MBP 15 vs iMac + MBP 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by blues1, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. blues1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2019
    I'm in search for a new machine. I will use it for everyday stuff (browsing, typing, youtube, etc.) and for editing photos and 4K videos. I was leaning towards MBP 15 + 4K/5K external monitor but after all the problems this generation of MBP have i'm not so sure anymore, so i was thinking of getting iMac + MBP 13.
    Although most of the editing will be done at home i still like the idea of having powerful portable machine that i can bring with me. On the other hand, i know editing on iMac will be much pleasant experience plus apple will most likely update iMac this year so i could wait for that.
    So what do you recommend:

    MBP 15 (i7, 16gb, 512 gb, 560x) + external 4K/5K monitor
    Gettig MBP 13 now and wait for new iMac 2019

    Also will 560x be enough since i'm not make a living from video/photo editing or should i get vega 20?

  2. Kenny99 macrumors newbie


    Jan 28, 2018
    ST. Louis, Mo.
    Have you thought about getting refurbished 2013 MBP for the road and a MAC Mini for the home. As your $ comes in you add external SSD HD and Video cards (eGPU) as needed / wanted :)
    PS; the MBP will connect to the eGPU also.
  3. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    I have similar use cases. I have a 2017 5K for home use and a 2018 13 inch MBP for on the road use.

    I do have an LG 5K hooked to the iMac and I have thought about selling the iMac and 13 inc and just going all 15 inch and hooking it to the LG 5K when I am at home.

    But it is a pain to drag a 15 incher around, so I recommend the 13 inch and an iMac.
  4. Cashmonee macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2006
    Personally, if the performance of the 15" is sufficient and you are ok with its portability, that is the way I would go. I would rather have a single machine than trying to keep two in sync in order to work on both. It isn't hard to do, I think I would prefer just a single environment.
  5. blues1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2019
    This is also one of the options yes, but for now i like the other two more.


    This is one of the main reasons I'm thinking of getting the 15 inch. I'm worried that iMac + 13 inch will not be so rational option than 15 inch + ext. monitor, simply because one of the machines will not be used so often.

    Is 560x good enough for Adobe Lightroom + Adobe premiere editing (4K footage from A7 iii and drone)?
  6. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    I bought an i9/560x/32/2tb which luckily was malfunctioning so i got a refund for it.
    Bought a Mini i7 + 13" i5, because i didn't want to try my luck with another 15" and this one took more than two months to get refunded.

    The desktop is faster than the 15", and the 13" is more portable than the 15". (And the 2018 13" pack serious punch)

    Couldn't be happier with the setup. Getting the UltraFine 4k on Monday.
  7. elmarjazz macrumors member

    May 26, 2010
    I'm still waiting and thinking on my next 'something.' Two alternitive ideas that I've been playing with;

    1. iMac and iPad; maybe the best dependable MAC at this time, and a really great screen iPad for portability and does things only it can do.

    2. MBP 13 and external monitor; get the 16gb of RAM, internal 512gb SSD and an external SSD for files, even clamshell it when you need a larger view with a good keyboard and mouse/trackpad.
  8. Cashmonee macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2006
    Lightroom should be similar between the machines. I don't edit video, but my understanding is you will want as much GPU as you can get. With that in mind, if I were going for the 15" I would get the Vega 20 over the 560. An advantage of this setup is the ability to have the 15" act as a second monitor when you have hooked to an external.

    On the other hand, I suspect the next iMac will be a pretty big speed boost. You are looking at 6 or 8 core CPUs, improved GPU, etc. So that would be tempting as well.

    It really depends on your use case and what you want or need. How much video do you edit, and do you need to do as fast as possible? How much will you be using a laptop outside of the office/home? Could an iPad suffice for your mobile option? Would you benefit from a dual screen? How much of a pain point would two separate machines be for you? These are the questions I would be asking myself in your shoes.
  9. kht410, Apr 20, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019

    kht410 macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2016
    I’ve been using an iMac 27” and iPad Pro 12.9” combo.

    The original plan was to use the iPad Pro as my full time “laptop” and iMac as my workhorse machine at home. It’s been about 2 years since I used this setup and honestly sometimes I wish I can just have a macOS machine that I can take with me when I need it, rather than just carrying one iOS laptop and only get to use the mac at home. It’s like I’m restricting myself to be more productive. I’ve been considering getting a MacBook to fill in the missing pieces, but similar to you, I think it is just cumbersome having to manage two mac machines, and that having a MacBook Pro with everything on it would be more practical. So as much as I love my iMac, in the near future I’m thinking of taking the MacBook Pro + external monitor route and sell the iMac. I’m just hoping that Apple can finally fix the MacBook keyboard and thermal issues so I don’t end up spending a lot of money on an unreliable laptop.


    Also, not relevant to the discussion, but I just want to add a little iPad Pro review here.

    I love the iPad Pro for writing notes, music sheets, browsing and media consumption. It is a great machine and a great mac companion, but in most use cases it still cant replace a MacBook. Even when it does replace the things that a MacBook can, it takes more steps to complete the task you set out which is just more of a hassle than productive. I can still see someone using an iPad pro as their full time laptop and a macbook replacement, but it just really depends on your use cases. One of the biggest annoyance for me is probably in word processing. Using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Word is just a bad experience on the iPad. You can’t open multiple documents and editing spreadsheet cells via a touchscreen is just bad.
  10. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    What challenges do you folks have maintaining two Macs? I find it's managing a portable and desktop to be fairly easy with iCloud/DropBox.
  11. Mike Boreham, Apr 22, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019

    Mike Boreham macrumors 68000

    Aug 10, 2006
    It could have been me writing that post!

    One thing holding me back from replacing my iMac with an MBP and monitor is choosing the external monitor. There doesn't seem to be anything as good as the 27" 5K built into the iMac, at least in my price range.

    Not long ago I had a 2013 15" MBP and Dell 2415 monitor. I was never happy with the Dell (returned two) and switching to the iMac was a big relief. Nowadays there are the single cable USB-C monitors like the LG UltraFines, but there seem to be a lot of problems with them, especially the 27" 5K. There isn't a stand-out external monitor option.

    When I switched I also had a 13" MBP, which I later changed for the 12.9" iPad Pro with ASK I have now. Like you I hanker for one machine I can take anywhere, with a 27" monitor at home. I might just get a cheap (used) MBP/MB/MBA and keep the iMac.

    I have maintained two Macs for many years and iCloud/Dropbox etc makes it perfectly feasible. I kept everything pretty much identical, so the second Mac (13" MBP) was both the ultimate backup, and the travel machine.

Share This Page

10 January 17, 2019