Gotta get a Macbook - Help me pop this pesky Mac cherry

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Giggleheimer, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Giggleheimer macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    Howdy. First post, woo! I know there's more than just buying questions in this post (hardware upgrades etc), but I had to pick a forum. Anywhoo.

    Hi :)

    Hello (my first serious thread, hoorah!)

    I know that in the coming weeks, I'm gonna be the proud owner of a shiny new Macbook for college - but if only it were that simple.

    My plan is to buy the basic 2.1 Ghz model and then instantly upgrade the HD to 320 GB and put in 4GB of 800 MhZ RAM (I pray that I can manage to do it myself!). My question is that would it be advisable to upgrade the parts straight away? Without even turning the computer on for the first time even? I know that I'll have to re-upload Leopard to the larger HD with the disc that comes with the computer, but is there anything that I should do as a first-time user with the computer before I go opening up the back of it?

    There's only one more thing, and I know that loads of people are currently caught between these two options like myself so I figure it's worth mentioning - the imminent revision of Apple Notebooks. I'm talking about the rumoured new Macbook with the aluminium casing etc (although I'm sure there'll be more to it than that). Should I wait?
    As a student, I can get a discounted current model and a free iPod, which I'd sell on to a friend who really needs it (my Classic does me just fine). All in all, I've worked out that including the new parts and minus the iPod rebate and what I'm hoping to get for selling the iPod, a 2.1Ghz Macbook with a 320GB HD and 4GB of RAM is gonna cost me €943 (approx $1337 US).

    What do the experts think? Worth getting now or better to wait? By that I mean you guys.

    Many apologies about the length of this thread, but I've never spent as much money as what a Macbook is gonna cost me.

    All advice welcome, be it about new Macbooks or hardware changes or whatever.

  2. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    i was gonna do the same.
    but just bought a top spec macbook. easier.
    i plan to get more ram and bigger drive later.......
    no need to customise yourself straight away....hard drive maybe, ram no.

    ive heard i can just get a new internal drive now, put it in, and just put all my stuff back on with time machine.

    why wait? go for it now!!!!

    although people have said its easier to fit the drive in before you start really using the mac...

    but trust me, once you get wont wanna feel like opening it up.....

    get it...... use it........use it...........use it........then decide what to do.

    good luck.
    hope this helped.
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    800MHz RAM doesn't work in the new MacBooks. We've tried it and the machines simply don't turn on. I don't know why it happens, people have said that it shouldn't happen but it just plain does so don't use 800MHz RAM in any of the laptops. It just doesn't work.

    You need 667MHz RAM for the MacBook, upgrading the HDD and the RAM is dead easy, just need the right screwdriver to take the HDD off the sled and put it on the new one so you can slide it back in.
  4. Mushrooshi macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    If you want everything that migh end, I suggest a MacBook Pro. No, it probably doesn't have that stuff up and running, but trust me, if you want to push the power, a MBP is your best bet.
  5. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    macbook pro is a rip off.

    get a low end macbook and spec it up......via third party.

    or get a top spec macbook and spec up later.

    if you are rich, get a macbook pro.
    it only has one more usb port, slightly bigger screen, thats it.
    macbook is better value for money....
    or wait till new ones come out.......and get a refurbished or clearance section macbook it should be a bit cheaper than it is now........

  6. Giggleheimer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    Yeah I've since realised that 800 Mhz won't work. Not to worry, that only makes things cheaper. Yes, to be precise, I believe a Philips 00 is needed for the little L piece of metal and a Torx T8 for opening up the HD casing.

  7. Giggleheimer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    Yeah I'm not getting a Pro, they're way too over-priced. I can't help but feel that my €943 price tag will get me a better spec current Macbook whilst the same probably won't even get me an entry level new one. Then again, the new Macbook might be just as upgradeable. Oh the decisions!!!

    Any recommendation of a third party to juice up the laptop?

    If the 14th October release date comes true, then there's still time to decide on which model before I can get my free iPod (deadline is 31st October)

    I never stopped to think that Apple might actually include the new line of Macbooks in the offer once they come out? I mean, the iPods in the offer are all the new models . . .

    is it really plausible?
  8. kkarp macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2008
    My first post too.

    Sorry this got my eye. Had to register to post a different opinion.

    I went from a Powerbook G4 to a 3rd Gen MacBook (Black). I miss the "slightly bigger screen", the FW800 port and (sadly enough) backlit keyboard. More importantly, I now have an Intel GMA 950 Integrated graphics chip-set. Of course the new MacBook comes with a GMA X3100 w/ 144MB on board; but the Pro has a full on NVIDIA processor with at least 256Mb.

    What's that mean to you? Can't tell you. What's it mean to me? To me, EA announced their newest game will not run on a Mac with GMA 950; that sucks. To me, these GMA series chip-sets are only in the MacBook and MacMini; all other models have ATI or NVIDIA, that makes me wonder. To me, the graphics and screen size matters and my next Mac will be a MacBook Pro. Still, I cannot speak for you. I just want to point out the pro's of the MacBook Pro.

    Buy now or wait... I (Personally) would wait. If the new models come close to the specs you want at your price-point, you're set. If not, the model you're about to buy may be discounted by the new arrivals.

    Hope this helps...
  9. hogfaninga macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2008
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    If you do a lot of gaming you should of used some common sense and done some research. You would of found out the Macbook, while it can play some games well (no problem for me), wasn't ever meant to be a gaming laptop. Heck even the Pro isn't the greatest gaming laptop. PC's are the best for that and a whole lot cheaper. Now if we are talking about a all in one machine and multimedia laptop then Macs tops all IMO. While the graphics aren't as good as the Pro (you don't pay nearly as much either), the Macbook's graphics aren't bad at all.

    To the OP. The current deal in the UK (back to school) is a good one. Do what you think is best. Personally I have had aluminum laptops (I have had the Pro-I didn't utlize it for what it is built for--the Macbook does what I need it to) and aluminum PC's and don't care for the aluminum. I highly doubt the specs are going to drastically change and the lack of the current backlit can be solved by buying a $10 USB light which works just as well as a built in one. Honestly I hardly ever need backlit except when I travel abroad.

    Either way you will get a great computer.
  10. rubberball macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    Denver, CO
    I would boot the machine first before changing anything around. Make sure that all the OTHER components are in working order, and they will be it is just a good practice to check.

    It is soooo soo so easy to upgrade the HD and RAM in a MB, the only advice I have for you is to make sure that you press the RAM in firmly and that it is lined up properly. The HD is right by that and is a lot simpler than the current MPB to swap out.

    Enjoy your MB.
  11. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    What?? Why would you tell them not to upgrade the RAM? 1GB is a joke, the MacBook is painfully slow with that amount. I would know I have the exact same model! I upgraded to 4GB from for $85-ish and it runs 100% better.
  12. sagnier macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    i have a powerbook and a macbook. i really miss the backlit keyboard when im using my macbook in a dim room. its a simple,, awesome feature. so id advise you to wait til october. (or you could get a silly usb light!) also, i saved a lot (£750 for a new blackbook) by buying my previous gen mb when new ones came out in february. another reason for waiting to see if those rumoured upgrades are worth it.

    its mere weeks away, just wait.
  13. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I agree 100%. I would make sure everything works FIRST. That way if you have any issues with your new parts, you will know the rest of the computer is fine.

    If it was me I would do this:

    1. Boot the machine as it comes and make sure it works.
    2. Install the RAM and reboot and make sure it shows up.
    3. Install the Hard Drive and reload from the CD/DVD.
    4. Reboot and make sure the disk looks good.
    5. Enjoy your new Mac!

    As a final step, I would get an external firewire enclosure for your old drive and use it as a Time Machine backup disk...

    Good Luck!

Share This Page