A Few questions before I buy my MacBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rmwebs, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    Hi all,

    I switched to an iMac 25" from a home-made Windows PC back in April and have loved it. I've been looking at adding a MacBook to my collection since July.

    Now I can (almost) afford it, I have a few questions.

    I'm going to be getting the basic one and upgrading the RAM and HDD myself. Crucial will be my place of choice to get the RAM as they seem to be able to beat the prices of everyone else (I'm in the UK). I will be getting a 2GB stick and swapping out one of the 512mb sticks for the 2gb stick (I take it this can be done?).

    My second question is, the hard drive. I want to get a 250GB HDD but a 7200RPM one. I would prefer it to be pretty much silent and dont mind having to pay a little bit more for this. Again, I'm UK based so providers must be UK based. Do the macbooks accept all 3.5" SATA drives or are there only certain ones? If you have any recommendations, could you give the product model?

    Also, I take it that if I install a new HDD and RAM that my AppleCare will still be valid (unless its one of the parts I installed that is at fault), correct?

    Thanks for your time guys.

    Rick :apple:
  2. TraustiB macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2007
    Reykjavík, Iceland
    #1 Replacing the 512mb with a 2GB DDR2 is possible. It supports up to 4gb

    #2 They take any 2.5" SATA drive. I'm not sure of the availability of a 250gb 2.5" 7200RPM drive is but if you get your hands on one. The MacBook should almost certainly be able to use it.

    #3 Not quite sure about the AppleCare plan. I'd imagine the Care plane would only cover the hardware you bought from Apple or something in that direction. http://images.apple.com/legal/applecare/docs/AppleCare_Protect_Plan_NA_en.pdf. The information in this PDF is very vague. I suggest you go straight to an apple store and talk to a Genius about the matter.
  3. TraustiB macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2007
    Reykjavík, Iceland
  4. joshysquashy macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2005
    I did basically what you want to do - bought with minimum specs and upgraded.

    I bought 2 1gb cards - it is better to have symetrical memory apparently, although yours will probably be a bit faster (not so great value for money).

    The hard drive is quite simple to replace and I went for a 250GB WD drive, couldn't recommend it more!

    When you remove the existing one, it is attached to a holder and you will need a screwdriver that fits, they look a bit like an alan key (but star shaped if I remember).

    To install Leopard to the drive, format it using Disk Utility (off the disk) before you start the installation.
  5. tianuk3 macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    I hope Applecare will still be valid! I plan on doing the same. However I think I may stick with the 3 year free limited education warranty.
    As for a 250gb 7200rpm 2.5" SATA HDD, you cant get one, I have just ordered a 200gb 7200rpm 2.5' for 115 quid (Hitachi Travelstar 7k200 200gb), meant to be really fast :), however as it is so fast it will also be slightly more noisy than the standard macbook hdd, though only slightly.
    I would recommend the hitachi anyways from what I heard it tramples an competition (Seagate Momentus)
  6. rmwebs thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions guys :)

    I may actually just go with a 200GB 7200 drive....I dont need the extra 50 to be honnest :)
  7. monty77 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    UK, South Coast
    7200rpm HDDs get warm and use more power ... speed tests show only a VERY modest performance advantage over a 5400rpm device - for these reasons I went for the WD 250Gb Hdd

    ... if you're in the UK in know PC world were doing a special on these, £80 incl external case - bargain !!!

    If you go for another 2.5" SATA drive be sure it's 9mm height, 12mm wont fit!

  8. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Right. Applecare will still cover the parts that came with the machine, unless you break something while installing the new parts. RAM is easy. I don't know about HDs in the new Macbooks (there are usually online guides).
  9. Stolencheese macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2007

    I'd recommend getting the middle specced Macbook, For just that little bit more you get the superdrive which is excellent!

    Macbook user for a week.
  10. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    Are you sure? This extensive review by StorageReview shows that the Hitachi 7K200 200GB has a marked performance advantage over the WD 250GB, with comparable power consumption.
    Replacing the MB HD is just as easy as replacing the RAM.

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