iMac vs Macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by arcsbite, May 17, 2006.

  1. arcsbite Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    ok, this is an odd one, please bare with me.

    I have a 17" 1.83ghz intel iMac, and it's great.
    but due to school I will need a laptop in the next few months, I had intended to save up, sell the iMac and buy a MBP.

    but I was thinking, would I be crazy to sell my iMac now and buy a MacBook?
    I mean, I could probably sell the 1.83ghz iMac and use the cash to buy a 2.0Ghz MacBook.

    thing is, I use an external Hard Drive for my files, so that's not an issue, I use an external DVD burner (so speed burning isn't an issue)
    and I just got a 24" monitor, so the iMac screen although beautiful, is a little overkill.

    so, would there be any drawbacks to switching my iMac for a MacBook?
    I'm currently looking at the specs for the 17" iMac and the 2.0ghz white MacBook but I'm currently on dial up making searching a little difficult.

  2. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502a

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Jul 13, 2004
    A MacBook 2.0 Ghz will feel slower than an Imac 1.83 Ghz because the harddrive is slower and the integrated graphics are much slower than the fast videocard of your Imac.
  3. Roba macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2006
    There is one drawback and that is the fact the the MB utilises shared video memory and the Imac core duo does not.
  4. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2005
    Going to school = laptop must. The new Macbook can extend the desktop to the 24" monitor and will preform fine unless you are into gaming heavily or video or photo production.
  5. arcsbite thread starter Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    ah, pants.

    o.k. just to confirm, this wouldn't be the case with the MBP i'm guessing?
    guess that explains the massive price difference with MB and MBP's
  6. arcsbite thread starter Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    sadly I will be doing a lot of photo and video editing.
    guess I must start gathering funds for a MBP instead.
  7. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Look at geekbench's comparison of the MacBook and MacBook Pro - it tests only CPU intensive tasks and it was faster in some benchmarks, slower in others, but overall was comparable.

    You are not going to see a noticeable difference in hard disk speed for 5400 vs 7200 rpm unless you're doing a lot of hard disk access, e.g. copying a lot of DV files off a DV camera.

    So it comes down to the GPU. For 90+% of what anyone does on a computer (including pro apps like Photoshop or Aperture) you're not going to tax even integrated graphics. It's when you come to try to use 3D games that you'll notice the big difference in performance.

    So, the decision is yours ... is the GPU important enough to you to make it a deal breaker?

    So show me where integrated graphics have a really bad effect on these.

    Take a look at barefeats here. The Mac Mini keeps up well with the iMac for all but the iMaginator and games tests.
  8. arcsbite thread starter Guest

    Jan 14, 2006

    ah see now I'm thrown, I know nothing about graphic card things.
    I'll be using it for photo and video editing, as well as the usual, music, internet stuff.
    I use my games console for game playing.
    it just seems that a lot of people think intergrated graphics make it impossible to do anything intensive.
    shall take a read of the link, thanks :)
  9. giganten macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2006
    I am in the same boat. But I dont have any mac.

    I dont know what i should buy iMac 17" or Macbook.

    From the " Macbook Released" thread.
    The 17" iMac only have 1.83Ghz and the Macbook have 2Ghz, i will put 1 gig ram in that one i buy. So it is only the hdd and graphic card that are different?
    So if i am understanding Plinden right the macbook will do fine in photoshop..?

  10. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Right now, all the intel macs are slow running photoshop. The macbook isn't much different from the iMac, because photoshop requires Rosetta. When the new version comes out, then both computers will experience an incredible speed boost.

    That said, I regularly use photoshop for basic tasks (Web images) on my intel iMac, and it works just fine. If you're editing an 80 MB image with 35 layers, that's a different story.
  11. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    As fine as you would expect considering it's running in Rosetta.

    As far as I know there are no benchmarks yet for the MacBook, but you can assume it would be similar to the Mini if you also take into account the faster CPU. In additon to the Barefeats link I gave above, MacWorld also benchmarked the Mini when it came out ... here.

    Highlights of this (Mini core duo and iMac 17" results only here):
    The Photoshop, Cinema 4D and iMovie don't show a big difference considering the 10% slower CPU and integrated graphics. Adding 10% to the CPU to get 1.83GHz for the MacBook, you would expect 2:45 for the photoshop test, 1:18 for Cinema 4D, and 1:07 for iMovie, similar to the iMac, so all these appear to be CPU bound.

    Edit: the Zip test shows the effect of a slower HD ... You would expect it to be about 3 minutes for the Mini, but is 20 seconds slower.
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Currently Photoshop is a PPC-only application. The Universal version is still (maybe) half a year away. So don't ecpct PS to run fast on ANY Intel Mac. Jobs himself said PS is only OK for infrequent use and you'd need a G5 if you used it all day. This wil change some time in 2007.

    For now it might be best to use one if the Intel native photo programs like iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom or Gimp. Although PS does work.

    I'm currently in the market to buy PS but I refuse to buy it twice so I'm waiting for the universal binary version. Likely CS3 will be universal
  13. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    "The hard drive is slower"?! Then what do the Ghz mean?

    And where can i find the "hard drive speeds" of computers?
  14. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    GHz = CPU speed, e.g. 1.83GHz
    HDD speed = how fast hard drive spins, has a direct influence on disk read/write speed, e.g. 5400 rpm for most laptops, 7200rpm for most desktops.

    You can get detailed specs of the MacBooks here, details of the iMac here

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