Debating between iMac and MBP... leaning towards iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kryptonitejesus, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. kryptonitejesus macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Hey guys, I hope you don't mind helping a guy out in his choice in what he truly needs... so I guess I'll get down to the basics.

    First off, music is my main priority when it comes to computing, I write all sorts of electronic music, I'm used to working in Windows under Ableton or FL Studio, so I'm not hip to the Mac software for these functions.

    In addition to the electronic music I write, I'm also very much into music instruments, I've been playing drums for around 8 years now, bass for 5 years, guitar even... so I plan on multi-track recording... up to 16, maybe even 32?

    I do plan on opening up my own home studio, I would be using this PC, (not sure if the MBP or the iMac)

    I'm also a lightweight gamer, playing games such as Team Fortress 2, World of Warcraft, or StarCraft II (Diablo 3 will probably be my biggest gaming vice when it comes out) sparingly in my free time, which would be better for this sort of light gaming?

    I sometimes spend up to 8 hours on the computer, also, so if these screens are too harsh on the eyes after extended periods of time, I'd appreciate if someone could enlighten me to that.

    SO, with all that said, which do you guys think would suit me better? (and I'm really thinking the iMac would)... I used to want portability, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable taking a $2,000 laptop with me around campus at the local community college.

    - Needs to be able to record up to 32 tracks of audio
    - Needs to be able to render high quality tracks
    - Minimal latency
    - Able to run some of the less graphic intensive games out now
    - Easy on the eyes for extended periods of time

    Oh, I'm also an amateur filmmaker, I love filming, editing, and producing, etc.

    Would you guys suggest the i5? i7? Oh, and what clock speed does the 2.93GHz i7 run at when in turbo-boost using all cores?

    Oh, and what's the resale value of the iMac compared to the MBP? I heard the MBP retain pretty well, is the same true of iMac's?

  2. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Both machines are great for everything, it comes down to if you want portability or not.

    I recommend getting an SSD for the main drive, and a fast raid for your editing, such as one from OWC, or even a Drobo S.

    If you get an iMac, go for a quad-core, i7 is not necessary.

    Either way max out your ram.

    It should be noted thar the 27" iMac offers a lot of screen real-estate which is goof for any pro app.
  3. gilkisson macrumors 65816


    I am, or will be when FedEx show up tomorrow, transitioning from a 15" MBP to a 27" iMac.

    Almost 100% of the time, my MBP has been operating as a desktop, plugged into an Acer (of all things) monitor.

    My portability needs now being met via iPhone and iPad, I am really looking forward to the screen real estate bonus I will get with the iMac.

    If you will not be doing real live honest-to-gosh work on the road, grab the iMac.

    If you'll be doing intense compiling, compressing, etc, which requires heavy CPU lifting, do the I7. Otherwise, the i5 should be fine. I went I7, myself.
    One thing to be wary of, with the iMac... very limited upgrade path, like for all purposes, zero upgrade path outside of RAM. Get what you want the first time.

    Good luck!
  4. kryptonitejesus thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Thanks for the advice so far, guys.

    Another question, how is the stock iSight camera in these 2010 iMacs?
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I would say go iMac. i5 quad or maybe a refurb i7 would probably be best for your needs. Also, when the i7 does the turbo boost deal, it never does with all cores. It only uses one or two with turbo. Get at least 8 gigs o ram too. But I wouldn't buy apple, it's just too expensive for such an easy upgrade.

    As for iSight, meh, it's a webcam. Nothing spectacular, nothing bad.
  6. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2009
    The much greater amount of screen real estate on the 27 inch iMac is a strong advantage over a 15 inch notebook of any brand. But be warned: Once you are used to a 2560 x 1440 display, smaller displays will become "too small". Also, the 1920 x 1080 display of the 21.5 inch iMac might be okay for you.

    For music applications, you might want to first read the documentation for Apple's Garage Band and for other music programs to see how they might meet your software needs.

    The iSight cam is okay for web chats, bit it certainly isn't HD.

    For portability, consider getting a $250 netbook for note taking and document review. If it gets broken, lost, or stolen then you won't have to drink too much to get over it.
  7. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    like said, portability for work, is the key factor in ruling out the iMac.

    That 27-inch is killer for production work. You'll probably eventually spring for a display on a MBP anyway.
  8. meb91 macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2010
    Get the iMac unless you absolutely need portability. A $2k iMac is much more powerful than a $2k MBP.
  9. kryptonitejesus thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    You guys are making my choice that much easier.

    How about the resale value, and are you guys sure the $180 for the i7 isn't worth it? I plan on keeping this PC for 5 years or so, so I want to future-proof my experience somewhat.

    Thanks so much guys!
  10. gilkisson macrumors 65816


    My 27" I7 came in today. Please take anything I say with a grain of salt, as I am still quite in the afterglow of the unboxing and setting up thereof.... Oh. My. Ghawd.

    I gave the missus my 15" MBP. For mobility, I will rely on my iPhone and iPad.

    Although it is as unscientific as you can get, I HandBrake'd a DVD, just to get a feel for what she can do. Less than 20 minutes. Took my MBP an hour, just for reference, to break the same movie.

    I didn't want to worry about the upgrade either, so I went with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and the 2.93 I7.

    And that *screen*! :eek:

    I'm a happy camper.... but you will be, as well, no matter which way you choose.
  11. kryptonitejesus thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    So you had a good experience with your BTO 27"? All of the horror stories I read were taking me back from the i7 upgrade, which is something I really want for my iMac since I want to future proof it as much as possible as I can now.

    Anyone else with Logic/Cubase/Pro Tools experience on the iMac care to share?

    I plan on upgrading the ram myself within the next year, which ram should I go with? Any links?

    Also, any resale value like the MBP?

    Thanks guys!
  12. kryptonitejesus thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Ok guys, my current question now is, is the MBP i7 comparable to the iMac in terms of performance?

    Will it be able to run Logic or Pro Tools with low latency as well as a iMac would be able to?

    I just don't want to be left without something portable since my band is starting to do more shows, and eventually we would like to end up on the road.

    An iMac would be useless in this case... but they're so damn sleek!
  13. argeleri macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010
    The desktop (iMac) processors will always be faster than their mobile (MBP) counterpart. Same name, same architecture, just different chip. From what I've read the MBP sports the the mobile i7-600 series chip. In terms of performance its roughly the same as the i5 however their equivalent desktop models are clocked a bit faster.

    I have both a macbook pro 15inch and a new i7 iMac. The portability of being able to take my work wherever I am is priceless. Also the laptop is pretty well built and runs fast. But if your looking to do actual music creation and the like, its possible to do it on the macbook, but its so *much* more efficient to do it on the iMac or desktop. Bigger screen, faster performance, etc.

    Also, I don't think an iMac will ever have the resale value of a laptop (a lot more versatile). In all honesty, this isn't really the type of item you look for resale. I'm sure you'll find a buyer for either one of these products once your ready to sell because its made by apple, but computers are like cars - they depreciate dramatically due to new technology.
  14. BobF macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010
    How about loading up a 21.5" i5 with a lot of RAM and putting it in an iLugger for the occassional outside gig? If you're going to be doing video editing of music videos that MBP will soon show its limitations.
  15. Temujin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2005
    The iMac is significantly!!! faster. At least according to

    With that kind of performance difference, then screw portability IMO.

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