2 Q's: 4gb RAM, Buying a MacBook now vs later

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by J B, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. J B macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    #1
    Hi all,
    This is my first post and I wanted to ask two important questions...
    First, I am a high school student who has been saving up/working for a long time to buy a MacBook, i have been set on buying the $1750 macbook which is the high end one with a $150 upgrade to 4gb RAM.

    1.) I really do not mind paying the money for the extra RAM, but do you think i need it? I will do all the basic stuff (web, pages, keynote, etc) plus i will use garageband, iPhoto, iMovie, and will do some photo editing and movie editing (just for fun, not professional) I definetely do not want to only get 2GB then later decide i need 4Gb and have to take out 2gb in order to put in 4gb.

    2.) I was also planning on buying it the day before Christmas but now i do not think i can wait. I'll have the money by December, but is there any benefit of wating until sooner to Christmas? (ie. Apple makes a new promotion "but a macbook Dec. 20th or later and get free iWork") Basically, will i miss out on anything if i buy it 3 weeks early?

    Thanks, All advice appreciated
    J B[/FONT]
     
  2. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #2
    Why not wait for the EDU discount for college/back to school promotion? Besides that, I'd say Black Friday for 10% off~
     
  3. firstapple macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #3
    I would at least wait til black friday to see if there are any deals.

    Also, regarding the 4GB of RAM, try places like newegg . com first (a lot cheaper!)
     
  4. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #4
    I get my memory at thechipmerchant.com - been buying memory from them since the Mac Classic.. :p

    They have them for $160 per pair for Kingston and lifetime warranty...

    You may find a better deal elsewhere - memory is cheap - why not?
     
  5. calebmedia macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2008
    #5
  6. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #6
    ^^^ those or DDR2 and the new MacBooks need DDR3...
     
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #7
    You do not need 4GB RAM. Indeed, the 2GB which the MacBook comes with is way more than you need too.

    You won't miss out on anything if you buy earlier.

    I do have one suggestion to you (especially as it is clear from your post that money is quite tight). Look at the 2.0GHz model. The 2.4's only real advantage is that it has a backlit keyboard. Do you really think it is worth spending $300 extra on that or would that money be better spent on something else?

    The 2.4GHz vs 2.0GHz processor debate has been done to death here, but benchmarks have proven that there is very little between the two and the result for you as a user is that your applications like GarageBand or iMovie might get things done slightly faster but the time saved will only be about a second or two for a LONG process. For example, MacWorld found that running a process in Photoshop which took 1:05 on the 2.4GHz only took 3 seconds more on the 2.0GHz.
     
  8. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #8
    I wonder how much Snow Leopard will change that..
     
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #9
    Probably not by much. We're not talking Pentium 3 vs Core Duo here, these two are both from the same chip family with one just clocked slightly faster. What is more important with Snow Leopard is the GPU and guess what? They both have the same GPU!
     
  10. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a

    iknowyourider

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    #10
    With all due respect, is this sarcasm? Tight with money is the last thing I detected from the OP. Maybe I missed something.
     
  11. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #11
    ^ Yup, same thing. I'd suggest to the OP: SAVE THE CASH. Use the "upgrade my ram to 4gb fund" to push your budget to a MacBook Pro. That actually does a lot in terms of performance than shelling out dough for more ram. Upgrade the ram if you need to, I'd sometimes go past 2GB, but I'm encoding video and burning dvds etc. 2Gb is plenty.
     
  12. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #12
    I was thinking more of Grand Central.
     
  13. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2003
    #13
    Recommendations

    1. Getting RAM later is not a problem pricewise if you don't mind installing it yourself. The price for Apple to install 4 GB is the same or more than most aftermarket RAM. The only trouble is that if something goes wrong, Apple might blame the aftermarket RAM, so you'll have to keep it handy. That said, I'd probably just have Apple install it for $135 (student price) so you don't have to worry.

    2. I have 4 GB of RAM and keep lots of applications open at the same time. If you happen to work like me, you'll appreciate the extra RAM. When you're using GarageBand or iMovie, you'll appreciate the RAM.

    3. The difference between 2.0 and 2.4 in processor speed isn't such a big deal because the processor rarely needs to operate all out. Speedwise, you'd probably be better off spending the extra money on a faster 7200 RPM hard drive.

    So here's what I would do:
    Buy the 2.0 Ghz Macbook with 4 GB RAM for $1384 (with student discount). Buy a $120 320 GB 7200 RPM drive from a place like macsales.com. You'll have spent about $1500 before tax, and you'll have a very fast capable computer that will last into the future.

    By the way, your before-tax price with the student discount would be $1635 with 4 GB RAM and the 2.4 Ghz processor.
     
  14. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #14
    I certainly think that if you've been working hard for a long time to make a purchase then you need to be careful not to buy something which you don't really need.
     
  15. J B thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    #15
    Thanks so far for the great advice! Please keep posting anything and everything that you think would help.
    Anyway, a couple people keep saying "well use you STUDENT DISCOUNT for a better price". I would ovbiously love to do that but i am only in high school (not even a senior).

    Is there anyway i can get the student discount or any other way you know of saving money?
    Also i still am debating whether or not to get the 2 or 4GB RAM. As mentioned earlier, i will use pretty much everything that comes with it but now i relized that the multi-task factor comes into play. I will very often use iTunes, Pages, and Safari all at once, plus i usually have at least 2 programs running at a time

    thanks, further advice appreciated
     
  16. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #16
    Order from Amazon to not pay tax?
     
  17. J B thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 8, 2008
    #17
    really? are you sure amazon has no tax? also, i cannot customize the macbook from amazon :(
     
  18. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #18
    Never ordered from Amazon before? Less your in NY..? Also the money you save on tax should more than cover the customizations..(4gb)
     
  19. melissaur macrumors newbie

    melissaur

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    Decatur, IL; Boston, MA
    #19
    Do you plan on going to college? Will you be using your macbook in college? If so, use the student discount.

    It's not like adobe software, you don't have to send in higher-ed verification. It's also not as if you're ripping off apple and really screwing the system. If you're a high school student, and you need and use the hardware for your education, I just don't see why it's wrong. :rolleyes:

    Or if you're really morally-minded about the corporate world, wait until Black Friday. The discount will be about the same as the student discount.
     
  20. Collegiate07 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia
    #20
    i am new to macs also and researching what i want exactly. i do not know what this "back to school promotion" and "Black Friday" is and when are they?:confused:

    and i am guessing the "EDU discount" is the higher education discount.
     
  21. plan4 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #21
    I have to disagree with a couple of replies about the ram question. with 2 processors, i would definitely recommend 4gb of ram. ram is dirt cheap and you will find it always gets chewed up faster than you think. for normal, occasionally strenuous work, i recommend 2gb/core. for anything requiring rendering, the more the better.
     

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