02-07-2012, 07:25 PM
Ok, I know there are a thousand posts like this one, but hopefully there's someone patient enough to lend me some sage advice on making the switch over to the world of Mac from PC land.
So, I've pretty much settled on getting a MBP rather than an iMac. I was originally going to go for the iMac because I do a lot of freelance photography and some light video editing, so having a nice big 27" screen would be great, but I literally don't have a single flat unoccupied surface in my tiny apartment to put it and I'm fond of being able to patter around the house with a laptop.
So, MBP it is. I figure I'll make do with a 15" screen until I have a bigger apartment and then buy a monitor/keyboard/mouse setup to dock to when editing photos.
So here are some burning questions I have about personalizing my MBP.
1. RAM - I know there's a heavier price tag for just having the apple logo on the item, but 200 bucks to upgrade from 4GB RAM to 8GB? That just seems excessive on the part of Apple. I've read in various forums that Apple uses RAM that you can pick up in aftermarket for a fraction of the cost. Something like $40 for 2 sticks of 4GB RAM. Would you recommend going outside the Apple ecosystem to save $160?
2. HARD DRIVE - If I go for the lower end 15" MBP, I'd have to pay $100 to get 750GB, which I prefer to 500. And $50 on top of that to go from 5200RPM to 7200RPM. What kind of noticeable difference will I get if go up to the 7200?
3. HARD DRIVE SWAP - another possibility, much like with the RAM, is to go aftermarket with the hard drive. Seagate's Momentus XT is a 750GB, 7200RPM hybrid drive that mixture SSD and HDD. It costs just a bit more than the $150 upgrade on the apple website. Again, leaving the Apple ecosystem to go for a better deal a good idea?
4. HIGH RESOLUTION - I like the idea of getting an antiglare screen, as I hope to use the computer outside one in awhile. But I can only get it on the high resolution screen. Does a 1680x1050 resolution on a 15" screen result in difficulty reading text? I'm currently on a 17" screen 1440x900 and I'm fine, but I imagine a higher resolution on a smaller screen might hurt my eyes. Any opinions or tips ?
5. EXTERNAL MONITOR - As I mentioned above, although I like browsing from the sofa, I would prefer to work on my photography on a nice big flat screen monitor. My wife and I would also use it as the main movie watching screen when I'm not working. The thunderbolt display looks nice, but carries quite the price tag. Any recommendations on a decent 27" monitor?
6. TV TUNER - (last question, I swear) - There's no point buying a monitor and a TV separately if we could put it all in one. We rarely watch TV, but when we do, it has to decode the TDT signal. Any all in one type solution or is there a way of fitting the monitor to act as a TV as well?
Thank you all for just getting to the end of this post. And to all who take the time to lend me a hand figuring these things out - a million thank yous.