Torn between choices iMac or MBP... and which MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mattjeff, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Mattjeff macrumors 6502

    Mattjeff

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #1
    BLUF: I am looking for a new computer and while I have always had a MBP I no longer have a preference. Which would you suggest with a budget of around $1699 and why.

    Hey everyone,

    So I have a late 2007 early 2008 MBP 2.4 dual core (can't remember which) that has a failing vCard yet again. I think its past the 4 year replacement program they had set up so i'm back in the market for a replacement.

    Right now I would like to only spend around 1699 but I have the money for 2400 I just don't want to spend a lot again. I have found so far...

    $1699
    15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1440-by-900 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    750GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6770M

    $1659
    5.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Hi-Res antiglare widescreen display, 1680-by-1050 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    750GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6750M

    $1159
    13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    256GB flash storage
    Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
    FaceTime camera
    Intel HD Graphics 3000

    iMac $1299-$1799 There are all of these and then the new iMac options.

    I used to be a photographer and have looked into getting back to it so screen real estate is important but could be remedied with and external display down the road. I plan on loading my current HDD by either putting it in the computer I buy or loading via time machine because I love Snow Leopard.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    If you do not need a laptop and have a good monitor, get a new Mac mini. If you don't have a good monitor, go mini and monitor or iMac.
     
  3. blaake macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    I am in a similar position. But judging from your personal info, I would do away with any ideas of a 13". So that narrows it down to and if you want a laptop or a desktop? Do you want to be able to take it places with you? If you get a BMP 15" with all of the upgrade choices at the lowest point, you can upgrade them yourself for about 1/2 the price. With that money saved you could by a larger monitor for your "desktop" location. So you can have best of both worlds, potability and a huge desktop screen.
     
  4. Mattjeff thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mattjeff

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #4
    I don't have my monitor anymore. Do you think a mini is better than an iMac? I haven't owned a desktop since my iMac G4. I don't know anything about intel HD graphics compared to what I have.
     
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    I suggested mini because you raised budget limitations. If budget allows get a new 27" iMac with internal SSD and hook it up to external thunderbolt drives.
     
  6. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    If you don't need portability, iMacs are nice. Go with a 27" model if you can.

    I don't think you're going to be able to run Snow Leopard on any of the new Macs, they're either Lion or Mountain Lion from here on our.
     
  7. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #7
    If you don't need/want portability, the only thing a macbook pro will give you is a battery so you can use it when the power is out.


    Do you need discrete GPU for games? If you aren't a gamer, HD4000 (even HD3000) is FINE.

    If no, get a mini over an iMac, they are way easier to upgrade, replace hardware in, etc. For the cost saving, you can replace it more often than an iMac too - and you can buy the exact size/spec monitor you want.

    And yeah, snow leopard is gone. It's time to move on.
     
  8. Mattjeff thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mattjeff

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #8
    My only pull with a MBP is its nice on a deployment to bring all of my stuff with. My computer hasn't died yet so I guess it might be able to make another deployment with me.

    Good point with the ease of replacement down the road. I take it Minis have the same type of HDD as a MBP?

    I do game but under windows. My computer will handle Company of Heroes right now, will a Mini be able to? I don't really understand what the Mini has for Graphics.

    And Snow Leopard is still my favorite, The wife has lion and I'm not ready for that yet.
     
  9. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #9
    Mini has same 2.5" hd type as the MBP, but not the retina (proprietary SSD).


    If you're curious to know what is in macs and how they come apart to upgrade, etc: www.ifixit.com has a bunch of tear-down guides.

    Unfortunately, I don't think Snow Leopard will support the hardware in the new machines.


    Mouintain Lion is good though, honestly. I went back to Snow Leopard on the weekend on my mini (to get rid of Lion server off it) and the lack of ability to resize a window from any corner, and lack of full-screen is driving me nuts.
     
  10. TRAV9614 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #10
    I would try to go with a 2012 MacBook Pro vs the 2011 if you get one. The 2012 has USB 3, better graphics (hd 4000), and ivy bridge processors vs the 2011s with USB 2, hd 3000 graphics, and sandy bridge. I would check out the refurbished store. They are a great value and you won't be able to tell the difference from a new one. Here is a link to a refurb that is in your price range.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7

    There are other models that aren't in the store right now with different options. Here is a site that you can view all of the refurb options on.

    http://www.refurb.me/us/
     
  11. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
  12. AlvinNguyen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #12
    You need a 2012 MBP 15" base with an upgraded screen to matted hi res. That's the ultimate photographers starting point. Every photographer needs a machine powerful enough to edit on the go. You can either get an iMac and supplement it later with a MBP or MBA but if you can only have one machine you need a quad core with a hi res screen. If you're really serious you will also need a Cinema Display or equivalent screen for editing.

    Re: Snow leopard - don't waste your time. That OS version is past it's prime, my philosophy has always been evolve or be left behind.
     
  13. i4Collin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    #13
    I had to make this decision back in December 2010 and chose the iMac. The MacBook Pro I wanted was outdated at the time and about to get refreshed. I deeply regretted getting the iMac. I found myself wanting to take my Mac with me places other than my desk. 2 years later I bought a Retina MacBook Pro and wish that I hadn't bought the iMac yet again. Do yourself a favor and get a MacBook Pro and an external display, not an iMac. My iMac now sits on my desk with a failing hard drive that the SMART utility says checks out perfectly fine. Every once and a while I'll get an error from the SMART utility I installed and I fear if I took it into the Apple Store, they'd look at me like I'm crazy. When the software says everything checks out and the only signs of the failing hard drive are the clicking the drive makes when it first turns on, the occasional once in a month SMART errors, and the fact the computer runs a tiny slower than it used to, it's kind of hard to convince a genius in a loud Apple Store that the drive is even failing.
     
  14. Mattjeff thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mattjeff

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #14
    You make a really good point but I think with my wife having a 13" MBP I will be ok traveling. I have weighed the options and I am going to see what comes up with black friday. I know Apple generally doesn't do much but I will see.
    Thanks for the advice
     
  15. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #15
    Forget about that, the Snow Leopard lacks the driver support for new machines.

    As to your question, I believe that the MacBook Pro (1680x1050) would be a better choice for you.
     
  16. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    Apple refurbs can be a good deal. Maybe you could find a previous year model that can still run OSX 10.6.

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/imac
     
  17. oLNutjob macrumors member

    oLNutjob

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #17
    iMac's hurt my neck

    For casual stuff, my 15" quad, on my lap is doable for photo edits. (Yup, I'm a pixel peeper, and an old fart with bifocals)


    My Dell Ultrasharp's screen is 2.25" above desktop.
    My double duty Viz's display is a whopping 4.75"

    Apple's iMac totally misses the boat for my taste in view level. They have to lower the screen height, as my natural point of focus always gravitates toward the stupid logo on the unnecessary wide bottom panel, and it cannot be lowered.

    iMac's are quick and a bargain for a desk top machine, however after 10 minutes of use, I get a strained neck.
     
  18. RSL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #18
    I heard they'll replace your logic board for about $300. That sounds way cheaper than the other options you're looking at, plus you get to keep SL.
     
  19. windowstomac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #19

    Thank you for talking me out of a mistake I may well have made due to the desirability of the new iMac!
     
  20. Mattjeff thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mattjeff

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #20
    Could that be the cause of my issues? My screen freezes with the colors all wrong. I'll take a photo if it happens again.
     
  21. RSL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #21
    It sure sounds like it's the GPU/chipset. Have a look at this thread:http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=515067
     
  22. skasol macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #22
    I am too a photographer and use my MacBook Pro 15" with HR AG screen and I love it. With LR4 , PS6 etc. it works fine. I have the Samsung 512gb 830SSD in it.

    Good luck.
     

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