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Sully

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
263
228
I’m replacing a 27 inch iMac and initially was thinking that a Mac Studio plus Studio Display would be a good choice. But, I’m now contemplating getting a MacBook Pro with similar specs to the Studio and using that as my desktop along with the Studio
Display.

Cost is similar and not really an issue. Is there any significant upside to getting the Studio over the MacBook Pro other than more ports?
 

haralds

macrumors 68030
Jan 3, 2014
2,909
1,208
Silicon Valley, CA
I think it's really based on your use case.
I have both desktops - Mac Studio and CMPro 5,1 - and MacBook Pro M1 13" and a 2018 MacBook Pro 15. At the core, they are all configured the same - apps and file system layout with some variation,
I can grab the MacBook Pros to sit in other places in the house or on the go, but I find the desktops great for just sitting down and touching the keyboard to get rolling. I can leave them, and when I get back, I start where I left off.
I you need one system and want portability, the MacBook Pro with the Studio Monitor is a great way to go. I have one desktop station set up and find a laptop desk stand for the MacBook to be useful.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,588
12,697
IF cost is indeed "not really an issue", I have a better solution:

Get an m2pro Mini for the "desktop" (or wait for the m3pro Mini which should be out early next year).
and...
Get a base model m3pro MacBook Pro for a "carry around" Mac.

Nothing beats having a desktop for "desktop things" and a laptop for "laptop things"...
 
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ondioline

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2020
286
294
It really just depends on what you need to have plugged in. The Studio Display might be sufficient as a dock if most of your stuff is wireless. Otherwise you really need a TB dock.

I used a MBP+TB dock for years as my "desktop." However I chose the Studio because I have a ton of stuff plugged in all the time. 2x USB-A, two monitors, ethernet, and the 3.5mm jack. Unplugging all the crap from my MBP every time I wanted to move it was annoying.
 
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Sully

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
263
228
IF cost is indeed "not really an issue", I have a better solution:

Get an m2pro Mini for the "desktop" (or wait for the m3pro Mini which should be out early next year).
and...
Get a base model m3pro MacBook Pro for a "carry around" Mac.

Nothing beats having a desktop for "desktop things" and a laptop for "laptop things"...
I have considered that. This upgrade cycle I decided to experiment with a 12.9 in iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard along with my iMac.

For the most part, it’s been a decent experience. But, I’ve found that I never take it off the keyboard and the pencil doesn’t get enough use to justify the compromise of not having a full laptop.

So, I may do what you’re suggesting. Of course, at some point money is an issue because I like to get value for the money spent. A couple of hundred bucks difference is OK, (Studio vs MacBook Pro)but I’d really have to think hard about a couple of thousand. (Studio AND MacBook Pro.
 

Dr_Charles_Forbin

Contributor
May 11, 2016
411
177
Honestly, get the Studio. It’s got more horsepower than you’ll probably ever need and it’s future proofed (the SSD chips are modular as in the old garbage can pro). T2 won’t allow a user replacement but it should be upgradable. I’ve used a 2015 MBP as my daily driver for years and it’s been more than sufficient but it’s got some limitation. I’m hangling onto it because I still occasionally need a laptop but replacing it when Apple stops security updates. Don’t waste your money on a studio monitor, get an LG Ultra Fine (I think mine was $400). Only annoyance with that monitor is you have to install a really small piece of software to use the volume control keys from the keyboard (another Apple “trick”… Apple doesn’t support some standard protocol OOB). LG says to use the USB cable that comes with the monitor… I’d listen to them. I saw an Adam Savage video about why a thunderbolt cable is $120 and I had no idea how much circuitry is built into the cable.. better to use the mated cable.
BTW…I’m probably going to an Air when it is time to upgrade depending on the price point and options. My horsepower is now in my desktop. (I used to commute so I wanted a powerful machine as my mobile device and I had an old mini as my desktop which I really just connected to via screen sharing).
 

JamesMay82

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
1,283
1,044
I’m replacing a 27 inch iMac and initially was thinking that a Mac Studio plus Studio Display would be a good choice. But, I’m now contemplating getting a MacBook Pro with similar specs to the Studio and using that as my desktop along with the Studio
Display.

Cost is similar and not really an issue. Is there any significant upside to getting the Studio over the MacBook Pro other than more ports?
I've just been in your shoes and decided on studio and studio display. I was very torn but the studio represents better value for money to me plus has higher spec than m3 pro I was going for.

I like laptop for portability but I don't go anywhere to need it other than the living room and I have a m1 iPad 12.9 for that and an old 2015 MacBook Pro.

in hindsight my plan B would be specced out iMac m3 as I do miss the all in one design. maybe consider this?
 
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Dr_Charles_Forbin

Contributor
May 11, 2016
411
177
I've just been in your shoes and decided on studio and studio display. I was very torn but the studio represents better value for money to me plus has higher spec than m3 pro I was going for.

I like laptop for portability but I don't go anywhere to need it other than the living room and I have a m1 iPad 12.9 for that and an old 2015 MacBook Pro.

in hindsight my plan B would be specced out iMac m3 as I do miss the all in one design. maybe consider this?
You know, the one thing I want so badly but can by no means cost justify is that M1 iPad 12.9”. I’ve drooled over other people with them. My iPad is used to surf the web at night.. the form factor is just too small to be a laptop replacement. I’ll buy a 15 Air rather than the 12.9 iPad
 

Sully

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
263
228
For my business use the iPad and Magic Keyboard case have worked OK on the road. I’m not a road warrior but I do need to do basic business email, Word documents, and spreadsheets. The 12.9 inch M1 iPad Pro serves as both a work and entertainment device. If my travel needs expand, I may need the laptop, but so far so good.

Coincidentally, I just looked at a highly spec’ed iMac today v the Studio. It could work and it would be less expensive. But, there’s the emotional part of me that likes the power of the Studio.

Thanks for commenting!
 
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Dr_Charles_Forbin

Contributor
May 11, 2016
411
177
I just bought a low end M2 Studio a couple of months ago. Love it. It was a higher end mini vs the Studio and I went for the Studio. It amazed me that I could actually open an PDF in Acrobat (not the reader) in about 11 seconds (launching parallels, instantiating the windows VM and opening up the doc in Acrobat). Next replacement will be a tough one .. getting rid of the 2015 MBP. Probably the last good Intel MBP but once security updates stop it’ll have to go. I’m a DBA, security is a thing for me. I pay for commercial grade network hardware at home and those annual subscriptions are getting expensive but I want those IDS signatures current.
 

JamesMay82

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
1,283
1,044
You know, the one thing I want so badly but can by no means cost justify is that M1 iPad 12.9”. I’ve drooled over other people with them. My iPad is used to surf the web at night.. the form factor is just too small to be a laptop replacement. I’ll buy a 15 Air rather than the 12.9 iPad
Ha the grass isn’t greener. I wish i bought the air!
 

drrich2

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2005
243
145
I'm curious about the question of projected longevity of a laptop vs. the Studio. Historically, I was under the impression desktop systems were thought more likely to hold up better for many years, and notebooks more likely to fail - I suppose so much equipment crammed into such a tight space? I don't know all the reasoning, but notebooks were seen as more delicate.

The Studio, on the other hand, isn't some big, roomy tower.

Would anyone care to comment on how likely a MacBook Pro is to fail years earlier than a Studio?
 

fathergll

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2014
1,803
1,510
I'm curious about the question of projected longevity of a laptop vs. the Studio. Historically, I was under the impression desktop systems were thought more likely to hold up better for many years, and notebooks more likely to fail - I suppose so much equipment crammed into such a tight space? I don't know all the reasoning, but notebooks were seen as more delicate.

The Studio, on the other hand, isn't some big, roomy tower.

Would anyone care to comment on how likely a MacBook Pro is to fail years earlier than a Studio?

In theory a Mac Studio would have better thermals therefore better longevity but being in the Apple Silicon era I don't there is much of a meaningful difference long term as probably the computers will both last so long that they would be outdated before anything goes.
 
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Zest28

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2022
2,273
3,141
I have a 16” M1 Max MacBook Pro as my “Mac Studio”. And the great thing about it is, I can take it with me anywhere with the same power available.

No need to have a separate laptop with this setup.

I do have a 13” M2 MacBook Air also, but that is simply because I am not willing to bring a $4000 laptop to the beach and watch sports with a cold beer.
 
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