Help Me Get a Desktop/Laptop Combination. What are my options?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mariahlullaby, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    Okay, I know I post a billion threads in this forum, but only because you guys are so helpful :). And the fact that I'm so confused, and I want to upgrade before I go to college in the fall!

    I currently have a Powerbook G4 12" hooked up to a 23" ACD. I love it of course, but sometimes the PB coughs running so much stuff out of it, and I want to be able to use it as a portable device (yes, I can unhook it every day from the ACD for school, but I have an external HD, etc attached that means half my files are left at home, the lot).

    I have two iPods (see below), a Dell Axim to sell, and maybe $200 to spend. I might be able to sell some other things and work some during the summer and bring the cash up to maybe $400 or so. I'm guessing the iPods and the Axim will bring in $600 (hopefully). Then I think I can sell the PB for $1000.

    I will still need an iPod; I am planning on getting the 30GB iPod Video (60Gb is just too big and also I don't like how heavy/thick it is).

    I'm thining of a Macbook/Mac Mini combo, but the total is around $2400 (-$179 for the iPod discount), and I'm afraid that I'll just have two subpar computers compared to my Powerbook. Plus it's a little out of my price range.

    Apple USB Modem
    Part Number: MA034Z/A
    Estimated Ship: Within 24 hours
    Remove $44.00 $44.00
    iPod 30GB - White
    Part Number: MA002LL/A
    Estimated Ship: Within 24 hours
    Remove $269.00 $269.00

    MacBook 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo - White
    Part Number: Z0D5
    SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    2.0GHz Intel Core Duo
    100GB Serial ATA drive
    1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x512
    Accessory Kit
    Estimated Ship: 1-3 business days
    Remove $1,424.00 $1,424.00

    Mac mini 1.5GHz Intel Core Solo
    Part Number: MA205LL/A
    Estimated Ship: Within 24 hours
    Remove $579.00 $579.00
    Cart Subtotal: $2,316.00
    Free Shipping: $0.00
    Estimated Tax*: $138.96

    Estimated Total: $2,454.96

    Now for my uses:
    -Web Design (Dreamweaver, Photoshop CS2, Illustrator, etc)
    -iLife stuff (iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto, the works)
    -Internet, word processing, email, all the normal stuff

    I am worried most about the GRAPHICS CARD. I realize the issue with Intel Macs and Photoshop, but I'll deal with it until CS3 comes out.

    Any help with how to get a Desktop/Laptop combo that has at least one GOOD computer to hook up to the 23" ACD.

    BTW, I am not selling the ACD. It was a gift + I love it :) :).
  2. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    If I were you I'd keep the powerbook and get a 17" iMac. Much more powerful than the mini, and the powerbook should be plenty for your needs on the go.
  3. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    Take a breath. I would argue that a 12" PB will carry you through your first year of school just fine. I don't think you will be happy with 2 "sub-par" computers. I do audio and video editing, and I use my 1Ghz 12" PB for audio editing and for FCP, as well as all of the nifty stuff you have to do in school. It really depends on what you’re studying, but I would

    I'd sock the money away, and wait until you are a few months into school, and know what you need vs. what you want. 23" Apple Display is a fantastic gift. That is the kind real-estate is the kind that people drool over. As far as a better set of tools, If you need portability, I would keep your 12" PB, and when you can, get a desktop computer.

    Remember that there are sometimes additional saveings on referbs with in the edu store at Apple. Plus, you may run into somebody on campus that will be selling a new Mac for what ever the latest and greatest is around Christmas. Lastly, if you do a lot of work with Adobe products, you might just be better off waiting.

    As for iPods, I am partial to the 4GB Nano, which I use as a back up drive for each quarters work. I carry around a ZipLinq iPod cable in my bag. I also have a ZipLinq cable to charge my phone, and 2 spare batteries, and a spare AC adapter. This usually keeps me portable for a day. Perhaps you want to upgrade the internal drive on your PB. Upgrade the RAM also, if you haven't maxed it out already.
  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Keep the 12" PowerBook and get a maxed out mini or iMac.
  5. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2006
    Getting a mini and a MacBook would only be really usefull if you intend to use both machines simultanously. The Mac mini is superior to the Mac mini. To really take advantage from a desktop computer it should be more powerful than the laptop, or should be used simultanously.

    And if you want to run Photoshop CS2 in Rosetta with the standard Ram on the mini and the MacBook, it is going to be very slow. I never used it on Rosetta with 512Mb, but thought it was really much slower with 1G than with 2G. But this perception might vary from person to person.
  6. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    why not just get a macbook pro.

    getting a mini and a macbook is plain silly seeing as the macbook is faster than the mini cpu wise and equal in all other ways.

    either get an imac and keep the pb or get a macbook pro and sell the pb
  7. mgodfre3 macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2006
    I have a mini and a MacBook!!!

    I personally own a 1.5 Core Solo Mini with an 20"ACD at home and at the time had a 12" powerbook. Then May 16 came, and first thing in the morning i bought that white MacBook 1.83. I subsequently maxed out the ram on the Mac Book and need top do so with the mini. I would say that this desktop/laptop combo is awesome. I'm in college and do much the same things as you on your comp. I only wish that I had the $$ to upgrade the processor in the mini, as I tend to use the Mac Book more often. Oh btw .Mac is a most for this combo. Thanks!
  8. SurfinSHELL23 macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004
    Aberdeen, NJ
    I would get just a MacBook or MacBook Pro. I have a MacBook and a G4 Mac mini. I've been using my MacBook on my Dell 20" widescreen. On several occasions I've forgotten that I'm using my MacBook in clamshell mode and thought I was on my Mac mini. I wondered why it was so snappy and realized I was on my MacBook. I really don't need the Mac mini anymore and am thinking of alternate uses for it. I wouldn't waste your money on two computers, I really think the best option is for one good portable. I've decided that I'm never going back to desktops for anything but servers, kiosks, etc. I opted for the MacBook over the MBP only because of its diminuitive size. I'd been lugging around a huge, heavy Dell for a few years and was tired of it.
  9. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    It's not so much the processing power of the Macbook to run a 23", it's the huge pain it is not to enjoy the portability of the Powerbook because I always have 90 things hooked up to it. Right now I have the ACD, two iPods, and External HD, and a digital camera hooked up to it and it will be a huge pain to reset everything up every day (whenever I take my laptop somewhere I don't re-hook it back to the ACD for several days just because it's a pain to get everything reset up).

    I'm really interested in a laptop I can bring to class, to Starbucks, etc. and then something I can keep in the dorm hooked up to the ACD that I can use when I'm at in.

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys....I'm still wracking my brains for a solution!

    Also, I see not reason on getting an iMac when I have a perfectly good 23" ACD to use....and then I still don't have a notebook.
  10. Macnoviz macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Roeselare, Belgium
    Weren't there docks available for the iBook? Just one big plug to plug into your laptop at home, with all the devices/power/accesories plugged in. That could help, and they'll probably release one for the Macbook.

    but actually, I wouldn't spend 2400 dollars on mediocre computers, but I'd get a MBP. For a few hundred dollars more, you can get a 17 inch MBP, that has all the bells and whistles standard (1 GB Ram, 8x double layer SD, 120 GB storage, nice discrete graphics card, large screen for on your desk or on the go)

    Or you can get a 15 inch if you're looking for more mobility or a smaller price.

    I would recommend an iCurve + mouse and keyboard, if you plan to use a laptop as desktop computer. That plus a 17inch MBP is just too sweet for words.

    P.S. if anyone contradicts me, trust him and not me :)
  11. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Look into getting a docking station for the powerbook. You can plug all of your stuff into the station and it will be way easier to deal with. As for hard drive space, look into getting a 100GB drive for your laptop. Then take the current drive and drop it into a portable firewire housing. Or just buy a portable firewire drive if you really need the extra space. Then leave your other external hard drive at home and use for backups. The portable or larger internal hard drive will be with you all the time. However, if you went with a 100GB internal, I don't know why you would need extra space while on the road. If you do, then just get the portable. I have one that I don't have to plugin to a power source. It runs off my firewire and is smaller than a paperback book.

    A year for now, sell everything and buy a dual "Conroe" MacbookPro. :D
  12. macidiot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2002

    I second the idea of just getting a Macbook Pro. The 2.16 is pretty much the fastest mac you can buy. The quad is arguably faster, then again it costs a lot more and it's a lame duck computer. And the mbp will blow the doors off your 12" pb.

    The mini and macbook are nice for what they are, but imo, they are crippled by the integrated graphics.

    I agree it's kind of a pain, but what you described as being hooked up isn't all that much... a couple of minutes to setup. It is a mac, all those things should be plug and play ;) And if you get a firewire/usb hub (depending on what you use for your devices), you can basically reduce your connections to 2, the hub and the monitor.

    btw, I'm going through the same situation, though my budget is a little bit bigger than yours ;) . I decided on a 17" mbp and a Conroe desktop when they come out in a few months. I went with the 17 (hooked up to a 20" acd, a couple of external drives, ipod and keyboard/mouse when it's on my desk) because i'll be using it as my primary comp for at least the next 6 months.
  13. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    I looked into the MBP, and I don't think I can afford one, nor do I think the money is at all worth it. I hate the giant footstep of the 15" and it really isn't all that different than the 13" which has the nice screen to boot.

    The point is....I am really interested in a desktop/laptop combination. This PB is driving me insane.
  14. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
    Is this the newer 23" ACD? Why not utilize the ports on the back - firewire, USB, purchase a hub to connect if necessary. They you only have 3 connections (DVI, firewire, USB to monitor) to make (+2 if you count power and ethernet cable). I don't know about you, but making 3 connections isn't that big of a deal (especially when you don't have to worry about syncing information between 2 computers).

    I do this everyday with my MPB to a 23" ACD (which has 2 firewire drives, USB mouse and printer connected to the ACD)

    Edit: ok looks like you want 2 computers. I would suggest thinking carefully about the data that you want on both computers - syncing between 2 computers can be a chore also
  15. iris_failsafe macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
  16. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    I think this is your best bet. Again, the iMac is much more powerful and on the go, you won't be doing stuff that will need real power, right?
  17. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    you clearly can if your thinking of getting a macbook and a mini, i love my macbook and all but i'd take a pro in a second if i could afford it.

    i dislike having both, use my cube for long things which i dont have to be their to observe, and music, but keeping both user account concurrent is a pain in the ass.
  18. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    I was thinking the same way as you and getting an iMac to go with my 12" PB, but now I'm leaning towards getting a macbook and external display and external drive (similar to the setup you have now). I figure it will be easier to keep one computer on the go than two.

    I think getting the Mac Mini would be irrelevant and a waste as it will be slower than your portable, so you'll hardly ever use it.

    If you are dead set on the combo, either get an iMac and keep the PB, or wait until the Mac Pro gets released, and maybe you'll be able to afford a low end one to go with your lovely display. However, I would suggest getting the 2.0 MacBook and putting in your own ram and hd. It will be easier than remembering where that file you wanted is, and you still have portability.
  19. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    Hi guys!

    Thanks for all the help. I've looked into it some more, and I'm thinking the Mini/Macbook route may not be right after all. After reading all your suggestions, I think I'd be unhappy. I'm considering now either a) hanging onto the PB until MPB Rev B or b) getting a MPB now. I'm in the market for an iPod, and the Back to School special is sweet. But I'm thinking it just might be better to get the second revision after being at school a few months...but my resale value of the PB is dropping at an alarming rate.

    Any thoughts on making the move from 12" --> 15" and lugging it around all day?
  20. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I made the move from a 12" to a 15" and didn't have any complaints. Now I'm considering the move from the 15" to the 17". :)

    That said, there are days when I miss the 12" form factor. There are also days when I curse the 15" for being so small. *shrug*
  21. kumbaya macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2005
    Thinking out of the box

    How about waiting until Rev B Merom MacBook Pro comes out, and selling your iPods, Axim, PB AND ACD and getting a 17" MacBook Pro + Video iPod?

  22. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    Both of those computers you mentioned have integrated graphis so it is not that good and photoshop etc is not native on the intels yet so i would also recommend keeping the pb and buying any type of imac.
  23. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006

Share This Page