13" rMBP + Thunderbolt Display OR 12" rMB + r iMac ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sdewart, May 1, 2015.

  1. sdewart macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2015
    Hi All, long-time lurker, first-time poster. I have a first-world dilemma. I currently have a 13" MBA that I am giving to someone; I also have a Thunderbolt Display. I've narrowed my options to as follows:

    - Keep Display and buy a 13" Retina MacBook Pro
    - Sell Display and buy 12" Retina MacBook and Retina iMac

    Money is less an issue than utility. I have grown to like plugging in my Air and not fussing with another computer. I also love the 12" MB - except it's not compatible with the Tb Display! I do store stuff in the cloud (Google Drive) so files would sync in the 2nd scenario, but it's obviously more expensive and 2x the stuff to deal with.

    Thanks in advance for thought!
  2. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    It depends: (a) where do you do the most work and need the most computing & graphics power and (b) how important is "ultimate" portability and lightness?

    Option 2 is OK if you do all the heavy work at the desk - including things like gaming and video editing - and mostly want the laptop for email, web and WP. However, the MacBook sacrifices a lot of power and connectivity for the sake of size and weight.

    Option 1 would be better if you want to do significant work away from home. gives you decent power on the road and on the desk: the 13" rMBP is going to thrash the MacBook hollow. It's not, however, going to compare performance-wise with the Retina iMac, especially on things like games and video editing. The TB display is still a very nice display but won't have the crispness of the retina iMac.

    Personally, I'd choose another option: get Retina iMac and the keep the Air. You can plug your TB Display into the iMac and use it as a second (albeit not-quite-retina) screen....
  4. LittleLuth macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2014
    If money is not a big issue then keep the display, and get a new MacBook as well as a retina iMac. You only go 'round this rock once - I got all of the above because I like them. I don't really give a tinker's dang if it is "optimal" or not. I use my retina iMac for photos and as a main hub for family computing. I use my new rMB as my travel machine. I also have an Air, a rMBP 15 and my wife has a rMBP 13. All are awesome. If you really want the most for your money I can confirm that is in fact the rMBP 13". But get what you want!
  5. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I would prefer the MacBook + retina iMac combination because I like to travel light and have a lot of power and a great screen when at my desktop. But that won't be the same for everyone. The question cannot be properly answered without more information about intended use.
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    It won't drive a Thunderbolt display - you can connect a DisplayPort display to a computer's Thunderbolt port, but you can't connect a Thunderbolt display to a DisplayPort output.

    It also won't let you charge the MacBook while it is connected to a display - only having one port is a huge limitation of the MacBook at the moment. When USB-C displays and docks start to appear things bight get better.

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