Which *white* MacBook should I buy? The 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz, how much RAM and how large of a hard drive should I get? Thanks!!!!
Well what do you do? You can never have to much RAM, but i would never buy RAM from Apple, way to overpriced.
Mostly Safari, Microsoft Office, MP3's, digital pictures, etc.
For basic things like that I'm sure that the base 512mb would be fine.
I would probably want to use Boot Camp too.
Then you may want to up the RAM to 1 or 1.5gb. For the best speed.
If you have a large iTunes library, and have a digital camera that produces large images (thanks to my digital rebel, I had to dedicate one machine just for all of my iPhoto archives), a big drive is a good idea. Now bear in mind that the hard drive is now a user installable part (and a dead easy one at that). Look around for laptop SATA drives (newegg has a decent selection), and you're probably looking around $150-$200 to get a 100gb. To go to 1gb of RAM (bare minimum for decent performance - when I ran at 512 I was wondering where the performance was), you're going to be looking around $100 or so. I'll recommend buying a 1gb chip so you can easily upgrade to 2gb when you can conjure another $100 if you can't budget that right now.
I'm presently running 1gb of ram on my black 2.0 ghz macbook with the 80 gb drive. Performance in Mac OS X and Windows XP (via boot camp) has been nothing short of great. For the money, the white 2.0 appears to be the best value - buy it bone stock and upgrade it (this process will take less than 10 minutes) with a big hard drive and more ram ( I can't advocate spending money on 512 chips anymore). The memory chips that come from the factory are a pair of 256s, so if you get a 1gb chip, you'll be at 1.25 gb. (I'm using a pair of 512s that were discarded from a friend's macbook pro (512s are good if you don't have to pay for them) when he went to 2gb.
I've had the machine nearly two weeks (tomorrow makes two weeks), and I have been nothing short of pleased and thrilled with the performance once the memory went to 1gb from 512. The airport range on this machine is nothing short of phenomenal. I've never seen such good wireless range on any other laptop (apple or otherwise). My biggest complaint is the trackpad button - it doesn't seem to have enough travel (my previous machine was a 15" PBG4 1.5 ghz) - so I use a bluetooth mouse. On the upside, the keys don't leave marks on the screen (ala any apple laptop made since 1999).
As long as you don't expect to be playing the latest and greatest games, the MacBook is a great value. I give it a buy rating (this is factoring in service concerns, useability, etc.).
II'll recommend buying a 1gb chip so you can easily upgrade to 2gb when you can conjure another $100 if you can't budget that right now.
Be aware that not using a pair of matching ram modules will *substantially* negatively impact the video performance of the machine.
(See the section titled "Do Mached Pairs of Memory Help?".)
The plain MacBook is much more sensitive to this then the "Pro" model, because the embedded video sucks up a lot of memory bandwidth. Being able to use the Dual Channel mode of the chipset really does matter.