Purchasing a mac, need help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PzychOut, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. PzychOut, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    PzychOut macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    Hello fellow mac lovers! I have been using the same black macbook for the last five years and i bought it used off a friend for 700 bucks. a great deal then, and I have absolutely had my moneys worth out of this thing. But it has already froze 3 times just while writing this much.... needless to say, it is time for a new computer. I am a college student who is a Marketing major, I require a computer that can perform video and photo editing but also that is lightweight enough for me to bring to class and work from regularly. I have access to imacs at school for larger projects but I literally live with my laptop by my side. I have four options: buy a refurbished macbook air 13" or macbook pro 15". or buy a new Macbook air 13" or macbook pro 13". I figure go big or go home, which is why i opted away from the 13".

    there are 13" refurbished airs for $1200.
    Refurbished MacBook Air 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
    Originally released July 2011
    13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    256GB flash storage
    Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
    FaceTime camera
    Intel HD Graphics 3000

    there are 15" refurbished pros for $1360:
    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7
    Originally released October 2011
    15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1440-by-900 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    500GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6750M

    NEW 13" Air for $1630:
    2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB Flash Storage

    and NEW 13" pro upgraded Ram for $1400
    2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000

    So I assume that i7 is entirely necessary. and that I should upgrade the ram... but i am paying for this myself and using their payment plan so I am trying to keep the cost down... their interest is crazy!!!

    BTW frozen 13 times so far... -_-

    Ideally I would buy the refurb Air and upgrade the Ram third party style... if i can. I don't really know. so I need help. plus i worry about the Air not being able to handle my editing needs. as well as the possibility of bootcamping it.
    the 13" seems like the best deal, but I really want the Air. maybe i should buy a ipad and a 13" idk. but this is getting expensive and my computer is now up to 15 freezes... so please please please help! again, looking for need first, but PRICE ABSOLUTELY MATTERS. cuz its all outta my pocket. thanks mom and dad :/
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    An i7 is not necessary and does not really perform that much faster to spend 200 USD more.

    Btw, a clean install of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, if that is your current OS, might do wonders with your current setup. A new HDD or SSD will also bring a speed boost, and more RAM can help with the freezing issue.

    Open Activity Monitor and go to the System Memory* tab and look for Page Outs and Swap used and report back.

    MacBook, MacBook Pro: Replacing the Hard Disk Drive, transferring data to the new HDD

    the guide includes:
    • 0. Identify your MacBook or MacBook Pro
    • 1. Getting a new HDD
    • 2. Guides to replace the internal HDD with a newer one
    • 3. Transferring data from the old HDD to the new HDD
    • 4. Using the optical disk drive (ODD) slot for placing an SSD or HDD inside the MB/P (OPTIBAY)

    If it does need to be a new Mac, either go with the i5 variants of the MBAs or MBPs.
  3. PzychOut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    Thanks for responding so quick. It really is time for a new computer, as for my old one, it had a good run! But as for short run operations, i will look into it!

    EDIT>> quick note I edited my first post, and realized that buying a NEW 15" is just not worth it, too much money for it to be upgraded to what i should need.
  4. PzychOut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    I looked up the swap used and page outs: 0 bytes... but the only thing I have been running the last week or two is chrome. so I have no idea if that is good or bad
  5. cra19 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2012
    MacBook Air

    Your ideal solution of a MBA then upgrade RAM isn't possible. I understand the ram is soldered onto the motherboard, and isn't upgradeable.

    I'm in a similar position to you of wanting to upgrade my 2008 Macbook soon, I think the new models have significant advantages over a refurb because of USB 3, and newer and faster graphics processing.

    I'd want my next MBA or MBP to last another 5 years, (and I assume you'd be looking for this too) so USB 3 seems important, and even the MacBook Pro has the advantage of being user-upgradeable with RAM, HD etc. Given the almost exponential increase in file size of digital photos and audio recordings etc lately, the latest technology should help to 'future-proof' your laptop best.
  6. jaguar451 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2002
    Air vs 13" MBP is generally around size/weight vs expandability / performance, although the AIR does come with an SSD, so a MUCH faster "Hard Drive" than the MBP by default.

    Can buy after-market RAM and SSD for the Pro, so cheaper to get 8GB RAM, and have the flexibility on WHEN you get it (can't upgrade RAM on the air.)

    I'd really look into the base 13" base MBP, expand as money is available: RAM, SSD, external monitor for when in your room, external HDD as needed for space, ....
  7. PzychOut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    Can you not 3rd part upgrade the Ram even on an older macbook Air? And yes it as absolutely come down to an Air 13" vs MBP 13" haha.

    So I am looking at a refurb air that is $1200 with 4GB ram, an 1.8 Ghz i7, and 256 G SSD.

    New air for $1630: with 8GB ram, a 2.0 Ghz i7, and 256 G SSD

    New macbook pro for $1400: with 8GB ram, a 2.9 Ghz i7, and 750 GB HardDrive...

    If I am getting the best deal possible i would think the refurb is the way to go, cuz 4GB ram =/= $400. but its also the older model.

    but since I am a tech amateur, please help with these questions.
    So i guess it comes down to three things. is the i7 processor THAT important/better than the i5.
    Does 1.8-2.0-2.9 GHz make a large difference.
    and could I live with 4GB Ram or is 8 needed?

    because I could buy the i5 Air with 8GB Ram...

    in the end, I just want a mobile computer that I can do my editing on. I always dreamed of the Air but maybe its not the right thing for me yet.

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