27" iMac + 15" rMBP... Overkill?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gagecloutier, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. gagecloutier, Mar 25, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

    gagecloutier macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2012
    I'll preface this by saying that I'm a college student majoring in Computer Information Systems. Beyond my basic programming IDEs (Visual Studio, Eclipse, Python, Xcode, etc.), I work with Adobe CS6, Logic Pro, Aperture/Lightroom, Final Cut Pro, and have just recently started getting into Maya/Cinema 4D. I own a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Mid 2012 QC i7 2.3 8/256/650M 1GB), however, I also recently purchased a 27" (Late 2012 QC i7 3.2 32/3TB Fusion/680MX 2GB). Ever since I got my 27" iMac, my rMBP honestly hasn't gotten very much attention. For the ~9 months I've owned my 15" rMBP, I've only accumulated 15 cycles on the battery. Kind of defeats the purpose of a laptop, eh? I tended to use it in a desktop environment, connected to an external monitor most of the time.

    As a college student, I do absolutely need some form of a portable computer, but I seem to get by for the most part with my iPad 2 for strictly school work. I'm also planning on purchasing the 5th Gen. iPad once it's revealed. There's no doubt that mobile computing with tablets is the wave of the future, so I just am finding it somewhat redundant to own two quad-core machines. The iMac has/does absolutely everything I want. The Fusion Drive accommodates me perfectly because while it offers near the speed of SSDs, I don't have to compromise storage capacity (the toughest thing I've experienced with my rMBP).

    Of course having the iMac AND the rMBP is the "luxurious" and seemingly obvious choice, but it doesn't seem very practical to me. I don't like owning something that's depreciating in value by the day when I'm not utilizing it to its fullest potential. I think I've realized that I don't necessarily need a powerful machine that is portable, I'm perfectly fine with it being stationary. For the heck of it, I posted my rMBP on craigslist and could easily sell it for $1500-$1700 (already gotten offers), which isn't bad considering I originally got it for $1999 w/ tax (education pricing). Input?

    TLDR: 27" iMac + iPad OR 27" iMac + 15" rMBP
  2. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    If it hasnt gotten much usage, yeah its a bit overkill. Id sell it for a refurb 11-inch Air and pocket a couple bucks or if you think you can get away with an iPad, do the same.
  3. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    It's up to you.

    I personally love having the rMBP15 around. It gives me the power of a desktop machine where ever I go.

    Each case is different. Choose what's best for you.
  4. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    I got a refurb 15" MBPr on the way to go with my HEATER 09 27" iMac, was going to replace the mac but decided to replace my 7 year old windows laptop for now. Might use the mac in winter and the mbpr in summer :)
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I would probably suggest sticking with what you already own. The gpu in the imac is significantly faster, but you would have to look at performance comparisons in maya/cinema 4D on OSX for any real comparison, as performance in those tends to be quite driver dependent. The best reference for Cinema 4D would probably be cinebench, seeing as it's published by Maxon. You can find benchmarks on that. Maya is somewhat finicky in general. You should remember that both of them could hit a wall with enough geometry or uncached calculations. The imac has much more screen area to accommodate all of the floating windows and things as well as a more powerful gpu. CS6 and FCPX do make some use of the gpu, but I doubt you would notice the difference between the two. They're used in subsets of each application, and benchmark tests can be extremely misleading when attempting to relate them to actual use. Anyway you already have the rMBP. I would probably use that for now simply because you own it and you would probably take a hit selling it. As for storage, external storage works too. If you go with the imac + fusion drive, I would suggest applecare. They do not look easy to service, and that involves two separate drives. Either way you need backups. The rMBP is limited to two usb3 ports, so I could understand somewhat if it gets irritating switching things around constantly to allow for backups to take place.
  6. roow110 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2011
    What I have is a Retina MacBook Pro with a 27 inch Thunderbolt monitor. It gives me all the advantages of both machines for more than a thousand less. You get the portability and versatility of the MacBook, but the power and screen size of the iMac.
  7. ssdaytona macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2011
    I've always had a MBP also, but like you once I got the iMac, my MBP sat unused.

    The iMac the workhorse now. If anything, I'll get the 13" retina when the integrated video is more powerful.
  8. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    Jan 25, 2011
    Wellington, New Zealand
    For me I purchased a Maxed out iMac but a 13.3inch non-Retina MacBook Pro as with the case of my laptop I value portability over grunt - if I want the grunt then that is what the iMac is for. IMHO in your case I'd get a iMac maxed out and a low end MacBook Air that is portable and you can write notes etc. on the go.
  9. gagecloutier thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2012
    Thanks everyone, for your suggestions. For those of you favoring the option of keeping both, I think you might be right and this is the way I'll go. Reason being, I've gotten flooded with emails from craigslist with people interested in my 15" rMBP, but they keep trying to lowball me and get it for several hundreds of dollars less than what I posted it as (and hoped for). Also, as stupid as it sounds, getting so many responses has made me realize that I really do love the rMBP and I'm kind of attached to it. The notion of pulling the trigger and selling it has become harder than it originally seemed it would be a couple days ago when I posted this. I don't want to have seller's remorse if I were to sell my rMBP.

    With that being said, I suppose since my 27" maxed out iMac is still so new (haven't barely had it a week yet), I'll continue to evaluate my workflow on a day-to-day basis. I think if I could find a really efficient VNC application to access my iMac from my rMBP in a server/client type of manner, that might make my current setup seem much more practical. Any that you have found to work really well? Preferably free, as I tried LogMeIn, but didn't want to pay a subscription for it.
  10. willgreene99 macrumors regular


    Dec 16, 2010
    I would say get both. It sounds like although you will be doing some remote work in a mobile way, you still appreciate the ability to have a permanent base station. I enjoy having a mobile powerhouse in the 15" rMBP but also need the ability to store large amounts of data in a 30TB NAS. Having a base allows you more freedom to have access to files that you may not want to bring along on every trip but may need to have it just in case. And it's nice knowing you can always reach out and get it.

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