MacBook Pro vs MacBook vs iMac 21.5-inch 4K

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CatherineVeraGat, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. CatherineVeraGat, Jun 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017

    CatherineVeraGat Suspended

    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    #1
    I don't know what's better for my needs. My needs are that I to do some light web browsing and from time to time I would do some heavy web browsing. I want to use Photoshop, Illustrator, some light 2D/3D renders (CAD rendering), and maybe some light architecture things like making floor plans, or designing houses.

    The products that I'm thinking about buying is the
    MacBook Pro 13.3in 256GB $1,499
    MacBook 12in 256GB $1,299
    iMac 21.5-inch 4K 1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive $1,299 with Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB of VRAM
    iMac 21.5-inch 4K 1TB Fusion Drive $1,499 with Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB of VRAM


    My budget is $1,499. But I don't know if I should buy a MacBook Pro 13.3in, then their's the iMac 21.5-inch 4K that has better specs like a 1TB Fusion Drive, with Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB of VRAM, 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, and it offer better specs then the MacBook Pro 13.3in at the same exact price. ($1,499)

    The iMac 21.5-inch screen is way too small for me, but the 27-inch version is way too big. I would want Apple to fit in a bigger screen on the iMac 21.5-inch 4K version so it will have the slim bezels that is found on the MacBook Pro 13.3in, then I would buy it.

    What is the best device for me?
     
  2. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #2
    I'd rule out the 12" MacBook if you wanna do that kind of work honestly. If you don't need anything portable I'd say go for the higher-end iMac, it's got a better GPU and you get a Fusion Drive which is somewhat faster than the conventional hard drive the base 21" model uses. The MBP is capable of that kind of work too, but again, it boils down to whether or not you want something to lug around or have it stay at a desk.
     
  3. robeddie Suspended

    robeddie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    Agreed. By far the just-released iMacs will give you tons more power than either of the other two choices.

    The biggest catch is that the iMac (the ones you listed at least) come with a standard spinning hard drive. So my advice would be to buy it, but with the intention of upgrading it to a 1tb to 4tb ssd down the road.

    P.S. The hard drive upgrade can be done, just check out ifixit for the instructions.
     
  4. prettyinbleu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Location:
    SFO
    #4
    hi-

    a follow up question, if i were to purchase a new iMac with a 256 ssd, can it be upgraded to a 1tb ssd down the road. i was under the impression that the new apple machines can't be "opened".

    thanks!
     
  5. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    You can but it uses a proprietary SSD. If you're adventurous you can still pop in a 2.5" SSD and then make a Fusion Drive out of that and the 256 gig SSD already there.
     
  6. prettyinbleu macrumors newbie

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    Location:
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    #6

    thanks! i can't believe that after 10+ years SSDs are still expensive!
     
  7. Appleaker macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #7
    It really depends if you want portability or not. The iMac 4K is obviously much better value when compared to the MacBooks. And now that it has a dedicated GPU, it can be taken seriously as a $1299+ desktop AiO. It'll be much better suited to what you're doing. You'll have a dedicated GPU, 4K display, larger + higher resolution 4K display, a quad-core processor, keep USB-A ports and SD card slot, and more storage. I think it's brilliant unless you want portability.
     
  8. CatherineVeraGat thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    #8
    Me too!!
     
  9. robeddie, Jun 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017

    robeddie Suspended

    robeddie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #9
    They can be opened, but it involves cutting away the tape 'seal' between the screen and the chassis, then applying new tape to get it back on correctly. Thats the only slightly tricky part. The rest is essy. The good news is ifixit has complete, clear instructions AND specilaized tools to do it:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+Retina+5K+Display+Hard+Drive+Replacement/30522

    If you dont feel up to it yourself, you can always have a third party, like OWC do it.

    After youve had it for a year or two, you probably wont feel so skittish about doing the upgrade (not a 'brand new' mac anymore) plus by then 2, 4 and maybe even 6tb ssds will be close to the price of todays 1tb ssds
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2017 ---
    Yes, but they also have a standard 2.5
    inch hard drive bay as well. And if you replace the 2.5 drive with a full-on ssd, theres no need to 'link' the two of them into a 'fusion' drive, since they'd both be ssds at that point. You would simply have two separate super fast drives available.
     

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