Different systems, similar price..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jeremybuff, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. jeremybuff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #1
    First off, I want to say hi to everyone since this is my first post. After lurking around MacRumors for years, I have finally decided to hop on board. I just want to say thank you to everyone here, you truly are the nicest, funniest, and most informative bunch of people I have ever seen on a forum- any forum. Kudos to you for making it such an easy and fun environment

    I had written a long post, but sadly the power went off and I lost what I wrote, so I apologize for this "version" to be choppier but I have a meeting to go to in a few minutes. Let me cut to the chase. I am a web designer who uses Photoshop very heavily, often has multiple instances of multiple browsers open with, you guessed it, multiple tabs. It's rare for me to ever have fewer than 5 programs open. Recently, I have been working on a MacBook Air- I'm sure you can imagine how THAT was. Anyway, I code a lot, always have an FTP program open, and use multiple programs from the Adobe Master Collection- none of them hardcore, besides Photoshop. I simply cannot decide which system to get:

    iMac 24" 3.06 GHz, 4GB RAM, standard GT 130 graphics card, 1 TB HDD
    OR
    MacBook 15" 2.4GHz with (upgraded)4GB RAM, 250 GB HDD, and stock graphics card plus the 24" Apple Cinema Display

    Does anyone have any suggestions or experience? I am not sure how well I would cope without a laptop- all I have is an older compaq. Is the iMac MUCH better than the MacBook above? Would I even see a big difference, being a web designer / developer? Especially the performance of the 15" MacBook? The last thing I want to do is spend $2,500-600 and regret it. I guess the 15" 2.66 MacBook PRO is an option as well, since it's $2,500.

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions that you may have.
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    Really it comes down to whether you want / need a laptop or not. If so, the answer is obvious - but if you won't actually use the thing anywhere but on your desk, I'd go with the iMac.
     
  3. jeremybuff thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2009
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    Asheville, NC
    #3
    Well, like I said I'm not sure I can adapt well without the portability. However, if the iMac is truly "that much better"- even if it's better that I currently need- then I would be better of getting the iMac, right?
     
  4. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
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    phased to this universe
    #4
    I have worked on all three levels of machines. Based on what you are saying, you are not taxing the system with any real heavy lifting. You won't notice a difference.

    FWIW - My macbook is my carry around machine and I do video editing and encoding. While it is slower than my Mac Pro at editing, I don't see the big difference until I encode (or transcode), or compress video work.

    The screens are really nice on the Macbook Pros, so I am not suggesting you go the Macbook root. Just providing the information as a means of comparison with performance.
     
  5. jeremybuff thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #5
    thanks mcavjame. I figured that encoding / decoding was the biggest detractor in terms of speed. The 320 GB hard drive is the main problem with the MacBook Pro, and I love the illuminated keyboard (who doesn't?). I may end up purchasing that 15" 2.66 GHz MacBook Pro.. slightly disappointed 4GB RAM is the max, but for that system I guess it's fine..
     
  6. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #6
    Yeah... the first thing I always do with my laptops is swap out the stock drive and pop in a 7200 rpm larger capacity drive. I haven't noticed a big problem with my 4GB of RAM. I often have Illustrator, PS, and final cut, Flash, mail, Internet, preview and server connection open at the same time.
     
  7. jeremybuff thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #7
    It sounds like you do pretty much the exact same stuff I would do. I agree with the 7200rpm drive. It's $45 to upgrade so I'll def do that. I think I've made my decision; you have been a great help. Thank you so much!
     
  8. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
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    #8
    No problem... I like to bounce ideas off people too. It helps clarify what you are doing. Happy shopping.
     

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