Macbook Pro or iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AUDIOZOMBIE, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2011
    Hi there, I'm in need of some help. I've been going back and fourth on what to purchase and I need some clear answers. I am hopeful that you could provide me with some assistance. (Prices below include the Education discount that I am eligible for)

    I am either looking to buy a new non-retina Macbook Pro (I haven't decided between a high end 13-inch: 2.9GHz $1,399.00 or base 15-inch: 2.3GHz $1,699.00)


    a new iMac 27-inch: 2.9GHz $1,699.00

    I will be using it strictly for audio production which includes mainly music creation with Logic Pro and other like software. I also plan on getting Traktor S4(I tried connecting it to my windows pc and it just wouldn't work :eek:. It would hang and it was pretty frustrating:mad:-at that time I had no problems running it on the 2011 base macbook pro 13":cool:) but will only be using this at home. I may also try out some radio production/imaging with adobe audition since windows machines (xp) is all I use at work(radio station). I'd like to develop my talent further and expand on the software I use. For what it's worth, I will also be building a new windows desktop which will be more or less what I use all the time for radio production.

    In my past on a windows desktop and a previous base 2011 macbook pro 13", I have worked lightly with photoshop and illustrator to create some pretty simple logos. I have also created a few slideshows, short home video clips but nothing really intensive at all.

    I like the idea of having a decent graphics card in both the macbook pro 15" and iMac 27". If I need it, it's there. I also like the fact that the 15" has a slightly larger screen than the 13" although I think I would be connecting whichever laptop to a larger screen, perhaps dual monitor at home.

    Cost at this point isn't really an issue since this is a Christmas gift from the folks and girlfriend. However, I would like to keep the costs to a minimum and not go all out balls out with the purchase. I'm definitely looking to keep this under $2000.00 Canadian.

    At the moment I am not interested in a mac mini and would honestly rather the macbook pro series if it was between 2. However, if you see this serving me better than the others, can you explain why? I don't like the idea of not having a monitor of any sort although it is a minor concern.

    I prefer an optical drive(since we still use cd's at work) but it's not a big deal since externals are available. I also like the idea of firewire ports(not sure if I will be purchasing a usb or firewire audio interface yet), usb 3.0, thunderbolt and all the other goodies. I like options. Not overly concerned with portability but the idea of going to a coffee shop to work on some music is pretty cool.

    I have read non stop about the 27" iMac and the potential issues they could face with screen issues and overall just failing since it's an all in one and they have just been released. I have also been hesitant to pull the trigger on a macbook pro because they may be updated within the next 6 months. I'm fully aware that something better will always be coming out, but this time, I'd like to commit myself to this purchase and not sell and upgrade every time something new comes out. I would like it to last me at least 4/5 years before I consider a change.

    I've read different things on what some producers have been able to get away with on some pretty basic machines in terms of plugins/vst etc... I'd like place myself in a good position to not have to deal with any potential issues like freezing, slow downs, more ram etc.

    Although I am somewhat familiar with the music production side of things(the basics) this will be my first real venture into the world of music production.

    By the way, I'm not interested in retina because I have heard that there have been some slight issues when dealing with audio and slowdowns. Aside from that, not really being upgradable is a turn off.

    I think that's pretty much it. If you have any other questions, please ask and I'll do my best to help you help me? :)

    Seriously though, thanks and I'm really looking forward to your advice.

  2. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I think....

    a byword can be useful there: Ports

    The Macbook Pro have 2 USB 3.0 ports and a FireWire 800. On the other hand the iMac have 4 USB 3.0 ports and 2 Thunderbolt ports. Also the iMac can drive two monitors, handy with working with too many menus an palettes. The RAM also can be upgraded aftermarket, that can be handy when working with audio files too big.

    Me being in your situation will do a throughfully check about ports/connectivity before commiting to any buying. I know audio people are fond/happy with any thing they can connect in a computer and let them get a good result

  3. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 10, 2006
    Lol 13" MBP vs 27" iMac? Even the 15" won't have near the screen resolution and obviously the real estate of the 27" hands down. Not to mention the iMacs were just updated.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2010
    If you are considering both then portability is obviously not an issue, in which case it's a no brainer, go the iMac. You get more bang for the buck, with a laptop you are paying for the small form factor whereas with the desktop all your cash is going on performance, not least of which is a big ass screen and the ability to max out the ram.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Get the iMac. Though I'm wary since from an engineering standpoint -- how could it not have heat dissipation issues -- this is Apple we're talking about so maybe they pulled it off. Avoid the fusion drive since you would then have two unproven technologies and double the chances of failure.

    One month from the expiration of the factory warranty, buy Applecare.

    To save money, forgo building the Windows machine and install Windows on a partition of your new iMac. Let us know how it turns out.

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