Macbook Pro vs iMac vs Macbook vs other ideas

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jolanth_Szatmary, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Jolanth_Szatmary macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2017
    Hi there,

    this is my first post to the Macrumors forums, so thanks for welcoming me here!

    I'm a Mac user since the early 90s, I've owned many Macs across the whole range, but this time I can't decide upon the perfect set up.

    The situation now:

    My wife owns a 13" Macbook Pro from 2010 which is fine, but it's getting a bit slow and is quite heavy to lug around.

    I own a 13" Macbook Pro Mid 2009, battery & trackpad are shot. I also own a 11" Macbook Air mid 2013, which is my daily work machine. I love everything about that laptop: the size, the weight, battery life, the keyboard. The screen is not too great, but it doesn't bother me. The half-broken old Macbook Pro serves as a stationary Final Cut work station with external monitor, magic keyboard & mouse.

    Editing videos on the old MBP is possible, but it takes patience and Zen-like calm. It was okay, when I edited a short video once a month, we're doing more now (about one video per week, so still no heavy workload)

    I'd like to get a better Final Cut workstation and maybe also give a lighter laptop to my wife.

    Budget is around 2000 Euro (European prices).

    So my options are, as I've figured so far:

    1 - I buy a current Macbook Pro 13" and use it as my main computer & as the Final Cut workstation. My wife gets my 11" MBA.

    pro: all problems (sort of) solved with one computer
    contra: it's a compromise. My new computer is not as portable and small as my old one and the MBP is okay, albeit not perfect for video editing.

    2 - I buy an iMac with a dedicated GPU for the same price as the MBP.

    pro: super cool Final Cut work station
    contra: my wife and I are still working on our old and partially heavy computers, the new purchase is only used once per week max.

    3 - I buy a Macbook and a Mac Mini. I use the Macbook (smallest config) as my ultra-portable Computer, give the MBA to my wife (or vice versa), we use the Mac Mini as our Final Cut work station.

    pro: we both have ultra-portable laptops for our daily work.
    contra: we invest money in a very dated computer - video editing would be a bit faster, but possibly still a pain in the neck. Also: this kind of busts the budget a bit.

    4 - I buy a maxed out Macbook 12" and use it as my main computer and for video editing.

    pro: I have an ultraportable machine for my daily work.
    contra: Everybody says I'm crazy – editing videos on a MB makes no sense at all, when you can get a superior MBP 13" without silly Touchbar for the same price.

    5 - Something else I haven't thought of!

    Thanks so much for your input and sorry for the long post.
  2. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...seems like the sensible suggestion to me, given your budget and infrequent use of FCP. Yeah, the 13" MBP is bigger than a 11" MBA, but its still definitely an ultraportable. All us old geezers who used to lug around PowerBook G3s just tut-tutted and shook our heads... :)

    You may want to look at the 13" MacBook Pro with touch bar - its not just the "silly touch bar" but it has a more powerful processor and better connectivity (with only 2 TB3/USB-C ports on the non-TB model, one of which you need for charging, a multiport hub is almost essential).

    However, if you haven't done so already, you need to play with one in the store and see what you think of the keyboard, since it is a bit of a love/hate thing (I think its better than the 12" MB keyboard, though).

    The Mac Mini option would be a possibility, if the Mac Mini was more up-to-date. It might well get the job done for you (isn't hard to beat a worn-out 2009 MBP), but it would stick in my craw to pay for such an old design. Complaints on a postcard to Apple for neglecting the Mac Mini.
  3. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    In your particular situation, I'm not sure how the new 13" MBP is a compromise. It will be *much* faster than your 2010, and its portability, while not equal to the 11" Air, is actually quite close. The screen will also blow you away. Get one with good specs and don't look back!

    (Full disclosure: I just had a decision between the two and opted for the iMac (which is a beast and I'm very happy with it) but that's because I use it every day as my main computer. In your situation, the iMac doesn't seem to make much sense.)
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you decide on another laptop, get one of the "Pro" models (instead of the "MacBook" or MacBook Air). You want "all the power you can get" in a small package.

    The 27" iMac might be an even better machine on which to edit video, but if it's only going to be used once a week, may not be worth it.

    Then again, if you got a nice MBPro, you could also get a 27" 4k display. VERY nice to look at!
  5. Jolanth_Szatmary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2017
    Thanks for your suggestions! So far, the MBP solution gets the upper hand …

    Totally true. I was so amazed by the size and portability of the 12" Powerbook. My favorite Apple laptop so far (in it's time). It stayed with me for six years, a total brick by today's standards. BUT I went to the Apple store today (again) and played around with the Macbook Pro and the Macbook. I just love the form factor and overall design of the tiny Macbook. The MBP, while being the sensible solution, just doesn't tickle me that much.

    I know – but I'll need a multiport hub anyway and I just hate the touchbar. Apparently, I don't get it. I'd rather upgrade the non TB option with more RAM / SSD. No physical escape key just bugs me.

    I hate the new keyboard. I think MBP and MB 2017 are basically the same Gen 2 Butterfly thingy. But, as Apple doesn't offer an alternative, I'll just have to learn to love the new style. Maybe it'll grow on me. I write for a living, so I'm a bit nervous on this one.

    If I go down that road – would you recommend a discounted 2016 model or dish out the money for the 2017 model. It'll be a price difference of more than 300 Euros. Apart from the processor upgrade, which is not a deciding factor for me, how do the upgraded grafics and faster SSD come into play, in your opinion?

    Yes, I've played around with that machine in the Apple Store today. Very tempting. I'll shoot and edit so many more videos if only to justify using that computer.

    I think, the Mini is out.

    I'm still tempted to get:

    A maxed out Macbook, try it out with Final Cut, and return it (possible with BTOs?) if it doesn't handle video editing well enough. (i5 / 512 GB / 16 GB Ram)


    A discounted MBP 2016 (256 GB / 8 GB Ram - and spend the remaining budget on some nice peripherals and / or dinners.


    A current MBP. (512 GB / 8 or 16 GB Ram).

    I'm not sure about the Ram upgrade, as Final Cut doesn't seem to use that much Ram in normal use and the fast, modern SSDs make memory swap barely notable. What's your opinion on that?

    Thanks again!
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    The 13-inch MacBook Pro sounds like the perfect system for your needs. There is a very big performance gap between the highest level i7 MacBook and the entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro i5 in regards to CPU performance (and a pretty crazy difference in GPU performance!) At least in the US, the MacBook with the i7 CPU upgrade is more expensive than the base nTB MacBook Pro. As you do video editing, the ability of the MacBook Pro to use Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 means you can do things in the future with external SSDs and external displays that you can't do as well (or at all) with the MacBook. As you keep your systems for a longer time, the added CPU/GPU power and flexibility of the MacBook Pro makes me feel that this is the machine for your family.
  7. mroy16 macrumors member

    May 28, 2017
    I have a 2016 13" MacBook Pro (base model) and I have to say, it's an excellent machine. I don't do any video editing, so I can't comment on that, but in terms of general usage and also portability (I carry it to and from work every day), it's really incredible. I'd strongly urge you in the direction of the MacBook Pro.
  8. Jolanth_Szatmary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2017
    So the dice are cast – I'm going to buy a Macbook Pro 13" 500 GB SSD sans TB. Looking forward to the experience. I just hope I can cope with the keyboard. Still need to decide between 8GB and 16GB Ram. This computer and the peripherals already blow my budget, doubling the Ram will be 250 Euros on top. But maybe I'm going to regret it down the road if I choose the cheapter option. Shame on you, Apple, for taking away the possibility to upgrade Ram after purchase ...

    Thanks again for your advice!
  9. Jolanth_Szatmary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2017
    Hi everyone,

    so I'm writing this on my brand new Macbook Pro 13" 500GB/8 GB Ram/nTB. So far, I'm very happy with my choice. I had some migration trouble (iCloud issues), but it seems mainly sorted right now. I went to the shop and they had this model in stock. The 16GB upgrade would have meant a week of waiting. So I thought: Why not have something good right now instead of waiting a couple of days for something better? I just hope, I won't regret my impatience in a few years time. I just couldn't resist putting that thing into my bag. Looks like I'm learning a lot from my two year old daughter lately.

    The keyboard feels very strange (I'm a fast touch typist) but as this machine is not going to adopt to my muscle memory it will have to be the other way round. Quality of the keys seems fine, though. I just don't get the principle (yet).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I'll keep you up to date.

    BTW: Color is silver. Why? Because it was in stock, see above ...
  10. The_MutenRoshi macrumors newbie


    Jul 12, 2017
    How about video editing? Have you tried to do some work in FCP?

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