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

Macbook - Lotsa MacBook Questions


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natoryy
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I'm completely and totally new to the Mac world, so bear with me.

I'm thinking of buying a MacBook but wanted to know about the following:

-Heat issues. Plugged in, left running, can a MacBook handle itself for a few days without overheating? If not, how often does it need to be turned off. Any other heat issues (other than the: it gets too hot for my taste) that I should know about?

-Memory. I know that a MacBook will eat up memory different than my PC. Will 1GB be enough? I want to do some photo editing and maybe an occasional movie editing (very occasional) but mostly lots of web surfing, word processing, music, DVDs, et cetera.

-Hard drive space. I'm assuming that, too, is different on a Mac? On my PC I've got 60 GB and use only 14. Will that translate to a Mac?

-Speakers. I've read that they stink. Like...how bad? And will my Dell speakers work with a MacBook? If not, how much to Mac speakers run for?

-In a nutshell, I'm selling my PC (rather exchanging it...my parents are paying for my Mac and I'm giving them my PC) so more or less money (so long as it's under $1,250 or a little over) isn't an object. But is it worth the trouble? I really think I want a MacBook, for more reasons than one, but are there any glaring things about it (or Mac computers in general) that I should know?

-Will it last? I really don't want to buy this if it doesn't at least have a good chance of surviving 5 or more years.

Thanks for all the help everyone! I really appreciate it.
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Books

 
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Heat: Umm, cannot give a definate answer. Some people's machines become unbearable, some could probably take a few days on. I still wouldn't recommend leaving a notebook on for that many days straight, even a PC notebook.

Memory: 1GB of RAM is more than enough for what you plan to do.

HDD Space: It's different and the same. You will be fine with 60GB on a MacBook.

Speakers: There are no such thing as Mac specific speakers. Not sure how bad they suck for the MacBook, but yes your Dell speakers will work (as long as they are not 5.1 or what not)

Yes, It is a good deal. You are asking a Mac biased forum if trading in a PC for a Mac is good. Of course!! Haha. For what you plan on doing, it is excellent. You will get great speeds, software and a top notch Operating System. And I know several Mac users who have had machines going for 5+ years. Depeding on how you plan on using it down the road, you sure could make it last.

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MACDRIVE
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Yes definately get the MacBook! Once you start using Macs, the thought of PC's will make you sick. Are you thinking about Black or White?
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natoryy
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Glossy white. And I'm quite excited. I'll be sure to let everyone know how I like it.
Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it...I feel like I'm actually getting a good idea of what I'm getting myself into after reading all the threads in this forum.
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seinman
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-Heat issues: I have sucessfully left mine on for three days, no problems. It runs a little hot, but not hot enough to burn you or anything. Cooler than my last two PC notebooks.

-Speakers: The speakers on the MacBook SUCK. Complete garbage. And forget about plugging in headphones, it's not powerful enough to drive them, so they'll sound really quiet. I plug in a generic $10 pair of powered speakers, and they work just great, so as long as the Dell speakers are powered, you'll be fine.
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Wedge
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Heat Issues Heat is always bad (especially for a Pistons fan like me). I wasn't able to get a good feel for it at the store and most notebooks get warm. Don't use it so that the bottom gets covered and you should be okay.

Memory The MacBook is very user servicable (take out battery, unscrew memory port, lever to get out memory). Because of that I would vote on 2GB. Corsair memory from Newegg is around $180 shipped. Memory is cheap right now, load up on it. I don't believe you can ever have enough.

I use a Win XP Pro at work with some memory hungry programs. At idle (programs open but no data loaded) with my work apps open I use about 450MB. Once I start loading and crunching data it skyrockets and starts using VM. I was approved to get 2GB to put into the machine and expect a huge speed increase. If you plan on doing anything more than the "basics" just max it out, but buy from someone other than apple (NewEgg is great).

HDD Space Again, more is better. However, I have yet to fill a 40GB drive. If you start ripping a lot of DVDs and CDs you will run out of space...but you have the option to either get an external firewire drive or make use of the great MacBook feature that lets you change out your HDD. You could easily upgrade to a 100GB 7200RPM SATA laptop drive for $180.

Since you haven't used up all the space on your PC, you probably won't max out the HDD space on the macbook any time soon. HDD prices will drop...by the time you need more space it should be very affordable to upgrade the drive. HDD space seems like a non issue. I wouldn't buy from apple since you can get a 3rd party 7200RPM drive for about the same price at their 5400RPM drive AND you get to keep your old drive!

Speakers Any powered speakers will work. I have been using the same powered Creative speakers since 1999 and they work fine. I think I paid $20 for them. I am not what you would call an audiophile, but they made up my stereo for about 2 years and I was happy with them. Anything 3rd party should work.

Best of luck!
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Gethin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seinman
-Speakers: The speakers on the MacBook SUCK. Complete garbage. And forget about plugging in headphones, it's not powerful enough to drive them, so they'll sound really quiet.
You sure? I tried out an MB at the Apple Store - just plugged my Sennheier headphones in and fired up iTunes - sound quality was great.
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VakeJ

 
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Quote:
at least have a good chance of surviving 5 or more years.
Computers become obsolete very quickly. Hard to believe that you will be using the same laptop 5 yrs from now. Imagine using a PC/laptop from 2001 :p

I bet there are a few out there with 5 year old PCs, but I'm sure the vast majority are using something newer.

The macbook would've gone through 8-10 revisions, or no longer be existence in 2011. Hey by then, they could be using AMD processors :biohazard

vj
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Wedge
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Funny you say that...we are replacing a 5 year old laptop (my wife's) for an iMac. The laptop will serve living room duty or be passed on to my in-laws. I used it for some pretty serious purposes (MATLAB, EDA-type tools).

I have always purchased cheap computers and my wife has purchased the best she could afford. I have to upgrade every 3 years and she can make it 5 or 6. Basically 2 cheap computers = 1 nice computer. My 3 year old computer is still slower than her TOTL laptop since it has better components. I have to admit that after 5 years it isn't the computers performance that is the problem, it is the hardware surrounding it...the LCD cable is screwed up so it can only be viewed at one angle, the RCA out to a TV is dead, the keyboard is dead. Performance wise the computer still runs like a champ.

I don't think 5 years is crazy, and the easy upgrades to the MacBook would make it really shine down the road.
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natoryy
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That's what I'm hoping - I know PCs don't last that long but I know people with iBooks who have had them...4 years, I believe. Not sure - might be a little less or a little more - but a long while none the less.
So....I'm hoping this laptop will at least get me through college.
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coach_z

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natoryy
I'm completely and totally new to the Mac world, so bear with me.

I'm thinking of buying a MacBook but wanted to know about the following:

-Heat issues. Plugged in, left running, can a MacBook handle itself for a few days without overheating? If not, how often does it need to be turned off. Any other heat issues (other than the: it gets too hot for my taste) that I should know about?
yea technically you shouldnt be leaving it on all day long anyway but the heat will not cause much of a problem when teh computer is at 'rest' if you are on a desk pick up something like the podium pad (link: http://www.roadtools.com/podium.html ) it doesnt have fans like many of them do but i use on for my powerbook and it helps with some air circulation. i cant imagine the computer overheating and just turning off for being on for a long time and if it does that means that there is something else wrong with it and it needs to be fixed

Quote:
-Memory. I know that a MacBook will eat up memory different than my PC. Will 1GB be enough? I want to do some photo editing and maybe an occasional movie editing (very occasional) but mostly lots of web surfing, word processing, music, DVDs, et cetera.
1 gig sounds good to me for you....if you are doing very occasional video editing you might want more ram but you dont actually need it. do you want to spend more money on more ram or can you sit there for an extra few minutes during a render?? get up, go to the bathroom, grab something to eat, come back and the time you would have saved with more ram will be used up[/quote]

Quote:
-Hard drive space. I'm assuming that, too, is different on a Mac? On my PC I've got 60 GB and use only 14. Will that translate to a Mac?
depending on the programs you install you might actually use a little less memory because to me it seeems that ppc apps take up a little less space than windows apps

Quote:
-Speakers. I've read that they stink. Like...how bad? And will my Dell speakers work with a MacBook? If not, how much to Mac speakers run for?
i heard they are pretty good and heard them in the store and they sound pretty good. they are not audiophile(sp?) quality, they are less than 2 inches round

Quote:
-In a nutshell, I'm selling my PC (rather exchanging it...my parents are paying for my Mac and I'm giving them my PC) so more or less money (so long as it's under $1,250 or a little over) isn't an object. But is it worth the trouble? I really think I want a MacBook, for more reasons than one, but are there any glaring things about it (or Mac computers in general) that I should know?
i say you should do more research yourself on this because in the long run it is you buying your computer. some people need windows machines some need macs. figure out what programs you use and see if there is a mac alternative.

Quote:
-Will it last? I really don't want to buy this if it doesn't at least have a good chance of surviving 5 or more years.
my powerbook is closing in on 4 years i think, i still use it when i am on the road. i use my dual 2.7ghz g5 as my main computer now. i have thought about selling it multiple times only because i would like to get the extra cash

Quote:
Thanks for all the help everyone! I really appreciate it.
no problem!

MoTM honor roll...
when?
i dont remember
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