What is the Difference Between RAM Memory and Hard Drive Space?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Before we begin to explain the difference between RAM memory and hard drive space, it’s important to clarify where the general confusion stems from, as it is not necessarily the user’s fault. At one time or another, most computer users have faced the dreaded computer error reading, “insufficient memory.” To any unknowing person, that reads like, “you should delete any unnecessary files on your computer to free up space.” What it really means is that the user has too many files and programs open, depleting the computer’s RAM (or working) memory.
Mac Enthusiasts RAM Memory
RAM (Memory): As you can probably gather from above, that error message is confusing to users, because, although we might think of memory in our computer as general files and items stored on our computer, memory in a computer is temporary. If you must compare your computer to a brain, It’s easier if you think of RAM like “working memory.” It’s the space your computer has for working programs and files, not permanent stored one. You can learn more about upgrading your RAM in our past blog.
Mac Enthusiasts Hard Drive
Hard Drive (Space): Hard drive space may be first thought of as “memory,” but unlike in the human brain, it is never referred to as such. It is probably easier to call hard drive space “permanent storage.” Every computer comes with a hard drive that can be upgraded. To upgrade, you can either change out your internal hard drive or you can add more. The ability depends on the physical space your computer possesses and power required to run a computer with more storage. Hard drives should technically be considered “more permanent memory” than “permanent,” because hard drives always have the potential to fail. This is why it is often recommended that you backup your computer with an external hard drive or to the Cloud.
A great analogy to visualize RAM vs. hard drive is a desk. Your computer is a desk. RAM is the workspace you have (the size of the table top). The hard drive is actual storage space (the drawers it provides). You can add more drawers, depending on the size of your entire desk and the strength of your entire desk to support more weight. Same goes with updating your RAM/ workspace.
Here is a more practical example of data in your RAM vs. hard drive: RAM is the text you just added to an open document. As long as your computer is powered on, it is available. If your computer shuts off unexpectedly, that information is lost. Once you save a document, that information is stored in your hard drive space. That way, it becomes more permanent.
Now that you know the difference, it’s important that you look out for those mistakes from those who don’t. It can be easy to get confused, even if you know the difference, if a lot of people continue to use the wrong terminology. If you’ve gotten the “insufficient memory” error we talked about before, you may be in need of a RAM upgrade. You can come to our store, or give us a call at (800)448-1892 to discuss your options for upgrading.

Everything You Need to Know About Mac Thunderbolt

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The other week Mac Enthusiasts discussed the advantages of USB 3.0 and how much faster of a connection it is in relation to I/O (input/output) options of the past. If you’re a techie expecting the fastest speeds, and highest quality out of your devices, you probably looked right past that option and instead to Thunderbolt for the fastest connection for your devices. If you didn’t before, you may want to. We’ve put together all the basics you need to know about Mac Thunderbolt and the advantages you’ll have in using it.

What is Thunderbolt? Thunderbolt is an I/O type designed by Intel, available on newer Macs as the fastest option out there for devices. There are two channels on the same connector, to connect high-speed peripherals and displays with the highest resolution. There are currently two generations of Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2, and cables/ devices that are compatible with the second version are also backwards compatible with the first.

Mac Thunderbolt 3

What are the differences between the two versions? With Thunderbolt, each channel on the connector offers up to 10 Gbps in both directions. The newer version, Thunderbolt 2, offers up to 20 Gbps. o compare, USB 3.0 offers 5Gbps on both channels, and Firewire offers 0.8 Mbps.

Which Mac computers have Thunderbolt? If you’re still not sure about whether or not your personal Mac offers Thunderbolt, you can check out the list below. All the devices listed offer up to two display connections, unless otherwise specified. If you’re not quite sure which kind of Mac you have, you can find out under the Apple Menu> About this mac.

Macs with Thunderbolt Capabilities:

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012) and later
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) and later
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) and later (*Only one display on Early- Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011) and later
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011) and later (*Only one display on Early- Late 2011)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011) and later
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011) and later (*Only one display on Mid 2011)
  • iMac (Mid 2011) and later
  • iMac Pro (Late 2013) (**Offers up to 6 displays!!)

Macs with Thunderbolt 2 Capabilities:

  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)
  • Mac mini (Late 2014)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) and later (**Offers up to 6 displays!!)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) and later (**Offers up to 6 displays!!)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)

To quickly spot the port on your computer, you’ll look for this port shape, and this symbol.

Mac Thunderbolt 2Mac Thunderbolt1

What other system requirements do I need to meet to run an Apple Thunderbolt display? Besides using one of the above Macs, to use an Apple Thunderbolt display, your system will additionally need to be running OS X v10.6.8 Snow Leopard or later.

Will my Mac sleep with Thunderbolt devices plugged in? No, sleep mode is deactivated when Thunderbolt devices are plugged into your Mac. This important to note if you’re one who walks away from your computer a lot. Additionally, if you’re using a Thunderbolt-connected device on a portable Mac, if your battery depletes and your Mac goes into hibernation, your Thunderbolt connections will all disconnect. To reconnect, wake the computer and restart.

Mac Enthusiasts sells many Mac Accessories, including Thunderbolt cables, and corresponding devices in our store at 10600 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064. If you have any more questions about Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2, feel free to visit us, call us at (800)448-1892, or contact us online here.

What is USB 3.0 and Does My Mac Computer Have It?

By | Food for thought | No Comments

It’s 2015. Almost all of us by now know what a USB port is and does. More and more devices nowadays can be charged or powered through these ports. From providing us with easy data storage in thumb drives, to warming our coffee (yes, this is serious people), USB has become a staple in the way technology runs and improves our lives. Like most technology, USB has developed, changed, and greatly improved since its introduction in 1996. Despite our dependence on USB, many of us are still in the dark on what these improvements are and what they mean for the way we use technology. Thankfully, Mac Enthusiasts has put together our best answers to your USB 3.0 questions and beyond!
USB 3.0 Mac Enthusiasts

What are the differences between USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0? Universal Serial Bus 1.1 was first developed as a universal means to replacing serial and parallel ports. These ports were once very large, and any device to be used through them required expansion cards. The growth of these ports really jumped in the late 90’s when most mice and keyboards came with this as an option to connect. In the year 2000, USB 2.0 was introduced as a much faster option (from 12mbps for USB 1.1. to 480 mbps for 2.0). It gained more traction as an actual universal option in the mid-to-late 2000’s. In 2008, USB 3.0 was introduced. Amongst other helpful updates from 2.0, USB 3.0 is ten times faster, working at speeds as fast as 5 Gigabytes.

USB 3.0 Mac Enthusiasts 2

What else does USB 3.0 offer? Unlike USB 2.0, USB 3.0 offers quick duplex data transfer. This means that over USB 3.0, information can be read and written at the same high speed simultaneously. Because USB 3.0 offers 80% more power than USB 2.0, you can power even more devices (up to 4) from a single port! That’s something to think about if you’re using it to charge your phone and warm your coffee. Last but not least, USB 3.0 has suspended device polling. USB 2.0 used to rely on active data transfers, usually draining power from any idle device. Now, with 3.0, you have better power management for inactive, connected devices.

Do I have USB 3.0 on my Mac computer? If you have a 2012 Mac or newer you are already working with USB 3.0 ports. If you want to learn more about it, or if you have an older Mac and see which ports apply, you can find out through “About This Mac” in the Apple menu. From there, select “System Report” or “System Profiler.” Click on “USB” on the left-hand side to reveal which ports are USB 3.0. From here,you can also see the speed capabilities of any device you have plugged in.

What does it mean if my port says Hi-Speed Bus, instead of SuperSpeed? If you have a device already plugged into your USB port while you’re looking at the specs on your USB ports, you may see that one is showing that it is a “USB 3.0 Hi-Speed Bus” while the other, unused port, shows it’s is a “USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Bus.” This means that you are running a USB 2.0 out of the other port. Both ports are the same, with the same capabilities, but if you run USB 2.0 out of a USB 3.0 port, you will only have the ability to use the Hi-Speed option.

USB 3.0 Mac Enthusiasts 3

I don’t have USB 3.0. How can I get it? If you’ve checked your Mac’s capabilities and realize you do not have a USB 3.0 port, but you’d like to have the capability, there are external USB 3.0 hubs available. You must be sure you are getting a device that actually upgrades USB 2.0 to 3.0 and doesn’t just create more ports. Some suggest, Thunderbolt 2 Express HD dock. You can also always consider upgrading your Mac laptop. Mac Enthusiasts sells refurbished Mac laptops with more dependability and better support. Check out our webstore for some of our offerings. Want to sell your Mac back to us? We can do that too. Fill out this form for a quote.

If you have any more questions about USB 3.0 capabilities, offerings, or any questions in general, we love to be available to help! Feel free to come in, call us at (800)448-1892, or contact us online here.

What Happens When You Put Mac Laptops to Sleep?

By | Food for thought | No Comments

To begin understanding what is going on during your Mac computer’s “sleep” process, you should know the three different kinds of “sleep” modes in Mac history. “Sleep” is the default mode for Mac desktop. During this process, the RAM remains on. Because nothing is copied to the hard drive, there is nothing to retrieve upon restart, making it as quick as possible. It uses much less energy in the process still than just being on. If you simply leave your MacBook unattended, for instance, this is the state it will go in. During “Hibernation” contents of RAM memory are copied to the hard drive before sleep and the RAM shuts off. This way, when the computer is started again, it must be reloaded completely. This used to be the default in older models (pre-2005). Finally, during “Safe Sleep”, a mixture of sleep and hibernation, the RAM contents are written to the hard drive as a safeguard, yet the RAM remains powered-on. When a computer is re-opened, the contents are all ready and loaded for the user. Since 2005, this has become the default for all Mac laptops.

Mac Laptops

Despite the differences in the above sleep mode states, the following still occurs to every Mac computer:

  • The processor setting is put into low-power state.
  • Video output stops and any currently-connected external display will lose connection.
  • Apple hard disks power down and some third-party SSDs may power down as well.

For Mac laptops, the following also occurs during any sleep mode:

  • The Ethernet port turns off,
  • Expansion card slots turn off
  • The built-in modem, if present, turns off
  • AirPort functions, if present, turn off
  • The optical media drive, if present, spins down
  • Audio input and output are disabled
  • Keyboard illumination (on applicable devices) shuts off
  • Ethernet port is disabled on most devices. NOTE: You can change your system settings to WOL (Wake on Lan) signal, if you prefer.
  • USB ports turn off and only respond to the power key on an external keyboard.
  • Bluetooth is disabled. NOTE: This can be changed in your Bluetooth system preferences, in which you can actually choose to make bluetooth devices power on your computer.

You can check which state of sleep your Mac laptop is in by going to Applications/ Utilities and typing “pmset -g | grep hibernatemode” into the terminal prompt. Your computer will respond with either hibernatemode 0, 1, 3, or 25. “0” is normal sleep, 1 is hibernate mode, 3 means safe sleep (most likely your response if you have a Mac laptop newer than a 2005), and 25 hibernate mode for portable Mac devices newer than 2005.
You can also use, and we suggest using, Mac energy saver preferences from the Apple Menu, under preferences, to adjust helpful energy settings. Here you can choose a faster or more appropriate length of time for your computer to fall asleep on power or battery. It is also here that you can change other helpful power settings such as “Enabling Power Nap,” allowing your computer to back up during sleep, and “Wake for Wi-Fi access.”
If you’re worried about the security of your laptop during safe sleep, you should know that it is about as guarded as it would be while it’s awake. One difference is that usually during sleep, there is no access to the network. Your computer should remain invisible during this state.
What Happens When You Put Mac Laptops to Sleep
Most Mac users with portable Macs newer than 2005, choose to leave their Mac always on, depending on closing the lid of their laptop or lock screen to put their device to sleep. This is a function that Mac was built for and this is why the settings for each sleep state, especially ones designed specifically for 2005 or newer devices were developed the way they were. Despite what state you preference is, it is always good to occasionally reboot your Mac. Typically it is best to do this when updating software. If you have any questions about the state of your Mac and power settings, feel free to call Mac Enthusiasts at (800)448-1892 or contact us online here.

10 Exciting, New Features in OS X 10.11 El Capitan

By | New | No Comments

Hey there, Mac computer users. If you’re up-to-date on Apple products like we are, then you’re probably familiar with the newest OS from Yosemite, El Capitan. If you’re one who takes their time in getting new updates, we at Mac Enthusiasts have gone through and compiled our favorite new features offered in this release for your review. Check it out!

  1. “Find your cursor”: This one might seem simple, but in the thick of it, this tool can be pretty handy. If at any time you can’t find your cursor, just swipe two fingers on the trackpad quickly and the cursor will enlarge enough for you to locate it. Quick and easy, the problem is solved.
  2. AirPlay only videos: Now projecting a video doesn’t have to interrupt your other activities on your computer. Instead of showing your entire browser in AirPlay, you can select to only project the video on a specific device. To enable this option, you’ll want to select AirPlay on the YouTube video and select the device you want to play it on. There, now you can watch and continue to do other things on your computer while it plays.
  3. Split-screen view: This feature makes the best use of full-screen mode by allowing you to split between two fully enlarged apps. This is a great feature for those who are used to working with two screens but might be limited to one during traveling. Hold down the green button on any window for long enough and your screen will split, allowing you to drag the window into the spot desired.
  4. Track flights: Now from Notes, Messages, or Maps, you can track specific flight information like path and arrival times. Just as it now works for dates, when you type in your flight number, El Capitan will recognize it and it will turn into an orange link. From there, you can click the link and it will pop up with all of your specific flight information.
  5. Create checklist in Notes: Many of us use Notes for quick reminders and list-making. Now, El Capitan includes a feature to add checkboxes to your lists in Notes, allowing you not only use Notes as a reminder, but also as an organization tool. Other additions to Notes include the ability to import Maps, photos, and text-formatting.
  6. Get transit directions in Apple Maps: Although on your iPhone, you may be using a different app for this, you can now plan ahead and look through transit directions using Apple Maps. This is unfortunately not yet available in Los Angeles yet, but is for more bustling cities in public trans like San Francisco, New York, and Baltimore.
  7. Mute individual tabs in Safari: Gone are the days where you have to search everything looking for the source of an annoying ad. Now, you also don’t have to mute everything once you find it. Simply tap on a tab of Safari for the option to mute it individually.
  8. Multiple tabs in Mail: If you’ve got a lot going on in Mail usually, it may delight you to find out that you can now have multiple messages you’re composing open at once. In full-screen mode, you can open up new messages with “Command + N.”
  9. Spotlight adds natural language search: Now you can search for things as easily as you can with Siri on iOS. Now you can ask Spotlight for things in a more colloquial way like, “Messages from Mom” or “photos taken last week” to make searching easier.
  10. Swipe to delete Mail: This is the age of junk mail and the added frustration of slowly deleting it all is enough to make your head spin. Thankfully, in El Capitan, Mail has an added feature of “swipe to delete.” With a two-finger swipe over an item, you will be shown a red “delete” option on the side, much like you do in iOS.

If you’ve yet to upgrade to El Capitan, bring your computer into Mac Enthusiasts and we’ll do it for you for only $49. If you decide to do the upgrade yourself, as always, make sure to back up your computer so there’s no risk of losing your precious information during the transition. If you have any questions for us about this update or anything else we offer, feel free to call us at (800)448-1892 or contact us online here.

Mac vs. PC

By | Food for thought | No Comments

It’s a debate that techies everywhere get very vocal about. Here at Mac Enthusiasts, we’re ready to join the debate of Mac vs PC, and I think you know what side we’re on. If you’ve somehow landed on our article and you’re somewhere in-between the choice of which kind of computer to buy next: PC or Mac, we’re here to help you make the right decision. Below are the best reasons to choose Mac over PC.

  • Better security: If you’ve been a part of this debate before, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of better security with a Mac. Although this has changed some as Apple has gained more press and a larger following, viruses are overwhelmingly more often still made to target Windows-based computers. Although it takes a user to contract a virus, it is still becoming increasingly easy to accidentally do so. Whether you use Windows or Mac, you should be careful, but MacOS users tend to have a lot less to worry about still to this day.
  • Pre-loaded software: No matter which system you use, you’re making an investment. Opening up a new machine, ready to work, many PC buyers will be disappointed. Most PC’s come as-is with very little pre-loaded software typically needed by users. Macs, on the other hand, come pre-loaded with iWork programs like numbers and pages, and iLife programs, with Garageband and iMovie. Even if you don’t need all of these programs for your own use, it’s hard not to see the value in gaining these with your system for no extra charge.
  • Consistency: If you try to think of all of the flubs that have come from different PC-based companies in the past (i.e. Dell, HP, Microsoft,) there are so many highs and lows, it’ll make your head spin. While Apple has never been perfect, their reputation of high performance over the years proceeds them. Buying the latest products from Apple is far less of a gamble than it can be from any of the many various PC makers and Microsoft.
  • Longevity: Yes, you’re probably going to pay more for a Mac computer, but it’s not a secret the Macs tend to last longer than PCs. Why is that? Apple is control of every part of the Mac making process. They can more meticulously marry the hardware they so carefully created with software that was designed to work with it, creating a more continuous experience for Mac users. Apple often also spends more on parts that last longer that they build themselves (i.e. their aluminum casing). PC parts are typically built by many different companies and, when put together, sometimes equal trouble.
  • Great trade-in value: Some people may scoff at the above, citing that with technology so quickly changing and upgrading, having a computer that lasts longer may not be a decision-making factor anymore. Although we may jump to replace our gadgets as new technology updates, we still have an opportunity to receive cash for the items we no longer want. When a PC is used, there’s far much less value to them than there is usually left in used Macs. If you’re someone who is looking to find the value of your used Mac in particular, fill out this form to get a quote from Mac Enthusiasts.
  • They are compatible with MacOS and Windows: Even if you’ve read so far and are stuck on PC because you’re a die-hard Microsoft fan, you can still get the reliability of Mac while also running Windows. In this way, you have more choice with a Mac computer.

  • Higher consumer ratings: Apple has time and time again been rated number one by consumer reports for product reliability. If that weren’t enough, they are also constantly rated number one for tech support post-purchase. That’s not to mention that their customer support center is based in the United States unlike many of their lesser-ranked competitors.

If you’ve decided you’re in and you’re just looking to find the best deal on a used Mac computer, check out our fleet of the best refurbished Mac computers here. Have any more questions on why you should choose Mac over PC? Come into our store, call us at (800)448-1892, or submit your questions online here.

When Do I Need to Upgrade My RAM Memory?

By | How To | One Comment

The first step to determining whether or not you need more RAM memory space is by checking out the specs of your system’s memory. To see this information you can go to Finder> Applications> Utilities> Activity Monitor or just spotlight search “Activity Monitor.” Click the “Memory” tab at the top to see what is taking up space on your Mac computer.
Upgrade Mac Computer RAM Memory
A good visual indicator of your computer’s memory usage can be seen in the graph at the bottom of the window. In the memory pressure graph, you can physically see how the memory is being used. Green represents the free space in your computer’s memory. More green is good. Yellow on the graph is “free” memory that is temporarily being used. Red represents memory is that is depleted. The more red you have, the more likely it is you need to upgrade your RAM memory.
Understanding how your memory is being used (and whether it means you need a RAM upgrade or not) is easier if you take a look at the specs next to the graph. Your physical memory is the amount of memory your computer comes with, the capacity of its memory. Below, it shows memory used. This is the memory that is being occupied currently on your Mac. This is broken down, to the right, into three categories: app memory, wired memory, and compressed. App memory, as you could guess, is the memory taken up by the apps on your Mac. Wired memory is memory that cannot be compressed. Information in wired memory is important to the function of the app or utility it belongs to and thus needs to remain there. The amount of wired memory each app uses is determined by the app’s developer. Compressed is inactive information that was compressed to make more free memory.
The two other specs listed are cached files and swap used. Cached files are bits of information that are still live in your computer’s memory but are ready to be over-written. For instance, messages that are in iMessage after you close the program. If this memory isn’t erased and re-used for another app before you re-open iMessage, the program will open up much more quickly. “Swap used” is the amount of these cached files that have been written over.
Kernal Task in RAM Memory
One series of questions we get a lot at Mac Enthusiasts is about kernal_task. Kernal tasks are programs required by the system’s OS. Sometimes these can take up a lot of active memory space. If the size of these processes gets too large, you can lessen it by restarting your computer. The longer you have your computer running, the larger this gets.
Back to the graph: you see a lot of yellow and red memory, but you still see a lot of green. You’re still wondering if you should upgrade your RAM. While you’ve now learned that there are a few processes in place to condense inactive memory and rewrite over temporary files, creating more free memory, the more these processes are used, the more overworked your computer is. These processes are meant to be short-term solutions to your memory usage. They do not solve the long-term problem of needing more memory. If your Mac is very slow, constantly popping up with the “beach ball of doom,” and switching between apps takes much longer than it should, then you should probably look into upgrading your RAM. If you’re a numbers person and your free memory is at 10% or less, then you should definitely consider upgrading your RAM.
Once you’ve realized the next step is adding more memory to your Mac, you don’t have to do much else. If you bring your Mac into Mac Enthusiasts, we can take care of the rest for you. There’s not much waiting time, as most RAM upgrades can be done by our team within the same day! RAM upgrades start at $39 and most don’t cost more than that. Waiting won’t fix the problem, but choosing a RAM upgrade with Mac Enthusiasts can improve the way you work every day from here on out. If you have any more questions about memory upgrades, you can call (800)448-1892 or contact us online.

Tricks for Making Your Mac Laptop/ Computer Last Longer

By | How To | No Comments

Mac lovers buy Mac because they’re dynamic, sleek, and because their life expectancy is usually more than any other brand of computer. Most Mac users also know that for that reason and its price, buying Mac is really an investment. If you’re investing in your Mac, you want it to last as long as possible. Although Macs typically have a long lifespan, there are things you can do to help expand that life even longer.
Two of the things most likely to happen to your Mac (besides accidental physical damage) is running out of battery and having your hard drive crash. In our “How to Clean Up a Mac” post, we explained some ways that can help keep your Mac running fast, including cleaning up your hard drive. It also explains how to check the status of your battery. In addition to that, here are some ways you can keep your computer running for its longest capacity.

Do not overcharge your computer: Apple suggests charging your battery for two hours before unplugging. If you see your battery is fully charged, unplug it. Your battery’s overall life depends on how many cycles it goes through. For that reason, it is important that you pay attention to how much you are charging your battery.

Use the energy-saver pane: Use spotlight to find the “Energy Saver” program. From there, you can select different power-saving options in battery mode, or while plugged in to save more energy. These energy-saving options will also take a load off of your battery to help it work for you longer.
Keep Your Mac Laptop Running Longer

Pay attention to your CD/DVD drive: If your Mac still has a CD/DVD drive, make sure there is nothing in it, when you are not using it. Many of us may forget to eject a movie or CD when we are finished and unfortunately, our Mac will continue to spin it while it is inside the drive. This, of course, puts more work on your Mac and its battery unnecessarily. You can also upgrade to an SSD drive, or solid state drive. This type of drive will not only help your Mac battery last longer, but will also keeps the mac cooler, and works notably faster. These spinning disk hard drives are usually the weakest physical part of a Mac and replacing it every 3 years can help keep your entire Mac computer working its best for the longest time possible.

Keep your software up-to-date: This may not seem like it would have an impact on your computer’s battery, but it does. Running software updates may seem like a drag, as they can take a bit of time away from using your computer, they are helpful for keeping your computer running in tip-top shape. While your software is updated, your computer also de-frags.This will eliminate extra work done by your hard drive to streamline its performance, making your computer and battery work more efficiently for longer.
Keep Your Mac Computer Running Longer

Use a surge protector: Although many in our area live in Los Angeles, a place where lightning is rarer than in most states, there are still risks of power surges. With our AC’s, fridges, and so on working harder to keep our lives cool, there is a likelihood of them kicking power spikes down the line to your other electronics, including your Mac computer. Surge protectors are typically pretty inexpensive and are worth the investment in case something beyond your control does happen.

Upgrade your RAM/ hard drive: If your Mac computer is running on the minimum RAM and hard drive it came with, there’s a chance your computer may be struggling to keep up with all of the programs and such you are running on it. If you don’t have enough memory (RAM), your Mac’s hard drive will also function as RAM, so upgrading your memory can be a great way to help your computer work easily at capacity over all, without putting excessive wear-and-tear on your Mac computer.

For help with any of these tips and upgrades, bring your Mac computer into Mac Enthusiasts, call (800)448-1892 with any questions you may have, or contact us online here. We hope to help you get the most out of your Mac computer, and if you’re in the market for a Mac, check out our line of reliable, refurbished mac computers.

How to Sync iPhone to iPad and Your Mac Computer

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Many of us are mobile beings, using technology from anywhere in world. For that reason, an iPad has become a very popular choice for Mac users on the go. Unfortunately, sometimes we can be so on the go that we even leave our iPad at home. If you’re used to doing a bulk of your digital media consumption on your iPhone, you’re not alone. Often that can mean downloading movies, music, and e-books to the smaller of your devices. Well, once you’re ready to watch that movie or read that book, you’re probably going to wish that you had a way to open it on your iPad instead. The best way to easily sync an iPhone to iPad, or vice versa, is to set up iCloud account.

Before you set up an iCloud account, you want to make sure your device(s) meet the Apple system requirements.  When you first turn on an Apple device, you are given an opportunity to create and set up a new iCloud account. If you skipped this step before, you’ll want to go into “Settings”, tap “iCloud” and either enter an Apple ID you have there or tap “Create a free Apple ID” to create an Apple ID with iCloud.

Create Apple ID/ New iCloud email

Once you’ve setup your Apple ID, you will want to turn on “enable automatic downloads” to sync your music, books, etc. across all devices. Under “Settings” you will go to “iTunes & App Store.” From there you can turn on syncing for each individual type of media. Make sure to turn on iCloud on every device with the same Apple ID and sync downloads.

Automatic Downloads Sync iPhone to iPad

If, instead, you’re looking to physically sync your device(s) to a Mac Computer, you will use sync in your iTunes. Syncing works best when you have the latest version of iTunes and an up to date iOS. iTunes will also determine if the software is up to date on all of your devices. Open iTunes and connect your desired device with the USB cable included. Find your device by clicking “Library” in iTunes Store and find your device in the upper-right-hand corner. Under the “Summary” tab, you will see a list of options to check or uncheck. Make sure to check, ““Sync with this [device] over Wi-Fi.”

To sync the device formally you want to make sure the device is charging and is on the same Wi-Fi network as the computer. At this point you can select the device and configure syncing to choose what type of files sync and so on.

If you have any problem setting up iCloud or syncing, feel free to bring it into Mac Enthusiasts for help. If you’d rather shoot us a question online, you can contact us here. You can also give us a call at (800)448-1892.

What to Look for When Buying a Used Mac Computer

By | How To, Sales | No Comments

As many will agree, Mac is a very reliable and sustainable brand of computer. This is reflected in their unwavering popularity and, more obviously, in their price. Unfortunately, the price of a new Mac can be out of reach for some, especially if they are replacing a computer unexpectedly. Thankfully, there are plenty of available used Macs on the market that can still offer the user dependability without breaking the bank.
Mac Enthusiasts, specifically, is proud to offer a reliable fleet of refurbished/ used Macs for purchase. You can check out our general offerings and pricing in store or here on our webstore. Whether you are purchasing a refurbished Mac from us or from somewhere else, we want Mac users to be informed. Be wary of scams and make sure you know enough about your new computer before you pay for it. Here are some ways you can test your new/ used Mac to make sure you are buying a reliable system:

Know what kind of Mac you’re getting, and the real condition: Basic computer specs can be found by selecting “About this Mac” in the Apple main menu. Here you will automatically be shown what type of Mac you have, the Operating System, the serial number, and information on graphics, processor, and memory. Make sure this information aligns with what you’re looking for and what the seller claimed about this particular system. Also, you can take your serial number to checkcoverage.apple.com to find out if there’s any AppleCare left on that system.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Mac Computer 1
It’s also helpful to learn about the battery life on your new used Mac. From “About This Mac” select “System Report”. By selecting “Power” on the left, you can see battery specs like the cycle count and battery condition. Any condition on a battery worse than “normal” may mean you will need to replace the battery sooner than later. It’s important to keep this in mind when calculating your overall cost.

What to Look for When Buying a Used Mac Computer 2

Test the hardware: There are many physical features on a Mac computer to be tested. Some simple actions you can take to cover your bases include: playing a video online to make sure that the sound and graphics card are working, opening photo booth to make sure the webcam is working, typing up a quick document to make sure all of the keys working, and recording some audio in Quicktime to make sure the microphone is working.
If you want to be extra diligent, you can bring some external devices to aid your testing. Some examples of hardware you can use to test your used Mac (depending on its capabilities) are: USB drive, DVD, SD card, headphones, ethernet cord, etc. If there’s a port for it, it can be tested!

Restart the computer, run diagnostics: Another great test of functionality of a Mac can be done when starting up the device. You will need to be connected to the internet to run this diagnostics test. When starting up the Mac, you can press the “D” key to begin running the Apple Hardware Test. Follow the menu guide to run a hardware test of the Mac. You will have the option to either run a basic systems or a most lengthy extended test. For earlier Macs, this can be ran with a disk that originally came with the Mac.
In Macs newer than June 2013, the Apple Diagnostics test will look a little different. You will still start the test by pressing “D” upon start up, but instead of choosing a type of test to run, Apple will automatically run a system test for you. At the end you will be shown either “no errors” were found, or a list of issues will pop up, along with a resources to repairing said issues.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Mac Computer 3
If you’re not sure where to look for a reliable used Mac computer, try checking out Mac Enthusiast’s collection of refurbished and used Macs for sale. We’ll work with you to find the best Mac for your price range and make sure you feel 100% comfortable with the computer you’re taking home. Feel free to come in, call us at (800) 448-1892, or contact us here for any questions you may have.