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Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

This is the megathread for discussion relating to Mac hardware, including announcements and questions about purchasing/recommendations. If your post is unique or interesting enough to warrant its own topic or begins to derail the thread too much, by all means please feel free to make a dedicated thread in SH/SC. This megathread is generally maintained as a resource to consolidate small and frequently-asked questions.

Rules:

Star War Sex Parrot fucked around with this message at 18:23 on Nov 13, 2018

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Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where should I buy my Mac?
    Primary sources for Apple computers should always be:

  • Apple refurb (not always in stock, have to wait a couple months for new models, sometimes BTO models)
  • Apple education (BTO options, cheap AppleCare)
  • B&H (no tax in many states, free shipping, BTO models, occasional AppleCare discounts)
  • MicroCenter

    The only time you buy from the Apple store proper should be if you need a new machine the day it comes out. Otherwise, stick to the previously listed channels.

The age-old always asked question: Should I get a Mac now or should I wait?

pokeyman posted:


If you need something, buy it. If it's updated this week, you can return and upgrade.

If you don't need it, wait until you do; guaranteed it'll be a better value than it is now. At worst, it's the same.

Nobody knows when Apple's going to do poo poo. Don't listen to anyone who says otherwise.

Should I buy AppleCare?

The consensus among most Mac goons here is most definitely yes. Especially if you have a laptop and tote it around a lot.

You'll save a lot if you are eligible for educational pricing, a little less if you get it from B&H.

AppleCare can be purchased and registered for your Mac for up to one year past original purchase date. After that, you can't get AppleCare coverage no matter how hard you whine.

If you travel a lot, and your Mac laptop acts up for no good reason, you can be comforted by the fact that AppleCare is honored globally, so long as you can find an Apple Authorized Service Provider in the country you're in. As far as is known there are no AASPs in Antarctica.

Here's a link to find one if you're traveling.

Should I trust refurbished Macs direct from Apple?

Many goons here in the Hardware thread have bought them and swear by them. Apple rigorously tests most refurbished Macs and 'refresh' them before they're placed back for sale; you get a cheaper machine that's already been serviced and comes with all the benefits (warranty period reset, AppleCare eligibility) of a new Mac.

I want to sell my Mac laptop / desktop. What should I charge?

Star Wars Sex Parrot posted:

There's no rule. Check eBay. Check Craigslist. Check SA-Mart. Check how much refurbs go for. Some refreshes are more significant than others. Put some research into it if you want to get any value out of your used goods, otherwise you're gonna get fleeced.

Star War Sex Parrot fucked around with this message at 03:26 on Nov 7, 2017

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

.

Star War Sex Parrot fucked around with this message at 03:26 on Nov 7, 2017

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Yeah just PM me if you have any additions that way it's not posted multiple times on the first page. Thanks!

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Thanks for the PMs, folks. I'm still getting stuff organized but I'll get the additions in the OP as soon as possible. Thanks again!

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Binary Badger posted:

Edit: I see the expired in-joke about timb's creaky Macs is intact
For now

There's still a lot of editing to be done.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

SourKraut posted:

Regarding SSDs, I admittedly haven't done too much research in this regard when it comes to OS X, but is it possible to buy the TRIM-capable SSDs that Apple uses/provides support for in Lion, commercially?

Or can we get a list going or link perhaps to a list of SSDs that are TRIM supported in Lion, since I'm guessing SSD usage will only increase with time.
The only one that Apple sells aftermarket is the 500GB SSD for the Mac Pro. It's $1300.

pipebomb was selling one in SA-Mart a couple weeks ago though!

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Jeratain posted:

Is this correct, or is there something more complicated that I'm missing? Am I to assume that the installer will automatically know how to partition my drives, whether to install directly to the SSD vs. HDD, etc.?
By default it's going to want to do an upgrade install. When the installer loads, open up Disk Utility, format the drive, then do a clean install.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Kalix posted:

I've got an ultimate 13" and I'm not sure exactly how much processor speed boost we're talking here.
A lot, especially under load when Turbo Boost kicks in.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Kalix posted:

I wonder how much I would get if i sold my Air, anyone have any ideas?
Value sunk a bit with the refresh. You'll have to see where prices settle on SA-Mart, Craigslist, and eBay.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Corbet posted:

What's the general consensus on i5 vs. i7 in terms of performance?
There is no consensus, really. i7 might eat a little more juice, but will probably be a smidge faster. It probably won't make a significant difference either way, but for $90 I'll probably snag the i7.

We'll find out more when reviews come out.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

For someone who gets a new Air or Mini: what's the build number of Lion? Just curious if it's the GM or already a specialized build.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Rabid Snake posted:

Anyone know any good external portable hard drives that can be used cross platform (PC and Mac)? I want to store Movies and the bulk of my Music on it for my Macbook Air. 500GB would be enough, portability is a must.
All portable hard drives are cross platform. Compatibility just depends on how you format them.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

DEUCE SLUICE posted:


One drive.
Your drive's got some bent pins.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Rabid Snake posted:

I'm driving down to get it now with an educational discount.
You don't need to drive anywhere to purchase AppleCare, even through education.

Also yeah, you can wait 364 days to purchase it.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Is it sad that I knew it was a Fujitsu from the PCBA?

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

movax posted:

This was with Safari w/ 6 tabs or so, Mail, Word and IM. I don't think that's too out-of-line for what a 11" MBA might be doing, but 2GB seems borderline.
Keep in mind that swapping is less noticeable with an SSD, so that can help augment the RAM limitation.

Speaking of the Air: I just noticed that it didn't get a FaceTime HD camera. I guess they can't fit it into that super thin display assembly.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

MrEnigma posted:

Speaking of the ram, I'm running 8gb on my iMac, but in the last day or so it's been on it's swapped out like 3gbs of stuff.
Swapping isn't necessarily a bad thing. Swapping doesn't immediately equal "buy more RAM!" especially with how Lion now handles applications without associated processes and processes without associated applications. Are you actually running out of free memory or is it just swapping idle stuff?

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Now that I'm back from my 10 day vacation: someone give me a reason not to stop at an Apple Store on the way into work and buy a new 13" Air.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Space Racist posted:

Because you'd rather have the 11" as a secondary machine?

Or so goes my thinking. Besides, you already have that giant-rear end iMac screen.
The 11" is too small for my workflow, and I don't really need the extra portability that it affords. I just got to work with my 13" i7 Air.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

I'm actually a bit disappointed with the Air's SSD, to be honest. It's fast, but boot time isn't as fast as the 160GB Intel X-25M G2 was in my 2010 i7 MBP. Maybe it's a Lion thing. Luckily I never restart the system so I shouldn't notice it, and the OS performance is still plenty fast.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Has anyone picked up Apple's USB to Ethernet adapter with a 2011 Air? I'm seeing some reports of the adapter not working with Lion, and I'm wondering if I should pick it up. I have a feeling that the third-party ThunderBolt to Ethernet adapter will be ridiculously expensive.

ndrake posted:

Is anyone using this fancy hybrid HD/SSD, the seagate momentus XT? It sounds nice, but I'm not sure how much I trust it to "learn" my commonly used files. Does this work in real life? If you dual boot with windows does it just confuse the hell out of the drive? And can you (or do you need to) use the trim enabler with lion for the SSD partition? Similarly, does the phantom lion recovery partition work well with this drive (i.e. it won't accidentally partition off part of the SSD that would be used for speeding up the computer, right?). I'm going to pick up either this or the WD scorpio black to upgrade my 09 MBP.
It works about as well as you'd expect a three-generation old hard drive with not enough flash memory that's only being used for read cache: not that well. Certain benchmarks show it in a favorable light, but I'd just go for a fast traditional hard drive if you really need space and performance. Hybrid's just aren't ready yet.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

ndrake posted:

So is the WD scorpio black the notebook drive of choice right now?
Yup.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

fleshweasel posted:

I think there's a Scorpio Blue 1TB that narrowly beats the blacks on transfer rates.
The 1TB Blue's platter density helps immensely in sequential performance, but there's also a high price premium on it and I haven't found an exhaustive review yet -- just HotHardware's quick benchmarks.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Oneiros posted:

On that note, what is the deal with third-party drives and unibody MBPs? I've been reading tons of horror stories about conflicts with Apple's SMS, excessive head parking, SATA I/II linkspeed negotiation problems, having to revert EFI versions, and constant beach-balling. I'm hoping that I won't encounter any of that, but anyone here want to chime in?
You might want to disable Apple's SMS if the drive you purchased has one built in, beyond that I can't recall any issues with my Scorpio Blacks and unibody Macs that I had.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Scienter posted:

It's been several days since I checked and I'm at work but I believe it's a Toshiba SSD. LG display as well. To be fair I was so dazzled I forgot to check for those two things at first. Was a little disappointed given the buzz at the time (was hoping Samsung/Samsung) but it's pretty easily forgotten.
I ended up with Samsung/Samsung.

Not that it really matters: the LCDs aren't all that different and the SSD performance delta won't really be apparent in real world use.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Daric posted:

I should probably wait, right?
Why would you? The current MBP is plenty fast.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Scienter posted:

Last Thursday it was delivered and unboxed; arrived in perfect condition. It's been good times since with zero regrets. First Mac and best first impression of any computer purchase I've ever made.
While this isn't my first Mac, I feel exactly the same. I almost always end up with buyer's remorse for my large purchases, but my last two Macs have been absolutely perfect. I love my 27" iMac and the new 13" Air is faultless. The form factor is better than my old 15" i7 MBP, the screen resolution is still great, and I don't feel like I sacrificed much performance for my workflow (if any) going from a larger laptop with an i7 and Intel SSD to the Air's i7 and Samsung SSD. I couldn't be happier with it.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

movax posted:

Do you actually get to use your MBA at work, or is it your personal machine, out of curiosity?
It's primarily for schoolwork and as a secondary machine to use at home while my iMac is occupied with fullscreen TV shows or games. Couch-surfing will also be a nice option again if the NBA ever comes back.

I don't imagine I'll use it at work since it's a Windows environment, though the Air works quite well with VPN and CoRD for remote work.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Star War Sex Parrot posted:

Has anyone picked up Apple's USB to Ethernet adapter with a 2011 Air? I'm seeing some reports of the adapter not working with Lion, and I'm wondering if I should pick it up. I have a feeling that the third-party ThunderBolt to Ethernet adapter will be ridiculously expensive.
Just an update: Apple's USB to Ethernet adapter works just fine with the 2011 Air.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Mu Zeta posted:

When I brought in my iMac last year it took the guy 15 minutes to clean the screen.
When I swapped the drive in my 27" iMac it took me 15 seconds to clean the screen.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Daric posted:

Why do people claim that the MBP is not very portable? It weight 5lbs. If you can't carry an extra 5lb weight with you all day, you have an issue.
Because when you're already carrying a bag with a lot of stuff, an extra couple of pounds can make a big difference.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

NoDamage posted:

It depends on what you're doing. If you're just carrying it between home and work/school, it's probably not that big of a deal. But if you travel a lot, the difference is pretty massive, especially since you're not just carrying the 5 lb laptop but all sorts of other things.
"Portable" is a completely subjective criteria and dependent on each person's usage habits. Context is everything, so one person calling others out for questioning a MBP's portability is pretty ridiculous.

I'd much rather carry my new 13" Air when I go shooting instead of my old 15" MBP. My bag's already loaded down with lenses, lighting, a tripod, and other miscellaneous crap. Every pound saved is precious to me if I'm going to be wearing it all day.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

I had an Incase sleeve on my 13" MB a couple of years back and had no complaints. The Level8 sleeve looks nice, but I don't need the pockets on it.

I might snag an Incase sleeve for my 13" Air.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Apparition posted:

I wasn't sure where else to ask this question and I figured this would be the best place.

Long story short I dropped my iPhone 3GS in a toilet, got it dry after keeping it in a bag of rice for a week, booted it up and the screen is dead. Sounds still work and when I plug it into my I still see all my music, etc. so I think the hard drive is still alright. Basically I was wondering if I could take the screen from my original iPhone and put it into my dead 3GS.
There's an iPhone thread in IYG.

I suppose it's worth a shot, but you could also just snag a used phone off of SA-Mart and avoid the trouble.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

SmirkingJack posted:

So within the next few weeks I am going to pick up a new 13" MBP. I was going to upgrade it with a 1TB 3Gb/s drive for $130, but after looking at the laptop's spec sheet on everymac.com and seeing that it supports 6Gb/s drives, I am wondering if it is really worth another $80 to get one that fast.

What do you guys think? Photography and programming are my main things.
No mechanical drive is going to saturate the bus anyway. Don't pay for 6Gb/s on a hard drive.

Also what 1TB are you getting? And what 6Gb/s drive are you seeing for $80 more? Very little about this adds up.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Shin-chan posted:

If you had any work done inside the computer, the aluminum bezel was removed.
Not on the aluminum unibody 27" iMacs. All you take off to get at the guts is the glass and the screen.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Shin-chan posted:

Well that's my bad. I can't find where he ever gave a specific model
Only the new 2011 iMac is affected by the Seagate drive recall that had his machine in the shop in the first place.

SourKraut posted:

I think he's referring to a mechanical HDD for the $80 more at 6 GB/s comment. As others have mentioned, a traditional HDD can't even saturate 3 GB/s, much less 6 GB/s, so it's an unnecessary upgrade.
Those drives usually have other benefits than just negotiation speed: longer warranty, more cache, etc.

But I'm still not sure what drives he's comparing.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

SourKraut posted:

That's true, though the only 2.5-inch 6 GB/s HDDs I could find are enterprise-level, which from what I can tell wouldn't even likely fit in his MBP.

I'm really curious now to see what drives he was looking at too.
2.5" enterprise drives won't fit in a laptop anyway. He really needs to just tell us what drives he's looking at.

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Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Maddalo posted:

Thanks.
The latter will do the trick, but if you can get the extra $90 together, try to get a Sandy Bridge refurb. Ignore the clock speed discrepancy. The Sandy Bridge notebook is a quad-core, has double the cache, and can turbo up to 2.9GHz in single-threaded tasks. It will smoke the old Arrandale design.

For $90, I'd say it's absolutely worth it.

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