Where's the best place to buy a mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by alligator22, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. alligator22 macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2006
    I'm definitely switching to macs this year. I want a 20" imac and my wife wants a macbook. There is a Mac store near us as well as compusa. I've seen some things on MacMall but I'm not sure where to get the best deal. I also want to upgrade the ram in both machines and don't want to get taken by the mac store. Are there good sites for deals on mac ram? Also, how hard is it to install ram on these two machines? I've done it on PCs but never on a mac. Thanks for any help you guys can give us.
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I would recommend Amazon with their rebates if you're going with a stock configuration available there. Otherwise you'll have to go with the Apple store for a custom-configured model.

    Third-party RAM is the way to go and it's very easy to install in both machines. A lot of people here recommend OWC and DMS for their RAM purchases...terrific companies that know Macs and stand behind their products.
  3. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    i like buying from the Apple store because i get instant satisfaction. usually CompUSA doesn't have better prices (and i've even seen them tag on $0.99 to the sale - like an iMac for $999.99 instead of just $999 - not that this is a big deal but i'm just saying).

    Amazon.com usually has good deals on computers. check the front page of MR for the "Lowest Price" listings.

    i got my MBP's RAM from OWC but newegg.com and crucial.com are good, too.

    it is quite simple to add RAM. there are many threads on this forum about adding RAM, so search for those. the user's manual that comes on your computer will have instructions, too.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I buy from Apple during their rebate deals for education. Otherwise I agree with Amazon. Save some money on the stock models by not paying sales tax.
  5. Bibulous macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2005
    There are some resellers that have commonly upgraded systems for sale. B&H Photo is one, there may be others.
  6. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    I'd recommend Apple or Amazon. I haven't tried any other place, and I'm slightly afraid to.
  7. alligator22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2006

    Thanks for responding so fast guys. That's a good tip about amazon. I want a bigger hard drive than the stock model, though. I'll keep researching.
  8. rxl125 macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2006
    Don't buy from apple... Very shakey return policy even on many dead pixels.... Go with a place that has an established protective return policy.
  9. budaapple macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2004
    ram swap on Imac

    To add ram on the Imac remove it from the packaging and use the included foam to place the Imac screen side down on. Turn the Imac so the base is facing you and remove the screws on the bottom. Carefully lift the back off starting from the bottom and lifting up being careful not to snap off the little tabs on the top of the back. You will see the ram bay and carefullt place ram in slot and the put the back on top (tabs first) and then resecure screws. I am not sure on the Macbook but I am sure it is just as simple.
    Good Luck!
  10. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    I've only bought from the Apple Store, because of my education discount. Usually better than even Amazon's rebates, or at least very similar.

    As far as Macbook RAM, there's guides aplenty, but basically you remove the battery, undo three retained screws (so no chance of losing them), and flip a little lever. Hardest part for me was that you have to push the RAM in really hard when you put it back in, and not only did it hurt my fingers a bit, I was afraid I was going to damage something. In the end though, quite easy.

  11. Play Ultimate macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    To compare deals etc. checks out macprices.com
  12. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    Amazon, especially if you don't have the education discount. But in some situations, like with the 24'' iMac, amazon is actually cheaper than buying from Apple with the education discount and sales tax (for my state, 6%). The problem, though, is that you can't do a BTO.

    This is not so much a problem on 20'' iMac, because you don't have a graphics card to worry about. But the memory in the iMacs come as 2x512MB, and you won't use either of them if you upgrade to 2GB. Apple offers the 2x1GB for $175, which is a slight premium, but reasonable. It's nice to have Apple ram in the event of a problem, so Applecare won't waste your time by trying to blame everything on your ram. Finally, if you want a wireless Apple keyboard and mighty mouse, it's cheaper if you order through Apple can get it as an upgrade.
  13. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    correct me if i'm wrong but right now 2x1GB from OWC is $270 plus shipping while Apple is charging $175 before any discount. Even MacMall is charging $250+ for 2GB including installation. Sure if you buy it you can sell the 2x512s that you take out, but it just doesn't seem worth it. At the student discount, it is $158 to upgrade to 2GB.
  14. ipoddin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I've been thinking about this as well. For a 24" imac you can upgrade to 2gb RAM for $175 when ordering from Apple. Can you get 2gb of RAM for the iMac any cheaper someplace else? And is it as good as the RAM from Apple?
  15. alligator22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2006
    Thanks people! I ended up ordering from the Mac store. The upgrade in ram was cheaper there. My wife ended up surprising me with the 24" instead of the 20. She's a keeper.

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