MacBook help Please?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JesLam07, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. JesLam07 macrumors regular

    JesLam07

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    #1
    Hi, This is my first time posting on here and I need some help from all you Mac experts out there. I fell in love with the MacBook from the second I saw it. I'm finally one when I transfer to a different college next year, and I want it to be perfect. I'm going to give you a little background so that you guys know what I'll be using the computer for. I'm going to be a graphic design major, so I'll be needing lots of space to store photos and I'll probably install photoshop and stuff like that on it. I also love Music so I want it to be able to hold lots of it. I'll also need it for the internet and word processing and the usual college stuff. I already know I'll need the Apple USB modem for when I am at home. I'm not much of a gamer, but there are a few games I would like to put on there such as Scrabble or The Sims. I just wanted some recommendations as to what specs would be ideal for me.

    I've been looking at this one...

    MacBook (White) - Apple Store Online (with Applecare)
    Specifications :
    2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    200GB Serial ATA @ 4200 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    iWork preinstalled
    Apple USB Modem
    AirPort Extreme Card & Bluetooth


    I want to get something I'm going to be able to use for a while. I'm mostly worried about the Ram and Hard drive. I probably won't be buying it until this summer (ish).

    Let me know what you guys think.
     
  2. J@ffa macrumors 6502a

    J@ffa

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2002
    Location:
    Behind you!
    #2
    That's a nice spec, and definitely worth getting. However, upgrading to 2GB of RAM from Apple is $150. If you just live with what it comes with 1GB (512MB x 2), and buy a 2GB (1GB x 2) kit from Crucial, whose RAM is identical to Apple's - Crucial is the consumer branch of Micron, and Micron produce Apple's RAM - $87.99 instead of $150. It's easy to fit, but if you're worried at all just ask a tech-savvy friend to do it for you. Getting the 200GB drive means you go from 5400 RPM to 4200 RPM. If space was the only issue, that'd be fine, but if you're working with Photoshop and graphic design apps you need fast read/write access to the drives, so if you can live with it I'd get the 160GB @ 5400 instead. If you need more later, you can get a portable external drive.

    I'm a little confused about you saying you're going to buy it 'this summer'. Since this summer's sort of already gone, I presume you mean next summer? If so then don't even worry about deciding now - by that time the specification of MacBooks will have changed twice, probably three times. Do clarify! :p
     
  3. JesLam07 thread starter macrumors regular

    JesLam07

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    #3
    Well, I'm transfering in Fall 08' so I meant Summer 08'. The latest I would be buying it would be then. I'll probably end up getting it sometime after christmas. I realize that the specs could possibly change by then but I want to keep myself informed on the latest specs so that I have a good idea when I do order it.

    It would knock the price down a good bit if I get the 160 gb hard drive and 1 gb of ram. You have a really good point, I can always upgrade later. If I have extra money at the time I order it I'm probably going to get the best specs I can, but it depends on the circumstances.

    I'm worried about word processing too. Is iWork going to be able to handle all the papers I have to write for college? Or will I need to get Word? I really want to avoid getting word, because I dislike it very much.

    I've heard that the MacBook is a very good choice for college students. Would you guys say that's true?
     
  4. J@ffa macrumors 6502a

    J@ffa

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2002
    Location:
    Behind you!
    #4
    Ah, I get it.

    The 160GB HD I definitely recommend. As for the RAM, you would save money just getting the 1GB, but really I do recommend that you get 2GB. 1GB is only borderline OK at the moment, especially on an Intel machine which deserves RAM to go with the speed, and when you order in the New Year your MacBook will be preloaded with Leopard, which will definitely make good use of 2GB over 1GB. If you go with the 1GB and then go to 2GB later, or even at the time, I definitely recommend Crucial over Apple for the price difference.

    iWork is perfectly fine for word processing. However, you do have the issue of compatibility. If you're writing in a closed way, e.g. you just print it off or make PDFs of what you've written, it's fine. If you need to constantly be giving digital copies of your work for someone else to annotate or whatnot, then you kinda need Word, as your professors/classmates are more likely to have it. iWork can import Word files, and pretty well at that, but it's not the same as having Word and not needing to worry about bits not working here and there. The student edition of the whole Office suite is $150, a lot cheaper than the $400 for the regular edition.

    For college students, the MacBook is definitely the best out there. Even if you need the added power of a MacBook, the ruggedness and portability of a MacBook make it a clear winner, over PC laptops too (for the software alone!). Hope this is illuminating!
     
  5. JesLam07 thread starter macrumors regular

    JesLam07

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    #5
    If I knew more about ram...I'd probably go with 1 gb and then upgrade later, but I probably won't take any chances. I'll def go with at least 160 gb Hard Drive.

    I don't really plan on taking any online classes while at IUP, but if I do I can always borrow a friends PC or go to one of the PC labs. I'm currently taking an online class right now and my PC didn't come with word, it came with works, so I had to buy it since I had to sumbit my assignments in a certain format. I'll probably end up buying word, but I won't like it.

    This is all really helpful information. Thanks! I really can't wait to get this computer. I have dreams about it every night. I just wish there was an Apple store closer to me, but the closest one is in Pittsburgh, I think.

    Are there any accessories that I'm going to need right away?
     
  6. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #6
    Education Discount At Apple.com

    Hey Jess,

    You can't go wrong with the MacBook 2.16, since that's the one I bought via Education Discount at Apple.com. I handpicked the SPECS that I wanted and made an appointment at the Apple Store in Emeryville, CA, and brought in my school ID and walked out of the store with my MacBook in about 45 minutes. You can also purchase Microsoft Office 2004 at about $65 for a student license or $139 for the full student package. Definitely consider an external hard drive of at least 500GB. Back-up everything and always consider SPEED when working with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Downloading anything! I like downloading with firewire, since it is much faster, especially for the youTube video upload/download to your MacBook or External Hard Drive or making DVDs. My MacBook 2.16 was $1,199 and bought the AppleCare for $183, so that's a pretty good deal overall.

    Good luck,

    "STAY IN SCHOOL":cool:
     
  7. macduke macrumors 603

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #7
    by fall 2008 the macbook should be at least about 2 revisions ahead of what it is right now. i would expect around a 2.6ghz processor minimum, cheap 3 or 4gb of ram, with perhaps hd-dvd or blu-ray combo superdrive, and perhaps even multi-touch with an aluminum frame. it will be much better, so looking over the specs right now isn't really worth it, as it will be much faster a whole year from now. when next summer comes around, check the buyer's guide tab at the top left of this site and see if the macbook will be updated soon. chances are it could be updated right before school starts, that way you can get the latest speed along with a free ipod nano "fatty". sucks you have to wait that long though. i'm probably going to get my macbook pro in january :)
     

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