MacBook info needed

vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,468
Hey guys & gals,

My daughter will be starting college soon, (too soon for me). She is wanting to go with a Mac of some type, I have never used or had one, sooooo - some is needed.


I see MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. I guess they get better as you go up.

Any opinions that aren't overkill on what to get??
Pio Elete Pro 520
Panamax 5400-EX
Sunfire TGP 5
Micro Seiki DD-40 - Lyra-Dorian and Denon DL-160
PS Audio GCPH phono pre
Sunfire CG 200 X 5
Sunfire CG Sig 405 X 5
OPPO BDP-83 SE
SDA SRS 1.2TL Sonicaps and Mills
Ctr CS1000p
Sur - FX1000 x 4
SUB - SVS PB2-Plus

Workkout room:
Sony Bravia XBR- 32-Inch 1080p
Onkyo TX-DS898
GFA 555
Yamaha DVD-S1800BL/SACD
Ft - SDA 1C

Not being used:
RTi 38's -4
RT55i's - 2
RT25i's -2, using other 2 in shop
LSI 15's
CSi40
PSW 404

Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 5,024
    I think Al can help you here. Apple wanted desperately to hire him as a subject matter expert after all the research he did not long ago :D
    @scubalab

    Try to get a sense for use, and that will help you narrow down a few choices.
    Things to consider, as with any notebook:
    • Screen - size, resolution, glossy/matte
    • Battery life
    • Weight
    • Performance (need to know which applications you'll be running and whether you want virtualization to be able to run Windows)
    • Storage

    Set some general guidelines or your head'll be spinning. One thing I learned with Al was that the newer machines aren't user upgradeable anymore, so however its specced when you buy it is what you're locked into. Of course, Apple may already have changed this :)
    I disabled signatures.
  • tonyp063tonyp063 Posts: 687
    And make sure you get the longest AppleCare warranty that you can.
    When, not if, but when something goes south she'll need it.

    I've watched *many* faculty & such here cheap out on that & it bit them hard.
    Most campuses have an Apple affiliation, or access to a certified repair place, but it's bloody costly out of warranty.

    And you & I both know that she'll have problems about the day before a paper is due.

  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,468
    msg wrote: »
    I think Al can help you here. Apple wanted desperately to hire him as a subject matter expert after all the research he did not long ago :D
    @scubalab

    Try to get a sense for use, and that will help you narrow down a few choices.
    Things to consider, as with any notebook:
    • Screen - size, resolution, glossy/matte
    • Battery life
    • Weight
    • Performance (need to know which applications you'll be running and whether you want virtualization to be able to run Windows)
    • Storage

    Set some general guidelines or your head'll be spinning. One thing I learned with Al was that the newer machines aren't user upgradeable anymore, so however its specced when you buy it is what you're locked into. Of course, Apple may already have changed this :)

    Things to consider, as with any notebook:
    Screen - size, resolution, glossy/matte - She likes the small sizes, I am thinking 13"
    Battery life - all look good enough
    Weight - Lighter is good, but they all are acceptable.
    Performance (need to know which applications you'll be running and whether you want virtualization to be able to run Windows) - Not sure what virtualization is?? Of course all the Micro Soft Office applications, plus I'm not sure what else. Studying to be an RN
    Storage - can get an additional ext hard drive if needed.

    One thing I learned with Al was that the newer machines aren't user upgradeable anymore, so however its specced when you buy it is what you're locked into. I think this is still the case.
    Pio Elete Pro 520
    Panamax 5400-EX
    Sunfire TGP 5
    Micro Seiki DD-40 - Lyra-Dorian and Denon DL-160
    PS Audio GCPH phono pre
    Sunfire CG 200 X 5
    Sunfire CG Sig 405 X 5
    OPPO BDP-83 SE
    SDA SRS 1.2TL Sonicaps and Mills
    Ctr CS1000p
    Sur - FX1000 x 4
    SUB - SVS PB2-Plus

    Workkout room:
    Sony Bravia XBR- 32-Inch 1080p
    Onkyo TX-DS898
    GFA 555
    Yamaha DVD-S1800BL/SACD
    Ft - SDA 1C

    Not being used:
    RTi 38's -4
    RT55i's - 2
    RT25i's -2, using other 2 in shop
    LSI 15's
    CSi40
    PSW 404
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,983
    Honestly with normal studying and an RN track, a MacBook Air 11 or 13 should be fine. I would get at least 256gb hard drive and 8gb of ram. Yes, you can use an external hard drive but it gets to be a pain. She might be able to get by with 128 gb but definitely no less. Unless she is running really intensive programs like music or video editing software she should be fine with 8 gb of ram. As a college prof I used a MacBook Air 13 with 256 and 4 and it was fine, though I did wish I would have upgraded the ram. I used it for three years, no prob.
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
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  • msgmsg Posts: 5,024
    Yeah, I second the 256GB / 8GB combo, minimum.

    I had a bunch written here about the Windows virtualization piece, but we can skip it. It's just a way to run Microsoft Windows on the same computer as macOS.

    Find out if she needs any specialized software for her study program that requires Windows, just to be sure.
    I disabled signatures.
  • sbb2112sbb2112 Posts: 117
    I have a mac book pro and I have changed a couple things. More ram was installed and a bigger hard drive. Apple is making those harder to do as time goes by. A 500gb drive is fairly reasonable and 4gb minimum ram. I run parallels ( a program that allows virtualization) so I can run both mac os programs and run Microsoft windows programs simultaneously. The ram has a big affect on how well this works. I use the mac os to do all internet activities and the windows side for accounting and for programs where there is no Mac equivalent. I personally like the matte screen for no glare and no fingerprint smudges.
    Main System

    Marantz AV8802A PrePro
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    Polk FX1000 Mid surrounds
    Klipsch RP-440C Center channel
    Klipsch RP-15M Rear surrounds
    Bose 151 ceiling surrounds
    Polk PSW 650 sub
    Samsung 8500 curved screen 65" LED 4K
    Mac Mini Server

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    Oppo 103D Bluray
    Polk SDA-SRS 2
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  • markmarcmarkmarc Posts: 2,281
    I'm on my third MacBook over 15+ years, so here are my thoughts:
    Load up on RAM, programs will only get larger over the years.
    500gig HD is crucial.
    13" screen may seem unnecessary, but late night tired eyes will appreciate the additional screen real estate.
    AppleCare is an absolute must!
    Before spending $$ on MS Office, find out if the campus standard is MS or Google.
    Make sure to look at the Apple Refurbished website. Every Mac I, or my school's have bought have been refurbs. They come with the same warranty, and cost 15-20% less.
    Review Site_ (((AudioPursuit)))
    Founder/Publisher Affordable$$Audio 2006-13.
    Former Staff Member TONEAudio
    2 Ch. System
    Amplifiers: Parasound Halo P6 pre, Vista Audio i34, Peachtree Nova 150, Adcom GFP-565 GFA-535ii, 545ii, 555ii
    Digital: SimAudio HAD230 DAC, iMac 20in/Amarra,
    Speakers: Paradigm Performa F75, Magnepan1.6 w/SkiingNinja x-overs, Totem Signature One's & Model 1's, ACI Emerald XL, Celestion Si Stands
    Analog: Rega RP1 w/Ortofon Super OM40, SimAudio LP5.3 phono pre
    Cable/Wires: Cardas, AudioArt, Shunyata Venom 3
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,468
    Thanks for the comments!! I'm not certain when I will get one, this gives me info on what to be looking for.

    I appreciate it a lot.
    Pio Elete Pro 520
    Panamax 5400-EX
    Sunfire TGP 5
    Micro Seiki DD-40 - Lyra-Dorian and Denon DL-160
    PS Audio GCPH phono pre
    Sunfire CG 200 X 5
    Sunfire CG Sig 405 X 5
    OPPO BDP-83 SE
    SDA SRS 1.2TL Sonicaps and Mills
    Ctr CS1000p
    Sur - FX1000 x 4
    SUB - SVS PB2-Plus

    Workkout room:
    Sony Bravia XBR- 32-Inch 1080p
    Onkyo TX-DS898
    GFA 555
    Yamaha DVD-S1800BL/SACD
    Ft - SDA 1C

    Not being used:
    RTi 38's -4
    RT55i's - 2
    RT25i's -2, using other 2 in shop
    LSI 15's
    CSi40
    PSW 404
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,817
    Just getting around to chiming in here. Sounds like Scott and others have already mentioned most of what I'd recommend.

    We ended up getting our daughter a used MBP (less than a year old and with over a year of AppleCare remaining) at a price that was hard to pass up. It's WAY more machine than she needed, but it's good to know she's got room to grow with it and it will still be a great machine for years to come. I think hers is the 15" i7, touchbar, 512gb drive, 16gb RAM, dedicated graphics card. The machine was one generation older than the newest model. We purchased from a great seller who happened to also be the manager of the Geek Squad at our local Best Buy. She met with me and my daughter for nearly an hour and a half and got her all set up and gave her some great tips. For what we paid, we would have gotten less than half the machine directly through Apple. We just happened to luck out.

    I do agree that Apple refurbished is the way to go. It's a 15-20% savings off of new, and they are basically new. You just have to pay attention to what is available as their inventory always changes.

    I will also confirm that all MacBooks (including the Air and Pro) are no longer 'upgradable'. The hard drives and RAM are soldered in. So, make sure you're comfortable with what you buy.

    Lastly, although I haven't used the MacBook at all, our daughter loves it. She absolutely loves the touchbar (there are mixed reviews on it online), so it was a worthwhile bonus.

    Word of warning, this can snowball FAAAAAAAST!!! I had to step back several times and rethink some things. It's so easy to say, well, for a few bucks more we can get this hard drive, and for a few bucks more, we can get that RAM, and for a few bucks more, we can get a better video card. Those 'upgrades' can quickly add up to a substantial amount of money!

    Best of luck and stay sane in your research!
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