iMac versus new Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gregintosh, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    So I was looking at prices of the MacBook Pro Retina and was almost willing to drop $3k on a good configuration of it. Then it hit me... by the time I buy the MacBook and the external display I will have spent AT LEAST $4k.

    With the iMac it seems you can get a pretty high spec unit for about $2,500 and it already includes the 5k display, probably even the same panel.

    My question is, does anyone know how the performance of the new MacBook pros stacks up in terms of benchmarks and real usage (like Final Cut rendering times, gaming performance)?

    I will probably not buy this generation of iMacs, but the one that they will announce hopefully by spring. But still, having an idea of how even THIS generation stacks up against the brand new Pro's will be a good indicator how good or bad of an idea this is.
     
  2. IngerMan, Nov 20, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016

    IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    IMG_0126.jpg IMG_0127.jpg I would say the High end i7 15" Macbook Pro is on line for the stock high end i5 27" iMac looking at Geekbench 4 scores.

    iMac i7 late 2015 scores around 5,200 single and 16,500 multi-core
     
  3. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    Wow, alright, so basically you're still getting a "faster" computer with the 2015 iMac, going with the stock CPU. Probably more so in that case for the 4.0Ghz i7 upgraded one. I would imagine in this case, the next iMacs in the spring will probably do even better.

    Any idea on the graphics front?
     
  4. IngerMan, Nov 20, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016

    IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    Uploaded Model API Platform User Score
    Nov 15, 2016 MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2016)AMD Radeon Pro 460 Compute Engine OpenCL Mac OS X 64-bit 59919

    iMac (27-inch Retina Late 2015)AMD Radeon R9 M395 Compute EngineOpenCLMac OS X 64-bit 75708

    Looks like the i5 iMac bests, the i7 M395X scores up to 90,000 Geekbench 4 Compute Engine openCL.
     
  5. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Of course you'll lose portability with the iMac.
    And if you wait until the spring, that iMac may very well lose SD, USB ports and go all TB3 ports.
    A year ago I wouldn't have guessed Apple could or would do this to a desktop machine, but today I'm not so sure.
     
  6. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #6
    Here's a tradeoff for you to ponder then.

    Suppose Apple introduced a TB3 to PCI "dongle" alongside a TB3 iMac? Would you be interested?

    The videocards currently available with iMacs aren't even close to being state of the art.
     
  7. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    Thanks for looking this up!

    True... I personally don't mind losing the ports and using a hub which I can mount to my desk somewhere if need be.

    On the flip side, if the old iMac has nearly double the graphics performance of the top 15" MacBook pro and better processor performance, that means the new iMac will probably crush it.

    Currently, I use my MacBook Pro as a desktop (hooked up to the cinema display) about 80% of the time. Probably 90%. The rest of the time when I am using it as a portable, its usually to type some stuff or light usage. I would simply keep my MacBook Pro Retina as my portable machine and in time maybe upgrade to a portable MacBook to save on weight.

    It seems to be it would be cheaper to have a highly specced iMac + MacBook than simply a MacBook Pro 15 + LG 5k Display PLUS I'd have substantially better performance too.
     
  8. sboychuck macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    #8
    I also considered a MacBook Pro and an external monitor and keyboard. Ultimately, I chose the iMac with i7, 395X, 3TB Fusion and 32 GB of after-market RAM. This may be my last desktop, but we will see. I use my iPad Pro and iPhone for most everything in the field. It would be nice to have a portable laptop, but the cost is just too high to get rid of my desktops right now. This 5K iMac (beautiful screen) loaded up really smokes and I also have Windows 10 running on Parallels. So, for now, I am staying away from the MacBook Pro.
     
  9. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    How does the fusion drive work out? Are things as fast as on an SSD? I was thinking of just going 512GB SSD or maybe even 1TB SSD if they come down in price by next spring a bit. But 3TB of storage seems tempting, especially since it would save money.

    I am lucky in that my 2012 retina pro 15 still works perfectly fine so if I get an iMac I would still have a great portable mac. Though if I didn't I'd probably go with 12 inch MacBook on the cheap (you can get some for about a grand these days).

    I do have an iPad Pro with the keyboard cover which works for typing but its still not good for "real" work like making proposals or editing graphics for the web, or updating websites.
     
  10. fokmik macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    the next imac should be even faster since they will adopt that new i7 kaby lake cpu and those amd 470 and probably 480...if not vega ?!
    but again, a macbook is an all around, all scenarios device, desktop/mobile device, the imac is standalone desktop
     
  11. sboychuck macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    #11
    It seems to work fine for me. It has a 128 GB SSD that seems to keep things running ok. I cannot compare it to a 1TB SSD, as I do not have one. I like the extra storage. I keep a lot of stuff on my Mac and back it up to a Time Capsule. I guess I am a bit "old school" with not having things on external drives. Things just seem faster when they are on the internal drives. Maybe next time around in 3-5 years when I am in the market again, they will have 2 and 3 TB SSD's at a reasonable cost.
     
  12. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    I've got an older 2010 MBP hooked to a 24" display and in the same boat. I was going to go the new MBP route too, but the price/value has me thinking going with an iMac.

    My hope is that we may see new refreshed form factor iMac in the spring. Although that too will likely mean a higher price.
     
  13. Sam_S macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Everywhere
    #13
    Gregintosh I would go for the iMac in the Spring, and keep the old MacBook Pro you have for usage on the go! And you have an iPad Pro, so you should be covered on the portability front. I am hoping to do something similar when the new iMacs are released.
     
  14. ndolebay macrumors member

    ndolebay

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #14
    Forget about the specs, think about your needs.
    I bought a MacBook 12", it laid on my desk almost all the time.
    Considered to buy a monitor, end up with an iMac 27".
    Waste a lot of money.
    So my suggestion is: if you have an old Macbook Pro, don't buy the new mbp, wait for the new iMac 2017, maybe it will release on March.
     
  15. macmee Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    if you want to save money, build a hackintosh for $800 and have better specs than a mac pro even has
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    I've gone that route in the past and its a fun exercise, but what i found is it can be a pain to maintain long term. You need to be careful of upgrades, as some of the customized kexts may not work, and you need to be careful of components you choose. I ran into an issue, that I was able to install OS X, but when the next version of OS X was released, I had to wait until some of the kexts I needed to be rewritten.

    I think for there's something to be said for Apple's integration of software and hardware, true the hardware may not be as robust as a home built PC, it just works, as they say. Time is money and spending time messing with the system, can get old fast.
     
  17. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    Yeah, I think you're right. Unless Apple surprises us with a new quad-core Mac mini! :)
     
  18. macmee Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    I almost went the hackintosh route instead of getting this iMac but I too thought the manual labor to maintain it would be a pain. Obviously I regret that decision now given how the iMac turned out to be somewhat of a lemon with the failing displays, failing fan.

    There must be super safe builds to hackintosh with though right? I would imagine the customac builds must be pretty upgrade proof.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    Yes to a point and I thought I got a "safe" motherboard but alas, when it was time to upgrade it was not looking very good. Shortly after that I gave up on pursuing the hackintosh route. I'd rather focus on getting my tasks done, instead of trying to keep the computer running
     
  20. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #20
    When the possible refresh in Oct didn't materialize, I was deciding between a Hackintosh or 2015 iMac. A lot of the threads around getting certain things like Wifi/Bluetooth just right to support Handoff/AirDrop looked rather painful. As well as the threads discussing how upgrades tended to break the somewhat fragile work-arounds that made the AppStore work and required addressing every so often.

    And after pricing out the display I wanted (since 5K is a huge part of the point of upgrading for me), I wasn't really saving much (possibly none now that the 5K Dell is back up to ~1500$ a pop), and still giving up things like TB unless I went with specific motherboards. Same with PCIe SSDs. So it didn't really pan out as a good option for me. That said, if you aren't actually interested in the things the iMac does bring to the table in the form of 5K and PCIe SSDs, or Thunderbolt, you can save quite a bit. And maybe the equation changes for you at that point in terms of being more willing to be hands on with the maintenance of the system.
     
  21. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #21
    I have both top-spec 2015 iMac 27 and top-spec 2015 MBP and frequently do video editing with FCPX. In general the iMac is a much better choice for this -- screen is much bigger, fans are quieter and don't spin up as soon, and it just feels faster. This would not be obvious from just looking at the GeekBench numbers (see below). If you don't absolutely need portability I think an iMac is a much better platform for sustained work.

    My GeekBench 4.03 results on Sierra are:

    2015 iMac 27
    CPU: 5126 single core, 16277 multi-core
    GPU: 85101 OpenCL (M395X)

    2015 MPB Retina 15"
    CPU: 4426 single core, 14615 multi-core
    GPU: 37780 OpenCL (M370X)
     
  22. MinEderPlayz macrumors 6502a

    MinEderPlayz

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #22
    I have a pretty similar setup to yours and I am pretty sure that the feeling of speed is related to the form factor. While the MacBook is arguably a tad slower processor wise, I don't notice much of a performance difference (in FCPX for example), at least when using an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. When I'm on the go I feel like it is a bit more cumbersome with the trackpad and the smaller screen, but overall it's not too bad, I'd say.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    Cost was the final deciding factor for my choosing an iMac over a Dell least year. I was not going to make it a hackintosh, but switch over to the dark side. Pricing out the desktop computer with a 5k display, it was clear that costs were in Apple's favor, which is surprising because we hear all the time about Apple Tax, heck, I still believe in that, but in this case your getting a better deal with Apple imo.
     
  24. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #24
    Yes, you'll want to remember that the MBP is equipped with a laptop processor which is weaker than its desktop counterpart, explaining why the i5 beat the i7.

    The quad core i7 in the current iMacs is really a wonderful piece of hardware.
     
  25. jagooch macrumors regular

    jagooch

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, co
    #25
    I did this for a while, but I BT ipad keyboard was very laggy and my screen was alway smudged from using the touch screen features. I replaced the iPad with a 13" macbook and then got an iMac for desktop work. It's been working out for me much better than when I had the ipad , a 15" mbp, and an iMac ( plus iphone! ) .
     

Share This Page