New computer time!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by redkamel, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. redkamel macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2006
    So my iMac has died (its slow, busted screen, no more Apple care). I am living off my MBA and I really really like it...except I can't edit photos on it (my hobby).

    Everything else I do is mostly office work that the Air can handle. Photo and video editing are a hobby for me, but important.

    Mobility: I love my Air. I had a 15 Powerbook in college and it was too heavy to just throw in my bag (school/flight/library), although these days I don't travel as much as I used to.

    The "desktop experience":I am mobile for work and for fun, but when I have to piece together a 25 page document, edit photos, or just sit at home, I'd like to have a big monitor

    One computer: I can't have my daily work on more than one computer, its a PITA.

    Cost: I don't mind shelling out, but I don't like wasting money. My computers usually last 3-4 years, and will likely be lasting longer as now the subjective performance is leveling off...the MBPs now are much faster than my old imac which was "almost" fast enough for me. Essentially, if my MBA could run Aperture, I would be in heaven.

    So, here are my options, in order of what I am considering to do...

    1. Get a 27 ACD and 15 MBP: I would have the choice of either sticking with my Air as a daily and using the MBP for editing, or using the MBP for everything and the Air when I need to. When my Air dies, I can choose to use only the MBP or get another MBA if the 15 is not mobile enough (or wait until the mythical ODD less, SSD only MBP is made in 4+ years). This setup is expensive, but means I likely won't have to buy another computer until the MBP is past its lifespan. Unfortunately, I am paying for mobility I may not be using.

    2. Get a 27 inch ACD and a Mac Pro: the entry level Pro costs as much as the MBP I was looking at, but is more upgradeable and I will never have to consider photo editing in a laptop purchase again. However, now I will always have two computers, and if my MBA dies, I may need to buy another laptop in the future. It also takes up a lot of space, and I would feel REALLY stupid (and douchey) having a MacPro off 90% of the time in my room. It also mandates me to have an external monitor. This should actually be lower on my list if not off of it.

    3. Get a 27 inch ACD and a mac mini: "Why get a MacpPro just for a photo editing hobby when I could a Macmini?" Yeah, I know. Well, the mini uses a C2D which is uh..well, I think rather underpowered for 20mp RAWs. Its also not expandable (needs to hold ~600 GB of stuff right now, and its only going to get higher, faster) and I expect it will perform like my old imac. If I am spending some money, I'd rather spend a little more and get an i5 or i7. If the mini only had an i5 and a better Gfx card...

    4. Get an imac: This is a cost effective and sensible solution. However, now I can't have an external display for my Air's daily use (too much desk space required), OR I have to use the 27 as a main computer (and sync 2 computers, which I hate) OR use the 27 as a display (possible, but it sounds inelegant and then the monitor no longer acts as a USB hub and that means more cables on my desk).

    Regardless, I am not buying anything (expect maybe a ACD) until after the MBPs are updated. If its a "good" update (whatever that means), I'll definitely go with 1. If its a "bad" one, I'll look more seriously at the rest.

    Any input? Ideas? I feel like my problem is relatively minor/ can wait until the new MBPs are out, but I have nothing to do this week, like to plan, and this is all I can think about, unfortunately. Being at least somewhat knowledgable about computers and my needs, I SHOULD be able to figure this out myself. Unfortunately, I seem to be unable to.
  2. darknite38 macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Get the 27" iMac. Apple display imo is not worth it, buy a cheaper monitor for 400. 27" iMac is a perfect, powerful, all in one computer with a quad core i5, plenty of available hard drive space, good graphics card, and not to mention it is essentially a 27" apple display with a computer inside of it.
  3. David085 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    Get a Mac Pro 6 Core or 12 Cores if you want a powerful machine and get the latest Graphics card and upgrade HDD and Memory later on I would recommend you Purchase the Memory upgrade from OWC is a very good website.
  4. jacks2011 macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    New Computer Time

    Interested in a new iMac myself. Coming from old Quad G5 Power PC.
    I too keep my Mac's for some years. I don't want to jump too soon as I did with the G5. 6 mths later Intels came out!!
    I was thinking of going for a 27" i7 Quad. I have to use Parallels everyday for one Accounting program! Still use Photoshop but will probably go for a new copy of Adobe Elements instead.
    Can anyone please confirm the overheating issues I have heard about and would you wait for the next updates now these latest ones are 6mths old.
    SSD drive any thoughts.

  5. MuDPHuDStudent macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Hanover, NH
    Edit: I need to learn to read more carefully.
  6. redkamel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2006
    Hi all, thanks for the advice. I think I am going to get an ACD then wait and see what the MBP updates are. If they are good, I shall get it. If not, then I'll get a macmini server (which will be useful later even as a server).

    Im not getting an imac because I don't want two monitors or the hassle of a slightly more difficult connection/reconnection with my laptop multiple times a day, and honestly, I don't really like the imac all in one design (personally).

    A macpro would be sweet but just ridiculous. I'd rather save the cash. Photo editing is a hobby for me.

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