All Macs: How can I fit a Mac into my current tech situation?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TomOSeven, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. TomOSeven macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm a pretty heavy computer user (meaning I use computers heavily, not that I'm a 'person of girth') and for a while now, I've tried to fit a Mac into my existing computer setup.

    Whenever Windows finds a new way to piss me off by showing me ads, phoning home, showing me ads, updating at seemingly random times, showing me ads, forcing onedrive or cortana onto me, showing me ads, or otherwise treating me as an ATM, I wish I had a Mac again.

    My current setup is:

    - Thinkpad T480s (14" laptop, light, small, awesome apart from ****** speakers)
    - XPS 15, GTX 1050 / i5-8400 (15" laptop, great specs for the price, again ****** speakers)
    - iPhone 7
    - iPad Pro 10.5, mostly unused, bought as an e-reader, to store Udemy courses and a chunk of my music
    - 27" 1440p USB-C display

    The T480s is my 'backpack computer', the XPS15 is my 'gaming, couch-potato and home-office' computer.

    I work as a Java developer and do homeoffice once a week, requiring me to have at least one Windows machine for our proprietary VPN software.

    So the T480s is so fantastic that I'd have a hard time parting ways with it, and its value and reliability put any Mac to shame, but all the other stuff I can take or leave.

    I was thinking of replacing the XPS with an iMac, but the super expensive SSD options turned me off.
    I could replace the XPS with a Mac Mini, but then I'd have no GPU at all.
    I could replace the T480s with a Macbook Air, but it's really hard to not see that as a downgrade in almost every way possible.
    I could replace the iPad Pro with a Macbook Air, but that's a chunk of added costs and owning three laptops seems pointless / stupid.
    I could replace the XPS15 AND the iPad with a 15" Macbook Pro, but those are so unbelievably expensive that even if I sold both the XPS15 and the iPad, I'd still not break even. Also, I don't think I could live with having no Escape key.

    Should I just forget about it?
     
  2. PeterJP macrumors 6502

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #2
    1) You can get macs at reduced prices by buying refurbished. It's 15% off.
    2) SSD prices aren't so crazy once you compare specs. Believe me, the reason why my late 2013 MBP is still quite fast (faster than my wife's SSD based 2017 Windows laptop!) is only because Apple used an expensive, but very fast, SSD back then. You won't regret your "expensive" SSD in 5-6 years' time.
    3) If you have an iPad PRO as an e-reader, I think you can safely get rid of it. Perhaps you can also get rid of BOTH laptops and get a 15" with Vega. That GPU seems to be comparable to an NVIDIA 1050 TI. I don't know if it's available refurb yet.

    If you're seriously considering the move to mac, I would wait until you can get a refurb VEGA 15", then swap everything you currently have for it. It's an expensive machine, but it does everything your 3 devices do in a very small, very performant package that will last you years.
     
  3. Howard2k macrumors 68000

    Howard2k

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #3
    It sounds like you don't really need the Mac, so it's a luxury purchase in that regard. Since it's a luxury purchase, no need to try to over-rationalize it. I'd sell the iPad and the XPS and pick up a 13" or 15" MBPro. No need to pay Apple's absurd SSD rates, just buy NAS or external storage.

    I'd consider waiting for Canyon Cove of whatever it's called - the current generation appears to have some issues in some cases.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    If you want a Mac, buy a Mac.

    But don't expect it to replace the Windows machine, if you need the Windows machine...
     
  5. Kenny99 macrumors newbie

    Kenny99

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Location:
    ST. Louis, Mo.
    #5
    As suggested a refurbished iMac (as mush as your budget will allow) and an external SSD (again as large as your budget will allow). Run your windows in a VM. Also keep 2 copies of your backups, if you half to ask it will be a long story. :)
    KENK
     
  6. sosumi99 macrumors 6502

    sosumi99

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #6
    Agree with those who point out that you don't need a Mac and it cannot replace your Windows machines -- therefore it's a luxury. I would save the money.
     
  7. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    #7
    new Macs more likely will give you headache than luxury
     
  8. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 601

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    SELL $BTC
    #8
    Try a used Mac first. See how you feel for a few months. In that time it won't lost value so if it doesn't fit your needs you can sell for the same price.
     
  9. TomOSeven thread starter macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #9
    I don't know why this is someone three people remarked on now.

    I do have two Windows laptops, one of which I want to replace. So as long as I have one, the Mac doesn't need to run Windows at all.
     
  10. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    #10
    I'm curious, tell me dude where I can sell used few months Mac for a full price ?
     
  11. TomOSeven thread starter macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #11
    Wait, can I actually run OSX from an external SSD on an iMac?
     
  12. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 601

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Location:
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    #12
    On eBay. Plenty of 'used Macs' (not new Macs) retain their value for a few months or even a year.
     
  13. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    #13
    eBay 8% final value fee, PayPal 3.5% fee, so it's about 11.5% hit into the sale price, that's a lot
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    "Wait, can I actually run OSX from an external SSD on an iMac?"

    Yes. In this respect, the Mac isn't like Windows.
    A Mac doesn't care HOW you boot it up, so long as it's a valid copy of the OS.

    The OS can be on an internal drive, on an external drive, on a USB flashdrive, or even an SD card. Perhaps even on a DVD.
     
  15. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #15
    Generally speaking:
    When I get that lust for some piece of equipment, I save up in a specific fund unrelated to anything I actually need, until I could buy it outright. Then I consider whether I still really want to spend that amount of money on this thing. Sometimes I do, and then I already have the money. Sometimes I don't and then I have a nice amount of money saved.

    The 512 GB SSD is expensive but still an okayish choice. The 1 TB and larger SSDs are outrageously expensive compared to their consumer-oriented counterparts on the regular PC side, and I would seriously consider external solid state storage to complement a stationary Mac unless ultimate speed for all storage was a top priority for me.
    But yes, through their pricing, Apple as a company really drives home the point of seriously considering what hardware you actually need for the next few years as opposed to what you'd like to purchase "in case" you ever got started with whatever resource-hogging hobby you sometimes think you'd like to have.
     
  16. Kenny99 macrumors newbie

    Kenny99

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Location:
    ST. Louis, Mo.
    #16
    Yes, Parallels is free from the Apple store for MAC's. it allows you to have a second boot for windows. Their are other options for running Virtual Machines (some Free such as Virtual Box) that you don't half to reboot to run.
    My first reply was a suggestion to replace everything with a MAC, but I now read it as just part of you system. You can find Refurbished / Used MAC's that will meet you needs for some time to come (here is one place to look - http://deals.appleinsider.com) (Don't forget to look at the warranties)
    An external SSD 1T that will run almost as fast as your internal HD is about $250 on Amazon. If you can stand the delay you can find 1T SSD for less. (suggest the faster ones)
    FYI: I just updated my system from a 2013 i7 8 Gb. MBP to the 2017 i7 16 Gb. MBP and after the extra $$ it isn't that much of an improvement in speed or performance. So don't be too concerned about older models.
     
  17. Euroamerican macrumors regular

    Euroamerican

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boise
    #17
    Excel, as part of Office 365 on my corporate Windows 10 laptop, decided today to repeatedly try and tell me how to insert pictures into my spreadsheet right in the middle of me trying to enter text into cells.

    haven't studied yet to see if Excel does this on the Mac....

    I'd like to say that you'd enjoy having your iMessages on a Mac computer. My messages look the same on all three of my devices and I like that very much.

    Haven't checked to see if you can do that with iCloud on a Windows PC, but that sort of thing might stave off your need to buy a Mac computer.
     
  18. TomOSeven thread starter macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #18
    I'd like to say that as well, but the last iMessage I received was in 2016. Where I live, it's all Whatsapp.
     
  19. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #19
    I'm struggling to see why you 'need' a Mac other than Windows updates pissing you off - which you can configure. As for the ads, use an adblocker (loads of free ones that just work - adblock plus, for example).

    If you really, really prefer Mac OS, then I would ditch the T430 and get a MBP for your development work and use a VM on the MBP for the Windows bits like your VPN. Virtual Box is free and has good integration with scripting if you feel the need. Then keep the XPS 15 for games. You don't need a high-end GPU for the work stuff, the integrated graphics on most computers are enough - I work on a Lenovo M mini PC with Dual Full HD monitors and graphics performance is not an issue IT admin tasks.

    And I would just an external monitor at home that you can use for both Mac and PC. You get the portability of both platforms that way and the bigger screen.
     
  20. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 601

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    SELL $BTC
    #20
    You can cover that. eBay often sends out the £1 fee or other low fee offers to sellers. If you find a bargain you can sell for more. I've done it once.
     
  21. jtara macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #21
    Nonsense!

    Of course a Mac can replace a Windows machine, if you have some "need" for a Windows machine.

    If that's the case, OP should state exactly why they "need" a Windows machine.

    If it is because they use Microsoft Office Suite, you can get it for Mac, and there is absolutely no reason why it has to be run on Windows.

    If you run other software that is only available on Windows, I recommend running Windows under VMWare. Parallels is another option but one I am unfamiliar with. I think VMWare is the best way to run Windows (and other OSs) on MacOS.

    There is very little overhead to running Windows in a good VM, so long as you have adequate memory. It is a good idea to boost memory if you are going to run a VM.

    With VMWare, you can run a Windows desktop in a Mac window, but it's also clever in that you can set it up so that individual Windows applications have their own windows on your Mac desktop. The choice is yours and you can mix and match.

    Dual-boot is just a non-starter. It's too inconvenient, and will give you little benefit.

    Heck even if you have some obsolete software that runs only on Windows XP, or for that matter MSDos, you can run it in separate VMs. You can be running Windows XP, Windows 8, Windows 10, and multiple versions of Linux, all at the same time, given enough memory.
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    "Of course a Mac can replace a Windows machine, if you have some "need" for a Windows machine."

    I -agree- with most of what you wrote in reply 21.
    Particularly the part about using emulation software to runs Windows on the Mac, and AVOIDING Bootcamp.

    But there are some times -- probably with business and scientific software (among others) -- that it's just easier to run this stuff "on a Windows machine" instead.

    I don't use Windows, and essentially "never touch it".
    But sometimes, I reckon that folks have to use it... :(
     
  23. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    #23
    you can't run all software by emulation, also performance is not comparable to native Windows environment
     
  24. TomOSeven thread starter macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #24
    Again, I would still keep one Windows machine at any rate.
     
  25. jtara macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #25
    There is no emulation. Emulation is running on a different CPU architecture - e.g. running ARM code on X86. Emulation is quite inefficient. This is not emulation.

    And performance is very close to Windows running natively without a virtual layer, in most cases.

    I strongly recommend VMWare Fusion over the free options, such as VirtualBox, they have worked hard on optimized graphics, disk access, network access etc.

    You are running Windows in a virtual environment. It makes Windows "think" it is running on bare metal. For best results, VMWare installs some drivers in your Windows installation - though they are not necessary.

    Performance will be better in any case, though, with more memory, and more cores.

    Most cases where some software won't run on a virtual machine is because the publisher does not want it to run. Not because it "can't".
     

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