Macbook - RAM & headphone output

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Stabbie, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Stabbie macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2007
    I will be buying a Macbook soon, but I'm still having some doubts.

    First of all, all I'm planning to do is some word processing (with Office for Mac), watch a few videos (nothing in HD) and listen to lots and lots of music. These are very simple tasks, so I was wondering if I need 2GB of RAM? It seems I'd be fine with 1GB.

    Also, I'm a bit of an audiophile so music has to sound very crisp and clear through the headphone output. I'm not putting up with anything decent, it has to be as good as it can get. I worry about this, because I've heard of some Dell laptops with low quality headphone outputs. I'd appreciate if an audiophile answers this question. I have a Sennheiser HD595 and a set of Altec Lansing speakers and it has to sound as good as possible.

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. pointycollars macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    I don't know about the basic MacBooks, but the MacBook Pro I just bought a couple weeks ago has amazing audio fidelity through the headphone jack. The bass is very clean, not reverberating like most laptops and small audio devices, and everything is very crisp. My previous computer was a PowerBook g4 (titanium), and I can definitely notice the difference. I'm kind of an audiophile, too. I would assume that Apple uses the same hardware on the MacBook, though I could be wrong.
  3. Stabbie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2007
    Thanks, but never mind that question. I looked it up with google and it seems the sound quality isn't that great, but I found out there is a solution to that using an external soundcard.
  4. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    yeah, absolutely. the sound coming out of the headphone jack is not very good. it's ok, but nothing like what a true audiophile wants. but you're not going to find much better on any laptop. And more RAM always helps. If you're spending a thousand bucks on a computer, might as well spend another 80 and upgrade to 4gb. makes everything speedier.
  5. Regis27 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Out of curiosity, which soundcard did you find was recommended?
  6. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Excuse me, but since when does word processing and listening to music requires 4 GB of RAM?? :confused:
  7. f1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2007
    It doesn't, but RAM is so cheap these days, it just makes sense to get it.
  8. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Since when does it make sense to get something you don't need? Cheap or not (for some countries), its still money that could be (better) spent elsewhere.

    It seems that since SantaRosa updates everyone here has suddenly started feeling an urge to get 4 GB of RAM, even if the most demanding task they ever did on a computer is check e-mail... :rolleyes:
  9. essay2u macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2008
    go with the 4Gb

    Not sure what has angered our Russian friend, but I have the black macbook w/ 1gb of ram and I absolutely cannot wait to upgrade the ram. The lack of video card on this computer is an issue - according to the genius bar, the computer is working harder to keep up with images and such. And after using the 12" Powerbook for many years, I'm sorry to say that it was a great deal I'd buy one of those jammies over in a heartbeat. If you are like me then you are probably listening to music while you use 3 or 4 other applications and that means you need more ram!!!! If I knew then what I know now, I would have gotten the Pro, but I didn't want 15" and I still don't, so I'll work with what I have by UPGRADING THE RAM and then maybe getting a new harddrive. good luck with your purchase.
  10. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    An honest view of the headphones jack from a MacBook? It's much better than most laptops, but nothing exceptional. The Pro is much better, but the MacBook still produces a perfectly good sound with a good sensitive/high quality pair of headphones. Sounds a little shaky at very very low volume levels (first 4/5 notches on the volume scale) but it's okay right up to a notch or two below full volume.

    As for RAM, it'll be fine as long as you don't run loads of background apps at the same time (Mail open all the time, Safari open for long periods of time etc...).

    Otherwise you'll want 2 GB of RAM. The MacBooks can definitely take it should you want to upgrade in the future. Thankfully it's cheap to do so this isn't really something you need to worry about...
  11. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I'm someone who is not particularly fond of Apple's D-to-A converters (whether they are in Airport Expresses, Minis, MacBooks, or iPods).

    For casual listening they are just fine, but when putting on your headphones and getting serious with the music, I prefer the M-Audio Transit USB.

    The downside of using M-Audio products is that they are very slow to update their drivers. It takes several months after the release of an OS to see new drivers from them.

  12. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    If its like the mac mini then it sucks. The Mini's audio is just crap compared to the X-Fi in my PC, muffled, loses it with high notes, bland bass.

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