Macbook purchase questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Peteybiz02, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Peteybiz02 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Hello all, I'm a new member to the forum, I've been lurking for probably a little over a month. I'm just looking for a few quick opinions here.

    Basically, I'm planning on purchasing a Macbook. What I'm wondering is how I should configure it to get the most for my money. Originally I thought I would get the 2.2GHz white model, with 2GB memory and 160GB HD. After lurking here and doing a little research, it seems like if I upgraded the RAM myself it would be cost effective.

    So now, instead of getting it built like that, I thought why don't I get 1GB memory and 250GB HD, and then just upgrade the RAM to 4GB on my own. I looked at the guide and it seems like the RAM upgrade is pretty easy to do yourself.

    I'm by no means a "computer guy", and am even less familiar with Macs, but I'm trying to learn. Just looking for some feedback I guess, I appreciate it! :apple:
  2. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    If you can upgrade the ram yourself, you can upgrade the drive yourself. You need exactly one more screwdriver to install the drive than you do to install the ram.

    4gb of ram can be had for ~$80 on Newegg, and a 250gb for around $110.
  3. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Hiya, it's one awesome computer you're considering for your first Mac. Very solid and a great performer all around.

    Believe me, I am NOT a techy person. I am almost a technophobe. :eek: But even I was successfully able to upgrade my MB's RAM from 1 x512MB to 2x 1GB. It's very simple to upgrade the MB's RAM.

    Supposedly, the same is said for the HDD upgrade. Most folks will say that upgrading the HDD yourself is just as easy as the RAM upgrade, but again, no personal experience on my part for that one.

    Welcome to MR, and hang around-- there's lotsa folks and lotsa good advice to be had here. :)
  4. r76h23h78 macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2008
    I would get the 2.2 with 1GB ram and have the hard drive upgraded to the size you want. I have never changed a HD on the Macbook, but I understand it is user replaceable. Perhaps someone else can comment on how difficult it is to change yourself.

    Upgrading the memory yourself is very easy. The only think you need is a small sized phillips screw driver.
  5. Peteybiz02 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Thanks for the speedy replies!! 3 replies in 7 minutes... I'm going to like this place. :)

    I considered this as well, but as I said I'm not super good with computers. If its as easy as it is with the RAM I'm sure I could do it. And if that was the case I'd be able to build a pretty solid Macbook for a GREAT price.

    By installing a new HD would I have to load the operating system and programs again afterward, correct?

    Thanks again!
  6. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Yes, when you install the new HD you definitely have to reinstall Leopard and everything else. But, look at it this way, if you buy the hard drive and get the ram BEFORE you get your MacBook, the second it comes, just pop in the memory and hard drive and restart with Leopard cds and you will be up and running in no time. Don't even start using it until you get the new drive in, this way you won't have to back up anything or worry about any settings etc...
  7. Peteybiz02 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Yeah that sounds relatively easy. Any recommendations for RAM or a specific HD?
  8. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    The Mac directions include how to change the RAM and HDD. One note -- you need a certain size philips (I think it's size 0) for the memory and a certain hex head (or is it a torx?) screwdriver for the HDD. Make sure you use the right screwdrivers, so you don't strip the screw heads!

    In terms of RAM -- it is absolutely NOT worth buying Apple memory. So make sure you do this yourself. If you have ANY friends who are tech-savvy, they can do this in like 5 minutes. You could as well, but if you are a true technophobe, get a friend to help. Seriously, though, if you follow the directions, you can do it, too.

    On the HDD, the biggest challenge is to get all your stuff back on the new drive. There is a program available with OSX that lets you transfer your old drive data to your new. But, you'll need a case for your old drive. Or, you can just rebuild your new drive with your install disks.

    Having said this, I think the Apple HDD upgrade options are reasonably priced. Yes, they are more than if you did it on your own, but your Mac would come ready to go without the HDD data transfer issues. The one nice thing on doing the HDD upgrade yourself is, you end up with a SECOND DRIVE that you can put into a nice external HDD case, and have a second, back-up drive.

    So, I think you are on the right path, if you don't mind spending a little extra money. Get the MB shipped with the HDD you want, and do the RAM yourself. However, if you want to try it out or have friend who can help, if you upgrade the HDD yourself, you end up with a bonus HDD!

    Good luck and enjoy.
  9. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Go to a place like OWC ( and check out the recommended RAM. They carry quality stuff. Or, checkout Newegg and search for Mac RAM. Read the user reviews and make sure people are saying "works great with no problems."

    For HDD, I think there are two choices: 1) Hitachi 200GB 7200 RPM drive, which is a very fast drive, or 2) a 320GB 5400 RPM, which is just a tiny bit slower (really, it's fine for most everything) buy has a lot more storage. Hitachi and others make the 320GB. Again, check out, then take the model number and comparison shop, though you are likely to find macsales/OWC has good prices.
  10. DCSMAC macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2005
    when you replace the hard drive, do you have to reinstall iLife and stuff? or is that all on the install disk/
  11. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    If you replace the HD yourself, you'll have to use the disks that come with your Mac (one will be marked "OS X" and the other "Everything else" or something to that effect). The two disks will give you OS X (Leopard) and iLife and the Office and iWork trials.
  12. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    If as a previous poster suggested you do NOTHING with your laptop until you swap the drives, then the disks that ship with your system will rebuild everything you have on that old drive.

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