Macbook Pro 17" 3.06 vs. iMac 27" i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jr.dsgn, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. jr.dsgn macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2009
    What's good macrumors. I am an architecture student very interested and ready to purchase my first mac. I have been running an HP desktop the past few years. I am not sure which model would be the best and would like your help. I run intensive modeling/rendering programs, many times simultaneously; McNeel Rhinoceros/Grasshopper, Maxwell Render, Revit, some AutoCAD, as well as, Photoshop/Illustrator for presentations and need something that can efficiently/quickly produce. The Mac Pro is too much for me right now so that is not an option. Thanks again in advance.

    Also, which storage unit is prefered - Time Capsul or Lacie...any comments from experience. Thanks.
  2. neowillendit macrumors member


    Oct 7, 2009
    Well, the best advice I can give is that it doesn't sound like you have a need to be mobile AND you probably need all the screen room you can get, so anything mobile (MacBook Pro) is out.

    the iMac i7s have CPUs that are 4 times better than Core2Duos in the MacBook Pros and the iMac can hold more RAM (memory) for your (what sounds like) very graphically intensive programs.

    Hope I could help
  3. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    I'd go with the iMac. Good resolution, gorgeous display, huge display, clean and not cluttered on the desk. Time Capsules are good, but pricey - If you want a backup you could just go with a hard drive 2-3x the Hard drive of the Mac, and use something like Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper. (Or partition the drive and use Time Capsule on it).
    A part of the Time Capsule's price is that it's an Airport Extreme basestation (with a hard drive).
  4. greg400 macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    +1 for the iMac. The 3.06 17" Macbook Pro will set you back $2800 while the i7 iMac will set you back $2200. With the iMac you also get a better GPU, a much better CPU, a larger hard drive and a much larger screen. The only reason to pick up a Macbook Pro is if portability is a necessity for you.

    As for storage, I personally use a 1TB Western Digital External Hard Drive and it works great. Just make sure to reformat it with Disk Utility to wipe it clean of the backup application it comes with.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    As others posted based on your needs. It sounds like the iMac is a better choice
  6. A.C macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2009
    my vote is against the grain. i'd go for the MBP. hands down.

    i recently finished grad school (in mechanical engineering) & my first gen MBP was the best purchase i ever made. i can't stress how import mobility was to me as a student - i could take my entire workspace to the lab, library, gym, cafeteria, off campus, etc. it made life infinitely more convenient.

    add that to the fact i could take my MBP to class & display native presentations over the school's AV system. it was brilliant. in a discipline where PC's dominated, i was known as the "mac guy." so if you like to go the extra mile in regards to aesthetics - if you want to stand out in a crowd - you won't beat the mobile option.

    and lastly, using much slower hardware than today's offerings, i was able to run most any PC-only app (of which there were MANY) via Parallels without any reasonable complaint. most laboratory apps are exclusive to the PC, but i was able to run them all seamlessly. i would frequently use SolidWorks to create 3D models. and the list could go on.

    for a university student of any discipline - i can't recommend a laptop strongly enough. but that's just my $0.02
  7. jr.dsgn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2009
    Thanks again for all of the advice, my apple store wasn't nearly as helpful.

    I am leaning towards the iMac as of now, but I do need portability. With my HP, I'd pack up everything (screen, tower, speakers, etc) and carry to the studio - at least with the iMac its all in one if I needed to carry. Eventually I'd like to have both, but I keep reading posts about a new Macbook Pro coming out, but I'd have to save a few months to get the other.
  8. harperjones99 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2009
    I opted for a MBP as a desktop replacement because I COULD carry it if I needed but the only time I will probably take it out of the house is when I move. I don't have as serious graphics needs as you either. If I was loaded I would have gotten a 17' MBP decked out for the home (I like big laptops as desktops though) and a MBA for the road. It's always about the cash eh? Can you swing a refurbed 15" with dual cards for the road and the iMac for home?

    ETA: Just caught some things I missed in your post. I guess if you can stand to wait you may get better specs for your needs on the laptop.
  9. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    I have heard issues with Time Capsule dying in a relative short period of time of use. Any external HDD will work with Time Machine.
  10. bmstrong macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2007
  11. glennsan macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    San Diego
    iMac or MBP

    I would personally go for the Imac for all the reasons mentioned already as I was in the same situation about 3 years ago. Also, if you do need to take it with you somewhere and you don't want to use the box to transport check out a website called, they make a really cool case.

  12. dan5.5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2008
  13. jr.dsgn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2009
  14. stevieapollo macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2008
    Whittier, CA
    no1 can make the choice but you. you need to ask yourself whats more important to you, having a much better machine or having that mobility? some people like me dont have the choice they need the mobility. ina perfect world you would have both. lol
  15. Av1o3 macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2009
    You can get the iMac for $2200 and then use the money you saved from not getting the 17' to find a good deal on a last gen mbp off craigslist or something lol
  16. ant043 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    desktops are too limited for my needs. All that power and you can't bring it anywhere. I'd go with the most powerful laptop you can afford even if that means waiting for arrandale in january.

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