Sunday is our day to recharge. Usually, my husband and I sleep late, go out for brunch, even take a nap. It’s our special day.
Imagine my surprise when I wake up and see my husband tearing apart my new MacBook, hard drives scattered all over the dining table, his MacPro leaking drawers like leftovers from a burglary. “What’s going on,” I thought to myself. Then I said it.
Somehow he must have had a vision during the night and decided to upgrade the hard drives in my Mac and his Mac. It’s a guy thing. “Honey, what’re you doing to my Mac?” I said. “Is it broken? What are all these parts?”
Logical questions, right? I was really thinking, “You idiot, we’ll be late for breakfast.” I got the sheepish ‘man grin’ in response. I get that when he’s doing something good that I supposedly won’t understand but will appreciate later.
He stopped for a moment and began pointing out that my MacBook’s hard drive was too small and needed an upgrade and while he was at it he added a few additional hard drives to his MacPro.
Uh huh. Right. Then he said, “See, honey. It’s so easy to swap out a hard drive that you could do it.” Uh huh. Right. Like I’m interested in that.
Anyway, he proceeded to give me his little song and dance about how if I’d ordered the 320 gigabyte hard drive for my MacBook from Apple it would have cost me an additional $150, but he got me a 500 gigabyte hard drive for only $120 from OWC, so it’s like getting an extra 140 gigabytes of storage for a mere $30.
You gotta love Sunday morning math. So, while he clanked and clattered around inside the bowels of my poor little MacBook which was lying upside down on the table like some kind of electronic friend waiting for the proctologist, I did some pointing and clicking of my own.
My husband is right. Some things are more expensive when you buy from Apple. An extra 1 terabyte hard drive for his MacPro is $300, but only $100 online. Installation looked easy enough. There’s this little slide out drawer on the MacPro. I’m sure I could do it.
There’s also a big difference in the price of RAM from Apple vs. the price anywhere else in the known free world but not enough to make me want to spill my Mac’s guts trying to snap those little bugger chips into place. I could break a nail.
The real difference in price is when a Mac user wants to go from 4 gigabytes of RAM to 8 gigabytes. Prepare to mortgage the house and put your first born male child up for sale on eBay.
Fortunately, my MacBook tops out at 4 gigabytes of RAM, and that’s how I ordered it. “Honey, what happened to my original hard drive?” He’d popped it into a little plastic case and said I could use it as a USB back up; an extra drive at no extra cost.
Except for the cost of the hard drive that replaced it, right? By nosing around while he fiddled around I figured he was probably right. A hard drive swap I could make easy enough.
On the MacBook it’s just a matter of popping off the backside, unhooking the little hard drive (honestly, it is so cute and neatly tucked away in that aluminum case), using some kind of special screwdriver designed by engineers at NASA for the Space Shuttle to loosen the drive from the rails, then reversing the process.
Swapping out the hard drive in his MacPro was even easier. Pull out the little drawer-like sled, swap the drive, slide it back in. Do it yourself and save hundreds and hundreds of dollars over Apple’s price tag for the same thing.
Hmmmm. I thought. Maybe he’s on to something. “Honey, you’re doing such a wonderful job, would you mind swapping out the hard drive in my iMac? It should be easy, too, huh?”
I had already figured out that it probably wasn’t so easy to make such changes on an iMac and I knew we couldn’t afford an upgrade from 4 gigs to 8 gigs of RAM (a whopping $1,000 from Apple). At least, he wouldn’t try it without some kind of anesthesia. For me and for my Mac.
In the end we saved a little money, but spent more, I got a larger hard drive, he got two much larger hard drives, my iMac sits untouched, we got brunch, a drive to Whole Foods, and, finally, a Sunday afternoon nap.
That brings up the inevitable question of the day. When it comes to adding extra memory—RAM or hard drives—do you let Apple do it, or do you do it yourself? Share your experience in the Comment section below.