Yeah, I'm crazy: Now its 13" (new) vs. 15" (previous) MBP

js81

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Dec 31, 2008
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SCROLL TO NEW MESSAGE (#23) TO HELP WITH MY NEW DILEMMA. Sorry I'm so difficult... :)
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OK, so I know that I've asked several crazy advice questions lately... guess I'm indecisive. :shrug:

I had decided on the base 21.5" iMac - I can get it new for $1099 after rebate from Mac Connection. However, I just recently received the Wal-Mart flyer for next week that lists the HP G62-149wm laptop for $698.

Now, I know what you're thinking - "Dude, you're crazy - you're comparing an iMac desktop to a PC laptop." Yeah, I know - but let me share my crazy thought system:

1st, a specs comparison:
iMac = 3.06GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, 9400M graphics, 21.5" LED-backlit LCD
HP = 2.26GHz Core i5 430m, 4GB RAM, 250GB hard drive (7200rpm), Intel HD graphics, 15.6" LED-backlit LCD

Now, I currently have no Mac desktop, but I do have my Acer 5534 laptop with low voltage AMD Neo. While the Acer is OK, its really too slow for my tastes.

I have $1265 to spend max. I'm totally OK with the iMac, but its $1099 and I'm not 100% crazy about spending that much on a C2D. I thought that I could get the HP for $698 to replace my Acer, then sell it for about $350-400 on eBay (or locally). Thus, I'd have $900 left - almost enough to get the iMac later if I'm not 100% happy using the HP solely.

Finally, keep in my mind that I was told I could return the HP for up to 15 days - gotta love Wal-Mart. :D Thoughts? Am I making sense, or am I completely irrational? Should I just get the iMac and hush... or would getting the HP (with its Core i5, which BTW, benchmarks noticeably better than the C2D - 2400 passmark vs. 2133 for the iMac) make sense? HELP! :p

EDIT: And while I love my Macs, I'm not tied to either OS. I've always had both and have versions of my important software for both systems. Oh, and the Intel HD graphics are decent enough for what little gaming I do.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
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Pretty much up to you, do you want another laptop or desktop? Sure you could buy the the HP now and wait for iMac refresh and then get one with i3 or i5
 

hellfire88

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2008
355
2
I hear ya OP, all these nice deals lately for laptops with Core i5's for like $700-$850 and yet these Macs with older tech Core2Duo cost $1000+.

If you're not tied to either OS I'd say get the HP for now and see within 15days if it satisfies your needs. I recently got an Acer with Core i5 and its really fast and the newer Acer laptop bodies are pretty nice. If you are not avert to Acers there's a 17" with Core i5-430M (2.26GHz) and an ATI HD5650 1GB dedicated video card for $779.99 from newegg, in case you game. So $80 more than the HP for a nice dedicated ATI HD5650 1GB Video card, also the 17.3" LCD is 1600x900. If your State doesn't get taxed by Newegg even better since after tax your HP is around the same price:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834115763&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL040910&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL040910-_-EMC-040910-Index-_-Notebooks-_-34115763-L0K
 

hellfire88

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2008
355
2
Whoops, forgot to mention free shipping and the $20 coupon code is: EMCYRYX76

Also, one con for the Acer 17.3" is its obviously heavier than say a 15.6" laptop @ 7.05lbs. Not sure if you travel a lot OP so your call.
 

js81

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
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KY
Thanks for the thoughts, guys - if I did get a PC laptop, I'd want a 15-incher. The 5.5lbs weight of that HP is basically the same as my low-volt Acer (5.2lbs), so I like that. :) As for whether I want a laptop or a desktop, I like having both. However, if I got the HP I'd replace my Acer and user it as a desktop. If I was 100% happy with it, I'd get a keyboard, mouse, LCD, etc. and not need a desktop (maybe).

But I really like my Macs - but its so hard to justify $1100 for a C2D at this point, though it is one of the fastest C2Ds, at least.

BTW, I'll still have access to a Mac when needed - my wife has a fairly new Macbook (an early '08 model).

Just not sure what to do here - more suggestions if you have them, guys and gals! :D
 

js81

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Dec 31, 2008
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When I needed to replace my air I got the same model great machine but mine has an I3. You can get a mini and hp for same price as an iMac!
So you're pretty happy with it? Do you have another Mac that you use regularly, or do you use the HP solely? I think it'd be a good computer, but I'm still afraid I'll miss my Mac too much! I don't use my wife's very much, as she's always using it for school and work... :(
 

striatedglutes

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Feb 22, 2009
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How do the screen resolutions compare? Have you seen the both in person? Will you actually notice a difference between the two machines when it comes to what you will be actually using them for?

My guess is that the iMac screen blows the laptop's out of the water, and you wouldn't notice a difference in processor related tasks to begin with (What are you going to be using your computer for? 10% improvement is what, 30 extra seconds when ripping a CD and milliseconds when checking your email?)

Specs are great, and I'm saying this in general, not just to OP: don't chase numbers on a box.
 

js81

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
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How do the screen resolutions compare? Have you seen the both in person? Will you actually notice a difference between the two machines when it comes to what you will be actually using them for?

My guess is that the iMac screen blows the laptop's out of the water, and you wouldn't notice a difference in processor related tasks to begin with (What are you going to be using your computer for? 10% improvement is what, 30 extra seconds when ripping a CD and milliseconds when checking your email?)

Specs are great, and I'm saying this in general, not just to OP: don't chase numbers on a box.
Screen resolutions don't compare at all: 1920x1080 vs. 1366x768. However, price doesn't compare either, really. And the laptop is portable - plus, if I kept it as an only machine, I'd get a large monitor, so that may be a moot point.

BUT... you're right about the performance difference. I just hate paying new prices for old tech. *sigh* Numbers don't mean anything if you're not happy using it - so therein lies my dillema. As I said before, the good news I could return the HP - I may buy it to try it, if nothing else.
 

Drag'nGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2008
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What's the real performance difference between the C2D and mobile i5?
I guess if Apple had have used mobile i5s in the new iMacs it wouldn't have been such a big deal to put the desktop version i5 and i7 in the 27" models.
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
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What's the real performance difference between the C2D and mobile i5?
I guess if Apple had have used mobile i5s in the new iMacs it wouldn't have been such a big deal to put the desktop version i5 and i7 in the 27" models.
What do you do with it?

ANY applications that take advantage of quad core? Or in the next few years?

If not, then the "extra" of the quad is a waste?

back to a numbers game... just like years ago when it was all about mhz.

What kind of normal person needs a 2TB drive? Prob no one. But it *sounds* big.

Now its about cores.
 

striatedglutes

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Feb 22, 2009
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BUT... you're right about the performance difference. I just hate paying new prices for old tech. *sigh* Numbers don't mean anything if you're not happy using it - so therein lies my dillema. As I said before, the good news I could return the HP - I may buy it to try it, if nothing else.
I hear resell value for macs is pretty high. If you're getting a discount on the iMac, I bet you wouldn't have to take much of a loss if you resold it privately.
 

js81

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
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My usage is (mostly) pretty basic - Web browsing, Office work, some very basic Photoshop stuff, and some basic sound recording (making mixes for my church and ringtones for our phones). As for the performance difference, its about a 13% improvement over the E7600 C2D that Apple uses in the iMac.

And actually, the i5 430m is a dual core with hyperthreading. I'm not sure what apps I'd be using different than what I do right now... I don't foresee any major changes, but who knows? I'm sure that everything will continue to become more multi-core aware as the years go on.

Let's see; here's how I see it: (Pros for each)
iMac: Larger/higher res. screen, more RAM upgradability (4 slots), bigger standard hard drive, OS X
HP: Portable, faster/current generation processor, cheaper

Still a tough call... I think I may get the HP (as I can definitely return it) and try it, though.
 

iMacThere4Iam

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2009
218
0
For your uses, it really doesn't seem like you'll need the speed bump the i5 would give you, and 15" can start to seem a little small after awhile if it's going to serve as a desktop a lot of the time. I know what you mean about wanting the latest tech, though.

I doubt you'd be willing to wait until the next iMac refresh if you're posting here now to get advice, so go with the HP, and sell it if it doesn't work out for you. If you think you'll be bothered to have the C2D, you won't enjoy it 100% anyway.
 

js81

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Dec 31, 2008
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Thanks for the advice guys. I'm gonna get the HP tomorrow when it goes on sale, and if I don't like it, I have 15 days to return it. If at the end of the 15 days I decide not to keep it, I'll order the iMac then regardless.

I appreciate everyone's help and advice! :D
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
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Got the HP today... here's some initial thoughts.

1) This thing is CRAZY fast (at least compared to my old iMac and my Acer)
2) It looks OK... but it ain't no Macbook. :D
3) The LED-backlit screen is nice and bright.
4) Its a bit thicker than I'd hoped... while only 0.2" more than my Acer, the shape makes it look much more. :(
5) I can't two finger scroll! Even though its in the software, apparently this trackpad doesn't support it, because its greyed out. To be quite honest, that in and of itself may be a deal breaker for me...
6) The shortcut keys on the side of the keyboard are slightly annoying. I may have to disable them, as I always seem to hit them when reaching for the "first column" keys (shift, caps lock, etc.).
7) Pretty good build quality, but it is plastic. Will it hold up? Don't know...
8) The fans are definitely more noisy than my wife's Macbook, but not really any more so than my AMD Neo-powered Acer.
9) Hard drive is a bit noisy, but its a fast 7200rpm drive...
10) The i5 rocks! If Apple brings out something i5 in my price range (less than $1k) within the next two weeks, then I may have to return this...

Overall: Great machine for less than $700, but it does have a few quirks...
 

js81

macrumors 65816
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Dec 31, 2008
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ahhhhhhh return it!! lol. can't two-finger scroll...which laptop nowadays doesn't allow you to do that...!! >_<#
Yeah, it really is annoying... but I'll be using it with a mouse at least half the time. I have two weeks to decide if its too big of a deal for me to tolerate.

Did I mention this thing is CRAZY FAST? :D

Do you guys think the white Macbook (or at least the 13" MBP) will get an Core i processor? If that update does come within the two week time frame AND it does happen to the 13-inchers, I will very strongly consider returning the HP for the Macbook (which I'd prefer if all other things were equal, of course).

EDIT: I fixed it! I have two finger scroll (and tap, up to 3 fingers, actually) thanks to a simple little utility called, appropriately, TwoFingerScroll. I tried it earlier and missed one setting that kept it from working. Yes, this is awesome!
 

Airforcekid

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Sep 29, 2008
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So you're pretty happy with it? Do you have another Mac that you use regularly, or do you use the HP solely? I think it'd be a good computer, but I'm still afraid I'll miss my Mac too much! I don't use my wife's very much, as she's always using it for school and work... :(
Ive been using it solely but considering getting a 27 inch iMac.
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
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KY
Update

OK, so this may not be working out so good...

I love the speed of the i5, but the Intel HD Graphics, like every Intel GMA before it, just plain sucks. My old iMac had a 128MB Radeon X1600 - I ran Bioshock (the 1st one, not II) and Age of Empires III flawlessly - that's the ONLY games I play at all, really. Even at minimal settings, both games are choppy. Bioshock is almost unplayable. I will almost certainly be returning this particular computer, but I can't rule out the same model with a dedicated graphics card (HP makes it - I'd just have to order it)...
 

iMav

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2008
340
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Columbus, WI
Have you considered a current gen Macbook? For the games you play, the integrated nVidia video would be more than adequate. You'd have portability and OS X...win-win!
 

js81

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Dec 31, 2008
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Have you considered a current gen Macbook? For the games you play, the integrated nVidia video would be more than adequate. You'd have portability and OS X...win-win!
Yeah, I had - especially since I can get it at Microcenter for $799 after instant rebate. I really like the 13" Pro, though - is it worth it to spend an extra $300 (I'm a teacher; I can get the edu. discount) for a processor bump, newer graphics (320M vs. 9400M), and longer battery life?

If the new 13" MBP had an i3 or i5, I was gonna order one today...

EDIT: Planning to order a new 13" MBP from MacMall. Works out to a bit cheaper than the edu. price. Now I just gotta return this HP... :D
 

js81

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Original poster
Dec 31, 2008
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KY
new issue

OK, so now I have a new dilemma - sorry, I seem to be full of them nowadays. I've decided to get rid of my Acer laptop, too (and I've already sold my old 17" iMac) and just get one new Macbook Pro to replace both. Here are the two options I'm considering (and that are in my price range).

#1 - The NEW model 13" MBP. 2.4GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, 10-hour battery, Geforce 320M. I can get this for $1125 total (after discounts, Bing cashback, etc.).

#2- The PREVIOUS model 15" MBP. 2.53GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, 7-hour battery, Geforce 9400M. I can get this one for $1328 total (again, after everything).

I like the size of the 15" better, but I'm really drawn to the better graphics of the new 13-incher. The battery isn't a really big deal, as I would rarely need more than 3 or 4 hours... What do you guys think? Is it worth $203 to get the bigger screen and a slightly faster processor, but to sacrifice battery life and graphics performance in the trade? Opinions are greatly appreciated...

And I promise this will be last advice thread for a while. I AM ordering one of these two tomorrow...
 

macrumorsMaster

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2008
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Get the new one. If you ever really need more screen real estate, you can hook up to an external monitor.
Plus it'll be easier to carry around the smaller laptop and use it longer(battery life)
 

iPhysicist

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2009
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Better graphics... I CAN'T STAND that dumb GAMER QUESTIONS anymore. You do not need a laptop at all if you have to decide between 7 and 10 hours of battery life. The 9400 is more than just acceptable in a laptop, the 320m is even better. Take whatever you like most, but decide on you own.