15" rMBP or 5k Imac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by M1Lance, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. M1Lance macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hey all,

    I have a mid-2011 IMac that I use as my main computer, but it's been having serious graphics issues since I upgraded to Yosemite last year and needs to be replaced. Currently debating between getting the new 27"5K IMac or a 15" rMBP. My main uses are going to be internet browsing (emails, youtube, itunes) some gaming (mainly hearthstone and starcraft 2), and work from home using citrix. The main things I want in my new computer are a high resolution display, flash storage, and a discrete graphics card.

    I can't decide between the top 15" rMBP or the midrange 27" IMac with a 2tb fusion drive (1tb would be enough space for me but just 24gb of flash storage is very unappealing). I have an ipad and an older 13" macbook (upgraded with 8gb of ram and 250gb SSD) that I mostly use for working on the go so I won't really need portability but it would be nice. The pros of going with the Imac are that it would be a little bit cheaper ($140), have a bigger and better screen, and a better processor/graphics. The rMBP's pros are the increased portability around the house(I just bought a 65" samsung 4k tv which I could output it to), more ram, and a pure SSD (512gb is just enough for me).

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
  2. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    Not sure anyone can help you, as it's truly dependent on your personal preference.

    I would take into highest consideration how your work environment is supported at home. If a huge monitor allows your Citrix login and workflow to be exceptionally better, then the 5k 27" likely won't be beat (specifically for text). If at work you are use to a 15" monitor, then perhaps the rMBP 15" would deliver.... Remember, you can get 512 SSD in either iMac or rMBP.

    If I read between the lines, and make a leap of assumption, an option to suggest would be to go rMBP and dock it at home with a good monitor (likely not 5k, but a quality monitor). This is certainly more expensive, but I imagine that the rMBP will replace your classic 13" MBP (not much weight difference) and your iMac, which will offset the price difference. Then you can leverage full 4K on your Samsung TV, if you really think you'll do that.

    For the upmost transparency, I believe I will likely go the other route, however. An ultraportable and iMac. I'm surprised at my turn of opinion in the past year, but that's the way I'm leaning.
  3. kurzz macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    It really is a personal choice. It depends how portable you want to be. If you think you'll be staying in one spot, get the desktop. If you want to move around, get the laptop. All other choices is a sacrifice toward one side or the other.
  4. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    As you have a 13" MacBook and an iPad (you are good in the field of portability), I would opt for the iMac 100%.
    Good luck!
  5. c8rlo macrumors 6502


    Sep 1, 2015
    iMac, since you mentioned it would be cheaper than the rMBP and since you already have an MB and iPad.
  6. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    I've been agonizing over pretty much this same decision, for the past couple weeks. Ultimately, I chose the iMac. I'm bringing the rMBP back to Apple today.

    In my case, I was trying to migrate from an iMac (desktop) to a rMBP. It was close... darn close, but the iMac won out in the end. I've now decided to stay on the desktop plus laptop path (small MBA). Here's why I chose the iMac:

    1. Sreen Real Estate - I'm spoiled and used to running three high res displays. While ther rMBP will run two externals p;lu its own screen, that soimply isn't enough for me. I did get the rMBP to run 2 2.5ks, its own screen, plus a 1080p. But I could tell that was a serious strain on the system.,.,, fans ruinning like crazy and throttling started after a while. The iMac does this more easily.
    2. Extra cost - For my use, switching required a dock, external drives, etc. Plus the iMac comes with a gorgous display, which would be very expensive to buy on the MacBook side
    3. Power - The rMBP is pretty darn fast, and probably fast enough for my needs. But the iMac is a bit faster, especially comparing maxed out versions.
    4. Portability - Though the rMBP is portable, it's still fairly large and heavy compared to other stsems we have around. I found myself reaching for my work MBA (which I hate), my SP3, or my woman's new 12 MacBook, when I wanted something mobile.

    Again, it was close, but I chose iMac. Still, I hate bringing this rMBP back.
  7. M1Lance thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    Thanks for all the help, ultimately I decided to go with the rMBP. The portability around my house will be nice and I will have just enough room on my desk to use my old 21.5" iMac as a second screen via a thunderbolt cable. Not only that, but the high end rMBP actually ended up being a little cheaper than the iMac configuration I wanted. Really upset that I had to turn down that gorgeous screen, but I think this is the best all around situation for now.
  8. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    Congratulations on the purchase. I'm sorry to say, The Thunderbolt Connection will not allow target display to the iMac. You might find the option of selling the iMac and picking up a solid IPS Dell 25" or maybe a 4k would be solid choice.

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