Macbook vs iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by johnnyt, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. johnnyt macrumors newbie

    johnnyt

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #1
    I'm debating on what Mac to buy. I own an acer laptop, but would like to get a Mac. I'm debating between the 2.4 Ghz White MacBook and the 20-inch, 2.66GHz iMac. I'm a grad student and am willing to spend ~$1400. I'm going to get AppleCare regardless. I mainly use my computer for watching movies, websurfing, office, music, and image editing (GIMP). I don't do any video editing or play any video games. I was planning on getting the MacBook, but I think that the added screen size and the faster processor of the iMac might be nice. I could still use my Acer when I'm on the road for websurfing.

    I'm also somewhat leaning towards the iMac because it was just updated, and I hear that the Macbooks might get cycled soon, and I'd like to get a Mac now without kicking myself for not waiting if a new model comes out within a month. Obviously the products are going to be updated eventually.

    If you have any input as to which way I should go, please let me know!
     
  2. shinchook macrumors regular

    shinchook

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #2
    If you not worried about portability get the iMac. The bigger screen would be better for watching media and it has a dedicated video card rather than shared memory.
     
  3. primes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #3
    Tough call

    I Don't like to use a laptop if it is my ONLY machine; but you will be buying AppleCare (hmmmmmmm)

    I have an iMac as my primary SOHO machine but also have an older laptop.

    Is mobility important?? If not, I would buy the iMac.

    You are right, the laptops are due for a MAJOR upgrade this summer (?). You can check out this site:

    http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

    This is nice the way they let you know when NOT to buy.
     
  4. johnnyt thread starter macrumors newbie

    johnnyt

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #4
    Can you upgrade the HD and Memory of the iMac without voiding the warranty? If so how easy/hard is it to do? I figure I could save a few hundred if I went with the iMac and put in more memory/bigger HD myself. You can get a 4GB kit for $103 at crucial.
     
  5. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I agree with everyone here. If mobility is not an issue then get the iMac.
     
  6. kornyboy macrumors 68000

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    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I know you can upgrade the RAM without voiding the warranty and it is pretty easy to do. I don't know about the HD. Anyone else?
     
  7. shinchook macrumors regular

    shinchook

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    it will void the warranty if you upgrade the HD it can be done but its pain in the rear

    look on ifixit.com
     
  8. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #8
    You can upgrade memory on an iMac, but not the hard drive without voiding the warranty.

    IT's all about portability when buying a Macbook. If you need portability then you have little choice but to get a Macbook. If you don't need it then I would get an iMac.

    I had a Macbook earlier this year and returned it because I just much prefer the iMac and I really don't need portability that much. I can move my iMac around the house easy enough too which I do quite often.

    You get more for your money with the iMac. I wanted the dedicated vid card. I liked the larger hard drive. I liked the bigger and nicer monitor. It looks a little classier than a Macbook and it's quieter too. No fan means no noise.

    So unless you need portability get an iMac. If you need portability you can always get a Macbook and a bigger monitor with a keyboard and mouse to make it more like an iMac when you're at home.
     
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #9
    Since your budget is around $1400 why not get a refurbished Macbook Pro. You can get a 2.2ghz model for $1450. Then you have a larger screen then the Macbook but retain portability, true it is still much smaller than the iMac. Plus unlike the Macbook you also have the dedicated GPU which can be useful with HD video content optimized for the GPU.

    If you can not see a use for the GPU at all then why not get a refurb 2.4Ghz Macbook $1100 then get an external 20+ inch screen off newegg.com for around $200. Then you can have portablility and a large screen at home.

    Refurbs are just like the new ones except they come in a brown box and sometimes have bonuses. Like extra ram or a larger HD.

    edit: I forgot to mention since you said you will be buying Applecare go through ebay or amazon and pay less. Just make sure you get the Applecare to match your Mac.
     
  10. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Dubai x Toronto
    #10
    hi.

    i'm in the exact same situation as you and i am going with the imac. i was debating between the 2.4ghz macbook and 2.66ghz iMac.
    i have a laptop already (hp), so like you that is covered for any portability (i take it to class, library, etc). however, i will be getting a macbook as a gift in the future (between october-december).

    i haven't had a desktop in 4 years but am borrowing my brothers PC and love it. when i'm at home i like sitting on the desk with the big screen, nicer video card, etc.

    so like others have said, and from personal experience, if you feel your acer will suffice for portability (my HP is only 2 years old and holding up great) then opt for the iMac.

    oh, and like above the RAM is easy to upgrade on the iMac without voiding warrant, but not sure if the same with the HDD.

    let us know what you decide! :D
     
  11. johnnyt thread starter macrumors newbie

    johnnyt

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #11
    Thanks for all the replies. I was looking through the refurbished section, there is an iMac there, with a "Intel Core 2 Extreme" would that be faster or slower than a Core 2 Duo at the same clock speed?
     
  12. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #12
    Whatever you get is going to blow you away after your Acer...Your going to be grinning big time!!

    The only good reason to go for a refurb in your case would be if the refurb offered a 24" screen for current 20" money...I think the CPU performance differences will be largely imperceptible but the screen thing will deliver a massive difference.
     
  13. johnnyt thread starter macrumors newbie

    johnnyt

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #13
    I just read the fine print on the Back to School promotion, and I'd miss out on the free touch if I go with a refurb mac.
     
  14. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #14
    Don't forget to check out pixelmator - it has hands on real-time filters that use the GPU to do the transforms instantly rather than the CPU 'batch process' way of things.....
     
  15. anubis26 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #15
    Make sure you go with the education discount, that'll save you around $150-200. I think you should go with the iMac, considering that your current laptop is fine for your portable needs, while the iMac's larger screen will improve things like watching video and image editing.
     

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