iMac or 2011 MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nismoskygtr, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. nismoskygtr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #1
    Hey guys!

    I was planning on purchasing a 2011 15" 2.2GHz MBP with the base options w/ plans to upgrade the RAM manually.

    It will be my primary machine, but as far as "work" goes, I plan on using it for Adobe CS5, especially After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator, as well as video editing with the Final Cut Studio.

    I was discussing this with a friend, and he mentioned that I wouldn't like using a notebook for render-intensive programs like AE or FCP. I told him how the new MBPs are benchmarking better than the current Mac Pros but he still seemed to be of the opinion that a desktop would be better.

    What are your thoughts? 2011 2.2GHz MBP or an iMac? I don't doubt the awesomeness of an iMac, but I'm looking for the portability factor, but at the end of the day I would like to make sure my machine would be able to do the work I need.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #2
    Well, I owned a late 2009 iMac, I use Photoshop CS5 regularly and I sold the iMac (and a 13" MBP) to replace with a 2010 15" MBP and had zero regrets. Of course the 2011 with 4 cores runs faster and that is plenty fast. Upgrade the RAM for under $100 yourself as CS5 will use it (the 2011's can take 16Gb of ram but that currently costs almost as much as the laptop but something to consider in a year or more as prices drop).

    I use my 15" mostly as is but when I need to do serious photo work I attach my NEC monitor which is so much better than a iMac, non-glossy, wide gamut, easy on the eyes. The 27" iMac hurt my eyes and I did not want the higher resolution which makes fonts and websized images very small.

    It is a personal choice but if you want both power and portability the current 15" MBP line really deliver in both areas. My 2010 base model is faster than a 3.06 C2D and the base 2011 is much faster than that. My CS5 performance is so good I have no plans to upgrade to the 2011 but perhaps in 2012 I might upgrade to the newer Ivy Bridge CPU's which should run cooler than the current Sandy Bridge.

    If you need more speed or storage then upgrade your hard drive. For speed and storage consider a WD Scorpio black 750GB 7200 rpm. For just speed get a SSD but they cost more. You can update both hard drive and ram without hurting warranty.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    The new MBPs are VERY powerful. It is true that they are indeed about as fast as current high-end iMacs and low-end Mac Pros. Add Thunderbolt to the goodness of quad core CPU and you got a real beast.

    Current MBP will be fine for the tasks you mentioned. When iMacs get updated with Sandy Bridge, it is obvious that they will be faster than MBPs but it won't change the fact that MBPs are fast. You said you need portability so go with the MBP.
     
  4. oscuh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    I'm very interested in this as well. While I can't speak to AE or FCP as I only have little more than a passing knowledge of them, I can't help but think that for at least light video work, you'd have some success with them.

    I'm print and web, so I'm considering the MBP over an iMac for the portability it would provide, and then couple it with a 24" monitor at home to have plenty of real estate. I run PS, AI, IND and DW primarily, so we're in the same ballpark, but opposite sides of the field.

    http://www.hwcompare.com/5587/radeon-hd-5670-vs-radeon-hd-6750-1gb/ is a comparison of the two graphics cards. While the MBP's card has higher power consumption (obviously an issue in a portable) the overall performance is much better than what the iMac offers.

    The difference between a 2.2 Ghz Quad Core i7 vs a Dual Core 3.2 Ghz i3? I'm guessing the i7 is going to outperform... Keep in mind the iMac is also due for a refresh and my guess is it'll get the same processors the MBP has....

    One question I have is, is your friend in the field? Two years ago I'd have given the same answer he did... Now? Not so sure.

    Decisions, decisions!
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    That is comparing desktop GPUs. Both, the iMac and MBP use mobile GPUs. The GPU in MBP is AMD 6750M like Apple's site says but the ATI 5670 in iMac is actually ATI 5730M.

    Also, if you are already talking about the high-end 15" MBP with AMD 6750M, then you should compare it to the high-end iMac with ATI 5750 (aka 5850M), not to the base 27" as it's much cheaper than the MBP. ATI 5850M bashes the 6750M.
     
  6. oscuh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    My bad on the mobile vs desktop GPU.... I was going by what they had spec'd, hence the differences, obviously.

    As far as what I was attempting to compare, I was looking at the machines I was considering. I guess I should have clarified that.

    Ultimately, it still comes down to the MBP seems to be capable for what the OP is looking for, yes? Regardless of the technobabble, that is still the point of the thread.
     
  7. noahtk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    US
    #7
    iMac all the way

    Nothing will get done faster on any other machine than an iMac. The speed and screen real estate is perfect, especially on the 27".
     
  8. I AM THE MAN macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #8

    A year and a half ago, I was faced with the same problem. Pretty much, I would suggest the iMac if you really want the power, because in the end of the day, a desktop with an i7 compared to a Macbook Pro i5 or i7 can be more beneficial (in my opinion). For one, you can upgrade the Ram much easer on the iMac than on the Macbook Pro. However, minding that, both machines would be a great buy. If your thinking about taking the Mac with you (mainly if you travel quite often), than the Macbook Pro would be perfect.
     
  9. maclaptop macrumors 65816

    maclaptop

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    Apr 8, 2011
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    Western Hemisphere
  10. nismoskygtr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #10
    Thanks for all the helpful responses guys! There's a good variety of opinions here, and it's all good food for thought.
     
  11. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #11
    If you need portability than you have no choice.
     

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