A few questions related to the MacBook (and Macs in general)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Veracon, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Veracon macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2007
    Having been a PC user forever, I'm for the first time looking to get myself a Mac; a white MacBook (the 2.00 GHz version, most likely not configured). Hence, I have a few questions to ask before I whip out my debit card and buy the laptop. Some of these questions may (no, will!) sound a bit ignorant to all you Mac wiz' out there, but I thought I might as well even ask the very basic things.

    1. I have a wireless 802.11g network at home, powered by a Belkin router and a few Windows and Ubuntu-running PCs. Will this be at all troublesome connecting to on a MacBook? Do I need any additional software or hardware, or will it work out of the box?
    2. Being a web designer, I do use a few somewhat resource-intensive applications; namely Photoshop. I'll most likely be waiting until CS3 (for the universal goodness) before purchasing the Mac version, but I need to know if I can run it decently even with the not-insanely-powerful Intel GMA. Chances are I won't be doing any 3D at all, but I may be having a few (< 10) files open in Photoshop while browsing the web and editing some text -- would this be problematic?
    3. Will my regular (Logitech G5, USB) mouse work close-to-seamlessly? Basically, that is, will its 4-way scrolling wheel work?

    ... surprisingly, that's all I could come up with. I s'pose I'll ask again if I find more questions.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Aniej macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2006
    1. no problem at all. I used to to use the belkin until I recently switched to an integrated comcast wireless modem.

    2. don't know about web designing sorry

    3. you should be just fine on the mouse issue. logitech works quite nicely for macs.
  3. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    Photoshop runs a bit better than decently. Go for it. Maxing out the Ram would be more than helpful, you probably already know.
  4. Veracon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2007
    Yes, I figured more RAM would probably increase the performance, but at the moment I'll probably just be getting 1 GB of it (I'm already quite a bit over my alleged budget :p ). And, from what I've read, it's not all that hard to upgrade a MacBook's RAM.

    Thanks for the replies, both of you. Appreciate the help.
  5. MatthewConnelly macrumors regular


    Aug 22, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    I know someone already said that their Belkin router worked fine with AirPort, but mine didn't. My MacBook could detect the wireless network, but not connect to it. My neighbour has the same router and I couldn't connect to his, but I could connect to other non-Belkin routers, so I knew that it was my Belkin router causing the problem.

    I'd do a Google search of your Belkin's model number and see if anyone has had any compatibility issues with the MacBook's wireless.

    As for Photoshop, the Intel GMA won't be an issue as it's a 2D program, but I would advise upgrading to 2GB RAM if you're going to have multiple files and programs open at once.
  6. Veracon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2007
    Thanks for that; I did indeed find some people having trouble with Belkin routers, though none of them mentioned my very version number (F5D7230yy4). One place I did however find a possible solution, so it may be worth a try (either way, I don't think my router should be what's keeping me away from purchasing a laptop).

    Regardless, appreciate the info.
  7. Veracon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2007
    Here's another question (I hope double-posting isn't too frowned upon!): From what I see in some benchmarks, the difference between the 1.83 GHz version and the 2.00 GHz one is very modest; for example 5-6 seconds on a Photoshop suite I couldn't imagine doing at all (I don't think I've ever edited a 50 MB file before).

    This leads to the question: Would it be a better idea for me to get 2 GB RAM and a 1.83 GHz processor than 1 GB RAM and a 2.00 GHz processor? I understand the processor isn't upgradeable, which could be a reason to get that instead, but the difference really doesn't seem all that impressive. Burning DVDs isn't something I'm planning on doing either - and should it be needed, I could just share it (networked) with another computer that does have a DVD burner.

    What's your say?

    (Thanks again!)
  8. zephead macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2006
    in your pants
    More RAM is always good, so I would think the 1.83 with 2GB would do a little better, as long as you're sure you don't need the extra .17GHz and DVD burning capability.
  9. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004

    1. It can be a bit iffy how wireless works. My iMac has trouble with our Netgear wireless router but my wife's MacBook doesn't. But then, my Dell D810 and Thinkpad T40p had no trouble, but my Dell desktop and brother's T40p did.

      I've seen benchmarks that show PS performance is barely affected by whether it's an integrated or dedicated GPU (maybe < 10% difference). But try to scrape together the cash for 2GB RAM. If you get 1GB (2x512MB sticks) you'll just have to throw away the 1GB and pay more in the long run, and you won't have the same performance.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    1) Networks don't care about the OS running on the machine. "g" is "g". the MB will work out of the box

    2) Photoshop will run fin on the MB if you have enough RAM. Don't worry about the Intel GPU. Photoshop does NOT use the GPU even on a PC. The GPU makes no difference for PS. but it does matters for 3D works and games

    3) The mouse should work in some basic mode but I don't know about four way scolling

    Web design is actually pretty "light weight" work for a MB. After all web sized graphic are small. I'd be more concerned with the small LCD screen then anything else. If you were doing video editing I'd say the machine is a bit under powered for all but light editing or just using iMovie but PS and the like is OK if you like the 13" screen
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Doubling the RAM will be much better than a 10% processor upgrade. You will notice the RAM but you'd need a stopwatch to notice the processor.

    If you plan to wait for CS3 you could get by with less RAM. CS3 will run native on the MP but CS2 uses Rosetta
  12. Speedracer04 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    1. You should have no problem. I recently switched after being a life long PC user and couldnt be happier. Upon the first start up it immediatly recognized my Netgear wireless router with no more configuration that simply picking the correct wireless network. I was up and running on the internet within 5 mins....try getting up and running that fast on a PC...ha.

    2. I use photoshop daily and I have a Blackbook 2.0 GHz 1GB CoreDuo. I hardly ever notice any lag if any. Especially if you are waiting for CS3 which will run even nicer.

    3. Your mouse should be fine...but I would never give up my wireless mighty mouse to anything else now that Ive experienced it. :)
  13. Veracon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2007
    Afraid I have yet another question; since the display of the MacBook isn't exactly huge, chances are I'll be buying an external monitor to go with it. I've been looking at a Samsung SyncMaster 940BW, which is reasonably priced yet offers 19" widescreen at 1440x900.

    1. Through DVI, will I be able to "pull off" a clear image at 1440x900? (I read here that the image was somewhat unclear through VGA, but of course that's not the same as DVI.)
    2. Does a mini-DVI to DVI adapter reduce the image quality at all?

    Once again, appreciate all the help! :)
  14. MatthewConnelly macrumors regular


    Aug 22, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    I got a 2007WFP (DVI connection) yesterday and the image is perfect at 1680x1050, hooked up to my MacBook using the mini DVI to DVI adapter. I haven't noticed any lapse in image quality.
  15. displaced macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2003
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    Mini-DVI to DVI should have zero affect on the image quality. There's no conversion going on, it's simply breaking out the pins on the mini-style port to a regular sized port. Plus DVI's a digital signal, so the additional interconnect isn't going to cause degradation.

    Like MatthewConnelly, our MB has been driving a Dell monitor - the 2005FPW - at 1680x1050 perfectly. No difference at all between the MacBook (with adapter) and our MacBook Pro (no adapter needed).
  16. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Get the 2GB RAM, and seriously look at refurb or educational discount to help acquire the MB at a lower price. This machine will be excellent for ya! :)
  17. Veracon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2007
    I'm sure it will! I've looked at refurbs, but it turns out my local version of the Apple store has not a single refurbished computer; only iPods and printers, etc. Macs are generally much more expensive here (Denmark) -- for instance, the lowest-end MacBook's base configuration is around $1500 -- but I'm sure it's the way to go.

    As for educational discount, I actually thought I was eligible (since I have a student card which the site states is needed), but the fact that I'm not 18 yet "ruined it all"; would've saved me well over $120 USD. But I guess that's out of the question (unless, of course, I pretend to be 18... which I probably shouldn't discuss here).

    Nevertheless, I'm very grateful for all the answers, and will probably buy my brand new Mac soon (unless I make the decision to wait for Leopard).

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