iMac 24" or a screen for the MacBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rainydays, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    Hi People,

    When I ordered my MacBook I felt that I should get an iMac and use that as a workstation. However, sitting here with my MacBook I feel that it has the power to do most of the things I want to do pretty well, so I'm starting to think that I should get an external screen for it instead and save some money.
    But I can't figure out which option would be the best for me, perhaps you could share your opinions?

    Here's the cons and pros I could think of

    iMac 24" and MacBook
    * I always have a backup machine if one of them should brake
    * I have a little bit more powerful workstation
    * I won't have to connect three cables whenever I get to the office
    * I will have more space on my desk.

    * I'll have to sync my work before I leave the house with the MacBook
    * More expensive
    * The MacBook will be less used (less value for the money)

    MacBook and external monitor
    * I'll have all my work on one computer. No need to sync. (still need to do backups)
    * Less expensive.

    * Using the MB for CPU intensive tasks over longer periods might not be that good?
    * Having the AC adapter plugged in all the time might be harmful to the battery?
    * Less powerful compared to the iMac
    * I have to connect three cables when I get to the office. Possible wear on the connectors and housing?
    * More cables and less space on the desk

    How much more powerful is the iMac really? I mostly do web development, graphics work and music recording/mixing. But I'd also like to start doing movie editing.
    Will the MacBook perform much worse when connected to a 1920x1200 monitor? Will Front Row work on the external screen (not extended)?

    Argh. Can't decide. The only thing I know is that I need a larger screen pretty soon since I'm breaking my neck working with the MacBook for too long.
    I think I'll wait to see if there's a new iMac announced on MacWorld though.
  2. Kalns macrumors regular


    May 16, 2006
    What abotu the mysterious third option?

    Macbook PRO and an extra monitor.
  3. rainydays thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    Well I've considered that before buying the MacBook. But 15" and 17" laptops are just too large for my needs. And I don't do that much CPU intensive work on the road. Mostly programming and audio tracking (not mixing). So I felt that the MacBook 13" was the most reasonable choice. Besides it would cost me less if it got stolen or run over by a car :)

  4. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    How much money can you throw at the options? Having 2 computers and an external HDD (2.5" so it can be bus powered) would be a great option, i reckon.
  5. Kalns macrumors regular


    May 16, 2006
    Well at any rate, I have a macbook too, and I just bought a 19" samsung monitor/HDTV to go with it. It's a great combination. I love it.
  6. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2006
    I enjoy having one main computer rather than two. I think it's a lot easier to have all my work on one computer, rather than worrying about two. If I were you, I'd get a decent external monitor (Dell 2407?) and maybe an external hard drive, and be able to do anything really.

    I don't think you'll notice too big a difference in computing power, at least to make it worth it.
  7. rainydays thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    Yeah, it makes sense. I was thinking of getting something like the Samsung 244T as it's been getting good reviews (it looks rather cheap though).

    My main concern is really how much using the MacBook as my workstation will decrease its lifespan. Laptops are pretty delicate.
    Also, when doing CPU intensive tasks like mixing with a lot of effects, the fans run very fast on the MacBook, which is quite disturbing when working with audio. The iMac fans seems to be pretty much unaffected by the CPU temperature.
    I'm still not sure if that motivates the costs though. It's almost twice the cost of the Samsung 244T. Granted, I won't have to buy an external HDD and bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

    I guess I could get by with a 20" iMac. But I've been working in 1280x1024 for the past seven years and it would be awesome to have a bit more space vertically when working with graphics and flash.

  8. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Your macbook will suffer a lot more damage on the road than it will doing CPU intensive tasks at your desk. You're really not going to "wear out" the macbook with CPU intensive processes before the macbook is obsolete anyways. That said, a cooling pad wouldn't be the worst idea.

    Well, you could get a monitor that rotates vertically, but that might be a little tough for the macbook to power (I don't know why, but my powerbook's GPU always bogs down when I rotate my 20" dell). Another option might be 20" monitor with a 4x3 ratio as most of these have 1600x1200 resolution.

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