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20" iMac and 20" Dell Display OR MacBook Pro


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20" iMac and 20" Dell Display OR MacBook Pro
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theyoda3
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2006-09-24, 03:48

Ok, so I'm in a mild dilema right now. I currently have a 12" 1.33 PB G4 with a 17" external display and was planning on updating to a new MBP when it comes out. I wanted to run Windows and be able to use engineering software. I use Final Cut Express, Photoshop, and the iLife apps along with the usual stuff and I also play games. I also wanted to increase my screen sizes because of the apps that I use. I have about $2500 now and have the developer discount to use. I can either get a 20" iMac with a 20" Dell Display with 256 vRAM, 250 GB HD, and 2 GB RAM.... OR I can get a new MBP when it comes out for about the same price, probably with just a 2 GB RAM upgrade. I'm a college student and use my laptop on campus once in a while. To me, the iMac seems like a great idea, except what if I want or need to run Windows on campus or something for engineering software? Will Desktop Connect be fast enough? Also, I've always loved the 15" Apple laptops, but have never bought one so the MBP is very appealing to me. Sometimes I do feel the 12" is cramped, but I do like how easy it is to transport and the battery life. I also have the option of attempting to sell the 12" PB and 17" display and getting a bigger external display for the MBP, but it isn't certain they will sell. Unfortunately, RAM prices have gone up for the MBP, so that doesn't help it's position.

Any thoughts on what you would do in my situation? I never thought I'd be here asking for this lol, but I kind of want to hear some opinions.

Thanks
-Chris
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-09-24, 03:53

Any particular reason you feel you might need two(!) 20-inch displays?
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theyoda3
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2006-09-24, 04:04

I would have wanted the 24" iMac, but the two 20" displays is cheaper by almost $200. Kind of sucks, because I was thinking the same thing. I want soemthing just a little bigger than 20". 24" would have been just right. The 17" with the 20" is an option, but that one I was pretty certain I was going to sell because the Dell display has a composite video input so I could connect a video game system to it. My 17" doesn't have that. The 15" MBP and a 20" external would be ideal, but that's definitely more that $2500. I'm figuring AppleCare in with this stuff too.

Last edited by theyoda3 : 2006-09-24 at 04:10.
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chucker
 
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2006-09-24, 04:08

Yeah, but what I'm asking is, if you would like the screen space of a 24-inch display (1920x1200), could you really settle for that of the MacBook Pro's (1440x900), which is two notches lower?

As for Remote Desktop Connection, it is rather fast on local networks, but if you have to connect via the Internet, it will be barely bearable. I wouldn't recommend that solution. Of course, virtualization through Parallels, or installing natively via Boot Camp is another solution that won't suffer network latency. For engineering software, Parallels is probably more than fast enough.
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Fahrenheit
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2006-09-24, 04:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by theyoda3 View Post
I would have wanted the 24" iMac, but the two 20" displays is cheaper by almost $200. Kind of sucks, because I was thinking the same thing. I want soemthing just a little bigger than 20". 24" would have been just right. The 17" with the 20" is an option, but that one I was pretty certain I was going to sell because the Dell display has a composite video input so I could connect a video game system to it. My 17" doesn't have that.
As a college student, is there a need for all that screen real estate?
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theyoda3
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2006-09-24, 04:23

There is no need for two 20" displays, but the 24" iMac won't fit on my desk vertically and is more expensive. I do film and digital art work where having more screen realestate is very helpful.

As for chucker's comment, I'd rather not just have the MBPs size, ideally having a 20" external would be just right, but in comparison the 20" iMac is so much cheaper... it just isn't movable lol. Also, what you said about the Remote Desktop Connect kind of limits me lol. I can't use BootCamp or Parallels on my PB, so setting the iMac up to allow the PB access isn't such a great choice then.
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theyoda3
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2006-09-24, 04:30

So given this situation, what choice would you make based on this information? I'm kind of curious as to what you'd pick and why. Maybe I'm mildly going crazy or something.. it is late lol.
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Fahrenheit
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2006-09-24, 04:35

I'd get a 17inch MacBook Pro and a Dell 20 inch display.
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chucker
 
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2006-09-24, 04:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farenheit View Post
I'd get a 17inch MacBook Pro and a Dell 20 inch display.
That'd be outside of his budget of $2500.

How about a refurbished 15-inch MBP with a Dell 20-incher, though?
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theyoda3
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2006-09-24, 04:41

Hmm, I was referring to the 15" MBP. The 17" is way out of my league. Thanks for your opinion.
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theyoda3
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2006-09-24, 04:42

I have the developer discount, so any new computer is cheaper than a refurb. I don't expect the prices to change, but if I get a MBP it will be the Core 2 Duo version. If the RAM somehow crashed in price and it came in black, then there would be no need to think about what to do lol. It would be MBP all the way lol.

I guess I'll just have to save buying the AppleCare for later, get the display and MBP when it comes out and upgrade the RAM. Then try and sell the 12" PB and the 17" display.

Last edited by theyoda3 : 2006-09-24 at 04:47.
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morgan rose
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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2006-09-25, 09:24

I have been using 2 display's for some time now, I stareted when i was a freshmen in college. For anyone with ADD having two screens is the jam. I also use that virtue desktop. I say if you want 2 displays, get 2. Also if you do anytype of video editing , two screens is ideal, you can edit, look at vidwo feed, and change music all without distrupting any of your work space.
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kretara
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2006-09-25, 10:21

I would get the 15" MBP and a 20" Dell display.

I have a 17" MBP, a PM G5 2x2.0 with 2x17" and 1x19" lcds, 20" iMac G5 at work.

Even though I sit at my desk most of the day I find myself using the MPB and a 19" LCD more than anything else. The iMac is the most hated piece of equipment on my desk, well, other than the Optiplex GX270.

The 17" MBP is just a little to big to be considered portable and doesn't really fit on college classroom desks. I moved from a 12" PB 1.33 (which I still have) and I find the 17" MBP too big, if that is possible.

I'm a well known iMac hater. I tried using the 20" iMac at home for about a month and absolutely hated it. I moved back to my MDD 1.42 and am MUCH happier. I was having constant problems (numerous lockups and looooong hangs) with the iMac when it was connected to 4-5 external firewire HD's (the MDD had no problems with the same setup).
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azcoder
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Join Date: Oct 2005
 
2006-09-25, 13:36

I've got a 15" MBP and 17" iMac.

My advice - get the 15" MBP. In the end you will appreciate the portability more than the screen real-estate.

You can always save up and get another display in the future.
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Swing
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Paris
 
2006-09-25, 14:22

I'd also vote for the 15" MBP, and also to keep the 17" screen if you do heavy-duty Photoshop work.

I've been using a 12" PB spanning to a 21.3" Samsung lcd. I love the 12" PB's portability and bemoan the lack of a replacement in the MBP line. Much of my work is writing or editing text and so I bought the Samsung because I can use it to view two full pages of text side-by-side while also using my PB's 12" screen. And the Samsung is good for Photoshop.

The past few weeks I have been trying to use only the 12" PB and, surprisingly, I do not miss the 21.3" lcd very much. I must super-shrink my text so as to view most of two separate pages, but that is ok for the time being and only leads me to suspect a 15" MBP is palatable (of course I may be trying to justify the lack of a 12" or even a 13" MBP). For those occasions on which I use Photoshop for more than light touch-up work I just hook up my 12" PB to the Samsung 21.3" lcd, which is now used mainly by my wife.

Eventually, I'll buy a MBP and Parallels to run Fritz and Stronghold games, though for heavy-duty Photoshop work I might still use the 21.3" lcd if I find the new screen real estate comes up short.
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