iMac vs MBP 13" vs MB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by emyholdem, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. emyholdem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    #1
    So here's the deal, i will be off to university in October, and my parents have agreed to put some money towards the cost of a Mac. However there are a few things which im deliberating over.

    My budget is £1000, (bare in mind i will also get a 15% apple educational discount) and i was wondering which Mac will be best for my needs.

    I will be studying Chemistry with Forensic Analysis, therefore i have a feeling there will be alot of time spent working infront of a screen writing up lab reports ect.

    I would prefer the Mac to be able to run various Steam games such as the Source Engine Games (Half Life, Portal 2) and maybe some online games.

    I am also looking for a new external hard-drive, my current Western Digital 1TB is failing and also formatted NTFS, so a reasonably well priced hard-drive which is compatible with both Windows and Mac, without being too much of a hassle to move stuff from my current to the new and be very reliable so i dont have to worry about losing my stuff.

    I really appreicate any help i get with making this decision as there are loads of conflicting ideas im reading on the forums.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. imswimmin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #2
    You may consider purchasing a mac mini along with a nice monitor.

    Aside from that, if it were me, I would get the macbook pro.

    Just my two cents. ;D
     
  3. trip1ex, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #3
    It really is your decision. There's not really any advice to give here.

    You either need portability or you don't. The tradeoffs between imac and MBP are pretty obvious. NO wrong answer there. Only a matter of individual taste or preference.

    The benchmarks are out there for games. Obviously the better the gpu the faster the games. Up to you to know to know your limits for frame rate, resolution, and effects. Believe me, everybody sees this differently.

    The lowest MBP and iMac have plenty of general power.

    Just don't get a Macbook over a MBP.
     
  4. DeChrii macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    #4
    If you don't need portability than get the iMac for quad and gpu. If you do then get the mbp. The price difference between the mb and mbp isnt to bad and you get alot better in the mbp
     
  5. emyholdem thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    #5
    Well considering that the campus I am going to is one of the largest in the country, then it looks like portability will be the deciding factor, and that i should probably go for the MBP.

    However, what should i do about my hard-drive problems, and is it worth paying £42 for a 1TB Samsung 2.5" hardrive, to replace the 320GB one in the base MBP?
     
  6. trip1ex, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #6
    Well if you need 1 TB hard drive then you need a 1TB hard drive. Not much to say there. Most of the hard drives out there are fine. Most have 3-5 yr warranties. Most are close in speed for all practical purposes. More alike than not. Benchmarks are generally available and can tell you exactly the speed differences.

    Price-wise just make sure you do a little comparison shopping in your neck of the woods.
     
  7. baysmith macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast BC
    #7
    Off to School

    My daughter is off to university this fall and we have settled on an iMac base configuration and a 32GB WiFi iPad. We settled on the WiFi iPad since most universities have WiFi campus wide. Total price is close to a MBP with monitor and keyboard. The iPad has a lot going for it if equipped properly. For your chemistry quest you should look closely at the excellent apps available on the app store and iTunes app store. I use Evernote a lot and find it invaluable in connecting my iMac, MB and iPhone. (iPad arriving next week). The synchronization using DropBox is worth the price of admission. For your inevitable math challenges there are Wolfram’s excellent apps for the Mac and iPad.

    Don’t buy until Apple announces its “Back to School” Promo as it may be possible to get the free iPod deal applied to an iPad. Use the printer promo to pick up one of the base HP printers for free (after rebate) that works with AirPrint.
     
  8. emyholdem thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    #8
    I have been looking at the iMac/iPad combo, however, i've been worrying about how well the iPad works as the portable part of the combo. Whereas the MBP would be able to be used in the library and around campus for anything, how well does the iPad work as a word processing machine and is it easy enough to work on for long periods of time.

    As for the printer situation, thanks for the advice, but the Uni i'm going to (Loughborough) actually doesn't recommend bringing a printer, as it only takes up room in an already crowded dorm, and the Uni has a print facility much similar to AirPrint.

    Appreciate the comments though :)
     
  9. baysmith, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    baysmith macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast BC
    #9
    If possible get to an Apple retailer and try out an iPad. Typing on the screen was a concern until my daughter tried it and realized it was okay. As an aside, I used to use MS Office, but now have switched completely to iWork. The Pages app is very powerful and when you get it installed on a Build to Order Mac it is inexpensive and very cheap on the iPad/iPhone.

    If you will be away from your iMac for long periods and working you should consider this:

    http://sfbags.com/products/ipad-cases/wallet-ipad.php

    Super slick case combo that will bring along your Bluetooth keyboard from your iMac for those long sessions in the library where you can set up in a carrel and type to your hearts content.

    Don’t forget Evernote.

    http://www.evernote.com/about/home.php

    The power of this free app is amazing, everything from handwriting recognition to web page grabbing. Plus, it is cross platform and collaborative.

    Go to the iTunes app store and search chemistry. Most apps are very inexpensive or free and I only wish I had access to these when doing my undergrad chem studies.
     

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