con­fig­ure a Mac

Mac Format - - HOW TO BUY YOUR NEXT MAC -

At first glance, it looks like you’re ham­pered when it comes to choos­ing your per­fect Mac, strait­jack­eted into a rel­a­tively nar­row set of op­tions. For those com­ing from the world of Win­dows, it can be a bit of a cul­ture shock to dis­cover your choices are rel­a­tively lim­ited, but if the specs don’t quite match up to your ex­pec­ta­tions, don’t worry – you can of­ten cus­tomise key as­pects of your Mac prior to pur­chase. The ser­vice isn’t just lim­ited to Ap­ple’s own stores ei­ther; some Pre­mium Re­sellers also of­fer it, so check be­fore you set off to pur­chase.

It’s worth sit­ting down and de­cid­ing ex­actly what you’re go­ing to need from your new Mac, think­ing five years ahead. In most cases, once you’ve made a choice about mem­ory or hard drive, you’re stuck – the days of eas­ily up­grad­ing those com­po­nents on a Mac are fad­ing fast.

When you select a Mac on Ap­ple’s site, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can up­grade var­i­ous com­po­nents – they de­pend on the model you pick, not just the type of Mac. Choose up­grades care­fully as the price can quickly spi­ral (usu­ally with RAM). Make sure your up­grade will make a real dif­fer­ence – a 200MHz bump on the pro­ces­sor’s speed will have lit­tle ef­fect, but go­ing from dual-core to quad-core will.

For most peo­ple, the most crit­i­cal up­grades to con­sider are stor­age and RAM (mem­ory). For the lat­ter, con­sider 8GB a de­cent amount for a range of tasks, but bump it up to 16GB if you per­form high-end cre­ative tasks like video edit­ing or ren­der­ing. To im­prove day-to-day per­for­mance, choose an SSD or a Fu­sion Drive (which con­tains a small SSD cache) – this will speed up load­ing times and make a real dif­fer­ence to how re­spon­sive your Mac feels.

Con­fig­ure your Mac af­ter you’ve se­lected it on Ap­ple’s web­site, but don’t get car­ried away – the cost can rise very quickly!

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