imac 20 in Vs macbook + screen

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by deanops, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. deanops macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    i havent really looked into this -

    either a 20in base iMac - i have been wanting this for a while...

    or

    a white macbook (the better one) + a nice (prolly dell) 20in screen.

    they will most likely equate to the same price

    I need t5he computer for school work (office), some minor video and photo (liesure) garage band at a minimum and heavy itunes. i normally use my pc (im on windows now) for this stuff (i got programs like the sony suite)... Portabillity is not entirely necessary (im in year 10) but nice to have...

    if i were to buy one i would probably (considering i like it) buy the other by the end of this to the start of next year, if funds allow.....


    it would be appreceated for any advice.... i know of possible near future updates - i'm not buying until the or before april 15 (mac promotion in australia for a free ipod with mac purchace)

    thanks
     
  2. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
    #2
    I have a Macbook and 19" screen and love it. The only downside is having to plug in the various cables when you want to move it, but even that doesn't take long (I move it daily). I use it for study and watching movies.

    There is no question but you get a better computer with an iMac it's neater, has dedicated video and a larger hd. However the Macbook is no slouch, and is a fine computer too and the huge advantage it has is mobility. If you can use it anywhere, you will find that you will.

    If you're sure don't need mobility, go the iMac.

    If you'd like to have it, go the Macbook.

    If you go the Macbook I'd advise getting a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and if youre getting an external hd get a USB one. I know firewire is faster, but with USB you can plug it (and everything else) into a hub, so a single connection to the computer is all you need. Believe me, it saves sheer frustration trying to find cables to plug in.
     
  3. lordjonny macrumors regular

    lordjonny

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #3
    I was in he same situation as you couple of years back and was infatuated by laptops cause i' never had one. Good thing i was, paid off big time and got a ibook.

    You will use all the portability of it all the time and for the work you do you won't be affected by the limitations of the graphics card. (I bought the macbook when it came out which I'm using now)I have to say that i only plug my macbook into my 42" HD screen to watch films and stuff. So i definitely recommend the macbook for you, the only thing i did instantly was to upgrade the ram to 2gb as this is a must and is an awesome speed boost.

    lordjonny
     
  4. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #4
    i had a similar choice you had a few months back. i opted for the macbook, but i would get an imac if i were to do it over again. the portability simply isn't important to me, and i use the macbook mostly with the lid closed as a desktop. i love my computer, but it would have made more sense to get an imac. discrete graphics (you notice a slow down when connected to a 20" external), bigger hard drive, all in one packaging. get the imac.
     
  5. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #5
    WTH is heavy iTunes....? That has to be one of the silly statements I have ever heard.

    Anyhow. It is boils down to this:
    Do you want portability?
    Do you NEED portability?
    How do you assess this:
    How often will you bring the computer outside your home?
    Do you feel comfortable taking a laptop with out to school?

    I would also look ahead to uni if you plan to go. Notebooks are nice to have around. I personally do what you propose to do. I have a Macbook and I bring it from school to home, where I hook it up to my 20" Dell. I like it personally.

    Does the extra power in the iMac outweigh the portability of a Macbook? (graphics, faster HD, faster CPU)

    That is what you need to ask yourself.

    Also, consider taking the funds for the LCD and diverting them toward the purchase of a MBP, if you want the added power. By the time you by, there may be MBP updates which means the refurb prices will fall. You could pick up a current MBP and get a nice deal. You would have the 15" screen for the time being, until you can get more funds for a 20"+ LCD.

    Just think about your uses. And honestly, if you aren't sure, go with the iMac. If you don't like it sell it and get what you wanted. That is really the best way to go if you want to figure it out. Good luck.
     
  6. Piepz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    #6
    If portability isn't important to you, then I'd say go with iMac - more power always is better choice.
    Yesterday I was checking my friend's MacBook and there were so many slowdowns in Cover Flow in iTunes that it wasn't even funny.. disappointing.
     
  7. deanops thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    itunes on my win pc is a hog and a half - sorry if it was so 'silly' :p

    i like everyones ideas here.. i'm thinking the imac - more screen real estate, bigger hd etc etc, and i raelly don't have that much of a use for mobility till i go to uni (3 years from now) and i will def upgrade by then... now for leopard and ilife 07 to come out....

    i would be still interested in others comments - maybe you will convince me otherwise...
     
  8. deanops thread starter macrumors regular

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #8

    Do you notice the slower performance like siurpeeman does when he plugs his into his 20in??
     
  9. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
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    #9
    No, I usually use it with the lid closed and I don't game at all on it, so I've noticed no slowdown. The odd occasion I've used both screens I have noticed it's a bit slower, so if dual screen is important, you might want discrete graphics.
    I have 1.25gigs ram and it's fine, if you get 2 gigs it should be fine.
     
  10. jklps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    #10
    Heavy iTunes use is something I can help explain, as it is an issue for me too as I'm considering a similar issue (20" iMac vs. Macbook + monitor).

    I have too much music to fit onto the Macbook hard drive(80+ gb), am not willing to remove any of it, and plan to add more when I buy new cds. With a macbook I'd have to connect/disconnect my external drive every time, and then when i'm in my apt the files wouldn't be accessible unless the drive was connected elsewhere.
     
  11. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #11
    I was initially going to get a MacBook (at the time the macbook hadn't been released yet) and a 20" iMac. However when the MBP came out i bought that instead and thought about just using one machine. That was returned due to the whine and i bought a Macbook with the intention of getting a 20" iMac aswell.

    Anyway long story short, i never got the iMac and i use my MacBook in clamshell mode with a 20" Dell.

    I like the portability of the Macbook, plus i get the advantage of a bigger screen when needed.

    My only problem is that it's annoying having to connect everything up and even more annoying when you want to use the speakers but have the laptop on your lap.
     
  12. FullCollapse macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Oneonta, NY
    #12
    i would say go with the imac, more bang for your buck... especially if portability is not an issue.
     
  13. deanops thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    if i were to get the mac book it would pob be open with the moniter - more real estate.... i like how most imac users are opting for the imac and the macbook uses are saying the macbook.... Anyway - lets wait a bit for leopard - i want my free ipod!! I think its going to be the imac 20''... next question -

    more screen real estate (24'') or more ram (20'')??

    or

    if the macbook - more ram or mbp (screen)??
     
  14. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    Digital World
    #14
    Buy a MacBook with a 20" or 23" Apple Cinema Display. You would have the power of a desktop and the portability.
     
  15. atom21 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    #15
    Go for the macbook.

    ____________________
    McIntosh MCD201 - MCD201 SACD/CD Player Catalog by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. for download
     
  16. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Russia
    #16
    Get an iMac, definately.

    You dont need portability at all, iMac is more reliable, has a much bigger and faster hard drive, is dead silent, even under heavy load, runs games 5x-8x better than MacBook (if not more). Also, all-in-one package is nice and you wont have to constantly plug in and out cables.
     
  17. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #17
    Get the MacBook+display combo if you aren't planning to use your computer for heavy gaming. Also you will appreciate the portability of the MacBook.
     
  18. emac82 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    #18
    How come everyone is buying the Dell screens? It seems like on here people either suggest buy a Dell LCD or the Apple Cinema Display...

    Does anyone use monitors from like Samsung, and Viewsonic? They make nice monitors at affordable prices.
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    That's probably because they only have 512MB RAM, if they upgrade to 1-2GB it'll fly. (2GB is probably best as you want paired RAM for maximum performance, the price is good now too.)
     
  20. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #20
    I never understood the question of <some desktop> or <some laptop>. If you are going to take the computer with you somewhere then get a laptop. If it will stay parked on your desk get a desktop. Pretty easy decision, imo. I made it in about 5 minutes... I thought, "self, do you ever want to take your computer somewhere to do something that an iPod and/or a cellphone or cheap PDA can't do?" and I thought for about 5 minutes and replied "nope, desktop it is!"

    (Yes, I talk to myself. Beats not having any friends).
     
  21. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
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    #21
    Mr Green--

    Perfect! Exactly right! I laughed out loud when I read what you said--it is too true.

    Bob
     
  22. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    Ireland
    #22
    Quality?
     
  23. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Bay Area
    #23
    I have a macbook and 20" ACD. It's a nice setup and works well, but if I didn't need portability for school, I would replace it with a 20" (or 24") imac in a heartbeat. The two main advantages to me are more power and fewer cables/less clutter with the imac. The macbook + screen combo has no advantages except portability, and if I didn't need a laptop at school, I wouldn't really need a computer anywhere but at home.
     
  24. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
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    Ireland
    #24
    You haven't learned the joy of posting on macrumors from the loo yet so!

    Or just sitting down on the sofa doing some quick surfing here and there.
     
  25. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #25
    As Mr. Green said, it's usually a pretty obvious choice if you need portability or not. As someone who has both an iMac and a MacBook, I'm glad I didn't have to make the choice.

    That said, if I could only have ONE computer, it would be a laptop. You never know when being able to take it somewhere will really come in handy. In addition, I'd be inclined to get a MacBook Pro -- a refurb one to keep it closer in price to the 20" iMac -- rather than a MacBook, because that gives you the best of both worlds. Since I bought an iMac first, when I got rid of my Dell laptop I just bought a MacBook. No need for a MBP in my case, but I'll be getting one from work in a couple months anyway.

    If I were you, I'd give serious thought to a refurb MacBook Pro (ironic, since I don't own one). It might cost a bit more up front, but you'll get a nicer machine with dedicated graphics. Maybe then you wouldn't be able to afford another monitor right away, but could add one a in a few months for $300 or so. If you really don't think that's an option, then I'd say the high end MacBook. I'm a champion of computing everywhere but the desk :)
     

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