New Macbook Pro Guide - What to do when you get your new MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by demonsavatar, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. demonsavatar macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    This is what I've gleaned from a few forums:

    (0) Check for manufacturing defects - thanks to TheCakeIsALie - copied almost exactly from him but updated for 2010 unibodies
    • Check the exterior finish for dents/imperfections/scratches
    • Open up the screen and check the keyboard, make sure it is not crooked (especially the top row)
    • Check the battery indicator light on the left side
    • Check the glass cover on the screen for scratches/dents/imperfections
    • Turn it on and check Airport Extreme by connecting to the Internet
    • Check for dead pixels using this link here and/or here
    • Check the trackpad clicks/gestures (listed on this page), as well as backlit keyboard
    • Check the internal temperatures using iStat Pro - my i5 2.4Ghz idles at <50C
    • Try switching GPUs and check internal temperatures using gfxCardStatus - my GT330m GPU idles <45C
    • Insert the OS X recovery disc into the SuperDrive and check the disc.
    • Insert a music CD into the SuperDrive and check for sound quality (any hissing or pops)
    • Put the MBP to sleep, check the sleep indicator light and whether there are any complications (eg. laptop remains hot)
    (1) Optional: For most people it's not worth it but if you want to reclaim some space, you can reinstall OSX without extra languages or printer drivers. This is especially useful for SSD owners with little space to spare. You can use the recovery DVDs provided with your computer to do this. If you don't want to reinstall the whole OS, Monolingual is a piece of software that may also work. Note: Monolingual removed ~1.8GB of Language files from a factory installed copy of OSX 10.6 (I kept English and Spanish). WARNING: Monolingual has been reported to corrupt installations of OSX under certain circumstances.

    (2) Calibrate battery (summarized instructions from Apple's page)
    1. Fully charge battery (ideally while not using the computer)
    2. Leave plugged in and fully charged for ~2 hours (can use computer during this time)
    3. Unplug from power and use computer until battery life is low enough that it goes to sleep automatically
    4. Leave in sleep state for 5+ hours (basically until it dies completely)
    5. Fully charge battery again
    (3) Install some vital apps, you can do this while running down your battery for the calibration procedure - thanks to vbman213 and Corndog5595
    • gfxCardStatus (15" and 17" models only) - explicit control over integrated and discrete graphics - Really useful since auto-switching doesn't always make the right choice (especially if you are going on battery power)
    • Stuffit Expander - extracts compressed files
    • Media player of choice (VLC Player for me)
    • IM program of choice (Adium for me)
    • Browser of choice (you can stick with Safari or choose between Chrome, Firefox, Opera)
    • Office suite of choice (iWork, NeoOffice,, MS Office for Mac)
    (4) Optional: Install some performance monitoring apps (for the ones that care - may make you OCD though :p)
    • CoconutBattery - monitors battery usage/cycles - NOTE: don't freak out if your new battery shows <100% capacity, it varies quite a bit until you do a few battery loadcycles
    • MenuMeters - shows performance statistics in your top menubar
    • smcFanControl - fan speed control
    (5) Calibrate your display with the directions here - thanks to Xirurg over at

    (6) Optional: Install some specialty apps
    • Onyx - settings tweaker for OSX - thanks to TrojanX
    • BetterTouchTool - allows window snapping (similar to Windows 7), customized trackpad and magic mouse gestures, and MUCH more
    • Handbrake - video transcoder - thanks to Corndog5595
    • Xslimmer - reduces the size of OSX binaries, good for people with little space, i.e. SSD owners - thanks to Tex-Twil - NOTE: cleared about 1GB from a factory install of OSX 10.6
    • CleanMyMac - all in one utility that reduces the size of OSX binaries, removes extra language files, clears caches and more, doesn't slim OSX binaries as much as Xslimmer but has other features - thanks to EzhnoWolf
    (7) Optional: Widgets! Find them here. Some useful ones:
    • Weather Channel - weather information
    • iStat Nano or iStat Pro - widget that shows performance/statistics for your computer
    (8) Optional: Buy Applecare within one year of buying your laptop if you don't have it already. It adds two years to the warranty of your laptop. If you are planning on keeping your laptop for three years it is generally recommended, and even if you sell it before then, it moves with the laptop, so it is a great selling point. NOTE: It is MUCH cheaper to buy Applecare off eBay than directly from Apple, you can get over 50% off. However, don't do this unless you are experienced with eBay.

    (9) Optional: Insure your laptop. Applecare is great for manufacturing defects and if the thing just craps out on you, but it doesn't cover accidents (spills, drops, etc.) or theft. A personal articles policy from a reputable insurance company can insure your laptop against accidents and theft for a good price. For example, I have a State Farm personal articles policy for the full purchase price of my MBP ($1834) for $45/year with $0 deductible. If you simply choose to use your home owner's/renter's insurance, beware that it usually carries a $500 deductible, doesn't cover accidents, and will raise your insurance costs for years if a claim is made.

    (10) Optional: Register your computer with Apple at After looking into it, there is no real benefit for registering unless you bought Applecare separately. Then you should register your Applecare. The only benefit it used to give was the ability to look up your serial number if your computer was stolen, but you cannot do that anymore. You should write down your serial number somewhere or keep your box with the serial number on it.

    Anything I miss?
  2. demonsavatar thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Tips & Tricks

    • Fine-grained Brightness control: Normally the brightness buttons (F1 and F2) adjust brightness one block at a time. Use Option+Shift+Brightness buttons to control brightness more finely.
  3. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
    This is not necessary. It might save a bit space but I would just enjoy the 1st usage of a mac if I was you instead of reinstalling the OS.

    The calibration is not dependent on the OS as you said.

    You can also do the 3) and 2) in the same time ;)
  4. demonsavatar thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    I will be installing an SSD so I might as well re-install OSX anyway. Plus the space may come in handy with only 80GB to play with.

    Ah thanks for the tip.
  5. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
    In that case it"s worth it of course :) You might also want to remove unwanted languages from any app you install using Xslimmer.
  6. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
  7. demonsavatar thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Thanks, added XSlimmer and Handbrake under specialty apps, since they aren't really something most people need.

    Also mentioned using Monolingual instead of reinstalling the entire OS to recover space used by language files.
  8. TrojanX macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2010
    Houston, Tx
    Also, a nice app to keep your mac running smooth and crisp(although OSX will stay smooth and crisp without much maintenance but, if you like me you just can't help OCD-ing about your system's hygiene after the initial switch from Windows) is Onyx!
  9. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    NeoOffice/OpenOffice as a good free MS office alternative.

    OWC/ for upgrading hardware.
  10. demonsavatar thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Thanks guys, added Onyx and "Office suite of choice" to the apps list.
  11. demonsavatar thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Sorry about double post. I get my macbook tomorrow (according to Fedex tracking), wanted to make sure I am doing everything right.

    Also added link to Apple's widget page...forgot about widgets entirely! There are some quite useful ones, like the weather widget. iStat nano is also on the Top 50 list.
  12. Khryz macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2007
    What are the chances of me getting a bad high-res display?

    Like yellow spots? Bleeding? Needing to calibrate? Didn't have to calibrate my current MB.

  13. TrojanX macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2010
    Houston, Tx
    prob like 2% but if you do just take it to apple and they will fix it for you or get you a new one!
  14. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    tell me about this onyx
  15. djcyph macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2010
    my MBP 15" hi-res glossy just came today to my job..i havent turned it on yet just been charging...about to leave and go home to turn on for first this yellow tinge/spots hard to spot or is it very noticable?

  16. senorchang macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Just wondering here, is there any added benefit of registering your MBP?
  17. Mac7 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2009
  18. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    wow, haha. i didn't do anything like this. i feel like a shmuck. i just opened the box, turned on the power and went about my business, haha.
  19. Pillar macrumors 6502


    May 25, 2010
  20. demonsavatar thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Thanks, hope it does. Not sure who is in charge of that though.

    Apparently not, unless you bought Applecare separately. I updated the post ot reflect this.

    Thanks, hope other people find it useful also.
  21. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Not going to happen.

    But nice anyway. And from a noob too? :confused: Very informative :D
  22. EzhnoWolf macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    CleanMyMac by MacPaw is also great for those who are anal about keeping the HDD clean of clutter.
  23. demonsavatar thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Thanks. Long-time reader, just started posting a few weeks ago. Semi-noob is the term I believe :p

    I checked it out. Wasn't as thorough about cleaning up binaries as XSlimmer, but it does a lot of different stuff too.
  24. M77 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2010
    Regarding yellow hue, how does one even accurately check for that? From what I've seen, it's entirely subjective to the point of questioning whether or not it's just in your head. So how do you actually definitively do it?

    For example, some have said it's a calibration issue. But how do you calibrate for just one portion of the screen if that's the section it supposedly appears in? Others have said it's a normal thing for every TN panel so it's just something to live with. Is it? Some who are satisfied with their displays say their screens look perfect, with no yellow to speak of. But if it's a normal thing, why do they say there is no yellow?

    And the tests that have been developed for this (grey bar, etc) seem only to add to the confusion, not to mention the collective perfectionist mindset -- making people question those results even further, asking others if they see it, adding to the confusion of whether or not the darn thing really has it to begin with since it's subjective once again. There may be some obvious cases out there but not all of them are if some can see it while others can't.

    So how do you really do it, without question?
  25. madsno macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2010
    There's a small utility called "PiXel Check" v1.2 (2) by Michael Simmons (Mayhem!) that assists you in visually inspecting your LCD flat-panel display for bad or "dead" piXels. It's available here

    Hope this helps

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