What would you get with this budget?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rocanlover163, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. rocanlover163 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #1
    I have a budget of about $3500-$3800 to spend on a computer(s). Ideally I'd like to go with an iMac/Laptop combo as I do need a laptop to carry around. I will be running FCPX and Motion along with some other applications.

    What combination of computers would you go with?
     
  2. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    #2
    Sounds like you want to grab a 17" with a big drive, and a nice big monitor.

    - Retina MBP isn't going to have the storage you need for video, and 15" isn't fun for pro-ish apps.
    - iMac + air seems like a waste, since you won't be able to do any video work on the air (screen size and storage size)

    17" gives you lots of storage and a decent screen for working on the road. Clouds are great, but just having 1 computer to manage is nice.
     
  3. rocanlover163 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the response dacreativeguy :)

    Well I acutally have a couple of external FW800 drives that I use for storage, I never actually work off the computers drives. I may look into maybe a USB 3.0 drive (Thunderbolt still seems a bit expensive)

    I already have a 22" external monitor that I currently use, so a 15" laptop wouldn't really bother me.

    I think having a 17" would be too much of a hassle to lug around, especially since I will take the laptop to my classes.
     
  4. phr0ze macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    #4
    15" Retina ($2200)
    27" Thunderbolt Display ($1000)
    Magic Mouse
    Keyboard

    Those are what I have and I love it. I like that since my laptop is my desktop too, I don't have to worry about keeping both up to date and in sync. I unhook the thunderbolt cable and walk out the door. My running programs, windows are exactly what I have when I get to where I'm going.
     
  5. Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    #5
    I'd go with this recommended setup.
     
  6. rocanlover163 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #6
    :eek:$1000 on a monitor! Although this setup is tempting and I do like your idea, I just can't seem to justify spending so much on a monitor. This may seem like a dumb idea.. couldn't I just buy an iMac and use it as an additional monitor and have a computer as well?

    I'll have to put some thought into it, I like the idea..
     
  7. TyroneShoes2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    #7
    I think if I were in this situation I would first ask "do I really need two computers?"

    For me, the answer is yes because I record some Sirius program content at home when I am not there, and I have an old Mini doing that job.

    But for most people, one computer is just fine. For the sake of this particular argument, I will assume this would work for you as well.

    Starting with your needs and budget, I would look very strongly at the 15.4" RMBP as the base computer. I would then add to that a good 32" HDTV, not that you need the connectivity and HD tuner (although that never hurts), but because a 1080p (1920x1080) TV makes a really good (and big) secondary (or primary) monitor, and it is less expensive. The HDTV and computer monitor have all but finally converged, and the best choice these days is a HDTV which can do pretty much anything a computer monitor can do, and more, for less. It won't have all of the conventional computer screen resolutions, but the ones it offers work really well with all the available Mac resolutions.

    For instance, I have a 2011 MBA that I use with Aperture, and I got a $5 Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter from monoprice.com, that lets me use a 1080p Vizio 32" HDTV as a second 1920x1080 screen. I could not want anything more than that.

    I did an extensive field test of which HDTV/monitors look good close up, and the Vizio seems to have the best "pixel fill factor", which is the ability to use the highest percentage of the area designated for a particular pixel dedicated to actual pixel rather than visible surrounding support infrastructure. Put another way, on 32" monitors by other manufacturers you can see the pixels from an arm's length away, while you can't on Vizio or Sony (but Vizio is best in this regard, and high value at a great price).

    The RMBP is smart enough to know how to format the resolution for the second screen automatically, once connected.

    I consider this the best setup. You don't have to worry about file transfers between two computers, you have a second hi-rez monitor that completely fills your view from a normal "computer monitor" distance, you have a second screen (on the RMBP) for palettes, and you can push the budget towards more RAM and a bigger SSD for the RMBP (the 1080p monitor will be under $400). This gives you the best "portable" mode (the RMBP) as well as the best "desktop" mode. This will cost you less than $3K.

    If you get a laptop and iMac, $3500 will be enough for starters; $3800 will not be enough to fully trick out both; you will have a single smaller monitor in "desktop" mode, plus you have to manage files and apps between the two computers. And if you really want an iMac, it makes sense to wait until Sept-Oct when the refresh occurs.
     
  8. rocanlover163 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #8
    Tyrone thank you for such detailed advice. I don't "Need" and can
    get by with one, but having two would work better for me since I usually need to have my laptop with me, and it would be great to have a dedicated stationary editing machine at home. I guess it's more of a want than a need..

    I have a 32" Samsung HDTV mounted on my wall that I could use as a monitor if I really wanted too (actually I have previously). Don't you think 32" is too big to work on on a daily basis? Especially with it sitting right in front of you?

    If I were to go with a iMac/Laptop combo I would wait for the updated ones and purchase the laptop before.
     
  9. Jb07 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas
    #9
    I'd say 15" rMBP, top end model with 512GB SSD and 16GB ram. Pair that with a high resolution monitor for $300-400, and you're good to go!
     
  10. rocanlover163 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #10
    Everyone seems to be going for the rMBP and an additional display. Thanks for all the input guys!
     
  11. Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    #11
    You don't need a TD Cinema Display. There are plenty of other options to look at.

    You can always grab yourself an iMac, but another option are the Dell Ultrasharp monitors. Albeit a smaller resolution, you can look at the U2410.

    The other alternative is to grab an Apple Cinema Display used from a place like eBay, where they sell for around half the price of the new TD Display.
     
  12. musicalchair macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    #12
    Can't help but feel that I'm beating a dead horse here, but the RMBP and a high res external display sounds like the way to go.
     
  13. rocanlover163 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #13
    Thanks for all the help guys! I placed an order for my rmbp last night, and now I'm thinking of just upgrading the ram on my 2008 mbp and putting in a ssd.

    I will also look into an additional external display.
     
  14. phr0ze macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    #14
    Its not just a monitor. Its an entire TB docking solution with speakers, video camera, mic, Firewire, gigabit, and more USBs (scanners, printers, etc).

    I had two U2410's that I got rid of for the 27" TB. I must say I'm very happy and it feels about the same screen space. I like that I can skype and everything else without more crap hanging off my monitor. Its a very uncluttered look.

    The iMac can not act as a monitor for the Macbook last time I checked.
     
  15. topocalypse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    #15
    My setup is 24" 1080p monitor with Gaming PC I built. and MBP 15".

    the pc is 5-6 years old and MBP is 2 tho. so the pc is getting there. i might be buying the new iMac if the GPU is extreme enough, or I might get an alienware for my gaming needs. portability and tidiness will be important since i'll be living in a dorm smaller than 100 square feet.
     
  16. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    Hey instead of getting a overpriced alienware **** you should build a custom PC. Dude I get a i7 3770k, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, GTX 580 (using step up program to get GTX680), and P8P67 Deluxe Mobo and XSPC water-cooling kit, Danger Den GPU Waterblock, but all for less than $1500. Try buying a computer at Alienware/Dell with similar specs for less than that plus when I had my Alien M14X it blue screened on me a lot. I ended up selling that piece of ****.
     
  17. sanjeettravel macrumors newbie

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    Jul 6, 2012
  18. topocalypse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    #18
    M14x is disgraceful man, GT 650m should not be considered a gaming GPU. For me, my dorm is extremely tiny so I can't really afford to have big pc and all the wires. Also, my home is in Thailand and my college is in the States; thus, impossible to transport the machine, unless I take everything apart. So, hate to say it, I don't really have a choice. I do take pride in my PC though, I built 3 of them and always hate to buy ready-made, but I might have to now. :D
     
  19. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #19
    When I had the M14X it had the GTX 555M lol. It sucked. I prefer the Cyber Power PC's laptop though, better price to performance ratio and cover accidental damage. Even has user-replaceable GPUs.
     
  20. rocanlover163 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #20
    I have a rMBP currently ordered and should have it at the beginning of August. Originally I wanted to keep my current 15" MBP and just do a couple of upgrades to it, but now after pricing it out I'm not sure if it would be wise to put all this $$ into it.

    For my current 15" I would upgrade the RAM to 6GB, install a solid state drive and replace the battery, and I am also looking into purchasing a TB display for my rmbp. This totals out to somewhere around $1300-$1400 ($350 for upgrades to MBP and $900 for TBD). Here is my thinking though.. If I just take the money that I would originally put towards everything and sell my current MBP, I can probably get a 27" refurbished iMac or possibly the newer model..

    What do you guys think? I would have a 27" iMac I can use as a monitor for the rMBP when I want plus a computer as well. Is the quality between the TBD and iMac display the same?
     
  21. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #21
    You cannot use the iMac as a monitor. It's a computer. Just get a Dell ultrasharp monitor or the Apple Thunderbolt display. IMO do you really need another monitor when you have your current 15 inch MBP and now a 15 inch RMBP?
     
  22. will waters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Great Britain
    #22
    Sell the MBP, get 2x big monitors (LG or Dell), and then possibly a base mac mini, with a good display

    That is what I would do (and I have done except I have a 2012 MBA)

    Will
     
  23. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #23
    Target Display Mode - both computers have to be Thunderbolt and you have to use a TB cable (or both have to be MDP)

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775
     
  24. rocanlover163 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #24
    Apparantly you can use the 27" iMacs as an external monitor if it's thunderbolt to thunderbolt (which both computers would be). I would sell the current 15" I have if I were to get the iMac. So I would only have the iMac and rMBP.

    That would be too many displays. I would be fine with 27" display (iMac or TBD or similar) and my rMBP.
     

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