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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > for those with BOTH a Mac laptop and a Mac desktop

for those with BOTH a Mac laptop and a Mac desktop
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HazelGirl
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Oct 28, 2006, 04:36 AM
 
I'm just wondering....those of you with mbps/mbs/pbs/ibooks AND one of Apple's desktops....which one of your machines is the most "maxed out"---that is, has the most features? I will eventually update my Mac Mini....either by getting an intel Mini OR one of the other desktops and just add more stuff to it. I will also have a mbp and am wondering would it be good to sacrifice a coupel of things on the mbp just to make up for it with a desktop (higher vram, more hd space and so on). I am interested to see how you guys have gone about it.
Mac Mini G4 1.33 Ghz:40GBhf, 512MBRAM, 32MBVRAM
MBP 15.4' 2.33Ghz:160GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
iMac 24' 2.4 Ghz, 300GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
80GB iPod Classic (black)
     
harrisjamieh
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Oct 28, 2006, 05:32 AM
 
Well my iMac, only because it shiips withh a larger hard drive, and a real graphics card. It also has 1.25 GB RAM compared to 1GB in my MacBook. But apart from that, my machines are matched.
iMac Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 1.25GB RAM | 160HD, MacBook Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 13.3" | 60HD | 1.0GB RAM
     
hemant
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Oct 28, 2006, 07:37 AM
 
Well I have a very similar setup, MBP with RAM maxed out and a CD mac mini with RAM maxed out. I use an external hard drive to tackle more storage and I have the flexibility to connect it to the mini or the MBP.
     
Sherman Homan
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Oct 28, 2006, 08:45 AM
 
Actually I work pretty hard to keep them as identical as possible.
     
Helmling
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Oct 28, 2006, 09:44 AM
 
My desktop's quite out of date...G4 iMac 17" so it lags far behind my MacBook. Hence the MacBook has taken on most of the heavy-lifting (i.e. DVD burning).

However, if I had a blank check at Apple, then I'd want it the other way around. Hmmm...imagine one of those new 24" iMacs sitting beside my little MacBook on the desk...hmmm...yummy...

Um...wait, where am I?
     
Jerk_circus
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Oct 28, 2006, 09:55 AM
 
I have a G5 Quad and a 4 year old PB Alu 15" 1.25. I have 1.25GB of ram in my PB, so I might add more ram to it, but I'm more learning towards adding another 2GB to my G5, since that's where I do most of my hard hitting work. The PB is just for word processing, listening to music and browsing the internet. I dont see why I need anymore power for that.
Jerk_circus | Toronto Web Development
     
juansicos
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Oct 28, 2006, 10:46 AM
 
HI, first post here. Powerbook 17'' 1'67ghz with 1gb of ram and a 24 inch iMac core2duo with 2gb of ram here. Both are great machines but i have to sell the powerbook because i need to use some windows programs, so i'll have to get a macbook or macbook pro in christmas. Sorry for my english, i'm spanish.
How much could i get for my powerbook? It's the one with the 1440x900 screen, it has a dl superdrive (i had to changed it), and it's in perfect conditions.
     
SierraDragon
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Oct 28, 2006, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by HazelGirl View Post
I'm just wondering....those of you with mbps/mbs/pbs/ibooks AND one of Apple's desktops....which one of your machines is the most "maxed out"---that is, has the most features? I will eventually update my Mac Mini....either by getting an intel Mini OR one of the other desktops and just add more stuff to it. I will also have a mbp and am wondering would it be good to sacrifice a coupel of things on the mbp just to make up for it with a desktop (higher vram, more hd space and so on). I am interested to see how you guys have gone about it.
Interesting question. I have owned both Mac laptops and desktops since their respective beginnings. Currently I own a PB G4 and a DP G4 tower, and yesterday ordered a Macbook Pro. I will probably get a Mac Pro tower at Mac Expo SF in January.

Desktop towers (but not iMacs or Minis) are by definition stronger than laptops. However, the latest Core 2 Duo Macbook Pros are very strong boxes. And Apple's evolution to providing and taking more advantage of strong graphics cards as well as RAM is changing things for the life cycle of any new box. E.g. Solely due to the graphics card, Aperture runs better on my 1.67 GHz G4 Powerbook than it does on a G5 Quad with the stock G5 graphics card, and it runs very well on a MBP with 2 GB RAM.

You did not describe your processing needs (e.g. surfing and Office vs. heavy graphics) and the difference if any between what you do on the laptop vs. what you do on the desktop box. Your needs make all the difference. For many folks a loaded C2D MBP will perform well as both a desktop and laptop box by adding an external display, keyboard and mouse.

An added benefit of a laptop-as-desktop configuration is that you have two monitors. Most graphics pros, including me, consider 2 monitors beneficial enough to virtually be a necessity. The main image occupies the large monitor while palettes and secondary images live on the other display.

If your desktop needs are being met by a Mini or an iMac IMO you will be best served by putting all your money into a high end C2D MBP with 2-3 GB RAM and selling the Mini. If your needs were to exceed the MBP's capability in the future you could always buy a desktop box then. I certainly would not put one dime into upgrading a Mini.

For heavy graphics like Pro Photoshop use the 3 GB RAM limitation of MBPs and iMacs is limiting. Although Photoshop currently runs fine with 2 GB of RAM performance improves up to 8 GB of RAM, PSCS3 and OS 10.5 will very likely allow apps to take advantage of even more RAM.

Whatever you choose, IMO buying pro boxes is the best way to optimize the life cycle of computer purchases due to the superior ability of pro boxes to cope with future changes as they occur. E.g. Macbooks may seem strong, but as the OS and apps evolve the far superior graphics of MBPs will become increasingly relevant.

EDIT: Note that if for some reason you must have a desktop and a laptop (such as multiple users), info on what tasks you do where becomes important.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Oct 28, 2006 at 03:20 PM. )
     
Tuoder
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Oct 28, 2006, 03:20 PM
 
I have a new MacBook and an iMac G3. You can do the math. I am kind of a road warrior. I used to use a PBG3, and back then, the iMac was marginally better. I am going to get a good Mac desktop eventually.
     
HazelGirl  (op)
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Oct 28, 2006, 04:33 PM
 
Thanks for your input, you guys.

Travelign is important to me.....I had a PC laptop and loved the fact that I always had my OWN computer when I visited the parents or if I wanted to take it to school or simply do assignments on my bed. I used my desktop really as a backup and....I hate it now. My PC desktop is slower than my pre-intel Mini and on top of that, the cd drive don't work. I don't really want to invest in upgrading hte PC desktop because I don't intend to go back to Windows anyway.

One thing about having a desktop, in general though is the fact that I alwasy have a backup machine at home. My PC laptop went dead (that's why I will replace it with a mbp) but I had a backup desktop. Had I only had that one machine, I would have been messed up because I live off campus and using the computer lab is not always convenient. I will always have two machines...for me, I have a since of sicurity if I do so.

As far as what I do....I like to travel so photos would live on my computer. I have a good amount of music on itunes as well. I do watch DVDs as well. I'd be a beginner, but I would be interested in getting into video editing. Nothing spectacular, but dealing with my travels. I otherwise use it for websurfing, ichat (cant wait to use the webcam with one of my buddies that has a mb) and other chat programs, voice and video recording for my language courses, and word processing.

I would likely get a backup hd for automatic backups. I think this will be built in to Leopard, right?

Anyway......that's pretty much my deal.
Mac Mini G4 1.33 Ghz:40GBhf, 512MBRAM, 32MBVRAM
MBP 15.4' 2.33Ghz:160GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
iMac 24' 2.4 Ghz, 300GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
80GB iPod Classic (black)
     
SierraDragon
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Oct 28, 2006, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by HazelGirl View Post
...I will always have two machines...for me, I have a since of sicurity if I do so...
Backup is essential, IMO best done with external hard drives, and with CDs/DVDs in remote locations. If you really need the sense of security of two machines the desktop in your description sounds like the machine to have as really low end; your Mini should suffice.

Personally I consider backup and off site archiving as what provides real security. A second computer is mostly a PITA.

-Allen Wicks
     
HazelGirl  (op)
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Oct 28, 2006, 05:00 PM
 
Perhaps you are right.....are extenal hds less likely to suffer hd failure? I'm just wondering.

Edited: I just realized that not only woudl having two machines be good for backup in general, but particularly if someone were to steal my mbp or if the mbp were to die on me and I need another machine....I actually forgot about that. Saving the info is one thing but also being able ot use another machine in the meantime woudl also be important.
( Last edited by HazelGirl; Oct 28, 2006 at 05:07 PM. Reason: just remembered something)
Mac Mini G4 1.33 Ghz:40GBhf, 512MBRAM, 32MBVRAM
MBP 15.4' 2.33Ghz:160GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
iMac 24' 2.4 Ghz, 300GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
80GB iPod Classic (black)
     
MattJeff
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Oct 28, 2006, 05:50 PM
 
i say deck out a MBP all out and then get 2x 250 external drives and mirror em. put apps on your MBP and save to the external, its backed up and you can just plug it into another comp later. i love to work in coffee shops and out in a boat floating in puget sound.
     
Tuoder
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Oct 28, 2006, 06:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by HazelGirl View Post
Perhaps you are right.....are extenal hds less likely to suffer hd failure? I'm just wondering.

Edited: I just realized that not only woudl having two machines be good for backup in general, but particularly if someone were to steal my mbp or if the mbp were to die on me and I need another machine....I actually forgot about that. Saving the info is one thing but also being able ot use another machine in the meantime woudl also be important.
External drives are no less likely to fail. It is just the idea that two drives would have to fail simultaneously for you to actually lose any data. In the case of laptops however, I would say that it is more likely for the HDD to fail, just because of the possibility of physical damage.
     
eatinwokout
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Oct 28, 2006, 08:28 PM
 
I have two machines to play with. A 1.66 Core Duo Mini and a 15" 2.16 MBP. Both are maxed out as far as RAM is concerned. I used to make it a daily habit of syncing the two machines so that any work I do on one can be continued on the second. I've since forgone that whole tedious routine leaving my Mini to do media related tasks and the MBP for work.

I think maxing out a notebook would be more worthwhile as opposed to maxing out a desktop. That will probably all change once I manage to go the Pro route.
     
Cottonsworth
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Oct 29, 2006, 12:01 AM
 
It really depends on your needs. If you are into heavy video or photo editing, it might be better to get a maxed out desktop since you can go over 3gigs of ram and upgrade your video card whenever you feel that you need it. Since I don't need that much horsepower, I elected to get the fastest PowerBook at the time when I made my switch to Mac. Since I used it mostly in the library, portability and being able to recreate a somewhat desktop environment by having a big screen (17") was the most important factor to me. I would go with that and also have a backup notebook (I've had mine stolen before and my current MacBook is being repaired by Apple).
     
HazelGirl  (op)
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Oct 29, 2006, 02:16 AM
 
is there an independent insurance company that will accoutn for stolen or accidentally damaged laptops? Obviously AppleCare doesn't cover any of that, but I am just curious if anyone has found a third party company that does.
Mac Mini G4 1.33 Ghz:40GBhf, 512MBRAM, 32MBVRAM
MBP 15.4' 2.33Ghz:160GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
iMac 24' 2.4 Ghz, 300GBhd, 2GBRAM, 256MBVRAM
80GB iPod Classic (black)
     
lookmark
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Oct 29, 2006, 02:47 AM
 
I use Safeware, myself.
     
   
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