iMac vs. Macbook Air and Cinema Display vs. Macbook Air and iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by brayhite, May 7, 2012.

  1. brayhite macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    N. Kentucky
    I appear to have three options for the situation I'm in. My early 2008 Macbook Pro is experiencing issues with overheating and lag. A new battery and ram I would hope can help fix this, but regardless, I expect to need a new laptop in the next year or so.

    That said, should I..

    ..purchase an iMac (27", 1 TB, upgraded graphics card, ~$2200) and hope a new battery and ram fix my overheating and lag issues with my early 2008 Macbook Pro?

    ..purchase a Macbook Air and refurbished Cinema Display (~$2100), to cover my arse if/when my MBP dies on me AND satisfy my want of a large screen?

    ..purchase a refurbished Macbook Air and iMac (~$2800) to satisfy both wants, while obviously spending more money?

    My fear with the first is I'll be out of a laptop in the next year and need to spend an add'l $1000 on an Air when that time comes.

    My fear with the second is I feel it will be underpowered in terms of processing speed, and I won't be able to run the programs I have now on my MBP, i.e. Garageband, iPhoto, etc. without experiencing severe lag.

    My fear with the third is I'm simply using too much money than I need to.

    Also worth considering is I can sell my MBP (should be able to get around $500 from a local reseller) and use that towards option 1 or 2.

    So what should I do? I don't want to buy a new laptop if I can spend ~$150 and fix the one I have now, hence my leaning towards buying the iMac and fixing the laptop in the near future. However, on the chance that my laptop simply dies on me in 6 months' time regardless, then I'll have to purchase a new laptop then anyway, and now spending $2700 versus $1700-$2200 on the Macbook Air and Cinema Display or $2200 on iMac and Air after selling existing MBP.

    TL;DR - I'm wondering what the likeliness is that ram and a new battery will add years of life to my overheating and lagging early 2008 Macbook Pro. If not, then perhaps an Air and Cinema Display or MBA and iMac is the best purchase for me rather than an iMac by itself. Also, wondering if the extra money can be justified for Option 1 and 2.

    Any thoughts?
  2. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    It really comes down to portability, do you take your laptop with you alot? Do you mostly work from you desk?

    If you do most of your work at your desk and don't need the portability of a laptop then it's obvious that iMac is the best option.
  3. stevelam, May 7, 2012
    Last edited: May 7, 2012

    stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    I have a 2008 aluminum MacBook. Going from 4 gb of ram to 8 gb ram definitely made a huge difference in responsiveness since I run pretty ram hungry applications (mainly adobe stuff). I'd also clean out the inside of the MacBook as well. You'd be surprised how much dust has probably accumulated inside.

    Also your 2008 MacBook is only core 2 duo. Even the cheapest MacBook air is faster than that.
  4. brayhite thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    N. Kentucky
    I do most of my work in the office on my laptop, so I need something portable. But not sure how this helps my situation? All solutions provide some sort of portable option.

    Will replacing the battery help avoid overheating?
  5. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    Wouldn't a new MBA with i5 processor and SSD be faster than your 2008 MBP?

    Option 2 for me :D
  6. boy-better-know macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2010
    personally, I am using a MBA on its own, until the new iMc comes out, then I will purchase one.
    So I suggest a MBA and iMac combination. My reason for doing this is because if I were to just buy a cinema display to go with the Air, I wold worry about running out of space. With the iMac you have more space and I still get to bring my MBA in and out of University every day.
    But whatever works for you.
  7. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I assume you are holding out at least until the next Air comes out. The current Air is faster than what you have and the next Air should presumably increase the difference.

    I wouldn't go with the Cinema Display since you need that monitor to last four or five years to really make it make sense. I think we are on the cusp of a sea change in monitor resolution as we shift to "retina" level displays at all levels. The Cinema display isn't the device so I think you won't want to use it three or so years and it won't have any resale value either (unlike an iMac) once everyone expects a retina display.

    But since I don't think you should go for option two, I guess I'm saying for option three.

    But first upgrade that Ram in your Pro. That is a cheap solution that you should have try first and see how the machine runs. If you buy an iMac and cut your usage of the laptop by (for example) 80%, you might still get another couple of years of use out of the pro and the use might decent with the upgrade Ram. And don't forget how much nicer the experience will be on the monster iMac in the meantime.
  8. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Whoa. If you are doing real work on a computer and need it for work don't even mess around with a failing machine. I'm sure you've got a backup, but that only offers some protection: you also need something you can work on. A four year old Mac can be perfectly serviceable, but even if you pay out to possibly fix it you're still gonna need a new one relatively soon.

    So I'd get a new portable. And use the MBP as a backup for as long as it lasts.

    There are several 2011 iMacs on sale as refurbs. The nice thing about the newer ones is that you could use that as a display AND have a nice backup machine, although it would cost more than a refurb display itself. And there are some MBAs on sale as refurbs too.

    The other way to go is a new portable and a regular old display. It's a second monitor, after all, so it may not be necessary to have one as nice as the Apple model.
  9. brayhite thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    N. Kentucky
    That's a good point. So I suppose it's safe to say I'm eliminating the Air/Display combination. Plus, at my job we have Cinema Displays that we use and I could most likely bring it home if I needed to use it.

    I completely agree. In a perfect world where money wasn't an issue, I would whole-heartedly go with this option. I'm still hesitant though strictly because of money. Long-term, though, this is most likely the best option. I would most likely go with a refurb'd Air and wait for the new iMac.

    Meh, I'd rather get the latest iMac (hopefully sometime this month) and an Air for my new laptop. I think TallManNY hit it right on the head: spend the $150 to fix/upgrade my MBP but get the Air/iMac anyway. My only question then would be which iMac? I'm settled on the 27" screen, but it seems opinions vary greatly on whether a 2.7 ghz vs. 3.1 ghz show significant speed differences. Most see to agree that the current 3.1 ghz iMac model is best for those running graphic-intensive applications and games due to the upgraded AMD processor. I won't be running graphic-intensive apps so should 2.7 be just fine? Are there any other reasons why a 3.1 ghz would be better than the 2.7?
  10. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    Replacing a battery will not help with overheating unless the battery is defective and it itself is overheating.

    Try and figure out why your machine is getting hot. Is it all the time or only when you run certain programs. Use activity monitor to see what is running when it overheats.

    You can install a program like istat to check your fan speed and the internal temperature of your laptop.

    As someone else mentioned, the internals of your laptop might need cleaning.
  11. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The Macbook air, alone, doesn't give enough hard drive space. I'd get an iMac and an air, or a super iMac, but not an air + display.
  12. brayhite thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    N. Kentucky
    It usually is only running hot while plugged into the charger.

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