bare iBook or custom options?

the Falcon

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
42
0
I'm thinking of ordering a 12" iBook from the Apple Store. Should I order it with any extra's?
Should I go for the extra installed RAM? 256 MB doesn't sound like much to me. I'm trying to decide between 512 and 768 MB. I've read somewhere that Apple sells really overpriced RAM, though. So, is it therefore more economic to get my 256 or 512 MB extra RAM elsewhere? If so, is it easy to install it yourself? Which brands are good quality? Can I use any kind of SO-DIMM DDR266 SDRAM or do I need some kind of special Mac RAM?
Should I update my hard drive to 60 GB or is 30 GB enough?
I'll be using software like MS Office, FileMaker, Dreamweaver, Director, SPSS, LabView and EndNote.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,400
3
You can try using any RAM, but Mac's are really picky about RAM and may not like it. You'll start getting Kernel panics if it's not the right RAM. You can't tell by any visible specifications, either, you just have to try.

Get the iBook with 256MB and then order some RAM from a company which guarantees that it will be compatible with Macs, like http://datamem.com in the US or http://canadaram.com if you're in Canada.

iBooks are really easy to put RAM in. You can find very detailed instructions on http://pbfixit.com if needed.

Good luck, and enjoy the iBook!
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,604
146
Bergen, Norway
I have a 12" iBook G4 with 60 GB HD and 640 MB RAM.

My advice: Buy the iBook with 256 MB RAM and the biggest HD (80 GB?) you can afford BTO (it's a daily struggle to keep 5-6 GB free on my HD to let OS X work properly). Then get another 512 MB (or even 1 GB if you can) from a 3rd party RAM dealer, Apple charges too much for RAM. RAM is fairly easy to install. HDs are not, so get that from Apple.

Crucial is the most recommended brand of RAM here on the forums, but I've never had any issues with the slightly cheaper TwinMOS RAM I got for my iBook and a couple of Pismos.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Get as much hard drive space as you can afford. There's nothing more annoying than running out. Same goes for RAM, the more the better. However, third party RAM is much cheaper than Apple's own. As has been said, you just need to make sure it's compatible.

Have fun with it, they're great machines. :)
 

tsk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2004
642
0
Wisconsin
the Falcon said:
I'm thinking of ordering a 12" iBook from the Apple Store. Should I order it with any extra's?
Should I go for the extra installed RAM? 256 MB doesn't sound like much to me. I'm trying to decide between 512 and 768 MB. I've read somewhere that Apple sells really overpriced RAM, though. So, is it therefore more economic to get my 256 or 512 MB extra RAM elsewhere? If so, is it easy to install it yourself? Which brands are good quality? Can I use any kind of SO-DIMM DDR266 SDRAM or do I need some kind of special Mac RAM?
Should I update my hard drive to 60 GB or is 30 GB enough?
I'll be using software like MS Office, FileMaker, Dreamweaver, Director, SPSS, LabView and EndNote.
Definitely don't get extra Apple RAM. You can get 1GB of 3rd party RAM for less than what Apple charges for a 512MB stick--just make you get it from someone who guarantees Mac compatibility.

A HD upgrade makes sense. It's up to you to decide what's big enough, but a better HD is something that becomes tough to do later.
 

the Falcon

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
42
0
ITASOR said:
iBooks are really easy to put RAM in. You can find very detailed instructions on http://pbfixit.com if needed.
Thanks, that site has very useful DIY guides. However, I could only find a guide for putting RAM in the G3 iBook, while I'll be buying a G4 iBook. Is the procedure the same for both?

Another question: Will installing the RAM myself violate the warranty on my iBook in any way?

Mitthrawnuruodo said:
Crucial is the most recommended brand of RAM here on the forums, but I've never had any issues with the slightly cheaper TwinMOS RAM I got for my iBook and a couple of Pismos.
Thanks for the info. I'll see where I can buy those brands here in the Netherlands.

As for the HD, I think I'll settle for the 60 GB one. They charge 46.99 € extra for that one, which amounts to 1.66 € per GB, while they charge 122.20 € extra for the 80 GB HD, which is a lot more expensive at 2.44 € per GB.
 

mellow2bits

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2005
31
0
Netherlands
good advice

Mitthrawnuruodo said:
I have a 12" iBook G4 with 60 GB HD and 640 MB RAM.

My advice: Buy the iBook with 256 MB RAM and the biggest HD (80 GB?) you can afford BTO (it's a daily struggle to keep 5-6 GB free on my HD to let OS X work properly). Then get another 512 MB (or even 1 GB if you can) from a 3rd party RAM dealer, Apple charges too much for RAM. RAM is fairly easy to install. HDs are not, so get that from Apple.

Crucial is the most recommended brand of RAM here on the forums, but I've never had any issues with the slightly cheaper TwinMOS RAM I got for my iBook and a couple of Pismos.
yep, this is sound advice. just my thought too!
 

the Falcon

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
42
0
mad jew said:
Woohoo! Excellent. :)

Just another question: What about Bluetooth? Why should I or should I not take it? Is it worth the extra €46,06? It seems quite non-essential to me, as well as a potential (network) safety problem. On the other hand, the iBook has only 2 USB ports, which is not much.
 

mellow2bits

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2005
31
0
Netherlands
the Falcon said:
Thanks for the info. I'll see where I can buy those brands here in the Netherlands.
try www.macstuff.nl I ordered iBookG3 memory a few years ago from them. it works just fine.

Though they do not list it under the iBook section, they also sell 1Gb modules that will run in your iBook (see the powerbook section).

upgrading my G3 dual USB was extremely easy. I suspect the current model is just as easy upgraded.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
the Falcon said:
What about Bluetooth? Why should I or should I not take it?

I never bothered and I haven't regretted it in the last year and a half. Unless you use a Bluetooth mouse/phone or PDA, there's no point IMO. Can you see yourself using these anytime soon?
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,604
146
Bergen, Norway
the Falcon said:
Just another question: What about Bluetooth? Why should I or should I not take it? Is it worth the extra €46,06? It seems quite non-essential to me, as well as a potential (network) safety problem. On the other hand, the iBook has only 2 USB ports, which is not much.
There isn't any major issues with Bluetooth and security if you don't have it on discoverable all the time and are cautious when pairing new devices.

If you don't see any need for it, just don't get it BTO. You can always get a cheap (~€25?) Bluetooth dongle later. (That's what I got to sync my iCal and Address Book with my Sony Ericsson T68i.)