iMac 27 i7 or MBP 15 ret i7 for Design, photo edit & simple video

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macam, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. macam macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2005
    Greater London, UK

    I'm very very conflicted with what to buy. I am a photographer, graphic designer and I am starting to dabble in videos now. I have a MBP late 2009 and it has served me well. however it is now showing it's age as I am regularly experiencing crashes on my adobe suite. (CS6 - can't afford to go to CC just yet) I am looking at what to buy as I need to have something that moves a lot quicker, as my work flow process is being held up by only being able to run one adobe program at one otherwise I'm ground to a halt.

    I fully appreciate that I would be moving exponentially up in hardware with either - but I just need to know what most people use for this and what do you think I should go for. I have an old 20" cinema display attached to my macbook - but I know I can add that to the 27 iMac too - and am drooling at the screen retail space. but then the MBP with the retina screen for my photography has me drooling too. I am so conflicted - can anyone offer some advise and a direction where to go - I have spoken to Apple and the two people I spoke to, one said iMac the other MBP.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    First question, do you have mobility needs, or is the computer just going to sit on the desk?

    If mobile, then of course that eliminates the iMac.

    If not, its hard to beat the 27" display
  3. macam thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2005
    Greater London, UK
    Thanks for the reply.

    Well currently I have one client who I need to go out on location with my mac (others are on location with just the camera equipment). But seeing as my macbook pro hasn't died a nasty death yet - I was thinking that I wipe it clean and reinstall OSX and adobe only and hopefully that will work better.

    So yes there is a need for mobility - but it doesn't eliminate the iMac just yet. the 27" is very very tempting
  4. wgnoyes macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2011
    You don't HAVE to use a $999 apple thunderbolt or cinema display. A 27" Dell ultrasharp (I think that's the model line; or some other high-end make and model) monitor costs less and will connect to a MBP at home just fine and satisfy both considerations: big screen at home and portability for the field.
  5. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    If you are doing Photography in any serious way you really can't go wrong with either but there is a caveat with the Macbook Pro Retina. Your HD space will be limited unless you upgrade the HD at considerable expense. I know you likely keep all photos on an external in which case the point is moot. Also you will need to update the RAM through Apple for the MBP.

    I believe the 27" iMac still allows user upgradable RAM, bigger HD space and even though it isn't retina, a fantastic 27" screen. With the savings you can go to OWC and upgrade your hardware on you 09 pro. Also consider that you an shave some off the cost by going to the Fusion Drive, it is pretty speedy and personally I don't notice much difference in the speed.

    Good luck.
  6. macam thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2005
    Greater London, UK
    Thanks for the replies... I am now concerned with buying the MBP if you can't upgrade the RAM after you buy. And I am limited to only having 16gb RAM where in the iMac you can go up to 32Gb... It's not going to happen today - but I could put it in later.

    And the thought has crossed my mind about getting a 3tb (7,200 non fusion) drive put into the iMac getting some disk space (even though I have loads of externals) and saving some money and then buying an SSD for my 09 MBP. That way - I'll be basically gaining both pretty much new machines. what do you think?
  7. Destroysall, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2012
    United States
    You can't upgrade anything on the Macbook Pro with Retina Display like you can with iMac. On iMac, you can upgrade the Memory to 32GB yourself. I'm pretty sure you can get away with the standard 8GB on it for now until you can get the 32GB RAM to upgrade.

    7,200rpm is still a decent drive. I would do what you suggest. You don't essentially even have to get the i7 iMac.. the base 27" iMac should suit your needs plenty and will allow you to save a bit for that RAM and SSD upgrade. ;)

    If you are okay with just 1TB of storage (7,200rpm of course), the Apple Refurbished store is selling a great computer for only £1,339.00, which is cheaper than the base model but with the top-of-the-line Mac specs of the £1,599 model.

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