MacBook Pro 15" or iMac 27"...Im so confused!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ibis99, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. ibis99 macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2010
    So I cant make up my mind. I can either buy a 15" MBP for $1799 or a 27" iMac for $1699.

    You would think this would be a simple decision, but its not. I dont need the portability of the MBP but it would be nice to have. On the other hand the 27" imac looks amazing but is much more difficult to stick in a backpack.

    I'm not a power user.Although i'd like to learn more about Macs I must admit that mostly I'll be using this for websurfing, music storage, email and some entertainment.

    Any suggestions?

    One more dumb question. If I buy the MBP and let it run for hours as my main music machine will this have a negative effect?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    15" MBP + external monitor should solve your issues. It sounds like you would like to have some portability thus MBP is a better choice. However, using it with an external monitor makes it a desktop when needed
  3. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    Sep 9, 2008
    I think Hellhammer's answer is pretty much spot on. Grab a MBP and add a large monitor if you feel the need later. Desktops are very tying, its nice to just crash on the sofa and have your macbook at hand.
  4. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
    I love my 27" imac, and its the only way to go if you don't need to haul it around alot.

    I have taken mine on the occasional trip and its pretty easy since there is only one wire to it
  5. Rhino420 macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2010
    +1 on this set up...I just went through this dilemma this past week before i picked up my 15inch i5 .... i go the mbp and picked up a 26inch display and it works like a charm best idea.
  6. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    buy refurbished MBP, and then get a cheap 20" monitor from like craigslist.
  7. deus ex machina macrumors regular

    May 28, 2010
    You might consider a refurb or EBay i5 17" macbook pro.

    I am of two minds. Having little compunction in moving my computer about for LAN parties, old school death matches or longer vacation, the 27 inch model (with the better CPU and GPU) would not be as much an issue. Then again, I do need a laptop's full portability at times.

    Simply put, how often will you need to move your machine?
  8. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    To add more to the confusion, the IPS screen in the 27" is fantastic! Another option, if you need some portability but don't need all the horsepower of a mbp is to get a netbook?

    Just a thought as it's a lot cheaper to replace a damaged netbook than a mbp (accidents, etc.)
  9. cmosq macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    iMac 27" All the way...

    I started with a 15" MBP... It turned out that I was using the notebook the majority of the time in my office at home so I sold it on E-bay 6 months later for only $200 less than what I paid for it originally and paid up to a 27" i7 iMac, the performance difference is truly dramatic. The iMac has much better desktop GPU /CPU than the MBP for gaming and video encoding and the screen has much higher resolution. For when I need portability I'll use my wife's 64GB 3G iPad or settle for my iPhone, that's what I call portability. I can always use my iMac's bluetooth keyboard w/the ipad too! Your mileage may vary.
  10. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    Also, cooling will be a little more effective because the vents (not sure if they really exist) and exhausts can be blocked with desk use (flat on the desk) while the iMac stands straight up and no heat goes down to the base touching the desk.
  11. citizenal macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2010
    I have both, and honestly use the imac 27 sooo much more than the mbp. If you'll be using it mostly at home, you'll really enjoy the large display. If you're only home half the time, then I would go with the mbp.
  12. devilstrider macrumors 6502a

    May 12, 2010
    I got the MBP and picked up that custom stand.
  13. mk1ap macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2009
    I regret my 15" purchase. I wanted to have the portability option but for the money spent on my i7 I could have gotten a 27" imac and a ipad. Though it really depends on the user computer needs.
  14. deus ex machina macrumors regular

    May 28, 2010
    I was gnawing my leg off at the decision. Having the gorgeous 27" screen, larger HD capacity, easier RAM upgrade path (4 to 8GB only involves adding 4GB), and superior processors would be so so nice. Having the mac OS in a easy to carry form is what I decided was a little more important.
  15. sn0wman72 macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Seems like maybe an iPad and a refurbished 27" iMac might meet both of your needs and be picked up for about $50 more than your $1,699 price.
  16. Eduardo1971 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2006
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    Great suggestion. I'm inclined of buying a refurbished 27 inch iMac and later buying an iPad for the portability factor.
  17. robertbrian23 macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2010
    i'm also tempted to buy the iMac than the MBP but for portability i'll go for the new updated MBP hope before the end of the year apple will release a new updated models.

    iMac maybe next year together with the iPad 2nd gen. :p

    but for monetary reasons, the iPad + iMac 27" would be a good buy than the MBP
  18. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
    ... :eek: :confused: Wouldn't your MBP experience serious slowdowns if it's also pushing the 26" display? ... What are the specs of your MBP?
  19. thebeautyisfake macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    Only if he's doing something like playing a fullscreen game at the monitors native resolution. Otherwise the performance hit will be minimal.

    As for the OPs question, I had the same dilemma a few days ago! I went for the Macbook in the end as, like others have said, you can hook it up to a monitor as and when you need to whilst still retaining the portability for the times when you need to go out.
  20. MisterFeeney macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2010
    San Francisco
    Being a person who has had both the 27" iMac and the 17" MacBook Pro (Imagine it is a 15"), I have to say I prefer the MacBook Pro and its portability. Save up for an external display – I hear Apple has some nice ones :) – and then you'll have one hell of a setup. Good luck!
  21. McMoronic macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2010
    MBP 15 i7

    I'd go with the MBP 15' since its easier to buy a monitor come black friday. While you can use the MBP as a desktop replacement w/ the monitor, you can't use the iMac as a laptop.
  22. deus ex machina macrumors regular

    May 28, 2010
    The imac offers a far better processor selection (quad cores), however without the need to perform video conversion and similar processor intensive tasks, the MBP would be fine.

    Depending on the size of the music library, you might consider upgrading the HD to a 1TB drive. There is no problem with allowing it to run for hours, as long as it can receive adequate cooling. If you are a musician, you will enjoy Garage Band for easy recording and accompaniment.
  23. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    When I switched to Macs about 3 or 4 years ago I was stuck between a full on Mac Pro and a 15" MacBook Pro, I was switching from a self built dual Xeon PC. But I concluded that as I didn't use all my Xeon's power or use or do anything needing Xeons then a Mac Pro was a waste of money and I just loved the fact I would have the ability to take my entire computer ANYWHERE with me. And I have taken it when I have gone to my sisters etc.
    The irony is my 2010 i7 is probably more powerful then my dual Xeon PC was anyway lol!!!
    Also I'm lying on my bed typing this, try that with a 27" iMac!!
  24. Kimbie macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2010
    I have just started to use my MBP as my desktop hooked up to my 24" Samsung and more than happy with that arrangement, of course I have had my MBP since Feb10 but not got round to using it.

    Still have my main PC under the desk though :)

  25. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    15MBP + 24inch Apple LED screen. Best of both worlds for me. Unhook the MBP when I travel or need to and I'm good to go. I'd still prefer this over the iMac + iPad set up. But I must admit, I am waiting for the next generation iPad to come out and may spring for that. My office and work environment is all PCs. It would be nice to have a Mac with me during the work day!

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