Have 2011 15 MBP. Buy Thunderbolt Display or iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rhymeandreasons, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. rhymeandreasons macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #1
    I Bought an i7 15" MBP with 8gigs of RAM and a 750 HDD in March 2011.

    I'm about to purchase a nice office desk for the first time in a long time, since I now have the room for one in my new condo. Up until now, my MBP usually resides on my coffee table. I also have an iPad2 for travel purposes.


    Should I buy a 27" Thunderbolt display, bluetooth keyboard and magic track pad and a nice vertical stand for my MBP, which would all cost apprx $1050?

    Or, should I just get the 21.5 iMac for $1099 and keep both computers?
     
  2. caligomez macrumors regular

    caligomez

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    San Juan, PR
    #2
    I would go for the Thunderbolt Display.. Not only would you have a 27" screen, but it'll be with you a long time, and be useful for every new Macbook you ever decide to get in future upgrades..
     
  3. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #3
    I'm leaning in that direction for sure.

    Just trying to see if anyone can talk me out of it and go for the iMac
     
  4. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    What would you do with the iMac?
     
  5. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

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    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    I will do that...

    As much as I would love to have the Thunderbolt display it seems a little redundant.
    People say that, "Well you can keep using it with your new Macbook in the future"
    I dont buy that. Why? Look how many times apple changed there display connector (DVI, mini DVI, MDP, TB, ADC,mini and micro dvi, mini vga etc, etc) and a lot of them are propriety connectors that quickly abandoned.

    And at least with prior connectors they had some versatility. The TBD only works with 4 computers. (iMac, Mac Mini, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro)

    On the otherhand-
    2011 iMacs are very powerful. They can be used for several years and offer more power then your current laptop. You can use this as a display using target display mode.

    Honestly, Get the iMac
     
  6. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #6
    Offload my iTunes Library and iPhoto library (apprx 250 gigs total) from my MBP to the iMac and use it for my day to day computing since it will be on my new desk now. Which leaves my MBP in a kind of purgatory

    ----------

    to display my MBP on my iMac? i'm not too familiar with Target Display mode.
     
  7. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #7
    It doesn't sound like you need two computers. You will need to decide which one suits your needs better. Assuming you prefer the iMac and the iMac is going to make the MacBook Pro unnecessary, I would sell it and get the larger iMac.

    With the Thunderbolt Display you are getting a larger display than the 21.5" iMac (obviously).

    Target Display mode allows you to use the iMac as a monitor.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775

    This scenario would allow you to keep using the MacBook Pro using the iMac as a display, and have the iMac do things in the background (iTunes, whatever). I personally wouldn't take this route, but it could work well.
     
  8. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #8

    I do like the idea of staying portable with the MBP but the Target Disk mode sounds intriguing. Is that a common setup?
     
  9. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #9
    Target Display mode. Common? I would very much doubt it as it is an expensive proposition. It strikes me as a little silly as well.
     
  10. caligomez macrumors regular

    caligomez

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    #11
    And you can't use the ports on the iMac, right? (while running target display mode)

    ----------

    OP.. I forgot to mention that if you have two computers, you are going to have to keep things in sync with cloud services. I don't know if this is something you have already mastered, but if not, you'll find that having files and media separated between systems can sometimes be a pain.. Otherwise, you'll find yourself using one system way more than the other, and then what's the point of having two.. right?
     
  11. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #12

    I have considered the logistics of having 2 separate computers, which is another reason to lean towards the Thunderbolt Display.

    Was also pricing OWC's data doubler to maybe add or even replace the HDD for an SSD to keep my MBP up to date going forward
     
  12. rovitotv macrumors member

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #13
    Go the cheap way

    I would spend $300 - $500 and purchase a 27" LCD panel from a non-apple company like Dell, LG, or who ever. In fact I have a 24" LCd panel I got for Best Buy for less than $300. But I am cheap....the Apple Displays seem really expensive to me.
     
  13. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    which one do you have?
     
  14. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a

    Titanium81

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    Jun 23, 2011
    #15
    Definitely iMac! You can use the iMac Screen with your 15" MBP through the Thunderbolt port. Two computers are always better then one. :)
     
  15. bcburrows macrumors 6502

    bcburrows

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol
    #16
    I have a 23 inch samsung sync master connected to my MBP with bluetooth mouse and keyboard and a bose soundlink - it is a great set up and ws much much cheaper than either option you are considering...

    Positives
    1) Monitor is great and cheap - £150
    2) MBP more than powerful for everything
    3) Keyboard can be used with iPad
    4) Bose soundlink is great and can be used as a speaker system when at presentations or as a good speaker for music etc when travelling

    Negatives
    1) The monitor is not as 'pretty' as the apple display but my bank balance is MUCH healthier!!
     
  16. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #17
    I vote for Thunderbolt Display (I have 2011 15" MBP). Some people may like managing two Macs, but I find syncing data between two Macs rather tedious (iCloud and Dropbox only go so far).

    Plus, the display is a great docking solution with much better speakers than MBP's. And let's not underestimate the screen resolution. After about a week using it, anything less seems too small to me.
     
  17. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    If I were to go the Thunderbolt Display route, is it better to run the MacBook Pro closed?
     
  18. Silverbird0000 macrumors 6502a

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    Fort Myers, FL
    #19
    I have a 2010 MBP and the 27" LED Cinema Display. I was also considering an iMac instead of the Cinema Display. I have done the managing two computers thing before and hated it. I am happy I went with the display and the MBP. I run my MBP on a stand next to the monitor, that way I can have two monitors going, the built in one, and the 27" monster. I also have the bluetooth keyboard and magic mouse. I don't see a reason to run the MBP in closed mode unless you have a tiny desk and need to tuck it away somewhere. The 27" display is beautiful and a pleasure to walk up to everyday. I also love all the ports on the back of it, expanding my external accessory capability, as well as the nice speakers that are part of the monitor. The 21" iMac seems rather small to me after using the 27" Display. I would never want to give up the screen real estate that they 27" Display affords.
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #20
    Except if you want the same resolution as Apple's display, you would be paying approximated the same price range (ie: the Dell U2711 is $999). However with the Dell display you get a lot of input options, etc.; the Apple display is limited to one input, but you do get the "docking" capabilities.
     
  20. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #21
    Is there a performance hit by having the MBP push 2 displays?
     
  21. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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  22. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    Cascadia
    #23
    If you have a use for a headless server, go for the iMac - you can use it as an extra display for the MacBook Pro. Run server-type apps on the iMac, and use it as an external display. (I know someone who uses an iMac as a virtual-machine server this way, as a second display to his other iMac; and logs in to the VMs using other protocols, rather than interfacing directly - SSH, VNC, etc.)
     
  23. Floris88 macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #24
    I was exactly in the same situation. Nice desk and was opting for an iMac '11 or Thunderboltdisplay...

    in the end I went for the Thunderboltdisplay, supernice and amazing screen estate. In the end I sent it back...

    why? It might sound strange but I was using my MBP more on the couch and still at the kitchen table to get some work done or I didnt want to be behind the desk. Leaving the display sometimes unused for more then a day I found it hard to accept the price of it just to have an extra screen...

    Im looking for an 21.5 or 27" imac now:cool: or maybe wait for the next generation in the summer
     
  24. rhymeandreasons thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #25
    That's exactly what I'm afraid of. As I'm typing this from my couch on my MBP. So will you trade in your laptop for the iMac or go with 2 computers?
     

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