iMac or Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ritzuk, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. ritzuk macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Hi guys,

    I have a 20" G5 iMac. It's an awesome computer, but getting a bit long in the tooth. I'd ldeally like an intel iMac and a decent graphics card to put the odd game on it (the only thing i missed in my current mac) but the only decent GPU is in the 24" version. The iMac is being updated soon - do you think that we'll see better nVidea GPUs in the lower end macs?

    Secondly, the Macbook Pro has just been updated - do you think this is a smarter investment? I'm going to be doing a bit of game playing, watching movies, listening to music and a bit of desktop publishing.

    If I make the decision tonight, i can get 15% off through the education store and a free ipod and printer!!

    Should I hold out for the iMac updates, or take advantage of the offer and splurge on the 24"?

    What are your thoughts on the Macbook Pro - do you think i'll really notice the difference between the 20" screen i'm used to and the 15" laptop screen?

  2. nanvinnie macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2007
    only because i'm an mbp owner... i'd say go with the new mbp
  3. CBGFilms macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2008
    I'd go for the iMac, but defiantly wait until the new ones, as I think they'll probably upgrade eem' to the new Nvidias that they added to the Macbooks or even better!
  4. chilipie macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2006
    I think you'll definitely notice the difference. Would you consider a MBP and an external display? The big decider is probably whether or not you want/need portability.
  5. ritzuk thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2005
    SUPER FAST replies! Cheers!

    I would consider a MBP and external display - I just wonder whether I'm actually going to take it anywhere?

    I still have a G5 iMac - I wonder whether I should get a portable to go with it? Saying that, I'd prefer just one computer.

    I'd rather not spend £1400(!) on a new computer, but the discount takes it down to £1222.34. I'm thinking that if a 20" one comes out with a decent GPU at around £1000 though, that's a lot cheaper than £1222.34!

    However, I wonder whether I would feel like I missed out by not buying a new Macbook Pro?

    Do you think the edu discount and free ipod is enough of an incentive to part with my cash tonight?
  6. chilipie macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2006
    You'll still get the education discount tomorrow, so I suppose it depends if you want an iPod or not really!

    I don't use my MBP as a portable most of the time - it's usually plugged into a 24" Dell screen, mouse, keyboard, Wacom, speakers, external HDD and two iPods, and therefore sometimes a bit of a pain to move - but I do really like having the ability to move around with it, even if it's just to watch a film in bed. That said, if you can't see yourself using it like that, it'd make far more sense to buy the iMac.
  7. ritzuk thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2005
    That's good advice. I won't get the free iPod, but I think holding out is a safe idea. It'll give me more time to think and I'll get to see the iMac refresh in a couple(?) of weeks. I already have a 30gb iPod, and although the new nanos are nice, I don't really need one (although I did have a green one in my basket, mmm).

    I'm pushing my luck with the student discount, which is why I suppose i'd like to do it as soon as possible - I graduate in January, but I'm pretty sure I'm still not classed as being enrolled since all my classes have finished. Saying that, the AppleChat guy didn't ask for any proof and put me straight into the HE store. Dishonest? I guess, but I bought one Mac without student discount to last me throughout four years of University and so I think getting one ONCE with discount, even if it is at the end, isn't too bad. I hope...
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    The answer is you want an iMac and a macbook <G>

    The posts here provide you with some good info and some things to consider.

    Assuming you don't really need a mobile system, yes the iMAC can exceed the abilities of the Macbook Pro. Even with the same speed processor you get an advantage of drive choice/speed, RAM that is a bit faster and of course Video.

    If you are able, go to an Apple store or counterpart that has both on display for hands on use. It seems to me if you got the iMac, you can still keep your laptop for mobile/portable use. If you get the newer Macbook Pro and go with 4 gigs RAM, best vid available, largest are spending a lot for a system that does in fact perform "less" than a well fitted iMac.

    My needs, as other posters, are unique to us and you need to figure what you want out of a system. If "power" is the thing, go iMac and if reasonable power and smaller screen with mobility is the thing, get the laptop.

    The famous - if it were me... I would get the iMac, spend a bit more for the largest drive, best vid offering. (You can buy 3rd party RAM a lot cheaper and put it in yourself ) up the RAM to 4 gigs. I would continue using the old laptop as needed (if at all) and of course, buy LATER a Macbook Pro. <G>
    Btw - I would favour the 24" over the 20" for movie playback and games.

    - Phrehdd
    Mac Pro quad 2.66, 9 gigs RAM, Cinteq Wacom Tablet screen, 4 tb internal for digital photo restoration, QNAP 409 Pro NAS 4tb
    20" iMac 2ghrz, 4 gigs RAM for personal use
    pending purchase of "new" Mac Mini if they materialize for Media Center with Plex front end (excellent application)
  9. ritzuk thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2005

    Hey, that's smart advice. I think I'll wait until the iMacs get updated and then if I want portability later, I'll consider my options then. I am hauling my iMac to work and back at the moment to do DTP (hence the portability need), but if I buy a new computer I'll still have my old G5 which I can leave at work.

    I think the portability of a Macbook Pro is not so much a functional thing for me, as it is a 'sexy' thing. Will I ever take it to some terrible coffee house and sit their stroking my goatee over a latte? Never! Might I whip it round to a friends house in the future to play some warcraft on it? Possibly, but then I could stick the iMac in a box - it's only one power lead and a mouse and keyboard after all.

    A new iMac is the way forward I think, but I'll have a mess in the Apple store when I head out that way.

  10. Malivar macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    Easy decision. You said you'll be playing the odd game, and that min spec iMac GPUs aren't powerful enough, yet they are more or the same as the min spec MBP (Still more expensive than base 24" iMac w/NVIDIA chip). The iMac is made to handle games better, and is a bigger screen. If you don't travel a lot or have to have something portable, I'd say get an iMac.
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Gasp - an honest person! <Grin>

    I totally get that notion and its often a serious part of the equation. - The ultimate cool factor.
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    To a certain extent, it's the old power versus portability argument, and whichever trumps the other in terms of your needs. I have a MBP, and it does all of my work, and I'm very happy with it. However, it sounds to me as though you have other needs, and phrehdd and others have given good advice; we each have different needs (and wants - an entirely separate matter) where computers are concerned. You have to decide where your greatest needs are.

    I'd say go for a MBP, but I like the portability; your needs seem to be quite different. However, if you do decide to get the iMac, I'd suggest you wait until the rumoured upgrades are issued, then take a look at them and try them out. If you like look of them, buy one, if not, go the refurb route and buy one of the current models.

    Cheers and good luck
  13. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    youll get better performance in the imac no doubt. if you need a portable, get a portable. if you dont need a portable, get the desktop. the desktop will perform better and will cost you less. also, less likely to fail because it is sitting on a desk all day.
  14. ritzuk thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Thanks for all the good advice.

    It's pretty unusual to find a forum with nice people without a troll in sight... is this an internet first?

    I've decided to wait for the new iMacs. I don't need 24", but I would like a better GPU. I figure if they stick in something decent, or a build to order option, then i'd be set.

    Thanks everyone!

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