MacBook Pro 13" vs iMac vs Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wacomme, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. wacomme macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2009
    I had a 2011 27" iMac until is died 4 months ago - with an external SSD. Since then I've been using a 2012 13" MacBook Pro, but it's so slow (16GB RAM). I need another home computer. I hate computer lag.

    I do not game, but I have multiple programs open at once, and many web tabs. Email, web, Office products, and some iMovie work are my standard applications. I do not need portability (have a work PC laptop), but it could be nice. I've gotten used to the 13" MacBook screen, but I miss my 27" iMac screen.

    What's my best bet? New 13" MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 1 TB drive, or iMac or Mini, and why? I do NOT want a fusion drive, or a 21.5" iMac.


  2. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    I really like the Mini, but any of these with SSD and 16GB will be fast.

    The price on the Mini is generally attractive, but then I already have keyboard, mouse and 2 27" monitors for my setup. If you don't have these peripherals, iMac may be a good bet.
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Captain obvious, but...

    A. If you want portability, get a MacBook Pro, although if you're video editing you might want to go for the 2.4GHz one (4 thunderbolt ports) rather than the newly-announced replacements for the formerly-non-touchbar models (which maybe should have just been called "MacBook").

    B. If you want a 27" 5k display, get an iMac.

    C. If you want to choose your own displays - find an original, signed Apple 1 manual in your attic and use the proceeds to buy a New Mac Pro. Sorry, but the Mini's entry-level integrated GPU is barely adequate for even 2D work once you add a couple of 4k screens and non-integer scaled resolutions - and I don't see the point of paying a premium for a tiny computer, then paying another premium for an external GPU several times the size (probably plus a power brick) of the Mini and a whole list of caveats about eGPU software compatibility. eGPUs are an interesting possibility for adding desktop-class GPUs to laptops - but if your desktop computer needs one, something has gone wrong.

    The iMac is by far the best bang-for-the-buck Apple offer provided you like the screen - especially now that Apple have cut the price of the 1TB SSD from usurious to merely expensive. Plus, get the 8GB RAM model and add a third-party 16GB upgrade kit and you've got 24GB total than Apple charges for 16GB.

    NB: I'd do a bit of investigation into why your 2012 MBP is so sluggish at basic stuff (is it the retina or the classic?).
  4. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Do you suppose the OP’s 2012 shouldn’t be sluggish at basic stuff based on its having 16GB RAM? Mine is a 2013 rMBP with 4GB and it’s painfully slow. It seems to have gotten bogged down in last fall (2018), and has been steadily decreasing in its capability since. It always bewilders me how my machines seem to die a slow death.
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    "Sluggish" is subjective - a 2012/2013 dual core MBP is going to be "sluggish" by 2019 standards, but it ought to be perfectly usable for the basics.

    OP didn't state which model of 2012 13" MBP they had, but I think its probably the "classic" rather than the "retina" (quick look on suggests that the 2012 13" rMBP was 8GB or nothing) which came with a mechanical hard drive. Replacing that with even a relatively cheap SSD is easy and should give it a new lease of life. 16GB RAM is probably overkill.

    In your case, the 4GB RAM might well be an issue (but you're stuck with it) - however, you should also check the state of the SSD - for example, you do not want an SSD to get anywhere near full - ever - or it will grind to a halt (one reason why 128GB SSDs on new MacBook Pros and Minis are ridiculous).

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4 July 9, 2019