A New iMac Or My Obsolete MBP With An External Display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EDLIU, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. EDLIU macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2015

    I have a 17-inch, Mid 2010 MacBook Pro. I upgraded it to Intel Core i7, 8 GB DDR3, and SSD when I bought it.

    I had an iMac, and seldom use my MBP.

    My iMac is too old to run the macOS High Sierra, and I'm thinking about getting a 27" or 32" WQHD external monitor for my MBP and use it as a desktop.

    But the Apple Obsolete Products Policy made me reconsider about purchasing a new display.

    Although my MBP still boots and runs very fast, it's being 7 years since released. It's obsolete, and where I currently live do not have third party repair shops. So fixing my MBP is a big problem.

    Besides, I do not know for how long will my MBP be supported by the latest macOS.

    So, should I get a new display for my MBP, or get an new iMac?

    I do not need the portability of my computer, so a laptop, or a desktop, if I need a new Mac?

    The Mac Mini seems to be an option for replacing my MBP if it has hardware problems. But it hasn't been updated since Oct. 2014, and doesn't seem to be as powerful as the iMac from the spec.

    For the iMac, should I get an upgraded iMac(Quad-Core i7 CPU, 64 GB DDR4 Memory, and 512 GB SSD), or an standard iMac Pro(8-Core Xeon CPU, 32 GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 1 TB SSD, and Vega GPU)? I think they're about the same price.

    Then the same problem, what if my upgraded iMac or iMac Pro gets obsoleted?

    Or should I just use my MBP till it won't work anymore and then get a new iMac?

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. treekram macrumors 65832

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    All computers and computer components get to the point where they are no longer directly supported by the latest OS, regardless of whether that's macOS, Windows or Linux. And all computer companies drop support for their computers at some point in time. I still have all the Macs I've ever owned (7 of them), dating back to to 2003 and they still all work but I don't have a problem with how Apple obsoletes them because for me, they become functionally obsolete before Apple obsoletes them. If you find that your computers are not becoming functionally obsolete for you, I would look at buying cheaper alternatives in the future - maybe the MBA instead of the MBP, the Mini instead of the iMac. (Of course, as you noted, the current Mini is an exception, the "current" model is 3 years old.)

    From the OS/obsolete standpoint - the tech press is reporting that High Sierra will run on the same equipment that Sierra will run on so if that's the case, High Sierra will run on your MBP. It's scheduled to be released this fall - it will remain current for at least a year and Apple will support it with security updates at least until the next OS, so that'll get you to 2019. Unless there's a major security issue that comes up, you can probably use it for a while after the last security update so maybe 2020.

    If you have to have your Mac repaired in a hurry (of course, it still may take some time to repair a computer, even if it is still supported), then you have no alternative to get one that is supported by Apple. But it will probably be quicker to buy a new one than having one repaired anyway unless you want a BTO version. And no matter when your MBP dies, you will get no worse of a computer then than you can get now (unless you live outside the US and there are some currency issues) - if your MBP lasts a year or two, you might get a noticeably better iMac than you can get now.
  3. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Also, you don't need to stop using a Mac the day Apple stops delivering software updates. I'm still using my 2009 MacBook Pro daily, and that one didn't even get Sierra. Still, I've yet to discover any software which doesn't work perfectly fine with El Capitan. It will easily last me another year if I don't decide to upgrade at some point.

    My suggestion is the following: Get a nice external monitor (but beware that your MacBook might not be able to drive 4k displays, depending on the exact model of MBP and the connection used) and upgrade to a Mac Mini when Apple updates them the next time. That'll probably be next spring or summer, but with a quad core option due to Coffee Lake, it'll be far more powerful than the current model (I'm talking about a 2x or even more power advantage). Then, use the display, mouse and keyboard you get now for your MBP with your Mac Mini.
  4. treekram macrumors 65832

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    The thing about the Mini is that there is a distinct possibility that they'll discontinue it. The only indication that it's on Apple's radar was an Apple executive saying it was "important". So, if I were buying a monitor in this situation, I would get a ~$250 2560x1440 display. If display quality and pizazz is important, just get the 5K iMac already.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    How do you use your system? There is such a big difference between the dual core in your current machine, and the 8-core Xeon in the iMac Pro, that they are really going to excel for totally different purposes (cost efficiency versus processing power + resolution.) If the 2010 MBP meets most of your current needs, and a Mac Mini could meet those needs, it is possible that a lower end (and much cheaper) iMac could meet those needs too with a base i5/16ram/base GPU?

    IIRC, your Mac supports up to a 2k display. You can get a nice 1080p display for $150, and a 1440p for a bit more. As that is 1/50th the price of the iMac Pro, even if your 2010 MBP were to die soon, it would not be a very large capital investment!

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