Advising a friend on first Mac purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lorelai, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Lorelai macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2006
    My friend has finally seen the light and is switching to the Mac world! :D He has decided on the BlackBook, but he is stuck on the customize page. He would love to cram 2 GB of memory and a 200 GB hard drive into it, but he is concerned that it may run too slow with so much. So I ask you all, is there a big difference in speed/processing between a standard BlackBook and a "maximized" one?

    Thanks! :apple:
  2. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    why would

    a better system specs make it run slower...2gig of ram wouldmake it alot faster and make more apps be apple to run at once
  3. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    More RAM will make the computer run faster for some more demanding processes.

    The bigger HDD might slow you down a bit, because I believe it's at a slower RPM?

    Either way, it would be most cost efficient for your friend to just go for the middle MB (the 2.16 white) and buy 2GB RAM from Crucial or someone, and a bigger, faster HDD. Upgrade them both yourself, you won't void your warranty (unless you really screw something up) and you'll save yourself a lot of money.

    You can probably find an appropriate 200GB 7200rpm drive if you want the most of speed and storage.

    Why would you spend more money for a slower computer??? : )
  4. Mac.Jnr macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    Firstly ask what your friend is going to use the MB for.

    Cramming upgrades will not make your computer slower, it is the opposite.

    Although the slower Hard Drive might be a bit slower you'll hardly notice it.

    It would be cheaper, if your friend upgraded the Ram himself.
  5. mkgm1 macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2007
    The 2 GB RAM will speed it up. I'd recommend that you buy it from elsewhere though, as you'll be able to get it cheaper. You'd also be able to sell the 2 x 512 MB sticks that come with the MB in the first place.

    If either of you get the Higher Education discount, I'd recommend a low end MBP, possibly with an external USB/Firewire hard drive. You get a better processor, better graphics and a bigger, LED screen.

    Apparently the difference between 5400 RPM drives and 4200 RPM ones is quite noticeable. I'm afraid I can't verify that, as I've only ever used a 5400 RPM one. But if it's true, you could quite easily buy an external USB/Firewire drive. If portability is an issue, you can get ones that don't require separate power supplies. I'd recommend the Western Digital Passport range.

    The advantages of an external over a bigger internal drive are that it'll be faster, and you'll get more space for the same amount of money you would have spent on upgrading the drive to 200 GB.
  6. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Skip the HDD upgrade and tell him to go for 2GB of RAM. :)

    Simply stated: More RAM = Faster Mac :apple:
  7. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    Tell him to get the Macbook Pro. The Macbook bites.

    A larger HD that is less full and spins slower is faster than a smaller hard drive that is mostly full and spins faster.

    Remember that 2.5 laptop drives at a given rpm are slower than 3.5 desktop drives at a given rpm.

    I understand that he's on a budget, but NEVER SKIMP ON YOUR COMPUTER. It's an investment in the next 2-3 years of your life. A few hundred more is worth spending now.
  8. Lorelai thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2006
    Thanks :) I think it was the varying RPM speeds that were confusing him.

    We are both students, so he will be taking full advantage of that discount! He really can't wait to place his order.

    Thanks, again. :)

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