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Buy a desktop or a laptop?

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Gizmos' started by wishonastar, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. wishonastar
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    wishonastar Imagineer

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    My desktop is on the way out :( but I cant decide whether to buy an imac to replace it or a laptop.

    Some days I think Id be better with a laptop so I could move around with it but other times I worry that the screen is too small
     
  2. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    I don't know how big the screen is on your desk top but they make some laptops today that have HUGE screens. My DW had to buy a special case just to wheel her laptop around.
     
  3. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    I've got a Macbook Pro with a 17" screen on it and I love it. I watch movies on it, everything.

    As I tell everyone, you can have my Macbook Pro when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the keyboard.

    Yeah, I'm a fan. :embarassed2:

    Tom :)macwave:... gonna upgrade one of these days!)
     
  4. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    I'd go for the laptop. As mentioned above, some of the screens for the laptops now-a-days are huge!
     
  5. JStrickPhoto
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    JStrickPhoto Imagineer

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    The only reason I would recommend desktop is if you:

    * are a photographer
    * do video work

    If you are a photographer, you would PROBABLY be OK with the latest laptop, be it Mac Pro or Win 7 machine. But, if you constantly shoot a lot and need the power to post-process images via Photoshop CS5, a desktop typically has more memory capacity and storage capacity. Yes, you can connect external disks for storage but you cannot install more memory, in all cases.

    A Mac Pro desktop can easily accommodate up to 32GB ram with 12 cores of processor power! A laptop cannot presently offer that much.

    That being said, a laptop with an SSD (solid-state drive) would be phenomenal. No drive seek latency and lower power consumption with moving parts... These laptops have exceptional battery live and drive access is lightning fast!

    Also, if you make your own DVDs from home video or for other reasons, you truly will want the horsepower that only come from a desktop computer. Rendering video can take several hours, if you've never done this before.

    It took me a summer a few years ago to transfer all my Hi8 and MiniDV home videos to DVD!

    Just a few things to consider...

    Jamie
     
  6. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    id go with what jamie said above. desktops have huge hard drives for storage od photos and you need a lot of that for videos if your into editing

    laptops for this reason and what jamie said cant handle large amounts of ram and remember you need a 64bit operating system to use more than 4gb. ive got both but i always do video editing on my desktop.

    if none of the above is what its going to be used for then it really depends if you want to be mobile with your computing. remember even on a 17" laptop screen can still hurt your eyes if used hours on end and all the time whereas a big screen on a desktop wouldnt, it doesnt me anyway
     
  7. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Neither my Macbook Pro laptop (17") nor my work Windows laptop (15") hurts my eyes. And they both get used about 10 hours a day or more.

    Tom :)macwave:... tough eyes!)
     
  8. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    it really depends on your eyesight tom doesnt it
     
  9. JStrickPhoto
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    JStrickPhoto Imagineer

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    I have a pair of 21" LCD widescreen displays on my Mac G5. That seems to be pretty optimal for my eyes. I'm hoping to upgrade soon to a new dual quad-core Mac Pro desktop. Probably upgrade to 24" displays at the same time.

    Mainly upgrading as I cannot run the latest Photoshop CS5/Adobe CameraRaw on the PowerPC chipset.

    I bought a nice HP laptop for my wife for her birthday a couple years ago. a 17" widescreen display is about as small as I'd want to go - just to be able to drill into pixel-by-pixel while editing photos. The 15" displays in widescreen format are really small!
     
  10. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    Mick, removable hard drives will plug into a laptop just as easily as a desk top. And these days they have 1 Terrabyte drives that are not much bigger, if that, than a deck of cards.
     
  11. JStrickPhoto
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    JStrickPhoto Imagineer

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    If performance or throughput is an issue though, be careful what you pick out for external drives. USB stinks for data transfer. FireWire 400 is OK. FireWire 800 is better. Best though, eSata. Some of the newer laptops/desktops have an external eSata port.

    Rather than spending money on external drives, where you pay extra for a fancy enclosure and power supply, I bought a drive dock:

    NewerTech Voyager Q- Quad Interface SATA 2.... (FWU2ES2HDK) at OWC

    This allows you to buy standard eSata internal disks for external use. A 1TB internal drive is a fraction of the cost of a decent 1TB external drive. And, you don't need the fancy power supply or case. I bought the drive dock and 2 x 1TB eSata drives for under $200 after Christmas to add to my redundant backup arsenal (I shoot about 300-400GB per year digitally).

    The nice thing with this particular dock is it supports USB2.0/FW400/FW800 and eSata. So, I bought an eSata card for my desktop to ensure fastest possible data transfer speeds.

    Jamie
     
  12. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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  13. JStrickPhoto
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    JStrickPhoto Imagineer

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    Do share, Tom. Curious to see what other docks are out there.
     
  14. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Actually, mine is more like a hot swappable external enclosure. Slide out tray that holds the drive. Don't know who made it. The label is long since gone. Similar to this.

    Tom :)macwave:... on a clear disk, you can seek forever!)
     
  15. JStrickPhoto
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    JStrickPhoto Imagineer

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    Oh sure - kinda like a raid enclosure that's just not in raid configuration.
     
  16. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    OK Tom and Jamie, my desktop went belly up several weeks ago. I think it is as simple as getting a new power pack but if I were to buy one of these could I take the hard drive out of my desk top and plug it into this and get it to work?

    Oh and what does one of these eSata slots look like on the laptop?
     
  17. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    I would personally go with the higher end mac laptops. I do graphics (for this forum and for my own website) and I can cope with the 13" screen on my macbook. My iMac was a 24" one and was perfect but this just gets me by with this screen size, I do wish I'd got a 17" mac book pro now.

    If you just do the odd bit of photo editing or video processing, then a white macbook would be ideal :yes: Remember if you are a lecturer, student or work in education you get a pretty hefty discount, often meaning you can get the higher-end laptops for not a lot more than the lower end ones :yes:
     
  18. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Thats really interesting! So if you did it again, you'd trade a larger screen against portability?

    It's something I've often pondered myself. 15"ish always seems like a good compromise but then I see a 17" screen and think wow
     
  19. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    In all honesty I don't think the difference between 15" and 17" would be enough for me to notice the difference in portability :shrug: I forgot they did a 15" version though so would probably go with that for affordability reasons :yes:
     
  20. JStrickPhoto
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    JStrickPhoto Imagineer

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    Looks like this:
    [​IMG]
     

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