Buying my first mac on tuesday. Need help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Javs, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Javs macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2008
    #1
    iMac or old 999$ macbook

    Why the small selection? Firewire.

    As much as I would like to, I can't afford to fork out 2,000$ for a macbook pro.
    I use the firewire port for most of my recording equiptment. I'm a musician and I'd like a reliable mac for recording my bands music. I wouldn't use it for much more than that.

    Now a macbook is portable, and has a firewire port. My drawback is space, since the new macbooks don't have firewires i have to deal with the 120GB macbook.
    But portability is key because I'll be lugging it to different peoples houses and possibly live sets. But like I said, I'd probably only use it for music recording, not for pictures and other space taking files. So would 120GB be enough?

    I used iMacs in my video production class and i love them. They run smoothly and have firewire ports. Also they have alot more space for a 300$ difference I can afford. But like I said before, portability is key. It IS convenient that iMacs are generally just a moniter, so they wouldn't be too tedious to lug around, but I'm just afraid that in the long run i should of got a macbook.


    So what mac do you think will be the most usefull to my needs. I'm willing to settle for an iMac if you all convince me it'll be the better choice/better money spent.
     
  2. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #2
    120 GB is pretty big. But, if you need a larger hard drive, you could always swap the 120 out for a 250, 320, or even 500 GB hard drive. It's not hard to do, and you could find a 320 GB HD for under $150.

    Here is a google search for you.

    Here is a HD replacement manual.
     
  3. Javs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Hey thanks for the info, but I don't really want to disect my macbook. I'm pretty amateur at computer guts and I don't no many people who would be able to do it.

    But if you say 120GB is alot then thats good news to me. But I've heard lots of things about the macbooks getting to hot and breaking easy. I plan on getting applecare/insurance but I don't want to have to go through the hassle in the first place.
     
  4. macadmiral macrumors member

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    #4
    I bought the macbook pro n my sig for 1300 on ebay after the live.com cashback. it is perfect
     
  5. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #5
    i think that with the same pricepoint models ($999 MB and $999 iMac) they would be pretty close in performance. For portability, the MB would a better choice, especially if taking it to shows. You can also upgrade the HDD i do believe... 160GB isnt all that much, especially if you are doing music projects...
     
  6. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #6

    It's not a dissection. You remove the battery, unscrew a few screws, and the hard drive slides out. The MacBook was built this way- so the end-user could easily replace the HD. No guts involved. I mean, the manual I posted is 9 pages long- how much simpler can it get?

    I would consider myself an amateur when it comes to taking apart computers as well. This, however, is easier than putting together a piece of furniture from IKEA. Maybe a little harder than stringing a guitar.....

    I upgraded my RAM (from the 1 GB it came with to 4 GB) myself. It was extremely easy- basically the same as replacing the hard drive. It took around 5 minutes to do.

    I've had my MacBook for a little over a year. I've been extremely happy with it. It can get a little hot, but the fans cool it down quickly.
     
  7. Javs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Theres an iMac for 999? The apple store has them for 1200 minimum.
     
  8. Javs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Hmm I actually may consider doing that then. I love iMacs but like I said portability is my main concern, so If I can upgrade it with eaze then the macbook sounds nice.

    Two questions though, first off would more space make the macbook run slower? It's only on 2.1GHz. Also would modding it like that void the warrenty?
     
  9. yrael macrumors newbie

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    #9
    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/MacBook-Core-2-Duo/Hard-Drive/116/4/Page-1

    This is the pretty easy instructions on how to do it. I don't know about warrenty, but since it's nowhere as crazy as changing the harddrive of the early MPB, I'm pretty sure they're not going to be too mean about it.

    Anyways, I'm obviously voting for you to get a macbook. You don't have to lug around a keyboard and mouse that you would need for an imac.

    As for speed, I would totally upgrade that machine to max RAM of 4 gigs. Or even just up to 2. Keeping a macbook at 1 gig is, in my opinion, a sad sad affair.

    Good luck with your purchase!
     
  10. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #10
    Putting in a larger hard drive would not affect processor speed. I added the RAM, my warranty was not voided. Some people remove their new RAM and HD and put the originals back in before they bring their MBs in for service. I left mine in when I serviced my MB.

    I highly recommend upgrading your RAM as well. You could get 4 GB for under $100. It really increased the performance.
     
  11. Javs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Thanks for the info! I would update the RAM through apple but I'm buying it through bestbuy because they have 18 months without interest. Unless you can upgrade the RAM how you would upgrade the hard drive.
     
  12. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

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    #12
    The old macbook can't begin to compare to the iMac when you ignore portability. The iMac wins every hardware test you can do between them, its display is bigger and better, and lets face it, most people work at a desk. If you want to take your iMac somewhere, its only one wall plug. A heavy duty power inverter should power it on the road no problem, long as you wire up that unit in the van alright. People even make special bags for iMac carrying on the road.
     
  13. Javs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Hmmmm.

    The only programs I would need for it would be pro tools, logic pro and photoshop. So I don't need overly extensive space to that much of a degree. Most people say the macbook can handle it?
     
  14. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #14
    It will run those programs well enough, but the iMac will do it much better. Additionally, using those programs on the notebook's smaller screen will make you cry. Here's another vote for the iMac. Try to make sure that you're not exaggerating your need for portability or else a laptop could easily turn into a small desktop.
     
  15. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #15
    Actually, Macbooks come with a 5400 rpm hard drive. When you upgrade the drive, make sure to get a 7200 rpm drive and you will see a performance increase. The hard drive speed is a bottleneck in computers.

    I checked one of my favorite vendors and you can get a 320 GB 7200 rpm laptop drive for $106. That's in Canada, so I am sure it is even cheaper if you are in the US.

    Replacing the drive is not considered a mod. Even on Apples site they provide instructions and it is indicated as a user-serviceable part.
     

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  16. Javs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    The hard drive upgrade seems like a cheap and great way to get a laptop with lots of space which is perfect : ) Which is why I think I'll do that instead of getting an imac. Especially with the maybe imac upgrades coming in month, if I do decide to get one to stay in one place, it'll give me time to save up.

    What I will do tomarow when I get my purchase is look at both the macbook and imac to see screen sizes. A smaller screen isn't an issue for me but if I see that they're smaller than what I'm expecting, and it'll be an inconvenience,i may settle for an iMac.

    I used a music program on my friends HP laptop (i don't know the measurements) but it wasn't that tedious, especially since i can just hook up a mouse to it anyways
     
  17. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #17
    Don't upgrade the RAM through Apple. They tend to over-charge for RAM.

    You could get RAM cheaper from newegg.com, memoryamerica.com (that's where I bought mine), crucial.com, frys.com, dealram.com, and many more sites. I think if you do a search in these forums you'll find a thread about MacBook RAM.

    Upgrading the RAM and HD are very easy as I stated before.
     
  18. dentedG4 macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #18
    As a previous poster stated, go for the previous generation MBP. I had the same dilemma as you. MBP needs (FireWire, Dedicated Graphics) but on a MacBook budget. In real life, the MBP is not that far behind my Powerbook 12" in terms of portability.
     
  19. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

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    #19
    I wouldn't think about running pro tools or logic pro on a white macbook. Its too painful.

    MP3s might not take up alot of space, but Javs is working with pro tools, not playing around with iTunes.

    Don't let the jackholes at Best Buy rush you, and don't let them sell you junk you don't need. Setup assist fees, Best Buy warranty - that isn't stuff you want. If you want a warranty beyond a year, buy Applecare whenever you want - you have a whole year to do it.
     
  20. TraustiB macrumors member

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    #20
    I would definitely consider trying to find a refurbished MacBook Pro, or try and get a good discount on the old models somwhere. I've seen a great deal of people on here discussing where they got they're 2.5ghz penryn MBP for 1300. You would get 200-250gb hard drive (depending on model), 2gb ram, Firewire 400 and 800, dedicated graphics and real portability. The downside being it's not nearly is easy to swap out the hard drive on the MBP as it is with the MacBook, the memory is similar though.
     
  21. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

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    #21
    The memory is easier on the MBP imo, and the hdd isn't that bad. Its only a full laptop disassembly, couldn't make it easy on us could they...
     
  22. TraustiB macrumors member

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    #22
    Agreed. The plasticky feel of the MacBook is not my thing. Haven't tried the new unibody ones.
     

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