(Yet another) hopeful Mac convert

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by RenegadeZero, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. RenegadeZero macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2007

    Yeah, I'd be another one of those hardcore Windows users that wants to convert to MAC thanks to Apple's viral advertising and genuinely interesting products, I bet you're pretty tired of all of these stories. :p But like any newbie, I need some questions answered by Apple Gurus before I take the leap of faith:

    1. I'm from Australia, and I'm looking at the available MacBook models, and I'm wondering what the difference between a Combo Drive and a Super Drive is. I'm assuming a Super Drive is one that can both read and write, whilst a combo can't write? Can you upgrade from a Combo to a Super?

    2. Money is a fairly tight issue for me, and I don't particularly need the 2.0Ghz model. I was wondering, what is more cheaper, purchasing the 1.8Ghz model (For $1748AU) and upgrade the RAM, HDD and Combodrive (Is that possible?) or buying the 2.0Ghz model ($2099AU)? Is 512MB of RAM enough for someone who browses the web (With a lot of tabs), IMs a lot, listens to a lot of music and runs Photoshop?

    3. Is the RAM and HDD that you can replace from in a MAC a standard IDE/SATA drive, and any RAM that you can buy from stores, or is it a specialised one?

    4. I've realised the keyboard of a MacBook is radically different from other ones in the market. Being a student, I need to type fast (I can type about 3 million words in a minute) and I was wondering how long it takes to adapt to that new style? Is it a difficult keyboard to use?

    5. I've read that MAC has trouble reading NTFS file systems, and I want to back up my songs from my PC into the MacBook, would it do that comfortably, and vice versa?

    Thanks a ton guys! And sorry if I sound whiny, but y'know... such a transition isn't easy! :p
  2. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2006
    First off, MAC = Media Access Control. Mac = Macintosh. :p

    1. A combo drive reads and writes, CDs, reads DVDs. A super drive does all of that along with writing DVDs. You can upgrade in your customization of the Macbook, but not afterwards.

    2. For what you need, the 2.0GHz White Mode with (at least) 1 GB of RAM is great. You could go with the lesser-spec'd model but 512MB of RAM will make Photoshop very slow. Photoshop is a PPC app and must run under Rosetta, which basically eats RAM.

    3. You can upgrade both the RAM and HD in a MB on your own, after you buy.

    4. The keyboard is more of a preference thing, but I love it, and I type fast as well.

    5. I used my iPod (as a hard drive) formatted to Windows to bring over everything I needed to my Mac. It worked fine.
  3. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    The Combo Drive can read DVD's, whilst the SuperDrive can write to them as well. They can both read/write CD's.
    512MB RAM isn't enough for the Photoshop part, but that's the case with Windows as well. Bite the bullet on RAM and get as much as you can, but remember Apple charges a premium. You can get it less expensivelly elsewhere.
    SATA 2.5" laptop drive (Hitachi, I believe), and 667 DDR2 SDRAM. Crucial & Kingston have that by the boatload. No worries.
    You should have little to no problem. It's a standard keyboard, it just looks a little funny.
    The Mac can read from NTFS, but not write to it. You can read/write to & from FAT/FAT32. Windows NTFS can read/write to HFS+ (Apple).
  4. BilltheCat macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2007
    Sanford FL
    3 million words per minute? damn dude. I can get you 75K a yr at that rate! :D

    Another thread shows what is most bought and used in the Apple line up. The iMac and MacBook Pro leads the way. I beleive they both use the same ram, 5300 so-dimm. Memory is cheap just now and can be added third party cheaper than std install.

    I like the keyboard myself altho it is different. Minimalist sort of. I've only had my iMac since December myself so am certainly no expert but I can tell you that the OSX system is vastly superior to windoze.

    OSX is built on a unix base. solid, simple, powerful. It just works. Thats not just a marketing quote.

    Costs are something I dont know about being you are down under, but would it be cheaper if one of us bought for you and shipped? or is that illegal somehow?

    I know we can ship you memory in a package easy enough. I love you guys down there. Back when I was in the military, Australia and New Zealand were very kind to me on TDY visits. Almost the only places on earth who still like US forces.

    yes do make the jump to Apple. It has been very good for me. I will support you any way I can as others have and are helping me! Would be fun to visit and bring a new MacBook pro with me!
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    1). SuperDrive= DVD-R drive
    ComboDrive= CD-R drive/DVD
    Whatever you do, get a Superdrive... They are slightly harder to upgrade later on, and even harder to find.

    2). The HD and RAM are easy self-upgrades, which you can do later on. 512 RAM should be enough for surfing the web, and IMing- but be warned- I had a friend who bought a 20" iMac with 512 MB, and his computer ran like molasses. Yes, everything ran, but when we upped his ram to 2GBs, he was shocked at how fast his computer was. He told me he just thought that Macs were slow like that. On the other hand, he could have had bad RAM.

    3). The HD is the same as any- there is no specific type of Mac HD. Any 2.5" SATA drive will work.
    The RAM is slightly more specialized. There is a bunch of companies that sell "Apple RAM", and mark it up because of it. I believe that any RAM that fits the right specs will work in a mac, but you really have to make sure that you get the right specs. If you're unsure, you can probably get an answer from CanadaRAM (the man is a god when it comes to knowing this stuff)

    4). The only difference between the Mac and PC keyboards is the location of the ALT key and the Command/Windows keys. I really can't tell the difference.

    5). I've never had issues reading an NTFS drive. I can't write to it via Mac, but reading- never had an issue. Another solution is to format your transfer HD to FAT32, which can be read/written to by both Mac and PC.

    Good luck, mate.
  6. RenegadeZero thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2007
    Wow.... if there's one thing I gotta give to Apple, it's that the community behind it bloody rocks, you folks are so nice, even offering to buy it for me and ship it down under (Haha, thanks for the offer mate, but it's fine. :))

    Thanks for the -ton- of help guys, I think I'll set my eyes on the MacBook (Not MAC :p) 2.0Ghz Model, and I'll progress my frustration soon enough. :p
  7. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    if you are a student at a higher education place, such as TAFE or Uni, you can get stuff a bit cheaper from the Apple Edu store. There's also a deal on where if you buy a Mac from the Edu store, you can get $200 off an iPod.

    For RAM, if you live in Melbourne, go to Streetwise. I think a gig stick is going for $130 now, which is much cheaper than it used to be.

Share This Page