MBP or iMac+cheap laptop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Greg90, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Greg90 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #1
    I'm going to college in the fall and I need both power and portability (but not necessarily portable power). I do graphic design, video editing, and some gaming so I really need a computer with a decent screen and some power (I figure either a MacBook Pro or iMac). I also need a computer I can take with me to the library, class, etc. but there's no reason that it needs to be capable of anything more than web-browsing, word-processing and maybe a few other light applications. My ideal budget would be around $2000 but I can go up to $2500 if I need to.

    So my question to you is, do I just buy an MBP that can do both, probably the baseline model ($1799) or do I get an iMac, probably the 2.66 Ghz 20in ($1399) and then buy either a cheap Windows laptop or a used iBook/MacBook for $400-500?
     
  2. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #2
    iMac & cheap laptop.
     
  3. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #3
    The MBP would be too big to carry to class...at least to me...15" is huge in a class room or even in the library or coffee shop.

    I would suggest maybe MBP and an eee pc or powerbook 12" G4 or ibook. An imac is nice, but a bit much if you are going to be dorming it. This is my opinion at least. You can transport the MBP around if you need to.

    I went for a MBP and an ultraportable myself. But this is because I am across the country and wanted some kind of portability for both of my computers.
     
  4. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

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  5. i0Nic macrumors 65816

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  6. Greg90 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #6
    I've been reading around the forums all day and heard bad things about NVIDIA gpus, the iMac comes with ATI gpu, would this really be more dependable than the one in MBP, should this influence my decision?

    Btw, Mac Pro + shopping cart was the best idea i've heard in a while, haha.
     
  7. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    May 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #7
    I'd go for the MBP to be honest, but, for all the people saying that 15" computers are too big to carry everywhere I have no idea what you're talking about.

    At my school (DU) about a third of students have MB's the other third have MBP's. I have absolutely no problem carrying my laptop to either school, work, a coffee shop, etc.
     
  8. quaz macrumors newbie

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    Jul 3, 2008
    #8
    You mentioned gaming, so the 20" iMac may not be enough for you, depending on what you play. The Macbook Pro has a better GPU (though reliability is iffy right now).
     
  9. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    Do they teach math at that school too, because you're missing the final 1/3. :p

    In all seriousness though, I love my MBP but LOATHE to have a dedicated desktop and smaller (cheaper) MB for lightweight tasks which is what i do 90% of the time (web, word, itunes, and a little photoshop). It's all about what you do on the go, if you do the same as me you'd be fine with a macbook and then use the money you save toward an iMac to work on movies, intense photoshop or some gaming. PLUS I've seen rumor of a new MBP case design, so you may want to wait to see if anything comes from that. Good luck! :)
     
  10. Greg90 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #10
    The 20" iMac has better processor than MBP, is it really not as good for gaming? I don't play anything too heavy: Sims 2 is probably the most graphics intensive game that I play regularly.

    Also, does anyone know what happens if your GPU fails? Does dead gpu = dead computer, or do you just lose some graphics performance?
     
  11. iMacNoob macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #11
    I don't know about you guys, but the 20" monitor really sucks. I bought a 24" iMac today (1st mac!) and I really love the screen!

    I didn't even consider the 20" screen as it just didn't have the 'wow' factor for me....

    but he is on a budget obviously so he is in a different situation.

    I would get the 24" iMac, and then a cheap laptop since its probably more for note taking (word processing) and simple internet browsing/email checking.
     
  12. Radio Monk33 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2007
    #12
    I've always found synchronizing life with multiple computers to be a pain. It's a hassle to have to swap files and look for latest versions to avoid copying over the wrong files etc. I like having the MBP for portability as well as serious power for the heavy duties.
     
  13. Indohottie macrumors 6502

    Indohottie

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  14. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    #14
    Such semantic nonsense, but for your clarification the other third it's Windows :p
     
  15. dylangurl21 macrumors regular

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    Sep 16, 2005
    #15
    I like an imac/laptop combination. I haven't found file syncing to be too bad but I've also found the .mac to help with that for sure.
     
  16. MacGeek7 macrumors 6502a

    MacGeek7

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    Aug 25, 2007
    #16
    I would go with the iMac + MacBook.
    I had that set up earlier in the year and it was nice to have both but I had a hard time keeping contacts/calendars/mail all organized...enter MobileMe and I kinda regret getting rid of my iMac...
     
  17. Super Intendo macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2008
    #17
    Xserve and a flat bed Home Depot style cart to carry it...
     
  18. Greg90 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    I can't really afford iMac+MacBook, after i get the iMac my budget for the laptop maxes out around $500 although I could push that a tad higher so the only choice is really an extreme lowend windows or maybe an old iBook/PowerBook if I can find a cheap one.
     
  19. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #19
    Another vote for iMac + Macbook.

    At Apple refurbished, you can get what my girlfriend just bought:
    $1400.
    Refurbished iMac 24-inch 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    24-inch glossy widescreen display
    1GB memory
    320GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
    Built-in iSight Camera

    Throw in 4gb of RAM from OWC and it's SPEEDY!

    I and my girlfriend do gfx, motion graphics and character animation. I have a *17"* MBP...and I MUCH prefer the iMac for getting stuff done!
    Next year...once Nehalem comes out...I'm getting an iMac and Macbook.
     
  20. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #20
    A dead GPU = dead computer pretty much.

    You can't see anything on your LCD, nor anything on an external monitor, even though your mobo is okay, hdd is okay, cpu is okay etc. At least all your data is safe and such. It is actually an easy fix for a dedicated GPU. Just replace the part and everything else is gravy. Of course you need the part and the apple care to do it haha.
     
  21. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a

    kingcrowing

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    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #21
    I'd go for the macbook Pro, it's a lot easier to haveon computer, just make sure you've got an external HD to back up your stuff.
     
  22. Greg90 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #22
    If you're not under warranty anymore, how much does it cost to replace the gpu (ballpark)?
     
  23. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    baltimore, md
    #23
    I am actually not sure. I did repair for asus laptops, and it was such an easy fix. Just pull the card, and replace it. Never looked at the price on the other end though. Sometimes cards overheat thus causing it to fry if you don't have adequate thermal protection.
     
  24. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #24
    Well I googled images of the internals of a C2D macbook pro. The dedicated GPU seemed to be located directly on the mainboard. So my hypothesis is incorrect. I am not sure if it is just a chip that is removable..I can't tell. But "dedicated graphics" in my technician mind = a removable card from nivida/ati which is dedicated and not onboard. I would need to do more research/ open up a mbp...haha which I am not going to do!
     

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