Last Mac on Education Discount, iMac or rMBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Philz, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    I'm stuck in the middle between the two machines. I already have a Macbook Air 11" (previous gen) that I really do like, but the screen size is just a hair to small for me to do any real work on it. So it's going no matter which machine I switch too...

    iMac 27":
    • 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    • 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB (I'll upgrade to 16 or 32GB after from OWC/Newegg)
    • 3TB Fusion Drive
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
    • AppleCare
    • Total: $2,693


    Retina Macbook Pro 15":
    • 2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
    • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    • 512GB Flash Storage
    • Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
    • Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adaptor
    • MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter
    • Applecare
    • Total: $2,905

    So that's the choices... I already have a Hack Mac Pro (had to, for the performance I wanted, used to have a 27" iMac and loved it but I got it right before Thunderbolt and that really, really, ticked me off...), it geekbenches at ~15,000-17,500 depending on it's mood. No matter what it'll end up being the gaming machine for that random 1-3 days a month I play games...

    As for what I do:
    • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
    • "Hobbyist" Final Cut Suite
    • Browsing the intertubes...
    • Games (ocasionaly, and not top priority with other box)
    • Travel (a lot)
    • Will have a work issued laptop (Boeing, so it's not going to be a mac… :( )
    • Like the idea of one computer to run them all..!

    Now for the real kicker, I already have TWO NEC 2490 WUXI2's LUT calibratable monitors on ergotron mounts on my desk. Not sure what to do with them if I get either option (other than keep at least one if I get the laptop for the desktop).

    Any thoughts on what I should do? Again I'll have a work issued laptop but if I can finagle using my own that would be awesome–I will be working from home in Puget sound area as it's a travel heavy job too–

    The iMac sounds like a great choice, but won't have the Macbook Air anymore for when I travel. The rMBP sounds perfect for a do everything, check all the boxes, but it's larger, heavier, and more worrisome when traveling. The 13" rMBP + 27" iMac would be a wonderful combination... Just to pricey at this point. Should I go 27" and just eventually get another Apple Portable? My iPad mini is NOT a replacement for what I do...

    Any thoughts appreciated......!!!!!
  2. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    Since the MBA will be gone, go with the Retina Macbook Pro 15". You say you will be traveling with it so it becomes the obvious choice. You will not want to carry around an iMac. You have two other monitors to use with the rMBP. The pro will also work fine for everything you like to do.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Wouldn't it be silly to use the monitors with the rMBP? Defeats the point of having the retina screen... Somewhat.

    Though you would still just get the rMBP now and forgo a iMac (now) + 13" rMBP (late fall)?

    I think performance wise both will be fine for what I do, I'm still leaning towards rMBP as just makes some more logical sense. Some... I just love the iMacs though!
  4. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    I was taking the monitors into consideration as extra real estate for when you are running Adobe. I have the 27" iMac for my web & graphic design and it is great to have a large screen. Having the rMBP and the monitors would give you the best of both worlds. Plus the travel convenience. As much as I would love to take my iMac with me on my travels, that is not realistic. That is why I am currently selling my iPad and am searching for a MBP or MBA myself. Yes you could go for the 27", but what kind of laptop from work will you have and will you be happy using it?
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Yeah one thing I LOVE now since getting the MBA is fullscreen apps/workspaces. I can't do that at ALL when you run multiple monitors and is my #1 gripe with my hackintosh + 2 NEC's I mean they are amazing monitors but... Why the heck did I buy 2 I sometimes say to myself (Can't complain, at NEC direct refurb prices they were only $280 each!). I've never fully been able to use multiple monitors in Adobe. Palletes on one screen never really feels smooth, when everything is on the other. Most I do is use 1 as a secondary screen, things, twitter, mail, tutorial. Only dual-screen setup I enjoy is Aperture and Lightroom.

    How do you like your 27"?

    Laptop from work I know should at least run Catia (from what fellow people there tell me) so being an advanced CAD program can't be that bad. I'll know more tomorrow, my hope is I can do 80% on my "personal" mac and 20% proprietary on the laptop.
  6. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    My 27" i7 3.4 680MX 24 GB RAM 1TB Fusion is a dream machine for my design work. I have the iPad 4 with Retina and I can barely tell the difference with my 27 screen. The resolution on the 27 is pretty good. Quick, well let,s say it opens Premiere Pro in half the time my 2011 27 did. Rendering is a lot quicker with the fusion drive.

    I will tell you though, once you use a 27 for awhile it spoils you. I have a 2007 20" iMac and have a hard time using it, so I gave that to the family to use. And my G4 iBook went to my son. Like I said, I'm now spoiled.

    Ultimately in the end you have to make the final decision. I am sure that either way you go, you will not be disappointed.
  7. Philz, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    New Development... MBA dosen't have to go– it's hanging around (unless i sell it, but that's not part of the critical equation for either anymore...) So... iMac is looking better... hmmm.... Screen issues existed before when I had my 2010 27", but as long as it's not super bad I think I might got that route. Still MBP would be nice... Just don't they get "older" faster?

  8. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    iMac all the way. Just get fusion drive 1TB or 3TB. Upgrade RAM aftermarket. Apple to expensive for their RAM. Screen is now mounted to the glass which reduces glare. Glare was never an issue for me as I prefer a dark room to work in. I have read about some screen issues such as back-light bleed and yellow tints, but for every one I hear about, there are twenty that say no issue. To bad you don't know anybody who owns one so you could see it in action.

    "Just don't they get "older" faster?"

    Not sure. Their pretty close in spec to the iMac and seem to hold their value. For you and I maybe quicker? But that would be due to the type of work we each do. For every day user, they should last pretty long.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2008
    Pretty easy to swing the educational discount.

    Its valid for parents or students, and I've had it applied in store with just showing a .edu email pertaining to class material. Just depends on how much the person wants to sell.

    It doesn't have to be your last one.
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Best piece of advice yet. I'll wait, no real reason now (other than edu discount and a hackintosh). If Retina update in Aug-Oct isn't good enough, I'll wait for new 27" around the holidays. Simple (KISS).

    Thanks Utekineir!
  11. macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Also, you can just show your Student ID too.

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