Thoughts on MBP to replace 2007 24” iMac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by trifona, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. trifona macrumors newbie

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #1
    First off, I am in no particular rush and can wait out product updates and/or expected refreshes for either the iMac or MBP as necessary, but the end is nigh for my nearly 10 year old iMac which has been perfect in nearly every way for us. Any kind of catastrophic system failure obviously moves up our purchase timeline. The old iMac has been upgraded over the years with a 7200rpm 2TB internal HDD, 4GB RAM, and is backed up via a 4TB drive in a new OWC FW800 (and USB 3.0) enclosure. It’s running El Capitan right now which is the end of the line for OS upgrades for this machine.

    I’ve always had a main desktop pc dating back to my first Commodore so the thought of doing without one in the future feels alien, but at the same time is also feels like the way things are going in the future. Prior to the iMac had built a gaming pc which I kept running for 7 years, but I quickly tired of Windows OS, the constant crashing, OS reinstalls, driver problems, incompatible peripherals, etc, etc. Yuck. Prior to that I had a Power PC in college that I had bought in 1994. I loved that machine, and the Mac OS in general.

    We have a decently sized ecosystem of Apple products in our household. Besides our Dell (work) laptops we have iPads for the kids, a 2nd gen AppleTV, a pair of iPhones between us, retired iPhones that the kids use to watch loaded movies or netflix, a 6th gen iPod in my car, and the previously mentioned iMac.

    What do we do with the iMac? It mostly acts as a media center and file storage: iTunes fileserver, Youtube, misc. other videos, web surfing, Lightroom photo library (family snapshots). The only other software run on this machine with any regularity is iBank, Turbotax, and other minor 3rd party utility programs. No heavy duty computing or creating. We imported some video from our camcorder to make digital movies, but haven’t done anything like that in years.

    The thought of losing the big screen and ample speakers sounds like a painful proposition to me, but the alternative upside to a MBP is obviously its portability. Also obvious, is the fact that I can’t rely on anyone else to help answer my personal needs as to whether I should get another desktop or a new laptop. Would it be nice to get the Mac out of our home office? In some ways yes, but in other ways I’m indifferent or even hesitant. Before we plunk down $$$ on a new machine I want to consider the options thoroughly and hopefully receive some input from others as well, particularly from those who may have had to make a similar decision, how they evaluated their choices and whether they had any regrets (especially if you went from iMac to MBP!)


    Many thanks!
     
  2. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
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    MO
    #2
    The question you need to answer is are you willing to pay extra for portability? Here are some to breaks that down:

    You said you have laptops. Do you constantly wish you could take your iMac with you like you can your Dells?

    Do you have a large amount of data? MBP storage costs an arm and a leg, sometimes a few teeth also. Can you deal with an external solution?

    Screen size. Would you end up buying an external display or deal with a small screen.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd probably look at an iMac (actually I'd probably build a PC, but an iMac if I needed a Mac) for home, and pick up an older MacBook or even an iPad Pro to use on the go. Just my thoughts though.
     
  3. trifona thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #3
    An updated iMac is probably the most logical solution, but I wanted to ask anyway to get some different perspectives.

    The work laptops are our couch surfing computers. I would think I would prefer an imac to serve as a fileserver in our home like we've also had. I could see keeping the iMac in that capacity and still having a 2nd mac unit, macbook or pro as an updated pc in the household. I would purchase a Mac OS X machine (Macbook) before buying another iPad in the house. Perhaps my concerns are in spending the $$ on another desktop machine while the rest of the world has seemingly abandoned it for laptops instead. Part of me would like to join the 21st century, the other part of me is quite comfortable still in the 20th century world of computing.

    Perfect world....maybe a Mac Mini to serve as a server attached to an external monitor that woulod occasionally drive a MBP. The spendiest of spendy options!
     
  4. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #4

    That's a tough decision and kind of a matter of choice, that nobody else but you can really come to an answer to. I still like having the desktop, though I admittedly find myself using it less and less all the time. I don't like being tethered to the office with it when I can sit outside or whatever room I choose, with my MBP. My wife got tired of the big thing on her desk and is abandoning her iMac in favor of a 15" MBP.
     
  5. trifona thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #5
    What if I were to ask the question another way.....

    Assume I buy a MBP. How would I create/host my media server over wifi if it's not on the MBP internal HDD? I have my current external spinner, let's assume that continues to backup the MBP via Time Machine....What hardware do I need to create the server and then also back that up appropriately?
     
  6. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

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    #6
    You could always get a MacBook and then get an NAS drive to use for file storage over the network.
     
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    Yeah this is the best option if you go for a MacBook.

    Performance wise every current Apple computer will blow your 2007 away.
     
  8. ManuCH macrumors 6502

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    Switzerland
    #8
    I've always had iMacs in the past. Then my 2011 iMac broke down (first the harddisk, which I didn't bother to replace and used an external one, then the GPU) so I was put in front of a tough choice: get a 2015 iMac or a 2016 MacBook Pro + external screen?

    After a lot of pondering, I went for the 2016 15" MacBook Pro, as well as a 27" 4K display (an Asus MX27UC).

    Why? I admit, I already carry a 2015 12" MacBook with me all the time. But that thing has no power whatsoever. It's good for browsing and Microsoft Office (or iWork) and that's it. So I wanted to have a more powerful laptop for those times I need power on the road.

    Also, I had the following argument which spoke against the iMac for me: if it breaks, I have to lug the heavy thing to the Apple Store. And it does happen. The aggravation of carrying it around is a deal-breaker for me, especially because I live in a city where owning a car doesn't make much sense (I just sold it). Good luck getting an iMac to the Apple Store by public transit (been there, done that, never again).
    What if my MacBook breaks? Put it in the bag, and off I go.

    One more thing is that if the iMac breaks outside of the warranty period, repairs are too expensive, and it makes zero sense to replace the entire computer (including a perfectly good 27" screen) only because, say, the GPU is fried.

    So yes, I took the plunge, paid a premium and went the MacBook route. Very happy so far.
     
  9. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

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    #9
    This is one of the biggest downsides to an all in one, and also probably why Apple pushes them way more than their other desktops.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #10
    That's a big IF and it doesn't happen a lot, otherwise we'd be hearing how poorly the iMac is built. I agree its easier to carry a 3lbs computer into the Apple store then a 27" iMac but then we also see people doing this :eek:

    Capto_Capture 2017-03-10_08-16-30_AM.png
     
  11. Mindinversion macrumors 6502

    Mindinversion

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    Oct 9, 2008
    #11
    Honestly, for the use case. . if it were me I'd just get a base Mac mini, a cheap monitor, and either NAS or external drive and call it a day. A lot cheaper and more power efficient.

    MbP is nice, but I'm always hesitant to leave a laptop on 24/7 like that due to the internal battery.

    Or maybe a BASE 21" iMac. . but don't those still have mechanical HDD?
     
  12. JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

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    #12
    Apple's modern batteries are absolutely fine as long as they are drained below 50% at least once a month - according to Apple's official advice. They'll stay perfectly healthy plugged in all the time.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    I have a 2012 rMBP that almost never turned off, and while the battery is showing its age after these past 5 years, its still in good shape.
     
  14. ManuCH macrumors 6502

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    Switzerland
    #14
    Oh, I forgot to address your file server needs: I'd put that on a NAS. I bought a Synology for me, and it acts as file server, media server, Plex, backup, everything.

    When I still had my iMac, the iMac was my server. Now it's the NAS. It's way better.
     
  15. trifona thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #15
    If we continue going down the Mac Mini route....does that mean installing and running MAC OS server?

    I know OS Server isn't necessary for iTunes thanks to Home Sharing. Also with Home Sharing, I'm familiar enough to set up a drive to be accessible via my Dell work laptop to do simple file sharing. What if I had a had programs installed on the Mini (Lightroom, TurboTax, iBank/Banktivity), and wanted to edit files that sit on the Mini or an NAS via a Mac laptop? Possible? How?

    Also what are some common NAS solutions? OWC doesnt seem to sell those. I'll need to research Synology, but are there others also?
     
  16. ManuCH macrumors 6502

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    #16
    - I wouldn't recommend running macOS server. It's not necessary in your case
    - I don't recommend running applications across the network. Always install the locally, and just access the data remotely. To do so, just enable file sharing on the Mac Mini and it will appear in the Finder sidebar of your other Mac laptops, so you can edit the files you need
    - the 2 most common NAS solutions are Synology and QNAP. I think they're equivalent.
     
  17. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #17
    Another vote for NAS: all the flexibility of DropBox, but higher speeds, more control over security, and more control over data integrity. Unlike a single internal drive, when using NAS you could keep multiple redundant copies of your files on separate physical disks, so if a single drive were to fail, you would not experience any data loss and recovering from the event would be as simple as popping in a new drive and giving it a few hours to automatically repopulate.

    If you have a lot of data to store, a good NAS enclosure + 2-4 quality consumer grade or enterprise class HDDs may be less than the cost of upgrading the internal storage size in the MacBook Pro (as it gets expensive fast!)
     

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