Buying Dilemma. 1.83ghz C2D Mini or Macbook? Help!

Wie Gehts

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 22, 2007
490
13
Argghhh, this is driving me nuts. I can't make a decision :confused:

I have a budget.... $1100 - 1300-ish. Mini...macbook...mini...macbook...

I'm trying to accomplish getting into a new mac (I'm on 10 year old desktops) in the least expensive way I can.
I only have so much to spend and would rather spend big $$ on whatever mac has coming down the line a year or so from now.

Two things I'm really looking to do. Most importantly, audio recording and internet. Nothing heavy duty...mostly my own demos. No more than 1,2...4 tops simultaneous recording inputs. Here's what I priced out: ( I already have an LCD monitor)

New Mini 1.83 C2D w/2gig ram
$739........... mini
$140............ministack fw hd/hub (external recording drive)
$120/$50......wireless keyboard+mouse / usb keyboard+mouse
$200............basic fw or usb audio interface
$1200 - $1139 total


New Macbook 1.83 C2D w/512gig ram
$900...........macbook
$140...........ministack hd
$200...........interface
$105...........2 gigs memory
$1345 total

The Mini's advantage is that I can get in at a little over 1100 bucks.
The Macbooks advantage is all in one portability plus easily replacable HD and memory but $200 bucks more.

What would you do? Please help me decide!

Thanks :)
 

teflon

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2007
792
0
Thats the thing. The mini setup would be portable too, just a bit more clumsier about doing so. :)
The mini itself could be portable, but the monitor, keyboard & mouse are not. If you move once a year, it'd be okay, but if you actually travel frequently, it's not a good option. Also, would u take it to places where you can't get AC power? The mini would be useless without it. And even though Macbook's internal speakers aren't the best, the mini's are almost useless from what i've heard. So you would have to bring a set of external speakers with you as well if you plan to travel.
However, if you don't plan to travel, the mini would be a better choice in my opinion. You can change the ram, hd AND the processor on your mini. Granted, changing your processor would break your warranty, but if you feel your machine is getting slow in a year, you can drop in a 2.33 C2D.

Edit: With the macbook, you'll get dual screens, so if screen estate is important to you, its something to consider.
 

Wie Gehts

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 22, 2007
490
13
Thanks guys.

I suppose the whole mini setup can be placed in one of those carry cases that they make for the Imac for example. I usually think in terms of always being plugged into a wall outlet. So for me, portabilty would basically bringing the stuff over another musicians house to lay down some ideas. However, it would be nice to sit outside near the water for inspiration and compose some music using vst instruments.
Thats my problem, I think too much on this stuff and I can't decide. :)

Speaking of monitors. If I plug a macbook into a larger display, does it just mirror or can I do something like have certain windows open in an application on the macbooks screen and other windows open on the larger LCD?

For example, in Cubase I can have stuff that I only need a small screen for.......Effects, vst instruments, the audio pool and have the windows I need
a lot of space for....the arrangement, the mixers etc, in the large display?
That would be cool.
 

teflon

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2007
792
0
^^^^^
Yes, you can. You can do *Extended Desktop* on the macbook, which is a mode that would allow you to display different things on your 2 screens rather than mirroring.
 

mopppish

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2005
354
0
I do audio recording, too. Having a laptop has been indespensible for that purpose (for the kind of music I work on). If you're just worried about having access to the usual drums/bass/guitar, then I think the limited portability of a mini is probably fine. However, in my own work, I've needed to record jazz concerts, miscellaneous percussion, string quartets, etc. Having the ability to go wherever I needed fast has been fantastic. Not to mention that my MBP goes most places I go, so I've even used software away from instruments or the MBP's built-in mic to put some things down at random times.
The Macbook will definitely be powerful enough. Even a first-gen CD. Though, from my own experience, I would be careful not to skimp. Try to get good stuff from the start (a C2D Macbook and better interface) and add on to it as opposed to having everything right now and settling for less.