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Getting new Apple notebook - configuration?

Sonny Gill
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Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Hi guys,

I am going to get my first Mac notebook..and trying to choose a configuration. Objective facts and subjective opinion are both welcome

1. MacBook Pro or MacBook - The size and weight of MacBook is appealing, but the 2GB RAM limit is a bummer. I will most likely be running windows on a VM, and the more RAM I can get the better. MBP support for 4GB RAM sounds very good. (Wish the rumoured sub notebooks were out already)

2. Glossy vs. Matte display - which is better? I am going to use it primarily for coding.

3. HD speed - 4200rpm vs. 5400rpm vs. 7200rpm? I am guessing the faster the speed, the hotter the notebook will get.

4. And finally the big one - I am considering buying non-apple RAM to upgrade from 2GB to 4GB (or 1GB to 2GB for MB). Will I be safe doing that? Can I get the notebook with 2GB RAM in a single slot, leaving the other one empty?

Any help from the old hands at Mac(Bert, Bear, are you around?? ) is really appreciated.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61769
    
  67

I love my MacBook Pro. If you're going to run Windows in a VM, you'll probably appreciate the extra power and memory capacity.

I have matte, I've heard glossy is pretty, but can have glare issues. Don't know first-hand.

Faster is better. It's gonna get hot anyways.

My company bought this machine so it just got all the memory pre-installed. I've had no problems putting extra RAM from Crucial into my iBook though. But I don't have personal experience adding memory to the MacBook Pro.


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Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Thanks Bear.

Just checked out Crucial. Looks good, a lot cheaper than Apple RAM, and they have a pretty helpful wizard like screen to find the right RAM for your MBP.

I guess I will go with the fastest hard disk.

Now, I just need to find out if it is possible to get Apple to ship a MBP with 2GB RAM in a single slot!
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5
The only difference of opinion I have is concerning the speed of the hard drive...AFAIK the 7200s aren't as big as the 5400s. The reason I thought about the 7200 was for video editing, and the Apple rep talked me out of it because the video editing software is SO big that whith the smaller drive (faster yes, but smaller too), there wouldn't be much disk space left for the actual video files.

Also, I think the glossy is TOO suseptible(?) to glare - it's great when the conditions are perfect, but it ends up not being very portable.

I also wish for the subnotebook, and I surprised myself by getting a 17" earlier this summer - I gotta say that I'm in love with the extra pixels - and now you can get even more pixels on the 17" - equivalent to the number of pixels on the 23" cinema display! Pixels equate to productivity as much as, or even more than RAM.

Congrats!


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61769
    
  67

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
AFAIK the 7200s aren't as big as the 5400s


That I did not know. Go for the extra space.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
... Also, I think the glossy is TOO suseptible(?) to glare - it's great when the conditions are perfect, but it ends up not being very portable...

Yeah, even just looking at the glossy from different angles at the Apple store, I decided it would be pretty irritating to work in coffee shops, etc. I like the matte.


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Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Thanks guys.

Ok, matte it is going to be.

Thanks for the additional info on HD, Bert. In my case though, I am not going to be doing any video work. In fact, the 80 GB HD on my current laptop has never been close to being full, and I dual boot windows and linux on it.
So, 160 GB on 7200rpm should be good.

The only thing left to decide is the RAM.
Anybody tried using Crucial or another third party RAM in the new MBPs?
Can I get Apple to ship the MBP with a single 2GB chip in one slot?

Cheers.
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

I am all set to get my MBP, hopefully this weekend Can't wait!!

I am going with the standard configuration. To get a customized MBP, here in Malaysia, means waiting 3-4 weeks.

For RAM, I am going to get Apple compatible Kingston RAM, which is less than half the price of Apple RAM upgrade.

Now, for the accessories!
Any recommendations for a mouse (wired/wireless) and a carrying case (and/or sleeve)?
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61769
    
  67

I use a trackball so I won't be much use for a mouse recommendation.
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

How does a trackball compare against a mouse?
I have never used those, but I am open to any suggestions that increase productivity or minimize the chance of injury.
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Anybody using InCase backpacks?
I think I quite like these - InCase Sling Pack.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5
looks nice - i'm thinking about getting something like that in a hard case - haven't used either
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61769
    
  67

Originally posted by Sonny Gill:
How does a trackball compare against a mouse?
I have never used those, but I am open to any suggestions that increase productivity or minimize the chance of injury.


Back in the early 90's I ended up in physical therapy for a few months for tendonitis in my right arm. I switched to a trackball and have had few problems since.

Here's the one that I'm using at the office. I really like it, especially the "scroll ring" in place of the scroll wheel.
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Hi Bear,

Thanks for the suggestion.
I hadn't thought about trackballs until now, but that looks good.
I went looking, but can't find trackballs around where I live; now asking a friend coming down from Australia if he can bring me one.

Cheers.
Carol Enderlin
drifter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2000
Posts: 1364
I have a MacBook. I personally don't think the choice of mouse is much to worry about. I tried the apple mouse but didn't like it ( ). I just plugged in the USB mouse I had been using on my PC before I got the mac and haven't thought about it since.
[ August 07, 2007: Message edited by: Carol Enderlin ]
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Carol Enderlin:
...I tried the apple mouse but didn't like it...

Which Apple mouse was that (single-button w/ cord, single-button wireless, Mighty Mouse w/ cord, Mighty Mouse wireless...)? And what didn't you like about it?

I didn't like their single-button mice, and I had problems with my first wireless Mighty Mouse. But the ones I'm using now (a corded Mighty Mouse with my iMac and a wireless Mighty Mouse with my PowerBook) are terrific!
Carol Enderlin
drifter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2000
Posts: 1364
I tried a corded mighty mouse. Just didn't get comfortable with it. I plugged in the mouse I had been using on pc and I was off and running, even right-click worked.

Originally posted by marc weber:

Which Apple mouse was that (single-button w/ cord, single-button wireless, Mighty Mouse w/ cord, Mighty Mouse wireless...)? And what didn't you like about it?

I didn't like their single-button mice, and I had problems with my first wireless Mighty Mouse. But the ones I'm using now (a corded Mighty Mouse with my iMac and a wireless Mighty Mouse with my PowerBook) are terrific!
 
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