First-time Mac buyer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by passterelli, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. passterelli macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008
    Hello all,

    I've been an avid watcher of these forums, as well as the Apple product line. I'm a college student and decided months ago that I would be converting to Mac when the time was right. I wasn't in any hurry either. Now that the MacBooks have been updated with Penryn, I'm ready to jump. Just a few questions or observations.

    1) Has anyone run the MacBook as a desktop? While I don't plan on leaving it on all the time, I would like to hook up my 20" Dell Widescreen LCD that I bought before I ever paid attention to Apple. How well does the sleep mode function to allow me leave it hooked up for extended periods of time?

    2) I noticed that the Penryn processors offered on the MacBook line offer 3MB of L2 Cache, compared to 4MB L2 Cache offered in the 65 nm Merom-based processors they replaced. While the Penryn processors run faster (Mhz wise), what is the difference? What exactly is L2 Cache anyway?

    3) Running Windows will be required for me. Boot Camp? Fusion? Parallels? What is the best option?

    4) Has anyone had any GOOD experiences with the wireless mighty mouse (I've only seen bad reviews)? What is a wireless alternative to the mighty mouse?

    5) Has anyone uses a JVC Everio HDD camcorder with their Mac? I've got one and I'm interested in using iDVD to create home movies. Does iMovie import mpeg-2 videos?

    Thanks in advance for your input and advice. The day is almost here!
  2. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota

    To avoid confusing results, I will only reply to points in which I think I have a valid opinion. :D

    I use mine as a singular system when at home. I have a 19" display that I use screen spanning to extend my desktop. I haven't tried otherwise, but I believe you need to have the laptop screen up in order to use the computer.

    As far as sleep,
    It depends on what you want the display to do when the laptop is sleeping. Sleep mode will power down the external display like it will on a PC.

    The choice is yours. If you need full use of the systems resources, Bootcamp is the best way to go as far as speed / power is concerned. I personally like Parallels and VM-Ware for virtual sessions, but the choice has more to do with whatever program you prefer.

    It is my primary mouse. Have had no issues, only have to change the batteries (I run rechargeable L-ION).

  3. dringkor macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2008
    I've heard iMovie 08 will import MPEG-2 video from your HDD camcorder, while iMovie 06 will not. However, iMovie 08 is a major downgrade, feature-wise, from iMovie 06. If you just want to get the video straight off of your Everio and burn it to a DVD, iMovie 08 will work for you with no hassles.

    However, if you wish to do extensive editing like I do, you can still use iMovie 06 but you have to convert the video to DV format first. I use ffmpegx (free download, Google it) to do the conversion. It is an extra step and there is a very slight (not noticeable by me) degradation in video quality, but you'll be able to use your existing camcorder and harness the power of iMovie 06.

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