Choosing between a couple different Mac setups. Help me decide!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Steve Jobs., Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Steve Jobs. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    #1
    The dilemma is basically this...I need a new computer setup and I'm choosing between the following. Does anyone have any experiences with these set ups?

    I want to have the power to build iOS apps and do photography mainly. I also want to run Logic Pro or Ableton for music production. Possibly add some light video editing to that.

    Option 1:
    Macbook Pro 13", 16GB Ram
    LG UltraFine 5k Display

    Option 2:
    2017 iMac 27"
    Regular Macbook

    Option 3:
    2017 iMac 27"
    iPad Pro
     
  2. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    Kind of hard to gauge as we don't have any information on the '17 iMac. (when it comes out?)

    The regular MacBook is completely terrible, I wouldn't recommend it under any circumstances. I would recommend the iPad over it.

    If you will be using your computer on the go frequently, option 1 could suffice for you. I personally use my computer from a desk so I find myself using my 5K iMac more than my MacBook Pro.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
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    #3
    My $.02 is that the iPad may not work as well in as a mobile tool, and integrating with your workflow, i.e., iOS does not handle RAW images in photography. I'd recommend option 1 if your needs are highly mobile, if you only need a laptop occasionally, then option 2.

    Can you provide some details as to why its a terrible laptop?
     
  4. brookter1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    #4
    Ignore the piffle about the MacBook being a 'terrible' computer - that's a minority highly contentious view which simply doesn't reflect reality.

    Obviously it's not suitable for prolonged heavy duty graphics or computation uses -- that's not what it's designed for -- but it's a very good laptop for general purposes, and perfectly up to occasional more intensive use. Lots of people (including me) find it a great second machine, which supplements rather than duplicates the iMac.

    There are plenty of threads on this forum where users discuss how it performs for music and programming. It's worth reading those threads to see whether you could live with the limitations. If you can, then I'd seriously consider the MacBook. If not, then it's probably unlikely the iPad Pro would be any better, so the MacBook Pro may be a better option.
     
  5. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    I own your option 2 - a 27" iMac and a 12" MacBook - and I absolutely love it. I also agree with the above poster that the 12" MacBook is a awesome little machine. It's not a powerhouse but is more than suitable for working portably assuming the majority of intense work will be done at your desk on your powerful iMac. (Hoping the USB-C version will be out by April).

    I would have preferred just a MacBook Pro and a 5K APPLE branded display, but I just can't justify the expense on the LG UltraFine to stare at PC level aesthetics.

    I went all-in with iCloud Drive storage which makes having two Macs feel like having only one and the new features in macOS Sierra makes that even easier with Desktop & Documents syncing.

    As for the iPad, I've owned 3 models and ended up selling all 3. Too many workflow compromises and too similar to my iPhone. Until Apple does a better job selling us on why the iPad needs to exist, I'm out on that product. Just Macs and iPhone for me.
     
  6. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    Seattle, WA
    #6
    I run Option 3 (IPP 12.9) and am quite happy, but then I don't do photography nor do I edit music.

    Maybe Option 4: a 15" MBP and the 5K display? Strong portability and performance?
     
  7. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Somewhere
    #7
    How much mobility do you need for your photography? I'm thinking Option 3 would be the best so you have an iPad Pro to test your iOS apps on, unless you are planning on just focusing on iPhones for your apps.
     
  8. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

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    Mar 31, 2005
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    California
    #8

    I run option 3 with the 12.9 version of the ipp. But I don't really manage the ipp as an extension of my desktop, just the convenience of portability for basic things, email and web surfing and so on.

    To me it sounds like your best option is 1 as it's the most uncompromising. Whatever you do on the desktop is the same for portability. With iOS there will always be compromises, notably there is only apple's logic remote that is native to the iPad (you can look it up in the App Store and see if it works for you) and Ableton has nothing native on iOS that I'm aware of. Various 3rd party apps for Ableton if you're interested. GarageBand and the current version of iMovie are both iPad apps that are pretty capable in their respective areas but not likely replacements for pro use.
     
  9. varian55zx, Dec 23, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016

    varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #9
    yes

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    called looking at the specs on the website my buddy
     
  10. Steve Jobs. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    #10
    This is all super helpful, thanks for the responses!

    I perhaps don't really need mobility for photography, music, or video editing. If I went with one of the iMac options, then I'd do all the heavy lifting on my iMac and have it as a "base station" at home. The reason I'd want a supplemental computing device is for when I want to go to Coffee Shops to work or travel often. Which is why the regular MacBook is attractive...

    I wonder if Apple will update the regular MacBook and the iMac at the same time.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #11
    No need to be condescending. I politely asked a question asking why you think its a terrible laptop. You cut and pasted the specs with a snarky response. If you want to have an adult conversation we can. Otherwise, please don't respond.

    What you posted is just specs and provides no more details then your earlier comment about it being terrible.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    Option #2.

    Nice desktop system and a Mac with which to "go mobile" when you need to.
     
  13. CrownVic macrumors regular

    CrownVic

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    Aug 19, 2016
    #13
    I just use my MacBook Pro in clamshell mode with an external display, keyboard, and mouse. Then when I go to school (only 3 days a week) I just unplug it and then I have my laptop.
     
  14. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    #14
    oh, my apologies.

    Earlier I stated the MacBook is, in fact, terrible.

    My reason for believing this are the specs of the machine.

    The specs are god awful.

    I've also used it and it provides a laggy and choppy experience.

    Why aren't specs adequate support for a claim of a machine being terrible? What else would one base such a claim off?

    And "PS", I would even throw in the disclaimer of "for the price". However, I was thinking about it, and since the machine can't even perform basic functions without lagging terribly, there is, in my mind, a solid argument that the machine should not even be available for sale.
     
  15. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502

    briloronmacrumo

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    USA
    #15
    Ableton's line of "live" products plus the available additional sounds have minimum machine/resource requirements ( here is Live 9 ) to consider. For professional level it pays to have a little expansion room. Personally I wouldn't use an iPad in this particular case because I'd want to install the software on both a portable and desktop machine ( and AFAIK, it only runs on Macs/Windows and and not iOS ). Also, I wouldn't consider installing and running several potentially resource intensive apps on the bottom of Apple's Mac line. I'm assuming since you've invested ( or will invest ) in software that costs many hundreds of dollars ( and that's just Ableton's software ), you want to make sure the hardware is equally capable and has future growth room. If not, please disregard.
     
  16. Steve Jobs. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2010
    #16
    It seems like the 13" tbMBP fits these requirements pretty well, perhaps I really don't need the extra power of an iMac. What's the point in leaving all that power idle most of the time?
     
  17. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #17
    Because it is the same as saying that a Ferrari Dino is a terrible car as I cannot get the Wife and Five Kids and the Luggage in for a fortnights holiday.

    Sadly there are many people on here that seem to have trouble between something that is actually bad and simply something that is unsuitable for their needs.

    When used appropriately as in Email, Forums, General Browsing, perhaps a very little Photo's editing, connecting back to the bigger Mac at home then they are great machines. Know a fair number of people that own the MacBooks and they find them great when used as intended.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    Fair enough, depending on the usage, it may be ok, i.e., word processing, web surfing. I don't think its an awful computer in a general sense. For many people its more then adequate. It may be underpowered for the OP's needs but I'm not sure by how much (never used one).
     
  19. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #19
    "Specs" are absolutely not adequate support for a claim of a machine being terrible. First, such a claim makes no allowance for usage. As others have pointed out, one doesn't expect to transcode videos or serve databases from a Macbook. Most machines are wildly overpowered for basic web, email, and word processing usage, and I'd expect that to apply to the Macbook as well. Second, published specs are very limited in scope, and measures like CPU clock speed tells one very little about actual processing power unless you know exactly what the CPUs in question are doing. (Case in point, the Pentium Netburst, which could run clocks up to I believe 3.5+ Ghz, quite an achievement for 2000, but the pipeline was so long that performance was nowhere near expected from the clock speed.) Third, "terrible" is a worthless adjective without some sort of reference (terrible compared to what?)

    What else would one base such a claim off of? Actual usage, of course. You claim to have used a MacBook and found it "choppy". Unfortunately, given your frequent unsupported and absolutist claims on this thread and elsewhere, I find that claim unhelpful. Are you sure it was the machine and not (say) the local wireless or internet service? Might there have been other things running on the machine? Was this in a store, a friend's laptop, J Random Stranger? You give no details to support your claims.

    Had you related your experience up front, with more details, with some thought to what the OP might use it for, and without all the posturing and the patronizing tone, it might have been helpful. As posted, not so much.
     
  20. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502

    briloronmacrumo

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    USA
    #20
    Well, Xcode uses significant resources just when browsing code and can use more if building and even more if you have several test scenarios. Most photographers I know using Macs are using an iMac to do all their heavy duty processing ( here is one guy that has posted videos on iMacs and photography too ) such as converting H.265 to Prores files. Keep in mind you might want to run some of these apps concurrently, so looking at the machines specs for one app might not reflect the application mix you'll be running.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 25, 2016 ---
    If the purchases are budget-constrained and you need a portable machine, your choices are clear. If you don't need a portable and/or budget isn't an issue, I would definitely consider an iMac and supplement with a MBP. Key thing is to prioritize list ALL your needs and constraints and make sure ALL the software you want to run concurrently will run at the speed you need it on all the machines you're considering.
     

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