Switcher buying Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by virgomac, May 9, 2008.

  1. virgomac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #1
    Once upon a time in a universe far far away......I was a mac user. Think the first mac I ever had was the old Apple IIe, anyway, through the years I've been forced to use a PC, now I am finally free of the tech industry and want to get back to an Apple computer.

    I am in no rush to buy one, since the PC's that I have work 100%, and quite honestly have never had a problem . Anyway, like I said, I am going to be waiting until June (just to see what is announced at the Apple Conference).

    Down to the meat and bones of the topic, I need help in figuring out what type of Mac will work for my needs.

    For reference this is my current setup so users out there can compare and give me some examples of what their Mac can do.

    2.4 Dual Core AMD, 2 Gigs of Ram, Nvidia 7600 * 2 ( I don't use them in SLI because quite honestly the games I play don't support it very well, so I just use it to push 2 independent monitors so I can play & work at the same time and suffer no graphics problems. Also have 2 22" Gateway monitors, quite honestly don't see how I can ever give up the use of that much screen real estate, because I use it ALL quite frequently.

    Also have a base laptop that I'm going to be changing out as well to a mac.

    These are the things that I do regularly, besides the usual email internet etc:

    Picture editing
    Home video editing editing
    DVD encoding: Rips and Re-encodes a DVD in about 15 min for 4.3 gig
    Gaming: WoW (Max settings) EQ2 (almost max settings)

    So these are the types of things that I'm going to continue to need to do, especially the games since I am really looking forward to playing Age of Conan and Warhammer Online.

    So, now were down to the choices, can't talk about the future so lets focus on what's available now. Also cost is a factor here, and I'm on a budget I really want to get the most bang for my buck.

    I can get the new iMac 3.0 with the Nvidia Card for $2200
    AND
    I can get a referbn Macbook Pro 2.6 with the 8600 for $2300

    OR

    I can get a referb MacPro Dual CPU 3.0 with Nvidia 7300 for $2200 (and go for the 8800 upgrade for what another $300?)
    AND
    I can get a referbn Macbook Pro 2.6 with the 8600 for $2300

    OR
    the previously mentioned Macbook Pro 2/ 2 24" ACD's using I a piece of hardware that will split my screen between the two (since the powerbook won't do this natively, think that cost around $250)

    Question I would have would be: How much difference would gaming be on the Macbook Pro vs the Imac since both GPU's are mobile GPU's. Would the difference (in gaming and encoding) be sooooo noticable between the Macbook Pro vs MacPro that I could consolidate and just have the Macbook Pro as my only and single computer?

    This is my thinking, please feel free to tell me where I am wrong and what your suggestions would be. With out any advice I am currently leaning towards the MacBook Pro & MacPro combination using my existing monitors.
     
  2. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #2
    Gaming, photo/video editing, and VM on a MacBook Pro gets quite warm and causes a lot of fan noise. This is something you wouldn't have with the iMac. At least not nearly as much. As far as performance is concerned, I don't think you would have a problem either way, but you may be forced to put it on a desk for fear of combustion! Sometimes I wish I had gone with a mid-range imac and entry level macbook for the price of my mid model mbp. I can attest that the heat complaints from earlier models has been fixed in the new Penryn. I had a 2006 Merom that ran MUCH hotter than my penryn.
     
  3. virgomac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #3
    That was one thing I was worried about as well with using the notebook as a primary computer and gaming. I had a very high end media notebook from HP a year or so ago that I used as a sole computer. It got so hot playing games that it was amazing. Due to not paying close enough attention to it I inadvertently fried it 3x due to heat build up. That's why in my "choices" I put the single notebook option as 3rd since I really didn't know how well it would perform in that area.
     
  4. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    If it were me, I think i would go with the first option. For what you are doing, I do not think you will need all the processing power of the Mac Pro. I would get a high-end iMac and a low end MBP if you can spare the $. That would be the best combo. Then if you HAD to do those things on the road, it would be feasible.
     
  5. virgomac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #5
    Any other's want to chime in?

    Any other advice anyone wants to chime in?
     
  6. MacBookProJoe macrumors regular

    MacBookProJoe

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, Warshington
    #6
    YOU need to decide what's more important to you. I have a hard core PC for gaming. I needed a laptop, and I wanted to get back into the Mac world so I bought a MBP. This machine will allow pretty good gaming when needed, and very good performance in all other applications. When Apple comes out with a new MBP with a nVidia 8800 series video card Ill be getting one of those.


    Tom
     
  7. macdot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #7
    I agree. The MacPro seems like overkill for you.
     
  8. virgomac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #8
    I already know what's important to me, which is why I listed the things that I do most often. DVD encoding & gaming (more specifically Age of Conan that's about to be released. I know my current machine handles the beta swimmingly). Yes I realize that I could build a new gaming PC but I don't want just a "gaming" machine. I would rather have the best Mac I could buy (budget withstanding) that games, and does everything else to boot. Jack of all master of none kinda thing, I don't need the BEST, just something that does the job to my satisfaction.

    I already know I'm going to be getting a macbook pro, so that's a given. I want whatever power I have at home to be mobile when I need it.

    So it really boils down to is this:

    Will a macbook pro handle my gaming needs, if not then I will also buy a desktop. In which case that leaves the Imac or the MacPro. Going down that path I'm also looking at longevity. I agree that for the most part a MacPro is overkill for what I do. BUT and there always is one, wouldn't the MacPro have a longer use of life with it being upgradeable in the future?
     
  9. earnjam macrumors 6502a

    earnjam

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #9
    Yes, but how often do you completely replace your computers anyway? I usually do every 3-4 years, depending on the shape of the machine.
     
  10. DouglasP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #10
    I have just about every modern Mac made with Core 2 Duo processors,, and I find myself using my iMac the most. It's really nice and practical, and I can do all those things you need to do. (Using Eyetv) it doubles as a tV as well
     
  11. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #11
    For you, no question about it. Get the Mac Pro. The iMac and the MacBook Pro will get so hot when gaming. And you know that heat is the enemy of electronic components since you fried your laptop 3 times. The Mac Pro will give you a lot more than 5 years of use. Just get the quad core 2.8, not the 8 core. New cost is $2299 or refurb $1999.
     
  12. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #12
    Plus, he'll want a cinema display, that will be another $499 (20" ACD refurb). For gaming he will want at least the 512mb video card. That brings the price to $3000, nearly $800 more than the highest-end iMac. iMac has 1) A bigger HD 500 vs 320 2) 3.06 processor 3) 24" monitor. I'm sticking with the iMac on this one. As long as it is open to plenty of air, there won't be a problem with excessive heat. The MBP shouldn't be used as a primary computer for constant heavy tasks like those. Saying that, I should add that it is more than capable of doing them, but just not encouraged because of the heat produced. As far as lasting longer, if he's gaming, any rig is going to need updated in 5 years anyway.
     
  13. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #13
    He already has two 22 inch monitors that he has said that he will use.
     
  14. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #14
    This I see. It just all boils down to whether you want to pay a premium for the Mac Pro, or opt for the iMac. Just compare the specs at the Apple store. If you're on a really tight budget and decide to go with the iMac, you can always sell one of those Gateway monitors. I think they still bring quite a bit on eBay. It also sounds like you want a MBP either way for mobile work. I would probably wait until after WWDC to buy any of Apple's notebooks.
    Add: WWDC is in June
     

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