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

Macbook - Should I add emphasis to RAM or CPU


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akonradi

 
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I'm considering buying a macbook sometime this summer and have questions about the systems available. I can't spend more than 1300USD before taxes so my budget is limited. I want to know if OS 10.4 would run better with 1GB of ram with C2D processor at 2.0ghz or with 2GB of ram with C2D processor at 1.83ghz. It would also be nice to know which one you think would run Leopard better, but since that's not out yet, I'm not expecting a great answer. If prices fall enough by Q3, I might be able to afford 2ghz and 2gb ram, but at this point, I am not going over $1300 (I'm using the student discount, so prices are a bit different for me). So which configuration would be better?
Thanks,
Andrew
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Stretch

 
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Get the 2GB of RAM over the faster processor. RAM will help you more than the CPU.

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akonradi

 
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Thanks for the quick reply. I am pretty sure that 2gb and 1.83ghz would be good enough to run 10.5 smoothly, but does anyone disagree? Thanks
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KoDorSean

 
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I agree with StretchR.


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Kash

 
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Looking at the Apple Store website, you can get a really good Macbook and still stay within budget.

White Macbook
1.83GHz Core2Duo
512MB RAM
80GB hard drive

The above comes out to $1094. Then what you do is head over to Newegg and get this 2x1GB RAM set for a paltry $89.99 and you're looking at a grand total of $1183.99.

I bought that set of RAM a couple weeks ago and I was amazed at how much prices have dropped since then. When I bought it, that same set was $114.99. But it was definitely worth it, my Macbook just flies now


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akonradi

 
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Ooh, thank you! I can get the better CPU and 2gb ram! And prices should fall a bit more in the coming months, so that will help too. I don't really need the bigger drive, though, since I'm only using 45GB on my pc and that's with 16GB of flight simulator stuff installed.
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GulfVetSAF

 
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My personal opinion is any CURRENT processor you get with a new machine is going to suffice for what the average joe needs... the primary thing you need and want is MORE RAM. I just upgraded one of my machines from 1 to 2GB (that's 2 1GB sticks) for $109.00 compared to Apples $350. You can get a good and reliable deal at the same place I did... and lots of us in M-F have used these guys... NewEgg.com
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Rambaud

 
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I went for the cheapest specced MacBook, and added 2Gb RAM, 160Gb hard drive and external DVD burner.
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hagios1972

 
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Too bad that Newegg doesn't accept overseas order nor non-U.S. drawable credit card payments. Hence, I can't buy it from them. Just 1GB RAM here in NZ is about US$245.
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RawfodoG

 
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I had a similar issue, but mine involved the MBP with 1GB of Ram vs a MB with 2. I went with the macbook and saved some money. So far i think I made the right choice. The guys at the apple store tried charging me $350 for 2gb of Ram, but i pointed out I could just upgrade on apples website for only $175. As I was leaving the store empty handed the manager called me back, saying they could do that for me. A little pressure goes along way, i guess.

Back on topic:
Defintely go with the RAM. I really doubt you would notice a difference between 1.83 and 2ghz, but the difference between 1 and 2gb of RAM is DEFINITELY noticeable.
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akonradi

 
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Thanks for the replies. The only reason that I was thinking of the 2ghz cpu was because it has a 4mb l2 cache, but that doesn't seem important. So now it's a matter of time to see if Apple does their free ipod deal for students again this year.
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RawfodoG

 
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free ipods??? Darn, i guess i should have waited....
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DistantHoller

 
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I have "heard" that the 4 mb cache on 2 ghz books makes a "lot" of difference. Perhaps you should research it more?

A dead fish can float with the stream, but it takes a live one to swim against it.
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DaYCEnt

 
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just one thought though on the processor versus RAM, you can always get more RAM anytime, but you can't upgrade the processor or video cards... i chose the video over the RAM on my iMac b/c i can always save some money and get the upgrade on the RAM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaYCEnt View Post
just one thought though on the processor versus RAM, you can always get more RAM anytime, but you can't upgrade the processor or video cards... i chose the video over the RAM on my iMac b/c i can always save some money and get the upgrade on the RAM.

I tend to agree with this. Especially with a laptop (as you're getting). Go for the CPU and upgrade the RAM in a month (or whenever it works for you). Now I am not saying that the 1.83Ghz isn't going to do what you need... but your stuck with it.

RAM prices are consistently falling and 1gb should be a fine start. If you decide to use parallels then 2gb will be a must! But for day to day operations (web surfing, word processing, email, itunes) 1gb will do the trick for you and certainly won't be distractingly slow.

So I vote for the better processor and upgrade the memory through a 3rd party. If you go this route you'll want to make sure your Macbook comes with a 1gb DIMM and one empty slot though as opposed to 2x 512mb DIMMs.
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