Someone's buying me my first Mac - what shall I get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by spib, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. spib macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Nottingham, UK

    A business client of mine has offered to buy me a Mac as a kind of bonus. I've only had windows machines before so I'm a bit unsure what to get.

    I already have 2 iphones (one of which is iPhone 4) and an iPad. I also have a Windows desktop and laptop. I also have a Windows Home Server (kind of a NAS) which stores all my content.

    I'm a software developer so I would probably be getting rid of the windows desktop and using the new Mac as my workhorse machine. I still need a few windows apps so would probably be getting Parallels too.

    My client has suggested getting a MacBook Pro because he has one and loves it but I wonder if I would be better off getting an iMac as I don't really need portability.

    What does everyone think? Any comments on the relative performance of the MBP against the iMac?


  2. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I know nothing of software development, but a great deal about editing on Macs.
    If you don´t need the portabillity (you have an iPad after all) get the iMac. The 27" screen is great.

    I used to have the older 24" iMac and when I had to trade it for a 15" MBP ( I need portability with power) I really missed that screen.

    Also, the iMac has more power than a MBP as some of it´s components are desktop components as opposed to laptop components (Hard drive)
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...if its a bonus, get a 27" iMac with at least the i5 quad desktop cpu!

    It sounds like you might not have a choice though if he's set on getting you a MBP?...

    Good luck with your new toy!
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Skip the "portability tax". If all a laptop is going to do is st on a desk, you wasted serous $. Go to Apple store and spec out a 27" iMac versus a 17" MacBook Pro. Then tell us once you've made the decision.
  5. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Get the iMac.

    As a software developer, you should know how great it is to have a large real-estate for programming - with source files open all over the place, documentation and terminal windows ;)

    Add an equally large monitor to your iMac and things are going sweet :p

    Sure you could plug a big monitor onto a laptop, but its still a bit wasted since you have this tiny monitor as your secondary.
  6. DaveRobertson82 macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    go with the iMac [​IMG] everyone goes on about portability, but the majority of people just sit their laptop on the same desk every day. The 27 is much more powerful too!
  7. macsmurf macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    If you're doing .NET then obviously OS X will be unsuited. You'll need to dual boot or use a virtual machine.

    If you're not doing .NET, OS X is an excellent programming environment on par with Linux. For one, it has a shell that is actually useful as opposed to the windows DOS shell. The shell is a tool for experts and the learning curve is somewhat steep but it is very powerful once you get used to it.

    Which language(s) do you use? With regards to performance, the differences are minimal. The only difference I know of, is that OS X spin off new processes with less overhead but that might have changed with Win7.
  8. peakchua macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    imac all the way.. dont keep a laptop and plug it in..

    IMHO, the imac is better if its on your desk all the time because 1. the amount of screen you have so its not so clutterful.. 2. you can save the annoyingess
    of not enough ports on mbpro 3. cheaper 4. dont get the macbook pro if its on your desk and your not on the go a lot. i bet if you had a laptop you would plug it in? o_O? its an average users mistake.. let the laptop use its battery. i dont get the use of a laptop if the battery isint even used and people plug it in like a desktop.. rather get a tower.. i do MUN a lot so i need to have power from my 20 inch imac and portability with my 15... my 15 inch macbook pro is wonderful and i dont regret not plugging it in.. it makes a laptop be worth the portability tax
  9. spib thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    Thanks all for the comments, the iMac does seem the best suited for what I will use it for. I looked at one today and the screen is huge! Very excited now about my new present

    @macsmurf: I am a .net developer but this machine will be used for php and some IOS development, and of course there is always parallels for when I need a windows specific tool
  10. macsmurf macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    OK. OS X has PHP 5.3.1 installed by default. You can install a different version using if necessary.

    With regards to IDE, I've heard good things about PhpStorm ( ) which is available for OS X (& Windows/Linux). I happen to think IntelliJ makes the best IDEs in the world so I'm slightly biased and I haven't actually used it myself as I try to avoid PHP (it makes my eyes bleed ;) ) but there's a trial version available, I think.

    Also, note that VMWare makes a product for Mac called VMWare Fusion. I don't know if parallels is a better buy, but I can vouch for Fusion being excellent.
  11. R94N macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    +1. Great advice. I wish more people would follow it.

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