iMac vs Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gualwer, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. Gualwer macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2015
    Hey everyone,

    So I'm starting school this summer and my classes will be mainly online. I have a 2013 Macbook air with 128Gb storage. 128Gb storage has worked for me so far, but I'm sure I'll be needing more once I start school. I'm going to study IT btw.

    So I was debating between selling my macbook air and upgrading to a Macbook Pro 13" with 512GB flash storage or keeping my Macbook air for light use and also for whenever I'm traveling then purchasing an iMac with 2TB fusion drive for my actual classes online and my storage needs. One thing that I like about the iMac is the amount of storage. These are the two computer I'm looking at

    Macbook Pro


    Is the iMac worth the extra money? or Should I just go with the Pro and have a powerful computer thats also portable? what should I do? I know at the end its up to me and my own needs, but it would be nice to hear from y'all and what you would do if you were in my shoes.

  2. rjbruce macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    My 2011 13" has been a workhorse with 8GB memory and a 500GB SSD. My only complaint is the screen real estate. If you have an IDE open, you really don't have room for anything else and screen size is tight for any of the Adobe products by themselves. Mobility is more important to me than screen size, so if I'm trying to get any serious work done I have a 24" display on my desk plus keyboard & mouse. I'm leaning toward a 15" for my next, but will see what is announced over the next few months. I really love the 27" iMac but I can't justify a desktop for my use.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What's your mobility needs? Will you need something other then light usage as you mention? For students, I think the MBP offers more flexibility, I'd go with that if it were me.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The OP said mostly online study from home in IT, so they may well be better off with bigger screen real estate and desktop specs, I also believe having a proper desk set up is helpful for staying focuses on studying sloshing around with a laptop doesn't help me study I must say.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I saw that, but if he still has mobility needs, which is why I asked the question about his needs, then the MBP may be a viable option.

    The iMac does offer a superior experience if he's doing his work at a desk.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    They did say keeping the MacBook Air for mobile needs if buying the iMac....
  7. Andreas222 macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2015
    Since you're studying IT: Do you plan to use boot camp for windows? If you do, I would not recommend a fusion drive since windows will only run from the hard drive and not from the ssd.

    As far as desktop/laptop goes: I've been using mac laptops for the past 10 years, but I bought a 5k retina iMac this year because when I actually considered my usage I realized that it was like 99% at home and the other 1% my iPad would do just fine.

    Hope that helps, good luck.
  8. jaduff46 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2010
    Second star on the right....
    I have an iMac (2010 27") which is great for development work because of the screen real estate. My iPad is sufficient if I'm on the road.

    The kids all have MBPs of various vintages acquired during college and they love the portability. None, however, are developers nor do they run apps that need the larger screen size.
  9. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    I have a bachelors in IT, I live by Apple and I've got nothing but Macs at my house. (iMac, MBP, MBA, 2 iPad Air 1s, 2 iPhone 6S pluses, an iPhone 5C, an ATV3 and an ATV4 with a 3 TB Time Capsule router as my credentials).

    All I can say is if you are going to school for IT this is what you'll need, assuming it is for Systems Administration and Networking.

    A Windows 7 Pro laptop.

    Most of your classes will cover Windows administration, perhaps have you create a few VMs using VMWare Player that contain Server 2008R2 maybe 2012R2 and another VM containing Fedora/RHEL.

    The software you will be provided if you are getting into networking is Windows-based.

    The most important thing you can do is learn the content the easiest way possible because the classes might be hard if you have little to no experience with computers.

    Once you learn the content then you can make better decisions about what computer to get next.

    I owned a Mac before I went to college and while I was in college I got by my associates on a $500 windows laptop. By the time I got to Linux, I started doing my own learning and translating Linux commands to Mac terminal commands. My Mac at home was pretty much useless except for typing up documents but most of an IT degree is hands on anyways.
  10. Gualwer thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2015

    wow thanks for your feedback. I did read that I was gonna need to use windows for some classes, thats why I thought maybe I could use boot camp for windows on an iMac or Macbook pro. Do you think its a better idea to just wait and get a windows computer later on? Is using a iMac for windows not a good idea? I really appreciate your help. Thanks again.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2016 ---
    I was told I would be needing windows as well so yeah I was thinking I could use boot camp for windows. Would a fusion drive make windows run slower? I thought about just getting a SSD instead, but its so expensive and not much storage at all. Thats one of the reason why getting macbook pro sounds like a better plan since it already comes with flash storage and its cheaper than the iMac with 512 GB flash storage which is alright.
  11. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    Windows is Windows, regardless of the hardware it is on, if you already have a Mac that you plan on repurposing for the task ahead, then go for it, you just need to be able to run Windows applications with ease if you want to make college go smooth for you. I only suggested a cheap Windows laptop to prevent you from spending a fortune on a computer that you'd likely only use for a few years and then forget about.

    I didn't touch my college laptop once afterwards, I didn't need it for anything.
  12. Andreas222 macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2015
    Well basically the idea of a fusion drive is that the OS (and some frequently used apps and stuff) lives on the SSD portion. And the stuff you don't need as often lives on the hard drive portion. But if you're using boot camp, Windows will live on the hard drive since the SSD portion is used by OS X. So you will get hard drive performance in Windows instead of SSD performance. And the difference is huge :)
  13. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    (I don't think it is an issue anymore but will share this tip anyways)
    If you have a fusion drive over 2 TB, Windows will be placed in the middle of core storage (and end at the 2 TB block based on size) as an MBR formatted partition (which is what Mac uses for bootcamp) does not see block sizes past 2 TB. Just keep this in mind. I didn't find a solution to it and the only way to remove the bootcamp partition and gain back the space was to remove the core storage volume and add it back (which isn't hard just not fun).

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12 April 13, 2016