Specification

Some of you may want to know more about the specifications of the product, while others may just skim over all the mumbo-jumbo technical jargon.

If you have no desire to learn the ins and outs of the specifications but want to make sure you get the best computer for you, find a reputable source who will be able to assist you with your purchase, pointing you to a system that meets your needs. Our support team will be happy to help you. Even if we cannot find the right thing for you in our store at the moment, we can let you know when a suitable product comes in and are happy to point you in the right direction for getting what you need.

It’s important to know about specification, especially if you are purchasing from a private seller. One of the main areas where con artists can fool people is by misleading information on the specs. No-one likes to be conned, but products from tech giants like Apple are bound to attract people who rip others off.

One trap that customers fall into is believing the specification lies that imply the model is actually faster than it is; crafty resellers often use this as an excuse to add extra costs to the product’s true value. This can be the case on many big re-selling sites and customers may not even know they’ve been duped! Do your research on the price of the model on external websites to get an idea of the price range of the associated product.

Also, keep an eye out for information regarding the year of your system, as well as making sure it features an SSD (Solid State Drive) over the older HD (Hard drive), as this can have a difference on how the specifications measure up. Contact our help team for more information.

If you want to know more about navigating specifications, keep on reading.

What are ‘Specifications’?

Specifications are the technical components of the computer. Specifications refer to the display, processor, memory and storage, as well as the graphics and video support. The specifications you need will ultimately depend on the uses for the system.

Displays

The screens of a MacBook or iMac are known as the displays. The three key things to consider for the display are:

Size

The size of the screen display varies depending on what model and year you pick (see our helpful graph below). The only exception is the Mac mini which do not come with screens; the displays need to be supplied by you.

Resolution

Resolution refers to the tiny dots, technically known as pixels, that make up the display. In the details, they will be presented as the width multiplied by the height. Resolution ranges from the 1366 by 768 for small screen MacBook Airs to 5K quality for the Retina 27” iMac. To put this into perspective, a high-definition TV will have a typical resolution of 1920 by 1080, so most MacBooks are either just behind or better than HDTV level.

Retina

Retina essentially tells you how detailed the screen is in comparison to its size. It refers to the clarity of the pixels, and you will find that the display information includes the ppi (pixels per inch) information. A Mac screen is referred to as retina if the display has over 215 pixels per inch; these pixels are so small that the human eye can’t even pick up the difference. In short, the retina Macs have a higher quality screen than their counterparts.

 

Processor

Processors are typically what differentiates models, and one of the reasons for the jump in price points. Processors can be referred to as the CPUs (central processing units). The key things to look out for are:

Type

Apple predominantly uses four types of processors in their consumer level Macs. The Intel Core M is a low-powered processor, the Intel Core i5 is a high-powered processor, and the Intel Core i7 is the best consumer processor on the market from Intel. The Core i5 and i7 are what you will typically find in most models because it offers the best balance between the performance of the system and the battery life. The i5 is more than able to handle most jobs you throw at it, though for high level gaming, intense video editing or scientific work, the i7 processor is better suited to your needs. Most recently, the 2018 Macbook Pro has been released with an optional i9 processor, though at the time being, the i7 is the best you will likely get.

Cores

Most Apple machines are dual core or quad core, although there are six, eight, and 12-core options available at higher price points. The numbers refer to the number of equal processing units that work together to run the system. Dual-core computers are fast enough for common computer uses like playing videos, emails, and Microsoft Office. You should consider a more cores for intensive applications like graphic design, video editing, and hardcore gaming.

 

Memory

The memory is another key way to distinguish between Mac options. The memory, specifically the RAM, is how much your Mac can store on its system at any one time that’s ready to be almost instantly read. Think of RAM as your computer’s short-term memory: it temporarily holds information on things that have happened since you’ve booted up your computer but will forget once you turn it off.

The amount of RAM on your computer is important because it determines how many apps a Mac can have running simultaneously without impacting on speed. The amount can vary anywhere between 4GB to the 16GB for MacBook Pros. 4GB of RAM is enough for most home use, including web browsing, document work, and light photo editing. 8GB is enough for business use, efficiently handling large file sizes and allowing for more applications to run simultaneously. 16GB, on the other hand, is for more laborious work, such as video editing, music and design work.  

 

Storage

Storage is just as vital as processors. Old-school Hard Drives have been rejected for SSDs because they increase the performance of the systems. Most reputable resellers will replace hard drives with SSD replacements before sale. You can work pretty well with 128GB SSD storage, though we recommend you get at least 256GB if you are intending to play games or do video or picture editing on your computer.

 

Graphics and Video Support

Graphics and video support will be important for those wanting to use their system for gaming or video editing. Luckily, Mac products are known for their extremely high quality in this area. Intel’s primary graphic chipsets are almost always enough to power the activities you need.

If this is an area of concern to you, then contact your reseller. If you ask them about systems with dedicated graphic cards, they ought to be more than willing to help provide you with what you need.

To find a Mac system that meets your needs and requirements, we’ve made up a helpful purchasing guide which you can access here.

Back to main article.