Macbook vs Imac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Orge, May 17, 2007.

  1. Orge macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2004

    After the latest updates, I'm seriously considering getting a macbook. Whilst they don't constitute a vast improvement in performance, they are an improvement in value for money. Whilst I'm pretty sold on a replacement laptop, I'm curious how it compares to an imac. To me, it seems like there's very little lost in price/performance between these machines:

    Dedicated Graphics Card
    (although I don't believe it can run a larger external display)
    Larger/Faster Hard Disk (at least internally)
    Up to 3GB of Memory
    Firewire 800 on the 24"

    Outside of the graphics card, there doesn't seem to be many performance features that are likely to matter to the average user - I can live with 2GB memory, external storage and the hard disk speed. I guess the GMA 950 is going to be most noticeable for gaming, which I'm not particularly bothered about? I don't believe there are any significant differences in bus architecture or is there something I have missed?

    It's also noteworthy that the price of a macbook and a 24" Display (Apple or otherwise) is not much more than an imac.

    I would be interested to hear other people's opinions on these products.


  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Both machines are capable of driving large external displays but the iMac will do a better job at that. It comes down to whether you need the portability of a MacBook or not.
  3. Jouten macrumors newbie


    Apr 30, 2007

    Better off with the Macbook if you are not going to do any 'gaming'.

  4. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
  5. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2005
    If your a student your going to want the portability. I personally like to pair them :eek:
  6. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    The hard drive makes the biggest difference. Even the fastest 7200rpm notebook drives don't have the read/write speeds of a standard off the shelf 7200rpm desktop drive.

    However the new Macbooks are faster than the cheapest 17" iMac, cpu-wise:

    4MB shared L2 cache running at full processor speed

    17" iMac:
    2MB shared L2 cache at full processor speed on iMac with 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  7. headhammer macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    the macbook is not capable of running the apple 30" cinema display, and some other brands' big displays, because it uses integrated graphics processing. (neither is the cheapy cheap imac, for the same reason).

    also, expect an imac update in the next few weeks (i'm guessing wwdc), which will make the imac better value for money if you're not needing the portability of a laptop, which is not to be sneezed at.

    performance-wise, the imacs are better. the current imacs are not so far above the macbooks, because of the update, but i reckon that's about to change.
  8. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    What about video editing? Grant it that the storage space is an issue, but would is is possible/not-slow-enough-to-frustrate to copy DV video (or HDV video from a consumer level HD camcorder) over the firewire, and edit said video in iMovie? Do you get away from the problems with the 5400RPM drive if you're capturing straight to a 7200 external drive?

    Also, on that integrated graphics card, would it slow down using a 3D app like Blender? My iMac is aging and I'd like to consider getting a Macbook or Macbook pro with an external monitor myself. I do freelance web development and it would be useful to be able to quickly be able to carry my development environment with me, instead of having to sync across to a laptop, but I also don't want to take a step backwards. However, that's just a LOT of extra money just for the benefit of an aluminum case and a 'real' video card.

    I haven't had any problems on the iMac with said apps. Just curious as to what I could expect out of a mobile.

    I'm sure by October/November we'll start to see Santa Rosa systems come out (hopefully). Would the X3100 graphics processor do a competitive job with the MBP on apps like Blender or movie editing? The only 'game' I play on the Mac is X-Plane. I've heard that one shouldn't even bother with it on a Macbook, do you guys anticipate the same would be true of X3100?
  9. chex macrumors regular

    May 17, 2007
    The MBP most likely will not have the X3100, but a discrete graphics card - though it doesnt seem bad from prelim. specs.
  10. BioChron macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2006
    I don't think the MacBook has the capability to render certain 3D things, or something to that effect. It plays World of Warcraft okay, but not many of 3D games are worth it on a MacBook.

    If you don't play games often, go with the MacBook. If you want a great desktop for everything, get the iMac.
  11. gaelan macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2005
    i figured if mobility is not a factor just go with the imac for the most bang for your buck. i'd be afraid of all the little hands in my house wrecking a macbook (they look so fragile in the store). with the imac, all i worry about is writing on the screen.
  12. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    I have a feeling I'll be eBaying my 1st Generation Intel iMac sometime in the fall after leopard. Currently I have a low-end Macbook also that my wife has been increasingly using. But I've been needing a mobile system more and more these days. It's too difficult to sync files since I can't always use the Macbook and it has a smaller hard drive. I'm leaning toward a MB or MBP to replace the iMac. The choice between the two to be determined by whether or not I feel like I'm stepping backwards capability wise (who knows, maybe the as-yet-non-existent X3100 Santa Rosa MB will render Blender and X-Plane well enough), and how professional I want to look on the go.
  13. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    I would get a MacBook right now, and save for an iMac after your MacBook purchase.

Share This Page