Buying 13" MBP in a few days (coming from Windows)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by c0nscius1nertia, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. c0nscius1nertia, Jan 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012

    c0nscius1nertia macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2012
    While Skyping on my year and a half old HP laptop, that just died a motherboard-death (I think) this week, the webcam would only work when it wanted to... maybe 30% of the time. It seemed to work a little more often on Ubuntu as opposed to Windows.

    I think it was a driver-related problem? I tried to resolve it a few times but it still never worked 100%. Admittedly, I'm not very computer-smart, but I have a feeling I wouldn't have had this annoying problem on a Mac.

    I could give more examples of little annoyances I've had with PCs over the years, but what I'm getting at is: I've been wanting to give Mac a try for a while now mainly because of its reputation of "things just working."

    I have a few "Windows friends" trying to talk me into buying another Windows laptop, and I wanted to hear what you guys' thoughts are?

    I don't use a laptop for work, only play. I Skype with family overseas, watch videos, browse, store personal pictures and videos. I guess I'm a "light user." But I am kind of interested in learning some programming...

    Back to the Macbook Pro... I plan on getting the cheapest 13" model and installing Crucial 8GB memory, Crucial 120GB SSD, and moving the 500GB to the optical drive.

    So... I plan on first calibrating the battery. After that process, I turn the Macbook off, and get to work installing the RAM, SSD and moving the HDD. When I boot back up, what do I do? Will I have to go to and download a Lion and move it to USB and install a fresh Lion, because the CD/DVD drive is now gone? Or will I have to do this before the hardware installs and already have them ready on USB when I boot back up?

    The reason you have to install a fresh OS after installing new hardware is so the OS can account for the new hardware in the laptop, is this correct or am I totally wrong? Is there anything I'm missing in my process of getting my MBP all set up?

    Sorry for the long post with a million questions. I'd greatly appreciate any advice/input.
  2. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
    I think the 13" MBP would be a fine fit for you. But, since you're a light user, what about the 11" MacBook Air? It's only $999. Better yet, if you don't need something portable, get a Mac Mini for $599.

    Anyways, DO NOT CALIBRATE THE BATTERY! Apple pre-calibrates the battery. DO NOT DO IT! Secondly, 8GB is a little overkill. For a light user, 4GB is easily enough. If you were in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, After Effects), or Final Cut Pro, then 8GB would be good. Do you really need an SSD? The speed of the MBP HDD is plenty fine for what you say you'll be doing.

    You won't need to re-install OS X for the new hardware to register. You're completely wrong about that. OS X will automatically detect it, and register it. If you do choose to get an SSD anyways, you will need to clone your drive to your SSD. Simply buy a 2.5" enclosure, and connect the SSD to the MBP via USB. Then, use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the drive to the SSD. Make sure to close all apps, and do not use the MBP at all while it does the cloning! Then, pop the SSD into the MBP, and boot up. All should be good!
  3. c0nscius1nertia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2012
    Clone the drive to the SSD, gotcha. Thanks a mill for the response.

    The Mac mini is out of the question, as I need something portable for school. I was originally looking at the Air, but 1) the 11" screen is just barely bigger than the screen on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 2) although I may not need the 8GB RAM, I still would like to have it and I'd like the experience of actually getting in there and fiddling with the hardware, which will be a new experience for me.

    Also, while I may not need it now, having the increased hardware performance helps future-proof the device. Who knows, I may get into some Photoshopping one day! ...I'm also just a sucker for speed :p For me, cutting the boot-up time by half or more is worth a one-time fee of $200 ish. :eek:

    What makes a motherboard die? A Google search might be the preferred method of finding out, but I figured while I'm here...might as well ask.

    Like I said, my HP won't turn on at all any more and Google tells me it's most likely the motherboard. This is the second computer (first was a desktop) whose motherboard died on me. It seems both of these devices died young, and I just wanna know what I can do to prevent this from happening to the MBP.
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I think your choice is a good one, but whichever Mac you choose, be prepared for a shock......They Work:D

    Welcome to Apple!
  5. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    Welcome & congratulations on a great decision! I'm an IT consultant, so I more or less live in Windows at work & had multiple Windows machines at home until a few years ago when I made the move to Mac (ok, I confess - I'd had some Macs a few years before). Life gets a lot simpler with Macs... When we had Windows machines at home I was constantly having to fix little things that 'just stopped working for no reason.' I've really not had that with Macs - they really do "just work" (ok, there are a few lemons out there, but they're rare).

    I have a 13" 2009 MBP which still does everything just fine & fast, so a 2011 model will be great for you - easily do the light tasks you describe.

    I agree with the other poster that you basically shouldn't worry too much about fiddling with the laptop hardware once you get it (that's kind of a Windows thing too - when you buy a Mac you usually just leave the hardware alone ..). 8GB is overkill - I have it & it never uses even 4GB. The OS will handle any hardware you throw at it (um, except Blue Ray - you better forget that exists..) without needing to upgrade anything. If you buy a 2nd hand Mac & want to upgrade to Lion, you just go to the online App Store, buy Lion & it just does it with a few Next Next Next clicks from you - simple.

    If you still need to run the odd Windows app occasionally you might want to get Parallels / VMware / Virtualbox to run a Windows virtual machine.

    Anything else you need to know, just post here - MacRumors is extremely active, so you usually get a response very fast ...

    And congratulations again...
  6. systole, Jan 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012

    systole macrumors member


    Mar 24, 2011

    c0nscius1nertia, the biggest thing to keep in mind when switching to a unibody mac is how they are designed. keep hair and dust away from the rear vents
  7. towboattrash34 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2009
    I just got my MBP 13" last week, coming from a PC/windows... and this thing does just about everything i need... which i do have windows/bootcamp installed also, but this thing is Bad Azz even with the 5400rpm hdd... Once you go Mac you won't go back.. :D:D:D
  8. c0nscius1nertia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2012
    Sirolway, you're not kidding about this board being extremely active! I've been reading up on other threads and learning all kinds of bits and pieces I feel will help me with this new Mac life.

    systole, thanks for the advice. Seems a keyboard cover is a must if it helps keep ventilation clean.

    Which keyboard cover do you guys use? The iSkin Protouch FX and Protouch Vibes seem pretty good.. Anybody with experience with either of those?

    I should be getting the MBP tomorrow, WOOOOOOO!!

    I guess this is worth bringing up... So I was about to order the MBP for $1129 from Amazon until I found a lady selling a brand new one off craigslist, which she said she'd part with for $1100. As far as warranty goes, does it matter where I buy a brand new MBP from? I'm guessing either way, I just fill out some form when I get it and that's how my warranty goes into effect?
  9. prisstratton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Don't do it.

    I would not buy second hand from someone I do not know. You can find too many stories about people that have done the same and got burned. For the difference in price here, I would go with brand new.

    If you wanted to look at saving some money then I would look at the Apple refurb's.
  10. c0nscius1nertia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2012
    Yeah, that is a concern. But supposedly it is a brand new one. Then again, for a mere $30, it's probably smart to go with the 100% sure bet...
  11. iforbes macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    Yes...spend the extra 2.6% and get the brand new one! (assuming all the other specs are the same)
  12. ECUSnare macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2011
    I'm not sure what region you're in (trying to read the thread quickly while at work...), but Best Buy has them for just above $1100 (I think the same price you found on Amazon). Also, if you're a student you can get a $100 discount from Apple. Just have to show them proof, like a student ID or bill or something similar. I bought mine from an Apple store here in Charlotte, the same model you're looking at and it was $1,178 with tax. This thing is amazing btw.:cool:
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The built-in batteries in the newer Mac unibody notebooks come pre-calibrated and do not require regular calibration like the removable batteries. It won't hurt your battery to calibrate it, but it's not required.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
    You don't have to reinstall your OS just because you install RAM or another drive. Mac OS X will detect the new hardware automatically.
    False. Both the intake and exhaust vents in all Apple notebooks are in the rear, near the hinge. There is no venting at all through the keyboard, as there is a solid sheet under the keyboard, preventing any meaningful airflow. That's why it's safe to operate in clamshell mode.
  14. felixgun macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2012
    I've used windows laptops/desktops for the past 15 years but when I got a mac a few years back I realized how easy the Mac OS was. Sure enough when it was time to get a new laptop I went with the 13" MBP and I haven't looked back since. It's sleek and much cleaner than any Windows laptop currently out IMO.
  15. systole macrumors member


    Mar 24, 2011
    Thanks for clarifying my misinformation. Wrong info removed.
  16. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    You won't be needing to boot your Mac laptop a whole lot, so I wouldn't worry too much about how long that takes. I do suggest though that you go to your local Apple Store and check out both the MBP 13 and the MBA 13. You may be surprised....

    Give it a try; you've got nothing to lose.

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