In doubt; rMBP or iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Asmoday, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Asmoday macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    Hy there everyone, im planning on buying a new computer soon and had some doubts/questions. Before you think, dear god not another thread, i know exactly what ill be using the computer for.

    Main work:
    Photoshop
    Lightroom with RAW files
    Regular administrative stuff

    Money is not to be thougt of.

    Will a mbp be good enough to edit my big file photos? Or do i really need the power from an imac?
    Does a mbp runs hot while on your lap?
    What are the upgrade options in a 15 inch mbp and 27 inch imac?
    Whats the average lifespan?

    Sorry for the questions but im a soon to be apple convert and want to be prepared .

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    Alright.

    Alright. Starting with the easiest question, the BTO options. Below are two links. The first link is for the rMBP, and the second for the iMac. It'll show you the Apple store base models, but if you click the "Select" button on a model, it'll show you the configuration options.
    http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/macbook-pro
    http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/imac

    Moving on to performance. If you got the money, and you don't mind sacrificing the portability, I'd suggest a top of the line 27 inch iMac with the added SSD or fusion drive (for image import). A faster CPU and GPU will of course also be good, but considering that I don't think you really mean it when you say money isn't an object, put it a bit further down on your priority list.
    The MacBook Pro will do fine for most tasks I'm sure. It's quite a powerful machine, and the retina display is absolutely amazing, and considering that you're working with photoshop and Lightroom, it might be really useful. The SSD and fast RAM that comes standard in the rMBP is perfect for your work. Note that you can't upgrade the rMBP after purchase, unlike the 27 inch iMac, which is still mostly locked down, but does offer manual RAM upgrades. I strongly suggest you get the rMBP with a dedicated GPU (highest end base model only) if you decide to go rMBP, as it will really speed up the work you do. Performance wise, you will definitely get the most bang for your buck with the iMac, but the retina display and portability of the MBP are undoubtedly two aspects you don't want to overlook when making your decision.

    Heat of course depends a lot on the work you're doing at any specific time. I doubt it'll be too much of an issue to have the rMBP on your lap, but it can get a bit toasty when doing intense work. I don't have too much experience with retina Mac when it comes to heat production, but with my 2011 MBP, running intense applications can get my chassis to around 36 degrees C, and even hit 40 on hot summer days. The rMBPs have better cooling systems though, and the current models' design was meant for hardware with a lower thermal design point (by about 22 Watt.).

    I hope I was of assistance. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. Remember to respond to me using the quote button though, if you don't I might not notice your message.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Asmoday thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    Thanks for your quick reply!
    I use my ipad air 64gb to make a selection of my shots, but i dont think ill really start editing photos on the go. So reading back your post i should probably go for the imac since its more value for money. Ill wait and see what june brings us in terms of new releases from apple and most likely get an imac. If i cant upgrade the rmbp then im afraid ill begin to feel annoyed with it in 2/3 years, as where i can upgrade the imac with sufficient ram/ an ssd.

    Again thanks for your fast and friendly reply :)
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4
    Hold that just a minute.

    Hold on just a second chap. Upgrading the HDD/SDD of the iMac requires taking off the screen, which is quite a complicated procedure. If you're feeling adventurous, there are guides on the internet, I would point out iFixit as a great source of these guides, but it's not an easy thing to do. RAM is an easy upgrade though. If you wish to upgrade the disk in the iMac, the easiest would be to permanently attach an external thunderbolt disk, which you could also do with an rMBP (all rMBPs come with PCIe SSD anyway though, so capacity would be the only reason to do that with the rMBP).
     
  5. Asmoday thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 12, 2014
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    The Netherlands
    #5
    So for example i could just get the stock 7200 rpm hdd in the imac and use an external ssd for the os and photoshop/lightroom? Would this cause any speedloss using the ssd external?

    Again, i really think the rmbp will not be sufficient for my needs in 3 years time and the steep price really forces me to buy something that will at least keep me happy for 3 years, preferally 5.

    Thanks for the info on the hdd replacement issues :)
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #6
    Yeah sure.

    Yes, this is possible. Depending on the SSD and the connection method you will experience different speeds, and you will have to enable TRIM manually when using a 3rd party SSD. The SSD that can be ordered with the iMac (either Fusion Drive or pure SSD) is a PCIe SSD, meaning that it is of the faster sorts. If you wish comparable performance, you'd be forced to go with a thunderbolt disk (USB 3.0 can get you a lot of speed too, but Thunderbolt is indubitably faster.). Another option would be a RAID setup, either with two external drives, or an external and the internal. Or you could make your own fusion drive with an external SSD and the internal HDD. There are plenty of guides for this around, including a helpful one right here on Macrumors. Link below:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1530110&highlight=guide+diy+fusion
     
  7. Asmoday thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 12, 2014
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    #7
    Youre really helpfull! Thanks alot

    Ill probably get a 500gb flash disk internal and read up on a RAID setup or even check out NAS for storage.

    Ill have the money in 3 months tops, you reckon i buy the late 2013 model or wait for the 'new' model. Cause if the new model will be retina ill smack myself in the face if i just bought the 2013 model :')
     
  8. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #8
    Nah.

    I doubt we'll see retina before 2015, maybe even 2016. I see Apple maybe releasing an external retina display, but not the iMac, as running 5K on the GPUs won't leave enough power for many other intense tasks. If they do release a retina model, they will have to have a deal with Nvidia that nobody knows about, giving them an exclusive GTX 880MX and 875MX. Speed wise, performance probably won't change much either, as Intel's new chip is a refresh of the current one, running 100 Mhz faster, and the 800M series of GPUs is basically the same deal. (The MX potential I spoke of earlier would be running a newer architecture. That's what the X means. This was seen with the GTX 680MX. As it is, the 880M will run on the same architecture as 780 and 680MX.). We'll probably see better fusion drives though, but that won't matter if you're getting pure SSD anyway. If it'll take you three months to get the money, you might actually get to see what will happen before you buy. There's a chance Apple will unveil the new models at WWDC, less than two months from now. Chances are it won't be before the fall, but who knows. A lot of rumors have surfaced recently about a cheaper iMac model, and I would expect Apple to unveil such a device next to other iMac updates, which would lead me to believe that WWDC maybe isn't such a crazy bet anyway.
     
  9. Asmoday thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Location:
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    #9
    Thats some good news. I can wait and see what the possible new releases will be and decide then if i want it there and then or if the possible new updates are worth waiting an additional 3 months.

    Thanks :D
     

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