About to buy my first macbook - help requires

k_lee

Standard Member
After struggling with a dell laptop for the past couple of years I've finally managed to scrape together some cash to delve into the world of the macbook.

I do some freelance journalism, a fashion related blog and also have A LOT of music and photos to store. I spend most of my waking life on the internet. I also like to do some video editing.

I've used macs at work but this is the first time I'll own one so forgive the lack of knowledge. I'd be great to get some advice on a few things.

- Should I go pro? I'm thinking of getting the aluminium 2.4GHz macbook as i definitely need the bigger hard drive, but should i save a bit more to get the macbook pro? it'll be a serious stretch financially, but i don't want to regret not going for it 6 months down the line.

- Extras? Is there anything else I should be thinking about buying/downloading to get the most out of my macbook based on the useage i've described above?

-Transfering files? A I said I have a lot of music and photos on my current laptop. I'm concerned about viruses on my laptop as it has basically stopped working altogether. Is there any risk of me transfering something that could damage the mac?

-Where to buy? In terms of price, support, etc am I best going to an apple store or elsewhere. I near the centre of London so that's no problem.

-Any other useful tips?

Thanks in advance. Any help will make this macbook novice very happy indeed.
 

Tenex

Distinguished Member
I do some freelance journalism, a fashion related blog and also have A LOT of music and photos to store. I spend most of my waking life on the internet. I also like to do some video editing.

I've used macs at work but this is the first time I'll own one so forgive the lack of knowledge. I'd be great to get some advice on a few things.

- Should I go pro? I'm thinking of getting the aluminium 2.4GHz macbook as i definitely need the bigger hard drive, but should i save a bit more to get the macbook pro? it'll be a serious stretch financially, but i don't want to regret not going for it 6 months down the line.

- Extras? Is there anything else I should be thinking about buying/downloading to get the most out of my macbook based on the useage i've described above?

-Transfering files? A I said I have a lot of music and photos on my current laptop. I'm concerned about viruses on my laptop as it has basically stopped working altogether. Is there any risk of me transfering something that could damage the mac?

-Where to buy? In terms of price, support, etc am I best going to an apple store or elsewhere. I near the centre of London so that's no problem.

-Any other useful tips?

I would say there's very little reason to go MBP rather than MB and after today's revelations there's even less reason to go alu vs. white and save a lot of cash (they upgraded the white MacBook unannounced so now it shares the same video card). The only real spec difference is the firewire port on the MBP - if you need that then you have to go MBP and the larger screen.

-You can upgrade the HDD yourself later (500Gb available) and save the cost at the Apple store

-its worth increasing the RAM to 4GB yourself (again its user upgradeable - buyit from Crucial)

-Buy from the Apple store in Regents Street, its not really worth going elsewhere and there isn't a significant difference in ££ on current models

-buy Applecare in the first 12 months to give you 3 years cover

-buy a case of some sort

-take your old laptop to the Apple store with you and they will transfer everything to your new baby

Any new Mac comes equipped to do everything you want of it. However you may want recommendations on new/alternative apps so drop in here regularly.

HTH
 

skyandxboxuser

Standard Member
does not seem to have been updated in the UK store yet. Hope apple are not going to try and keep us going with the old version. This upgrade might just mean i get the white macbook not the aluminium one
 

k_lee

Standard Member
Great, thanks for all the advice. Is it worth upgrading the RAM from crucial rather than just buying the extra at the time from the apple store?

I didn't really considered the white option. Suppose I'll see what happens with that. Though for purely aesthetic reasons I do prefer the aluminium.

Is it worth getting aperture preinstalled? At the moment i just use irfanview for photo editing as I only do quite basic stuff, but would be nice to have something a bit better.
 

spinaltap

Distinguished Member
While iPhoto is fine for most photographic needs, as you appear to be a professional I would suggest Apple's own 'Aperture' (as a real alternative to Photoshop).

On the video side of things, although iMovie has its merits, in your position I would opt for Apple's "Final Cut Express HD' (or even the full version of Final Cut).

For video transfer, the fact that the white MacBook still retains Firewire is vital for sustained transfer speeds between HD Camcorder > Mac > archive external hard drive.
 

Tenex

Distinguished Member
Great, thanks for all the advice. Is it worth upgrading the RAM from crucial rather than just buying the extra at the time from the apple store?

I didn't really considered the white option. Suppose I'll see what happens with that. Though for purely aesthetic reasons I do prefer the aluminium.

Is it worth getting aperture preinstalled? At the moment i just use irfanview for photo editing as I only do quite basic stuff, but would be nice to have something a bit better.

I used to use IrfanView years ago! Good little app.

At the end of the day how much you spend is up to you - there's another thread here where its probably equally split between alu and white and using the money saved to buy AppleCare or an external HDD etc.

Have a look at Crucial's prices and decide for yourself.

Given what you already use I have to disagree with spinaltap at this stage (you may want more later and his suggestions may be more relevant then) stick with iPhoto and iMovie and as the '09 versions have just been announced go to Apple's website and look at the demo's before you decide you need more.

iPhoto now has facial recognition and I've heard some pro's comment that the new editing methods in iMovie would be an improvement for Final Cut. Definitely watch the promo's and tutorials.

does not seem to have been updated in the UK store yet. Hope apple are not going to try and keep us going with the old version. This upgrade might just mean i get the white macbook not the aluminium one

Give it 24 hours and it should be.
 
Last edited:

asimm

Active Member
I opted for the MacBook Pro after having the white version for about a year. The principal difference for me was the screen quality. I was not a fan of the resolution and all round screen quality of the White MacBook (which I think is equivalent to the aluminum MacBook now), most are though. Not sure how important that will be to you given your work with fashion and photos.
I find the backlight keyboard invaluable now I have it - and am using it now!
The better graphics have yet to get a look in but bear in mind that Snow Leopard (the next O/S) will utilise the graphic chips even more and in the Pro there are two (a 9400 and 9600 I think).
I use Firewire so that was also a factor.

Good luck - its a tough choice all three are great machines - white, MacBook and Pro.

Nearly forgot - don't forget the trackpad on the aluminum models - it's really good and I use the gestures all the time.
 

andrew markwort

Active Member
The straightforward MB is a great machine, but the Pro will give you a better picture. It will also arguably be more future proof.

You can always upgrade RAM later if and when it becomes problematic (which may be never). It's nearly always significantly cheaper to upgrade RAM yourself rather than through Apple. However, if you're at all nervous of dismantling part of your Mac, perhaps have a look at a 'how to' video guide (there's a shedload of them on the Net - just Google it) to see whether you feel confident doing it.

One other thing - if you want to take advantage of Mac's Time Machine (which gives you a complete backup of all your files and system in case anything goes really pear shaped) you will need an external hard disc (given the relative price differential, you may as well go for a big storage capacity).

As regards Apple Care, I bought mine on ebay for £35. And before anyone says anything, it's a completely legal copy and I registered with Apple with absolutely no problem.

EDIT: a few people have contacted me since I wrote this asking where I got Applecare at this price. I really did get it on ebay, but looking at some of the current prices, I guess I got lucky - VERY lucky. However, I've found with ebay that it's worth persevering - set it up for a daily search, and chances are you'll eventually find what you want at a decent price. I must stress also that the product I got was 100% legit.
 
Last edited:

Tenex

Distinguished Member
The straightforward MB is a great machine, but the Pro will give you a better picture. It will also arguably be more future proof.
They are the same architecture one is no more future proof than the other.

Though this does touch on something that's worth mentioning namely that Macs enjoy a much longer useful life than PCs in general. As new versions of OS X are released older equipment can generally run the new releases for some years.
 

nodeath

Standard Member
... I also like to do some video editing.
The macbook should be cool for casual video editing. If, however. you ever need to do more involved video work then this is one area where the macbook pro scores. As already mentioned, it has a much higher quality screen than the macbook. It's extra dedicated graphic card is the film makers friend.
 

andrew markwort

Active Member
They are the same architecture one is no more future proof than the other.

So presumably every magazine article that says the MBP is more future proof because of dual graphics processors that will take greater advantage of future software developments is wrong?
 

Tenex

Distinguished Member
No they are indulging in the long established journalistic principle of padding and hyperbole. Trust me I've done it myself, when there are platitudes available to be rolled out that will help you make your word count for an article, you don't break sweat.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom