My First MBP, Advice Wanted on Ext HD, RAM Upgrade & other hardware

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Wills.Details, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Wills.Details macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Whats up everyone. Just bought my first MBP today, got a pretty decent deal on Clist...all seems to be in order so I'm pretty excited.

    I got a mid 2010 15" i5 core with 4gigs RAM and 320GB HD.

    So here are my questions.

    When i bought the computer, the seller recommended that i buy a bluetooth keyboard and mouse (or touch pad) since he said eventually the ones on the computer would wear out, which of course would diminish the value. What are your guy's thoughts on that?

    Secondly, if i were to purchase a new keyboard and touch pad, i know the touch pad is what it is, not any options there, but what keyboard would you recommend? I'm tight on cash (thus the reason i bought USED), but want to keep my MBP as new as possible...

    Third of all, i deal with pictures, videos and music (recording) a lot. I know i'm going to need an external HD because my pics and vids alone would eat up plenty of my 320 GB's. Thing is, I've heard many a horror stories about certain external HD's crashing. I learned the hard way if something on a computer doesn't exist in at least 2 places, it doesn't exist at all. So I'm considering getting two 500GB (or 1 tb if the price is right) external HD's to keep all my photos and videos for work and just double back-up everything...again, $ is tight so any reasonably priced but reliable external HD's you guys could recommend would be appreciated.

    Lastly, should i get the 8 Gig upgrade? I'm not a gamer, so that isn't a big thing for me, but the seller again said if ihad 8 gigs this thing would be insanely fast and would be less taxing on the processor.

    If you guys have any other info that you'd like to throw my way that you think i should know, feel free...but hope i can get some help with getting those initial questions answered.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    He's full of hot air.

    All platter-based hard drives are the same in terms of reliability. Go on newegg and buy the one with the best warranty for your budget and size requirements.

    RAM isn't going to make a huge difference.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The Apple Wireless Keyboard is the best keyboard I've ever used.

    Any HD can crash, but that happens only in a very small percentage of cases. I've been very pleased with both of these models in various capacities, from Other World Computing (OWC):

    OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro..........................OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro™
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If your normal workload can be handled with 4GB with no page outs, then upgrading to 8GB will provide no increase in performance at all. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

    Helpful Information for Any Mac User
    Portables Fast Start: The New User's Guide to Apple Notebooks
  4. Wills.Details thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Wow, you're fast lol

    I have read about quite a few people's Touch Pads going bad on the MBP, this shouldn't be a concern for me?

    If all external HDs are the same, what benefits would i see and should i consider when purchasing one. I'm not a genius at this but, I'm assuming different priced ones mean different features some way or another correct?
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  6. Wills.Details thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2012

    Mind me asking why you love that keyboard so much? Do you think it would be worth purchasing for a MBP or would it be pointless? I do do a lot of typing for articles i write and of course the touch pad will get lots of use, but if you think it will hold up (its not like I'm rough with it, its just a lot of use), then id rather spend my money elsewhere...

    Thank you for the HD recommendations. Do you think getting two HD's to have a double back up would be wise or overkill??

    Also thanks for the activity monitor info. Right now it shows 0 page outs, but I'm not using anything heavy duty at the moment, so ill check it out again when I'm working with pics or videos :)

    Lastly, thanks a ton to the links to the tutorial videos, thats exactly what i need. I've already figured out a few quick tricks the mac offers that the PC's I've had didn't...which honestly just makes me want to know more of what short cuts are available :)
  7. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Are you looking for a Mac specific keyboard? There are keyboards out there that are much better than the Apple keyboard for around the same price.
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I use one with my MBP, and I like it because it's compact, comfortable and has great battery life.
    Getting two is not required, but it's not overkill. Redundant backups is a good thing. I keep redundant backup drives in different locations.
  9. starney macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2006
    the apple's own wireless keyboard is very nice choice. the ram upgrading is really tricky(depends on how you use MBP), according to wot you said , RAM upgrading will worth it, but don't expect big diff in performance. HD is another thing you need to think about, my suggestion is upgrade to SSD buy a external HD enclosure got RAID function. the PRO is duplicate your stored data to two separate disks. The CON is RAID enclosure it heavy you cannt take it to anywhere with your MBP.
  10. user418 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2010
    I agree with GGJ on the OWC On-The-Go-Pro enclosures. I own three that I use for TM backups and regular cloning of my HD's. They are sturdy, compact, and the multiple interfaces provide options when transferring data.

    The Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad work great for my situation. I hadn't touched the keyboard of my MBP in months. I am a minimalist and the keyboard fits that bill. I don't miss the numeric keypad and switching between the iMac and MBP on my desk is effortless. My MBP sits atop a Rain mStand because it provides the optimum viewing angle for my usage and a handy space underneath for my TM backup drive in the OWC enclosure. Therefore, the AWK and MT work perfectly for me.

    As far as hard drives I have Toshiba, WD, and Seagate. I pretty much stick with WD and Seagate models as I've had good success with both, but at stated by others and HD can fail. That issue is a matter of personal choice.

    Attached Files:

  11. Wills.Details thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Doesn't have to be a mac keyboard but id like small and easy to move out of the way if i need to when not using it. Ive seen those roll up keyboards, not sure if those are any good lol...just thought they were interesting, dunno if id get one or not, but would be nice for storage since space is minimal for me

    Good points on both the HD and keyboard. I'm kinda leaning towards the rather safe than sorry side lol. Just wanna have double back ups the most cost effective, efficient and clutter less way i can ...

    SSD is the HD with no moving parts correct? Not familiar with RAID though...?

    Does the MBP of my year (mid 2010 i5) have 400 or 800 FW, and is it 2.0 or 3.0 usb?

    I feel you on being a minimalist, i like things to be neat and clean but effective and easy to use.

    I guess i'll just have to try a couple HD's out and see how they work for me :)
  12. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
  13. starney macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2006
    That is correct, SSD is indeed the HD using flash memory as physical data storage rather than the regular HD with magnetic disc. For RAID support external storage info pls find the following links useful
    1. RAID Wiki
    2. External RAID Storage

    My suggestion is RAID external storage normally is expensive, but the 2-drive RAID is enough for personal use and the price is reasonable.
  14. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Those roll up keyboards look cool but they're awful to type on. All mushy and the keys press to one side. Any laptop's built in keyboard is better.

    If you're looking for small and compact the Apple keyboard is probably the best choice. Some Windows keyboard provide more key travel and a much more ergonomic design, but nearly all of them integrate a 10-key 'pad so they're larger than the Apple kb.

    Try using just the Mac's keyboard for now and see if you're okay with it, there's a large chance that you won't need the external kb. The only time I use my Razer keyboard is when I'm gaming (because the frame between the keys gets too hot for my liking).

    If you have a 15" Pro, then you have USB 2.0 and FW400/800 (single port).
  15. Benbikeman macrumors 6502a


    May 17, 2011
    London, England
    My thoughts on that are that he's sold you a machine with intermittently faulty keyboard/trackpad and he hopes that if you follow his advice you won't find out until he's long gone.
  16. Wills.Details thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Thank you for the links. I'll give them a look over for sure :)

    Sounds good to me. I like the FEEL of the MBP keyboard, i hate mushy keys or soft keys of any kind...hell if there was a way they could integrate the old type writer keys into a laptop id love it lol...i like to FEEL the keys and be able to FEEL when they've been pressed...if that makes sense. So yeah i think i'll just use this one for now and see how it goes...working fine so far :)

    Also thanks for the USB/FW info. So then my MBP will support a 400 or 800 FW connection, correct?

    I wondered that but, so far...everything is working fine. Pad is fine, keyboard is fine...only thing being stupid is the charger. It worked correctly for 15 minutes, then shut off. SO i did the Control/Option/Command/Power button press when the machine was worked the first time..charger started working as it should again.

    Well, here i am two days later, plug it in for the 3rd use of the charger, 15 min it it shut off again...this time the method listed above didn't work i dunno whats up w/it...gotta find a solution though

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