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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

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voguefashion334

 
Member Since: Jun 12, 2011
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Hi everyone,

I'm totally new to macs but I'm considering buying a macbook or macbook pro for college. I'll be using it for schoolwork/research, surfing the web, Skype/ ichat, and light gaming (i.e. Sims 3). I'm leaning towards purchasing off ebay or a refurbished model from the apple store to save a bit of $$$

Any suggestions for which models or specs I should look for?
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robduckyworth

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2011
Location: Reading, UK
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC

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the base model MBP will be more than adequate for those tasks. Avoid the white Macbooks if you are going for a 2011 model - the Macbook Pros are miles better.

The white Macbooks are pretty outdated hardware-wise now anyway, and while they could run what you want to do well, you are buying a far better machine with the MBP.

If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
Join us in the IRC! How? Add me on Steam, Origin or PSN (Vita): robduckyworth
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chas_m

 
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Member Since: Jan 22, 2010
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Mac Specs: 2012 MBP, Black speakers, Black Benq second monitor, black(ish) iPhone 5s, Black 2012 iPad, etc.

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If you're going to buy off Ebay or some other second-hand source, and know little or nothing about Macs, here's some general advice:

1. Don't even THINK about buying a non-Intel Mac.

2. Be suspicious if the seller offers to load up the machine with software. It's likely to be pirated, which will cause issues down the line.

3. INSIST (as in, *this is a dealbreaker*) on the original, machine-specific restore discs for the machine you are buying. Also, original discs for any third-party software that may be included. The reason you will need these is because:

4. You MUST, for your own security as well as the seller's, reformat the HD and reinstall the system and applications. Not doing this can leave keyloggers and other surreptitious spyware on board the system.

5. Broadly speaking, the more recent the better when it comes to Macs. Overall quality and features just keeps improving with every model. There are few exceptions to this rule, but they are rare and getting rarer.
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zerimar3

 
Member Since: Apr 24, 2007
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A long time ago, I bought my first Mac on eBay without a clue. It was a Powerbook G4 and luckily it came with the Apple Care on it and I had a friend familiar with Macs.

Since then, I've bought a few on eBay and I agree completely with chas_m on what to look for. The newer the better and if it still has the standard one year Apple Care on it, you should be good and you can also get the extended warranty as well.

Overall I've had good experiences on eBay and have always insisted on the restore disks. Always!
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Feniks80

 
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Member Since: May 23, 2010
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You can also see what the Amazon marketplace has to offer as far as used, they sometimes have good deals.
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chas_m

 
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Mac Specs: 2012 MBP, Black speakers, Black Benq second monitor, black(ish) iPhone 5s, Black 2012 iPad, etc.

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Great suggestion, Feniks80!
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voguefashion334

 
Member Since: Jun 12, 2011
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Thanks so much for the help! I just got a mailer from my school promoting a sale.
13" Macbook Pro with standard specs, a student software suite, and extended Applecare warranty for $1260. Does this sounds like a good deal or could I get something better?
Thanks Again for everything : )
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Young Spade

 
Member Since: Apr 18, 2011
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That sounds good.type basically getting the software and applecare for free. Is tier pro new or no? But yes, when you get it read some articles on what some good applications are an wha works for you.

Learn the heyboar command x the inns and outs of the operating system to maximize you efficiency.
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