Buying advice... MBP or (MB + iMac)?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kingsly, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    So... when (not if :cool: ) Apple gives me a new C2D MBP, I am thinking about simply selling (or returning) it and taking the $2000+ to buy a baseline MB as my life (or iLife) machine and a 17" iMac as my work (FCP) machine.

    I'd rather have a 20", but what matters most is the GFX card being as or more powerful than my MBP, plus I am already gaining 2" over my 15.4" MBP! :eek: :D

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Spam?
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    FYI: they're the same resolution.

    I think the desktop/laptop split is a good idea, as the iMac will effectively have the same performance as the MBP, plus you'll get a laptop and have all that fun Xgrid potential.
  3. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Awww! :eek: :(

    Yeah, that Idea is warming up to me too. I always feel strange lugging my $2000+ MBP around to school and meetings and such just so I can check MR, watch 24, or type notes (MR for school, 24 for meetings ;) :D )

    EDIT: Ohhh! No FW800 to go along with my G-RAID Pro. :(
    Oh well, FW400 is what I've been using on my MBP anyway...
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I think that a MacBook and a iMac would be a great combination of speed and portability for you Kingsly. :)

    Personally, I would go for the 20" iMac for the extra screen size. The 17" iMac Core 2 Duos are great computers (I use one in one of the computer labs at college), but if it was to be my main machine, I would want a larger screen to stare at. :)
  5. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I would go for the 20" or 24" iMac as your primary workstation, then consider holding
    just a bit to pick up a refurbished C2D MacBook or MacBook Pro with Leopard.


    Keep the C2D MacBook Pro and buy a 23" Cinema display and a fast external HD
    for extra storage.

    That extra real estate really comes in handy when your working with different control
    surfaces and your media.
  6. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I really like the MacBook/iMac idea... on the other hand, I really like my MBP!

    Decisions, decisions...
  7. Subiklim macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2006
    Manhattan, New York
    I currently have a Blackbook and 20" iMac (both core duo) and I'm stuck in kind of the same place where you are. I'm kind of sick of keeping both machines synced, so I may sell both, and get a 15" MBP c2d, and get an external monitor to use at home. The only problem with that is, I really like the form factor of the macbook, and I'd rather not go back to an aluminum system (I had a powerbook prior to the blackbook).

    I think I'll wait for the NEXT (santa rosa) intel processors.
  8. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    So after "aloominum," you prefer plastic? Any particular reason? I am calling Apple any minute, so more info would be great. Also, how does one go about syncing them?
  9. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6

    Odd I went from plastic (iBook G4) to aluminum (MacBook Pro) and I prefer the latter. :eek: :)
  10. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I am having so much trouble deciding... my brain
    (and those of my family, friends, combined intelligence of MacRumors [or lack thereof :eek: ]) says going double is the right choice, but my heart says "backlit keyboard...15" display... aloominum... shiny... pro!"

  11. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Jun 4, 2005
    New York, NY
    I wouldn't buy 2 systems at the same time. If you want to buy both, buy the Macbook now and the iMac later, unless FCP really demands it. Buying 2 systems is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot -- when the next big thing comes around 2 years from now, you don't only have 1 outdated machine. If you buy one now and buy the other a year down the line, you can stagger your upgrades and deal with the slower machine by relying more on the faster one.

    In other words... I'd just get the MBP. 2 computers is a bit more of a hassle than it's worth sometime (transferring files, etc.)
  12. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Yes, I got an ibook first, that saw me through for a while, then I got the 24" iMac. I think it´s great to have 2 machines. My wife now use the ibook at home
  13. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Yes, I have recommended this option to a number of people, and all are thrilled with their resulting setup...a more portable laptop and a far better stand-alone home machine (with no need to dock it, etc.).

    I would really advise you to get a 20" however, and also to get a program called ChronoSync to keep the two machines syncronized in regards to the documents folders. Also, once you have two machines, .Mac becomes a great service with their IMAP email and autosync of contacts, calendars, keychains, etc.


    PS: For what it's worth, I use a CD Blackbook and a C2D 24" iMac. For my needs, this is the perfect setup, and one obtained at a very reasonable cost.
  14. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Actually, the smart move would be to buy the iMac now and then plan on purchasing a Santa Rosa or Penryn processor notebook with Leopard some time
    in mid 2007.

    That way you'll bridge the technology upgrade gap with everything changing so fast.

    It's best not to put all your eggs in one basket.
  15. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I prefer to have just one computer for simplicity. So I'd take the MBP, but that's just me.
  16. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    Over the years, I've found that it doesn't matter how many computers I have, one of them becomes my workhorse that I use all the time. I have three computers. I use one of them daily. The others get used occasionally.

    Buy the one you like the most. Buying two of them would probably end up being a waste of money. One of them will get used. The other one will get some use, but will probably spend a lot of time collecting dust.
  17. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    If you're only going to be tracking 2 inputs at a time through your MBox 2 Pro,
    almost any machine can handle that, but when you start overdubbing, mixing and adding effects to multiple tracks, that's where you need the processing power and the storage. The more RAM you have, the more tracks you can run.

    The nice thing about having a larger display or two,
    is that it's easier to monitor your primary DAW
    application windows and all your plug-in windows.

    Laptops are great in a professional environment, but if your running around like most musicians meeting lots of new people from all sorts of backgrounds, you have to keep in mind that a loaded MacBook Pro would be a high value theft target.

    Without a primary workstation safe at home, you risk losing all your work and everything else you've accumulated on that system.

    I'd go for the iMac and learn to take full advantage of your workstation, then
    worry about portability once you get yourself up and running.

    Your CPU ends up costing about one 3rd when you start adding plugin software, mics, stands, processors, amps and pre-amps, compressor/limiters, near field monitors, keyboards, and other studio accessories and that's just for a small project studio.
  18. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    I actually sold my Macbook Pro earlier this year and downgraded to the black Macbook when they first came out in June (I wanted something a little more portable and needed to recoop some $).

    Then I started taking my photography to the next level and found that I really needed a larger screen to work with (I was sharing my other half's 20" iMac G5 until it moved to her studio outside of the house...once it left, the 13" inch screen, although fantastic, just didn't cut it). I seriously considered buying an Apple Studio display, but when the 24" iMacs came out, that was that...just too good a deal to pass up...and absolutley gorgeous display!

    Soooo...I own both the iMac and the Macbook and it's a great combination and .Mac is great for keeping both synched. My iMac is my main workstation, and, yes, I do use it the vast majority of time and have even considered Ebaying my Macbook - but I've owned a laptop for the last four years and I hate the idea of losing the portability altogether. Oh, and I love the Macbook and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with the same set-up... but I do have to admit that I miss the sleekness of the aluminum MBP, along with the backlit keyboard...personally, I'd love it if Apple would bring back a smaller version of the MBP.
  19. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dont worry, I plan on getting by with FCP on my MB until MWSF, when I will get the iMac. :D
  20. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Well, when I take possession of my white 2.0 C2D MB on Tuesday, it will join my 24" iMac C2D. However, I chose the 2 now option based on (a) one workhorse + one portable, and (b) one [iMac] for myself, and then either the critters or woman can use the other [MB + external display]. I too looked at that same option, just getting the MBP, but got two now, as mentioned above.

    As to a backlit keyboard, would really like such for not just the MB but mainly for the iMac - when sitting at the desk, I've lights down low, and/or if watching a movie, etc. would be advantageous to have that little bit of glow there.

    Have the .Mac too - will start that when the MB gets here... :)
  21. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


  22. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area
    I'm debating along the same lines... I have a 12" 1GHz PB that I've already promised to a friend in Feb... I don't really like the chicklet keys on the MB but they're tolerable. Not particularly thrilled with the bigger size of the 15" MBP... but it has the aluminum look and the keyboard that I'm accustomed to...
  23. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Kingsly, sometimes it's better to wait and get what you want rather than feeling that you've settled for less.

    If you can manage to hold off and think this over a bit and continue to save your funds, I think you'll be glad that you did.
  24. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    LOL! I've never heard them referred to as such. :D
  25. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    When I purchased my daughter's Macbook, I did notice that dirt and grit getting into the chassis may definitely be an issue as the machine gets used.

    At least you can detach the MBP keyboard and dump it every once in a while.

    I prefer using my Apple Pro Keyboard and mouse any time one of my friends
    brings over their laptop.

    At least it's only $29.00 to replace the keyboard if something gets spilled
    or if too much grit renders it unusable.

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