System specs advice for first-time Mac buyer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jd7tull, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. jd7tull macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2008
    Hello everyone, I have finally decided to purchase my first Mac. I've decided to get a 17" MBP, but have a few specific questions that i would very much appreciate your insight on. I have read many of the previous threads to try and avoid repeat inquiries. I will be using the computer mainly for photo-editing using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS3. I will also be using it for movies, minor audio-editing, occasional gaming, everyday applications, and whatever medical school tasks arise. I do not anticipate doing any video-editing, nor do I plan to resell the computer in the future.
    1) How much memory do you advice purchasing (Everyone has recommended buying from Crucial) for the applications i want to use the computer for?
    2) I have read in other threads that a higher capacity 5400 HD actually reads and writes faster than the 7200 HD. Is this true?, and does HD speed matter for the applications i will be using the computer for? What speed do you recommend I purchase?
    3) Several websites have recommended waiting to buy, as there have been no major MBP improvements since 6/2007, do you advise waiting?
    4) Are there any other particular ways to save money when purchasing my mac (in addition to purchasing RAM from Crucial)?
    5) Any other advice for a new mac user?
    Thanks in advance
  2. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Get 4GB's of ram you want the most you can get so 4gb's. There's not too many ways to save money so just enjoy your mac.
  3. Ryanb1281 macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2008
    What about OWC RAM? Aren't they a little cheaper and just as good?
  4. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    As much as you can afford -- 4 GB is best, from a third party supplier. Crucial, Newegg, OWC if you're in the US.
    Dunno. You'll have to wait for someone else to chime in here.
    Wait if you can, buy if you can't. Would having the system now improve your life and meet your computing needs? Or do you need to have top-of-the-line whenever you can?
    You mentioned Med school -- if you're a student, you can save a good deal of money by using your education discount. Look for it in the online store, or take your student ID with you to the brick and mortar store when you go shopping. Alternatively, try looking at the refurbished Macs in the online store -- cheaper, "like-new" quality, better QA procedures. Note that refurb prices and education discounts do NOT stack.
    For a portable, get AppleCare. You can use an Ed discount for this too, even if you buy the computer itself refurbished.
  5. Ryanb1281 macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2008
    The story today is that the new MBPs are only a few weeks away. Apparently they were supposed to debut at Macworld, but were delayed for the MBA. So you should definitely wait.

    Also, I second the comment on AppleCare. I'm using a 4 year old PB G4, got AppleCare for it, and Apple has provided excellent service for me when things have gone wrong, including overnighting repair pieces to me. Now, of course, my AppleCare has expired, but I'll get an iMac as soon as those are refreshed so that shouldn't matter much.
  6. spork183 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2006
    Absolutely on the applecare. My imac G5 crapped out and apple ultimately gave me a brand new imac, 2.5 years in. Make sure you buy it using the educator discount. Pretty good difference in applecare price between ed and retail. You can buy the applecare anytime during the 1 year standard warranty period, you don't have to buy it when you get the computer.

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