Macbook, what's the big difference?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 66217, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #1
    I'll buy a MB:) , but I'm not sure what's better, buying the 2.0Ghz MB or the 1.83Ghz and adding 512mb of RAM?

    I mean, would there be programs that require more than 1.83Ghz in the near future?

    As for the superdrive, I never use it, and the PC at my house has DVD burner if I need to burn one.

    If I buy the 2.0Ghz MB I wouldn't be able to add 512Mb (out of profit).
    Would 512Mb of RAM be enough for the typical user?:confused: (I won't be using Photoshop or Dreamweaver).

    Thanks,

    Roco
     
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #2
    The general consensus around here seems to be that the upgraded RAM will give you more benefit than the small processor speed bump.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #3
    If I were you, I'd get the extra RAM over the extra CPU speed. Most people wouldn't notice the extra MHz in day-to-day usage. :)
     
  4. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #4
    get the 2.0 the latter buy two GB sticks.

    crucial and apple are rip offs
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #5
    True about the RAM prices, but Roco doesn't need a DVD burner and the extra CPU speed is marginal at best. I'd still get the 1.83GHz machine. :)
     
  6. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

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    Oneida, NY
    #6
    IMO, 2.0Ghz sounds cooler than 1.83Ghz, but hey, I'd still buy a 1.83 over the 2.0. Personally I'd rather have a 16x dual layer drive in an external FW enclosure than a slow 4x drive built into my computer. With the external drive, you could share it across computers too, makes more sense for me, as I would never burn a DVD away from my desk on my lap or something...
     
  7. DMPDX macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2005
    #7
    But what if you want to use iDVD or other apple Apps? I don't believe that you can take idvd files and burn them from a pc, let alone get the pc to read the OS X partition to get the file off in the first place! I say go 2.0, since processor upgradability is non existant in the current macbooks. Even though its .17 ghz, it could be though of as .34 due do the two cores running at 1.87 and 2.0 respectivly. If you can go for the 2.0 do it. If not its not the end of the world.
    -dsm
     
  8. nicoritschel macrumors regular

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    May 22, 2006
    #8
    You can actually create an image file with iDVD or DVD Studio Pro that you can transefer to another computer to burn via your preferred method of transfer. Oh, and you can transfer the files with an ethernet cable/wifi/firewire to a pc.
     
  9. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #9
    Thanks for the replies......if I go for the 2.0Ghz MB, am I going to suffer only having 512mb of RAM? Eventually I would upgrade to 1gb, but I don't want to be suffering with 512 for maybe 5-6 months.

    Since this will be my first Mac, I don't know about RAM in Macs.
    I currently have an IBM Thinkpad with 256mb of RAM:eek: and even tho I suffer sometimes, I don't find it very bad. I can use iTunes, MSN and Word (at the same time) withouth too many problems.

    Thanks,

    Roco
     
  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #10
    The truth is, 512MB of RAM isn't enough if you're going to be using Rosetta for some of your non-Universal apps. You'll get by, but 1GB should be the minimum. :)
     
  11. cyberdogl2 macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2003
    #11
    so if you're gonna be doing some rendering with your machine, great to have 2.0ghz. if it's just regular email, safari, ms office, you probably won't notice a diff.
     
  12. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #12
    You're really making two decisions:

    1. Should I get the 1.83 or the 2.0?
    The speed difference will be unnoticeable. If you don't burn DVDs, then definitely get the 1.83, its a much better value for you.

    2. Should I upgrade the RAM?
    Hell yes. Running OSX with less than 768 megs of RAM is like running a marathon in John Kerry's flip flops. And if you don't want to be frustrated when you multitask, get a gig, at least.
     
  13. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #13
    Just outta curiostiy, does this comment come from personal experience? :D
     
  14. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

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    Mar 6, 2005
    #14
    I agree with this, having 768mb over 512mb makes a surprisingly big difference in performance, I'd get the base config and buy a 1gb Ram stick and maybe an external DVD writer if you need it.....

    SHadoW
     
  15. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #15
    Get the 1.83. You won't notice the speed difference, and if you don't need a superdrive, why pay for it?
     
  16. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

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    #16
    I agree. I was all set to "sacrifice" and get the 1.83 to save money, but my wife decided we should get the 2.0 just to have the best. Usually I'm the one who's pushing for bigger/better/faster, so I grudgingly agreed to go with her wishes. :D

    Even so, I really don't believe you can notice a different in speed until it gets beyond 30% or so. I'm talking about user perception, not timing things with a stopwatch. Even then it's pretty negligible in terms of "feel". Generally, I like to have at least a 2-3x increase (100-200%) before upgrading an old computer. 5x or 10x is even better. Then you're really saying "Wow!". :cool:

    The 1.83 is less than 10% slower, and all other system components are equivalent in speed (hard drive, memory, network, USB, FireWire, etc). As long as you don't think you'll ever want to burn DVDs, go for it.

    One note on burning, though - we got our iBook a few years ago with a non-burning CD/DVD drive. We had a Superdrive in the Power Mac and figured there was no sense in getting another burner for more money. Well, it turned out we ran into a couple situations where we were away from home but really needed to burn a CD. Ended up wishing we'd gotten a burner then. So consider this in your decision - you'll be able to burn CDs either way, but can you absolutely say you'll never want to burn a DVD on the road?
     
  17. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #17
    I think you're generally correct in these comments. I've heard that tests show 10% overall system speed increase is where it actually becomes perceptible in day-to-day activities. But like you said, thats a very small difference, even though noticeable to many users.
     
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #18
    You do not have to burn movies to benefit from the SuperDrive.

    Think of the SuperDrive as one of the easiest ways, besides an external drive to backup the info on the HD.

    If you keep important stuff on the drive, a backup will be worth the nominal price increase.

    If you don't give a crap about anything you are likely to put on the machine, or you have an external HD, or want to bother with a network transfer -- skip the Superdrive.
     
  19. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #19
    Thats also an excellent point, optical drive backups are a huge benefit. You're talking having to burn 5 CDs for every 1 DVD to backup your data. Even if you have an external drive, I think you should still make an optical drive backup every 3-6 months or so. My rule is to keep 1 original copy plus 2 backup copies. I may be obsessive, but I worked in a tech shop for a while and saw enough people lose their data.
     
  20. chairguru22 macrumors 6502a

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    PA
    #20
    id say go with 1.83... the reason i went with 2.0 is because it also has a superdrive and that could come in handy in the future.
     
  21. 66217 thread starter Guest

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    Jan 30, 2006
    #21
    I've never burned a DVD in my life :eek:

    So I think I can live withouth the superdrive.:D
     
  22. flyguy451 macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2005
    #22
    I just got my new Macbook last week - went for the 1.83. I went through the same thought process as described here and decided that the 1.83 with 2 gig of RAM (from OWC) represented the highest value for me. This seems to be the place where lowest price crosses with the best machine. I have never burned a DVD and have never missed being able to do it. Factored into my decision is the upcoming need to replace my desktop machine in the near future. For me, that is the place to have the Superdrive. I guess if I had only one machine I would probably have bought the 2.0 - not for the slightly faster processor but rather for the Superdrive, even though I don't have an immediate need for it.
     
  23. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #23

    What do you do for backups? It looks like most of us with Superdrives use them for backups, not for DVD Authoring. (Or DVD Piracy!)
     
  24. Mernak macrumors 6502

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    Apr 9, 2006
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    Kirkland, WA
    #24
    if you already have the dvd burner I would just get the 1.83 gHz one and not bother spending the extra money. DVDs are nice backing stuff up on the go but if you back most at home and then just burn a cd backup of new/updated files it should be enough. 512 MB ram should be enough for everyday use but it is still nice to have the extra ram (especially if you like widgets, they are ram hogs)
     
  25. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #25
    I use my 30 Gb iPod......for important school files I burn them to CD's.

    Sorry if I've made too many questions, but here goes the last one....Would a 60Gb HD be enough for having Windows, iLife, iWork, Office, some randoms programs and my personal files (which don't pass from 9Gb)?

    Thanks,

    Roco
     

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