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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

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[QUESTION][SEE SPECS] MacBook Pro 15" vs iMac 27"?


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Bedwej

 
Member Since: Apr 21, 2011
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Hey guys.

I haven't got a Mac computer (yet ). But my sister recently got the 27" iMac and I'm seriously considering buying one now, because they are just AWESOME *drools*... and quite frankly I'm FED UP of Windows Vista.

But anyway, I'm in need of some technical AND practical advice and this is my question:
Should I get a MacBook Pro 15" or an iMac 27"?
Specifications & Cost
MacBook Pro 15" Resolution: 1440x900
- 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
- 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
- 128GB Solid State Drive
- ATI Radeon HD 6750M 1GB GDDR5
- 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
- Magic Mouse
- Apple Remote
- Iomega eGo 500GB Portable Hard Drive (FireWire 800)
- Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
COST: 1850.40
Notes: The portability factor appeals to me, because I would take it to school to do coursework on it. I already have a Dell Studio 1737 Laptop but it's just too big and bulky to carry to school all the time. I would have the 128GB SSD in the machine for speed, and use an external hard drive to store most of my data, connected by FireWire 800.
Questions: Have I chosen the right external drive? Should I ditch the SSD and just get a 500GB 7200-rpm HDD instead? Why?
iMac 27" Resolution: 2560x1440
- 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
- 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
- 1TB Serial ATA Drive
- ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM
- Magic Mouse
- Apple Remote
COST: 1597.20
Notes: The 27" display on my sister's iMac is pure EYECANDY
Being interested in graphic design and photography I think this display COULD come in handy.
Questions: Could you justify spending an extra 462.00 to swap the 1TB Hard Drive for a 256GB Solid State Drive?
More importantly, how would the speed of the iMac compare to the MacBook Pro with the specs I've already selected?
I already have an external 24" monitor (Dell U2410) as well as a set of Logitech Z-5500 5.1 surround sound speakers. I could essentially use the MacBook Pro as a desktop computer (which I WILL do most of the time) by hooking it up to my 24" monitor and using the Magic Mouse.
I have a Nikon D90 camera and the pictures already look great when I put them on my Dell monitor, and I've seen pictures taken on the same camera displayed on my sister's iMac, and they look great on there too.

So basically, does anybody own both of these computers with similar specs? Any experience that would suggest why one is better than the other? Please give all the information you can; this is really important to me because I don't want to spend nearly 2000 and then a year down the line think "****, I wish I bought ... instead" and feel like I've wasted my money.
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Deckyon

 
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Member Since: Apr 06, 2011
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Mac Specs: MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM

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I will give you some thoughts I went through while trying to decide on the machine I got last week.

First, I required portability - I have no want or need to go back to any kind of desktop. Second, I wanted a large screen, my last 3 laptops have had 15" screens, I wanted a larger one. Third, it had to meet my personal requirements for speed and useability.

I opted for the fully decked out MBP 17". I went with the 500GB 7200 RPM drive because I needed to be able to run Win7 for a few apps I use for video processing since I already owned the licenses and there is no OSX version. Not being locked to a desk is priceless for me. I don't do video processing at home, I have to be somewhere else. Again, that is what I wanted in a machine. It is not what everyone wants.

A Couple Points:
1. 2x2GB memory config will leave you wanting for more. If you want 4, call them and see if you can request a 1x4GB chip and upgrade later, if not, it will be less hassle to just get the 8GB at the time of ordering.
2. Get the fastest processor. You cannot upgrade this after you order the PC. RAM, HD can be upgraded and swapped out. Get the fastest processor. Get the fastest processor
3. If you do opt for the iMac, get an SSD HD for the OS and a larger external HD for storage. That will give you the fastest option with still allowing for plenty of storage.

MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Gen3 32GB WiFi, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2
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Bedwej

 
Member Since: Apr 21, 2011
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Thanks for your reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
I went with the 500GB 7200 RPM drive because I needed to be able to run Win7 for a few apps I use for video processing since I already owned the licenses and there is no OSX version.
Does this mean that if I want to run Win7 I would need a HDD rather than a SSD?
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Bedwej

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
Get the fastest processor. You cannot upgrade this after you order the PC. RAM, HD can be upgraded and swapped out. Get the fastest processor. Get the fastest processor
Would the 0.1GHz difference be really that noticeable for an extra 183.60?
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6string

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2009
Location: Down Under :D
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Mac Specs: Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)

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Portability is always a compromise in bang for buck... Now that that's out of the way....

The MBP that you're looking at is one **** of a machine, simple as that!

Super fast, solid machine for whatever you want to do, no technical advise needed.
It can do everything anyone needs a computer to do.

Now, the iMac range at the moment is brilliant, but there is a refresh around the corner that I have no doubt will be a big step up once again.

If I didn't need the portability, and easy access to the HD in order to upgrade or simply replace the HD if it failed, I would always choose an iMac over a MBP, but the nightmare of getting into the iMac HD, the MBP is the way to go.

You get the portability, and a machine that you can hook up to an external monitor and still have a beast of a machine.
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Deckyon

 
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Member Since: Apr 06, 2011
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Mac Specs: MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bedwej View Post
Thanks for your reply.
Does this mean that if I want to run Win7 I would need a HDD rather than a SSD?
No, but with a 128 GB drive, there just would not be enough room for 2 full operating systems. I have my 500GB drive split with 400GB for OSX and 100GB for Win7.

MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Gen3 32GB WiFi, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2
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6string

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2009
Location: Down Under :D
Posts: 5,484
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Mac Specs: Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)

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In my post
Quote:
The MBP that you're looking at is one **** of a machine
, the **** means "heck"
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Bedwej

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
2x2GB memory config will leave you wanting for more. If you want 4, call them and see if you can request a 1x4GB chip and upgrade later, if not, it will be less hassle to just get the 8GB at the time of ordering.
I don't know EXACTLY how this works, but if it's anything like CPU wouldn't 2x2GB be faster than 1x4GB?
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Deckyon

 
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Deckyon is just really niceDeckyon is just really niceDeckyon is just really niceDeckyon is just really niceDeckyon is just really nice
Mac Specs: MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM

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2x means it takes 2 slots where 1x takes up only 1 slot. Having 1 slot taken up means you only need to purchase 1 stick of memory to hit 8GB rather than buying 2 sticks and having 2 just sitting around collecting dust.

MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Gen3 32GB WiFi, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2
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Bedwej

 
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Ok. So it's definitely worth asking Apple to give me a 1x4GB instead.
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Bedwej

 
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We got any iMac users here who'd suggest to get one of those instead?
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.3 Ghz 4GB RAM 860 GB SSD, iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 32GB RAM, Fusion Drive 1TB

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Specs aside, you need to answer if you need portability or not. That pretty much narrows it down by like a lot. >_>"

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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Bedwej

 
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I think I've pretty much decided on the MBP 15" now, because I like the portability of it and I can just use it as a desktop when I plug it into my external monitor
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.3 Ghz 4GB RAM 860 GB SSD, iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 32GB RAM, Fusion Drive 1TB

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bedwej View Post
I think I've pretty much decided on the MBP 15" now, because I like the portability of it and I can just use it as a desktop when I plug it into my external monitor[.]
That would have been my choice as well.

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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class77

 
Member Since: Oct 13, 2009
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Mac Specs: 25" iMac 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iPhone 4

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If you can just wait a month or so, the newly reconfigured iMacs should be out any time now. It could have some bearing on your decision.

 24" iMac, 3.06GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 10.6.8
 2011 Mac mini, 2.7Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 750 GB HDD, 10.7.3
 iPad3 64GB, iPad2 32 GB
 iPhone 4, 32GB  Airport Extreme 5
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