When I buy a new Mac, I don’t generally configure it build to order, unless one of two things are such…
1) The feature involved is _only_ available through a BTO configuration.
2) The organization’s purchasing procedure is so difficult, that I want to minimize the time it takes to actually order something, which offsets any savings that I would have had otherwise.
Now, many people know that I like the faster 7,200 RPM drives in my MacBooks. I also like to upgrade the RAM. Both of which are now user serviceable parts, meaning that you do not void the warranty if you replace these parts.
Furthermore, it is most often the fact that you can replace your RAM and hard drive cheaper than it takes for you to upgrade them from Apple. Which means that you can often purchase an external enclosure and have a time machine backup as well, for about the price that Apple would have charged for the expanded BTO computer itself.
Finally, a minor issue is that Apple has a no return policy for all BTO Macs. They’ll fix any problem that you might have, but if you have buyer’s remorse, possibly because you just read this article, you are stuck with the BTO. Next time, give me a call and I’ll recommend what exactly to purchase, as well as organize how to purchase the RAM and hard drive that you want.
For those that still would like to do it themselves, I recommend purchasing the RAM from www.macsales.com. I have always received items promptly, without expedited shipping, as they are located in Illinois.