Setup considerations: please weigh in

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by roland.g, Aug 19, 2010.


iMac or MacBook Pro w/ 27" Display

  1. get new iMac, get rid of MacBook when iPad gets camera

    9 vote(s)
  2. forget iPad update, get rid of iMac, get MacBook Pro with Display

    10 vote(s)
  1. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I currently have more Mac that I need or really use.

    I have a mid-2007 2.8GHz Extreme 24" Aluminum iMac which Applecare just expired on.
    I also have a late-2008 2.4GHz 13" Aluminum MacBook (not Pro because they didn't add FireWire back in until the following June).
    * And I do need FW800 since I have all media on 2 2TB and one 1.5TB FW 800 external drives.
    And I also have an iPad.

    Right now the MacBook really serves only 1 purpose. iChat on weekend mornings at the breakfast table so our parents can see and talk to their grandkids.

    So I was thinking of going 1 of 2 routes.

    1. Waiting for Apple to update the iPad next year presumably with an iChat cam that unlike FaceTime would hopefully work with people using iChat on Macs and Skype on PCs.

    Then I could sell the iMac, MacBook and iPad I have and get a new iPad and new 27" iMac.


    2. Not worry about the iPad update, and sell the iMac and MacBook now, and get a new 13" MacBook Pro and 27" Cinema Display.

    Truth is I don't need the portability of the MacBook (Pro), especially with the iPad, other than the webcam aspect.

    Either way, I think I could sell and buy at little cost to me since I have 2 machines now.
  2. spblat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    The stuff you're selling is worth more now than it will be later. Bird in the hand!
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Apple is far more likely to add Facetime to OS X than iChat to iOS, otherwise why did the come up with a new application when the could have just ported iChat?

    So I'd say option 2 is a better choice than option 1, although you could just trade in your iMac on a new one and use your current Al MacBook as is -- it sounds like it's doing the job and will continue to do so. Why do you need to attach any external drives to an "iChat box"?
  4. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Currently I use my iMac mostly. It is always on so I can stream from my iTunes library to my Apple TV any of my movies, which is especially useful for the kids. All iTunes is on a 2TB drive with a 2nd 2TB used for backup of just that. I keep my Apps, Docs, & iPhoto Library resident on my iMac and use my 1.5TB external as a Time Machine backup for that. With the iPad, I rarely ever use the MacBook and the only reason I keep it at this point is for weekend video chats with family. The iMac still does it job and I could keep it another year or so no problem. But I could get more for it now than later and upgrade to a newer box, slightly larger screen, etc. But I would probably want to sell my MacBook as well, which brings me back to the iPad with camera issue. I had no problems when the iPad came out that it did not have a webcam, but I would certainly want to sell and upgrade if it did and use that as it has better battery life, etc.

    If I went for option 2, and dismissed the desktop solution in favor of a portable with 2ndary screen, it would remain connected to the screen and drives (for media content access) almost all the time, almost defeating the purpose, but I would still have the flexibility to disconnect for the rare times I want to use a portable computer over the iPad, and for the video chats.
  5. iKimm macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2010
    I have the new iMac 27" and absolutely LOVE it!!! :D I also have the iPad and LOVE that too :D

    I never ever use a laptop at all anymore!! Plus when I travel my iPad goes with me and let me tell you... it is so nice to travel with that vs. my laptop...

    My vote is for the 27" iMac and iPad :rolleyes:
  6. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    You have:

    1 an iMac (fw800)
    2 a Macbook (no firewire)
    3 an iPad

    You need:

    1 Mac (fw800) and 1 iPad with one or the other on AppleCare (more on this later)

    The option I would recommend does not appear on your list:

    Sell the Macbook now. Keep the iMac and the iPad. Done.

    If the Macbook had FW, I would recommend you get rid of the iMac. As for AppleCare being expired, think of it this way. People who buy a PC are starting their "AppleCare expired" experience 30 days after they leave the store. You can easily get several more years of use out of the iMac. Apple tends to be pretty forgiving. If you have AC on one device and it connects to another device that is off AC, they tend to answer questions about either device.

    Another option I would suggest is a complete turnover of your stuff:

    Sell the Macbook first (after transferring your stuff to the iMac or an external drive). Replace it with a 13 in or 15 in Macbook Pro with AppleCare. Now sell the iMac. Chances are you will only need to come out of pocket with a few hundred $ difference between the 2 machines you sell versus the 1 machine you purchase. Now you have a single machine with current Applecare with firewire that is also portable.

    Most importantly, I suggest you ignore all the swirling rumors about cameras on iPads. A month from now, we might have a situation where there are iPod Touches with cameras that know how to not only do facetime but iChat as well. That would change your options yet again. But if you want to do something today, base your decision on today's stuff not tomorrow's rumors. I should add that it is almost always better to wait on tech decisions. The only exception I can think of is the iPad. I bought one on April 3rd. No regrets.
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    If you don't need the portability of MBP, then just pickup a new iMac now and get rid of the old one IF you need a new one. If the old one is still sufficient as I believe it is, then why not to stick with it? Save the money towards something else. IMO having too many computers or devices is not an excuse to get something new.

    If you current setup is sufficient, then hold on till iPad with FaceTime and then decide what to do.
  8. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    The MacBook does have Applecare good through November 2011. And my externals do have USB 2.0 though I would prefer to use FW. However, selling the MacBook leaves me with no portable iChat machine and while it is mostly my mom, she lives for Sat/Sun morning video chats with our boys at the breakfast table, which is the easiest way to do it since they are confined to the table. After that pandemonium breaks loose.

    No need to transfer, there isn't anything on my MacBook that isn't on the iMac, it is a smaller subset. I bought the MacBook while doing a year plus home renovation and my iMac was in storage and we were living in part of the house as it was being renovated. We needed something other than internet access at work. As far as Touches go, I upgraded my 3G to an iP4 when they came out, so I have FaceTime, but no one I know has an iP4. I suppose I could load Skype on my iP4 and use that to video chat? I think it supports it? with family on desktop Skype, but I don't know how well that would work with 4 of us at the table, and the relatively small screen.

    If I sold my MacBook for another MacBook Pro situation, and then sold the iMac after data transfer, I would still do the 27" display because I don't want a just a notebook screen to use in my office. I like my 24". But I still think that a new 13" MacBook Pro + 27" Cinema wouldn't cost much more than I could sell my MacBook and iMac for. It does put more on my desk, and I do like the fact that the iMac saves space.
  9. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    I'd go for C.

    Keep everything until new iPad comes out with Facetime. Then dump old iPad and Macbook. Keep the iMac. And get a new iPad if video conference at the table is so important to you.

    Resist the upgrade notion for now. IT will go away.

    To make your old computer feel new just get a new keyboard or mouse especially if you don't mind straying from Apple-only peripherals. . Change your font size, wallpaper, trim your dock, tidy up bookmarks and files, learn some new shortcuts, etc.

    My Imac feels new again now that I did that stuff. $30 bought me a nice MK700 Logitech keyboard and mouse of the wireless variety. New computer I tell you.

    You have a nice screen on your iMac. You're not going to notice the speed difference in day to day tasks with a new iMac. And going to a 13" MBP will mean a slower experience from your current iMac.

    Always be better stuff around the corner. Wait until you have a good reason to upgrade. Sounds like your reason is more just a change of pace than anything. I'd resist for now. Wait for SSD in Macs to become standard along with something like Lightwave or USB3 if they settle for that. ....
  10. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Hmm.. I've been using my MBP less and less since getting my iPad, and I think an iMac would be of much better use.. Depends what power you need I Guess, in your case, iMac + iPad.
  11. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    You're right, it is more of an itch than anything else. I have a wired Apple KB with keypad and an Apple BT KB and of course a Magic Mouse. I may get the new Trackpad. That should do some of it too. I guess I didn't realize the 13" MBP was Core 2 Duo not i5. So I agree there. And the possibility of Lightpeak or USB3 in the next 2 years which is really how long I can expect my iMac to run well is true. The whole SSD thing isn't that big to me, but if they become standard, then I won't complain. To me storage is always better, not that I want a 5400 in anything.

    If I can Skype on my iP4 as an iChat substitute, then I may ditch the MB now, otherwise I think I will wait possible iPads with Facetime and sell both my iPad and MB and get a new iPad and put the iMac upgrade off another 12-30 months. It does work well.

    I was coming from the whole, sell my iMac now before it gets too old and get good value and upgrade so that my cost over the last 3 years wasn't bad. I know a lot of people do that in a 2-3 year cycle and the per year cost isn't bad. Never done that before.

    I bought a G4 450 Tower rev. A in early 2000 when they came out and had that until late 2006 when I bought a refurb 1.66 Core Duo Mini as a holdover, which I ditched less than a year later for the new iMac. I kept that G4 going almost 7 years. But I don't think I'll do that with my iMac.
  12. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008

    It is dependent on what price you can get for your stuff too. I was trading in my iMac every year or so. A few times I made money even. But I bought when the deal was right. Either great deal on a like-new one or a refurb or just a great discount on a new one.

    Then sold when the price was right.

    With my latest I guess I've had it for 18 months now and am thinking of keeping it awhile longer.

    Guess the wife is getting to me. She hates when I upgrade all the time even though it is pretty seamless imo. :D

    also something appealing about keeping the same machine for awhile I guess as long as its running great.

    I don't think the new iMacs are much faster for surfing, email, some photo work and occasional movie work anyway.

    They really rock at video encoding, but I've gotten used to running that at night when there is more than enough time for the encodes to complete.

    YOu have a fast 2.8ghz Extreme C2D. I think your machine is good for quite awhile yet. Actually a 16:9 screen is better than the new 16:10 as far as screen size goes.
  13. R94N macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    Oops, my vote just evened it out :( We need more opinions!
  14. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Yeah, I am doing a fair amount of video encoding as I had about 1/2 my DVD library encoded in HB 0.9.2 and found out the profile it used would work with my Apple TV, but not the iPad, which requires a Main Level Profile 3 or something. Not to mention when I re-encoded at HB 0.9.4, not only did I get iPad compatibility, but I also reduced file size from a 1.9-2.8 GB per movie range down to a 800 MB - 1.5 GB range. I decided to add in subtitles/captioning so that could be turned on/off when needed and tagged all the new encodes with chapter names. I typically MTR several per evening and then HB those overnight.

    I've pretty much decided to stay with what I have for now. I realize the MBP + Cinema is really the least attractive option. I will wait until iPads get any sort of official announcement on a camera and how the FaceTime software will work with desktop video chat software since Skype is dragging their heels. Once all that shakes out, I will sell the MB and the iPad and get the newer iPad. I can then buy a new iMac after a refresh, hopefully one that sees USB 3 or some other addition and then sell my current one.

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. And from dissuading my urge to buy and sell when I don't need to yet.
  15. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Huh? The new ones are 16:9, the old ones are 16:10.
    And even with the wider screens the 27" has more vertical pixels than the old 24" and the 21.5" has more vertical pixels than the 20", so they are better even if you aren't watching movies but need vertical pixels for documents, menu bars and a dock across the bottom.
  16. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Yeah I meant the other way around. Old 16:10 screens better for surfing and documents.

    MOre pixels has its limits. Personally I think fonts etc are too small in OSX. I can increase the font size in many cases, but not all at least that I know of. Haven't been able to increase the font size of the Safari menu bar or tool bar or the side bar in Finder ..... So more pixels on essentially the same size vertical is going to make things worse for folks like myself.

    It doesn't help readibility especially for those of us a bit older than you college students. This guy has 2 kids so I imagine he's a bit older.

    Not to mention buttons, scroll bars, ... are too small as well.

    We could use some true resolution independence.
  17. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Yep, Windows gives resolution independence and has for many years. One would think that the more visually oriented Mac OS could do the same. And control+scroll is not a solution.

    FYI, I'm 61 and can see fine with my high resolution 27" display, but I do have "computer glasses" I wear. I strongly recommend a pair for anyone in their 40's or over.

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