Help me buy a MacBook Pro.
October 18, 2012 2:42 PM Subscribe
Help a lifelong PC user who Knows Computers and considers himself a Savvy Consumer buy himself a non-retina
MacBook Pro. Technical and budgeting questions inside.
posted by griphus to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For reference, my current laptop PC is an i7 1.6 Ghz quad-core with 4 GB of RAM. I don't need to get into backstory, but I'd like to purchase a non-retina MacBook Pro, and I'd like to buy it before Apple starts soldering them shut, which seems to be inevitable at this point. MacRumors' buying guide has it as a yellow, which is good enough for me. I've been on the periphery of the Apple scene for a while (less peripheral now that I have an iPhone and an iPad) so I'm not totally up on the tech and I want to be as well-researched before making this purchase as I can. I'm the sort of guy that puts up with all sorts of crap to get the best tech for the best price. Give me the gory details, and please don't be afraid to get technical. Anything I don't understand, I can look up.
The non-retina 15' MBPs seem to come in 2.3 ghz quad-core or 2.6 ghz quad-core. I can't imagine that 0.3 ghz/core is going to make a difference in anything I'm doing (I don't use any Heavy Duty software and I don't game too much) but maybe I'm missing something? I've really very rarely done things with my current PC and thought this could stand to be more powerful."
The base model comes with 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM and is upgradable to 8 GB for $100. Will I save any money by purchasing and upgrading the RAM myself? Should I get better RAM because the base MacBook RAM isn't great? I haven't bought RAM in ages and I'm not sure what to even look for anymore, double-especially for a Mac. I know that MBPs are unofficially upgradable to 16GB, but I think I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
If I want an SSD, I assume the smart thing to do is get it with the cheapest HD it comes with an purchase and install the SSD myself. Is that right? Upgrading to a 128 GB SSD at purchase costs $200, which seems absurd even for Apple's markup. Which SSDs are best compatible with MBPs and won't cost too much money? What's the biggest SSD size that isn't bleeding-edge priced because it is the New Hotness?
Should I get the glossy or anti-glare screen? I'm thinking the latter, but maybe it sucks? Am I going to miss 1920x1080?
New or refurbished? Drag my ass down to the Apple store and have it now now now or order online and wait? I know Apple sales are rare when they happen, and not particularly exciting when they do, but should I be waiting for some sort of recurring deal? I'm not a student, if that matters.
Anything else I should know (including questions I should be considering/asking) would be great.