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mailly
14th September 2013, 09:03 PM
I'd like some advise on setting up my home office...

I have a 2013 Macbook pro retina 15" that i use for all work from home. General communications but also CS6 and various Autodesk programs.

My question is, should i buy a thunderbolt display to expand my working area or buy an imac?

The macbook has HDMI, should i take advantage of this and buy a cheaper LED-HDMI display?

Im just not sure what is the best way.

Is anybody else doing this that can advise?

Thanks, Tommy.

rx8pilot
16th September 2013, 01:14 PM
I'd like some advise on setting up my home office...

I have a 2013 Macbook pro retina 15" that i use for all work from home. General communications but also CS6 and various Autodesk programs.

My question is, should i buy a thunderbolt display to expand my working area or buy an imac?

The macbook has HDMI, should i take advantage of this and buy a cheaper LED-HDMI display?

Im just not sure what is the best way.

Is anybody else doing this that can advise?

Thanks, Tommy.

My two cents worth,

I also have a 2013 rMBP and had an (oldish) Dell 24" 1080P monitor. So I used a HDMI-DVI cable to connect the monitor, and I have a USB 3.0 hub for my external drive and Time Machine Backup, a USB 2.0 hub for other devices like tablets, phones & thumb drives, and lastly a Thunderbolt-Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

(OS X was having problems with USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 devices on the same hub - I kept losing high speed connections, so I went with the two hubs)

So it's cable spaghetti, but it's cheap :)

The only parts I bought were the USB 3.0 hub and Thunderbolt-Gigabit Ethernet adapter (I already had the others). Whilst the Thunderbolt display is a very nice piece of equipment, the $1300 outlay was too much for me to justify as I just made a significant investment with the laptop itself.

You also have the Thunderbolt dock options from Belkin and Matrox, but at $350+ (without a monitor) I still feel it's a lot of money to spend for the convenience of less cables to plug in...

glacierdave
16th September 2013, 03:55 PM
Only you can decide if you NEED an external monitor on your laptop, but if you're going to be messing around with CS6/Autodesk type activities then you'll probably feel the benefit of the extra screen real estate.

The choice between getting an iMac or an external display depends on other things.

First, do you need capabilities in a computer that a MacBook Pro doesn't give you? If you're going to be (regularly) doing things that would benefit from greater RAM and more internal storage then perhaps an iMac is the way to go. If your main concern is screen size then I'd be thinking external monitor.

Also think about the peripherals you want to connect.

An Apple Cinema Display is actually a pretty decent solution if you're going to laptop/display because it also acts as a dock and lets you plug most of your stuff into the display instead of the laptop. Disconnect power and unplug Thunderbolt cable and you can leave the rest behind, rather than having to unplug a lot of different stuff to take your laptop with you.

Using two computers, iMac and MacBook Pro, can take some extra thought in how you'll manage data between the two. These days that's getting easier all the time with stuff like iCloud, Google Apps and DropBox but it takes some thought and planning to get it right. Particularly with regards to backups and data integrity across multiple devices.

Personally, I have a MacBook Air for portable use and an iMac for day to day use. I keep email in sync with Google Apps for Business (paid subscription) and calendars and contacts in sync with iCloud. I use DropBox for document/file sync and also use Photostream for distributing (a selection of) my photos.

This sync'ing extends relatively easily to my iPhone and iPad.

David

The_Hawk
17th September 2013, 04:44 PM
I have used both the thunderbolt display as well as a stock Samsung LCD hooked up to my Macs over time.


Based on MSY pricing a 27" monitor is $265 - $625 (a 29" is up to $699). Just be aware that many of the 27" displays out there are only 1920 x 1080 Res vs the 2560 x 1440 res of the thunderbolts display.


The 27" iMac starts at $2k and unless you upspec it to 32GB of RAM other wise I can't seen a huge difference in processing power (at a glance) but technically storage is much cheaper but nothing a USB drive can't fix. As has been said you're also then left juggling data to ensure it's on the machine you are using. (Personally I think this dual setup works best if you have a MBA for travel and a high(er) end machine on the desk for work).


Thunderbolt is very convienient in that you can plug in power + one cable and have everything else (including gigabit ethernet) already plugged in and ready to go. Keybaord + mouse + screen + ethernet will take multiple cables unless you get something like the Belkin thunderbolt dock.
In my case I used a small USB hub + WiFi so only had three things to plug in so it's not like it's really hard work but it can leave a bit of a tangle of cords.


My vote would be for the Thunderbolt display since you can keep using it through the next few MacBook Pro's you buy and is has the added benefit of all those other wonderful extras (like camera and speakers) as well as the usualy USB/ethernet/firewire ports.


Plan B would be the thunderbolt dock from Belkin or Matrox (which is something I am considering for the wife).

mailly
17th September 2013, 08:51 PM
It's refreshing to receive such accurate responses from literate individuals for once.

To think i almost gave up on forums.

Im yet to make a decision however this advice is very useful.

Appreciated.