MacBook advice needed--stock or BTO?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Nikhil72, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Nikhil72 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Hey all. I plan to place my MacBook order shortly and was until about five minutes ago about to go for a BTO white 2.0 GHz with the HDD upped to the max, 120GB. I was going to do the RAM upgrade to 2GB myself from Newegg.com. With the Edu discount, the white+120GB was $1424 before taxes and shipping.

    My hesitation is that IN CASE I need to do an exchange of the MacBook because of heat or mooing or whatever might happen (although I am hoping to be of the group that has no problems with their MacBook), the BTO is going to require shipping, whereas with a stock, I can drive to the local Apple store.

    I found a Toshiba 120GB notebook drive on Newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822149042) for $145 and although I don't have much experience (i.e. none) upgrading a laptop hard drive, the pictures of the MacBook seem simple enough...certainly not much more difficult than the RAM upgrades. As I understand it, upgrading the hard drive on my own will NOT void the warranty, and loading the OS is as simple as doing a fresh install off the included Tiger DVD. Is this correct?

    I would save a bit by going this route. For sure the stock 60GB hard drive isn't big enough for me. My PowerBook G4 has an 80 GB drive with about 10GB free after a massive cleanup. I figure I should maximize hard drive capacity now.

    Can anyone here relate their BTO experience with the MacBook? I'm also away from the country and will be purchasing it online from Apple about 5 days before returning so it will *hopefully* be waiting for me when I return. I'm taking advantage of the iPod deal as well as the printer deal (just threw my old one out), so buying off Amazon or another site isn't a good option for me.

    Thanks! --Nikhil
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #2
    The only snag I ran into when I upgraded my MB drive was that the screws that hold the drive to the tray are Torx #8, which I didn't have in my toolbox. Thank god for Radio Shack. Other than that, you simply slide the drive out, remove it from the tray, put the new drive in the tray and slide it back in. It's amazingly easy! The odd (to me, anyway) way that the memory pops in slowed me down more.

    By chance, did you used to post on PocketPC forums awhile back?
     
  3. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #3
    The MacBook is great in that upgrading the hard drive is a million times easier than it was on the iBook / Powerbook G4. I would HIGHLY suggest you do it yourself and save some money. You could also go up to 7,200 RPM (may up your heat and drop batt life a littl but not much on either point).
     
  4. Nikhil72 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    NYC
    #4
    Aristobrat---funniest thing ever, because I was trying to figure out if it was you from the PocketPC forums! I didn't have any response to a particular post in which I could ask that haha. Yep that was me! I still hang around...I have an i-mate K-Jam now...it's being sold as soon as I return stateside though. Highly useful for international travel in India (I'm connected via my PowerBook over Bluetooth right now), but once I get back, I've realized I'm slowly moving away from carrying it around now with my iPod and all, especially around campus. I just can't seem to let go of my PocketPC habits though! Switching to the Mac made it easier since I don't synchronize at all...when things become more difficult, it becomes easier to wean away. I'm trying to find a good, small, simple phone that I can use to sync basic PIM (Calendar, To-Do, and Contacts) with iSync.

    hmm. I'm still trying to decide...it doesn't look that hard. The Toshiba drive I posted is correct, right?
     
  5. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

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    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    #5
    Go with stock, you'll probably get it faster that way to. Then you can upgrade now, or as money allows.
     
  6. belf8st macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #6

    I bought a 2.0GHz stock machine and then added the drive and memory myself. Ordered the memory from OWA and purchased a Seagate 100GB Momentus 5400 drive. The process was very simple to do.

    The toshiba drive that you've found on TigerDirect won't work with your macbook. You need a SATA drive.
     
  7. belf8st macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #7

    Also when reloading the OS from the provided Apple media, you'll need to use the disk utility first during the install to prepare the your new drive for the install.
     
  8. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #8
    Given the stories of it maybe taking two machines to get one that works I personally would go for a stock machine. Then do the upgrades later. The new SATA-based 160GB Seagate Momentus 5400 will be with us soon (the IDE version is available now), I'd go for that.

    I might replace my Powerbook 1.33 12" in that fashion (when the black drops to the same price as the white :))
     
  9. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    Working for MI-6
    #9

    This would be my advice as well.

    I am looking to do the same thing to my MacBook Pro.
     
  10. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #10
    Yeah, it's tough. I got weaned away when I got a work project that read "design and implement a BlackBerry solution for IT mgmt (~5 users)". 2 years later, we've got 175+ BlackBerry users here. I couldn't handle managing two devices, so the PocketPC lost out.

    Great to see a familiar face (err, screename, I guess)! I've seen Entropy80 around on some of the Mac forums too.

    To your statement about [replacing the drive] not looking hard, .. you'll probably laugh once you see how easily it slides out. ;)
     
  11. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #11
    I would get the stock, that's what I did. The friendly upgradeability seals the deal. And plus if you have a problem with it you'll be able to return it easier, and get another one quicker. I hate waiting, I remember waiting like a month for may last Mac I ordered online.
     
  12. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #12
    Exactly.

    I upgraded my MB RAM a few days ago. And just out of curiosity I took out the the HDD. Believe me it`s easier than taking out a Music Cassette out of a stereo. And installing leopard is also a breeze. You`d definitely be better with a stock MB and upgrade the HDD by yourself.
    As another poster said, the Toshiba drive is an ATA deive and wont work with your MB. You`ll need a SATA drive. Here`s one from Samsung.
     
  13. Copland macrumors regular

    Copland

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    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #13
    :eek:
    That's amazing;)

    Yeah, just make sure whatever drive you decide on is SATA, and you'll be fine.
    Go Stock.
     
  14. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

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    Dec 1, 2005
    #14
    Compared to winblows it definitely way easier and simpler.
     
  15. Copland macrumors regular

    Copland

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    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #15
    Wait...I was talking about the Leopard part.:eek:
     
  16. Nikhil72 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Alright, I'm convinced! Stock MacBook+self upgrade it is. As final confirmation, this does not void the warranty? I noticed that the Toshiba interface was wrong about two minutes after posting.

    So I take it the Seagate drive comes recommended for quality and reliability? OWC has a Western Digital Scorpio drive for $149, which seems like an excellent price and is for the MacBook. Any recommendation of the Seagate over the WD in terms of quality/reliability? OWC even have a simple installation video which I watched; I can't believe how easy it is.

    I assume the Sudden Motion Sensor functionality is independent of which hard drive is installed, but it can't hurt to ask.

    As for Disk Utility, would I find that on one of the CDs?
     
  17. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #17
    Yup. If you boot off of the restore DVD that comes with the PB, you should see a menu bar running across the top (after you select your language). It's under one of the menu choices (Utilities?).
     
  18. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #18
    It doesn't void the warranty but it doesn't cover what you replace ie the HD & Ram, but if you have problems with those, I'm sure that those items have a good warrnaty with them.
     
  19. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #19
    SH#T. Can't believe I missed that. Twice :eek:

    But the statement will stil remain true I guess. Leopard too will be as easy to install as Tiger is.
     
  20. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816

    ImNoSuperMan

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    #20
    WD has 3 years warranty as compared to seagate's 5 years. Given a choice I'd go for seagate only. I've never had a problem with my 120GB Seagate ext drive. Also I doubt you'll find as much support for WD in India as you'll Seagate IMO(assuming you might be coming back to India during colege breaks)

    And yes. The SMS is independent of the HDD. It just stops both the HDD n the DVD Drive wenever there's a movement noticed. It has nothing to do with the HDD at all.

    As far as voiding the warranty is concerned ; just make sure you don't damage the MB physically while doing this installation. All you need is the right screw driver. The screws inside the MB are extremely small and won't open with anything else than the exact size tool bit.
     
  21. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    #21
    Although I have owned both of those manufactures drives, I will stick with seagate from here on out because of their warranty.
     
  22. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    #22
    Dang double post.

    Guess ill put in something here so it doesn't look like spam...

    hmm.. yeah like someone said, just be careful with the old hardware, that way if you have any problems with say like the....lcd screen, pop the old stuff back in and take it back.

    Z
     
  23. Nikhil72 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    Alright, thanks everyone! Seagate drive it is!
     

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