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  1. #1
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card

    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location
    East Sussex, UK
    Posts
    3
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card
    Hey All,

    Just wanted to ask a couple of really basic questions about the MacBook if that is alright.

    I'm looking to get a new laptop, the MacBook 13in 2.4GHz with 4GB RAM and 250GB HD - the questions I have are:

    1) If I upgrade to 4Gb RAM, can the Mac OS utilize the entire 4GB? I know from previous experience of Windows that unless you upgrade to a 64-bit OS, you can't access much over 3GB RAM (if that), so can the standard Mac OS take it from the off, or do you need to modify/upgrade?

    2) What is the battery life expectations of the Mac? Obviously it will vary depending on what you are using it for, but rough numbers please?

    3) The graphics card in the MacBook is the Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor with 144MB of DDR2 SDRAM - never having heard of this card before, how does it compare with the NVIDIA GeForce graphic cards found in Sony, Toshiba, etc.? In terms of gaming and general use. The MacBook Pro have the GeForce cards, but are obviously more expensive... is it worth spending the extra?

    and last but not least...

    4) Never having used the iWork software before, I noticed you can buy MS Office 08 specifically for the Mac - is it worth purchasing this rather than iWork (in terms of both ease of use, and compatability with other Microsoft users) to use on my Mac?

    Many Thanks,

    lazboy52

  2. #2
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card

    Member Since
    Jul 04, 2008
    Posts
    136
    Specs:
    Macbook 2.4Ghz
    1) I believe it support 3.45GB the rest will be used for the graphics card
    2) Never recorded it but my macbook is mostly on power cord
    3) Its a low end graphics card but it is capable of playing some games at low settings, I tested(All games running from mac never tried installing windows **** on my beautiful mac):
    Age of Empires 3 = OK Medium Settings
    Roller coaster Tycoon 3 = OK Low Settings
    SimCity 4 = OK Low Settings
    Sims 2 = OK Low Settings
    Postal 2 = OK 100%
    Wolfenstein ET = OK
    PCSX running Spyro the Dragon = OK but sound sometimes are weird
    (It tested those they might are capable of higher settings but I didn't do any real testing)
    Also search for X3100 on youtube any video will find will count for macbook to but macbook will even have some better results then those windows laptops(Because their mostly below 2.4Ghz Dualcore) but those games will require Windows XP installed as dualboot)

    But actually I don't use my laptop for gaming I use my Wii and PS3 for gaming

  3. #3
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card
    macwannabe's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    909
    Specs:
    27" i7 iMac 2.8 Ghz, 1TB, 8GB RAM | 13" MBP 2.53Ghz 320GB HD, 4G RAM | iPad 2 64GB+3G *WHITE*
    first off you really should do a lil research, nothing you have really mentioned cant be found on this site.

    All new macs are 64 bit i am pretty sure 32 bit can use up 3.33GB at the most... 64 bit can utilize the full 4 GB of ram..

    the battery life.. should be around 4.5 hours... give or take how much you are doing at any giving time...

    and the graphics card for the MB is shared with the main memory unlike the MBP it has its own stand alone card.

    and last but not least it is all a matter of preference on what you want.. there are other alternatives ...
    Click the logo to check out my site...

    "learn the basics, learn the rules, and then learn how to break them creatively.." - Phototini

  4. #4
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card
    WakeCarver's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 04, 2007
    Location
    Brandon, MS, USA
    Posts
    807
    Specs:
    24" iMac 3.06GHz 8GB of RAM 2TB HDD, 13" Aluminum MacBook 2.0GHz 4GB of RAM 500GB HDD
    1. Leopard is a full 64 bit OS and can support a lot more than 4GB of RAM. The RAM is limited only by the Intel chipset used in the MacBook. It should be noted the 4GB is currently the max for any notebook on the market.

    2. Battery life on the MacBook in real life use is about 3 and 1/2 hours. The MacBook Pro gets about 3 Hours 15 min. A lot of people will post inflated numbers with out ever really checking them. The numbers I posted are both from my personal experience and from the benchmarks run by Maximum PC last month when they were reviewing all Apple notebooks.

    3. The MacBook uses an integrated graphics card that shares the sytem memory and cpu. The MacBook Pro uses a discrete graphics card with its own RAM and processor. The MacBook will not game great but for the casual gamer it may be ok. The performance of any integrated card currently on the market can not even come close to the most basic discrete card on today's market.

    4. I prefer iWork and neo office over MS Office any day. However, if you are going to be exchanging a lot of files with MS office users you may want to get it instead to keep compatibility.

    Good luck with your decision and don't hesitate to ask any other questions you may have.
    "I call this the Greatest Zooks Album." -CEREAL KILLER

  5. #5
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card
    cowasaki's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    408
    Specs:
    Mac pro Quad Xeon; 15" Retina Macbook Pro; macbooks (family); Macbook pro 17"; intel & G4 iMacs.
    Different variants of Macbook use different chipsets and this limits the maximum memory. The maximum memory available on any intel chipset currently released is 4Gb as has been said (but montevina allows 3 dimms so we might get higher limits then).

    If you check my site it shows each variants specs www.upgradeyourmac.co.uk
    Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.

  6. #6
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card

    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location
    East Sussex, UK
    Posts
    3
    Thanks a lot for all your help, much appreciated.

  7. #7
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card
    macwannabe's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    909
    Specs:
    27" i7 iMac 2.8 Ghz, 1TB, 8GB RAM | 13" MBP 2.53Ghz 320GB HD, 4G RAM | iPad 2 64GB+3G *WHITE*
    Quote Originally Posted by cowasaki View Post
    Different variants of Macbook use different chipsets and this limits the maximum memory. The maximum memory available on any intel chipset currently released is 4Gb as has been said (but montevina allows 3 dimms so we might get higher limits then).

    If you check my site it shows each variants specs www.upgradeyourmac.co.uk
    well the most you can put in a MB or MBP is 4GB anyways
    Click the logo to check out my site...

    "learn the basics, learn the rules, and then learn how to break them creatively.." - Phototini

  8. #8
    RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card
    cowasaki's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    408
    Specs:
    Mac pro Quad Xeon; 15" Retina Macbook Pro; macbooks (family); Macbook pro 17"; intel & G4 iMacs.
    Quote Originally Posted by macwannabe View Post
    well the most you can put in a MB or MBP is 4GB anyways
    Well yes we all know that but the maximum ram has been changing with different incarnations of the macbook/macbook pro AND Apple hasn't always stated the true maximum in it's specs! hence the link
    Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.

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