the packaging and use the included foam to place the Imac screen side down on. Turn the Imac so the base is facing you and remove the screws on the bottom. Carefully lift the back off starting from the bottom and lifting up being careful not to snap off the little tabs on the top of the back. You will see the ram bay and carefullt place ram in slot and the put the back on top (tabs first) and then resecure screws. I am not sure on the Macbook but I am sure it is just as simple.
Good Luck!
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 09:11 AM   #10
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I've only bought from the Apple Store, because of my education discount. Usually better than even Amazon's rebates, or at least very similar.

As far as Macbook RAM, there's guides aplenty, but basically you remove the battery, undo three retained screws (so no chance of losing them), and flip a little lever. Hardest part for me was that you have to push the RAM in really hard when you put it back in, and not only did it hurt my fingers a bit, I was afraid I was going to damage something. In the end though, quite easy.

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Old Sep 28, 2006, 09:57 AM   #11
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To compare deals etc. checks out macprices.com
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 10:20 AM   #12
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Amazon, especially if you don't have the education discount. But in some situations, like with the 24'' iMac, amazon is actually cheaper than buying from Apple with the education discount and sales tax (for my state, 6%). The problem, though, is that you can't do a BTO.

This is not so much a problem on 20'' iMac, because you don't have a graphics card to worry about. But the memory in the iMacs come as 2x512MB, and you won't use either of them if you upgrade to 2GB. Apple offers the 2x1GB for $175, which is a slight premium, but reasonable. It's nice to have Apple ram in the event of a problem, so Applecare won't waste your time by trying to blame everything on your ram. Finally, if you want a wireless Apple keyboard and mighty mouse, it's cheaper if you order through Apple can get it as an upgrade.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 10:30 AM   #13
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correct me if i'm wrong but right now 2x1GB from OWC is $270 plus shipping while Apple is charging $175 before any discount. Even MacMall is charging $250+ for 2GB including installation. Sure if you buy it you can sell the 2x512s that you take out, but it just doesn't seem worth it. At the student discount, it is $158 to upgrade to 2GB.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 12:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roland.g
correct me if i'm wrong but right now 2x1GB from OWC is $270 plus shipping while Apple is charging $175 before any discount. Even MacMall is charging $250+ for 2GB including installation. Sure if you buy it you can sell the 2x512s that you take out, but it just doesn't seem worth it. At the student discount, it is $158 to upgrade to 2GB.
I've been thinking about this as well. For a 24" imac you can upgrade to 2gb RAM for $175 when ordering from Apple. Can you get 2gb of RAM for the iMac any cheaper someplace else? And is it as good as the RAM from Apple?
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 06:24 PM   #15
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Thanks people! I ended up ordering from the Mac store. The upgrade in ram was cheaper there. My wife ended up surprising me with the 24" instead of the 20. She's a keeper.
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