Advice Needed: What Mac/Hack

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nullx86, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #1
    Ok, so I went a posted before, but the Apple store changed, and so did my budget. I need to get a mac (or hack for that matter) for college. Laptop or desktop, it doesnt matter. My main problem here, is that the in the previous thread I had, I was suggested to get a refurb 13" MBP and upgrade the HDD and Memory. I would be doing just that, but I went and checked the Apple refurb store and now there are no MBPs in my price range. So far my budget is broken down like this:
    Verizon - 129.99USD
    Dell - 301.04USD
    Apple/Newegg - 1068.97USD

    Verizon is my phone, new LG Env3 and Dell for a Vostro a90 (I'm required to have two computers for class, one is a backup in case one goes "poof").

    So now my dilema is that since there are no MBPs in my price range, should I get a Mini and my own screen and upgrade everything else, or a uMB? I know right offhand the main difference between the uMB and the uMBP (13" model only) is that the video output is different and the firewire is different (MiniDisply and FW800 on uMBP, Mini-DVI and FW400 on uMB). The other difference I noticed is that the uMB and Mini's memory maxes at 4GB, and the MBP maxes at 8GB. Is that an issue right now, because 8GB DDR3 SO-Dimm is about 800USD for a 2-pack. I really need some advice on this. Either the mini or uMB would work. Now I know someones going to ask, why uMB and not MB. One answer: Illuminated Keyboard. There isnt one on the plastic MB. So thoughts, comments, advice? Thanks, nullx86
     
  2. nullx86 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #2
    Does anybody have any advice on this? (Not trying to bump). I'm starting to wonder if I should get a Mac or get parts from newegg and build a hack. Maybe that would be better? I noticed flash is buggy as hell on OS X. Should I use a different computer for viewing flash (youtube, etc)? Thoughts???
     
  3. w72009 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    #3
    I'm actually having similar thoughts. I have hackintosh'd before and it is generally getting easier thanks to all the great people at InsanelyMac, however, there are a few bugs which would result in me buying a Mac for OSX or a PC for Windows and probably not hackintoshing again.

    Everything worked when I hack'd apart from Time Machine, but the response from the bluetooth mouse and keyboard were pretty slow too.
     
  4. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    :eek::confused::(:rolleyes: (at the institution, not you)
     
  5. mac&cheesey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    #5
    advice

    I would go with the uMB. No question. This way you have all of the advantages of the mini plus the portability if you ever need it.

    I have the uMB and love it. What a great machine.

    As far as flash bugginess goes, I haven't experienced any. YMMV but that's been my experience.

    Also, as for the stock of the refurb store, keep checking. I believe it changes every night.

    Good luck at uni.
     
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #6
    Flash is buggy as hell on any computer. It's less so on Macs than Windows.
     
  7. nullx86 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #7
    Yeah.. Well right now I have two HDDs, one with retail 10.5.8 and the other with XP, and retail ran really good, as long as I didnt do anything like fullscreen flash. I really love OS X, its so much nicer than windows.
    meh, its because its online college, so should one have a dead logic board or something, ill be ok for a few days. I kinda like it

    Yeah, the store just changed again, and now they have iMacs up, but still no MBPs... Everyone ive talked to said that adobe flash for OSX is/has always been buggy. It would cause FF3 to lock up completely, so idk if its cause it was on a hack or if i was missing a kext or anything, but YMMV so :p Now, the uMB, MB and Mini only support up to 4GB ram, where as the MBP & iMac support up to 8GB. Being that 8GB is so expensive, would it be wise to get the uMB or Mini, or should I get an iMac?

    Um, proof? I can watch 4 flash movies at the same time on XP SP2, but only one on OSX on the same computer, in terms of CPU usage. Windows doesnt even really get a dent in the processes when watching flash. I have noticed that stuff like "Megavideo" and "JwPlayer" cause more CPU usage that youtube and generic flash players.
     
  8. nullx86 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #8
    Ok, got a question, Apple has two 20" iMacs, one with a ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro w/ 256MB, and the other with a 9400M. Which of the two is better? Just wondering cause I know graphics use are different for Macs than PC.

    Also, does 4GB max matter or should I go with something that maxes at 8GB? The iMac with the ATI maxes at 4Gb but the 9400M maxes at 8GB.
     
  9. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #9
    The refurb 13" MBP @ $999 US has been showing up for sale with regularity but because demand exceeds supply it usually sells out quickly. But if you check Apple's refurb section (early and often) during the week you should eventually find it available.
     
  10. nullx86 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #10
    I'm kinda thinking to get the iMac because of the bigger screen and more screen real estate, but no ones answering my question about the graphics card and memory :mad:
     
  11. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #11
    The uMB had NO Firewire at all (you are correct that the white MB does have FW400). The refurb store has both of them right now if you still want to go that route. The current generation mini is somewhere between the two: it uses DDR3 memory like the uMB, but has Firewire like the white MB (it even goes one better than the whitebook by using FW800). It looks like only the older minis (with the Intel graphics) are on the refurb store right now. These older minis are the ones with FW400 and DVI rather than Mini DisplayPort and Mini-DVI like on the new ones.

    If you have a monitor already, the mini is the cheaper route, but do you require portability?
     
  12. nullx86 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #12
    I'm jut wondering whats going to be best, a machine that maxes out at 4GB Memory or one that maxes out a 8GB memory? No one has answered that, nor my graphics card question. Portability isnt really a concern, (in my earlier post i said) since im getting one of the dell mini netbooks as a backup system. Right now, either the uMB/MBP/Mini/iMac would work in terms of a computer, portability isnt required for the Mac, and I'm personally opting for a desktop, and it being an imac if possible, so i dont have to shell out for a display (only thing i have on hand is an old crt w/ 640x480 and a old circa 2003 Dell LCD).
     
  13. jseyf5 macrumors member

    jseyf5

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    #13
    Since no one seems to want to answers the question, like most democrats, i think i must take things into my own hands. The 9400m is better then the ati 2600 or whatever. I beleive it is the current one. It is a better graphic card for the same price, plus a newer model. Defenitly get the one with 9400m
     
  14. lgoodlove macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    #14
    I had this same delema as you, I looked at building a hackintosh for several months but now I just ordered a macbook pro on education discount.
    Hackintosh is a sweet project don't get me wrong but I talked to ppl who have built and own them and they all agree while you can get lucky and build a very stable one odds are its going to have problems. If you are doing any type of work on this that's serious your going to be more productive with any other OS.
    I have built custom desktops... that run WinDOS/linux and while there cheap and very powerful and fun they just have no value after your purchase. My 5 year old mac was worth more in resale then my friends brand new $700 custom (around $1300 retail.)

    Final line is if you don't need power don't worry about it, quality and reliability are for work. But if you just want something to play with ya go ahead build a custom and or hackintosh.
     
  15. jseyf5 macrumors member

    jseyf5

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    #15
    And btw i just checked, the macbook pro you were looking at is back in stock! get it while you can. Yes, your welcome
     
  16. nullx86 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #16
    yeah see thats what i was thinking, but an Apple "genius" said that the 2600 Pro was better, so i was like huh? But yeah, i figure the 9400M is better.

    what about the memory question???
     
  17. MikePA macrumors 68020

    MikePA

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    #17
    FWIW, I have a Dell Mini9 running 10.5.8. Works great, no issues creating it nor using it. Actually, creating it using a Runcore SSD was rather simple. Did 99% of it on my iMac.
     

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