Need some advice!!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by WolvenStorm, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. WolvenStorm, Jun 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011

    WolvenStorm macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    Hi All,

    Basically this is my situation:

    I'm using a 15" 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo with 4GB ram (I upgraded it myself). This was a free replacement of a powerbook (fully upped spec at the time) that was still under applecare. I had so many problems with the powerbook (HD replaced 2x, screen replaced, motherboard replaced, sleeping issues etc) that when I was in my last year of uni and the screen died they gave me the macbook pro free (was pretty happy with that!!!)

    So this replacement laptop, I've replaced the battery once, and upped the RAM... but the keyboard and trackpad disconnect every now and then (had to tape something under the battery to put pressure on the connection) and it's constantly running out of space (only 120GB and 15GB is allocated to win XP purely to run AutoCAD).

    I use Maya, AutoCAD, Adobe suite... so I do require pretty powerful specs, especially for rendering which is sometimes an overnight job and I think that's what has killed my battery in the past.

    So I was thinking of getting an iMac 27" with 3.4GHz i7, 16GB RAM and 2GB GPU, but then came across the iMac forum where people seem to have had a lot of screen issues/yellow tint/dust behind the screen etc, which is unacceptable when working in graphics and visuals.

    Also, I'm concerned that because the iMac is quite compact, elements may overheat when rendering for long periods and a couple of people have posted screen degradation over time.

    It's a shame because the iMac, especially 27" look superb and the high res would be great for all the toolbars and palettes!

    Other options would be to get a refurb Mac Pro, but then some of the specs (RAM etc) won't be as high and the cost is much more. I could also get a PC but I hate using windows, I hate having this partition on my mac just for AutoCAD (my MBP is 3,1 too old for the AutoCAD for Mac version).

    I'm going back to uni this Sept for postgrad and will definitely require a replacement MBP/MP/iMac/PC then but I also use it for work and other purposes so I'm not sure what to do at the moment.

    The problem is that from looking at the forums etc, the iMacs have their problems, MPs don't seem like they will get updated till late this year/early 2012 and will probably be out of my budget and the MBPs are mid-cycle. I don't really want a PC, but I could also build my own but that will still also cost a lot!

    Sorry if that was long-winded, but if you guys can offer advice.. especially anyone with experience using the same apps (maya, other 3D, AutoCAD, Adobe).


    EDIT: Also, the reason I was thinking iMac was because it was just updated... eventually I'll probably want a laptop as well as desktop... but one step at a time (budget)
  2. fluffycone macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    Yea, I would like to find out more like what WolvenStorm said.
  3. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Buy a 17" MBP and a monitor, call it a day.
  4. WolvenStorm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    From experience, leaving a macbook pro to render overnight connected to the mains really kills battery life and the 17" is obviously less portable. Also, the CPU on the 17" isn't as powerful as the 3.4GHz.

    For next year I'm hoping to have both a desktop and laptop that would allow me to keep working while leaving the desktop to do heavy rendering.

    The annoying thing is that there probably won't be an update before sept... when I start uni, so although I'll wait it out a bit... want some advice on options, what others were thinking.
  5. gangof4 macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2011
    Mine works fine

    I have a 22" iMac and haven't had the screen problems others speak about. Nor has heat been a problem for me. It's a good tradeoff and you can always purchase the larger unit later and hook the screens together.
  6. WolvenStorm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    I guess one of the things I'm asking is what's the best option for a powerhouse desktop atm (or wait till sept) taking into consideration everything I mentioned in the 1st post.

    iMac 27" upgraded (considering supposed issues)?
    Wait for a possible MP refresh?
    Get a refurb mac pro?
    Wait for possible MBP in oct, then get a desktop at next refresh?
    Build a PC?

    So I'm looking for something that will really speed up mental ray/maya render times etc. That would mean that I would want a minimum quad-core... and if I go with iMac it would have to be the 3.4GHz option.
  7. fkhan3 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2010
    iMac would be ideal for what you do. Remember that if you do build a PC, getting an equivalent 27" monitor and after building the whole unit could end up costing as much as iMac. Depending on what parts you use, you may end up saving few hundred but it won’t be a huge difference.

    As far as defects are concerned, no company can guarantee to make a product line entirely defect free. They can minimize defects but cannot eliminate them entirely. That’s a fact of manufacturing, especially when you build complex equipment from parts manufactured by different vendors.

    People who run into issues usually go out and seek help. So you will see lot of posts about people mentioning defects. Does that mean every iMac is defective? Apple probably sells thousands of iMacs every day and few may have defects.

    If you want an iMac, go to the Apple store and try one out before purchasing it. If you like it, buy it, worst case, if you are not happy with it, return it within 14 days.

    As far as refresh of MP or MBP, no one knows when that will happen. If you are not in urgent need you can wait for MP refresh (which may happen soon) and weight out your options
  8. sarika123 macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2011
    Hi self sarika here.... i am new on this forum thanks for sharing this useful tips with us....Nice to meet you.I forund is very interesting and good for enhance knowedge purpose that's why join this forum……

  9. WolvenStorm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    Thanks guys,

    I guess I wanted to open a dialogue with people who may also be in the same boat to see what they're thinking of doing as well as getting advice from people who use the same apps.

    Personally I'm gonna hold off buying for a couple of months at least. My MBP is still working even though it's always running out of space and the trackpad/keyboard disconnect every now and then.

    If anyone else has any thoughts that would be real helpful, cheers!
  10. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I had the "constantly running out of space" problem with my early 2008 Macbook (160 GB). I picked up a LaCie firewire 1TB external drive and put all my iPhoto stuff on there and had 40 gig free. More recently I popped in a 7200 RPM 500 GB / 4 GB SSD "hybrid" and 4GB of RAM which I got for under $200 and it's like having a new machine. I suggest you ask Apple to look at your intermittent keyboard issue and consider an external drive or a HDD upgrade.
  11. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    I would suggest you consider building a powerful PC and couple it with a 27 inch monitor - Dell or Apple.

    You will get high performance, good cooling and upgradablity.
  12. WolvenStorm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    I did the 4GB upgrade myself. Wouldn't it cost a fair bit to get the HD replaced and fix the trackpad/keyboard issue outside of warranty? Thing is, I'd need a new comp anyway because this won't cut it with AutoCAD and Maya so I'm thinking of just spending it on that rather than keeping this one going, but I'll probably keep this one as a back-up or something.
  13. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Upgrading the HDD on my Penryn (pre unibody) Macbook only involved 3 #0 phillips screws to get at it and 4 torx screws (for which I was able to use a jewelers' screwdriver) to move the bracket to the new drive.

    As for fixing the keyboard/trackpad issue, I would let Apple give you a quote. I don't think they charge for giving a quote. If you plan on keeping the machine, it might be worth it to get that issue ironed out once and for all. As for the HDD upgrade, if you plan on using the machine as a "backup" machine, it might not make sense to bother swapping the HDD at this time even if you could do it yourself.
  14. WolvenStorm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    So, with rumors of a new Mac Pro possibly coming in Aug/Sept I may wait for then since it's not urgent for me to get one until Sept.

    So I was wondering...

    • What are the possibilities that MP costs will reduce (from past updates? do the prices remain static for models or do they change at all?) At the moment, base MP is reasonable but is outspecced by a similarly priced iMac, right?

    • Concerning upgrades, RAM, HD options etc, the cost is massive. 512GB SSD is over £1,000, RAM is more expensive since it's ECC. What are chances the upgrades will become a little more affordable?

    • Likelihood that on that next update the base MP will outperform a fully maxed current iMac 27"?

    I understand affordability is relative and depends on what the needs and uses are, and for people who make a living out of it, the extra $$$ for a MP isn't a big deal but there are some of us (students, semi-pro users) who need the extra power but have more limited budgets.

    I know that it's all speculation until if/when rumored MP is officially announced but I was wondering from peoples experience of past updates etc what may happen regarding the above.

  15. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I doubt Apple will lower the price of the MacPro by much. I doubt Apple will charge less for upgrades. A company that has shrinking market share and falling revenue tends to make changes in pricing policies. A company that just about has a license to print money (Apple), doesn't have a lot of incentive to make sweeping pricing and policy changes.

    Take a look around over at primate labs. You will see that on geekbench, the MP tends to outperform other Apple products offered the same year. This year was a bit unusual in that the performance improvements across the MPB line were so significant that the base MBP outperforms last year's top of the line MBP. For Apple to charge so much for the MP, I doubt they will fail to offer a significant upgrade when it comes out.

    I should add that the MP is the one Apple product that does not appeal to me. It has the form factor of the early 1990's "tower" machines. It is very expensive. It is upgradeable but at what cost? I'm not about to buy my HDD, RAM and SSD from Apple. But wait. Remember I said Apple won't change their steep pricing? Well there is one little wrinkle that might force their hand. Now that they are putting proprietary HDDs in the iMac, to avoid being accused of gouging maybe Apple might have to bring the pricing more in line with normal retail pricing for HDD upgrades... And that's a pretty big maybe.

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