Macbook and 24" or Macbook Pro and 20" external screen

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Reiger, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Reiger macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    I have a "limited" budget and I don't know what to choose. I currently have a Dell laptop and a Dell 20 inch screen. Like many others I want to switch and I will buy right after Steve's keynote on Monday.

    Option 1:
    Buy the low-end Macbook Pro 15".
    =1620 euro (ADC discount, Leopard included)

    Option 2:
    Buy the mid-end Macbook (2,16 Ghz, 1 GB Ram, 120 GB HD) + Leopard + 2GB ram + Mini-DVI to DVI and a Dell 24 inch screen. I will sell my current 20 inch screen.
    =1190+60+60+20 + 670-200
    =1800 euro

    My current 20 inch screen is 2,5 years old and I know it won't last forever. I'm really torn. I mean the MBP is absolutely great. It is a beautiful machine and will probably last longer than the MB, due to the simple fact that the specs are better. The resale value will also be higher. On the other hand, a 24 inch screen would also be amazing.

    What would you do and why?
  2. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    I take it your ADC membership qualifies you for developer builds of Leopard, because I doubt Leopard is going to ship at WWDC, so you'd still need to upgrade in October, but I guess that'd be free anyway.

    What sort of stuff do you do normally on your computer, lots of intensive graphics, some, or none ?
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If you plan on playing games, go with the MBP. Otherwise, go with the MB. There aren't many programs you can't use on a MacBook that can run on a MBP. There isn't a big difference unless you're doing some 3D graphics stuff, running Motion, etc.

    I'd base this decision on which computer you need rather than the screen, because even if you can't afford the screen today, there's nothing that's stopping you from buying one 6 or 12 months from now, or whenever you do have the money for it.
  4. jellz macrumors regular

    May 5, 2007
    do you think the 20inch is big enough? or do u just want to upgrade to 24 because it's getting old.
  5. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
  6. Reiger thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Thanks for the reply's. Let's see...

    I'm using my computer especially for browsing, word processing, mails etc. Furthermore I use it to watch movies, series etc. I do have a tendency to do heavy multitasking, so 2 GB is really necessary. My gaming needs are catered for by a Wii. However, it would be great to be able to play the new GTA. However, probably the gc of the MBP will not suffice by the time GTA is released for the PC :eek: . Anyway, that is not important at all.

    The graphics card would primarily be to have a good user experience in Mac OS X. For instance, my current laptop is not able to run the new Vista interface. I would hate for that to happen to my Apple laptop. The integrated graphics of the Macbook, the Intel950 is incredibly weak, wouldn't that be negative for the interface of Mac OS X on higher resolutions (1680*1050 or 1920*1200)?

    I could buy a monitor later. Actually the 20 inch screen I have, is great. But bigger is always nice. The main thing is that I do not have an infinite supply of money. Therefore I will have to choose, on thing over another. I might want to buy an iPhone when it is released in Q4 in Europe, that will also be expensive.

    You know, I was really ready to buy a Macbook and was waiting for a refresh. When it finally came, half May, I was actually disappointed, I was hoping for Santa Rosa, led screens; the works :p . And now the Macbook Pro is updated with all those things and has an incredible design...
  7. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    The maximum resolution for the MB working through an external monitor is 1920x1200 – I’ve been told performance is good; I trust the person who told me but hopefully someone will be able to offer you firsthand experience!

    Yes, the GMA950 is far from perfect, but it’s a pretty common GPU in fairness. Actually, I was chatting to a friend who works as an IT team leader/technician about this the other day; he’s dismissively tolerant of Macs, but his response to learning the MB had the GMA950 was nothing more damning “that’s perfectly respectable” for the kind of laptop the MB is.

    Of course, for more than a few people, the MB’s current GPU is a real deal breaker and they’re go for the MBP every time, even if the most intensive thing they’re going to do is watch a DVD – that’s not a dig at you, by the way, but just reflecting what some posters say they use their MBP for.

    Currently, the MB handles the GUI of OS X well (which seems to be your main concern); I can’t say for sure what the future holds, but I would think this is going to be the case for a few years.

    I can understand why people were disappointed by the last MB refresh – but a lot of this (and I do include myself here!) was due wishful thinking. With the differential between the old MBs and MBPs being so tight, it wasn’t going to be logical for Apple to rush the eagerly awaited goodies onto the MB.

    Recently, Charles Moore wrote an excellent online piece arguing why the current MacBooks are a good buy (as well as discussing when is a good time to buy). One thing he pointed out, at this period in the product cycle, the teething problems and bugs earlier models had, should have been removed.

    I think the MB is probably the most practical purchase, weighing up that you’re on a budget and what your needs are. But I can understand why those MBPs look so appealing….
  8. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    Well, I've had a MB and a 24" monitor for a good while now, and I'll give you my assessment. For general everyday stuff like internet browsing, word processing, watching movies, etc, the MB powers the 24 incher just fine. It does feel choppy when using some of OSX's graphical features, such as Expose and Frontrow. Sometimes you don't even see the graphical effect at all, just the end result. But its still definitely usable. Similarly with Aperture; it feels choppy, but useable. I'm guessing Photoshop works just fine as that doesn't touch the GPU. Obviously for games you have no chance as the MB GPU can't even power it's own 1280x800 resolution for such purposes.

    With Leopard on the way however the graphical interface may become more GPU intensive at high resolutions like the 1920x1200. But that's just speculation.
  9. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    I've been running a macbook on a 23" for a couple of days now. I haven't had the opportunity to tax the system much yet (I just got it), but so far everything runs buttery smooth for me. I do have 3GB of ram in the macbook though, which seems to help.
  10. Reiger thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Wow, these are useful replies.

    This is so true. I mean the sensible choice would be the Macbook. It is suited for my needs, but that just rational thinking. A Macbook Pro is so damn, nice... seeing all the other topics about similar choices, I am not the only one having trouble deciding.
  11. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    I have a 24" Dell hooked up to my Macbook, it doesn't look that great. Connected to my PC, it looks terrific, its just too soft with the Macbook.

    BTW, notice a couple issues doing dual extended monitors. One is that the address bar in Firebox shows up on the other monitor when you drop it down. Second, while it says the Dell is 1920x1200 when run in mirrored mode, it actually drops down to the Macbooks resolution 1280x800.
  12. SirCrumpet macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2007
    Brisbane, Australia
    I can't comment on the 24" with the MacBook, but I must say that I'm using a dell 24" (was previously using with a vista PC) with a new MBP and it is simply beautiful - at least as good as with the PC.

    If I was in your situation, I'd probably go for the MacBook Pro for now, and then if you happen to some money spare at a later date go for the 24" Monitor then. The 24-incher is nice, but its still more of a novelty than the very-real performance increase you get with going for the MBP.

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