Point / Counterpoint: New MBP w/ Bigger HD or Get Ext HD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by psykon99, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. psykon99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    #1
    As I've posted before, I'm considering a new laptop purchase. I'm pretty sure at this point I've settled on a MBP. But I've yet to decide which one.

    Having been a PC guy for years, I'm accustomed to paying MUCH less for comparable system specs. While the quality is there with the Mac, which is what I'm after, I'm paying substantially more for the same specs. While I have and can spend the money to get a MBP equipped to my highest ideal specs (4GB RAM, 500GB HD), I struggle to come to terms with the idea of dropping $1,500 on a computer when I could easily get those specs in a sub $1,000 PC laptop or even a nice PC laptop at $1,000.

    That being said, I want a computer that's going to last, is high quality, and quite honestly, a Mac so I'm in the over $1,000 category. So now I'm asking myself whether I NEED to have 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, or if it's a nice to have and can make due with less.

    Since I'm spending so much, I would like to use this machine for several years instead of the usual 2 to 3 I seem to get out of a machine (my HP is on its way out after 2). When thinking long term, I start to consider going all out on specs so as not to get outdated. But then I'm up at $1,500 again. Is it better to settle for less now, and go with an external hard drive later and upgrade RAM later or get a bigger internal drive now?

    I will mainly use the laptop for music and videos (about 25 to 30GB now) and pictures (a LOT of space used on this one). I keep a lot of RAW files for photography. They eat up drive space. Generally, though, I plan to archive the RAW files and keep hi res jpgs for viewing in iPhoto. So theoretically I could get by just fine with an external drive for images and music.

    The other questions is would that be an advantage? Does a smaller drive equal a faster computer? Less eaten up space. yes I would backup anyway, but off computer files for music and movies and images means I don't lose them all if my computer crashes.

    I dunno. Thoughts? If its advantageous to go with less, or I could make due, I could save cash and get a basic MBP and upgrade specs later. Thoughts?
     
  2. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    #2
    Oh, and the other thing about saving money on the laptop if i can make do with less is that leaves me money to consider an iPad purchase if I so desire. :D
     
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #3
    Honestly it sounds like a really nice PC would be a better choice for you.
    Spend $1000 now and $1000 3 years from now.

    But, if you are really sold on a MPB -- you are aware of the impending update to the MBP line, correct? My advice: just wait. Another little bit isnt going to kill you and you stand to get much more for your dollar.

    Upgrading ram and drives at a later date has always been a good idea.

    For example, 500 gig, 7200 RPM, 2.5" Hitachi drives were on sale at Frys for $65 last week. $90 cheaper than apple wants. Then you pull the drive from your MBP, drop it in a firewire case (bus powered) and you now have 500+ gigs at your disposal.
     
  4. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    #4
    I've definitely considered a PC again, but the drawbacks are (1) I feel that the Macs are more solid (2) I believe their more efficient in terms of OS and application management, security, defragmentations, etc (3) I really want the included s/w with the Macs: iPhoto, Garage Band, etc.

    I'm not totally sold on MBP and would be open to a convincing argument for the White Macbook. It already has a 250GB HD which I know for a fact I can live with. It sounds like it will accept an 8GB RAM upgrade too from reading around the forums. That was a concern. I know I'll miss a built in SD card slot though but I'd save tons of cash for sure. I like the aluminum and the backlit keyboard, but I've never had these anyway so I'm sure I could live without just fine. I just don't like white. Gets dirty too easy. If I bought the White Macbook I'd get a shell case for it almost immediately.

    I would like to ask about the hard drive upgrades. How tough is that? I don't shy away from hardware work. I'm a service manager for cell phones and have done plenty of my own pc upgrades before. Is it tough on a MacbooK/Pro? Also, will it void my warranty?

    I kind of think I could be over thinking it as well. Right now my primary computer (since my HP laptop is worthless at this point) is my Toshiba netbook. For a netbook its great but its a little slow and screen real estate is lacking. I love the battery life thought. But I'm making due and I do run iTunes and Adobe Lightroom on it. It only has 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive - so do I need more space? Granted most of my RAW files are still sitting on the HP, but I always meant to move them off the drive anyway.

    Ei yei yei!
     
  5. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    #5
    And to make matters worse and more confusing, now I really AM considering the White Macbook since Micro Center has it for $800 and I just realized I'm driving past there TOMORROW on my way back from Indiana.

    $800 is quite a value and could make me forget about things like aluminum, backlit keyboards, huge hard drives, and SD card slots (heck I use compact flash just as often).

    Hmmm
     
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #6
  7. cjlee07 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    #7
    Update the ram and HD yourself and save a TON of $$. Apple kinda rips you off in that dept. Plus, when you get the new HD, you can use the old one as an external, just remember to buy an enclosure. Thats what I did.
     
  8. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 6, 2009
    #8
  9. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    #9
    Will I void the warranty if I upgrade the hard drive and ram myself?
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    No, but if there are any issues that arise due to the thirty-party HDD and RAM, you'll be sure to put the originals back in or Apple won't even fix your computer.
     

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