Questions for ordering new MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by musicalmcs8706, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. musicalmcs8706 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    #1
    I know I will be ordering a MacBook Pro soon i.e. the next few weeks. The biggest reason I am getting it is for college where I want something that is of course a Mac, but I want a 15" as the 17 is just too large to be carrying around. I will use iTunes, internet, word processing, some iPhoto, and occasionally iMovie. Nothing too strenuous.

    I will be ordering a MBP with the following specs:
    1.67 ghz CD
    iWork
    AppleCare
    1 gig of memory
    Mighty Mouse
    100 gig or 120 gig harddrive

    My questions are:
    1) which is better for memory: 2 x 512 or 1 x 1gig?
    2) I have a lot of music that I will be putting on it and was wondering about the harddrive. Should I go with the 120 gig to have more storage space, or should I go with the 100 gig to have the faster speed of the 7200 rpm drive? :confused:
     
  2. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

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    Location:
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    #2
    If you search around you will find many threads that mention how having 2x512 is faster than 1x1gb. I personally ordered mine that way. It lets the memory use dual channels for a little speed increase. As far as hard drive, you have to figure out what is more important to you. When I had bought a powerbook I had Rev. C and I paid more for the faster hard drive, but it was the same size. My goodness, how much music do you have that you are worried about filling a 100gb hard drive??? I would say put the extra money into speed because think about it, $100 extra for only 20gb more? Each gb is quite expensive in that case. I think there is at least some increase in speed from that and 100gb is still quite big I would say. I never used more than half of the 80 on my Powerbook and that included having 2 hours of DV video on there from my camera.
     
  3. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    Location:
    Athens, Georgia
    #3
    Questions:

    RAM, it is better to get the 2 x 512 because it can run in Dual Channel. This makes it much faster.

    HD depends on preference. Do you want faster recall or do you want more storage. It is a trade off. You just have to decide if you have about 50 GB of stuff that you want to keep on the computer at all times and burn the rest off to DVD or do you have 60 GB that you want to keep on at all times. It is a general rule of thumb that you should keep about 50% of your HD free most of the time for reasons of speed and computer health. But up to 75% would be ok on either. You just need to think about Speed vs Space. What do you need the most. Large Videos (Speed), Many Small Files (Space). Start times and such will be lower too on the faster HD.
     
  4. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #4
    I'd purchase the 1x1GB of memory. That way I could save up and get 1GB. and not have to take out a stick I already paid for. You can never have enough memory.

    Even if 2x512 is faster (which I'm not completely sold on), I'd take more memory over faster memory any day. When I purchase a new 1GB stick, I'll have 2 GB (matching pairs), instead of 1.5 GB.

    As far as hard drives go, I'm not sure if the price increase justifies a bigger or faster hard drive. It may be cheeper to get a big external firewire drive. I'd put all files that you don't need everyday there. If I had to choose, I'd take the 7200 RPM hard drive.
     
  5. musicalmcs8706 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    I was thinking about possibly buying a Firewire drive down the road for portable storage and backup. And I probably will have about 10 gig of music on there as I'm a music nerd to say the least.
     
  6. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #6
    To the Dual Channel Skeptic:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_channel

    The problem is you have to have 2 sticks that match exactly. You can get 2 sticks that match for 115 per stick of 1GB PC2-5300 SO-DIMM. But if they do not match they have a great chance of not running in Dual Channel. It is all about the timing of the RAM. They have to be timed to the same frequency. If they are off this will not work. That is why I would go with 2x512 and keep it. 1x512 and upgrade to 2x1GB independantly. You do need to keep the original RAM for warranty purposes.
     
  7. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #7
    One more thing on Dual Channel. Lets get it from the Source:

    http://www.kingston.com/newtech/MKF_520DDRwhitepaper.pdf

    After Reading this it states that Dual Channel RAM that is actually in Dual Channel Mode will move Data at TWICE the rate of the SAME RAM in Single Channel Mode.
     
  8. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #8
    I know what dual channel is. What I'm not sold on is whether the MPB supports dual channel.

    Even if it does, I wouldn't be happy with 1 GB of RAM. Why pay for 2x512 when I'm going to replace at least of of them and then have unmatched pairs anyway. If you get 1x1GB, then get another 1xGB stick later, you'll have 2GB of RAM and matched pairs. It's an over cost vs benefit thing.
     
  9. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #10
    Wait, did you say it is cost effective to spend 180 on upgrading to 1GB of RAM, then you would have to spend another 180 on upgrading later? How is that Cost Effective?

    Total Cost your Way: 360 (Educational Price) you have to buy the same make and model and everything for it to work right.

    Total Cost the way I did it: 175 SHIPPED (EBAY). That is cost effective.
     
  10. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #11
    Thank you. That's some good info to know. I wasn't able to find it anywhere on their site.

    It still doesn't change my advice. Get the 1x1GB now and save up for another 1 GB stick for the future.
     
  11. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #12
    1. I'm pretty sure you don't need exactly the same type of RAM, just the same amount. So your prices are wrong.

    2. Are you crazy? I'd never purchase RAM for a Mac from eBay. I'll only purchase from a dealer who will sell me guaranteed to work in a Mac RAM. Cost effective mean balancing cost vs benefit. Not throwing money away at cheep RAM.
     
  12. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #13
  13. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #14
    1. You do need them to be the same chip size, spacing, and everything else. Read the articles that I have supplied in full before posting responses.

    2. New RAM from an Ebay RAM seller is not a risk. It is a good idea. You also contact the seller about things before you buy them. And this RAM has a lifetime warranty on it. So if you have a problem this seller will replace it for you.
     
  14. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #15
    You are correct, but if you get Mac guaranteed RAM, chips size, spacing, voltage, and everything else will be correct.


    It is because Macs are generally very picky about RAM. Everything must be perfect, such as chip size, spacing, voltage, etc. eBay is just not a risk I'm willing to take in the case. Nor do I think anyone else should take such a risk.
     
  15. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #16
    Considering that there are only two producers of the PC2-5300 RAM at this point in time, Crucial and Kingston. The others are just rebranded them. It does not matter between the two of them. They are the best. PC2-5300 is so new that others have not copied it yet as far as I have seen. Retailers get it at very low cost and sell it with mark up. Never had a problem with it. Even if you do not want to go with the Ebay. You can get direct from a Crucial Retailer. Crucial branded RAM for 115 per plus shipping.
     
  16. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    #17
    Just picked up 2 sticks of Kingston pc2-5300 ram off ebay for $119 apiece. I'll likely be able to sell the 512mb stick in the macbook for a min of $70, which will make upgrading my macbook pro to 2 gigs cheaper than upgrading my powerbook to 1gig of slower ram. I was planning on picking up just one stick but I figured at that price, it will only increase the resale value of my macbook pro down the road, and it would be easier to get a matched set to start with.
     
  17. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #18
    Crucial doesn't even make their own brand. The repackage Micron and/or Samsung.
     
  18. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    #19
    Crucial and Kingston are the only ones that are selling the RAM so you have to get as either there brand or a re-branded version of there RAM. It is all going to be very close to the same. Seeing as this is a very new technology and it is just reaching the point of major use. Once it becomes profitable for people to make cheaper knock offs the price for the real deal and the cheap ones will go down. But right now all you have is about 2 different types out there with a few Branded and Unbranded versions floating. You can get the branded for more. Or you can get the unbranded for less. Both are backed by the same warranty. You will only be able to tell what you actually get (Manufacturer) when you actually get it and run Hardware Tests.
     

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