LG Ultrafine 5K + ntMBP or just get an iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by riptidewahoo, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. riptidewahoo macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
    I currently have a non-Touch Bar 2016 MBP stock config and I'm debating what to do for more screen real estate: go for the LG 5K monitor plus Apple Magic Keyboard/Magic Mouse (roughly $1200 all-in) or just get an iMac for a few hundred more (even the mid-config iMac can be had for $1799).

    The extra power and storage of an iMac would be nice and I worry about this low end MBP pushing a 5K display, but managing two different computers could be a bit annoying. I also know that iMac updates are fairly imminent. Is anyone else debating this choice?
  2. hyunez macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2016
    Not sure how you got to $1799 for the mid-config 27" iMac (it's $1899 with an education discount), but IMO the cheapest acceptable 27" iMac is $1969 ((16GB ram and 1TB Fusion Drive), and that's with an education discount.

    That's quite a bit more than the LG 5K+Magic combo.
  3. riptidewahoo thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
  4. hollandog macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2014
    Depends on how your workflow is. it's easier to manage one computer but few a little more the iMac seems better deal.
    I personally use MBP + 5K as my only setup at home.
  5. TazmoStarkana macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    waiti for the next imac

    if u need portability get my build

    i could not stand having a imac and macbook. two separated systems, etc.
  6. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    if you need absolute performance, imac
    if you WILL eventually need a laptop, even like one day a week, then MBP
  7. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    yea this is my dilemma as well .. I have a 15" maxed mbp and I can't decide whether to return it and wait for the iMac to get released or just keep the mbp and hook up to an external
  8. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    I would think the main decision point is portability or not. If Apple says that laptop would push the 5K I would assume it can and you can always return the display if not.
  9. riptidewahoo thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
    Well, I guess my point is just choosing between the iMac or the external monitor - I'm keeping the MBP no matter what.
  10. TazmoStarkana macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    I would go with the MBP + external display combo. I had a 5K iMac and MBP before and didn't like constantly having to keep my documents, media, and apps in sync. It also costs more going this route. If you don't need a laptop, just get the iMac. But having a laptop is so much more convenient especially with the new LG 5K display. It's just one cable you have to unplug and boom you're mobile. My work desk has nice speakers and the 5K display, and when I wanna lay down on the sofa or lazy-z-boy I just unplug it and resume whatever I was doing. This combination of devices gives you the best experience. Also laptops sell faster when it comes to selling it.
  11. Macintosh IIcx macrumors 6502

    Macintosh IIcx

    Jul 3, 2014
    One other reason to go MBP + UltraFine 5K is if you have extra money to burn, you can get the next generation Mac Pro (which will without a doubt have Thunderbolt 3) and you will already have the perfect display for both. :rolleyes:
  12. riptidewahoo thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
    Just curious, are you running your TEAC amp through a USB-C port on the monitor?

    Haha, assuming they ever release another one!
  13. TazmoStarkana macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Yes. I ordered a belkin USB-C to USB-B cable. it connects from amp to monitor (the hub). Works just fine. This way I can stream my music, pay video, and charge my laptop all through one cable.
  14. samcow macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2015
    Do you notice any lag when using the 5k monitor with the 13 inch TB?
  15. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have that combo and notice no lag at all.
  16. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Jun 30, 2007
    I'm also in this dilemma once more, I always have to choose between the iMac and MacBook Pro + display set-up.

    The iMac has a better, desktop-class processor but I've heard and seen some things at work regarding overheating/thermal throttling since the slimmer enclosures had an adverse effect on cooling. The GPUs are also mobile editions (laptop-class) but do tend to be more capable than the ones in the MacBook Pro. Either way, you won't really be gaming much on a Mac and hopefully we'll see Thunderbolt eGPUs with native macOS compatibility (although much driver work is needed!).

    The MacBook Pro is clearly the darling Mac to Apple, and so gets new features like Touch ID and the Touch Bar way before the iMac. Also, displays with I/O mean it's simpler and cleaner than ever to dock and undock on a whim. I'd be very interested to see real-world benchmarks pitting the latest MacBook Pro and iMac against each other in rendering/compiling tasks.

    My original plan was to use my iPad as a laptop and get an iMac this time for music work and software development at home. The plan may be changing, as I'm now leaning towards a MacBook Pro + Samsung's equivalent of the LG Ultra Fine display.

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