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Should I get an iMac for college?

  • yes, get the iMac

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • no, your MacBook Pro is fine

    Votes: 13 92.9%

  • Total voters


macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 10, 2018
Pennsylvania, United States
I currently have a 13" MacBook Pro (2017) and I'm a freshman in college right now. I'm thinking about purchasing an iMac 4k with an SSD for next fall. I will have a suite so I'll have my own room. Would an iMac be helpful for college? if anyone uses an iMac for college along with a MacBook to take to class what are your thoughts? I will definitely wait for a 2019 version by the way.


macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2016
Boulder, CO
don't bother with an iMac if you already have a MacBook Pro. Just buy external monitors, and a keyboard/mouse. Your computer can currently:
"Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display at millions of colors and:
One display with 5120-by-2880 resolution at 60Hz at over a billion colors
Up to two displays with 4096-by-2304 resolution at 60Hz at millions of colors
Up to two displays with 3840-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz at over a billion colors"

IMO, best of both worlds.


macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2016
Maybe... if you have computationally intensive classes and don't have easy access to a campus computer lab. So most likely 'no, your MacbookPro is fine'.

What do you imagine the iMac will do that the MBP does not?


macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
I'm with everyone else. An iMac is nice, (I'm typing this on mine) but what will it do that your Macbook won't? I'd save the money. Get a TV and a game console!


macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2003
Stick with your MBP and get an external monitor.

I had a 5K iMac for a while and I ended up getting rid of it and getting a 15" MBP instead (I also had a 13" MBP at the time with the 5k iMac). As a background, I do lots of photo and video work.

It's so much nicer to be able to take your work with you, as you will as you are in college. While I did love the huge 27" screen, I found myself doing more work away from my home thus the portability factor was way more useful for me.

Thats unless you need more computational power, but I'm sure your computer labs have as powerful or more computers in their labs. Take advantage of all the resources your college has (that you are already paying for)


macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2017
I had a late 2016 15” tbMbp, Dell P2715Q 4K monitor and RX580 eGpu. Then sold all of them and passed to 5K iMac w/ Radeon Pro 580. Also bought 13” late 2016 nTB Mbp. I am way happier with this build.

I do lots of video editing, coding and I play some games and simulations. Unfortunately, I did not find eGpu setup that useful. Also, even that Dell is a great 4K monitor, it was still behind a retina screen. Another thing, 512gb ssd in my 15” mbp was not enough for me. Anyway, now both my devices have retina screen, I have lots of space on my iMac and can still carry my work on the mbp. If you’re OK with a desktop I’d go for an iMac but after all that time I’d definitely wait for the new one.
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