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Which Mac should I Choose?


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#1 Maha

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 08:41 PM

So January 19th 2015 I'll be starting a Diploma in Graphic Design. I'll be given the choice of either a 21.5 inch iMac or 13 inch Retina Macbook Pro...

Now I personally think 13" for a laptop will be too small. BUT, the fact its got a 2560-by-1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch with an IPS panel, really has me thinking It would be not too bad, though apparently I heard that it doesn't run at that resolution or something...

I'd love something portable, and we're only offered the 2 choices, both of which are the same $1600 Australian models...

Apple - MacBook*Pro with Retina display - Technical Specifications

and

Apple - iMac - Technical Specifications

Iv'e already asked my Course Manager about the possibility of a different model but they are the only 2 available.


After research, the CPU in the iMac 21.5 Inch at 2.7ghz ($1600) is even better than my Self Built Windows PC which runs an FX 6100 at 4.7ghz... Though the Iris Pro is far from my HD 7850. However the CPU in the HIGHER RES Macbook Pro is a little under 1/3 as powerful as the CPU in the iMac...

To add to the performance issue, the Iris Pro in the Macbook is an Iris Pro 5100 chip, the Iris Pro 5200 in the iMac is nearly 50% more powerful than the 5100 and Less than 15% as powerful as the iMac with the integrated discreet GTX 750M...


Now, the iMac would probably sit well on my desk, and I'm sure I can hook my 24 inch Monitor up to it, but then I would lose the Retina Display and Portability...

Though, if I choose the 13" Macbook Pro with the Retina display I'd gain a probably far better Screen, though at the loss of Size and loss of Performance in comparison to the iMac...

I'd also lose out on the keyboard with the iMac, since the Keyboard you get isn't backlit, I could use my Deathstalker, but then I am more inclined to the liking of the backlit keyboard on the Macbook Pro....



Anyone have a better way to sort out my dilemma?

I can't afford to buy my own so I'm stuck with these 2 options.


I want a Large High Res Screen, portability, great performance and a backlit keyboard...

The iMac is Full HD 1920x1080, but Iv'e been dreaming of a 2560x1440/1600 Display for a very long time, just no money to purchase 1 because they're around $500+ here.

Yes the iMac is only 21.5 inch, its an all-in-one and is probably more portable than my 30kg desktop etc, but the 13 inch macbook would be truly portable... The fact the CPU performance from the imac is better than my own PC makes me worry if the macbooks cpu will be enough for what I will be doing with it, and then the drop in Graphics performance makes me feel less keen on the macbook because I would easily notice the performance drop... Then the whole backlit keyboard issue... I currently use a Green LED backlit Razer Deathstalker and cannot use a normal keyboard without bright lights on, which hurt my eyes anyway... the backlit keyboard would solve the issue...

Ugh....

#2 Lucian

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 08:45 PM

How much are you willing to spend exactly?



#3 ortin

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 08:46 PM

I have a macbook and I love it. You can actually take it anywhere, and it has a beautiful screen. However, many programs don't run at the full resolution the retina display has, so there's that.



#4 Padme

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 11:12 PM

I have a 13 macbook pro. I was really skeptical and wanted a larger screen at first but now I love it :) I use it for school work but it did take some adjusting down from a 17. :) 



#5 Norava

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 11:45 PM

They are both solid computers, but if you are going to be using your mouse to draw / design / do whatever artsy stuff, I would imagine using a bigger screen with an actual mouse would be easier. I have both, and both work great, but the magic mouse is the best.



#6 Kway

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 12:56 AM

I recommend getting the macbook and when you can, a full sized monitor. You'll have the portability and be able to dock it at a desk for a bigger screen (and anything else you have).



#7 redlion

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 01:21 AM

I recommend getting the macbook and when you can, a full sized monitor. You'll have the portability and be able to dock it at a desk for a bigger screen (and anything else you have).

This.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have an iMac, but my MBP has done me good for too long to not recommend it. If you can only have one, get the laptop.

Edit: Wait a minute, this is maha we're talking about. You've already got enough TVs and screens for a medium-sized mexican family. You already have a monitor that can serve as a dock for your MBP. Done deal.

I have a 13 macbook pro. I was really skeptical and wanted a larger screen at first but now I love it :) I use it for school work but it did take some adjusting down from a 17. :)

Eww, 17 inch laptop? What did that weigh, two maybe three long tons?

In my mind the whole point of a laptop is portability. Save the massive displays and screens for desktop setups.

#8 Kway

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 01:58 AM

This.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have an iMac, but my MBP has done me good for too long to not recommend it. If you can only have one, get the laptop.

Edit: Wait a minute, this is maha we're talking about. You've already got enough TVs and screens for a medium-sized mexican family. You already have a monitor that can serve as a dock for your MBP. Done deal.
Eww, 17 inch laptop? What did that weigh, two maybe three long tons?

In my mind the whole point of a laptop is portability. Save the massive displays and screens for desktop setups.

 

Nothing wrong with 17" laptops if the power fits the weight. I'd rather carry a heavy laptop than a desktop + monitor to local gaming events.

 

There are people willing to sacrifice some portability for more power.



#9 Liesa

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 02:01 AM

I have a 13" and I love it :) It is indeed very portable, and that was an issue with my past computers. 



#10 Maha

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 02:52 AM

Hahaha, enough TV's and Screens for a medium Mexican Family xD? Well I do have a decent 24 inch Monitor yes...

 

@Lucian - I don't have to spend anything, these are provided. 

 

@redlion and everyone else I had already considered the idea of connecting the Macbook to my monitor, but my problem then, would be, that I'd lose out on CPU power and graphic power still.. 

 

 

@Liesa and @Padme are your 13 inch macbooks the exact same models? the ones with the retina, the 256 ssd and 2.6 ghz CPU? Have you got a windows desktop or laptop? Or have you used PC's etc with more powerful CPU's? 

 

 

 

I'm trying to make sure I can make a solid decision and not feel as though Iv'e truly lost out on the positives the opposite device has... 

But from what iv'e found on the net, the iMac option is definitely the more powerful choice... 
 



#11 Liesa

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 03:02 AM

Hahaha, enough TV's and Screens for a medium Mexican Family xD? Well I do have a decent 24 inch Monitor yes...

 

@Lucian - I don't have to spend anything, these are provided. 

 

@redlion and everyone else I had already considered the idea of connecting the Macbook to my monitor, but my problem then, would be, that I'd lose out on CPU power and graphic power still.. 

 

 

@Liesa and @Padme are your 13 inch macbooks the exact same models? the ones with the retina, the 256 ssd and 2.6 ghz CPU? Have you got a windows desktop or laptop? Or have you used PC's etc with more powerful CPU's? 

 

 

 

I'm trying to make sure I can make a solid decision and not feel as though Iv'e truly lost out on the positives the opposite device has... 

But from what iv'e found on the net, the iMac option is definitely the more powerful choice... 
 

 

I got mine before retina displays came out :/ But I study graphic design as well and it handles all the programs it should :p



#12 Lucian

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 03:24 AM

I would go with the Macbook then. It's more portable and you can always by a high rez monitor later on and connect your Macbook to it.



#13 Maha

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:04 AM

@Liesa sounds good. I'll just have to have a good think.

@Lucian cheapest hi res monitor I can find is over 500. I am going to Toowoomba this weekend and hope to test some Mac pc out. Should give me a better idea of exactly what I'll choose. I still feel the iMac may suit me more.

Though the portability would probably be something I can't go without. I'll be required to log 20 hours a week into my diploma for 2 years. So portability for the occasions I can't access pc or iMac would help.

so difficult haha even with such great info.

#14 Lucian

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:06 AM

Since you're being provided with these things I'm assuming you're going to some sort of design school. They would have labs with iMacs if you really needed to use one correct?



#15 Maha

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:13 AM

Since you're being provided with these things I'm assuming you're going to some sort of design school. They would have labs with iMacs if you really needed to use one correct?


No. Independent study. Part time online.

Edited by Maha, 17 December 2014 - 05:14 AM.


#16 Adam

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 06:19 AM

Hey the one with cheese on it! Those are the best.

#17 Swar

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 06:23 AM

Hey the one with cheese on it! Those are the best.

 

This joke was so bad I had to +rep xD



#18 Maha

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 06:55 AM

This joke was so bad I had to +rep xD

 

Is it bad I don't understand xD?

But truly, I have my desktop which I doubt will have another year of life left in it, and If it died, I'd much rather have the iMac to fall upon... 

 

 

Also @redlion Iv'e just counted, 1 TV and 1 Monitor :p 

 

 

Has anyone got the 2.6 ghz 13 inch macbook pro? 

To be honest the only thing really keeping me from just jumping on the decision to choose the Macbook is that its less powerful than the iMac, but then again looking at it, the iMac only comes with 5400 rpm HDD... so that'd be 80mb/s read/write and the SSD in the Macbook would probably be like 600 mb/s read/write or more... 

 

 

-.- 



#19 Padme

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 07:22 AM

Eww, 17 inch laptop? What did that weigh, two maybe three long tons?
 

 

This was definitely not a laptop I would be taking anywhere outside my house. It was plugged into a cooling pad at all times. Occasionally it was hooked up to a projector or a set of 5 monitors at a gaming company. I used it to play LoL & WoW a lot. 

 

I tried carrying it in a backpack once to uni when I didn't have my tablet or macbook and yes it was a pain. However, I loved having and using it to game since it was build specifically for that. I just thought it was interesting alternative since I already had PC's around the house.

 

 

@Liesa and @Padme are your 13 inch macbooks the exact same models? the ones with the retina, the 256 ssd and 2.6 ghz CPU? Have you got a windows desktop or laptop? Or have you used PC's etc with more powerful CPU's? 

 

 

Yes, mine is definitely the one with Retina display. 

I have and have had multiple windows desktops and PC's. 

I've also definitely used PC's with power... honestly if you are only ever going to work on your schoolwork at home then go for the iMac, having a big screen will be great and all.

However, portability is super super handy and it isn't quite so easy to put your iMac in a backpack.



#20 Adam

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 07:30 AM

@Maha mac...and cheese. Macaroni and cheese, the best food ever.

#21 Maha

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 08:25 AM

This was definitely not a laptop I would be taking anywhere outside my house. It was plugged into a cooling pad at all times. Occasionally it was hooked up to a projector or a set of 5 monitors at a gaming company. I used it to play LoL & WoW a lot.

I tried carrying it in a backpack once to uni when I didn't have my tablet or macbook and yes it was a pain. However, I loved having and using it to game since it was build specifically for that. I just thought it was interesting alternative since I already had PC's around the house.


Yes, mine is definitely the one with Retina display.
I have and have had multiple windows desktops and PC's.
I've also definitely used PC's with power... honestly if you are only ever going to work on your schoolwork at home then go for the iMac, having a big screen will be great and all.
However, portability is super super handy and it isn't quite so easy to put your iMac in a backpack.


Does it lag @Padme or play some games ? Any bad things u can say about it ?

#22 Padme

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 08:32 AM

Does it lag @Padme or play some games ? Any bad things u can say about it ?

 

I don't find any lag. It's a year old now and it is just as fast as the day it started.

It is definitely something to get used to since I had only used windows before with limited mac use for very specific projects.

If you have the ability go to a Mac store and fiddle around.

There are a lot of things that don't use the computers full ability but you'll find that with any computer with nice displays. 

I'm not a huge fan of the trackpad and I've had to fiddle with the settings but overall it is user friendly in the end.

 

If I weren't so full of hot air I would probably get a session at the apple store with a genius so they can show you some neato things. :) 

Because Macs are pretty much all the same you can find answers to everything on google. If you have the option, do what I didn't and get the apple care. :) 



#23 Maha

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 08:45 AM

I don't find any lag. It's a year old now and it is just as fast as the day it started.
It is definitely something to get used to since I had only used windows before with limited mac use for very specific projects.
If you have the ability go to a Mac store and fiddle around.
There are a lot of things that don't use the computers full ability but you'll find that with any computer with nice displays.
I'm not a huge fan of the trackpad and I've had to fiddle with the settings but overall it is user friendly in the end.

If I weren't so full of hot air I would probably get a session at the apple store with a genius so they can show you some neato things. :)
Because Macs are pretty much all the same you can find answers to everything on google. If you have the option, do what I didn't and get the apple care. :)


Well I think the school I will be doing the diploma through will cover repairs etc during the course time.

I also just noticed the CPU is only dual core compared to quad core in the iMac....
@Padme play any games on it?

#24 Padme

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 11:14 AM

Well I think the school I will be doing the diploma through will cover repairs etc during the course time.

I also just noticed the CPU is only dual core compared to quad core in the iMac....
@Padme play any games on it?

 

I don't play games on it because I have had other computers to play on :| Neopets games don't count ;P

 

Spoiler

 

 

Maha in the future


Edited by Padme, 17 December 2014 - 11:30 AM.


#25 Emily

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 11:14 AM

Hey the one with cheese on it! Those are the best.

 

Hahahaha I read the title of this thread as "which mac should I cheese?"




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