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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?" :)

How much of an improvement is Santa Rosa?

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Member Since: May 29, 2007
Posts: 25
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Mac Specs: White MacBook: 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 120GB Hard Drive, 2GB memory

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Hi! I'm going to be a college student in the fall, and I want to buy a mac. The Macbook seems to be sufficient for my needs, but I'm wary of buying "less-advanced" technology than is currently available. My largest concern regards the fact that the MBP's have the new Santa Rosa chip, while MB's don't. How big of a deal is this? Does it make the MBP worth it over the MB, or is the difference minimal?

Money is not really a major concern. I like the keyboard and size of the MB's better, but I'd give that up for a Pro if the differences are worth it. Thanks for any help!
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Member Since: Jan 29, 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 199
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 15" 2.33 GHz 3 GB RAM

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I'd probably go with the MacBook if I were you. The MacBook Pro has a bigger screen, a backlit keyboard, a dedicated graphics card, and the newer chipset. The Pros are faster than the MBs, that's true, but if the cheaper computer will suit your needs well enough, then go for that one. I only bought my MBP because I wanted the opportunity to occasionally do gaming if I felt like it, and I prefer the bigger screen. For the typical college kid stuff though, like music, movies, Word, etc. a MacBook is perfectly fine, IMHO.
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Member Since: May 29, 2007
Posts: 25
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Mac Specs: White MacBook: 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 120GB Hard Drive, 2GB memory

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Thanks! I think I'll go with the Macbook instead of the MBP.

My next question, should I upgrade to 2GB RAM, or is 1GB enough? I only plan on doing basic things - surfing the internet, typing documents, watching an occasional movie. I'll certainly upgrade if it's recommended, but would I notice any improvement at all?
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 2,255
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2 gig is useful if you have 5 or 6 applications open at a time and frequently need to switch between them. For your purposes, a gig should be fine.
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Member Since: Apr 28, 2006
Posts: 2,542
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Go for 2 Gig. Memory is so cheap these days (not apple's though)... You can launch far more apps with 2GB, work with larger photoshop files (though I'm not sure its advisable on a 13 inch screen ....the overall speed will improve with 2GB.
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Member Since: Jun 19, 2007
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you can get a 2gb kit for macbook for 80 dollars at

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Member Since: Jun 15, 2007
Location: New York, NY
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The novelty of the 2gb RAM upgrade wears off pretty quickly.
The first day its pretty snappy, you start making stupid little movies of you opening up every freaking application on the computer. Even then I was a little dissapointed because I had done that a few times with 1gb RAM and there wasn't a huge speed difference. Still it's cool and all. After a while though you begin to realize that it's other stuff slowing down your computer, not just RAM. That's why I downloaded Onyx and I use it like once a week, makes my Mac like new again.
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Member Since: Jun 16, 2007
Location: Chicago
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Mac Specs: Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.2ghz 2gb DDR2 8600gt w/ 128mb vram

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I'm in the same situation as you. But I am going into engineering and will need to use the graphical power of the Macbook Pro for autodesk applications in bootcamp. To me it depends on the major your going into. If you are doing business or accounting you know something like that then the macbook will be MORE than you need. If your a pc user 2gb of ram on vista is NOT the same as 2gb of ram in os x. In os x its rediculous, in vista it makes you want more memory.

So if your major doesn't require graphical applications go with the Macbook because it will be great for you. But if you need the graphics for heavy apps in graphical use then go with the Macbook Pro.
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