2017 i7 iMac or 2017 i7 Macbook

Discussion in 'iMac' started by waring192, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. waring192 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    Just about to place a order and I'm still stuck on what to go for? Slightly annoying the wait times on both systems as I want to have the i7 either and SSD in the iMac. As the title suggests I'm either looking to get:
    • 2017 iMac
    • 4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
    • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
    • 512GB SSD
    • Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory
    • £2348 (with educational discount)
    or
    • 15" Macbook with Touch Bar
    • 3.1GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
    • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
    • 512GB SSD storage
    • Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB memory
    • £2600 (with educational discount)
    Im lucky in that my partner can get me the Educational discount so I would be paying
    If I go for the iMac I will keep my current 13" MacBook (Late 2013 retina MacBook Pro base) and upgrade the RAM to 16GB or 32GB through third party.

    If I go for the MacBook 15" then il sell my 13" MacBook and put the money towards a 5K LG display.

    So either way I will have portability but just how much extra grunt will the iMac have over the MacBook Pro? I do like the fact that the iMac has a few USB ports which is a massive thumbs up. Will mostly be using it for music production using Logic then day to day tasks like browsing and lots of eBay work. I won't really be gaming much at all, I might install Windows via Bootcamp to play a few things but I have my PS4 for gaming.

    I would love to get some feedback asap as I would like to order today as its going to take a few weeks for the iMac but the MacBook would be next day as its a popular configuration.

    Last question is, if I was to go for the MacBook Pro and use the LG display as a hub for USB etc, would it increase the latency for my audio interface as its going from thunderbolt to the display then USB to the interface?

    Cheers
     
  2. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    The iMac uses a desktop-class processor, meaning it has better performance and a higher TDP. This is important as it keeps performance up for longer under higher temperatures. I've heard lots about the MacBook Pro thermal-throttling quickly under load due to its thinness, meaning there'll be a performance hit for the sake of portability. This has always been the case for laptops compared to desktops.

    The iMac also has a stronger GPU, which will help with programs that utilise OpenCL (I believe Logic can but I may be wrong). Basically, if you don't need the portability and work in one place (which you should when mixing, as moving between different acoustic environments - especially those without treatment - makes the job harder and the end result worse) then get the iMac. If you frequently record on location, maybe using a MADI interface back to a dedicated console, then go for the MacBook.

    At work, I've seen far more 2016 and even 2017 MacBook Pros in for service for the same few issues. By contrast, I've seen one 2017 iMac that had a knackered logic board. Yes, more people buy laptops than desktops but we've sold plenty of iMacs, particularly since the 21.5" is now awesome this year. Additionally, the iMac does feature upgradable RAM so you have options down the line.

    I'm in exactly your situation in terms of systems, desired specs and use case. This time, I'm going iMac. My iPad is beyond capable for field recording and as a sketchpad, plus there's Logic Remote and tons of incredible apps and hardware for music creation.

    In response to your last question - it will add some theoretical latency but nothing you'd feel in practice.
     
  3. waring192 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Cheers for your input. I was very keen to go towards the MacBook Pro but now I'm leaning more towards the iMac again. I did have some slow down when I had quite a few tracks going on Ableton and that was with just two plugins loaded. That was on my current base 2013 Retina MacBook Pro (4GB RAM & 128GB SSD).

    Looking on Geekbench 4 scores the iMac looks like its going to be the best option and compares with my current MacBook Pro:
    • 2017 27" 5K iMac with i7 4.2GHz - Single-Core Score 6134 Multi-Core Score 21578
    • 2017 15" MacBook Pro with i7 3.1GHz - Single-Core Score 4864 Multi-Core Score 16362
    • 2013 13" MacBook Pro with i5 2.4GHz - Single-Core Score 3313 Multi-Core Score 6474
    I could keep my current MacBook Pro or sell it towards a second monitor or just use my iPad with Duet which works quite well. With the iMac I don't have to mess around with dongles etc also which is a great factor.
     
  4. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    It just makes sense to go with the iMac given the direction Apple have taken the MacBook Pro - more power, legacy compatibility and the 21.5" model is really quite portable still. I've seen photos on Facebook of people even using them on trains!

    I went with a MBP last time as they had the i7 chips first and smoked even the latest iMacs of the time. It was an easy decision and, for me, it's an easy decision this time too. Apple really upped the 21.5" model this year. The iPad is, with iOS 11, a very capable laptop replacement for all you need while on the move for 95% of uses. Particularly the Pro models with the Smart Keyboard.
     
  5. waring192 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Haha, just had a google and found some nutters using a iMac on the train!:

    [​IMG]

    The 21.5" is to small for me. Im currently working using a 24" so would rather go with 27" to be honest, old photo but you get the idea:

    [​IMG]

    Do you use any touch apps for Logic? You mentioned Logic remote? I mostly use Ableton as I have the Push controller which has been great for workflow. I don't know if its any quicker but as I'm not a keyboard/piano player it helps to get some drum racks going and also some synths when playing with ideas.
     
  6. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #6
    It is a lot faster, and the extra screen real estate is nice. I have the top-spec 2016 MBP and 2017 iMac 27. I use them both daily. I much prefer the iMac except when the portability of the MBP is essential.
     
  7. waring192 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Cheers, wish my budget was enough for both! How do you manage your files out of interest? Do you use iCloud etc or just have multiple copies on both?
     
  8. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Logic Remote is great, far more useful than the Touch Bar in my opinion. I also use TouchOSC and have for years, that's really flexible. My guitar has MIDI controls and an output onboard so I can also control the DAW/effects/plug-ins through that live. I also use a keyboard as a controller and instrument but that'll be supplemented by a PreSonus controller and a Console 1 eventually.
     
  9. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #9
    This is 4k video data so it's way too big for iCloud. We may shoot up to 1 terabyte per day. At home I use several direct-attached Thunderbolt RAID arrays. When editing or offloading video in the field I use direct-attached 4TB portable USB hard drives, which are duplicated on site. Those are later copied to the RAID arrays for major editing on the iMac 27.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    If you already have a good MacBook Pro, get the iMac.

    There's nothing like having a good desktop AND a laptop to carry around as well!
     
  11. waring192 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Think thats what I'm going to order today. Will take a week to arrive due to upping the CPU to i7 @ 4.2GHz and 512GB SSD.

    Any recommendations on where/what ram to get? Looking for 32GB as don't need 64GB and Im not paying Apples prices of £540 for 32GB!!
     

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