Considering purchasing a Macbook..

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by HarperJA, May 23, 2009.

  1. HarperJA macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2009
    Well I've always wanted a Mac, particularly a Macbook - simply due to the everything-works-out-of-the-box kind of idea, and I am sick of errors on Windows... (and now they have cancelled support for the only good one, XP! Bah!)... and let's be honest here, a bright Mac with the logo on the front is a lot more stylish than a typical, bland normal laptop.

    Today I decided to look at the prices on the Apple Store (Australian), see if it's worth saving up for one or not. And I found I can get this -

    [Standard Macbook, Not white]
    # 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    # 250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    # SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    # Keyboard & User's Guide
    # Apple Remote

    for A$2,443.00

    Which is more expensive than you would usually pay, ofcourse, but acceptable IMO.

    Anyway, I just have a few quick questions

    1. CodeWeavers 'Crossover Mac / Crossover Games' .. has anybody tried this and what is it like, are there any better alternatives? (software that doesn't involve virtual machines or anything that shows me I am using windows, and doesn't require me to restart.)

    2. Related to the above question.. I don't play many resource-intense games on computers as I have an XBOX, but I do want to be able to if I want.. I'm not a retard but the hardware side of computers really doesn't interest me so I need help with this.. would I be able to play the likes of Half Life 2, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Unreal Tournament 3, atleast on low settings? Please give alot of detail and game examples on this question.

    3. Support for normal networks.. Currently there is one Compaq laptop connected to a router, connected to the internet through ISP Telstra / Bigpond. And it's 802.11g - that's basically all I know. All I can find on the info pages of is support for 802.11n networks.. is this the same thing or something else?

    4. Overheating, etc.. Are there any common issues with overheating, crashing, whatever? This laptop I am posting from overheats constantly, infact I have air conditioning on coldest, blowing directly on it, a fan above me, and it is partially lifted by my leg (I'm sat on my bed).. and it is still VERY hot. Maybe it's a faulty model, I don't know. But I don't want the same with my Mac.

    I'll undoubtedly have more questions later, but until then be seeing you, and thanks in advance :)

  2. tayloralmond macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    Well first of all, you should take a look at the refurbished MacBooks on the Apple Online Store. You'd end up saving over a hundred dollars and you'd still have a MacBook with a one year warranty (which is what the new ones have). As for your questions, here it goes:

    1) I wouldn't really recommend Crossover because it has a very short list of games/applications that are "supported." I put "supported" in quotes because they aren't going to run at 100% under the best conditions. Your best bet is just biting the bullet and installing Vista with Boot Camp. When you use virtualization, you're going to have a VERY limited amount of GPU power.

    2) This question is pretty well covered in the first answer.

    3) A new MacBook WILL work on your router. Wireless "N" is the latest "generation" of wifi. Wireless "G" is the previous generation. You'll be just fine. Also, you'd never notice the speed difference between an "N" router compared to a "G" router, so don't bother buying a new one. Plus, "N" router's best feature is extended range. So, if you need more range, buy a new one, otherwise, don't bother.

    4) Don't worry about the MacBook overheating, especially because it seems that you keep your laptop in normal conditions. The GPU is integrated so it doesn't give off that much heat.

    Finally, there are a lot of smart, nice people on here that will be able to help you out with just about whatever you might be wondering about. Best of luck and welcome to the Mac world.
  3. HarperJA thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2009
    Thanks for the quick response! :)
    I suppose you are right, but I fear that I will just keep myself on Windows all the time, however much I prefer Mac OS, due to the inconvenience of having to switch. Thanks for the overheating information, too.

    Does anybody know how much CPU and RAM usage there is, simply by being on the desktop of Mac OS with no apps running?
  4. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    1. I think Crossover is the only one of its kind, unless you want VMware Fusion or Parallels.

    2. You should be able to play those games on Boot Camp. In Crossover, you will need to check out their site and see if it's compatible. I used to use Crossover for Counter Strike Source and it worked flawlessly on my older MBP with an ATi graphics card. I'm sure the new NVIDIA 9400M will run Half Life 2 well. As for Oblivion and Unreal, I don't know. Those games don't show up on the compatibility list.

    I just use Boot Camp now and anytime I need access to Windows without restarting I use VMware Fusion. You can't play games in it, but I can do pretty much anything else.

    3. The laptop should work fine with your 802.11g network. The Airport card can handle a/b/g/n networks. The only problem is that you will not get max speeds on the card when it comes to transferring files on the network. If you upgrade the router to N specs, then you will be able to utilize the card's max speed. 802.11G speeds aren't that much better than N, so just don't worry.

    4. MacBooks are now somewhat hot because of the aluminum body. MacBook Pros are even hotter due to the discrete graphics card and the aluminum body. But they are just warm when you are just browsing on the internet, using iChat and iTunes. Once you start playing games or using something CPU/GPU intensive, you may want to place the laptop on flat surface like a table. Also propping the laptop so the bottom gets airflow is a good idea.

    Hope this helps.

    EDIT: tayloralmond beat me to it.
  5. tayloralmond macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    Well I'm on a 2.0GHZ nVidia WhiteBook, and when I finish booting up, I'm using less that 300MB's of RAM and using virtually no CPU. In case you're asking this because you're debating how much RAM to get: Order a MacBook, and install 4GB's of RAM and a 7200RPM HDD yourself. Apple marks up their upgrades A LOT. It's not worth your money to have them do it when you can do it yourself in 10 minutes (and it DOESN'T void your warranty to upgrade them yourself). Also, you can order an enclosure for dirt cheap and use the HDD that came in the MacBook as an external HDD.

    EDIT: When I said "less than 300MB"...that's how much of my RAM is "Active." A few hundred more MB's are "Wired." So technically, 1GB is probably more plausible.
  6. HarperJA thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2009
    I've just realised that I would pay $400 more, just for 40gb more HDD space and the side of the notebook where the screen is being black, if i ordered a normal macbook compared to a white macbook! Madness!

    Cheers MarkMS, I am certain now that if I get a MacBook I will use Boot Camp rather than any kind of virtualisation.

    tayloralmond, thanks for this info - how much would I save by doing it myself, and where could I get the parts from. Also, maybe it's that I'm tired but I didn't understand the hard drive thing - Why would I want to replace it?

    Thanks again everyone :D

    Question 5,
    Cheapest reseller here in Australia?
  7. tayloralmond macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    You don't "need" to replace your HDD if you order a MacBook. I was just stating that if you want more HDD space, make sure that you get a 7200RPM drive. As far as where to buy RAM check NewEgg or Crucial. On the HDD, I ordered mine from NewEgg. If you don't mind owning a WhiteBook, I'd say it's your best choice. You may not have all the "glitter" of the new MacBooks, but you'll save a LOT of money. My advice:

    1) Order a WhiteBook (refurbished if possible to save even more)
    2) Buy 4GB's of DDR2 800MHZ RAM (DON'T buy 667MHZ RAM. 800MHZ will give you a speed boost and it works in nVidia MacBooks) (Look here: Core 2 Duo (20-inch - 800MHz) MB323LL/A)

    3) Order a 7200RPM HDD (the higher RPM drive will give the computer a small speed boost) (Look here:

    With the faster RAM and higher RPM HDD, you won't notice any real difference between the new MacBooks and a WhiteBook. Not to mention that you'll save a LOT of money :D

    Finally, I live in the US, so I'm not too sure about resellers in Australia. Best of luck.

    EDIT: Make sure that if you order a refurbished WhiteBook, that it's an nVidia WhiteBook. That's VERY IMPORTANT.

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