Mac book pro 15" or 17" or imac or both?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jenko, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Jenko macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2009
    Hello to all,
    I am currently looking to purchase a mac. My problem is I am currently a PC user and wish to retire my PC desktop after 7 years, as I am constantly having to reboot my PC as it keeps crashing and is just down right painful to use. I am currently studying in art college where Macs are the computer of choice. My problem is many fold and are as follows:

    Do I buy a mac book pro 15" or 17" or an imac desktop. Or would it be better to buy a 24" imac and a low end 15" mac book pro, instead of a 17" mac book pro.

    Do I buy know or is it worth waiting until the end of the year to see if the new Arrandale processors are ready for the mac book pro along with any new SSD that could be coming out Q$ 2009 - Q! 2010.

    A laptop would be handy to carry to college but I would not be using it every day, hence the reasoning behind the 17" over the 15". I am beginning to experiment with film and video in my work along with digital photography. I am using the computer for essay writing research and presentations.

    The downside to waiting fro any new upgrades in Q4 2009 - Q1 2010 would be that I would be relying on the college's macs which would not leave me much freedom to work outside college hours until I purchased later on. The upside of course is the faster computer, even longer battery life and the probability that the new processors will set the platform for the next 2 -3 years.

    I hope this makes some sort of sense any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I would buy 13" MBP now and wait for an update for iMac. Laptops were updated 2 weeks ago so buy one now and wait for new desktop if you still need one. Also, think about getting a external monitor with MBP
  3. Takahashi macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    Henderson, NV
    Aye! This is the usual batch of "It all depends on what you want to do." Both the Macbook Pro and the iMac have a great punch to them, they both are close to each other in performance. I would wait for a new iMac that is true, for it has been awhile since the last update. Hey, maybe it will be one of the updates in the fall, you never know.

    For me, a laptops function is portability. It is not a powerhouse computer, I don't think it should be. I would personally go with the 13" and the iMac. That is how I have always been. The desktop at home for my everything, and my laptop to sync with the desktop and its sole use is for web browsing in writing.

    Now of course is the best time to buy a Macbook there is no doubt about that. Get the 13" incher now if your thinking about that route and wait off for the desktop.

    In the end though, it is like I said it is all up to what you plan on doing with your computers. Do you need portability or can you afford to carry around something that is heavier? That is what would make the sale for me.
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'd get either the 15" or 17" MBP, and an external LCD.

    If you buy the 15" MBP, the external monitor will give you the additional resolution you'll want when you do video work.

    If you buy the 17" MBP, perhaps you can use it as a dual display setup, where both displays will have a 1920 x 1200 resolution. You can use both monitors if you bought a 15" MBP too, but the 17" MBP's graphics card has 512 MB of vRAM. The highest end 15" MBP also comes with 512 MB of vRAM, but the price difference between it and the 17" MBP is very small at this point.
  5. CarcinogenX macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2009
    Orange County, CA
    Desktop or laptop?

    It all comes down to whether you need portability or not. In college? Portability is probably a must. Otherwise, I would think it is not so mandatory, so you could hold out or buy a current desktop system.

    To quote a South Park episode, as far as electronics go, you will always be “chasing the dragon”. Yeah, next year there will be better technology etc, but sh*t, why buy then? If you wait till 2014 there will be a laptop that reads your mind, so just wait a few years and you can have it. Something better is ALWAYS on the horizon.

    My dad has a complete and total POS “Costco special” laptop that costs about nothing and he can do all the things I mostly do on my $$$$$ MBP laptop. Did I mention his laptop is a 4 year old POS and was bought with pocket change??

    I am not trying to control or change the world with my laptop, I just want to be free of wall sockets for a few hours. Yes, my new AMD desktop can literally run circles around my uMBP laptop, but which one can I take to the local Starbuck’s? or ,to Joshua Tree, or Rome, or Tibet?

    As a former die-hard PC owner, I can say it’s worth the extra money to buy a Mac Book pro and have a portable device that can be used for years to come. Currently,there is nothing available that is better than a Mac Book Pro, so buy what is available and enjoy it. Apple will introduce better models in just a couple months but you can start using your new, capable Apple computer today!!

    Laptop=portability. It is as simple as that.

    p.s. The 15" is generally widely considered the best model for portability and performance.
  6. Jenko thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2009

    Mod note: This post is an update, as a result of a thread merge.

    Hi Guys,
    I appologise straight away fro the length of this thread. I am in the market for a new computer. Currently I am using my 7 year old dell desktop which runs at a snails pace. I am a visual artist and am just coming to the end of Masters degree in Fine Art were I have been using Mac computers in the college. I have found the mac to be a far superior machine and highly user friendly especially with regard to video work and image manipulation.
    I am considering a Mac book pro either 15" or 17", but I was alos thinking about the new 27" Imac. I know it is usually about portability but I have a couple of questions that require a bit of advice which would be great.
    1. I have a 1 year old daughter that loves to bang off the keyboards of the desktop at the moment, so I thought if I bought a laptop I could hide it from her.
    2. I could also be in the market for a new LED television and have been told by the local electronics store that the new samsung LED tv is set up for internet and wireless use, so maybe a laptop would be handier if I could plug a macbook pro into it when necessary for larger screen real estate intead of an Imac.
    3. Another thing that has been bothering me is the whole SD slot thing in the 15"mbp. I would much prefer the express slot (as in th 17") as conecting my camera by cable does not bother me, and it would also help future proof it a little if the USB 3.0 and lightsp tech came out. I also like the idea of the 17" larger screen.
    4. Whatever happens I will wait until 2010 for the next upgrade, whenever it is. My only concern is that I can get the education discount until June next year, and as a student am able to get free licensed software from the college which would stop after I left in June. Does any one think there will there be a huge change or upgrade in the mbp that would be worth waiting for in June, i.e a laptop with tablet usability or some new unibody changes that would be worth risking the loss of my education discount. I might be able to get one of the students in the year below me to get a laptop for me the following year, but it is only a maybe.
    Anyway thanks for reading this and being patient it is a bit of a novel all right, many apologies once again and any info would be greatly appreciated.
    P.s. I hope I am in the right thread, if not sorry.
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)

    I imagine your camera uses USB, so you can still plug it in, but the 17" gives you the best of both worlds. I wouldn't hold my breath for USB 3.0 though.

    Wait til the new chipsets come out early next year. That'll probably be it as far as "major" upgrades. In practice you can get your education discount after you graduate though, they don't really do any strenuous checking. If you get the software before you graduate it should still run on whatever machine you buy afterwards.
  8. sliceofman macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2007
    Well that is hard to say, if u have a problem with your daughter pushing off keyboards if u got a new iMac it comes with the option of wireless and just get that and hide it. Even if she throws it to the ground its not like its going to do much harm to it.

    Any USB issues is something you shouldnt worry too much about. Yes i would love to have 3.0 come out but in reality if u're waiting for something to upgrade you'll always be waiting for something to upgrade and will end up never buying anything, which is the same thing for chipsets as well.

    At the moment apple is using the newest chips on the market. They've just upgraded them and by any time frame, at least for the laptops, they wont be upgraded till like feb or march…*but it wont be anything terribly significant. A smaller dye and a little faster speed… but really its nothing u should be too worried about. But if u can wait, u might as well.

    As for the iMacs, i think the new ones are amazing machines, personally i'm a fan of anything that stays put. And as for their chipset, it probably wont be upgrade much, if anything before they re-do them in a year. I think previously they went without an upgrade for what 230+ days. So eh i wouldnt worry. As i said before everything changes, and it seems like everything get better and better every 4-6 months. But u shouldnt wait for the next best thing, or else u'll never get anything… something i keep doing haha.

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