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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:20 PM   #1
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Mac Goodies

I'm trying to make the jump from the PC to the Mac [honest].

I found this great local Apple re-seller to hold my hand and make me feel all warm and fuzzy about my decision.

When I was pricing out a brand spanking new Mac Pro I noticed the price for additional drives and memory upgrade were a bit steep.

To upgrade a PC from 2GB of RAM to 4GB cost about $230.00 on the Mac its about $800!

For an additional 500GB SATA drive from Apple it costs $399 for a Seagate Barracuda 7200 SATA drive from TigerDirect it costs $139.

So what's wrong with this picture. Is there good quality aftermarket RAM with comparable prices to a PC and can I use ANY SATA drive in a Mac Pro?
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:34 PM   #2
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It's well known Apple does not have the best prices on RAM and drive upgrade, and many long time Mac users do not purchase them.

Yes, any SATA 3.0 drive will work in any Mac made in the last 3 years or so...starting with the G5s.

RAM is a bit trickier, but very very doable. Apple overcharges, but many people have gotten cheap RAM from say, Fry's, and have problems. Bad RAM most of the time causes kernal panics (a Macs equivalent of the BSOD).

I've had very good luck purchasing Mac RAM on a website called RAMSeeker...they have a few advertisers that specialize in Apple RAM and have the best prices going.

Again, beware of bargain basement RAM in a Mac...for some reason they're just not that tolerant of the cheapest stuff.

These days there's very little proprietary hardware in a Mac...video cards are just about it. And even then, they're the same as the PC ones, just flashed with different firmware.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #3
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Thanks.

I couldn't imagine why a new SATA drive wouldn't work.

As for the RAM, the same is tru for PC's - you shouldn't purchase the cheapest RAM either.

I'm not trying to be cheap but the Apple prices seemed a bit excessive.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #4
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i think i read some where a while ago that it has something to do with the warranty to not void the warranty you have 2 use apple certified upgrades and such. for the hard drive you just have to make shure its brand new... otherwise you will have 2 reformat it. windows file systems and mac file systems dont get along well : )
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Old December 15th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Behr
i think i read some where a while ago that it has something to do with the warranty to not void the warranty you have 2 use apple certified upgrades and such.
Not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Behr
for the hard drive you just have to make shure its brand new... otherwise you will have 2 reformat it.
You can reformat any drive, new or used, for use on a Mac. You can even use a FAT32 disk as storage on a Mac. NTFS can be used, but as read-only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Behr
Windows file systems and mac file systems dont get along well : )
Er, well, I suppose if you say so. I have no troubles.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #6
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Oh, sorry, one more thing -- What's up with the Mac mouse?

Do they have a mouse with more than one button or do you have to option click everything?
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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #7
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Yes, the Mighty Mouse.

But for editing, I use a MS Intellimouse Explorer and program one of the extra side buttons for play/pause, and the other for snapping.

Another hint, most serious Mac users use third-party mice :-)
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Old December 16th, 2006, 11:47 AM   #8
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Buying RAM from another supplier does not void the Apple warrenty. Lot's of folks go to OWC for good prices. Many with lifetime warrenties.

Mighty Mouse is pretty cool enough: three buttons and you can 'squeeze" it. Apple's Explorer & it's Application switcher. is a great time saver.

I also have the Griffin Powermate which can be easily customized for any application and spinning the dial is good for many things (like changing Brush sizes in Photoshop), or esp. scrolling sideways in iMovie or Garage Band.

Mighty Mouse also allows for sideways scrolling.

Apple is a great computer, fine running software, best OS and a nice community of Discussion to help out. Good luck, have fun.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #9
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As a mouse alternative you might also consider one of WACOM's graphics tablets. The basic model is really inexpensive and includes a cordless 3 button mouse with scrollwheel. And as soon as you've used Photoshop with a pressure sensitive pen you'll realize just how much you have been missing :-)
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Old December 16th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Kay
Buying RAM from another supplier does not void the Apple warrenty. Lot's of folks go to OWC for good prices. Many with lifetime warrenties.

Mighty Mouse is pretty cool enough: three buttons and you can 'squeeze" it. Apple's Explorer & it's Application switcher. is a great time saver.

I also have the Griffin Powermate which can be easily customized for any application and spinning the dial is good for many things (like changing Brush sizes in Photoshop), or esp. scrolling sideways in iMovie or Garage Band.

Mighty Mouse also allows for sideways scrolling.

Apple is a great computer, fine running software, best OS and a nice community of Discussion to help out. Good luck, have fun.
I've already decided I'm going to make the transition to a Mac and I have to admit it is fun. Apple's a bit wierd though, the amount they charge for thier upgrades really makes me wonder about the real value of thier computers. So if I can find some upgrades that I don't have to buy from Apple I'll "feel" better about my decision to switch. I know that the cost of the Mac Pro will really have little to do with my overall experience.

The Griffin Powermate is an interesting thingy, I'm not sure how to use it or what it does but it does have a certain little blue light coolness about it.

What is Apple's Explorer and Application switcher?
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Old December 16th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding
What is Apple's Explorer and Application switcher?
It's called the "finder", and it's the window that comes up when you double click on a drive on the desktop, or click on the Mac face on the left of the dock. There's quite a few ways to invoke it actually, just like window.

Not sure what you mean about application switcher...are you talking about the dock? You switch apps by clicking on the app you want to switch to in the dock. Not too dissimilar from Windows. You can also cycle through apps by hitting apple-tab
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Old December 16th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #12
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The new Mac Pros use high-end ram: DDR2 ECC Fully-Buffered PC5300 and they need the Apple-specified heat sink. It is expensive, but is available from several vendors at cheaper prices than Apple.

The SATA drives are standard.

If you live near an Apple retail store, spend the $99 for Apple Pro Care -- in addition to its advertised benefits, you also get an hour a week of free instruction by appointment. From basic operation to advanced Final Cut, it's the cheapest one-on-one tutoring you can get.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #13
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If you're talking about shortcut for switching apps, "apple-tab" is the equal of windows "option-tab"

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