Imac or MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sl1200mk2, May 12, 2008.

  1. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #1
    My main machine, a 5 yr old P4 3ghz Windows box just died again for the 2nd major time in as many months. Last time was video card. Today it's either ram or a bad drive (random reboots and blue screens). I can't reinstall XP or Vista -- both fail at various points. Long story short, I'm sick of this machine and ready to switch to an Apple product for my main rig.

    I'm probably off to the Apple store tomorrow, but can't decide between a MBP or iMac. At home, I typically only use my desktop and love the idea of a 20" LCD (looking at the 2.6 model) seeing that I still use a 17" Sony CRT from 1995. On the other hand, the MBP would really benefit me for work where I need a laptop and don't have one. The need isn't critical but strong (travel to different data centers and could use a laptop).

    My interest are: Photo editing (I'd like to try Aperture), FCE for video and possibly some music apps like Ableton Live. I'll use Boot Camp to get some life out of my old Win apps until I can afford OS X replacements. Will probably use XP for this.

    Two machines I'm looking at:

    Imac 20" 2.6ghz
    MBP 2.4ghz

    I realize the MBP is quite a bit more, but I figure if I'm going to do a laptop that I want something nice and that I won't out grow quickly. I'd probably want to go with 4GB ram eventually. The imac I see as something more temporary until I can either later get new desktop (MP) and/or add a laptop.

    I'm writing this post on a iBook G3 800 which is barely hanging on after 5 yrs use as well (another story entirely). I'm not totally new to Mac, but I'm still very much a newbie since this ibook was very underpowered since day 1 and has really only ever been used as a web / email machine while sitting on the couch watching TV.

    This will be the only machine I can afford for at least another year (minimum) and I really shouldn't even be buying it (already too much debt) so I'm trying to get it 'right' and get a machine I'm happy with. I just don't know that I can use a laptop as my primary machine since I've never done it?

    Advice, suggestions, insight greatly appreciated!

    Regards,

    Wayne
     
  2. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #2
    If you can by all possibilities wait, I would suggest doing so until after announcements at WWDC at the beginning of June. Updates are most likely imminent for the 'books.
    Also, I would possibly suggest the mbp for you. Sounds like you want a desktop that fits on your lap. Either the 1440x900 15" screen has the same resolution of many 19" monitors so you wont have to sacrifice too much screen space. It's all just about whether you like to sit at a desk, or sit at your desk and have the option to sit on the couch. Can always hook up external monitor & kb/mouse to give you the desktop experience.
     
  3. sl1200mk2 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #3
    I totally agree with that, but I'd also be happy (I think) speed wise with either of those current machines. Even at 2.4ghz, the MBP would likely be much faster and 'snappier' with 2 cores than my single CPU P4. The P4 while highly clocked isn't exactly overwhelming after all these years.

    Either machine has a much better video card than what I have right now -- ATI X1650 512MB AGP. The 512MB is a joke... does nothing over the 256MB to improve performance. The 256MB card is the one I had that died and I replaced it with the 512MB version thinking it'd be better. I can't notice any difference at all even playing the few games I do occasionally use (mostly RC flight simulator).

    Sad, but not sure I can go 4-6 weeks with no 'real' computer at home. Thank you for the suggestion though.
     
  4. ben.mcmahan macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    I know I'll get hammered for saying so, but waiting is overrated. I'd get the MBP, and consider a reasonable 20" lcd if you ever want to use it as a home desktop as well. People seem to think the new Penryn helps with heat and battery, and if the new updates are the same form factor, they will probably only be a speed bump, and if they are a new form factor, 1st gen machines aren't my cup of tea.

    I'm writing this from a g4 1.33 12" ibook that was a refurb from the last batch before they went intel, and given the troubles the very first run had (not horrible, but higher than average), i was very happy to have my somewhat polished ibook instead of a 'new' macbook with some kinks to work out.

    Now if that Ibook can take care of your mobile computing needs for another 6-12 mos, you could buy the imac, and then take the money you saved to invest until the ibook dies, then you buy a macbook. 2 for 1?
     
  5. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #5
    have you noticed having a lot more errors on your intel machine compared to your ppc?? I know my powerbook rarely has an issue, but my mbp has problems at least once a week. Especially with internet connection/freezing browserS
     
  6. sl1200mk2 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #6
    I went ahead and got the 2.4 MBP and I'm extremely happy with my decision! It's my first 'real' laptop. It's VERY fast unlike my G3 ibook was even from the beginning. Sure, something newer / faster will probably come out in a month, but that's always the case and I know I've got a solid revision here with me that'll last many years to come.

    I got a really nice educational discount on the machine and Apple Care and a nearly free printer / scanner combo with a current promotion I wasn't aware of. Thanks Apple! :)

    I hope to add an Imac sometime in the next year or so as my next desktop.

    Thanks to everyone who posted.

    Regards,

    Wayne
     

Share This Page