iMac or MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fenner, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. fenner, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2005
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Hi Guys. I currently have an old Mac Pro (Xeon Dual Core 2.66Ghz) which I want to upgrade. I am toying between two options:

    1. 27" iMac with my old 24" cinema display as a second monitor
    2. 13" MBP (2.9Ghz i7 or the 2.5Ghz Retina i5) with a 27" Thunderbolt display

    I mostly use Photoshop, InDesign, Filemaker Pro and the usual email, etc. No games and minimal video editing (occassionally as a hobby). I don't really need the portability - but would be a nice extra. I must have two screens, but 2nd screen need not be large - I largely use the 2nd screen for app panels. I am tending towards the MBP with Thunderbolt Display. My current, dated computer c. 2007, seems fine speed wise so I am sure both above options will be leaps ahead anyway.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. If MBP should I go with the non-retina version - I don't want my 2nd screen to look better than my primary screen and I wouldn't need a CD drive on my desk too then.

    Or what about the top MB Air instead of MBP - slower processor, but flash storage?

    Thanks, Peter
  2. macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    I would say your 1st two choices of iMac or MBPR make sense. While I would love to recommend the MBA I think your usage could put strain on it.

    The iMac i7 is comparably fast to the MBPR 15" i7, so it's not really a speed issue but rather portability. IMO I would go with the MBPR 15" because you get the same power as the iMac but you also get portability.

    But again I love the new iMac. I used to have the 2011 iMac and sold it just because I never used it and found myself using my Air. Do you find sitting down to do a lot of your work or do you use your computer on the go?
  3. macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2011
    If you're never going to use the portability - I'd get the iMac. Having 27" + 24" screens should be nice...

    If you're planning carrying it around a lot (e.g. on flights or trains) and it is powerful enough for you, I'd get the 13" Air - which is much thinner and lighter and has a slightly higher screen that the "original" 13" MBP. The Thunderbolt display should address the limited connectivity of the Air. (Or spring for the Retina).

    If your idea of portability is to sling it in the back of the car and "desk hop" then I'd go for the 15" - it is nicer to use 'stand alone' & you can get the discrete graphics.

    If you go the laptop + TBD route I'd recommend getting a full-sized wired keyboard, a mouse or magic touchpad and something like a Griffin Elevator stand: makes it just like using a 27" desktop - but when you want to move you just unplug and go.

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