desktop vs laptop

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by job, May 20, 2003.

  1. job macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2002
    in transit
    i looking to upgrade my entire computer set-up over the summer. i don't want to spend more than $1200.

    at this point, my main option looks like a mid-range emac with 1GB of ram. however, i've noticed that more and more students are purchasing notebooks, specifically ibooks as their main machines. now both the emac or the ibook would be welcome upgrades from my current machine, but i would like to hear some first hand accounts as to why people have chosen a laptop over a desktop. is simply due to pure mobility reasons?

    i do simple word processing, some powerpoint, light html/flash, and occasional photoshop stuff. i do like to play graphics intensive games, such as RtCW and MoH:AA. UT2k3 looks nice as well.
  2. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    i do all of those things on my iBook except the games. I have an xbox for games. i have an ibook 800 and it works very well with my 384mb of ram I run word, safari, ichat, xchat mail, and sometimes dreamweaver or ps elements. all of this works well. Odlly enough the most slowdowns come from limewire and iphoto. iTunes 4 runs faster for me too.
  3. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    if you only have 1200 go the emac route, you will get much more out of the money. faster processor, more ram, and the ability to pay those games somewhat decently.
    My vote is for the emac with 1gb of ram.
  4. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2003
    Historic Norcross
    Got my first Mac a couple of months ago - 600mHz iBook. I will never buy a desktop ever again; I take this iBook everywhere and now that I have an Airport Base Station and Airport Card I can use it anywhere in the house. You just can't beat the portability!
  5. yzedf macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2002
    last year i moved from desktop to laptop... and i would have a hard time to get a desktop again as my primary computer. portability is a factor, so is the nice LCD screen (not such big deal now...). but i am no longer a gamer (burn out after q3a and rtcw).

    although if you are competitive about games, eMac is the way for you. iBook just can't cut it for games. for example, Q3A fps is only around 40!
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I'm a studend who switched from a desktop to a laptop, but I don't play as many, or as graphics intensive, games as you do- just war 3 really. I really like the portability of my ibook, but since it's also my only computer, I went with the 14" because the small screen would get hard on my eyes after a while. The ibook is perfectly good for everything you're planning to do except that the emac, with a slightly higher clockspeed processor and more RAM should do better on the games.
  7. DeusOmnis macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Ann Arbor, MI
    MoH:AA kills my computer... (see specs below)
  8. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2003
    Historic Norcross
    Good point, I have the 12" iBook and the screen is a bit small after a while. I use it for long stretches mostly at work and mirror my display on a 19" CRT monitor that makes a HUGE difference. If you'll be using it a lot go for the 14" if you won't be mirroring your display.
  9. wallinbl macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2003
    I only buy laptops anymore. It's just so much better to be able to take it whereever you want. Use it from the couch, your bed, your car, your class, your work.
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    desktop vs laptop

    I personally would have a very hard time goin back to a desktop since I got my TiBook which has completly replaced my desktop. That having been said however, unless portability is a HUGE factor for you (and as a student, I know that it can be) I would go with the eMac at that price point. Bigger screen, more RAM, faster processor. My only caveat here is that apparently the iBook can be hacked to permit monitor spanning which is invaluable for things like flash developement with the millions of palettes that are always open. The eMac cannot be modified to perform in this manner (and I'm not really sure the iBook still can either, this is only what I have heard). Oh and I have also heard that the native screen resolution of the 12" and 14" iBook is the same so you won't actually get any more screen real-estate by spending the extra $200, it will just look bigger. Also consider the cost of peripherals in your purchase decision, since I bought a laptop I have also bought an airport, a keyboard, a mouse, an extra power adapter and a case to carry my computer around in, and all of this adds up fast. An eMac comes with most of this, doesn't need an airport (though you may want to buy a 2 button mouse either way). Ultimately I think you will have to decide between power and portability, whichever is most important to you. Or you could find a way to get another few hundred dollars and get a bare bones 12" PB through the student developer discount for about $1500.:D

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