Buying a Mac for the first time

dieselee89

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2011
42
0
Hi guys,

I will be buying my first Mac ever in a few days. My budget is $1200 and I am planning to buy a MacBook Air as a CD-ROM isn't a much of a requirement.
Can you guys please guide me along? I have been a PC user for more than 10 years now and this will be first Mac. I do own other Apple devices, iPod and iPhone but have never bought or used a Mac.
I would like to if I am making the right choice in my $1200 budget and should I wait for a new model or is the present one already recently launched?

Thanks :)
 

dieselee89

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2011
42
0
What are your computational requirements, or in other words, what do you do with a computer and what do you need it to do?
Well I am a student of Accounting & Finance but I teach as well so mostly I use my laptop for Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Other than that I use a lot of utorrent, Skype, playing 1080p HD Movies and I am a die hard fan of metal and progressive rock so have around 30GB of music.
Other important stuff I use my laptop for is PDF files, dropbox and skydrive.
No gaming, I am a console gamer.
 

dieselee89

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2011
42
0
My main concern is that I don't want to buy one now and seeing a new model coming out in a few months time
 
Nov 28, 2010
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Then any MBA you can buy will be able to help, but as your budget is 1,200 USD you are probably limited to the 11" MBA, unless 128 GB internal storage is fine with you, then the base 13" MBA is okay too.
Btw, as the MBAs have a resolution less than 1080p, you will not get the full enjoyment of 1080p video, though that can be remedied via an external monitor or your TV you probably use to game with a console.

Maybe consider upgrading the MBA to 8 GB, if an extra 100 USD would be okay. As Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion work only good with 4 GB, any future OS X version might be only working good with 8 GB.
 

dieselee89

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2011
42
0
Then any MBA you can buy will be able to help, but as your budget is 1,200 USD you are probably limited to the 11" MBA, unless 128 GB internal storage is fine with you, then the base 13" MBA is okay too.
Btw, as the MBAs have a resolution less than 1080p, you will not get the full enjoyment of 1080p video, though that can be remedied via an external monitor or your TV you probably use to game with a console.

Maybe consider upgrading the MBA to 8 GB, if an extra 100 USD would be okay. As Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion work only good with 4 GB, any future OS X version might be only working good with 8 GB.
I am planning to buy the 13" 128 GB
I see there aren't any HDMI output so what can I do as an alternate?
 

Ubuntu

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2005
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UK/US
I am planning to buy the 13" 128 GB
I see there aren't any HDMI output so what can I do as an alternate?
Get a mini display port-HDMI adapter. Works fine in the thunderbolt port. I purchased mine from ebay, the quality's excellent.
 

Calot

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2012
153
0
get the 13" i5 8GB of RAM. That RAM upgrade gives you 512 vRAM VS. 386 with 4GB.
 

dieselee89

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2011
42
0

b-rad g

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2010
895
1
Well I am a student of Accounting & Finance but I teach as well so mostly I use my laptop for Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Other than that I use a lot of utorrent, Skype, playing 1080p HD Movies and I am a die hard fan of metal and progressive rock so have around 30GB of music.
Other important stuff I use my laptop for is PDF files, dropbox and skydrive.
No gaming, I am a console gamer.
Don't plan on playing any of them from iTunes on the Air unless you go for the fully loaded one with the 2.0GHZ CPU as anything less cannot play anyhting 720p or 1080p from iTunes.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
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located
Don't plan on playing any of them from iTunes on the Air unless you go for the fully loaded one with the 2.0GHZ CPU as anything less cannot play anyhting 720p or 1080p from iTunes.
Really, even with modern CPUs? My 2007 iMac with a 2 GHz C2D CPU can play 1080p H.264 video quite fine, though it uses the .mkv container, thus FFMPEG is probably used during playback and not QT.
 

dieselee89

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2011
42
0
Don't plan on playing any of them from iTunes on the Air unless you go for the fully loaded one with the 2.0GHZ CPU as anything less cannot play anyhting 720p or 1080p from iTunes.
Okay that's a surprise. My present 2008 dell laptop with 1.3GHz Dual core processor can run these files very smooth and easily :\
or are you trying to say I should use a different player? oh btw will I be able to play videos in VLC player in a mac?
 

Titanium81

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2011
510
0
All Macs from the last few years can play 1080p H.264 video just fine. 1080p is flawless on my 2012 MacBook Air :)
 

Calot

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2012
153
0
I can't afford anything over $1200 :/
Dude, yes you can. Save up a couple of weeks, lay off the weed, porn channels, alcohol, 4 dollar coffees, etc. It's very worth it. Remember you are going to have the same computer for a few years. Going from 4-8GB makes a nice difference.

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Okay that's a surprise. My present 2008 dell laptop with 1.3GHz Dual core processor can run these files very smooth and easily :\
or are you trying to say I should use a different player? oh btw will I be able to play videos in VLC player in a mac?
I used to play 1080p 15GB large video files on my 2011 i7 Air. YES you can play 1080p video. And VERY easily.

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Okay that's a surprise. My present 2008 dell laptop with 1.3GHz Dual core processor can run these files very smooth and easily :\
or are you trying to say I should use a different player? oh btw will I be able to play videos in VLC player in a mac?
VLC is, in my opinion, the best video player for Mac.
 

b-rad g

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2010
895
1
Really, even with modern CPUs? My 2007 iMac with a 2 GHz C2D CPU can play 1080p H.264 video quite fine, though it uses the .mkv container, thus FFMPEG is probably used during playback and not QT.
Okay that's a surprise. My present 2008 dell laptop with 1.3GHz Dual core processor can run these files very smooth and easily :\
or are you trying to say I should use a different player? oh btw will I be able to play videos in VLC player in a mac?


I used to play 1080p 15GB large video files on my 2011 i7 Air. YES you can play 1080p video. And VERY easily.

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I was refering specifically to movies from iTunes.

See requirements for HD movies here....

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3209

I know for a fact that I cannot play 720p or 1080p movies downloaded from the iTunes Store on my 2010 13" Air, have already had a case with AppleCare on this.
 

dieselee89

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2011
42
0
So today before leaving Dubai I finally decided to go and buy my first mac, a MacBook Air. But upon reaching there and talking to the guy at the shop, I was told that if I buy from here the warranty will only be limited to the region while my friends kept on telling me it's international. I decided not to take any chances and boarded my plane to Singapore. Now I am here for a week and will be buying my mac from here.
But I have an issue now, while at the airport a girl sitting next to me was using a MacBook Pro and I liked it as well. And now I am confused on what to buy, the air or the pro?
can you guys give me pros and cons of both?
Sorry if I am bugging you guys a lot but I have never had a mac before so seriously don't know anything.
Btw my budget is $1200

thanks forum :)
 

m.demian

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2012
34
0
Nothing in his usage list indicates even in the slightest that he is ever going to hit over 4GB of memory use. To the guy saying his memory use typically hits 6GB or whatever, just lol. OP, stick with the base 13'' Air. I guarantee it will be more than sufficient for your needs and is overkill for the tasks you describe. With the extra cash, you can invest in external storage for your HD movies, photos, etc.

You mentioned you're a student so you will most likely qualify for the $100 discount coupon from Best Buy (submit your .edu address and they email a printable coupon). Coupled with the extra $50 off they have on Macs, you're looking at a pretax price of $1049.
 

m.demian

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2012
34
0
So today before leaving Dubai I finally decided to go and buy my first mac, a MacBook Air. But upon reaching there and talking to the guy at the shop, I was told that if I buy from here the warranty will only be limited to the region while my friends kept on telling me it's international. I decided not to take any chances and boarded my plane to Singapore. Now I am here for a week and will be buying my mac from here.
But I have an issue now, while at the airport a girl sitting next to me was using a MacBook Pro and I liked it as well. And now I am confused on what to buy, the air or the pro?
can you guys give me pros and cons of both?
Sorry if I am bugging you guys a lot but I have never had a mac before so seriously don't know anything.
Btw my budget is $1200

thanks forum :)
I was actually contemplating the same decision not a while ago, 13'' Air or Pro? The main benefits of the Air are the thinner size, lighter weight, and SSD. For the Pro, it's the ability to upgrade the memory and internal permanent storage yourself, and also a bit higher clocked processor.

Personally, the lighter weight and thinner size are more important to me than the upgradability of the Pro. I will never need or want more than 4GB of memory and any mass amounts of media content I can just put on external storage. The processor in the Air performs on par or better than the Sandy Bridge CPU in the early 2011 Pro, which is more than enough for me and any user who is not doing serious video transcoding work or other CPU intensive tasks (OP, you are not doing any CPU intensive tasks).

If you get the Pro, you have the ability to add in more RAM yourself and your own SSD. If you get the Air, you start with a SSD and have a lighter form-factor machine. It really boils down to great portability versus upgradability.