25 January 2011

Shopping for a New Computer

     My current computer, a 2008 MacBook laptop, has been going slowly down hill since it was six months old and water spilled directly onto the power port and into the computer. That destroyed the laptop's ability to support batteries and it will instantly destroy any battery that is installed.

     When I took my computer into the Apple Store, I was told that it was corroded inside and would slowly die. They suggested that I should replace it, or at least make sure that my data was backed up at all times.  Aside from battery issues, I've experienced only intermittent problems, though they have been increasing over the past few weeks (rainbow whirly ball of doom! constantly!). I honestly don't think that this laptop will be working a year from now. And this time of year, tax return time, is the only time of the year that I'm able to afford a new laptop. So, it's time to start shopping for a new computer.

     I'm going to replace my Mac with a Mac. There is no other option. Yes, it would be cheaper to buy a PC, but I would need to buy new software, I'd loose the ability to use all of the software I already have, and I'd have to adjust to a new way of using a computer. I've been using Apple Computers since I was 10 years old - I'm not about to change now to save a little money. (I've been talking about buying a new computer with my co-workers, who don't understand why I don't just save money and buy a PC).

   So, what exactly am I going to buy? There are three basic options: MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. I already know I don't want a MacBook Air; they just seem too fragile. And the difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro boils down to tech specs in the Pro being top of the line and more than I need. So, the basic MacBook it is. When purchasing the laptop, I have the option to add extra Memory and Hard Drive Space.  To understand what I need I decided to see what I already have.

  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Due
  • Memory: 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 160 GB Serial ATA Drive 
    • In Use: 93.02 GB
    • Free: 66.67 GB
     And the basic MacBook currently comes with:
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Due
  • Memory: 2 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 250 GB Serial ATA Drive 
     From looking at my usage, I see that I'm already taking up over half of my current 160 GB Hard Drive. There are a lot genealogy photos and documents on my computer that take up a lot of space. The current macs come with 250 GB to start with, but for only $50 I can upgrade to 320 GB. Also, I can upgrade my Memory from 2 GB to 4 GB for an extra $100.  I know that this effects the speed at which the computer runs, and I'm not sure that I really need any extra. Also, this is pretty expensive, and I'd like to save money where I can. I think I should upgrade the Hard Drive but stick with the basic memory.

     I'll probably buy my new laptop any time between tomorrow and Sunday. Any computer buffs out there who want to comment on the tech specs?

3 comments:

Barbara Poole said...

Seems we both need/want a new computer. I've been a PC user since day one (1994), and ever since have wanted a Mac. But I just know PCs and my FTM is on it. I want to change, but something holds me back. Can't wait to read about your purchase, maybe something you write, will change my mind.

Carol said...

The extra memory is nice if you open a BUNCH of programs at the same time, plus a BUNCH of web pages at a time. From she who has been know to have 15 web pages open at once, plus Adobe Photo and Adobe professional, plus Word Perfect, my Rootsmagic data base, and several OTHER programs, all at the same time.

Nolichucky Roots said...

I echo Carol's statements. I'm a memory hog too, especially since I still run some Windows programs on my Mac using Parallel. I'd go for the speed and a large external drive with room for media files and Time Machine backups. But that's just me. You know your usage and patterns best.

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