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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - RAM, Battery life and Graphics Card


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lazboy52

 
Member Since: Jul 12, 2008
Location: East Sussex, UK
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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
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Hit

 
Member Since: Jul 04, 2008
Posts: 136
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Mac Specs: Macbook 2.4Ghz

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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
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macwannabe

 
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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
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WakeCarver

 
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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
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cowasaki

 
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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.
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lazboy52

 
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Thanks a lot for all your help, much appreciated.
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macwannabe

 
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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
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cowasaki

 
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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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