iMac or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MyAccount, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. MyAccount macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    Hi all,

    Just wondering what would be better for me: the baseline 21.5" iMac or a 13" MacBook Pro.

    Here are the exact specifications of the computers I'm considering (don't question the pricing, I'm getting third party upgrades):

    iMac 21.5"

    6 GB DDR3 RAM
    3.06 GHz C2D
    GeForce 9400M
    500 GB 7200 rpm HDD

    $1250

    MacBook Pro 13"

    4 GB DDR3 RAM
    2.26 GHz C2D
    GeForce 9400M
    128 GB Kingston SSDnow V Series (they were recently updated with faster speeds, and maybe something else... I don't know what that would be)

    $1600

    I'm going to use them for photo/video editing, intermediate MMO gaming, heavy web browsing, video playback, online chatting, and music on iTunes.

    I like the MacBook Pro's portability, trackpad (the Magic Mouse doesn't have all the multi touch features of the trackpad), backlit keyboard, and SSD upgradeability. I've tried out standard iMacs and they're definitely suitable for me; would a MacBook Pro with an SSD give me similar performance? Good enough to handle what I'll be doing without running too slow? Just for the record, I won't be doing more than two of those at a time.

    Thanks in advance! I can't wait to get rid of my Vista craptop!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    If you really need/want portability, get MBP but if you can live without it, get iMac. iMac will be faster as it has faster CPU
     
  3. MyAccount thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 13, 2010
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    New York City
    #3
    Yeah, but you're not taking the SSD into consideration. I'm not exactly sure how much of a performance boost it would provide, but if it can make an MBP at least feel equally responsive if not more responsive than an iMac I'm definitely going for the MBP.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #4
    But SSD still ain't a CPU. Yes, it'll speed thing up a lot but faster CPU will make rendering times faster and speed up importing/exporting.

    SSD will make app launch times billion times faster but for photo/video editing and gaming, CPU is more important and you can still upgrade iMac's HD to SSD as well.

    Don't think about the performance, think about portability because there wont be huge difference in performance
     
  5. MyAccount thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 13, 2010
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    #5
    I know, it's just that I care more about the overall system performance than just one component.

    Anyway, isn't it VERY hard to upgrade the iMac's storage drive?
     
  6. nsknike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    #6
    If you care more about the system performance than anything else, get the iMac, it will be faster while actually running the tasks.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    It's not really that hard but it involves taking off the glass etc. so yea, it's long process but not impossible and net is full of great tutorials.

    And as nsknike said, iMac will be faster while RUNNING something but MBP with SSD will be faster when launching something big like Photoshop but is few seconds really going to ruin your life? 128GB is quite small too if you're going to edit videos and photos so you would have to use external HD all the time which will again, slow things down quite a bit
     
  8. Jamo12 macrumors regular

    Jamo12

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #8
    There is an app called Better Touch Tools (which is free) that gives you everything that the trackpad can do (and more!) in the magic mouse. The iMac screen is so bright that you would never need a backlit keyboard. As for the SSD, yes they are nice. After a few weeks, though, the performance gets a lot slower than when it was new.

    All that aside, if you think your computer will stay in the same spot 90% of the time, get the iMac. The MBP will be able to handle any of the video editing you through at it, if you are willing to wait a bit longer for exporting and that stuff, but the bigger screen, and faster computing makes the iMac much more usefull, especially for hd video playback and web browsing.
     
  9. SamTheeGeek macrumors 6502

    SamTheeGeek

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    United Kingdom
    #9
    I would say the iMac just because the faster processor. It really helps when it comes with video editing and gaming too :)
     
  10. MyAccount thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 13, 2010
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    New York City
    #10
    Thanks for the advice guys, I'm going to go pick up an iMac soon :D
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #11
    Not true. Unless it's full (you should always have at least 5GBs of free space) it'll be as fast as new one and it'll anyway be faster than any hard drive
     
  12. greygray macrumors 68000

    greygray

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    Oct 22, 2009
    #12
    MBP. You can't go wrong with them since they can be lugged everywhere.
     
  13. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    Manchester UK
    #13
    Assuming you can wait a week or two the MBP might have better processor options than current model
     
  14. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
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    UK
    #14
    When you get it and decide you want an SSD then follow the guide in my sig.
     
  15. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #15
    unless you have a serious need for a large screen, i'd go for the portability of the mbp.

    Also, you could always get a larger screen to go with it at some point?
     
  16. SXR macrumors 6502a

    SXR

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    Netherlands
    #16
    I went with the iMac cause portability was not a must for me, and this machine is FAST.
     
  17. logimech macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #17
    If I were you, I'd go with the iMac for the larger screen and lower price point.

    If you need a portable computer, grab an iPad with the money you saved.

    It's not like you'll be playing WoW on the road anyway.
     

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