imac vs macbook, some advice concerning graphics solutions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iceblade, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. iceblade macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    Hey guys, I guess you guys get a lot of questions like this, but I am hoping mine is slightly different. If it isn't, my apologies, and thank you in advance for help.

    The situation is this: The graphics card on my windows machine has been having problems, so I decided to get a mac. I have been getting into movie editing, photo editing, work with garage band (on my ibook g4) and some web design. I would like to do all that, but also play some games with Crossover Games, games that worked on windows but there is no mac version of. Specifically, I want to be able to play Counter Strike and other games on the Steam platform, like day of defeat, maybe some team fortress 2 or The Ship. What my question is, I guess, is can integrated graphics of the macbook handle counter strike games? Even games on the Source engine like counter strike: source? Or would I just be better off with an imac? How would a macbook or imac handle battlefield games? I'll be fine if I have to give up battlefield, but I would really like to keep playing Counter Strike.

    One more thing: I have heard that the macbook's have hardware failures after 2 years, specifically hard drive failures (sometimes, but more often then just random hardware failures, like there is an actual problem other then just a few 'lemon' pieces of hardware). While this isn't a huge problem, I guess I can just buy another hard drive or whatever and have apple install it, I'd rather it lasted at least another year, bringing the life of the hardware/hard drive to 3 years. I've always thought computers were supposed to last 3 years, and I've had some 'hand me down' apple computers that have lasted longer then that.

    The only reason I ask between imac and macbook is that a macbook is a little bit cheaper, and a macbook is portable. While I don't do a lot of moving around, having a more portable computer for 'in the field' music or editing work would be nice, but certainly not required.

    Thank you guys (and girls) a lot. I appreciate the help and sorry for the kind of long post.
  2. upsguy27 macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2007
    I had the same dilemma as you. I couldn't decide between a MacBook or an iMac, and I decided to go with the MacBook. The graphics card in the MacBook can handle games like Counter Strike and TF2 with low-medium settings fine, but don't try playing HL2 on high. Actually, I've never tried that... anyway, video editing and GarageBand are great on a MacBook, I can open up Photoshop, GarageBand, iMovie, and After Effects all at the same time with no slowdown, all while I'm watching a movie with iTunes and Firefox open. Rendering does not take long for and editing programs, and everything is generally fine with the graphics chip in the MacBook. I reccomend buying the MacBook, only because it has been so great for me, I can't even tell that it's a laptop sometimes since it's so much like a desktop!
  3. pharmz macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    fyi, my macbook hd (toshiba) fxcx up after 360 days (luckily) and now its a fujitsu...

    for graphics, buy mbp...
  4. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    It depends on where you want to grow towards.

    I have a macbook that I do all the things you want to do. Sometimes the slower speed of the HD does limit what I can do in my music editing program.

    However portability was a big concern for me. If you think you might want to get more serious with music and video editing opt for the iMac.
  5. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    If you don't NEED portability, get a desktop. MUCH more "bang" for the buck that includes:

    - a significantly larger (and higher quality, even if its is 20") display.
    - an insanely faster graphics card (even Radeon 2400, but I strongly advise to get one with 2600). You won't believe how terrible Intel graphics is until you try it.
    - larger and faster HD
    - more processing power (faster CPU + faster FSB + faster RAM)
    - other minor things like FW800 port, more USB ports (including 2 on keyboard), etc
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    I agree and I can tell you that the Radeon 2600 handles Steam games with no problems whatsoever. I play almost exactly the list of games you mentioned on my 24" mid-2007 iMac.

    Oh, and even the 24" iMac, while certainly not "portable" by any means is fairly easy to move due to its all-in-one and very slim design.

    This is even moreso if you're considering the 20" model.

    If you can afford the nVidia 8800 option of the new iMac that will futureproof you even more for games yet to come over the 3 years you intend to use your machine.

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