27" i7 iMac to Macbook Pro or Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DougOLis, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. DougOLis macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    I'm moving soon and need to get rid of my 2010 27" iMac (i7, 8GB Ram, 2TB hard-drive) and move to a laptop. It looks like I could build up the Macbook Pro to similar (or better) performance but it could wind up costing a boatload too. Would the Air provide close enough performance at a fraction of the price, or would I be frustrated in comparison to my current system?

    I use my computer mostly for:
    Web surfing (I'm a bit of a tab whore)
    Video - watching tv/movies, using Handbrake to convert 720p .MKV files
    Photo Editing - Use Lightroom and Photoshop CS5, not a daily task though

    If I get the Air, should I get the i5 or i7 (leaning towards i7 cause of Handbrake)?
    If I get the Pro, should I upgrade to a SSD? 15" or 17"?

    How should I deal with going from a 2TB hard-drive to something much smaller? I can get an external drive but plugging that in all the time seems like a pain. Is using a Time Capsule a decent option for storage or will the transfer rates be too slow? Or do I just suck it up with the External Hard-Drive?
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd recommend a MBP. The air, while pretty powerful, will not be as fast as an i7 iMac, although the only time that would be noticeable is with Handbrake. The quad MBPs will eat up videos in Handbrake, have very powerful CPUs, and can store a bunch more than the Air. You can get yourself a 1TB hard drive to put in your MBP, while you're limited to 1/4 of that in the Air. As for size, you'd probably want to go to a store that has MBPs and see which you like better. If you need storage, I'd pass on the SSD. While they are cool, they just are too expensive if you need a lot of data with you at once. As far as external storage, the easiest way would be an external hard drive, as the Time Capsule isn't really intended for storage, but rather for backup.
  3. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    What's your budget? Seems like you're a semi-heavy user, so I'd say go with the MBP 15". The base 15 is like $1350 with the Amazon/Kindle deal, which I'm sure you can get around that price for selling your iMac.
  4. DougOLis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    Thanks for the advice.

    As far as budget goes, I hadn't really set one but I would like to max out around $3,000. If I could keep it closer to $2k that'd be great, but I guess I'm flexible.
  5. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Hi-res 15" Glossy MBP, I'd go for, personally.

    I like, and have the Air, but if it's to be your sole computer, the MacBook Pro is probably a more rounded choice, and with the Hi-Res option, you really aren't missing out on much other than the lightness of the Air, which might or might not be an issue for you.

    Another thing to be mindful of is storage, you will pay a lot more for a lot less with the Air. It's undoubtedly faster, but if you're going from a 2TB HDD, even the most expensive SSD in the Air can only hold an eighth of that capacity. There are other options of course, if you're willing to spend a couple of thousand dollars on an SSD, OWC do a range of upgrades up to 480GB for the Air.

    Plus, with Handbrake an external USB Superdrive will be slow. With, or without an i7 - assuming you're doing disc conversions, of course.
  6. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003

    The MBA is a dead end--once you have it, that's it--you can't expand or upgrade it.

    And the difference between a quad-core MBP and a dual core MBA is substantial.

    As for which MBP, you have to try the 15" and 17" out for yourself. If you're going to be moving it around much at all, the 15" is more portable, if you might move it once a month, the 17" offers more screen real estate (duh).
  7. mhockey91 macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
    i would personally get the macbook pro 2.0 ghz 15 inch because of your uses its faster better graphics and larger screen really beet the macbook air although the air has gotten much faster it still needs one more update with a 15 inch model then apple has a winner :apple:
  8. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    I don't understand how it isn't obvious that for your uses, a MBP would be better than a MBA.

    Sure the MBA is quite capable, but it seems you're a photographer ... If I were you I'd get a 15" or 17" MBP.

    Not only do you get an optical disc drive (yes it's being phased out, but don't be naive and think it isn't still useful), you also get decent processing power and (in the case of the 17") an expresscard slot for expansion should you need it.

    The only reason one would get the MBA over the MBP is weight ... Which I don't understand considering the MBP isn't exactly a rock, put it in a backpack and be done with it.
  9. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Get the 15 inch MBP with a high resolution screen. You'll be set. For what you're doing, I'm sure you could get that done on a baseline MBP. However, I think that, since you're doing editing and whatnot, you'll want a slightly bigger screen.

    Personally I think 13 inches is a great size, however, from the occasional photo touch up of my GF or the HD movie, I don't need anything too expansive.

    The 15 inch (and upgrade the RAM/HD/SSD third party outside of apple) would be a good choice for you.
  10. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Comparison of performance:
    2011 MBP 15" = 2010 Mac Pro
    2011 MBA 13" = 2010 MBP 13"
    2011 MBP 13" = 2010 iMac with weak graphics
  11. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    The main drawback of the MBA is the storage, graphics possibly too.

    If you need an every day laptop with a fast CPU, then MBA.

    If you need a slightly faster CPU with lots of HDD storage, then MBP 13".

    If you need and even slightly faster CPU with excellent graphics, then the MBP 15".

    Don't forget that the CPU's in the MBA and MBP line are all very powerful and efficient.
  12. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    Coming from a 27" screen, I'd go with the 17" MBP unless I were going to buy an external monitor. However, with an external monitor, you have to ask yourself why you needed to get rid of the iMac in the first place. 15" is a great compromise between the 13" and 17" in terms of size, but you'll have a larger viewing size with the 17".

    Is the extra size and express card slot worth the additional $300 over the 2.2GHz 15"? I don't know, but you would.
  13. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    Why not just get the Air and an external monitor? Just a thought too :cool:
  14. DougOLis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    Due to living/moving constraints, getting an external monitor isn't really feasible. If so, I would probably just keep the iMac.
  15. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I'd say to get a 15 inch then and be done with it; the 17 is great, however it might be too large if you have to fit it in a backpack or to use while on a plane or something; a 17 inch screen on a laptop is really, really big.

    If you haven't yet (forgot the aforementioned info in this topic), head to an Apple store and look at them for yourself.

    Personally if I had to get anything over a 13 inch (that's what I have and love now), I'd get a baseline 15. 17 is just too large to use outside the home.

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