iMac or Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by olliwoodx, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. olliwoodx macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019

    I'm on the lookout for a new computer and it will be one from Apple. I graduated last year and started my own digital marketing agency. I'm working on my Lenovo X230 running Linux at the Moment. It's still working but slow and I don't want to maintain it any longer. I use the X230 90% in a Docking Station but it's nice to have the flexibility to be mobile.

    The use case is mostly using Chrome with Facebook, YouTube and adwords. Most of the local storage is used for the OS almost all my data is stored in the cloud (g Suite). Video editing and the creation of creatives is done by others.

    Here are my questions:
    1. I have an external Drive with 4tb of photos connected with USB3. I want to get a TB3/USB-c external drive. Any ideas how I can transfer the data without buying an extra adapter only for this task?

    2. Currently I'm working with 2 x 1080p displays and I definitely need two displays. Depending on the decision (iMac with 1 x 4k display or Macbook Pro with 2 x 4K displays) what kind of Adapters do i need when i go for TB3/USB-c displays?
      1. Which displays do you recommend? I was thinking of the 27" LG Electronics 27UK850-W.
    3. I'm not sure if I need a Macbook Pro or if an iMac will do it. Given my usage do you think 8 GB are sufficient or should i go with 16 GB?

    4. Am I right, that when I go with an iMac with 8 GB I can upgrade the RAM by myself?
      1. Price
        1. iMac(SSD, 8 GB RAM) + 1 x display = $2,399 + $650 + $100 RAM) = $3149

        2. Macbook Pro(13-inch, 256 SSD, 8 GB) + 2 x displays = $1,499 + $1300 = $2799

        3. Macbook Pro(15-inch,256 SSD, 16 GB) + 2 x displays = $2,399 + $1300 = $3699
    5. If I get a Macbook Pro I'd like to use a Twelve South BookArc stand.
      1. When the Macbook is closed sitting in the stand do I have to remove it to power it on?

      2. Does it wake up reliable from suspend when its closed and sitting in the stand?
    Puh ... that are a lot of questions, I hop you'll help me out.

  2. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    You’re over thinking it. If it’s going to live on the desk, buy the iMac.

    If you need mobility, get the MBP.

  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Important distinction: true "TB3" drives, that use the super-fast Thunderbolt 3 protocol, will only work in a TB3 port - and are significantly more expensive than "USB-C" drives* which will work off a USB-A port with a $5 adapter which is often included with the drive. Its confusing, with USB-C drives often being sold as "TB3 compatible" just because they'll work (in USB mode) when connected to "TB3" ports. Generally, though, don't bother with TB3 drives unless you're getting a multi-drive array or a top-of-the-range (expensive) high speed SSD - which would be overkill for your use.

    if the in FAT, ExFAT or NTFS format then you can just plug the old and new drives into your new Mac (the iMac has both USB-A and USB-C sockets... and for a MBP its its worth having a USB-C to USB-A adaptor anyway) and copy away (Mac will read NTFS but not write, which won't matter for that).

    However, if you've been using it on a Linux machine, you might have formatted it to Linux ext3/ext4 format in which case the Mac won't read it without extra software (e.g. Paragon ExtFS for Mac) - and while you can connect your new drive to the Lenovo and do the copy from that, you probably want the new drive formatted to Apple format (HFS+)** which your Linux probably won't write to out-of-the box - something that you can almost certainly fix for free, if you've got a black belt in Linux.

    The universal solution is to set the Lenovo to share the old drive on the network, connect to it from the new Mac and copy away.

    Work that out when you've chosen the Mac and the display(s) - otherwise there are just too many permutations! Again, there's a difference between a TB3 display and a "USB-C" display. Note that the only real advantage of USB-C or Thunderbolt over HDMI or DisplayPort is that they can act as docking/charging stations for a MacBook. For an iMac that's pretty irrelevant.

    For a Macbook Pro - especially the $1499 13" one that only has two TB3 ports - if you want 2 x 4k displays you'll probably want to get a Thunderbolt dock (allow about $300) which will also give you charge, extra USB ports etc. so, again, there's no real advantage to getting USB-C displays.

    Note that cheaper USB-C hubs/multiport adapters won't support dual 4k@60Hz - and even with a single 4k display any USB ports they offer will be limited to USB2 speed.

    For your use, 8GB is probably plenty.

    For the 27"/5k models, yes (don't get more than 8GB from Apple). Not on the 21" iMacs.

    * For pedants out there, "USB 3.1 drives with USB-C connector"...
    ** Haven't got all day so I won't get into APFS...
  4. vkd macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2012
  5. Ruggy macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2017

    As has been said, if you don't need to move it around, then get the imac.
    The macbook pro is terrific but it's no match for the imac- I've had both.

    I think also underestimated is the extra space inside the machine makes for a lot of extra quality. Cooling, bigger power supply, beefier components.

    Something as small as a laptop is a massive compromise.
    And if you spill something on the keyboard or need a mouse (which is still useful even though the trackpad is good).......
  6. olliwoodx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback.
    I'll get an iMac 27". Especially the comment by Ruggy with the components makes a lot of sense. Thanks also to theluggage for bringing so much clarity.
    I'll keep you updated after a few month of usage.

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5 July 18, 2019