considering an air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mentaluproar, May 15, 2011.

  1. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    I have an old sony vaio core solo laptop that is on its last legs. The battery life is still good, but the screen is damaged (it looks like a pixel is bleeding down the left side) the colors are washed out and dim, the SD card reader is shot, the delete key was glued back on so it's stuck, and it cant play hulu videos or run playstation games at a decent framerate. I only use it for looking stuff up when I am out doing computer work for others, fetching drivers and whatnot, so it still does what it needs to.

    I have three other macs in my home and I'd like to reduce that number by consolidating machines. My primary machine is an iMac 7,1 (2.4 ghz, radeon 2600HD I believe). 4 gigs of ram and an upgraded 1TB hard drive that sounds like marbles in a garbage disposal. It's been a great machine to me, image persistence aside.

    My second is a 2.4 Ghz mac mini (320M gpu) used as a HTPC. I dragged just about all my media to a usb hard drive on the network so the iMac is using nowhere near its 1TB capacity.

    The third mac is just a restored G4 iMac I keep around for adorableness.

    I noticed that my mac mini has been able to play many games better than the iMac, including Portal 2 and my old playstation games. I leave it on all the time running BOINC, handling downloads and streaming to my ipod touch when I'm away from home. I also use it for web surfing,video chat, hulu desktop and XBMC.

    My iMac is where I dock the ipod, and all my music is kept, but that can be moved to the mini if I need to. It handles scanning in documents, the occasional keynote (rare, but it happens), spreadsheets, word processing, iphoto, web browsing, and virtualbox/boot camp when I need XP to rip something off an old video game CD, like the soundtrack or something. I also watch hulu, listen to music, and surf the web with it. I play some games, but since I got the mac mini, that's almost exclusively done there now. I also edit videos, but only very rarely, when I have some sort of special project or something. I used to play secondlife, but that lasted about a month before I got bored with it.

    I'm looking at the airs and wondering if I should just get an external screen about the size of my imac and connect that to a laptop while home. I figure I could still sell my 24" imac while it's still worth something and put that toward the air. My issue here is the GPU.

    I know the current generation macbook airs have a perfectly fine GPU for the worst I'd put them through (portal and playstation games, like the mini) but the processor is a bit anemic, so if I needed to transcode a video, it would take longer. The new airs will supposedly have a better processor and weaker GPU.

    For my purposes, would the future air be a good replacement to my current imac? I really love that machine, but when this laptop goes, I'd rather not have yet ANOTHER machine crammed into my apartment. I normally HATE mobile computers, but now that I am used to the magic touchpad (and very impressed by it) I think I can make this switch. Besides, I still have a mouse I can use too.

    Sorry this is was so long.
  2. octatonic macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2010
    I love my Air but I wouldn't want it to be my only machine.
    I have a Mac Pro that does the heavy lifting.

    How much data do you have in total and are you prepared to have most of it sitting on eternals hard drives (if it is over 64/128/256 GB)?

    I use Back To My Mac when out on the road to grab data from my Mac Pro at home.
  3. Hell0W0rld macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2010
    So you have the following devices:
    Imac as primary machine
    Mac Mini as a kind of Homeserver
    G4 Mac for nostalgic value
    and a almost broken Sony vaio

    And now you are considering a Macbook Air,... for what exactly?

    If you use your Sony vaio only for looking up things and not as a portable working machine you might as well just get an Ipad wich is ideal this purpose.

    /sarcasm on
    But it seems to me that you have too much money so you might as well go and get a maxed out MBA and top Ipad 2,... and don't forget to buy a Mac Pro buy the way.
    /sarcasm off

    Sorry for the sarcasm but there are many people out there who would love to have this kind of Problem(including me...).

    Hope I could help you.
  4. mentaluproar thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    The vaio was rescued from a friend's trash can, so I knew it was dieing, and I got a good year out of it, but still, its going.

    If the air can replace the both the imac and the vaio, then I would like to go that route. If not, then a netbook will do just fine.

    An iPad cannot download files, so it's not very useful to me. Pretty cool device, but I don't have any use for one.

    As for the amount of space used, before any housekeeping, 148 gigs.
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    ^^^It's not your money that he's spending, so you should continue to worry about your own finances, while he worries about his. ;) I have a 15" i5 MBP and am considering an 11" MBA. I'm not sure why that should piss anyone off, but it probably does.
    Besides, it's not unreasonable to want to consolidate your electronics so that you have fewer things to deal with.

    OP: Since the Sony laptop sounds pretty much useless, and the old iMac is decorative, you're not really consolidating the products that you use. You're just looking to change over from an iMac to an MBA, right? If so, then the 13" MBA would be great. You could probably get away with using an MBA to replace ALL your computers, buying a Western Digital media centre box (I forget what they're called...) for $100, and connecting your external HDD to that instead of the Mac Mini.

    I don't think you need more than one computer. Your needs aren't extraordinary in any way!!
  6. mentaluproar, May 16, 2011
    Last edited: May 16, 2011

    mentaluproar thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    The G4 is something I have tried to get rid of before. However, like the lady who cried at the opening of an In & Out Burger, I have an irrational attachment to it.

    I use the mini on the tv for hulu. It's that or cable, and I don't need cable. The external drive is connected to the airport. I considered a WD tv box, but I preferred XBMC. I use it for games too. The newest console I have is a chubby PS2, and the laser still works fine on it, I use it so infrequently.

    Unless I connect the air to the TV, I dont see how I can condense everything down to one machine. I'd rather not tether it to the TV either.

    Out of curiousity, where does the imac GPU rank against the 320m and the 3000HD?

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