I'm buying a Macbook Pro soon, and I have a few questions.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lord Mog, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Lord Mog macrumors newbie

    Lord Mog

    Jul 30, 2008
    Good evening, MacRumors. ♥

    As the title suggests, I have a few questions in terms of hardware, External drives and BootCamp.

    Now, before I bring up these questions (and to help make it, well, a tiny bit clearer), I want to assure you of a few things:

    ♥ I am by no means paranoid of drivel centering around the Nvidia graphics cards.

    ♥ The new rumors about the Macbook and Macbook Pro being bumped does not pique my interest at all, considering that it's new hardware and is bound to be buggy. I'll leave the other customers to do my bought hardware beta testing.

    ♥ I've never used a Macintosh computer in my entire life.

    ♥ I play games, but almost all of the games I do play on my PC are MMORPGs (the most intensive one being The Lord of the Rings Online, least intensive being Final Fantasy XI). I leave the rest to my trust-worthy, glompable consoles.


    Now with that settled, here are my questions:

    :apple: ~ How much of a speed difference is there between 2.6 GHz and 2.8 GHz CPU wise (in the computer I use right now, there's a Pentium D 2.8 GHz, so I have no idea how that fares with the Macbook Pro's Intel chips)?

    :apple: ~ Will I be able to use my Seagate 250 GIG eSATA external HDD?

    :apple: ~ Is there a need of special RAM compatible with a Mac, or will I be able to use any RAM sticks I choose?

    :apple: ~ Is it wise to buy a laptop cooler? Will it hurt the laptop in any way?

    :apple: ~ How much does the educational discount actually shed off of the final price?

    :apple: ~ Would it be a better idea to buy the laptop from Apple.com, or do they sell 2.6 GHz versions at the Apple Store?

    :apple: ~ What kind of a difference is there between the 15" and 17" versions? Will the 17" still be pretty portable?


    :apple: ~ Being a Windows user my whole life (and I still will be, at least a tiny bit, to play games), what changes besides the OS do I have to deal with? Is there any need for heavy maintenance, or do I not have to worry about anything but keeping the Windows side of the partition safe?


    Thanks for putting up with my evening, tired-speak. I'll edit everything to make the grammar coherent tomorrow morning. ♥

    Thank you!

    - Lord Mog
  2. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    I'm going to try my best to answer some of your questions.

    1) I really doubt you will notice a difference between 2.6 Ghz and 2.8 Ghz.

    2) Can't confirm it, but most likely it should work.

    3) You need a certain type of RAM that works with Mac computers, not any old stick will work.

    4) Education discount knocks off about $100-200 depending on what product your buying. eg. MacBook instead of $1149, you pay $1049 with discount.

    5) 17" isn't exactly considered a portable laptop. If you want portability think 13.3" or 15".

    6) I'd buy it in store. That way you can go home with a new Mac, instead of waiting for it to arrive in a couple of days - weeks.
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    welcome lord!!! haha

    1. between the 2.6ghz and 2.8mhz you are tlaking 200mhz, which is nothing. literally nothing. dont even worry about it.
    2. find out the format of your hard drive. if it is fat32, then you can read AND write. if it is NTFS you can only read (limitation).
    3. there is no need for special Mac ram, you just have to make sure that its the right speed/style of RAM. i would recommend that the two sticks are the same speed/style/size to ensure that they run as fast as possible.
    4. hhmmm. the new penryn computers are getting a lot cooler. however it is a good idea to get a cooler, there wont be any problems from what i know.
    5. its normally (in my country) somewhere in the vacinity of 8-10%.
    6. they both come from the same place, the apple store probably gets them to you faster and its a more 'personal' approach.
    7. the 17" starts to get very bulky to carry around. unless you NEED the HD screen, get the 15" (its very compact).
    8. ok if you learn one thing from me it has to be this. compared to windows computers there are literally NO upkeeping duties to be done. you dont need to defrag (havent done it in years), theres no need to get virus checking programs (the only reason you would get one is too protect other PC users), there isnt much spyware.... its just simple to use (after about 2hours of getting used to).

    the windows partition should be fine just do the normal defrag/virus whatever you would do on a normal PC. N.B. if you want to be able to read/write your Mac partition from bootcamp you will need 3rd party software to be able to read the mac HFS formatted partitions.

    N.B.B if you want to be able to read/write to the PC partition make sure its Fat32, otherwise if its NTFS you will only be able to read.

  4. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    1. Not much really! At least nothing that will affect your daily business

    2. No. You need to get an express/34 card for that! But Freeagents have Firewire, use them instead!

    3. Any 'BRANDED' RAM will do. That said, incompatibility is not rare!

    4. When you play games on BC, a cooler will become a necessity rather than an accessory! It wont hurt your MBP under any cost except scratching it bottom if its a bit rough or cheap! That said, it might hurt it if rather than dissipating heat, it blocks ventilation further!

    5. Er.. get on to store.apple.com and calculate yourself! I never was good at Math:p

    6. Check it out at your local Apple Store, but about 95% they would have it stocked!

    7. The 17" has a bigger screen (lol), an extra USB port (than 15") and the option to go to 1920x1200!

    8. There is literally no maintenance in Macs... no defragmenting, check disk, consistency check... etc! If ever you face a problem.. just click repair permissions (recommended you do this even without problems every month or so) from 'Disk Utility or in worst case scenario, pop in your install disk and use repair disk.

    Just keep one thing in mind, Macs cannot write (read - yes) to NTFS drives. Get Paragon NTFS for Mac i you want that!

    P.S.: MBP Updates are being speculated soon!

    Hope to find you soon with your new Mac on this forum and waiting to welcome you to the Brotherhood:D

    whew.... that was long!
  5. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    The Core 2 Duo in a MacBook Pro is faster at 2.4, 2.5, or 2.6 GHz than a Pentium D at 2.8 GHz (see megahertz myth). There is no "Mac RAM" per se, but it must be 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM to work in a MacBook Pro. I wouldn't go with a laptop cooler if I were you, seeing as they really don't increase airflow where it counts and the MacBook Pro isn't actually too hot most of the time. The educational discount is around $200 and some shaved off components for a BTO machine. The Apple stores sell some non-standard configured MacBook Pros (I believe the only one commonly found is the 2.6 GHz HD 17"), but if you want to configure one more personally, the online store is better. Speaking of processor speed, there really isn't a vastly noticeable difference between the different processors, especially between the 2.5 and 2.6 GHz models, though the 2.4 has less cache than the higher end models so it might actually be an extremely small amount slower than the others. As for screen size, it really depends on what you're going to be doing with the machine... if you are mostly going to be using it at a desk with minimal moving, get a 17", but if you are going to be using it on the go, get the 15". I once owned a 15" MacBook Pro, but I felt buyers remorse soon after I purchased it because it's only major foray into portability was going between houses with little use when not plugged in, which made me realize that the cumbersome 17" probably would have been a better choice. Your external hard drive should work with the MacBook Pro, though it doesn't have an eSATA port on it, so if it can interface through another connection (preferably firewire, but USB is fine) that would be best. On the maintenance side of things, there's not a lot to worry about... every once and a while if things act up you might want to repair permissions in Disk Utility, but other than that, Mac OS X defragments on the fly and runs maintenance scripts every once and a while to keep itself tidy.
  6. Lord Mog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Lord Mog

    Jul 30, 2008
    Yay! Replies! *Sips tea.*



    Alright... So first of all:

    Though, I do believe I have one more question.

    So... To tell you the truth...

    I'm kind of in a pickle. I have no idea whether or not I'll be able to buy the laptop within the speculated "due date" of the new Macbook and Macbook Pro models.


    Here's the last question:

    :apple: ~ Are Apple's releases usually reliable on it's first few months of brand new shelf life? Do they keep selling previous models for a limited time after the new models are released?


    So, moving on~

    I agree with you. I'll be going that route. ♥

    After reading what iToaster posted about the "Megahertz Myth," I'm now entirely convinced about the GHz speeds.

    In terms of external HDD: I have no idea what it is, but I'll look in to it and post the format as soon as I find out.

    Awesome, awesome! I'm going for the 17" because besides traveling to near-by coffee shops, I really won't do much traveling. It'll be a much better deal.

    But about the cooler:

    Would it be a good idea to have it just in case, or does it really do more damage than it helps? :x

    Thank you, indeed. ♥

    - Lord Mog
  7. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    I don't think a laptop cooler is necassery at all, I think the Mac notebooks are fairly good at not going wild heat wise unless you have them sitting on your bed for too long or something that really constricts airflow like that.

    For normal use on a desk, I think your fine without a cooler.

    I don't think Apple has any major Rev.A product problems, usually there products are pretty well designed in the first place. However, when there are early problems they usually fix them so I wouldn't worry about that too much.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    17" works for most people who are not wimps. The 17" MBP actually weights the same as most 15" pc laptops. No, 1" extra width and 1" extra length does not make it "bulky".

    Graphic card in the 17" is clocked slightly higher than the 15".

    eSATA only drive will require a expresscard to eSATA adapter. Most external drives also have USB and don't need any adapter to work with a Mac.

    NTFS can be read and WRITE with third party utilities (one is free, one is not).

    Any good laptop cooler will have bumpers and will not scratch.

    I like the passive Raindesign mStand (not their other laptop stands though). All laptop coolers with fans have tiny fans that don't do too much and are noisy.

    To play games, if you connect to external display and turn off internal display (or backlight), laptop will run a bit cooler.
  9. Lord Mog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Lord Mog

    Jul 30, 2008
    I actually think I've made up my mind about buying the current model, and waiting for the new models to be bug-free before I consider buying them. I just remembered my terrible luck with new hardware. x.x

    I'll look into the Raindesign mStand. Sounds nice.

    Other than that, I'm now bent on getting the 17". It's just way to nice to pass up. ♥

    Thanks you two. :D
  10. jroller macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    I think this is a prudent approach. As longtime Apple users will atest, even Apple has issues with new releases. That said, however, I am waiting for the new release to buy the new MBPro. Mine is getting a little "long in the tooth" but it is not imperative for me to buy right away. So... I wait. I think/hope we will see new processors and a multi-touch trackpad in the next rev, but we'll see...
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    what model MBP do you have?? i find that my CD MBP is starting to get a bit slow however its still perfect for everything. just not multitasking intensive stuff :(
  12. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    As far as ram, I get mine from crucial.com. Great price and works perfect.
  13. Lord Mog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Lord Mog

    Jul 30, 2008
    Now that I look at everything a little clearer (probably the daycation I'm having today), I realize that I actually will not be able to buy the current Macbook Pro before the new model comes out.

    But, obliged, even though it was one of my smarter computer decisions, I'm finding that there are more and more complaints coming from people about how their Macbook Pro is failing because of their graphics card. I know that I said that I really don't care about it and shunned the idea because I thought it was "drivel," but these things are becoming more and more apparent, and that's scary. I think that some sort of divine intervention has taken it's place, disguised as temporary money issues, because I'd hate to have my first Macintosh experience boxed as AppleCare returns. </3

    - Lord Mog

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