What am I looking for???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Epic Xbox Revie, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #1
    I've been through MANY Mac computers over the past three years. And I can't find what I want. So, let's see if you can help!

    I'll start by listing what I've had and what my problems were/are for it:

    2009 iMac 21.5"
    -Lagging on graphics a bit?
    -Not portable
    -Needed a laptop for college- so I think?

    early 2011 MBP 2.0 Quad-Core
    -wasn't quite enough screen space for some of my usage

    mid 2011 MBA 11" 1.6 i5
    -very awesome for classes!
    -lagging in graphics a bit
    -not enough screen space for some usage

    2011 Thunderbolt Display -not a computer
    -bought to combat the screen space issue with my 2 laptops that I had at the time, sold the Pro to fund this

    2012 iPad 4G 16GB
    -not enough usability for actual work, nice for very casual usage

    Currently, I have the Air and TB display and the new iPad. The 11" is GREAT for classes, but lacks some power when driving the TB display, and lacks power in the graphics field. I also have a 3TB hard drive for space that I may need/ only using 250GB or so for random things that I probably don't need and Time Machine backups.

    I'd like some sort of combination that gives me a lot of screen space for work at my desk, but also a good hunk of processor and graphic speed while also somehow portable for classes.

    What are your thoughts?

    Budget:
    The value of the MBA and TB display (about 1700 (900 + 800 )) + probably another 600 max. So about $2300 after selling stuff if that is part of the equation.

    My thoughts:
    If a MBP is in my future- I'd like it to have 16GB ram, and probably at least a small SSD for boot times/ application load times if the budget afforded it. Also- waiting for new laptops is an option, but also buying refurbished/ slightly outdated models is an option if it will provide more bang for my buck.

    Sorry to ramble on, please ask if I wasn't clear or you have any questions.
     
  2. daver3k macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #2
    Is a MBP17 too big for you to take to class? Is the screen on that too small for what you want to do when you're not in class? If not, that fits within your budget (education discount and all) and is probably the only machine that meets your requirements.

    I can speak to putting a fast SSD in a MBP. I've upgraded my MBP13 with an OWC SSD and their "Data Doubler", which allows one to replace their optical drive with a 2.5" SATA drive (in this case, an SSD). I've also done this upgrade for a few friends that, like me, rarely used their optical drive but really wanted the speed that comes with a good SSD. Check out the links below.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Mercury_6G/
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DDAMBS0GB/
     
  3. Epic Xbox Revie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #3
    A new 17" with the upgrades isn't really in the budget. By my math at least.
     
  4. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a

    dlimes13

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Perrysburg, OH
    #4
  5. Epic Xbox Revie, Apr 12, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

    Epic Xbox Revie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #5
  6. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a

    dlimes13

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Perrysburg, OH
    #6
    I have experience with that. It is very smooth, as I ran dual ATD's for awhile. The MBP does get around 60-65 C on idle though, so it can be a bit toasty. If you keep the MBP open, it may run a bit cooler. But the MBP + ATD = Badass desktop experience.
     
  7. Fynd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #7
    I've been through my share of setups myself in an attempt to find the sweet spot.

    For me, now, it's a 27" iMac + iPad.

    Super powerful computer at home, with a fantastic hugescreen. All-day battery, super portable tablet for the road. I take my notes on my iPad with both keyboard and stylus, depending, and do most of my web browsing there. Hardcore work I can use remote desktop software to use the mac at home through my iPad :)
     
  8. Epic Xbox Revie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #8
    It seems not going to really know if going with the 17" is a good deal until the new 15" comes out. Although, it seems unlikely to me that the low end $1699/ student disc $1599 will be "better" than this 17"? If it does get 10% better or whatever, it seems like that would be almost equivalent in power to the 17" that I'm looking at.
     
  9. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #9
    In my opinion it is really hard to get the portability and power that you want in one machine. The 17" Macbook Pro has that bit extra power, but is quite a thing to have to carry around.

    I had used Laptops exclusively for years, but a year ago, I found that my 15" Pro was a bit restrictive for when I was working at home. I added a 21" iMac to my setup and found that having the desktop was much better for working at home. Also, the Macbook was bigger than I really needed so I replaced it with a 13" Macbook Air. I now have the perfect combination of an extremely portable laptop and a powerful desktop.

    I may have misinterpreted your requirements, but if I was in your situation, I would sell the Display, add the money required and get an iMac. Using dropbox or something like that you can keep your current documents in sync and you have all bases covered. You would still have the Air for when you are out and about.

    I'm not sure how the finances work out, but if the 21" iMac is man enough for the job then you probably won't be too far out.

    The main issue, I suppose is that you are losing that screen size going from 27" to 21". If that's an issue to you then best ignore me.
     
  10. Epic Xbox Revie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #10
    I'm not sure that that's really what I want either, because as you say the screen is smaller, and I'm not sure it would perform as well as I would hope, I am looking for something with a SSD for fast boot and load times, with perhaps a HDD also for more space. A great graphics card, probably at least 512mb dedicated, and still maintain portability, and lots of screen space.

    I know I'm asking a lot out of my machine, but shouldn't I be?
     

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