Help me choose. Wait for new iMac or get MBP now?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2012
    I'm a 2nd year Visual Communications student in somewhat immediate need of a computer. I had it in my mind that I would wait for the iMac, get max specs, and keep the computer through school and into the work world. Now, I can't decide if its worth waiting halfway into my semester for the hope of a new iMac in sept-oct that isn't really guaranteed. I'm starting to do a lot of design jobs on the side on top of classes but don't have a capable computer of my own. I live off campus and the design labs are only open till midnight (a serious convenience and work focus issue). Regardless of what or when I get it, I'm putting Adobe CS6 Master Edition on it asap. Should I wait it out for the iMac which some believe will have the possibility of redesign/new features. Or, should I just go with a new 15" max spec MBP-no retina. Realistically I'm more interested in power and sustainability over portability and convenience. Its really difficult for me as a student to justify investing in a 2011 model iMac at this point for obvious reasons.

    Any designers or professionals in a similar position have a suggestion? Its not like anyone can tell us with absolute certainty if the new iMac will be worth it. But, maybe some speculation on the iMac after hearing Cook's conference call and announcement of "Fall Transition" could ease the mind.
  2. Reaktor5 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire, USA
    I'll try to be of some help as I just graduated. A maxed out iMac right now would certainly last you through school but you're paying for technology a year old. You could wait until September 21st which is when the Back to School promotion ends to get the best bang for your buck.

    In my opinion a desktop would last longer than a laptop. The general wear and tear is far less, much more screen real estate, and upgradeable RAM. But you have to weigh those against getting the most up to date specs in the MacBook Pro and portability might be a good thing for you if you're taking it to and from class.

    For me, I'd wait until September 20th and see if Apple has released an updated iMac, if they have go with that. If they haven't, I'd consider the MacBook Pro much more but it's definitely personal preference weighed in with the price/spec ratio.
  3. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Go to your local Apple store/Best Buy, whatever and use both the MacBook Pro and the iMac you possibly intend to buy.

    I almost stopped waiting and bought the top end 15 inch classic MBP, but using it at the Apple store, the MBP just didn't feel right compared to the iMac. That being said, I still have a functioning older MBP.
  4. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    For your intended use, a top 2011 27" iMac will outperform a 2012 MBP. Your best bet may be to hunt for sales/refurbs/etc.
  5. davidgnomo macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2012
    Imola (BO) - Italy
    Same for me, the guy here is definitely right ...
  6. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    I would go for the MBP and get something like a Dell U2711 or if you must, Thunderbolt Display (both are optional if you can afford them). I can't express how valuable a laptop is for a college student. I was in your shoes once, and I don't know how I would have made it through design school without my MacBook Pro. This was way back in the day (2002-2006) before they were anything close to as powerful as they are now. I just think you really need that portability in school.

    I actually think I'm going to do the same thing, and I'm a working pro running my own one man design business. I've been waiting for an iMac as my throw-down workstation machine, but with the Retina MBP being very powerful, the iMac nowhere to be found, and the Thunderbolt Display's glossiness, I'm *this* close to pulling the trigger on a rMBP and Dell U2711.
  7., Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2012
    That'll be more of a serious consideration towards the end of September possibly. Portability benefit in what regard? For design use or just day to day internet, email, essay stuff? They just put the 2011 model iMacs in our labs which is where our classes are held. If I needed to access anything I could use flash drive or the cloud. What about going the iMac+ iPad route to have for use in my non design based classes? Could do a physical Bluetooth keyboard for typing and stuff if necessary.
  8. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    The cloud or flash drive could definitely work. I just liked being able to work in the lab, in the library, on the road, or at my desk without having to transfer files around or worry if I had all my files with me (especially fonts, linked images, etc.).

    To me, an iPad is still a media consumption device, and isn't quite ready for primetime when it comes to creation other than simple typing or word processing. But I guess it could suffice. Call me old school, but I'd still rather have a laptop.
  9. iMcLovin macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    Wait for the iMac. I'm sure apple is cocking up something great for October. You will regret not waiting, me thinks.... Though its hard to wait when you need something...
  10. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    The iPad is an excellent choice for a mobile solution for a designer, it is superb for showing projects to clients. The iPad + iMac combo is hard to beat.
  11. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I agree.

    I'll never own another Macbook Pro.

    iMacs do all the heavy lifting and iPads are excellent for carrying a full portfolio to client and potential client locations. In fact I can load up a weeks full of portfolios ahead of time and nothing else to carry around.
  12. danwayfilms macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2012
    You could always do what I did and build a hackintosh.

    I know lots of people will poo poo it, but truthfully this is the fastest machine I have ever worked on, is using up to date hardware, and is completely upgradeable. With the motherboard and hardware I chose, getting the system up and running was easy, and I have had no incompatibility issues, crashes or anything.

    I run Adobe CS6 Master Collection, and it is wonderful.

    My Specs right now:
    Lion 10.7.4
    Intel Core i7 3770k @ 3.5 ghz
    Gigabyte z77 UD5H (USB 3.0)
    256 gb Crucial M4 SSD OS/App Drive
    1 TB seagate 7200 RPM Media/Storage drive
    EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1 gb superclocked
    16 gb 1600mhz Vengeance Memory (expandable to 32 by adding 2 8gb)
    Dell 24 in UltraSharp IPS Display.

    Total Cost? Around $2100 including tax and other accessories including: Power Supply, Wifi card, FW 800 card, and case . Runs better than any iMac I have used. I was hesitant at first, but have no regrets whatsoever.
  13. iSayuSay, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012

    iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    If you look for power, top spec iMac is your best bet, it's still even faster than most expensive rMBP today (don't be deceived with CPU Geekbench scores.. also consider GPU, RAM slots, and screen real estate). You don't get those on 15" MBP screen.

    With iMac or desktop you get a lot for your money. Granted, it's a 2011 machine. So I suggest you to look for discount or Apple refurb. That way you don't wait for too long, you get a powerful machine and you don't spend as much.

    Notebook is always about portability, you also pay for the ability to carry it away (although larger notebooks are not exactly easy to lug around). Thus you get less performance with the money. Your choice.

    +1 .. If anything, the one that should be worried about iPad progress is notebooks. Why anyone would use a notebook when tablet is capable enough?
    While so far people still needs desktop for "crucial moments" one way or another, in office, labs, or home ... even if they already own a notebook.

    Wonder why some people would think desktops are dying just because Apple makes less of them. :rolleyes:
  14. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    Really good arguments here. I can't disagree. Go for an iMac and an iPad for your mobile needs.
  15. zeemi macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012
    I was actually in a similar situations.
    I have been waiting for the new imac since april, but after the macbooks got their update, I have been starting to consider taking one instead.

    I'm working as a front-end developer and do occasional web design myself (either way, I work a lot in photoshop, so a decent performance was important to me).

    I finally pulled the trigger on the high-end classic MacBook Pro with the hi-res antiglare screen (I also bumped the hdd to 7200 rpm) yesterday and am anxiously waiting for it now.

    It is quite upgradable (ram + hdd/ssd) and I will be using it with an external 1080p screen when being stationary, this will give me some additional screen real estate. Yet I have the mobility of a laptop and being able to work from anywhere is a pretty big advantage after all.

    Of course the iMac + iPad combo others have mentioned is also a great choice, but I think it does limit you to work in one place, even if you can also carry the iPad around to show off your work or do some note-taking, but I personally don't see myself getting any "real" work done on the iPad.

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