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I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

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I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby Zito is God » Tue May 19, 2009 1:59 am

Hello, I am in the process of choosing between the Aluminum Macbook and the standard white model. I have some questions because my computer skills are lacking and I need some advice. I am a college student on a budget so the extra $300 matter to me. I plan on using the computer mainly for writing papers, online surfing, webcam chat, and watching movies. I also would like to say that I am beyond lost when it comes to understanding how to set up wireless connections so whatever is made for dummies in regards of being able to connect to wireless networks at coffee shops for example would be ideal. With that said, here are my questions:

- The aluminum model has more RAM and Memory, it also has the DDR3 instead of the DDR2. I have no idea what that DDR stuff is. Does it make a huge difference? Does the RAM and memory make a huge difference?

- I have no idea what this Firewire stuff is but people seem to be complaining that the Aluminum doesn't have it. What is it? Is it important? Do I need it?

- Any general advice about my questions would be GREATLY appreciated cause I am lost and don't wanna pull the trigger on the wrong product. Thank you.
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby jfg » Tue May 19, 2009 3:26 am

If those are your only concerns when buying a computer, don't pay premium prices for a Mac. Buy a PC. You can get a decent PC laptop for what you want to do for around 600 dollars.

I'm not anti-Mac, it is great for certain people especially those doing music and video editing and there are also businesses who are better off with Macs. But, for the average user, Macs are not worth the premium price.
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby roninmedia » Tue May 19, 2009 9:09 am

Basically, get the all the RAM you can afford on a system. As far as DDR2 vs DDR3, they are different types of RAM and they do have their differences. However, at the moment, there is not enough performance separation to justify the difference in cost.

As far as firewire, it's still a popular connection option of choice for various devices (i.Link from Sony) and uses (high-quality audio and video transfers). I have firewire on my laptop but I don't use it. So it is nice to have, but if it's the one difference maker in the deal, I wouldn't worry about.

Gotta go with jfg on his look at purchasing a PC over a Mac unless your specific college of study requires a Mac.
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby Metroid » Tue May 19, 2009 9:53 am

jfg wrote:If those are your only concerns when buying a computer, don't pay premium prices for a Mac. Buy a PC. You can get a decent PC laptop for what you want to do for around 600 dollars.

I'm not anti-Mac, it is great for certain people especially those doing music and video editing and there are also businesses who are better off with Macs. But, for the average user, Macs are not worth the premium price.

Yeah if cost is an issue and you're not mixing music, a video editor, or a graphic designer, save yourself the extra dough and get a PC. I'm a Mac guy myself and wouldn't buy anything but one, however if I were on a tight fixed income and just needed a laptop to write papers and surf the web I'd buy a PC.
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby acsguitar » Tue May 19, 2009 9:57 am

If you are computer Illiterate why are you spending money on a Mac. You can get an Acer for like 399. Mac's are expensive and if you are on a budget it's probably not worth it.
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby knapplc » Tue May 19, 2009 10:05 am

I have to agree with ACS and Met. I use Macs exclusively at home, but PCs are by far cheaper and a much better deal for the money. Mac computers are more of a prestige thing, and if you don't need the particular tools they're best at, you're wasting your money on one.
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby acsguitar » Tue May 19, 2009 10:31 am

I'll definitely come out and say I'm not a Mac fan (Since I've been working with PC's my whole life). I think its dumb for someone who ISN'T going to use the machine to it's fullest extent to pay 5 x's the price.

However! I also think its dumb for someone to spend 1500 on a PC laptop if they aren't going to use it to the full extent also.

Newegg has some great laptop deals for under 600. I would put Windows 7 on it when that comes out or right now since its pretty stable.
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby Neato Torpedo » Tue May 19, 2009 12:01 pm

MacBooks are for girls, hipsters, and video editors (or any combination thereof).
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby BigLebowski » Tue May 19, 2009 12:28 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:MacBooks are for girls, hipsters, and video editors (or any combination thereof).



Ok so only one person of the opinion that ZIG should get a Mac? ;-)
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Re: I am computer illiterate and need help buying a MacBook!

Postby acsguitar » Tue May 19, 2009 12:39 pm

Listen Macs are very functional and have advantages over Windows (Windows has advantages as well). However, I can get a 400 dollar 15.4 Inch PC and yet a VERY similar model is 2000k for a Mac.
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