Buying a MacBook - I have questions...

19 replies
I'm buying a MacBook to take advantage of some of the great apps for the Mac. Yet, I have no idea what to look for. I buying a new one and have a couple of questions.

1.) I need to the specs that will comfortably run the following applications:

- Flow
- IMovie
- Keynote
- Adobe AF & Premiere

2.) What other apps do you recommend that are killer apps for the Mac?
( I'm a writer, speaker, and serial entrepreneur. )

------------ Here's the one I'm currently looking to purchase: Please advise ---------
Key Features
Processor Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz
Installed Memory 2 GB (DDR3 SDRAM)
Display 13.3 in. LED

Processor Type Core 2 Duo
Processor Manufacturer Intel
Processor Speed 2.26 GHz

Bus Speed 1066 MHz

Display Tech LED
Display Size 13.3 in.
Display Max. Resolution 1280 x 800

Technical Features
Security Features Kensington Lock Slot
Expansion Ports 2 x USB 2.0, RJ-45 (NIC)
Special Features Integrated Video Camera

Hard Drive
Hard Drive Capacity 250 GB
Hard Drive Rotation Speed 5,400 RPM
Storage Controller Type Serial ATA

Installed RAM 2 GB
RAM Technology DDR3 SDRAM
Max Supported RAM 4 GB
RAM Speed 1066 MHz
Installed Cache Memory 3072 KB

CD / DVD Type DVD±RW Dual Layer/CD-RW
Optical Drive Read Speed 24x (CD), 8x (DVD)
Optical Drive Write Speed 24x (CD), 4x (DVD+R Dual Layer), 4x (DVD-R Dual Layer), 8x (DVD+R), 8x (DVD-R)
Optical Drive ReWrite Speed 10x (CD-RW), 4x (DVD+RW), 4x (DVD-RW)

Graphic Processor NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Max. Video Resolution 2560 x 1600

Audio Input Type Integrated Microphone, Line In (3.5mm)
Audio Output Type Headphones, Line Out, Sound card, Speaker(s)

Networking Type Bluetooth, Integrated Wireless LAN
Data Link Protocol Bluetooth, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n

Battery Run Time 7 Hours
Battery Technology Lithium polymer

Depth 9.12 in.
Height 1.08 in.
Width 13 in.
Weight 4.7 lb.
#buying #macbook #questions
  • Profile picture of the author donmccobb
    Have you gone to the Mac Store? I have found they are excellent in assisting you with this kink of decision.

    Don McCobb

    Don McCobb blogging at and
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert Oliver
      I use that very same computer and it works great.

      I installed more Ram. Now have 4G instead of 2G and a

      500G hardrive. I bought the standard 160G HD because

      I knew I was going to upgrade it. I connect it to a 22 inch

      monitor and now I have 2 work screens. Make sure you

      get ILife and IWorks. I also have Office for Mac. Because

      you have an intel processor, you can get Parallels and run Windows

      on this computer as well. There are a few things I need to run

      my business that are not Mac friendly.

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  • Profile picture of the author Brenden Clerget
    I'm a computer science major, and theoretically SHOULD run those, as long as you don't log it down with a lot of idle background processes. ANY computer will lag down if you push it hard enough, they all have breaking points. As long as you're not downloading music, uploading something to your ipod, listening to music you're downloading, watching streaming video and running all of those simultaneously, I imagine this would work though

    If you want, you should invest a bit more for a larger screen or a bit more speed. It's worth it, it will hold it's value as technology expands further, and more importantly, you will have a better machine to work and make money on. I spent $899 on my Toshiba Satellite P505-S8980 and it's got a 18.4" screen, 6 GB ram and 3 GHz processor, and I'm happier than if I had spent $899 on a Sony that was smaller and a bit slower, just for the price. Get what I'm saying?

    If you're going to buy an Apple, they're pricey, but the price jumps on upsell models aren't insane and they make the most money off people buying the base models.

    Hope this helps your decision!
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  • Profile picture of the author quamism
    I have this same computer also and have loved it so far. I agree with the 2GB upgrade on ram.(mine should be here today)

    1password is a really cool program for password management and they only one worth even looking at.
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  • Profile picture of the author Platinum Matt
    Buy any new macbook pro from the apple store and you'll be happy.

    Run native mac applications and don't try to emulate PC versions and you'll have no problems.

    Mac's KICK ASS.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
    The spec you listed, should do you fine.

    And I recommend Adobe Creative Suite... (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Indesign, Illustrator, etc) if you want to do any design/website stuff yourself. Also Premeire Pro is an awesome Video editing programme...

    I've been using a Mac for years - Mac's rule!
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  • Profile picture of the author Branding_bible
    if you can, i'd personally stretch up to the 2.53 processor version, it's 12% faster than the 2.26 model and I use AE on my 13" macbook pro that's 2.53 and it runs really well. I think the 2.53 chip model comes with 4gig ram as standard too.

    I've been really impressed with it so far though. normally I use a powermac quad with 8 gig of ram but tbh i'm finding i'm using the diddy power book pro more and more. It's amazing what you can actually get done on the 13" screen too.
    A branding expert, freelance web & print designer with over 10 years of experience. Has a passion for internet marketing. | |
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    • Profile picture of the author Adam Nolan
      I've got that puppy but I upped the ram to 4gigs as well and installed a 1TB HD with plans in the near future to swap out the optical bay and put in another 1TB drive and run them at RAID 0.

      2TB of storage Booyeah!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheila Atwood
    You will be happy! I would up grade your gigs. Unless you are going to do a lot of video the Mac Book Pro will be just fine. But I do have to say I love my iMac.

    If you plan to use PC programs the best program to buy is Fusion. Stay away from Boot camp.

    Like the others have said they guys at the store are great. Be sure to take advantage of your free classes.

    You will be surprised at all you Mac can do. And at how few apps you will be needing.
    WordPress Freak

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  • Profile picture of the author Josh T.
    I use a MacBook Pro exclusively and don't have a desktop. In my experience, if you're going to do a lot of video, you are better off with the increased power of a desktop version. However, I have been able to get it all done on my MBP.

    One thing to consider for sure is your HD and RAM. For instance, Screenflow files are freakin' HUGE! I did a screen capture for my video course that ended up being over 30 minutes, and the screenflow file was 1.2GB. My little 100GB hard drive quickly shriveled up into the fetal position after a few of those.

    Video is big. Just make sure you have a place to put it.

    For the record, I have had no issues running iMovie, Keynote, and Screenflow simultaneously on 2GB of RAM, but more would obviously be better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    Lots of great answers above! Some of my favourite applications are Dropbox, Breakaway if you listen to music, Growl, DeskShade, AppTrap, Skype, and Firefox. If you like domaining, check out DoNA. OpenOffice is great for writing, much better than MS Word '04. I use Plain Clip all the time to strip the formatting from text before pasting it, in about three seconds or less (just a bit of OCD sneaking in there ). Psst is awesome for muting the startup chime, because that annoys me and I work in public a lot. Take advantage of Stickies, which should come installed on the machine. The Unarchiver is fantastic if you work with zips, rars, and other archives. TinyAlarm is great for setting little alarms and monitoring your own productivity. If you watch movies, grab VLC.

    That should be enough to keep you downloading for a while.
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    • Profile picture of the author lifeonfire
      Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

      OpenOffice is great for writing, much better than MS Word '04.
      Zabrina - why not use iWork?

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  • Profile picture of the author MGunn
    Two Words..

    Time Machine

    So spend the extra $150ish dollars and get a good sized external hard drive for backups.
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  • Profile picture of the author willyboy104
    I would totally go with an iMac if you have that option (not read all the thread) but I am guessing you don't however if you do

    The iMac is more powerful, it will be SO much better for video editing as doing this on a small 13.3 inch screen would actually cause me so much anger I would probably end up smashing the thing (perhaps I have issues).

    I am currently using the 27" iMac and its flawless on everything, needs more ram however thats the same with every apple product that you purchase.

    I think if you really do have the option of getting an iMac then get one, and buy a smaller laptop later on down the line if needs be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan700
    Originally Posted by lifeonfire View Post

    2.) What other apps do you recommend that are killer apps for the Mac?
    ( I'm a writer, speaker, and serial entrepreneur. )
    I'm looking at Fotomagico (slideshow software for the Mac). Who knows, I could start a slideshow business with it - wedding pictures, funeral slideshows and other events. I know I can get it in Toast Titanium 10 Pro but I was wondering what version it was in that package and if I can upgrade it to FM Pro from that package. You can check it out here.
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  • Profile picture of the author lifeonfire
    Wow!! What great responses to this thread. Should I get a Mac Book for the applications listed? I see them on eBay with upgrades that are New with a Apple warranty. Are they safe buys?

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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic does the best, very thorough review of each model and its trade-offs. Click on Deals at the top of their page and you can then go through each model.

    Unless you must have the portability, you'll get far more bang for your buck with a desktop machine. Laptops are far more limited - processor, memory, drives, screen size, ports, expandability - than the same price of desktop unit.

    For the video & graphics apps you mentioned, the more screen space, the better. If you get a laptop, you'll almost certainly want to add an additional screen. At that point, you're stuck at your desk anyway. Also, a machine with a Firewire port will give you more a/v expansion options.

    For your business use, I would add a mindmap program, a business graphics program, a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a basic database. It might also be worth your while to get Windows and one of the emulation tools (like VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop), in case your business associates run Microsoft Office or other Windows-based biz apps that you'll need to use too.

    If you still need portability for meetings, you could get a low-end laptop that would let you play back presentations, play back videos, and type up your notes. Any serious media work would be done on the big machine back in the office.

    If you're new to the Mac entirely, take the time to work through some tutorials (books or videos) so you're completely comfortable with the system. It's less complicated to learn than other popular systems, but there still is a learning curve.

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  • Profile picture of the author lifeonfire
    Thanks, Mr. Enthusiastic...

    Yes, I have a 26" screen to use at the office but I do enjoy the portability. I have 3 others PCs and a monster desktop for more intensive work.

    Here's one app for you:

    Zengobi - Curio - Mind Mapping, Brainstorming, and Project Management Software for Mac OS X

    I posted this in my other thread too..

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