Getting my MBP tomorrow! Need advice on a few extras...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stoutdog101, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. stoutdog101 macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #1
    Hey y'all, I'm switching over to Mac tomorrow when I drop by my local apple retailer and pick up an MBP (now that an update seems far away and my Toshiba crashes 4-5 times daily).

    It's a pretty sweet deal. As a student I get this MBP:

    # Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, 2MB L2 Cache
    # 2.0GB DDR2-667 SDRAM - 2 DIMM
    # 200GB Hard Drive (5400rpm)
    # 8x Dual Layer DVD+/-RW/CD-RW
    # 15.4" LED Widescreen Display
    # NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB RAM
    # Airport Extreme (802.11n)
    # Built-in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (based on IEEE 802.11n draft specification); built-in Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) module
    # Illuminated Keyboard
    # iLife 08
    # 1 year Apple warranty

    Plus this:
    # Microsoft Office 2008
    # 2GB flash drive
    # AppleCare extended warranty (3 years total)*
    # 4 port usb hub
    # 14ft ethernet cable
    # Notebook security lock
    # Neoprene sleeve
    # $39 bag voucher (bag to be picked up at store)

    Plus the 8GB iPod Touch, for $2,199. I tried to price a student discounted laptop with just Office and AppleCare and it came out to more than this... So I figure what the heck on getting another flash drive and a few other goodies lol.

    Here are my questions (and I'm thinking long-term for this laptop... like the 5+ years of my PhD program):

    1) How much is it to upgrade the 4GB RAM and where can I find the compatible type?
    2) What is a good cooling pad, as I hear these run hot? Would you recommend this http://www.targus.com/us/product_details.asp?sku=AWE11US ?
    3) Is the Apple Sleeve and a nice bag solid protection physically?
    4) BootCamp or VMWare? I get the feeling that VMWare allows more flexibility between OSs.

    Thanks beforehand... Let's hope Macs are all I have heard and more!
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    1. One of many sources for compatible RAM, $95:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/53IM2DDR4GBK/

    2. No opinion on this, since I don't use one and don't have a problem with the MBP being too hot.

    3. The best quality and highest protection for a sleeve I've seen (much more protection than neoprene) is the booq Vyper M2:

    http://www.booqbags.com/s.nl/it.A/id.74/.f?sc=13&category=-113

    4. I don't use either, so others can help with this.
     
  4. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #4
    Great decision.. I bought the same exact machine about a month ago (replying on it now) and absolutely love it. Been perfect so far!

    1. For the ram, I bought my 4GB kit from OCW (www.macsales.com) for less than $100. They come highly recommended (search the forums) and are a specialist for all things Apple. My order was quickly filled and I've had no problems. I did an extensive memory test with 'Remember' and had zero errors.

    2. I bought Vmware Fusion after reading a lot about both. After my purchase I wound up being able to get a copy of Parallels for free (I work in a partner industry) as a give away, but I haven't bothered to install it. Very happy with Fusion and don't plan on switching. They both have a 30 day demo, so you can try both before you purchase.

    Good luck!

    Wayne
     
  5. stiphone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #5
    That's a really really nice deal....wish I could get that deal too.

    And to answer your question,

    1) How much is it to upgrade the 4GB RAM and where can I find the compatible type?
    -> I'm not too sure about the prices now but i upgraded my previous MacBook to 2GB for about $80. That was almost a year ago. Prices for RAM should have decreased by now. I did a search the other time and read some of the reviews and made sure that they are compatible with Mac before i bought it. There are a couple of websites that sell RAMs for Macs. You can buy it from there though i presume that the prices are higher.

    2) What is a good cooling pad, as I hear these run hot? Would you recommend this http://www.targus.com/us/product_det...sp?sku=AWE11US ?
    -> Not too sure about this as I dun use a cooling pad and it doesn't seem that hot to me anyway.

    3) Is the Apple Sleeve and a nice bag solid protection physically?
    -> I dun have a sleeve but i use a plastic cover that clips on to my MBP to ensure maximum protection. Another good way of protecting and still keep the beauty of the MBP would be to use invisible shield. It's pretty easy to fix on and it protects it pretty well. I purchased a silicon pad for the keyboard too as i do not like dust getting in between my keys on the keyboard. I got it from eBay. I strongly recommend that you purchase the Marware wrist protector. It's great for protecting the wrist area from blemishes and acts like a cushion when i'm typing.

    4) BootCamp or VMWare? I get the feeling that VMWare allows more flexibility between OSs.
    - > i use VMware. Tried bootcamp and parallels and VMware Fusion is my all time favourite. I love their unity mode. It's awesome and i highly recommends it.

    Hope i answered some of your questions and these are just my preferences. Hope that you'll enjoy your MBP as much as i did on mine.
     
  6. Watabou macrumors 68040

    Watabou

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #6
    You have 3MB L2 cache and also 2.1 Bluetooth ;) (instead of 2MB and 2.0 respectively).

    You can find 4GB pretty cheap at OWC at about 75 iirc.
    And I like VMware much better than Bootcamp. But that depends on what you plan to do with the virtual machine. If you want to do intensive 3D work, then you have to rely on Bootcamp. But if not, then feel free to buy VMWare. It is a very good virtualization program and so is Parallels.
     
  7. stoutdog101 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #7
    Watabu, I was posting what the computer store has... hopefully they have a typo online :(

    In matte vs. glossy, I think I'm going matte... I can't stand to have a glare in sunny Arizona.

    When upgrading my RAM, would I want the 2GBx2GB cards for $95 or so? Why can't I just get one 2GB card to add to the one already in the machine? Or can I? Does it work better with matching cards?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    The MBP comes with 2x1GB cards... you always want matching chips, so replace the 2 1GB chips with 2 2GB chips.

    I agree, matte is great.... no distracting glare... but others will have differing opinions on this issue... it's a matter of personal preference.
     
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #9
    you dont "always" need matching sticks

    more ram( even if mismatched) > dual channel benfits any day of the week
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    you can just get one 2 gig stick

    heres a link
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...2013340551+1327924738&name=For+Apple+Notebook
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    Apple has a different point of view:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1651

    "Note: For best performance, fill both memory slots, installing an equal memory module in each slot."
     
  12. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #12
    i know....they are refeering to dual channel which gives a ~6% increase at most

    what i said is still true meaning 3 gigs mismatched is BETTER than 2 gigs with matched 1 gig sticks

    i dont deny the benefits but it isnt a "must do" situation at all to have matched sticks

    http://guides.macrumors.com/Matched_RAM_on_Intel_Macs
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    But as inexpensive as RAM is ($95 for 4GB), why even consider mismatching and only installing 3GB instead of 4? I can't see any reason why anyone would do that, especially when it's not recommended.
     
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #14
    to some people 40 bucks is too much at the time. i agree just max it out though if you can afford to

    for me this is what i did over the course of a year and a half on my mb
    2 x 256mb
    256mb + 512mb
    1 gig +512mb
    2 x 1gig sticks to max mine out


    **running mismatched sticks will NOT hurt your machine in any way shape or form

    it is not rreccomended only in the sense you wont get dual channel benefits
     
  15. coledog macrumors 6502a

    coledog

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    #15
    4. I've used Parallels, VMware, and Bootcamp. For most of what I do (includes gaming) Bootcamp has been the best. It runs Windows on par with any other Windows based notebook of equal specs!
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #16
    Sounds like we all agree on one thing: "You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much RAM!" :D Take the bus to work, rather than driving for a week and save $40 on gas to spend on the extra RAM!
     
  17. stoutdog101 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #17
    ahhh I didn't realize it was two 1GB chips... in that case, I will go on ahead and get the 4GB set.

    The only real question I need answered now is whether or not a cooling mat is worth the 30 bucks?
     
  18. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #18
    i wouldnt get a cooling mat personally
     
  19. coledog macrumors 6502a

    coledog

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    #19
    I 2nd that...just a waste of money. (It's a LAPtop remember...)
     
  20. stoutdog101 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #20
    Awesome, all of y'all have been a HUGE help - and responded so quickly! I can't wait to make the switch tomorrow :)
     
  21. WeeManFoo macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2008
    #21
    I think that you should give Virtualbox a try. It is a free virtualization program similar to Parallels and VMware Fusion. I use it and it is great.
     
  22. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

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    Oklahoma
    #22
    If you don't mind me asking, how did you work a deal like that? that's amazing.
     
  23. stoutdog101 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #23
    No working of any deal, I'm a student at FSU... it's a value bundle that is available to all students.

    I was wondering if it was a great deal... sound like I am making the right choice!

    One more random question: Do you prefer Safari or Firefox? I use Firefox right now, as IE is junk, but what is better on a Mac?
     
  24. kabunaru Guest

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #24
    I use Safari and it's pretty good for me. I would recommend Safari.
     
  25. JDR macrumors regular

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    Chicago, IL
    #25
    I second Safari. Quick, simple interface, no problems at all.
     

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