MacBook vs iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacMusicMan39, Jun 6, 2006.


iMac 20" or MacBook and Now or Later?

Poll closed Sep 14, 2006.
  1. iMac 20" (Now!)

    13 vote(s)
  2. MacBook (Now!)

    22 vote(s)
  3. iMac 20" (Later)

    10 vote(s)
  4. MacBook (Later)

    9 vote(s)
  1. MacMusicMan39 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    Hi All,

    I'm currently using an old 800 Mhz G3 iBook and am looking to upgrade before school starts in the fall. Before the MacBook was introduced, I was convinced that my next Mac would be the Intel iMac 20" w/ 1 GB of RAM. Now, however, I'm not so sure. Is the MacBook too good of an offer to pass up or because I already have a laptop should I look to buy a desktop? Should I wait for the upgrades due for the iMac or are they expected to arrive later than September? Thanks for any advice you can lend.
  2. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2005
    Basically, any of the above upgrades are going to be massive. If you're surviving with an 800 mhz G3 iBook, you really don't need to worry about speed differences between the newer machines.

    Honestly, the deciding factor should be portability. For college, laptops are ideal, in that you'll often need to take it to a friend's dorm, a classroom, or the library. However, the 20" iMac does have more screen real estate and, if you are a gamer, will function much better.

    Personally, I'd pull for the Macbook - get the higher-end white model, and you'll undoubtedly be pleased with the performance gains over your current iBook - trust me
  3. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
  4. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    here's a small vote for getting the iMac for college. I did, and I really don't regret it. Most of my friends at school got laptops thinking they'd bring it everywhere, and it just sits in their rooms.

    However, I got a desktop because, at the time, you were getting a lot more bang for your buck by getting a non-portable. With the new macbooks, your machine is nearly as good as an iMac for less!

    If you're not worried about security (it's nice to never worry about my computer being stolen/lost) and you think you'll be uber-safe with your laptop, I change my vote! Go MacBook!
  5. blackout8 macrumors member

    May 24, 2006
    my vote is for the macbook. if you're worried about screen space buy the 1.8 (you wont notice the difference most of the time if you get the 2.0) and spend the cash you save on a nice LCD.

    EDIT: (NOW) :D
  6. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    iMac now --- drop in a Merom later

    MacBook later, with Merom

    Then you will have 64-bit machines at home and on the road.
  7. MacMusicMan39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    Thanks for all the replies. The MacBook seems to be winning out thus far. If I were to get the MacBook, does anyone have any suggestions for an external monitor (17-20")?

  8. Subiklim macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2006
    Manhattan, New York
    Apples vs. oranges?

    If you need portability Macbook is the way to go. If you don't mind the heat. Or the mooing.

    Though you can't really go wrong with the iMac. Best computer I've ever had. Personally I would buy the iMac later, keep it for a year or so, and if you need the portability go with the merom Macbooks. Apples hold their value, so you won't be losing much. Or if you need something to take notes with, etc. get the iMac, and buy a cheap dell laptop to take around.

    As far as monitors go, probably go with dell. Cheap and decent build quality, LCD quality is first rate.
  9. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    The Macbook is just too good. I just can't get over it. I bought one for my wife and I regret it every day. (I regret that it's HERS) The only thing missing (unless you really have a screen size preference) is the expandibility of the PC/Express card slot in the MBPro. So you are forced to use Firewire for peripherals. It's really not that big a deal to most since firewire rocks.

    I'm waiting for the next gen MBP. I'm not sure if I will make it. Basically the only feature it adds that I REALLY care about is the backlit keyboard.

    Sad to anyone with a MB with some issues, we've got none here. I have to literally hold the MB to my ear in a quiet room to hear any noise coming from it, and that would be the hard drive spinning/seeking and a tiny electrical buzz just like every other electrical device known to me.

    I think I'll go steal my wife's and turn it into a lightsaber.....
  10. MacMusicMan39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    One more thing....

    This machine will be used intensively for podcasting w/ a .Mac subscription. Would the desktop be better for this or is the MacBook still too good to be true?

    Thanks to all Mac Heads out there for the advice.
  11. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Do you travel a lot? Do you like to take your computer with you?

    Do you play games? Do you play games that require high end performance?

    I have the same dillemma myself. The only games that I play, are Diablo II and C&C Red Alert, and Wolf:ET. I spend a great deal of time on the train or on the road, and portability is a define plus for me.

    I would like an iMac for it's graphics capability, but I'm too attached to the portability of a laptop. So I'm probably going to purchase a MacBook myself.
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I think SC68Cal has identified the relevant questions. Which is more important to you - gaming or portability?

    Also, is a macbook + external monitor an option? The macbook has DVI + clamshell mode. :D
  13. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    Just to clarify, you can add in the new processor in the imac is what i'm interpreting that as. Is this correct? If so the imac would be a bit more future proof in that sense
  14. MacMusicMan39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    I currently love bringing my iBook home when I'm on break from school and have definitely considered it. I don't travel too often and don't play many games. I probably won't be making this purchase until early august anyways, so I'm interested to see what's going to happen with the new iMac Processors. Again, thanks for all the fast replies!
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    You don't need to travel around often to warrant getting a laptop. Even going to the library or a friend's house to do a group assignment once or twice a month makes a laptop worth it. Being able to carry your laptop home with you when you visit your parents makes a laptop worth it.

    Even if it sits on your desk most of the time, it's when you NEED it that it matters. People don't buy 1 year of car insurance because they think they'll crash it once a day for a year, do they? You get it so that when you need it, it's there. Same with a laptop for most people.

    On the other hand, I bring my laptop to uni everyday because I'm doing my PhD.....

    I get this feeling that everyone thinks the MacBook will get Merom processors when they are released, and I don't know if that will happen. I don't even know why so many people believe this. The MBPs will get Merom once they're available (in 3-6 months?), no doubt. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see the MB "stuck" in 32-bit land for quite a while longer, possibly for another 12-18 months.

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