MBP and Thunderbolt Display, or MBA+iMac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ElDogman, Aug 25, 2015.

?

which set up?

  1. 1. 11 inch MBA + 21 inch iMac

    3 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. 2. 13 inch MBP + Apple Cinema Display

    8 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. 3. Other

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  1. ElDogman macrumors 6502

    ElDogman

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #1
    not sure which section to post since it involves 4 different apple products but I will post here since it has more traffic.

    I am planning a major upgrade of my computer ecosystem.
    Right now I am just using a 13 inch notebook on loan, but plan to get another notebook for travel and a large screen for at home use (definitely preferred when watching videos, playing some games, etc)
    but not sure what the best way is to approach it.

    option 1.
    11 inch Macbook Air (the cheapest and most mobile apple) and a 21 inch iMac?

    option 2
    13 inch MBP and a thunderbold apple cinema display?

    these should cost nearly the same neighborhood

    also open to other options.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    What other apps are you looking to run (other then the aforementioned gaming playing?)

    The iMac will probably give you the biggest bang for your buck in terms of performance especially compared to the MBA and 13" MBP.
     
  3. ElDogman thread starter macrumors 6502

    ElDogman

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #3
    probably running MS office, arcGIS, and stat programs like SAS or stata
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    I think those apps would take advantage of the multiple cores of the 15" MBP, but it boils down to portability at the expense of performance.
     
  5. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Are you ok with managing two machines and keeping them synchronized?

    When you travel, how much will the bigger and heavier laptop affect your travel plans?

    Aside from games, what are the specs needed to run your work files? The Air is limited to 8gb max.

    The cinema display is somewhat outdated (no thunderbolt 2 or USB 3) and it's one feature is that it saves space. Personally I would get the 13 inch pro, get a good 27 inch IPS display, and pocket the difference. Hope this helps.
     
  6. ElDogman thread starter macrumors 6502

    ElDogman

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #6
    Thanks you two for the replies. To answer your questions.
    Right now I have a work desktop and an ultrabook at home which I bring with me for travel. Currently I do my stats and arcGIS on my work desktop, but sometimes do work at home (mostly writing papers and articles via MS Word and Powerpoint). Right now, most of the time the ultrabook is limited to playing world of tanks (on low settings) and streaming videos (its 2-3 years old, i3, 4gb and sometimes struggles with 1080p). When I do business trips, I do more work on it since I can't bring my work desktop.

    I probably do business trips 6-7 times a year. When I do go, its usually for a while, like 1 week or 2.
    When I had a 15" notebook, while it was great at home..it was a pain to carry. I commute about 1 hour each way (mixture of walking, bus, train where when it is crowded, I'm going to have to stand the whole way.. I live in Japan).

    I tried a desktop/iPad+external keyboard route, but that didn't work. It's hard to do serious productive work on documents and presentations on an iPad (once I got my iPhone 6+, my iPad saw almost no use, so I sold it too).

    I want a larger screen for home use so I can enjoy watching Game of Thrones or anime with my girlfriend or play games while she watches. we initially tried it on my laptop, but found using her sister's iMac far more enjoyable. But we can't use her iMac forever. The larger screen also helps me feel more productive as I feel I have a lot of space.

    A majority of my work is on powerpoint, excel, stat programs, and arcGis. the latter two are probably more resource intensive of the four but I've been getting by fine with the 4gb on the desktop. Gaming probably matters more, but I don't intend to make my computer a serious gaming machine (will leave that to a PS4), but I do enjoy a casual MMO game.
     
  7. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    Bad 1080p playback is a CPU issue, and the new Air is faster than your current laptop. Since you can do work on 4gb, you could spring for the base or upgraded 11 inch Air and be very portable. The newer graphics chip will also improve gaming.

    You could get a large external monitor for the Air for the screen space but the iMac gives you a second computer.
     
  8. ElDogman thread starter macrumors 6502

    ElDogman

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #8
    after thinking about it and also talking with the gf, we agree, an iMac plus an MBA doesn't cost that much more than an MPB 13 plus the cinema display or a similar large monitor, and we'd get two computers

    right now we're trying to figure out which variation would be good
    21" imac and 11 MBA
    21" imac and MS Surface
    a small portable desktop like the Alienware x51 and 11 mba

    would be nice to have at least one to run mac os.
     
  9. nStyle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #9
    If you prefer using a desktop for most tasks and want OS X then it's a no brainer - prioritize the iMac. I also think the 11" Air will be fine for the limited travel you do + around the house tasks.
     

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