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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 16, 2008
I have a budget of 4K

i already have a cinema display
it is for desktop use, xcode development + games

would you recommend taking a full-option iMac or a full option MBP retina display?


macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
The 650M in the Retina MBP is good, but not great, in games. If that's a primary motivator, you should sit tight until a 7970m or 680M iMac is available.

If you run your 650M MBP over Tbolt to your ATD at native resolution, it will perform worse than today's 6970m iMac.


macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2010
Brooklyn, New York.
If you want to be part of the public beta of retina display OSX go for the Retina MBP. Otherwise you get more performance for your dollar withteh iMac. Even if you can't really upgrade much on it beyond the ram.


macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2007
For me... I'd go iMac but that's a personal preference.

I did the whole "MacBook Pro as a Desktop Replacement" for a a while, and it wasn't as nice.
  • More cables lying around
  • Still used external monitor since I need more than 15" for desk work
  • More desk space taken up with keyboard + laptop + monitor than even a regular PC

Now, if you plan on using it as a laptop from time to time AND either (you aren't flush with OR you only want 1 purchase)

Then... maybe the laptop is the smarter bet.

In my case, my purchase will JUST be a desktop so I'd rather have 1 huge screen, with very few cables, taking up less desk space. My laptop is still "good enough" to serve as a laptop... and if I were to replace it I'd just get a 13" bare bones MacBook Pro

plucky duck

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2012
The 27" iMac is high enough resolution for you to do some real work, multitasking, and still be able to have decent gaming experience. If you still crave retina then get yourself an iPad 3 as a companion to the iMac, it'll compliment it nicely. Get the iMac from apple refurbished. When all is said and done you'll still have some nice change in your pocket.
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