15" MBP vs. 27" iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tannerman917, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Tannerman917 macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2012
    Hi all,

    I was looking on the Refurb Mac Store, and I got to comparing specs between the 2.9 GHziMac and the 2.3 GHz MBP. I am a HUGE fan of screen real estate (see what I did there?:D), but the iMac would be overkill. I have a Windows laptop that works for Word docs and internet browsing, but it's useless for Handbrake, gaming on any type on any nice settings, and running virtual machines. I'd like a Mac, but I can't decide if I want to go portable with a base 13" MBA and an inexpensive Windows gaming machine, meet in the middle with a MBP, or go for an iMac that would last me through college (I'm about to be 16, and I'm not the type to buy new computers often) and use my Windows laptop + cloud storage for the occasional time when I need to bring my computer with me. Of course, if I can get my 12" PowerBook working (check my other thread), then there's my portable word processor complete w/ SWEET keyboard taken care of. Thanks in advance for all the advice!
  2. KylePowers, Apr 22, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013

    KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Get an MBA for your on-the-go computing needs, especially if you'll be going to college soon. i5 will be fine, SSD size is up to you, but up it to 8GB if you can (never know what your future needs may entail). You can typically find pretty good deals on them and the portability is phenomenal. I'm an electrical engineering student and I can essentially do anything on my 13in MBA that I can do on my 27in iMac (granted, my iMac has 2 extra cores, 8GB extra RAM, and much, much more storage)

    Then for gaming, just build a custom rig. You don't have to get the best components right now, but just make sure they're compatible with future offerings (Haswell CPUs for example, and whichever the RAM standard that will go with them). Then as your gaming needs progress, and/or you come across more money, you can simply upgrade it with ease. Gaming with Macs is definitely doable (more so on an iMac or Mac Pro than a MacBook of any kid), but if you're an avid gamer in the slightest, may as well go the custom PC route.

    For dealing with files/documents/etc across the two of them, I'm a big fan of Dropbox... but I've managed to get my allotted space up to 25GB which is plenty for me. But it's not hard to setup a NAS that can be accessed from both a Mac and a PC.
  3. macalec macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2012
    I would say get the iMac. I am a big fan and use it as my primary system, and then I have a Macbook air for going to class with. This is a great combination.
  4. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    I DO NOT recommend getting the iMac at 16 and expecting it to last you through college. 7 years is a long time and you will not be wanting a desktop that is that out-dated.

    I would go for the MBA and gaming PC.

    I currently have a 2012 base 13" MBA and it can handle everything I do fine. There is nothing that is solely available for Mac that the base 13" cannot handle (Unless of course you are doing something ridiculously advanced/unnecessary). The plus side of that option is, as you said, you can also get a gaming desktop which will be very powerful (Heck of a lot more than the iMac would be I am assuming).
  5. Tannerman917 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2012
    I would probably get the base 13", but it'd be a while before I get a good gaming rig. Preferably, I'd want to get an unlocked i5, a Superclocked GTX 660, and a nice Asus Sabertooth board. Find a deal on a Velociraptor HDD and a 29" 21:9 Dell monitor, and I'd be made!


    Thanks for the input, guys, and if you have any knowledge about PPCs, then I would greatly appreciate you heading on over to my PowerBook thread so it may live again! MUAHAHAHAHAA!!! *lightning* *thunder* *awkward eek*

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