iMac vs Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Keitto, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Keitto macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #1
    I searched around the forums for relevant threads, but I couldn't find one with the specific info I'm looking for.

    As the title says, I am stuck in the constant struggle between power and portability. I am about to buy a Mac and I am not sure of what to choose. I am a motion graphics designer and I need to work with lots of video. For that reason, I think I would pick an iMac 27", however, I would like to buy a MBP 17" so I can take it to work meetings or lay down in my bed and check my email (or play SC2 :3 ).

    MBPs 17" have 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 and iMacs 27" have 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5. I would buy any of them with 8GB and an upgraded processor.

    I want to know about the processors, if there's a slight or huge difference between them, i.e., I can perceive a reduction in the amount of time on different processes.

    I hope I made myself clear and you can help me to know which computer will give me the best value for my money. Essentially, when it comes down to which one will last longer.

    Thank you, guys!
     
  2. 1point21gigawat macrumors newbie

    1point21gigawat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #2
    I think it all depends on where you feel like you would be using the machine for its intended purpose most often. Are you going to be editing a lot of video on location or out of your home? If so, the MBP will be your answer. Are you going to be doing it mostly at home? The iMac would be your best bet then. However, if you have the choice of where you will be editing, that is another story.

    The iMac will have better performance than the MBP for several reasons. First, and most obviously, a higher clock speed, quad-core processor. Second, you'll have the same amount of RAM but the iMac has faster RAM (1333MHz) versus than the MBP (1066 MHz). Third, the iMac will have a better graphics card with more memory (1GB) than the MBP (512MB).

    In addition to those things, the iMac will be expandable to 16GB of RAM where the MBP will max out at 8GB…*so it will last you longer.

    As far as the reduction of time in processes, I suggest testing them out if you live near an Apple Store. Put a couple of projects on an external drive and take them with you up to the store. Approach a specialist when you get there and let them know what you're deciding and that you'd like to run a real-world test off of a couple of files that you have on an external drive. Once they know, they'll probably be fine with it.

    Run the same actions on the 17" MBP and the 27" iMac and see the performance difference for yourself. That way you'll also get a feel for what the difference in screen real estate will be between the two machines. That should really help you make the most educated decision for yourself.

    BTW, I did this same thing I'm telling you with Aperture libraries when I was trying to determine a new machine for myself. The real world test with my own files really helped me make up my mind. :)
     
  3. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #3
    if i would be you i would chose the iMac for work and maybe a simple MacBook for your meetings as you do not actually WORK on that and for checking emails its sufficient enough too
     
  4. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    iMac has quad core i7 CPU running at 2.93GHz
    MBP has dual core i7 CPU running at 2.66GHz

    If CPU power is needed, then iMac will be much faster as it has twice as much cores and higher clock speed.

    One option is to get refurb iMac for 1699$, it's about as fast as the current one. Then buy a refurb MacBook or even used one if money is a problem. Gives you the best of both words, power and portability. An iPad may also be sufficient
     
  6. shdwghst457 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio
    #6
    +1 to that. Laptops have never really been satisfactory to me since I like leaving server apps (like Air Video) running 24/7 and with plenty of processing power to convert my videos on the fly (2.8GHz i7 27" iMac) but I loved the portability of my MacBook Pro. iPad has been the cure to all my portability issues (especially with the iSSH app that's in the App Store to my surprise). Rather than having two machines that do the same thing, the iPad runs iPad apps (duh) which is a huge bonus over a MacBook. Plus, the new polycarbonate unibody is the first MacBook that hasn't been a total disappointment (even though it's missing FireWire...again). So at home you get a huge screen with a screaming fast quad core ($2200) and on the go you get an awesomely portable 10" screen with the A4 proc ($500) and you've still spent less than a slower than the iMac, less portable than the iPad, 17" MacBook Pro (and why wouldn't you want the 17", anyway?)
     
  7. shdwghst457 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio
    #7
    An interesting misconception, mostly Apple's fault. They're quick to claim QUAD CORE on the iMac page, but they're not as clear about the fact that the MacBook Pro has the discrete video card in place of those other cores (the 2 variants of i7, 4 cores or 2 w/video card)
     
  8. willieva macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #8
    Unless you need the mobility of a laptop, a desktop will much better suit your computing needs. Faster, cheaper, and a bigger screen.

    For mobility unless you need the power of a laptop an ipad is a great choice. Amazing battery life, fast on/off, can do almost anything a laptop can do, and can do lots more because of the app store. Plus if you don't have cellular internet already, the ipad gives you that option. I went for the 3g option figuring it would just cost me $15 occasionally, but once I started the service it's been used ever since.
     
  9. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Coachella, CA
    #9
    I don't have the same setup, more like the opposite end of the spectrum. I have entry level 20" 2009 iMac, and entry level 2010 13" MBP. I love the portability, but tend to favor the iMac. If you consider your situation where the screen is quite larger, which seems like it would be beneficial in your situation. I have seen the new 27" models and they are huge!

    I suppose if you started with the MBP, and later added an iMac, things could only get better. Although I still can't get over how nice the iMac looks sitting on my desk!
     
  10. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Jun 15, 2004
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    Norway
  11. cluthz, Sep 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #11
    I don't think a netbook would do anything for a motion graphics designer..
     
  12. Keitto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #12
    Thanks!

    Thank you, guys, I think I almost make up my mind about which I am going to buy, I will let you know once I have done it. :D
     
  13. mrpuffy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    #13
    Go with one which ever you will use more, mbp is versatile but imac has the speed [​IMG]
     
  14. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #14
    not to forget the screen real estate , ok the iMac is not really to be considered portable , but it could be manageable :D
    there are nice cases for the iMac even for the 27" http://www.ilugger.com/
    so there you are 27" screen and portable (case has wheels)and more powerful then the MBP
     

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