Buying a desktop?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    Hi guys,
    I've had my MacBook for almost 3 years, but I'm thinking of buying a desktop because looking at a 13 inch monitor (my MacBook) makes me tired whenever I have to study/work for many hours.

    So, should I just get a desktop or a monitor and a new laptop (because it's getting old... when's the right time to replace it?) Also, how do you transfer/sync your data between a laptop and a desktop when you have both?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Muscmasmat

    Posts: 124

    May 27, 2010 8:19 PM GMT
    I have PC's not MAC's so not sure my comments will be appropriate for you if you want to stay with Apple.

    I have an old high end Dell desktop running XP that is now 7 years old. Last summer, I bought a Dell laptop Media XPS 16, thinking that my Dell desktop would die soon.

    I decided I needed a larger screen for my laptop, to work with at home, so I purchased a Dell 24" HD monitor and a wireless keyboard - about $260 for both. But it turns out I hooked up the monitor and use the keyboard with the desktop, replacing the dated wired keyboard and digital monitor. It is like I have a new desktop computer. I love the 24" monitor and the wireless keyboard. And my XP system still does all I need it to do.

    So I would check out Apple to see if you could get a large monitor and a wireless keyboard that would work with your laptop when you are at home. If the laptop does what you need it to do, this might be a lower cost solution (depending on Apple's cost for the monitor and keyboard).

    If you decide to get a desktop, definitely get a large monitor and go for the wireless keyboard. Desktop prices for PC's are excellent right now. I don't know about Apple though.

    As for sinking the two, I am not aware of a tool to sink between my XP and Vista systems automatially, so I just keep track of any changes I make and transfer using a USB device. Not too difficult. I wouldn't be surprised though that Apple might have some tool to do that, if you get a new Apple desktop.

    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 1:40 AM GMT
    Muscmasmat has quite a few good points. The display, keyboard, and mouse are the way in which one interacts with a computer and simply upgrading these components will make you feel as if you have a new computer.


    What are the specs on your MacBook? Sounds like the MacBook would make for a great portable computer to complement a new desktop. As for getting a desktop Mac, now really isn't the time unless you're desperate for more screen realestate or more power. Check here for why: http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

    If you don't do any CPU intensive tasks a new 7200rpm harddrive will make the computer feel much quicker. Also, throwing in some more ram will not hurt, you should be running 2GB with OSX.

    As for syncing data back and forth, do you have MobileMe? That will keep your contacts, bookmarks, calendars, and various other personal settings synchronized between the laptop and desktop. Also, if you have MobileMe you can remotely access the desktop and even remotely control it as if you were sitting in front of it. Of course this can also be done with 3rd party software. As for storing your documents, you may want to keep everything on a central server in your house that you can access from both the internal network and from outside the network? There are various solutions for this. What is your skill level with computers and what are your needs regarding data synchronization?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 2:38 AM GMT
    Most people don't need a desktop. A laptop + large external monitor + wireless keyboard is all you need. I don't know about the new Macbooks, but most of the new mid-range and high-end Windows laptops have an HDMI port. So if you have a modern HDTV set with an HDMI input, then there's your monitor right there. icon_biggrin.gif

    As for syncing files.. you can buy a NAS (network attached storage) device. Basically, it's an external hard drive that is accessible to all computers on your network. Or you can always transfer files directly from laptop to desktop over the network.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 5:50 AM GMT
    Thanks for comments guys! I guess I should just get a monitor for my laptop, that way I can save a little money and still enjoy the portability of my laptop and a big screen monitor. Apple does have a monitor sold separately, but I'm thinking of getting one from HP, which is similar to Apple's and much cheaper. ;)

    I didn't know about the NAS, so I'll go check it out too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 9:10 AM GMT
    I would invest in a nice Macbook, buy a monitor for it, and call it a day. Of course, it will run you around $3000 for a mid-range Mac+monitor, but you only live once.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 9:30 AM GMT
    I agree,

    A nice wireless keyboard, decent screen and hide the actual pc away in a press and you'll be laughing
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 9:42 AM GMT
    You probably have the same computer that I have. Honestly you don't need a new computer unless you are doing some heavy graphic work. Any computer will make you tired if it has a backlit display, they just naturally make your eyes tired thus your tired. Dell has a nice 24" monitor that shows up on passwird.com from time to time and it is usually a good price. Get that, a mini DVI to VGA adapter $20 or so at apple.com and a new apple wireless keyboard and mouse and you will be plenty set. They only issue may be, if you did not upgrade the OS on the machine, you can not operate it in clamshell (closed) mode. If you wanna close the machine and hide it away, you will need to upgrade to 10.6 icon_biggrin.gif

    ENJOY
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 9:53 AM GMT
    FORGOT!!.....IF you decide to get a new mac....get a firewire cable. This will allow you to transfer your entire hard-drive to the new machine. Hook the two together, Power up the new one regularly, then while holding the 'T' key boot up the second one. This will put the machine in target disk mode (essentially a expensive hard drive) and a firewire symbol will begin to move around on the screen. Transfer the data that you want the there you go. Hold down the power button when done and all is good. You can then set up the older mac as your "time machine" the new one will make a copy of it self every hour or whatever you set it to. The initial backup will take a while...after that only a few mins. Get a Dual band router or have it do it when you are sleeping bc your wireless will basically become useless..lol

    Sorry for the info overload! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2010 8:41 PM GMT
    Zoom12010 saidFORGOT!!.....IF you decide to get a new mac....get a firewire cable. This will allow you to transfer your entire hard-drive to the new machine. Hook the two together, Power up the new one regularly, then while holding the 'T' key boot up the second one. This will put the machine in target disk mode (essentially a expensive hard drive) and a firewire symbol will begin to move around on the screen. Transfer the data that you want the there you go. Hold down the power button when done and all is good. You can then set up the older mac as your "time machine" the new one will make a copy of it self every hour or whatever you set it to. The initial backup will take a while...after that only a few mins. Get a Dual band router or have it do it when you are sleeping bc your wireless will basically become useless..lol

    Sorry for the info overload! icon_biggrin.gif


    that was really good to know, thanks!
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    May 29, 2010 9:39 AM GMT
    I have an iMac and I don't regret the choice one bit. I got it in 2006 when my college PC finally croaked, and the iMac still runs like it's new.