Is an iMac a good purchase even if you already have a rMBP?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Hieveryone, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I have a late 2013 rMBP 2.6/8/256

    I use an external monitor with it on a regular basis.

    Should I get an iMac?
  2. Rian Gray macrumors regular

    Rian Gray

    Jul 13, 2011
    NJ, United States
    It really depends. I had a 17" MBP, probably 2010 model (can't recall anymore), and as I was using it on daily basis, hooked up to the external monitor, I just realized having a powerful laptop wasn't exactly my style of workstation. That was the reason why I moved on to iMac, and then purchased Macbook Air much later, a used one, that fits into my budget.

    I guess the real question should be, how often do you need your laptop battery-powered (meaning, you are not charging), and be powerful every time (does your work environment require you to have heavy-duty machine 24/7), and how big of an advantage is having an external monitor (is it just luxury or is it something you need for your work?) These were the questions I asked myself back then, and I happened to answer sometimes or no for most of them. That was why I switched.
  3. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    If you want to spend money on a new computer, sure, go ahead.

    If you don't need another system and just 'want one', then perhaps reconsider and pay off a credit card or student loan or mortgage instead and replace your dying rMBP in the future with a new system?

    But if you need another system, why ask about an iMac, you require a more serious hardware setup, or a bigger monitor, or want to have separate computers for different things etc?

    Not sure sure why you're asking, ... Should I get a Mac? Yeah sure! Go for it.. I guess..
  4. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Does your usage require the extra power or do you just want the 5K display and a desktop Mac? Ultimately it's up to you, but it might be worth waiting until the fall announcements and potentially a 5K display compatible with your current rMBP.

    Edit: I will say I have the late 2013 13" rMBP for portability and 27" Retina iMac as my main Mac, very happy with this setup and it meets my needs well.
  5. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I have a 27"' retina IMac and a 15" rMBP. My driver is I have a large music, photo and video library, that would not fit on a laptop. These days using iCloud or Dropbox to sync files works well, and I have access to all my documents which ever system I use.

    I use the laptop at work, and when home generally stays in my laptop bag. Having the IMac also means I don't have to worry about connecting to a display.

    Working on large spreadsheets ( I am a finance director) or editing photo's on the IMac is a joy, with the Retina display.

    However at the end of the day it depends on your needs, but for me the combination works well.
  6. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Thank you all for the answers. I just use Firefox, Pages, Notes, FaceTime audio on occasion, and that's kind of it.

    I just want one to be honest. The 21.5" one. The 27" is too big for me.

    I don't really have a reason per se. I would mainly use it to casually browse the web and visit tech sites and read news, maybe lookup some recipes, and browse YouTube videos.
  7. Nospig macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    Bangkok, Thailand
    No, no, no. 21.5" is junk. Go 27" or go home.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Given your usage, I'd say you don't need one, and the 27" is a better option, because its already on Skylake, its rocking with a dGPU and overall, for the price a better bang for your buck.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I just want one to be honest. The 21.5" one. The 27" is too big for me."

    Buy the 27".

    You will NEVER regret having done so.

    You'll get used to that extra onscreen real estate VERY quickly!
  10. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    From your usage it sounds more like you "want" an iMac rather than need one. Which is fine in itself if you just want a desktop go for it but it doesn't sound like you'll benefit too much from it.

    Contrary to you I want a MacBook but I don't need one. So I can't justify the expense on something that won't benefit me.

    Like people above me mentioned I'd highly recommend a 27" over the 21" especially when using a desktop in place of a laptop, the extra screen real estate is the entire point. At first I though I went way too big, the 27" seemed ridiculous, but now I wouldn't use anything less. Matter of fact if Apple put out something bigger I would go with that.
  11. Rian Gray macrumors regular

    Rian Gray

    Jul 13, 2011
    NJ, United States
    I wouldn't recommend 21, unless you have specific need for it. 27" worked for me, because having a giant screen really helps me to go through different reports/papers at the same time. Same can be said for pretty much all use cases.
  12. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    It seems like from your answers I should get a 27" one.

    Does anyone know if Apple will release a 5k 27" monitor?

    That way I get the screen without paying for the entire computer.

    Can just hookup my rMBP
  13. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Unfortunately no Mac laptop can currently drive a 5k external display. If you want 5k, the only option is the iMac at the moment.
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Compared to the rMBP, the 27" iMac gives you: A bigger screen. A more powerful processor. More storage built-in. Assuming you don't need two computers, unless you need the additional processing power, you can attach two large monitors to your rMBP, plus tons of external storage. For much less money than the iMac.
  15. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I had a 2014 rMBP 15" that I didn't use heavily. Then I went on a trip and used it for a month or so. When I got back to my 27" Dell U2711 monitor (a decent monitor, but not "retina") it looked so coarse and awful that I bought a 5k iMac (yes, there's more to the story than that but it's not important).

    I was hooked on that resolution and everything else was unacceptable to me.

    I haven't regretted it for a nanosecond. Sure, an iMac has drawbacks, but the screen resolution makes up for them in my use case. I have the 1 TB SSD and what was the highest graphics option back then.

    As for the 21" vs the 27" -- the 21" is a very poor value. I think that's generally agreed. Slow awful disk is the main issue. With the 27 you get choices and if your budget can stand it, you can configure a very nice machine.
  16. Novus John macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2015
    Imho, you don't really need a desktop computer. You're fine with the laptop as it is.

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