Buy 2 Macs or 1

ncfuser

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 24, 2007
112
0
So I was waiting for my tax return to buy a 17 inch Macbook Pro.
Was going to use as my main computer and connect it to my 22 inch external monitor. I do light HD iMovie editing. And only use it as a "laptop" for light travel.

Then looking into the 27 inch iMac i7, I was thinking if the prices would be close and get a 13 inch Macbook from Micro Center with a $200 mail in gift card, to use for couch and travel. Buy Macbook now and wait for tax return and Gift Card to buy iMac.

17 inch Macbook Pro ($2700)
•2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
•4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X2GB
•500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
•SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
•MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Antiglare Widescreen Display
•Backlit Keyboard (English) / User's Guide
•AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Pro - Auto-enroll
Keyboard $63
Mouse $63
Twelve South BookArc Desktop Stand $48
Displayport adaptor $27
Incase Sleeve $38

Total $2939 for 17 inch Macbook Pro


27 inch iMac ($2216)
•2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
•4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
•1TB Serial ATA Drive
•ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
•8x double-layer SuperDrive
•Apple Magic Mouse
•Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) and User's Guide
•AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll

13 inch Macbook ($999 - $200 Visa Gift Card) (Micro Center)
•2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
•2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB
•250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
•Keyboard (English) & User’s Guide (English)
•SuperDrive 8x DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW

Incase Sleeve $38



Total $3253 - $200 Gift Card = $3053 for 27 inch iMac and 13 inch Macbook


**Prices from Apple reflect corp discount**


I think this should be easy, just want to see what the Mac people think.
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,199
16
KY
I say option two. You will enjoy the larger screen, as well as the portability of the 13"
^^ Seconded.

If you only travel lightly, why buy a super uber-powerful laptop as your only machine? You'll appreciate the quad core speed of the iMac, too, and the 27" screen is the berries! :D
 

MacKiddyWiddy

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2009
359
0
definately the second one... the 17 is big, portable and powerful... the imac is super big and super powerful, the 13 is super small and super portable... meaning you'll either feel it hard to move the 17 around and horrible to work on at a desk, or free to move and work on the 13 whilst happy on the imac at a desk... definately the second option
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
4,917
596
Dallas, Texas
Buying the iMac/Macbook combo will offer you greater flexibility with multitasking. You can set up something that is processor intensive like rendering or converting video on the iMac and walk away to use your Macbook from the couch to surf the net. Having two machines also affords some measure of back up in the event that one machine goes down or needs repair then you are not left without a computer. Last, I'll just go with the old adage that if some is good then more must be better. (especially when it comes to Mac stuff) :D
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
I would get the second one as well. iMac outperforms MBP easily now so that would be your work horse while 13" MBP would be used while on go or when portability is needed.
 

uberamd

macrumors 68030
May 26, 2009
2,786
0
Minnesota
Eh, I am iffy on this topic. I have the current 17" MacBook Pro and a Mac Mini with 2x1080p 21.5" screens. Guess what, I ditched the screens and the Mini (sitting under my TV now) and solely use the 17" MBP. Why? First off I hate juggling data and application licenses between two systems.

Also, I find that being able to go out and about with my 17", then going home and putting it on my laptop stand and opening it to resume exactly what I was doing is very convenient.

The draw of having multiple systems seems awesome at first, but you may go crazy (like I did) juggling your data between systems, as well as going from looking at a HD desktop display to a small 13" screen that only does 1280x800.

The 17" with the HiResolution screen is the only system I ever use as an on-the-go college student who has classes all day (carrying the 17" around) and homework all night (working at my desk).
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Not necessarily, if the MacBook Pro (of the 13-inch variety) is going to be used for travel the demands on it would seem lesser.
I honestly have no idea what you're getting at here.

+ Resale value is higher for two Macs than for one only
I also do not understand this line of reasoning. Why would you want two computers depreciating in value when you're not getting twice as much use out of them by using them in tandem? Considering resale value when you're buying a machine is a really stupid factor to consider. Buy a computer to use it, not to resell it.
 

Royale w/cheese

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2007
669
0
Are you going to be the sole user or are there going to be others constantly around? I use my MBP for everything, but iMac and mac mini for some juggling if I need a task that is going to sit there and process, when I may be leaving or doing something else. Data is not that bad (depending on what you are doing) as networking is simple. I only really need my MBP, but the main reason I like having many systems is so I don't have to give it up when others need to jump on for a quick (read hours) Facebook and email check.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
I honestly have no idea what you're getting at here.
E.g. If it's only used when traveling etc. much power isn't needed for web surfing and e-mails.

I also do not understand this line of reasoning. Why would you want two computers depreciating in value when you're not getting twice as much use out of them by using them in tandem? Considering resale value when you're buying a machine is a really stupid factor to consider. Buy a computer to use it, not to resell it.
It's stupid only if you are going to keep it for years but if you are tempted to upgrade to a new one sooner than ~3 years, resale value is VERY important as you want to lose as little as possible.
 

chill.

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2008
385
0
buy a 15" macbook pro for the discrete graphics and an external monitor and save yourself a cool grand..
 

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,246
473
NY
I was thinking of doing the same. Only I use my Macs for Final Cut Pro editing. I would use the imac as my main machine and then use the mbp when I had to teach kids (part of my job) how to use final cut or if I'm shooting an event and there is a break I could possibly start to transcode my footage. Ideally I would like the 15" as i'm used to that size but cost is an issue. (I was planning on waiting till after the holidays in January to see if apple did anything on the mbp line. I would like the top 15" specs in a 13" machine for the next update.)
 

ncfuser

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 24, 2007
112
0
Are you going to be the sole user or are there going to be others constantly around? I use my MBP for everything, but iMac and mac mini for some juggling if I need a task that is going to sit there and process, when I may be leaving or doing something else. Data is not that bad (depending on what you are doing) as networking is simple. I only really need my MBP, but the main reason I like having many systems is so I don't have to give it up when others need to jump on for a quick (read hours) Facebook and email check.
Yes and No.
This will be replacing my 5 year old Dell. I also have a 8 year old Macbook that needs replacing. My wife currently uses a MacPro. Now my little girl is on the computer. So I am the main user, with my little one using sometimes.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
E.g. If it's only used when traveling etc. much power isn't needed for web surfing and e-mails.
So get an iPod touch...

Anyways, fine. I don't see why this necessitates having a "primary" computer at home.

It's stupid only if you are going to keep it for years but if you are tempted to upgrade to a new one sooner than ~3 years, resale value is VERY important as you want to lose as little as possible.
How will you know if you'll be "tempted to upgrade sooner than 3 years" ? Now we're planning out our temptations?
 

mr_matalino

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2005
528
34
I honestly have no idea what you're getting at here.
The OP can replace the MB a year or two before or after the iMac. Both don't need to be replaced at the same time. My friend has bought a new iMac every other year and keeps his MB every three years or so...
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,772
5
dallas, texas
So get an iPod touch...

Anyways, fine. I don't see why this necessitates having a "primary" computer at home.
I don't see what's so flawed about getting a 13" and the 27"? Your other comment is the more logical one IMO, but the OP would be paying an additional $1000 for the 17" when the computer isn't going to be portable most the time/when it is portable, most the computers power is going to be wasted.
 

ncfuser

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 24, 2007
112
0
Thanks everyone.
Now the decision is up to the wife.

I am leaning towards the two Macs vs the 1.
Lets hope the one with the MacPro agrees:)
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
...but the OP would be paying an additional $1000 for the 17" when the computer isn't going to be portable most the time/when it is portable, most the computers power is going to be wasted.
Since he's already got an external monitor I wouldn't even bother with the 17" MBP. The thing about buying two computers is that you aren't going to use both of them at the same time, so essentially when you travel you're "wasting" the $2216 one spends on the iMac while it sits happily on your desk.

I can't find any mention of what the OP needs a more powerful machine than the 17" or high-end 15" MBP, but I still think buying two machines at the same time just results in getting less use out of both of them. Then there's the syncing and file sharing issues you have with maintaining two computers, and at the end of their lifespan you're left with two outdated units you have to get rid of and replace (if you build your workflow around two machines).
 

Big Alsie

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2009
58
4
buy a 15" macbook pro for the discrete graphics and an external monitor and save yourself a cool grand..
Couldn't agree more. get the 15'' macbook pro w/ discrete graphics and a 24'' ACD w/ wireless keyboard and magic mouse.
 

ncfuser

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 24, 2007
112
0
I started Option 2 yesterday.
Got a new Macbook from Microcenter.
When the $200 Visa gift card comes in, going to buy a $200 gift card from Apple with it. Then just need to wait for the IRS;)
 

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