27" iMac i7 or 17" MacBook Pro i7? Looking for opinions in my situation...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Auzburner, Jun 30, 2010.

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27" iMac or 17" MacBook Pro (Please, read below to evaluate situation)

  1. 17" MacBook Pro i7, 500GB 7200RPM Drive

    9 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. 27" iMac i7, 8GB RAM

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. Auzburner macrumors 65816

    Auzburner

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    #1
    Any input would be appreciated!

    Bought the iPad on launch day and love it. The iPad will be my primary portable for school, but I'd like something with spine for my desk. With the iMac and MacBook Pro I'd somewhat easily be able to place the machines in my car and go home. I would go for the Mac Pro immediately, but it hasn't been updated in nearly a year and a half. I own a Samsung T260HD that would either act as the primary visual for the Mac Pro or dual for the MacBook and iMac. For both configurations I'm not looking for extreme portability because I have the iPad which can perform most tasks such as email (as can iPhone 4), but mainly word process and formulate excel charts... I just want something I can put in my car in a reasonable amount of time and use at home without hauling the monitor as well. Reason for the 17" MacBook Pro would be the 17" 1920X1200 resolution display, I don't need it to be more portable than that.

    Configurations:

    iMac 27"
    - 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 [Add $200.00]
    - 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB [Add $200.00]
    With the RAM I'm tempted to purchase the 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB [Add $400.00] from Apple because that's not overpriced (according to Crucial) and that leaves room for later and a more affordable upgrade when it comes time to do so to a total of 16GB...
    May wait for a likely update... Things will obviously change in that situation.

    17" MacBook Pro
    - 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 [Add $200.00]
    - 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm [Add $50.00]
    I want the 7200RPM drive because I've seen significant improvements with the faster drive in my second generation White MacBook. (It's sad this isn't stock on a MacBook Pro.) Any RAM upgrades I will do on my own later on for a cheaper price.


    With the student discounting the pricing is surprisingly close. The MacBook total came to $2443. The iMac $2378. These prices also include the $119 MobileMe family option... That's a long story. Deadly NYS tax is not included.

    If you have and questions as to my rationale, please ask. Ideally, you will poke a hole in my thought process and help me make this tough decision. Thanks for the read.
     
  2. Yinmay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #2
    From your sig, you have a (white) MacBook as well? Are you planning on keeping it? If yes, get the the iMac if not get the MBP17.

    Also for your own health (wrists and neck) I'd seriously advice against using the iPad to take class notes 10 to 20 hours a week.
     
  3. Auzburner thread starter macrumors 65816

    Auzburner

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    #3
    The note on the health is very helpful, I will keep that in mind. As for the White MacBook I do have, I'm leaving it at home for the parents...
     
  4. Yinmay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #4
    Then MBP without a doubt. Being able to take your laptop with you for an extended weekend somewhere across the country is just invaluable. Or for those moments where you feel like working elsewhere than on your desk (in bed, on the sofa, at the coffee, etc.)
     
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #5
    What are you going to be doing with this computer that you need such ridiculous specs?
     
  6. MacSignal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #6
    In general, these seem like very powerful configurations for running word processing and spreadsheets. I would see the MBP as a better fit given that it doesn't appear you have a need/use for the extra power of the iMac and you want something that you can easily put in your car to take home.

    +1 on the previous comment pertaining to taking notes on the iPad. You may want to consider a MBP 15 in case you need something else besides the iPad that would be more portable than the MBP 17.
     
  7. Auzburner thread starter macrumors 65816

    Auzburner

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    #7
    I always like to go big when I upgrade because the high end lasts me. When I bought my MacBook, I maximized the specifications and here I am typing on it three and a half years later without much trouble. 10 years ago the PowerMac G3 in my room was purchased and I can still turn on what I describe as the noise of a jet engine preparing for takeoff into multiple operating systems. I have the money and would like the latest and greatest. I also like to game, and having a jump on the integrated GMA950 is what I'm looking for. Then again, anything is an improvement on the GMA950. :p Additionally, I would like to run some CAD programs and haven't had the opportunity quite yet on my Mac. Virtual DJ is another program I love, but have a little trouble with, granted that doesn't need anything near an i7.

    As of now, I'm leaning toward the MacBook Pro, don't worry, I plan on leaving the spreadsheets and word processing to the iPad (keyboard dock is nice on a desk). The comments have been helpful!
     
  8. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #8
    I suppose that this boils down to only one real question drawn out of sheer necessity, do you need to be portable, especially with all of that processing power?

    The iMac with the configuration you have it in will last you years, especially with what you plan to do with it. And since you already have the iPad to bring around with you, I think you have solved most of your portability issues there.

    Just as a side note and a bit of a personal story.. I purchased a PowerBook years ago, which I am still using now, because I really thought I needed to be portable and I wanted to have the processing power with me at any given time. I would estimate that more than 90% of the time that I've owned my portable, it in reality has been a desktop. It sits in the same spot in my room and it does not move unless I'm going out of town. So instead of buying what I really needed, I bought what I thought I should own at the time. And my next Mac will actually be the 27" iMac with i7 and 8GB RAM after the next refresh of course.

    One last thing... Look else where to buy RAM. Apple will upgrade the iMac for you from 4GB to 8GB for $200 but if you look at say newegg.com, you can buy an additional 4GB for half that and do the upgrade yourself. Remember that you will only have to purchase an additional 4GB (2x2GB) and not the entire 8GB because Apple puts 2x2GB = 4GB as the base model.
     
  9. Yinmay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #9
    There are two types of portability:
    1. Within one location: e.g. I live in city A and I'm going to be at various places during the day within that city and I'll be back home in city A in the evening.

    2. From one location to another: e.g. I study at Cambridge, MA during the week and I stay at my parents/boy/girlfriend's place in Providence, RI most weekends.

    For the latter you NEED a full-fledged laptop if you want to stay productive.

    I'm biased though: I'd go for iPhone+iMac+MBA or iPhone+MBP15 over iPad+anything else, but that's just me.
     
  10. Scorecard macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    #10
    I recently got an iPad 64gb 3G and MBP 15" i7 500gb 7200, 8gb ram and HR AR display. I love that combination! I love it even more my work purchased both items for me :)

    Anyways since you mentioned portability you definitely would want to go with the MBP. The iMac is not portable at all, I've hauled around a few cinema displays and even they are not portable.

    The iMac will be unbelievably powerful but your i7 is going to be over twice as powerful as your old mb. Go with the MBP and don't turn back :)
     
  11. rumplestiltskin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    #11
    AppleCare! Whichever unit you decide to purchase, get AppleCare!

    I buy mine on eBay and save a fortune. (No, I'm not an eBay AppleCare vendor.)
     
  12. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #12

    Ok that's good for you then. Thanks for having something to say. :)
     
  13. Auzburner thread starter macrumors 65816

    Auzburner

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    #13
    17" MacBook Pro

    Last night I ordered the 17" MacBook Pro. I bumped up the specs a little as a last minute decision. Went with:
    •
    PROCESSOR 065-8568 2.66GHz Intel Core i7
    •
    MEMORY 065-8569 4GB 1066MHZ DDR3 SDRM - 2X2GB
    •
    HARD DRIVE 065-8587 256GB Solid State Drive
    •
    OPTICAL DRIVE 065-8575 SuperDrive 8X DL
    •
    Display 065-8576 MBP 17" HR Glossy WS Display

    Bought the AppleCare, Printer with rebate and iPod Touch with rebate. I will be re-selling the iPod Touch sealed to get some money back. Can't wait for this thing! Will definitely last me through 5-6 years of school. Thanks for the input, everyone.
     
  14. DaveRobertson82 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #14
    go for the MBP, saying that, I sort of treat my iMac 21.5 as a laptop, seeing as it's one unit and can be easilyish moved [​IMG]
     

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