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OS X Dude

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
1,126
611
UK
Hi,

Quick question, is a 15" top-spec rMBP as powerful as a top-spec 21.5" iMac? Both the latest versions of each model.

I ask because they both use a mobile GPU and the same amount/bus speed of RAM (the MBP uses low-voltage memory but research has shown it makes little to no speed difference). The only differentiator is the processor, but there doesn't seem much in it besides the iMac having a desktop-class i7.

I'm considering between the two - again - when I upgrade. The MBP won last time, as it was the first to have an i7 and blew the iMac away at the time. I can always use an Apple Thunderbolt Display to get the desktop experience, I just don't want to lose out on the power front. It'd be used for audio recording and post-production, probably dealing with up to 40-50 tracks with software effects (hardware rack gear being better placed in an optimally-tuned studio, in my opinion).

I am drawn to the iMac largely because, as I have a room set-up for audio monitoring, it could stay in one place with everything wired up to it. I guess the same could be done with the ATD as well. That said, the occasional portability of the MBP could be useful for live applications.
 

OS X Dude

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
1,126
611
UK
Get the MacBook and a nice external IPS monitor - best of both worlds. :)

That's very much the other option, as it's always been for me and Macs :p A big decision every 5 years or so. If an iMac is more powerful, I'll go that route though. A 27", whilst more powerful, is out of the question - I don't need that much screen space. I do for my other job, but that's something else!

The MBP Geekbenches better, but that's only half a story. Trouble is, even with a generous staff discount, a MBP 15 + ATD is hella money. Is there a rival display with similar image quality and connectivity? Not so fussed about Thunderbolt being on it.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,216
1,608
Really depends what your throwing at it as the cooling in an iMac is more up to the job when heavy loads are put on the cpu.
 

OS X Dude

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
1,126
611
UK
CPU benchmarks are here: http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

Looks like they're about even, which is surprising considering the imac uses a processor with a higher TDP.

Really depends what your throwing at it as the cooling in an iMac is more up to the job when heavy loads are put on the cpu.

Both my thoughts exactly - there seems to be no difference, but subconsciously I expect a desktop to perform better under load, as Gav2k said.

I guess these days it really is all down to RAM and SSD speed.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,038
181
Both my thoughts exactly - there seems to be no difference, but subconsciously I expect a desktop to perform better under load, as Gav2k said.

I guess these days it really is all down to RAM and SSD speed.

I got a $20 cooling pad for my rmbp. Might be worth it for you and seems to really keep temps down.
 

cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
7,189
3,321
United Kingdom
That's very much the other option, as it's always been for me and Macs :p A big decision every 5 years or so. If an iMac is more powerful, I'll go that route though. A 27", whilst more powerful, is out of the question - I don't need that much screen space. I do for my other job, but that's something else!

The MBP Geekbenches better, but that's only half a story. Trouble is, even with a generous staff discount, a MBP 15 + ATD is hella money. Is there a rival display with similar image quality and connectivity? Not so fussed about Thunderbolt being on it.

Wouldn't getting an MBP + Thunderbolt Display be 27" anyway?

No idea about the power of each one, but personally I'd get the MBP for portability and the nicer screen.
 

OS X Dude

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
1,126
611
UK
That's very true, it would be - I'd forgotten that Apple don't offer a smaller display anymore. I really wish they did - 21.5" to 24" would be great.
 
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