Advice with my college set up

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by diamond3, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #1
    I'm getting ready to purchase a laptop for college (finally). I've got a few questions and would appreciate some advice.

    I'm looking at the base 13"mbp, upgrade after to a 500gb hd and 4gb ram. Eventually this year, maybe sooner purchase a monitor.

    About the laptop: will i miss out when snow leopard releases and the apps are updated on the performance increase with a graphics card (9600m)? Any guesses on how big of an advantage it will be?

    Upgrading: I want to install the 500gb hd immediately and install the os first before i start transferring all stuff onto the new laptop. I was going to get the HD of new egg with an enclosure. I've noticed a lot of the 2.5 enclosures limit it to 320gb or less. Anyone have any experience with an enclosure. I could always remove the hd from the computer and put the 120gb in the enclosure with the new one in the laptop i guess. I just figure if i decide to upgrade in the future I could use the 500gb in the enclosure.

    Monitor/TV: I was looking at the dell 24" with hdmi when it was on sale for $200. I'm not using it for any professional stuff, mostly to watch movies. I might watch tv on it as well. Also, about the apple 24 lcd, what are the downsides to it? I'm guessing hooking it up to tv would be out of the loop with only the display port. The only option would be through the macbook to the monitor. I want a good size monitor (24+). What should I look out for.

    I have a few more less important questions i'll ask later, but this is probably more than enough for now. Thanks
     
  2. gan6660 macrumors 65816

    gan6660

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #2
    1. Snow leopard will improve the perfomance of the MBP
    2. I would install the 500gb hd into the MBP and put the 160gb one in the enclosure.

    3. If you plan to use you monitor as a tv too I would suggest getting the 32" vizio at walmart for $400. I plan on buying this in a week or two.
     
  3. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Personally, I would get your 500GB and stick that in the MBP and put the 160GB from the MBP into the enclosure. You might even end up not needing the external.
     
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #4
    You won't miss out with Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard utilizes OpenCL to boost performance by offloading calculations for which the GPU is well-suited to the GPU. However, it's very early in the game and I don't think the difference between a 9400M and a 9600M with respect to OpenCL alone justifies the cost.

    For an enclosure, any 2.5" unit should do. If you are performance-minded, spring for a FireWire 800 enclosure, which offers significantly higher performance, albeit at a much higher cost. The USB controller is supposedly very good on the newer MBP's, so although USB performance won't break any speed records, you won't die waiting for file transfers either.

    I can't help you with any specific monitor choices, but see if you can find an LCD with a DisplayPort or HDMI input. 3rd-party adapters are available for a low price for both, and should offer the best compatibility with the MacBook. The Apple 24" display is designed for professionals and would be a waste of money for someone such as yourself. You can find displays for significantly less money that will do the job just as well for your purposes.
     
  5. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #5
    I would put the 500 gb HD into the mbp. Can I boot from the external w/120gb HD and then use that to install leopard on the 500 gb enclosure?

    Also I know snow leopard is going to increase performance, but I'm more curious as to the difference between the graphics card, dedicated or not.
     
  6. gan6660 macrumors 65816

    gan6660

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #6
    I also came across a nice 2.5" hd enclosure on ebay for $7 shipped let me know if you want the link. This is the one I am going to get when I purchase my 500gb hard drive.
     
  7. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #7
    okay thanks. That's what I was thinking with the graphics card. With the enclosure, I think I'll stick with the USB since it won't be used for anything intensive.
     
  8. mark2288 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    #8
    You can just pop the Leopard disk into the MBP after putting in the 500 GB drive and install it directly.
     
  9. Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #9
    I suggest a FW, as you've only got 2 USB ports. Think a mouse and a USB stick, and there's no more space for anything else USB. Unless you buy a hub, that is...
     
  10. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #10
    That is a good point. About the USB situation. After thinking about it, i'd probably just get a hub for the desk to connect a keyboard and mouse into as well as the external hd. Unless of course I decide on a monitor that has one built in. The thing that turns me away from the firewire enclosure is the price.

    Also, what are your thoughts on 720p lcd tvs as a monitor? My perception is typing notes and essays for whatever wouldn't be as good because of the resolution. I was thinking maybe a 24 or 26 inch monitor with a couple of hdmi inputs. Then buy the minidisplay port->hdmi cable (or the adapter with usb audio if it is ever released).
     
  11. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #11
    I'm thinking about buying the 500gb hd and memory for my laptop right now. Any recommendations? I was going to order it through newegg since they seem to be the cheapest right now.

    Hard Drives on newegg

    The WD500 was 89.99 this morning. What do any of you think about just going with the HITACHI Travelstar 5K500.B? Its 74.99 after a 10 dollar rebate with free shipping at the moment.

    I was also going to purchase crucial memory through newegg since it was cheaper than ordering through crucial. This seems like it should work no problem. Have any cheaper alternatives? Here is the link:
    Crucial memory @ newegg

    Then I'm going to order this external enclosure:
    http://www.eforcity.com/pothsata2501.htmlIts 6.49 with free shipping, looks nice as well.

    Now my last question is this, Newegg is having a promotion for new users (me!) that allows you to get $20 off through paypall when you spend $100. So the total would be 149.xx-20 for paypall - 10 mail in rebate for $119. And if I use bing I can get another 2.5% cashback (might as well get some more money back from MS).
    The paypal promotion ends today, but they show on the website that existing customers will have a paypal promotion coming soon. Anyone know if it will be any better than the 20 dollars off? What have they done in the past? My dad is an existing customer so I could go that route.
    Ah, decisions decisions.
     
  12. iJesus macrumors 6502a

    iJesus

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    #12
    Just so you know, I needed an external HD enclosure and I just ordered this one. Thanks!
     
  13. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #13
    Good to hear, I might be ordering it tonight. I was thinking of getting The OWC enclosure but they want 20 for it. This one looks nice for the money. Did you get the silver or black one?
     
  14. gan6660 macrumors 65816

    gan6660

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #14
    Thats the exact enclosure I told you to get for $7 on eBay.
     
  15. iJesus macrumors 6502a

    iJesus

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    #15
    I got the black one. I ordered it mainly because I didn't want my MBP's old HD in the nude all the time. It cost me the $6.49 with standard (free) shipping. Thanks for the find.
     
  16. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #16
    Lol, have you got it? If so, did it work with your 500gb HD?
     
  17. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #17
    So any thoughts on the Hitachi HD before i make the purchase? I've been reading some reviews and they have said power consumption, it is one of the best. Performance, its is up there with seagate and wd. I'm having mixed feelings especially since everyone seems to go with WD or Seagate.
     
  18. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #18
    I have the Hitachi 5K500.B in an external FireWire 800 enclosure and am very happy with its performance. I can't comment on how it compares to drives from other makes or how it is when used as an internal drive, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. Buy with confidence.
     
  19. gan6660 macrumors 65816

    gan6660

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #19
    I didnt get it yet but Ill order it soon. Im not going to put a 500gb hd in there I am going to put that into the optibay.
     
  20. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    #20
    why not....

    A thought... Why not get an iMac, which has a great 24 inch screen, and an ElGato TV tuner for it? Then, you will get a free iPod Touch which you can carry around campus to keep in touch with your friends via email, twitter, facebook, etc. on the campus wireless network.

    I have had laptops for college, and if I could do it over again today, this is what I would do.
     
  21. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    Not really on topic, but since you're college-bound it might be worth your time to learn the difference between advice and advise.

    I hope you don't think I'm being rude here. It's better you hear it from me on the forums (where it costs nothing) than to lose a few marks on an assignment.
     
  22. DivineEvil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #22
    I bought the Hitachi 500GB HDD from newegg... waiting for the UPS to deliver it :D... Oh man... On saturday the price was 89.99 + rebate now it has an extra $5 savings! Why didn't I wait for 2 more days!

    I'll advice you not to upgrade the RAM to 4GB. 2GB are enough for just about anything. When the price for 8GB kit are lowered to 100$ then max out the RAM.
     
  23. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #23
    I've got an ipod touch already and it has been great. The problem I am running into is I like to do most of my studying away from where I live and the ipod doesn't allow me to do this.

    Changed it. thanks, I'm not offended. I know the difference, but when i'm just typing in a hurry i tend to overlook things like that.
     
  24. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #24
    The reason for me on deciding to upgrade is because I get the $20 cash back when I go over the $100 mark. So its really only costing me $40 for 4gb. If i can sell the original, then it is even better.
     
  25. DivineEvil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #25
    If you want to go above 100$ then buy something more useful like Flash Memory, USB Hub, a BT mouse etc...

    After all in 2 years tops the prices of 8GB will be so low that it'll be very cheap to max out the RAM!
     

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