First Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by zDk, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. zDk, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014

    zDk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    #1
    Hey everyone so I'm getting my first Macbook shipped to me sometime this week and I'm curious to find out some more information about it. As far as computers go, I've always been a windows guy so this will be my first Mac product in terms of laptops. My last laptop had constant issues with the LCD being faulty and just giving me screen issues. I'm just hoping that I won't encounter a similar issue with this laptop.

    So now I'm excited to get started with my Macbook Air! It was a bit of an impulsive buy, I hadn't done much research besides the fact that I looked at the buyers guide on MacRumors and it said Macbook Air would be the best choice in buying a laptop at this moment as I am a college student about to continue taking classes over the summer. I'm buying the newest Macbook Air with upgraded SSD space to 256 GB but everything else left default.

    So my questions for you guys is what else should I look into investing in for my Macbook? I bought a rubberized Kuzy case, keyboard protector and a sleeve to put my Macbook Air into. Along with my Macbook I bought a thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter as I tend to use my Macbook connected with an ethernet cord a lot when I'm back home.

    I'm curious about space on the SSD -- I don't consume a lot of space but I tend to like to have movies and other files that take up a lot of space, should I look into investing into an external hard drive, possibly one like this?
    http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Port...8&sr=8-1&keywords=external+hard+drive+for+mac
    I plan on having a relatively big iTunes library once I get my Macbook so how would I go about re-routing all necessary media information from iTunes to this external drive?

    I plan on doing mainly school orientated projects, watching movies, maybe small time gaming (possible to run League of Legends or Diablo 3?) If I were to connect my laptop to an external monitor using an HDMI cord, what kind of thunderbolt connector would I need?

    As far as Apple Care goes, I didn't buy the plan when I bought the laptop as I'm not sure how far the coverage extends to and I didn't have all the money readily available but I'm interested in it as an option next month once I have the money for it, is it a solid investment?

    Sorry for slamming you guys with all these questions, just a new Mac user excited to get started as I have always wanted to be able to own a Mac!
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    That drive you linked will work fine. I would buy two of those though. One to be used as a system backup drive using the Mac's included Time Machine software. Then use the other drive to store your music if you want.

    You can tell iTunes to store music on the external by following this.

    Out of the box with the iLife and iWorks app installed, you will have about 20GB of space used, so this still leaves you over 200GB for personal data, so unless you have a lot of music and movies you might not even need to the second external.

    If you want to connect to an external monitor via HDMI, you would need to buy a mini display port to HDMI adaptor and plug that in to the Thunderbolt port on your Air. A better route would be to buy a monitor that already uses mini display port as the connection and just plug that directly into the Thunderbolt port and no adaptor is needed.

    Applecare extends your warranty coverage for two years beyond the default one year... so three years total. I am not a fan of extended warranties in general, so never buy Applecare, but a lot of people here like it. It is really just an insurance policy and a personal decision if you want to assume that risk yourself and save the money.
     
  3. zDk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for the help, I think I'm going to invest in one external hard drive and see how the space does for me. Is it possible to keep a system backup, music and movies and an iTunes library all on one? Regardless of space, would I need to partition the drive any special way?

    As far as AppleCare goes, I've never been a fan of extended warranties too but if it covers damages including accidental, it might be a good investment?
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Yes... you can use Disk Utility on your Mac to make two Mac OS Extended partitions on the external, then use one for backup and the other for music etc. The downside there is you would have no backup of your music since it is all on the same drive as your backups. But it will work.

    Applecare on a Macbook does not cover accidental damage.

    I always buy mine with my VISA card that includes and extra one year warranty, so that helps.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    You might want to think about that a bit…. when you use this adapter you won't be able to use an external monitor (unless it's an Apple Thunderbolt display) because is ties up the thunderbolt port.

    I got one of these USB 3 gigbit ethernet adapters and it works very well. Also has the advantage of giving you some extra USB ports

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1731986
     
  6. zDk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    #6
    Perfect, I'll look into it, thank you! Do you know how that would work out if I wanted to run that and an HDMI external monitor? USB to HDMI connector or something?
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    No, I believe his point was you will need a mini display port to HDMI connector for your HDMI monitor, and that would tie up your only Thunderbolt port. Then you could use the USB to ethernet adaptor for your wired ethernet.
     
  8. darcyjames, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014

    darcyjames macrumors member

    darcyjames

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    #8
    Good info by Weasalboy. Regarding Applecare I don't buy it for MacBooks, but I buy it for (new) iMac (from Amazon).

    If you have a problem with your MacBook it is easier and cheaper to send it back for repair then it is the iMac. Also, MacBook AppleCare is more expensive then it is for iMac, so when you factor the two together that is why I do that. But it is definitely personal opinion, I have had many MBPs and MBAs and never had an issue out of warranty.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    The best way to drive an HDMI monitor is to purchase a cable with a miniDisplayport connector on one end and HDMI connector on the other. This plugs into the thunderbolt port on the MBA. And that wouldn't be possible if you were using the Apple Thunderbolt/ethernet adapter.

    But with the inateck USB3 ethernet adapter, it leaves the thunderbolt port free for your monitor.

    There are USB monitor adapters that have been discussed here but I have not used them. The consensus seems to be that they work, but have a lag which may be a problem depending on what you're doing.

    If you have an Apple TV, you can use it as an external screen too with either wifi or ethernet. There is definitely a lag there when using the 802.11ac wifi. With a wired gigabit ethernet connection, the lag is less but still noticeable.
     

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