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For a Student with an iPad: iMac 27" or 15" Retina MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Suraj R., Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Suraj R., Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular

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  3. macrumors member

    Personally, I use my rMBP just like a desktop. It rarely leaves my table. So portability is not really an issue for me.

    If you need the portability, you sort of have to get the rMBP. If not, either computer works fine. Maybe get the rMBP now, use your current iMac, and get a newer iMac next year or in 2 years?
  4. macrumors 6502

    Well if the ipad satisfy your needs at school then you don't need a laptop much but do you really need an imac power. rMBP is powerful machine and still can be a desktop-laptop.
  5. macrumors newbie

    You should get de rMBP. You will have portability for editing in college or in another place. In the future. when the TBD upgrade hardware, you can get one.
  6. Suraj R., Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular

  7. Suraj R., Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular

  8. macrumors 65816


    we are on the same boat, except i dont have an iPad lol
  9. macrumors demi-god


    My wife went with an iMac + iPad for her needs but isn't in school, just personal stuff. She doesn't need extreme portability. iPad does a great job when on the go (mainly email, books, and web browsing) and the iMac is great at home.

    I'm too attached to the laptop mentality to give it up but I do have it setup more like a desktop when at home.
  10. macrumors regular

    I would keep the imac you have now and wait for refresh. Because I'm assuming it handles audio recording/ music production relatively well.
    We used to make coffee, smoke, and chat before pro tools would launch. Music production is ram hungry so you might look at upgrading that but audio production has much staler innovation period than computers. You won't see a huge benefit in audio production until thunderbolt interfaces become cheaper. I think avids is still 4-5k. That will be the bottleneck for me anyway.

    Until you can't upgrade your current one anymore, and the software/ peripheral hardware catches up the point is mute for audio hobbyist.
  11. Suraj R., Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular

  12. macrumors regular

    As a student in grad school I can tell you buying a 2200$ computer/laptop is pointless a 600$ 2011 air will do iPhoto/iTunes/pages/safari/ etc well all at the same time. My suggestion on holding out was based on your music production hobby. You are better off if that is a serious hobby with a 1000$ interface, 200$ software, and 1000$ computer than a 2000 $ computer, free software and a 200$ interface.

    I think it kind of depends how serious of a hobby it is. My suggestion on waiting was due to the fact that interfaces haven't made the transition to thunderbolt from FireWire (at least affordably).

    Any current gen Mac would be overkill for just school work.

    Also you can up your ram to 6 according to this:
  13. Suraj R., Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular

  14. macrumors 6502

    Retina dude.

    Retina all the way.

    iMac gives you a quad core processor, 8GB of ram and a 675MX GPU.

    Retina 15 gives you a quad core processor, 8GB of ram and an underrated 650M.

    But only one is mobile and its essentially a 24" monitor and a keyboard mouse combo away from being a desktop.

    Good luck making the iMac mobile. And once you HAVE a MacBook, you end up having reasons to take it places.
  15. macrumors 68020


    I'd do a non-retina 15" only because your upgradeability options are numerous compared to either of your current options (you can upgrade RAM or storage rather than just RAM on the 27" iMac or just storage on the rMBP [and mind you, your storage upgrade options on the rMBP are seriously limited by comparison to the non-retina]).

    That said, you can still pump a substantial amount of life yet into that iMac; it will perform better with 4GB rather than 3GB due to (a) there being an extra GB, and (b) due to it being a matched RAM pairing; plus you can add an SSD to that machine or, if you don't care about your internal ODD, an optibay kit so that you can then, dare I say it, make your own Fusion Drive. Both are things that would prolong the lifespan of your current computer.

    Plus, adding a 15" non-retina (or a retina, for that matter) really would compliment that set-up nicely; you'd have your iPad for most mobility tasks, your MacBook Pro for heavy mobility tasks, and your venerable, yet retrofitted-to-be-more-awesome-than-it-currently-is iMac to stand in as a secondary stationary machine on which you can store a ton of things (as 3.5" hard drives have way larger capacities now than either 2.5" drives or SSDs), and with the magic of a DIY Fusion drive, that iMac will sing like it never has before.

    I'd say give it some thought, you have a nice amount of options.
  16. Suraj R., Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular

  17. macrumors regular

    You can't really go wrong as the machines you have are perfectly capable of what you want them to do.

    Taking a laptop to school only has limited uses.
    For instances at the schools I went to the desk were too small for a laptop plus your books much less your spiral to take notes. The only laptop Iiked taking to college is the 11" air and even that has limit uses in a pharmacy grad school where everything is online.

    Currently I use evernote for notes posted online. Schools typically have proprietary software / apps for file/grade/ homework sharing /taking like Pearsons mylab, blackboard and connect Lucas. But for me the only real reason to take it is word processing at school and looking at slide shows/ notes on the go. Most of your school task especially in highschool you'll want to do at home where things are not so restrictive. Hell my high school had nearly no online content and barely let us take them to class. The only advantage of taking notes electronically is the ability to store/ share them. But without physically writing them down you don't learn them quite as well. It is essential now to have a computer for school but most schools are 10 years behing the tech curve and don't require a portable yet. Honestly holding out for a quad core or needing that much power for your required task is silly. Any computer will last you a while if you take care of it (disregard pcs). For your video editing purposes you may want to use what you have until haswell macs come out.

    I'd be pissed if I spent 2k on a rmbp to last me a few years and the next model comes out in 6 months with twice the power, twice the graphical capabilities, twice the battery life etc. I understand never being able to be in front of the tech curve but at the moment you want something that last and can get by with your current machines until new releases.

    Again though the best reason at the moment for a 2012 machine is USB 3.0. That opens up several options.
  18. Suraj R., Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular

  19. macrumors 6502

    It's gonna be October.

    I think Retina 15" or non-Retina 15". An iMac is about the same power level as the MacBook Pro. It might be marginally better but not enough to justify the loss of mobility. Yeah you don't take your MacBook anywhere, but even moving it to the living room is justified. Remember, your iPad can't do everything.

    I even use Splashtop with my fully upgraded MacBook Pro and some times I still take the MacBook with me to have a keyboard and full access to my library.
  20. macrumors regular

    Well waiting for a haswell mbpr would probably be your best bet. I'd still upgrade / keep the imac. It would certainly make a nice dock.
  21. Suraj R., Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    macrumors regular


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