MacBook buying help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shadow, May 27, 2006.

  1. Shadow macrumors 68000

    Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #1
    Hey everyone!

    I am looking to get a MacBook for my birthday (a combination of birthday, xmas & earned money); probably the 1.83GHz White w/ 1GB RAM & 80GB HDD, but I need some advice/help:

    - How is the screen? I want to check it out before I buy, but the nearest Apple Store is in Manchester, a long distance away. Is it comparable to the HP zd8000, cos I love that screen! How is the glare in normal conditions (indoors)? If its really glossy, is there a way to "anti-glare" it?

    - Where is the cheapest place to get RAM? I've tried Omni, Ramseeker. Looking for 2GB :cool:

    - HEAT. Under normal operating conditions (I'll mostly be using Photoshop, Boot Camp, Safari, Instant Messaging, iMovie, iPhoto, Dreamweaver, ect-I know for Photoshop and Dreamweaver I should get a MacBook but I'm too ppor :p ), how is it? Is it really bad, enough to not use on your lap?

    - Keyboard-is it difficult to change? I'm used to a HP Wireless keyboard which came with my PC :mad:

    - Mac OS X/Speed. My friends Mac Mini G4 w/ 512MB RAM (don't know the CPU speed-sorry) is slow-nearly unusable when running Photoshop CS, iTunes and Safari. As I said above, I'll be using it for Photoshop, IM, iTunes and Dreamweaver (all at the same time)-will it be fast enough? IS 1GB RAM enough for this?

    - Mac OS X/Learning: I'm ready to make the switch, but what is the learning curve? My friends Mini is difficult to use because its slow and the screen reso is low-will this change?

    Thanks everyone, sorry if these questions have been asked before.
     
  2. Acehigh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    #2

    You really need to check one out in person. Since it might be hard to find somebody with a HP zd8000 and a Macbook. No other stores in the UK sells Macbooks?

    Not sure why you want to change the keyboard didnt get mine yet, but since they are new i doubt you will find one used.


    Not sure what systems you use Photoshop CS on or what you are doing maybe some crazy stuff. But I used Photoshop CS on my Mini G4 with 512 and it is fine! (its a 1.5 g4) I used to use it in my Powerbook TI with no problems its not that slow. You probably need atleast 1gb of ram but if you are upgrading i will just go for the 2gb (after market ofcourse)

    If you think the mini is slow you might need to go with a Macbook pro or something else.


    Os X is pretty easy to use.... so maybe will take a few days to get used to it. if not a few hours.
     
  3. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Clovis, California
    #3
    Don't even think about doing that. If you can't live with the gloss, just get the MBP. ;)
     
  4. iHeartTheApple macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    Chris:
    I addressed quite a few of your issues in my review yesterday. It's quite snappy as far as the iLife software performance goes...I can't say regarding some of the others you mentioned (Photoshop, Dreamweaver). As for the keyboard, you can connect a wireless or wired keyboard to the MacBook using either Bluetooth or an available usb port. Good luck with you decision! :)
     
  5. Shadow thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #5
    The Mini itself is fast, its just that he h so much crap on it that it goes really slow-so slow that it takes a few seconds to load up the colour picker. I can live with it for a few months, but wehn CS3 comes out i'll be expecting it to be blazing!
    I hope to visit Manchester in about a week or two, (if the latter probs buying), I cant wait! PC World might have the MacBook, but they only have a isle for Macs :(.
    I havnt tried the Core Solo/Duo Minis so I cant really compare-I visited the Regent Street store a while ago and the 2.0GHz 2GB MBP was absolutley blazing-albeit took longer than expected to boot. Compared to the iBook G4 there is no comparason. The iBook was slow, dirty (literally-grease and all!), and strangley bulkey :confused:.

    iHeartTheApple great review! It has been the clincher-I hope to buy in 2/3 weeks!
     
  6. the Western zoo macrumors 6502

    the Western zoo

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Aarhus C, Denmark
    #6
    Now I haven't got photoshop - so I don't know how it runs it... But as for the heat - I haven't had any problems and I've been running finder, firefox, thunderbird, itunes, messenger plus sometimes a little more pretty much all the time I've had my new macbook. I have jet to hear any loud humming noises but I have been hearing music most of the time while using it so it might have been there but not to my notice...
    I don't understand your question about the keyboard but I like the one in the MacBook! the only thing I can't get used to is that @ isn't at 2 like in windown.... :D
    I think if you're some what normally intelligent you'll get the hang of osx pretty fast! it's all very intuitive and very easy!!
     
  7. cntblah macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    #7
    If you can get the RAM preinstalled for ~$300 or so you should.. perhaps even pay the $500 to customize at the Apple Store - see my RAM install troubles in this post.
     
  8. iHeartTheApple macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    I'm glad it helped out, my friend. Congrats on the future purchase...I'm sure you'll love it! :) Let us know how it goes!
     
  9. designed macrumors 6502

    designed

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    The only things that caught really caught my eye were...

    1. The keyboard issue. From what I've heard, the keyboard can be changed but using an external keyboard (like the HP Wireless one) isn't changing, it's just using another keyboard. Why don't you just throw in an external keyboard if you (think you might) need one? And if you want it to be really slick, get the Apple Wireless Keyboard with Apple-buttons and no external USB-receiver dongle sticking out of your MacBook - it's Bluetooth, baby ;)

    2. The software issue. I expect that in the following year the softwares you mention won't necessarily be exactly fast to run, since most of them need to be run under Rosetta-emulation but the good bit is that unlike most computers, this one will actually speed up when the new (Universal) versions come out. Basic usage will be quite blazing and all the Apple software will run without a hitch, it's just the Photoshop and Dreamweaver (or is there an UB out of it yet?) that won't be as fast as they could be.
     
  10. codo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    #10
    Not even John Lewis? They've had iMacs etc when I've been into their Norwich store now and then. I'm pretty sure PC World do too.
     
  11. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    I will steer clear of doing the memory install myself. If I buy from Apple, I will go for the I GB total which is priced within reason. Paying them the exorbitant $500 for 2 GB is like having a gun pulled on you. However, I agree that if I can find a place to install 2 GB for, say, $300-350, that will be an agreed done deal.

    BTW, for owners of the new MacBooks, how much time does it take to burn a customized 80-minute music disc from iTunes using the audio CD format (all MP3 files that were initially encoded at 160 kbps)? Thanks.
     
  12. designed macrumors 6502

    designed

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    I imagine the memory install is easier than dancing tango, it can't be much different from installing the same type of module into my iMac which was routine with my computing experience. Just pay $5-15 maximum for the install, even the neighbours hacker kid can do it.
     
  13. tedrjr03 macrumors regular

    tedrjr03

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    #13
    i just have one question. you say that your ordering a mb with 1gb ram but your still looking for 2gb?
     
  14. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    My uses are not demanding, but considering the max memory is basically an insurance policy for the future operating system update since they always require more and more for even basic smooth operations.
     
  15. tedrjr03 macrumors regular

    tedrjr03

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    #15
    im sorry but i dont think your understanding my ? i mean why irder 1gb if your going to order 2gb from someone else? why dont you just order 512 then put 1gb in there
     
  16. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    I will see what the price is for 2 GB of memory if buying the computer from a place other than Apple. If it is what Apple charges, then I would likely get the MacBook from Apple with the 1 GB installed. I will be well served with that configuration.
     
  17. jammer08 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #17
    I have a MB and an HP zd7000 (the same screen as the 8000), and I must say, the MB its much brighter and vibrant. I feel the screen on the MB is much better than the HP... Also my HP is matte finish (not BrightView).. so that also makes a difference.
     
  18. purelithium macrumors 6502

    purelithium

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Kingston, Canada
    #18
    eBay. Search in the Laptops section under Memory, and DDR2. Look for a SODIMM that's DDR2, and 667mhz. I found some that are around US 130-140
     
  19. tedrjr03 macrumors regular

    tedrjr03

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
  20. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #20
    The cheapest I have seen is about $85 for either Gigaram or Patriot memory from Newegg. They both come with a warranty so that helps with the risk of getting a bad stick and both have good reviews from Newegg consumers who say they have Mac hardware.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820220078

    Currently, it looks like the Gigaram is sold out though :(

    Another option is getting a stick from Other World Computing. They are reputable and guarantee their product at $112 a stick.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades.cfm?model=248&type=Memory&TI=%23TimeFormat%28Now%28%29%2C+&shoupgrds=Show+Upgrades

    Personally, I would consider upgrading the hard drive to either a 7200 RPM model or a 160 Gb 5200 Seagate when they come out, depending on your needs, because Macbooks have user replaceable hard drives now.

    Goodluck!
     

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