Recommended spec for new MacBook

I am biting the bullet, and buying a new MacBook – the white one. I have sort of decided on the 160 GB hard disk, but am having trouble deciding on RAM. Should I go for 2 GB or 4 GB? Is Leopard heavier on RAM than Tiger? I don’t do anything much in the way of photos, videos, massive number crunching etc., and I won’t be running Windows, but on the other hand I don’t want to find out in a few months that I should have bought more at the outset. (I know that the RAM is easy to upgrade in MacBooks, and cheap from places like Crucial, but Apple’s higher education discount reduces the cost difference quite considerably.)

Also, to any of you with a similar system already… Do you get many page outs in normal usage? Or do you have any other comments on memory consumption?

Thank you :smiley:

I have the older MBP 17" that only takes 2GB RAM. I do a bunch of parallels virtual machines and the like and rarely run into memory issues.

That said, RAM is cheap. even if you don’t needed it right now the chances are that you will before too long. I would consider 4GB just so you don’t need to worry about it later.

Good choice. I have that one too and it’s the best computer I’ve ever had. 2 G RAM is OK, bur if the price difference is not to great I would go for 4 G. Good luck with the white one. It’s the best value for the money IMO.

I would go for the NEW macbook (aluminum) and for you use surface film to protect against coming in contact with metal surfaces.


Well the new Macbook has a lot better GPU, faster CPU, illuminated keyboard, multi touch trackpad, and what is really neat is the new feature coming with Snow Leopard in that the GPU can be used to cycle CPU cycles (GPU offloading)

which makes the little suck SCREAM with speed. To put it into perspective I have a MBP late 07 model.

The new Mackbook smokes my Mackbook Pro, has all the features I love in my MBP and some of the features I wish I had (Multi touch Track Pad and GPU offloading).


Many many reasons why I would ay the extra $200 dollars for the newest model.

What Jaysen and bobueland said. 2 GB is fine, but 4 GB is better if you can afford it.

You can never have too much money, too many friends, or too much RAM.


O Mysterious one,
My extensive/comprehensive/all knowing familiarity with everthing pertaining to pomscuters, or whatever they call them, stands me in good stead, when I say, “The more memory the better!” is advice I have yet to see contadicted.

The piece of tarpaulin over the keyboard, is good advice too, in your case especialy. Itll prevent MacBooks innards becoming bunged up with spliff ash and cheap plonk.

As for: White or Aluminium? A Headonist/Libertarian like yourself, sporting ‘white’ is a nice little sardonic rebuff to those who would view with disdain, your rapacious lust for, and pursuit of, Le style de vie de risqué.

Take care Sweetness


My advice to anyone about to purchase a Mac: AppleCare trumps all. Repairing a Mac without AppleCare is LUDICROUSLY expensive, and all the RAM in the world won’t help you if your machine goes down and you can’t afford to get it fixed. Yes, buying an extended warranty almost always sucks. This is one case, though, where it’s a necessary evil. If you have to make a choice between more RAM and AppleCare, choose the latter.

Other than that, I agree with everything said above. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the new MacBook seems to be the 12" G4 iBook of its time – which is to say, it seems to hit the price/performance/drool-factor sweet spot that comes along only every five years or so. I spent the last 4 years owning a white, 13" iBook and wishing I had the other one.

Oh, one more thing: Do a search for Macbook and Screen Glare, and read some of the comments about the glass screen on the new Macbook. It doesn’t bug me, but it bugs some people.

Best of luck!


Yes Sean is correct. APPLE CARE is a must. Especially with the new models. (The old saying they don’t make them like they used to comes mind.)

A big thin to consider when getting a MacBook versus a MacBook Pro is the MacBook’s GPU (Video Card)

SHARES its memory with the system memory

Where the Mac Book Pro has dedicated VRAM.

THis means that a MacBook will use MORE physical RAM to achieve the same performance as a MBP because the MBP is not sharing the RAM with the GPU.

So if it is a MacBook you want, YES go ahead and get the 4G ram upgrade. It will make a huge difference on the MacBook versus a MBP because of the sharing or RAM with the GPU.

Memory good.

I have Scrivener, Opera, XCode, Preview with one or more PDFs I’ve bought and all sorts of editing software open at the same time. I’m past 2GB actual RAM usage before Opera does its usual thing and eats half a gig.

GPU acceleration: I think that’s already available in Photoshop CS4. None of the other Adobe products use it yet. You can expect it to mostly be about math and graphics once Snow Leopard is here.

Thanks, guys. All very helpful stuff. 4GB RAM it is, then.

You left off “and apple care.”

Unless you are willing/able to do your own work on your laptop you really can not do without this.

Don’t worry, Jaysen – absolutely definitely “and AppleCare”. My iBook is one of the dodgy-motherboard batch, so I am well aware of the importance of insurance cover, just in case!

Further proof that you are smarter than me.

Then again I couldn’t wait for my warrantee to expire so I could open it up and look inside. I really need to ask AmberV to send me copy of that “life module” she has.

Hey! Cool! The feature on this forum that tells you that you’ve missed a couple posts while you’re writing yours just proved very useful.

Glad to hear about AppleCare, Siren. Enjoy your new Macbook!

I put 4GB in my new MBP and it cooks. Also applecare with the HE discount is a measly £50. And the glossy displays are very cool - and to get around the reflection issues duh! Change the angle of the screen… (sorry about that one - just heard a lot of people moaning about it).

I only got the MBP for the extra screen real estate really - it does make a big difference with scrivener. We also have an early '08 white macbook and it runs really well on 2.5GB. And the smaller screen is well off-set by better battery life (apple somewhat exaggerated battery life on the new MBP) and portability. I really like the white macbooks.