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First Time Mac Owner  (Advice/Upgrade Options)

1052 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: May 10, 2009 12:35 AM by Dai Bach RSS
Troy F Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 9, 2009 5:56 PM
Hey guys,

I am a first time Mac owner, and I am very excited about ridding my self of MS and all their bloatware. I ordered the MBP 15" base model early last week, and I have a few questions about upgrades. Being the base model, it has the 250gb 5,400rpm hard drive and only 2gb of ram. I would like to upgrade to 4gb of ram and a 7,200 rpm hard drive (links posted below). As my money unfortunately doesn't grow on tree's, I will likely have to update one, then the other at a later date. I bring this up, as I have considered waiting on a cheaper SSD's.

*I guess my question, is where will I see the biggest performance improvement?*

I think I am a fairly typical user, though I like to get the most I can out of a system. I teach at a local university, and a big part of my time with the system will be creating lesson plans, presentations, and spreadsheets. I will also do some basic photo and video editing, starting with the programs supplied in iLife. In my free time I hope to enjoy some basic gaming, mostly RTS games and WoW.

I know this post is getting too long, but in addition to which hardware upgrade would give me the most bang for the buck, *what does everyone think about iWork?* As summer is and all of my grading is completed, I think I will have the time to learn a new program along with the new operating system.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Troy

Links
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146878
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136280
15" Macbook Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2gb Ram, 250gb 5400rpm HD
  • Mr-Richard Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2009 6:35 PM (in response to Troy F)
    I would go for memory. Doubling your memory should have a noticeable impact particularly if you run more than 1 app at once or have large items open (e.g. photos / vids etc).

    That said if you are really going to a large amount of video editing then you will also see a decent benefit from the HDD but not as much as the memory.
    Mac Book Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2009 6:42 PM (in response to Troy F)
    Troy F wrote:
    it has the 250gb 5,400rpm hard drive and only 2gb of ram...will be creating lesson plans, presentations, and spreadsheets. I will also do some basic photo and video editing, starting with the programs supplied in iLife. In my free time I hope to enjoy some basic gaming, mostly RTS games and WoW.


    Do the RAM first. A 250GB hard drive is a lot of storage for the stuff you do. You sound more likely to need more memory for more programs running at the same time, and that means RAM.

    what does everyone think about iWork?


    If you are not a Microsoft Office power user, then iWork can be pretty great, actually. If you use the obscure features of Word and Excel, iWork will seem underpowered.
    Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), PowerBook G4 15" Al, PowerBook G3 FireWire, PowerCenter Pro, PowerBook 160
  • Dai Bach Level 2 Level 2 (480 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2009 12:35 AM (in response to Troy F)
    I wouldn't upgrade either the memory or hard drive until you've had a chance to play and experiment with your new Mac. Unless you're doing a lot of heavy video editing the base model specs are perfectly fine.

    If you do want to upgrade - memory first, then hard drive.

    iWorks is great for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations for your own use. The only point I would make is that if you share documents with MS Office users, I have found that exporting the documents into an office friendly format doesn't always convert everything exactly.

    I'm not a big gamer but I have run WoW natively in OS X without any problems - I would imagine you'd get more of less the same performance depending on how good the Mac port has been programmed.
    MacBook Pro 15", 2.66GHz, 4GB, 320GB 5400rpm, Mac OS X (10.5.6), MacBook Pro 15", 1.83GHz; Mac Mini, 1.66GHz; MacBook Air, 1.6 GHz

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