Is An rMBP As Powerful As An iMac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by OS X Dude, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
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    UK
    #1
    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.
     
  2. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    #2
    Get the MacBook and a nice external IPS monitor - best of both worlds. :)
     
  3. OS X Dude thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Joined:
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    UK
    #3
    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.
     
  4. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #4
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    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.
     
  6. OS X Dude thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Joined:
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    #6
    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.
     
  7. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #7
    I got a $20 cooling pad for my rmbp. Might be worth it for you and seems to really keep temps down.
     
  8. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    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.
     
  9. OS X Dude thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    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.
     
  10. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #10
    I use my MBP with an old 23" ACD. It's about the perfect size for my space.
     

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