iMac vs MBP - need help

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tarasis, May 7, 2009.

  1. tarasis macrumors 6502a

    tarasis

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    #1
    Thats the descision I am torn by, I really want an iMac 24" with the ATI gfx as it looks to be a fantastic machine that will play my old windows games great & do quite well with some of the newer ones coming out (looking at you Ghostbusters & Dragon Age) and it will also be used for dev work.

    However I'm also drawn by the MBP =/- the 24" ACD, for the possibility of mobility (mostly around the house atm) and having a great extra screen for fixed.

    I've made myself a list of pro's & con's for both but neither is a clear winner and its driving me potty. It boils down to, I think, do I want the GFX oomph (and CPU oomph) or the mobility. I do, possibly, have the option of both down the line but it would be one now and one later.

    Has anyone any thoughts? Any and all input welcome.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    This have been discussed so many times...

    If you need portability go for MBP but if you find it lying on your desk 90% of its time go for iMac.

    Use the search button and find help from old threads
     
  3. tarasis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tarasis

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    #3
    Thanks Hellhammer, I've been reading all manner of posts here and elsewhere for the last few days.

    *grin* Its a lot of money to spend to find out whether its sits on my desk or not, to know which I should have bought. :)

    I am highly curious of others that have been in the same situation. Will also search some more.
     
  4. Manwithnoname macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #4
    Sounds similiar to the position I was in before ending up buying the iMac...after I'd sent back the MBP!

    I went for the MBP at first, got it without the ACD and realised it wasn't what I wanted or needed. I didn't need it for work, or travel, just was nice to have it around the house, but that soon wore off as I realised it was more hassle than I wanted.

    I sent it back and got an iMac, it's much better and I'm a lot happier. In the end, the thought of buying an ACD and MBP was just daft, I even think teh £1500 I've spent on the iMac is too much as I'm not using all it's power at all.
     
  5. thegilly macrumors member

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    #5
    Truth is, whatever you get you'll probably adore it.

    That said, I'd just like to ask, since I don't think it's clear in your post, whether the tasks you would expect of your machine when it's being taken with you about the house are the same as the tasks you would expect of a desktop. That is, do you need to be able to sit on the sofa and play games, render video, or do anything else that requires real oomph? I'm just wondering if you might be happiest with an iMac on your desk for all your oopmh-y stuff, and a basic laptop (iBook G4s are getting pretty cheap these days, for instance) for about the house. Such a setup might suit you if you want to sit in the yard and surf the web, email friends, or write a novel, and can happily keep your game-playing and Windows-running on your desk.
     
  6. polya80 macrumors member

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    Cambridge, MA
    #6
    As others have said, it depends on your need.

    Just curious, since you already have a new mac mini and a 2006 macbook, how will that affect your decision?

    If you get a MBP, is it gonna replace your macbook?

    MBP + ACD is gonna be, at least, a good $1000 more expensive and less powerful than an imac. So you should decide if u need the portability and how you use the laptop to justify that expense.

    I used to have a desktop replacement laptop but I realized I very rarely bring my laptop outdoor (because it's so damn heavy) and I kind of needed a laptop so I got a macbook which is way more portable.
     
  7. bajee macrumors regular

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #7
    hi guys, sorry for hijacking the thread,

    I'm still on a dilemma on a mbp and an iMac too. I have enough money for iMac. However, an MBP + 24" ACD really sounds teasing.

    The only thing I want with an MBP, is that if I were to upgrade it to an SSD, I could just pop the hard disk out and be done with it. For the iMac, it needs a little bit of courage, since I think you need to remove more than 32 screws.

    so it boils down to this specs,

    1) MBP 2.66ghz 15 inch with the 512mb option
    2) iMac 2.93 with the GT 130/ ATI 4850 option

    I do have a spare 22 inch, so I can use it while I save up for an ACD. I'm a freelance web designer btw, so I deal with Photoshop and Dreamweaver alot.

    nonetheless, I'll be using my mac machine exclusively as a desktop machine. Another thing why I want the MBP + ACD option is that, I can use the ACD if I were to buy a macpro if ever the need arises.
     
  8. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

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    #8
    Well, for one, I don't know why you would ever need to upgrade your iMac to ssd.

    That said, it just comes down to portability! Like everyone else says!
    The only other thing I can think of to consider is, if you've decided that you need portability, how much power do you need on the road? If you're thinking just email and Internet, I am a big proponent of trying an iPod touch as a laptop replacement and getting the big desktop for everythnig else. A touch is so much easier to carry around and it definitely handles everything I need to do on the go (an office suite would be nice, but oh well).
     
  9. Malacoda macrumors member

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    Meridian, ID
    #9
    I have both a new ATI-equipped iMac and a 2009 MacBook Pro, and I can tell you that on a lot of levels, what people are saying about portability is spot on. If you need the portability, snag the MBP and the ACD, and you have a damn fine machine with capabilities that near the iMac 24", though at a much steeper price. If portability is not important, I can't see you being disappointed with the 24" iMac.

    The iMac is going to be better for games, but the MBP actually isn't too bad. I don't have tons of experience with a wide variety, but both World of Warcraft and City of Heroes ran fairly solid on the MBP at high resolutions, though with less impressive eye candy turned up. I played WoW a lot on the MBP + 24" ALEDCD at a windowed 1920 x 1000 and it ran fine. Can't speak for how it will run newer games such as GB, though.
     
  10. bajee macrumors regular

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #10
    Hi guys, thanks for the replies @Malacoda and @jtgotsjets.

    Well ultimately I want a SSD. I like my system snappier. Problem with the iMac is its hard to replace the hdd, and I live in a remote area. Its hard to bring the iMac in the city.

    I don't plan to play games really, I'll be just doing work. I'm a freelance web graphic designer and I use these: Photoshop + dreamweaver exclusively.

    It would be a treat if I could bring my computer to my vacation. That's the only time I am away from home. I'm always at home, since I work at home :D

    ------------
    is the 2.93ghz a substantial upgrade from 2.66ghz? Coz if I would get an ACD, it would really max out my budget, and if it isn't a significant difference, I'll just get the 2.66ghz, if ever I choose the MBP.
     
  11. Malacoda macrumors member

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    #11
    It sounds like the MBP would suit you just fine. Likely to be enough power, combined with portability.

    If you are primarily working with web graphics in PS, as compared to huge files for print, then I am guessing that the difference between 2.66 and 2.93 is going to be negligible. Memory would be the larger factor, and both are 4GB base, so that should be fine.

    I am all for getting the best, but if your choice is 2.66GHz + Display, vs. 2.93GHz w/o display, I think the choice is easy. This is especially true if you are talking about the 24" LED, which is very nice, if perhaps a tad overpriced. Doesn't stop me from loving mine, through. :)
     
  12. bajee macrumors regular

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #12
    wow @Malacoda

    didn't know you have both imac and the mbp + acd setup, so which you like best? :D
     
  13. Malacoda macrumors member

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    #13
    Well, once I bought the iMac, I moved the 24" LEDCD over to be a dual monitor for the iMac. I generally have the MBP set up next to the iMac and control it via Teleport, so I don't have to fiddle with an extra mouse and keyboard.

    I do definitely like the current setup, as having two 24" monitors is something you get used to very, very fast. Too bad I can't convince work to get me a similar setup!
     
  14. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Get the MBP, you're paying for the "mobile" parts anyway. After using an iMac for three years, I'd never buy one again. You're better off either buying a real desktop or a real notebook.
     
  15. LagunaSol macrumors 601

    LagunaSol

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #15
    I'm not sure what a "real" desktop is per m1stake, but I've been using my current 20" iMac for 3+ years and it's the best computer I've ever used (desktop or laptop). I will happily buy one again. In fact, I'm about to order a new 24" model with the ATI 4850.

    I bought a cheap MacBook for my portable needs. My iMac gets 95% of my attention.
     
  16. Malacoda macrumors member

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    Mar 19, 2009
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    #16
    That comment confused me as well. My 24" iMac is about as real as you can get, unless your needs involve serious processing power or serious graphics power. A comparably-specced MBP is about $900 more. The Power Mac is $500 more with slightly less memory and no monitor.

    Doesn't sounds like an obvious choice to me.
     
  17. tarasis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tarasis

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    #17
    Hi everyone, sorry for not responding to this thread sooner. I had meant to then got caught up in moving house and resulting unpacking.

    First off, thank you everyone for your thoughts.

    I did in the end order the 17" MBP & ACD. Today I have arranged to send the MBP back because while its a lovely machine in many ways it is to big for "casual" use, the sort of things that thegilly mentioned.

    I've spent the last week being wracked with confusion / disappointment / concern. You ever have the situation where you get to the point that its hard to actually think about something clearly? Well thats where I have been.

    The pluses are its well built, lovely screen which makes photo's look gorgeous (particularly the image of a bonfire I took, even my wife noticed the difference between the uMBP & the wMB when I had them side by side) As an aside this is the image. Its cool and the only time I get the fans running was when I was playing a game in Windows, on OSX it was virtually silent (I can hear the hard drive wooshing in a quiet room, at first I thought it was a problem with the left side fan)

    The downsides are it really is too awkward to sit comfortably on my lap, from a casual web browsing point of view the trackpad is too far up the laptop (having been used to the wMB for the last 2.5 years I naturally hit near the edge of the case with my left thumb, also if just browsing I don't want my hand resting on the chassis. It feels surprisingly fragile and is kinda slippy when picking it up. The only two faults with the physical machine are that there is a audible pop as the sound system turns back on before playing a sound. Particularly noticeable when you have the laptop telling you the hour. The other fault / flaw is that at low brightness levels the screen can flicker a bit (Automatically adjust brightness as ambient light changes is turned off), sometimes it brief, others its prolonged.

    Lots my train of thought now as I got pulled away from this for a few hours.

    I am going to stew on it some more now and see what, if anything, comes out of the upcoming WWDC keynote but I think I will likely get the iMac and maybe a new uMB to replace the old wMB (and give it to the wife .. well back to the wife as I set it up for her when I got the MBP but have now stolen it back). This is despite hating the idea of having 2 machines.

    Too @jtgotsjets The iPod Touch / iPhone is a good tool for reading email and web in a pinch but I find its not great for extended periods of casual browsing.

    Again thanks for everyones thoughts.
     

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