What should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by davidhall, May 16, 2007.

  1. davidhall macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2007

    I've been thinking about switching to a mac from my 4 year old desktop PC for a while and have just about saved up enough pennies to afford it (hurrah!). A few questions before I take the plunge though.

    1. I'm a student in the UK and need a fair bit of portability, so looking at either the MB or MBP. I want something that will handle photoshop easily and quickly... am I right in thinking that the graphics card on the MB will be fine for this (despite, it seems, being the subject of much mockery)? Would an extra 2 gigs of RAM help?
    2. Being used to a big (albeit ancient) CRT monitor, will it drive me crazy using a 13" screen on the MB? In fact, this was the main reason that I was considering the MBP over the MB. Bearing in mind the huge price difference between the two, would it make more sense to get a screen like this http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sn...y_id=6198&cs=ukdhs1&first=true&l=en&sku=88221 to go with a MB instead? Any other recommendations for suitable screens other than the seemingly pretty expensive cinema displays.
    3. If I buy now, will it be easy enough to upgrade to Leopard without having to reformat etc (as has been my past experience with PCs)?
    4. .mac account - do I need it, and why?
    5. Anything else I should know?

    Thanks for any help... I'm sure the answers to all these questions are hidden somewhere in the site, but procrastinating over which mac to buy is taking precious time away from exam revision!
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Definitely wait 26 days for WWDC (a conference where things are often released/upgraded) before making your decision.

    As a student, you can go here for a discount

    The Macbook's graphics card will not hinder photoshop, and extra RAM is a nice bonus, but the given 1GB is comfortable.

    You could upgrade to Leopard with what is called an Archive and Install, keeping your documents etc., but it is recommended to do a fresh install

    You don't need a .mac account...hopefully they will upgrade it at WWDC, but its only really great feature is syncing two macs if you have them (which you obviously don't). It also has a nice interface for other things found free on the internet (a small amount of backup space, and an online e-mail client). You can also put up a simple iWeb website with it, but its really not worth it just for that.

    It does take a bit of getting used to, but you will definitely find that Mac OSX uses screen real estate much better than Windows, so a 13.3" screen isn't too bad. As you said, an external monitor is great. I would shell out the $5 for menufela, and put your dock on autohide, to give even more space.
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    1. Should not be too much of a problem.

    2. I don't find it an issue, but a second screen couldn't hurt.

    3. Easy to upgrade, no reformating.

    4. Don't need it. Waste of money at the moment. Even Steve Jobs things so.

    5. Prices have just dropped in the UK.
  4. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2007
    Wait until the MacBook Pros get updated. When Leopard is released and you bought it, you could choose to Upgrade to Leopard from the Leopard Install Disc without losing data. The other choices are Erase and Install and Archive and Install. Here is some information. Note: The information is on Tiger but it could be used for Leopard too.
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    Hi David-
    Yes- running CS3 on a MB is fine, just make sure to have at least 2gigs of RAM. The video card is important for gaming, 3-D imaging, and video.

    That Dell screen is OK. I would go with either the 20"-widescreen ultra sharp, or the 24" ultra sharp (if it's within your budget).

    Upgrading to Leopard should be no issue whatsoever. You will spend a total of 15 minutes doing it, and everything will work as before.

    If you have e-mail from somewhere else, and are not interested in IMing someone with another .mac account (or if you have an AOL account), then no, you really don't need .mac.

    Now go study.

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