Graphics Cards on Macs
I am currently in the market for a new mac as I am finally getting around to replacing my 2007 Black Macbook. I have upgraded it just about as much as I can (6GB RAM, SSD, External screen etc.) but its terrible lack of a graphics card, the Intel GMA 950, is killing me. The thing freaks out every time I play HD video, youtube, open iPhoto or iMovie or try to load several webpages. Don't get me wrong, it multitasks fine do to the 6GB of RAM, but compared to my Dad's (I am 16) iMac (latest model) or my Mom's Macbook Pro (latest as well) it just doesn't perform as I know a Mac should.
I work part time for several local business designing websites, doing their IT and graphics design (not that advanced). The Mac hold up fine through most of that (I use Rapidweaver and Acorn), but if I want to do something more it really slows down. One other thing that bugs me is that I can't play a single game. I really would like to play some Skyrim on my own computer (currently I use a pretty outdated iMac, but that's another story) and have it run well. Apparently, Skyrim isn't that demanding because I got it to run on a 2007 iMac, but it simply doesn't have the same feel as on the current iMac.
So back to the point of this post. I want a new computer that can do all the stuff I currently do (that shouldn't be hard), but perform better when it comes to video, animations and most importantly SKYRIM. I believe that the key to this is a finding a Mac with a decent or just better (I am pretty sure any current Mac's would be night and day different) graphics card. Here is my first question. How would the Intel HD3000 stand up to the Radeon HD 2600 Pro? I know this is the low end of the spectrum, but if it is better the MacBook Air and 13in MacBook Pro (I would wait for the next Model) definitely have a chance, if not please proceed to question two.
Does this external thunderbolt graphics card system have any viability? http://www.pcper.com/news/Graphics-Cards/CES-2012-MSI-GUS-II-External-Thunderbolt-Graphics-Upgrade-System
If so this would enable me to save money (pretty important to a 16 year old kid) for other stuff. If not, things just got a-lot more expensive.
Lastly, would it be best for me to go with an iMac (more power and less money) or a MacBook (less power more money)?
Thanks for you time friends.