So how about this situation.....advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by edcoche, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. edcoche macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
    Sorry this is a little longer than I wanted, but please hear me out.....

    I have decided to buy my 1st Mac and I want to go with the Macbook (dont know which color yet.) I am really hoping that I like it. If I get it I would want a bigger HD and more ram. Thing is, if I customize it then I will have no chance at returning it in the event of me not liking it. I have very little experience with macs so I am a little intimidated, but I am also very intrigued about a new interface and a new way of interacting with the machine. I have been using Windows for 15 years and I am quite proficient with it--but bored with them, and wanting something new. I used to build PC's and I know a lot about them that typical windows users do not know. Anyways, so if I buy a mac I would have a lot of learning to do (I'm ok w/ that.)

    So, what I am thinking about doing is buying a non-customized macbook and use it for about a week and see what I think about it (I got 14 days, right?). I really, really want to like it and I think that I will-I know people who have been very happy with their decision to go Mac. That way I can return it if I end up not liking the product (less 10% right?) And If I decide to keep it, then I will manually upgrade the HD and RAM. I'd get 4 GB of ram, and I think a 200gb 7200rpm HD. Is 7200 really a good idea? heat issues?

    How hard is it doing these two tasks? I know the RAM will be easy but is the HD easy to install? I never have built a notebook before. I have read that changing a HD will not void the warranty (this true?) Will apple send Leopard install disks with the purchase of a new macbook? Will switching HD's and reinstalling Leopard be easy? I would imagine so but I am new macs and have no experience with them, a position that I am not used to being in when dealing with computers.

    Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
  2. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I don't have any experience changing the HD on a macbook, so I won't address that.

    RAM will be super easy. Don't worry about that. You also don't want to have Apple upgrade anything for you because they will charge you an arm and a leg for it.

    As for liking the interface, I have no doubt in my mind that you will enjoy certain parts of OS X, and you'll find certain parts different (not bad, but not what you'd expect). Give it some time (a month maybe) and you'll be trying to use Exposé, Dashboard, etc on a Windows machine! :p

    In the end, even if you don't like OS X (very low chance of this; it's really a nice OS), you can always install Windows and forget about the Mac side of your macbook. Or, you can always resell it (macbooks have a fairly high recovery ratio). I really don't think you have much to loose by buying a macbook.

    PS: if you have the money, get a black one :cool:
  3. edcoche thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    The RAM upgrade is very easy, if you've ever installed a memory module in pretty much any kind of computer.

    Unless this somehow changed with the latest design revision to the MacBook, the hard drive is also very easy -- much easier than almost any other notebook computer. It's accessible with removal of minimal components. You need a Torx driver, I think (should cost $5-8 at a hardware store), but that's it.

    You can see for yourself:

    The system comes with install / restore DVDs that let you put on OS X, iLife, and any other software that came with it.

    Typically, it's suggested that, because of the warranty, you hold on to your original drive, and if you're worried, swap it back in before you take it in for repair.
  5. vanmacguy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2007
    Not where you live.
    Mostly you have a good plan.

    Get it, use it and see if you like it. If not, return it. No harm, no foul.

    But this is where my plan deviates from yours.

    If you do like it, I would pay a technician to upgrade the drive. The memory is a no-brainer, do that yourself, but personally, I don't want to responsibility of cracking open and putting back together a brand new $1000+ machine.

    Imagine if you screw it up and crack the case or something? You're stuck with a machine that you can no longer return that cost you a lot of money.

    When I got my first MBP I paid a local shop $100 to put a new drive in and to restore my system. I bought the drive myself. It took them about 3 hours and was totally worth it for my own piece of mind. They backed the drive up, swapped it out and restored on to the new drive. Everything worked exactly as it did before.

    Like you, I've built my own PC's for years, but didn't want to take the job of changing a drive in a new laptop that I'd never worked on before.

    Just one guy's opinion.

  6. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    The HD in a MB is classified as a user replaceable part. The upgrade is fairly trivial. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with your plan, and you should not be hesitant to go for it.
  7. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    For a MacBook Pro, I couldn't agree more. The HDD is not easily accessible and requires removal of a lot of other (complex fitting) pieces.

    But for the MacBook, I wouldn't even consider paying someone to do it. It's like a $10 job at best, and anyone who would respect your hardware while upgrading you is going to charge way more than that.

    Upgrade it yourself, even if you know you're going to keep it.

    P.S. - Do remember that in the off chance you "just don't like it" there is a 10% restocking fee for opened boxes.
  8. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Just out of curosity, why? Esp. since the OP is asking about replacing the hd. I'm actually curious as I am preparing to buy my first macbook(I've had experiences with the black at work but not the white) and am considering a blackbook but I am having trouble spending $200 on the upgrade(since I won't be using the hd it came with)
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Oh just because the Blackbook is better looking :p

    It is one sexy beast. Like I said, if you have the money, spend the extra money and go for it. If you have a tight budget, the mid range macbook is your best bet.
  10. dvd macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2007
    If he is going to upgrade the memory and hard drive anyway, the only benefit of a BlackBook would be the color, he says typing on his BlackBook. :rolleyes:
  11. bitty417 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    I just swapped out the HD on my macbook with a 7200 RPM. Running for ~1 week now with no problems.

    No noticeable increase in heat.
  12. Guy Incognito macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2006
    The HD upgrade on the Macbook is trivial. Get the torx screwdriver and the whole process takes less than 10 minutes.
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Yeah that black is hard to resist. If I hadn't ultimately gone with the mbp, I would have settled for a Blackbook:D
  14. edcoche thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
    Can you feel a vibration or any sensation from the drive spinning so fast?? Any noise differences present? I was thinking about going with Seagate or WD for the HD upgrade.

    Also, thank you all very much for your input! Soon, very soon, I will be ordering a Macbook, leaning towards the black one! :D
  15. bitty417 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    No vibration or acoustic difference whatsoever. The system does appear to be zippier, but I did the upgrade at the same time I went to Leopard. Hard to say if the performance bump is because of the drive, leopard or a clean install.
  16. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    Of course, the white MB with a black CaseMate SuitCase looks quite nice, too...

    For the HD, also consider the Hitachi 7K2 200GB. I put one in my MB, and it subjectively seems to be almost twice the speed of the original (admittedly very full) HD. No noise, no vibration (I think vibration from a hard drive would probably be a bad sign), no difference in heat output.

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