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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - iMac or MacBook (long)


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RCh

 
Member Since: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Posts: 31
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Mac Specs: iMac 17" 2GHz C2D 3Gb RAM 160 HDD; Macbook 2.2GHz; 4Gb RAM 160 HDD

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Hello there! Although I'm new to this forum as a registered user, I've been sticking around for a while and I should say that this is one of the most useful mac-related resources known to me. Thank for keeping it alive and sharing knowledge.
OK, commercial over

I'm currently in the process of selecting my first Mac and hesitating between iMac 17" (with either 1 or 2 Gb RAM) and MacBook with 1 Gb RAM. Since it's obviously very strange choice and two too different things to consider, I'd like to explain the reason behind it.

I currently own a PC laptop (WinXP) which is used for the following tasks:

- ordinary office stuff (text processing, spreadsheets, etc.)
- internet browsing
- occasional watching DVD movies
- moderate photo editing on a hi-end amateur level (nearly daily edit of digital photos, however no 100mb-sized image files)
- music recording and editing
- occasional video edit and creation (home use only)

The reason why I had to buy a laptop is because currently my living space is extremely limited and it would be hard to find a place for a desktop where it could safely rest. Moreover, occasionally I have to move with my laptop from one room to another. From the other hand, this portability is required only within the house. For last two years I never took my laptop outside since I also have a company laptop which is used for travel purposes.

As you can imagine, when I decided to get a new machine and change the platform, MacBook was the obvious choice (the Pro is not considered due to ridiculous cost difference in my country - the cheapest Pro version is twice more expensive then the top macbook). However, when I've read about the iMac it made me to re-think the whole idea. It is a huge space-saver and since it is basically in one piece, it would not be hard for me to switch it off, move to another location and switch it on again. Almost like a laptop. Also, I may from time to time need some Windows-specific programms, so it's good to have a dual-boot option.

So when I compared these two I came up with the following:

iMac:
+ bigger screen
+ "desktop inside" = runs faster
+ can boot to Windows (not critical, I'll still have my Windows laptop)
- still less portable then laptop (bigger, separate keyboard and mouse)

MacBook:
+ truly portable (all in 1 piece)
+ runs on batteries (not critical)
- currently, no realistic way to run Windows (not critical, see above)
- small screen (I wish it had at least 15")
- performance should be probably weaker then that of iMac (just my guess)

Basically, I'd ike to know your opinion on the following:
1. Can MacBook handle above described tasks
2. Is iMac durable and ruffed enough to withstand regular dragging from one room to another.

In general, any constructive comments are highly welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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NanoBite

 
Member Since: Oct 27, 2005
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Hi RCh & welcome to Mac-Forums!

I'm not going to add much more than I have an iMac Core2Duo and have no trouble lugging it from room to room. The 24" would be heavier to move, but the 20" is very easy to carry and the 17" would be a breeze. All there is to unplug is the power cord, the keyboard/mouse and any peripherals used.

I would say that a MacBook with 2Gb or RAM would be a good investment and would perform all the tasks mentioned easily.

Hope that helps.
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cramar

 
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Member Since: Mar 23, 2007
Location: Canada
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I feel for you since I am going through similar decisions. For me there is a large cost increase between an iMac and MacBook since another wireless keyboard & mouse, plus AirPort Extreme and monitor are required for the MB in my case. For you it might be just a case of screen size.

One thing I wanted to point out is that your post indicates that you can run Windows on the iMac and not on the MacBook. Since they use the same OS, you can also run Windows on the MacBook.
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RCh

 
Member Since: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Posts: 31
RCh is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: iMac 17" 2GHz C2D 3Gb RAM 160 HDD; Macbook 2.2GHz; 4Gb RAM 160 HDD

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cramar View Post
I feel for you since I am going through similar decisions. For me there is a large cost increase between an iMac and MacBook since another wireless keyboard & mouse, plus AirPort Extreme and monitor are required for the MB in my case. For you it might be just a case of screen size.

One thing I wanted to point out is that your post indicates that you can run Windows on the iMac and not on the MacBook. Since they use the same OS, you can also run Windows on the MacBook.
Thanks for reply, cramar!
Well, I didn't mention that but wireless keyboard & mouse are on the list even if I go for an iMac, because the ultimate goal is to have it as portable as possible, which also means getting rid of any extra cords wherever possible. For the monitor - I think I could live with 13".

Regarding Windows... what I really meant is that I've read numerous reports (also on these forums) about partial compatibility of the Apple notebook-specific hardware with Windows. I believe there are issues with touchpad, bluetooth, wireless, iSight, you name it I'm sure it will be fixed some day, since it's merely a proper drivers issue, however, I wouldn't rely on that too much...
From the other hand, it all work almost perfect on the iMacs, or so I read.
Please, correct me if I'm wrong here.

Another consideration is the size of the hard drive. I can easily allocate some 40 Gb (out of 160 or even 250) of HD space for Windows partition. Doing the same on a 80/100 Gb hard drive would make my heart bleed )
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narf1899

 
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Member Since: Feb 05, 2007
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i would suggest the iMac if ur idea of portability is moving from room to room within your own home. I have both, and they are both great machines, but when photo editing/ watching dvd's, the macbooks 13" screen can feel quite small. the imac's got a bigger HD, bigger screen, and faster processor for about the same amount of cash. with the macbook, all u get is portability, which from your post, it doesnt seem like you need beyond the imacs capabilities. the imac has a very small foot print and doesnt take up too much room. and i might also add, that when i started up my macbook for the first time, it had less than 60 gb left out of the 80gb HD it came with.

iMac Aluminum 20" 2.4 ghz 2gb RAM 300gb HD
iMac 20" Core2duo 2gb 250gb
Macbook White Core2duo 2gb 80gb
Powermac G4 dual 450
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCh View Post

Basically, I'd ike to know your opinion on the following:
1. Can MacBook handle above described tasks
2. Is iMac durable and ruffed enough to withstand regular dragging from one room to another.
Yes and Yes. ANY Mac is up for those tasks and durable enough.

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bryphotoguy

 
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Member Since: Feb 02, 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
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I purchased the Macbook and sold it 3 months later. It was an amazing machine but it just didn't suit my needs. The screen was way too small for photo editing. I was working with files anywhere from 30MB to 200MB and when I worked on larger photos, the Macbook couldn't keep up. I had 1GB RAM installed as well. I really dislike the intergrated graphics on the Macbook. Plus working on large photos on a small screen was more annoying than it was worth.
As for the iMac, I miss the toting everywhere I went but in every other single way, it's a much better computer.
I own the 20" model and it leaves a similar footprint on the desk as the Macbook did. It's a little wider but that's about it.
I'm not sure where you live but I'd consider the refurbished macs if that's possible. Both Macs I've owned were refurbished and worked flawlessly. I saved like 300$ on the Macbook and $400 on the iMac I think over the cost of a new one.
If refurbished is possible, check out the Macbook Pro. I don't think it was much more (like 1500$ for a 15") and that's pretty similar to the iMac if considering specs.
My personal opinion would be to get the iMac without a doubt.
Good luck!

Bryan


January 2008 Member of the Month
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RCh

 
Member Since: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Posts: 31
RCh is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: iMac 17" 2GHz C2D 3Gb RAM 160 HDD; Macbook 2.2GHz; 4Gb RAM 160 HDD

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Thanks everyone for input!

I think I'd go for an iMac and change the keyboard & mouse to wireless in order to get rid of cords.
Now I'm hesitating between 1 and 2 Gb of RAM. It's not much of a cost issue, since some extra $150 is irrelevant in the overall cost of the system. However, to my surprise none of the authorised Apple dealers in my country (I live in Ukraine) were able to upgrade the memory on spot. Instead, they claim I have to place a custom order so the built-to-order machine will arrive directly from Apple. I wonder, if this is really the policy of Apple or specifics of our local market? The thing is, that I can get a stock iMac right from the store, and for the customized version I have to wait up to 1 month (which usually turns into 2 or more). So I incline towards the stock machine which I can upgrade later on with hi-quality RAM by myself, although it might be a bit more expensive, since I assume I'd have to change both RAM boards.

Anyway, thanks again for your opinions and I'm afraid I'll come back soon with plenty of questions
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bryphotoguy

 
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The RAM is a user upgrade that can be done without voiding the warranty. There is a little plate under the bottom portion of the screen that can be removed with 2 screws. It's a 5 minute deal upgradling the RAM. I went online to tigerdirect.com and browsed. I found 2GB (2x1GB) RAM there for under $200.
I wouldn't think anything be different in the Ukraine. Hopefully else has some input.
Bryan


January 2008 Member of the Month
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RCh

 
Member Since: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Posts: 31
RCh is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: iMac 17" 2GHz C2D 3Gb RAM 160 HDD; Macbook 2.2GHz; 4Gb RAM 160 HDD

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryphotoguy View Post
The RAM is a user upgrade that can be done without voiding the warranty. There is a little plate under the bottom portion of the screen that can be removed with 2 screws. It's a 5 minute deal upgradling the RAM. I went online to tigerdirect.com and browsed. I found 2GB (2x1GB) RAM there for under $200.
I wouldn't think anything be different in the Ukraine. Hopefully else has some input.
Bryan
Bryan,

I don't mind upgrading RAM later on by myself and I know that it can be done quite easy (much easily, then on most PCs). I was just surprised that I cannot upgrade the RAM upon purchase. In any PC store here I can specify how much RAM I want (up to the maximum supported) and the salesperson would install it before I pick it from the store. Obviously, I'll have to pay for the extra RAM but I'll immediately have the configuration I want.
As for the Mac, if I'm sure that I'd need, say, 2GB I should either wait 2-3 months until the machine with 2GB on board is delivered from US, or buy it as is and upgrade by myself.
This is just a matter of convenience.

regards,
Robert
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