iMac (w/ SSD?) + iPad or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Samtonium, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Samtonium macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2010
    I'm having a difficult time making a decision about what computer fits my needs best, and I could use a little advice. I realize I'm probably not the first person to ask these questions, but my needs to differ from those I've seen for others in other threads. That being said, if you've previously commented on a similar situation and you would like to direct me to it with a link, that's perfectly ok.

    Currently I have a 15" MacBook Pro from Spring 2007 and a 32GB Wi-Fi iPad. My MBP however has started to show unmistakable signs of impending doom, and I want to replace it now at a time I choose rather than have it crash at a highly inconvenient time. I do know that I want a Mac and not a PC. So my options are the following:

    Option 1: replace my old MBP with a new MBP. The disadvantages with this plan are that I will have overlap in my portable devices (in fact I'm writing all this on my iPad right now) and for a similar price, I get a less capable computer. I've loved my MBP, and I feel like I'm betraying it by looking elsewhere. That being said, I could always keep my MBP as an emergency laptop if a need should arise that only a laptop could fulfill.

    Option 2: replace my MBP with a new 27" iMac. I'm a senior in college right now, and I can count the number of times I've used my computer in class on one hand (in fact I've had many professors ban laptops), and I once even used my iPad (with keyboard attachment) to take a 6 page in class exam. So I have no explicit need for a laptop in class. Furthermore, I like that the iMac comes with Bluetooth accessories, because I hate the feeling of being "tied to a desk". Without the Bluetooth accessories I'd have a hard time justifying the iMac, because I like to use my computer from my couch. The Bluetooth accessories make this possible. Naturally it works best with the 27" screen instead of the 21.5" screen.

    I don't particularly use my computer for anything heavy duty like gaming, video editing, Photoshop, etc. (although my school offers the complete Photoshop suite for free, so I might be inclined to integrate it into my life if I had a computer that could handle it), so I'm a little unsure of what I need from my computer in the way of processing speeds. How much difference would a better processor make for me when a baseline is already around 3.2? Furthermore, how worth it is to pay the extra $500-$600 for an SSD hard drive. Yes, I know they'll be cheaper eventually, but I also know the design for the iMac makes adding an SSD later a daunting task (I'd rather just pay extra now). My question is, how much value does an SSD add to your computing experience? In what capacities does it excel?

    I know this is a bit long winded, so I definitely appreciate your time and help!
  2. Jaffaman27 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Alright...I'm in a similar situation...kinda.

    First of all..
    I think your best bet is buying the low-end 27" iMac as your "main-computer".
    As you don't use it for heavy duty stuff, you should be fine with the low end i3 version. It still can handle photoshop easily in case you want to start to use that. Or buy refurb 2009 version..

    I have experience of dual computer setup. Laptop and desktop and it's a pain in the butt.. I mean if you have to have stuff synced etc.
    So I would use iPad for your portable needs..

    The SSD question is something I've been thinking aswell, but for you I don't think it's so critical. As you are using your computer for leisure. It's probably not worth that extra. And if in the future your habits start to change radically. You start to use your computer more and think that you really need the extra boost (more memory helps always) just update to a new more current model with and SSD. Since future proofing is not something you want to think of really..
    27" iMac i3 4-8GB RAM should be fluent ride for you for years to come with your use.. and you can always sell it in 2-3 years with decent value if your habits change.

    I'm most likely going to update my 24" 2008 iMac and 2008 Macbook to 27" i7 iMac with SSD and iPad 32GB Wifi..
    Firstly to get rid of the need of maintaining a dual setup.
    Secondly to boost my work computer (iMac), I use it for my living and the seconds or minutes I save with better setup and SSD actually equals money.. only problem is to decide should I buy the setup above or just buy iPad and some Win7 workstation since I mainly would use the desktop for the "Mac-experience" is not so imminent and important in that..:rolleyes: Cuz as always, with a Win-PC I could get the same or more with less money...

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