Help...making a MBP purchase and need advice on many things!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Audrey313, May 31, 2010.

  1. Audrey313 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    #1
    Hi there,

    First let me sat that I'm no techie so probably some of these questions will be stupid. But I really don't know and am not literate in all the technical aspects of computers! So please bear with me!

    I am a student and going to get a 13" MBP soon (been waiting for the back to school special...and now going to wait until after WWDC just in the very small case that would change anything since it is a week away). After researching on here, I decided that the 2.44 processor should fit my needs (I will be using this laptop for just typical student reasons...Internet, email, iTunes, writing papers, etc.). Where I am unsure is the RAM and the hard drive? I know there is one of those that you can update later, for less money...which if I understand it, is the thing to do. So what advice can y'all give me as far as selecting RAM and hard drive? I am clueless!

    My next question would be about a case. I definitely want to put one on to protect it. I have seen lots of brands and different places to purchase them. I see that there are hard cases and then the soft silicone ones. So which is better? I have seen the brands Specks, mCover, IVEA, etc. Any recommendation on what to get in this department (or even what NOT to get) would help. It is kinda one of those things when other people's experience and reviews really can be useful!

    Lastly I don't know really what to do as far as the free iPod. I have a 32gb 3gs iPhone and an iPod that is old as dirt...it is literally a 1st generation nano that has a black and white screen! So I definitely need a new iPod! I am torn about what to get. One thing I think I'll really use (besides playing music) is the video part. I love the nanos but the screen is pretty small when it comes to watching video. So I don't know whether to pay the extra $50 to get the classic or get the itouch (probably would upgrade to a bigger memory bc 8 gb i don't think would hold what I need my primary iPod to hold). The screen on the touch would be nice for video but the classic would hold so much more. If I didn't already have the iPhone, I don't think I would even writing this. I would get the Touch hands down. But since the iPhone provides me with Internet, email, and the apps...it makes me question which direction to go with this iPod rebate deal. Anyone have any thoughts?

    Again, thanks for bearing with me. Any input would be very very appreciated...whether it be on one or all the aspects I asked about above. Thanks so much in advance!!
     
  2. Audio Blood macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Californication
    #2
    If I had an iPhone, I would get a classic for sure. I am debating between a classic and an iPod touch myself, but I don't have an iPhone so it's making the decision harder. That wasn't much help, but that's what I would do if I were in your shoes!
     
  3. thorbenh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    #3
    4GB of RAM is perfectly fine for your needs. 250GB hard drive as well unless you have a lot of movies and music to store. Even in that case I would go for the stock config. In case you need more space, just spend 5 mins and replace it after having cloned it with carbon copy.

    It literally takes 5 mins to replace and it sames a lot of money or you get the stock hdd for free.
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    OK, here goes. If you don't know what RAM is, you won't need more of it. It is the memory that the computer uses to run applications and hold files that are being used. It comes with 4 GB, so that is more than you will ever need, don't worry about upgrading that.

    If you need to upgrade the hard drive later (that's what stores all your files permanently) then you can do so pretty easily and for cheap. But it comes with 250 GB, so it would probably meet your needs for quite a while. Don't worry about upgrading your hard drive any time soon unless you are running out of space (<20 GB free space).

    As far as cases go, I have a speck case, and it is very nice, just make sure you thoroughly clean the outside of the computer and the inside of the case before you put it on. If you take good care of it, you won't even really need a case, although it never hurts.

    And I would suggest the iPod classic for your iPod. Unless you are running out of space for music, video and such on your iPhone, I suppose there isn't real reason to carry an iPod, but if you need more, go classic, there isn't much sense carrying a touch when you could just put all that stuff on your iPhone. If you don't need another iPod, get the free 8 GB touch and sell it.
     
  5. jmazzamj macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #5
    I think that the stock 2.4 C2D MBP fits your needs perfectly, the 2.26 config (2 GB RAM) would have been fine as well.

    If I had an iPhone I'd pick up an iPod classic.

    Cheers
     
  6. Audrey313 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    #6
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I think I have decided to get the Speck case off of Amazon (unless anyone else has any other suggestions). As far as the hard drive, I store tons of personal pics and have over 12,000 songs on my iTunes....does this make a difference as far as your recommendation to get the lowest hard drive? Just making sure.

    Also, I forgot to ask one thing. I would like the anti-glare screen but of course those aren't an option with the 13". So I have heard of screen protector like things that convert the screen into more of a matte, anti-glare screen from the glossy. Does anyone have any experience with these or recommendations about the best kind or where to buy?

    Again, I appreciate you taking the time to indulge my inquiries!
     
  7. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #7
    Hard drive upgrades for the Macbook Pro are fairly easy. It's really only 10 screws to get the bottom cover off and a few more for the drive. It's a lot cheaper to upgrade the drive on your own, but if you are afraid of computer internals, why not just pay Apple to upgrade it for you? Honestly, if you are paying over $1000 for a computer, can an extra $50 be a deal breaker?

    First though, find out if you really need a bigger drive. I have a 250gb drive in my Rev A 13"MBP, with about 80-90gb of space available depending on what I am working on. I have 3000 songs at an average bit rate of around 192kbps, 45 movies, and 65 TV shows, as well as 7000 photos, and a few games and large apps. However, I do have an iMac serving up extra media for when I am at home, and my iTunes library alone is 600gb, so I really did cut down to get into my Pro with the stock configuration. Find out how much space you are currently using, then multiply it by 1.5 (to allow for growth) and add 30gb (for virtual memory, etc). Then you may get a good estimate of what you will need.

    Also, while I don't have any first hand experience with the anti-glare covers, I have heard that for the most part they are pretty poor quality, and I have had no problems with my glossy screen. I use it outdoors occasionally and just crank up the brightness a little more. I must say that the colors do "pop" a bit more on my glossy MBP display than they do on my Dell 20" IPS display, but that "pop" is more of a personal preference than anything else.

    As for cases, I use an Incase hard shell (very similar to the Speck, but I found it to be a bit better IMO though it is harder to find. I think Amazon still caries it.) and an Incase neoprene sleeve in conjunction with my Ogio Mastermind backpack for carrying. So far I have one small scratch on the bottom of the computer, and I'm going on a year with this computer.
     
  8. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #8
    Well, 12,000 songs should be less than 50 GB, so you are fine there, and you could fit probably 30,000 photos on top of that, so you really should be fine with the 250 GB drive, but it might not be a bad idea to upgrade to 320 to be safe, or 500 if you are willing to spend the money.
     
  9. Audrey313 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    #9
    Again, thanks for providing most useful info!

    So do I understand this right...both the RAM and the hard drive can be upgraded later down the line? Or just the hard drive? If both are capable, is it the best decision to start at the 4 gb and the 250 gb...and then upgrade if needed? Is doing it this way also cheaper? Sorry for being so ignorant in this area...I'm a girl who it not so good with this kind of stuff! But I do want to make the best decisions when I buy my MBP and the accessories and select which iPod to accompany it all...and will have y'all to thank when I do!
     
  10. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #10
    Yes, both can be upgraded later on, by the user (or someone slightly more tech-savvy than average), and it would be cheaper that way. You won't need to upgrade your RAM unless you decide to take on heavy duty video and photo editing, so 4 GB is all you will ever need. The hard drive is a bit easier to do, and you can get a faster and bigger drive than apple offers for cheaper. If you get a hard drive enclosure, you can make your own external out of your old drive for backups with time machine. So I would say get the base configuration, then if you are running low on space, buy a new hard drive (2.5" SATA is the physical size you would need) in the 500 GB range, and install it, or have someone you know that knows their way around a computer install it, and copying the old data is pretty simple from there. The Western Digital Scorpio Blue is a very nice drive, and they are pretty inexpensive.
     

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