Switching to Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ChazB, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. ChazB macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    I need some advice on buying my first Mac. I'm a more than competent PC professional, but I've little exposure to Macs. On the advice of my company's CTO who is a "Mac guy" I'm looking at a new or refurbed February 2011 MacBook Pro 13" 2.7GHz dual core i7 base model. I'm going to upgrade the RAM and HDD myself to 8GB and a 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD.


    1) Will this configuration last me at least 2 years without much of a hit to performance?
    2) Am I better off waiting to see if there is a MacBook refresh at the end of the month when they are supposedly refreshing the MB Airs?
    3) Should I just get a refreshed MBA at the end of the month if they don't refresh the MB?
    4) Should I wait for Lion to release before buying?
    5) What are my realistic gaming (Steam) expectations for performance (I'm a casual gamer)?
    6) Does anyone have first-hand experience with and thoughts on the OWC Data Doubler?
    7) Running Windows 7 on it; what are my options for running both OS X and Win7 other than Boot Camp?

    Thanks all in advance.
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I just recently made the switch too and havent looked back. I opted for the high end 15" however due to the high-res screen which I think is much worth it.

    TO answer your ?s.

    1. Yes.
    2. The MBPs just refreshed in Feb. 2011 so there wont be another this year.
    3. #2 answers this unless you want the new MBA next month
    4. Only if you want, you will get Lion for free even if you order now.
    5. I game very rarely, so I cant answer this. But its been good enough for me.
    6. The DataDouble is good, there are other options like the MAXCONNECT in my sig I highly recommend it.
    7. Bootcamp, VM Fusion and Parallels, I use Parallels and love it.

  3. ChazB thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Thanks for the quick reply. Question about one of your answers though.

    Do you know if they ship to Canada for a reasonable price? I can't find any shipping information on their site. They are a cheaper solution though.
  4. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    1. Graphic processor is a little weak, apart from that it'll last.
    2. Airs have lower processing power. Unless you want portability, you're better off with Macbook Pro.
    3. See #2
    4. If you buy Mac now you'll get Lion for free, no point in waiting.
    5. See #1
  5. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Yes they ship to Canada, available upon checkout. I recommend the Kit with the USB Enclosure for the DVD Rom its $89 total.

  6. ChazB thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
  7. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    I haven't used the Data Doubler, but I tried a different Optical drive bay enclosure.
    Are you REALLY sure you need to add a second drive?
    The install seems simple but it's pretty invasive. It's very easy to knock connectors loose. Certainly not insurmountable, but maybe not worth the effort if you don't really need the extra space. I guess I'm trying to say don't climb the mountain just because it's there...

    I tried adding a second Intel SSD in the opti-bay and setting up a RAID 0 stripe set. I pretty quickly realized that I couldn't perceive any difference in speed between a single SSD and the stripe set. I decided to put the super-drive back in, although I could have just broken the stripe set and kept the second SSD as a separate volume. I find that I'm not really hurting for storage even with a smallish SSD of 160GB; I still have 89GB free. YMMV...
  8. ChazB thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Thanks for the advice! I wouldn't even attempt it if I wasn't comfortable doing it. I'm not a Mac expert, but I've been tearing down PC notebooks for close to 10 years now; so I'm used to the pitfalls that go with that.

    On the storage side; I'm not putting in a second SSD; I'm going to use the SSD as my primary and use a 750GB SATA II HDD for storage. I have a TON of music and such that I'll be loading on there as it's going to be my main computer for syncing my iPhone and iPad and for all of my work documents.

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