Moving from a Maxed out 24" iMac to maxed out 13" MBP. Will it be fast enough for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by OzyOly, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. OzyOly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2009
    Melbourne, AU
    Hey guys, I currently have a June 2008 iMac

    24" Screen
    3.06GHz C2D
    4GB DDR2 RAM
    1TB Hard Drive
    512MB 8800GS
    Wireless Keyboard
    Magic Mouse
    Snow Leopard

    The problem being it's too big for me. I've moved house 3 times in two years and I'm moving house again come June (I'm a Uni student).
    I also want to be able to take it with me, to my department and to my GFs house which is a bike ride away, so pretty much carrying it around most days.

    My concern is that the MBP will be a massive step down for me in terms of responsiveness and speed;

    • I don't play games and I don't do any 3d work, though I will be doing some openGL programming next year, nothing major but it will be need to be able to keep up.
    • I also want to play back HD video. Will the integrated intel graphics be able to handle this do you reckon?
    • And for those who have the 13" now, how does it compare in terms of having many applications open, will it be really slow compared to my iMac?
    • Does the screen real estate get on your nerves or is it something you can get used to and does the text size seem smaller than the 24" (this is a biggie).

    I know the new MBPs aren't released yet, but I wont be expecting anything more than a speed bump or maybe an i3/i5 in the 13" with intel graphics.

    Sorry for the long post, thanks. :)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I think it'll be fine for you. Video playback is mainly done by CPU so GPU doesn't really matter.
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I don't really think that you will notice a difference in speed. I think the biggest thing is going to be the much smaller screen. It is almost only half the size of what you are used to so I think it will be a big adjustment to make.
  4. OzyOly thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2009
    Melbourne, AU
    Would the text be the same physical size though?
  5. iDisk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    Is your definition of a "maxed" out MBP the same as mine for the 13" Model.......


    8GB Ram

    256GB SSD

    BTW once you go SSD you never go back to HD unless you use SAS 15,000rpm drives ;)
  6. OzyOly thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2009
    Melbourne, AU
    Ah yeah, the title was a bit misleading. :p

    I was thinking
    2.56GHz C2D
    4 GB ram
    500GB 7200RPM HD

    Not exactly maxed out, but 256GB SDD wouldn't be large enough for me.
    I'm selling my iMac so this will be my main machine.
  7. caonimadebi macrumors regular

    May 7, 2009
    It's actually less than 1/3 of the screen real estate on the 24" iMac (30.7%). The difference is no doubt going to be huge, but you can always connect the MBP to an external display.
  8. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Of course you can always hook it up to an external display. However... I think it may be worth you to keep your iMac, and save up to buy a MacBook to use on the go, or even buy an older one.
  9. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I went from a 24" iMac to a 15" MBP and I love it, dont miss the big screen at all and with my MBP I can do everything I used to do and don't notice any difference in performance. Like you I dont play games or do anything too crazy.

    Now that being said I dont think I could have gone down to a 13" I know its only 2 inches but when I see my MBP next to my girlfriend's 13" it just looks like a huge difference.

    So if you can afford it I would reccomend the 15", you get more screen, better resolution, enough power and it's still portable.
  10. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Really does depend on his use though. I have a 15" myself and I love it (buying an i7 iMac soon). But the choice from ditching an iMac for a much slower MBP (seeing what he'll use it for); could be a big leap.
  11. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    I have a pretty beefy desktop with Core i5 quadcore, 6GB RAM, ATI 4870 graphics etc. etc. and I find myself never using it since I don't game anymore.

    Point is, for my day-to-day stuff (web browsing, email, streaming HD video on hulu etc., music/video playing) I have been using my laptops exclusively.

    So as long as you aren't a hardcore gamer IMHO the Macbook 13" 2.53GHz will be powerful enough for you. It has a nVidia 9400m graphics btw not the intel integrated as you OP stated :). The nVidia 9400m is actually quite powerful for integrated graphics and you can even do some light/moderate gaming on it. I played Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2 and Team Fortress 2 on the 9400m @1280x800 res with medium settings and it works fine :). For multitasking I have iChat, firefox (with like 60 tabs), itunes, VLC video player, Word and everything is quite smooth. This was on a 2.4GHz unibody Macbook with 4GB of RAM.

    When you're at home you can also just hook up the Macbook to an external LCD monitor. Might I suggest the Hanns-G 28" LCDs for like $300-$400. I have one and the size is huge and nice res at 1920x1200. Maybe not as great picture quality as the 24" LCD on the iMacs but if you dont mind and/or dont do graphics editing its nice, especially for the price.
  12. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    For what you do, I don't think you will really notice much speed difference. In fact, if you went with a SSD, the laptop would actually appear to be far more 'responsive' in many respects. (My 3 year old Thinkpad with an Intel SSD 'feels' much snappier in most use than my 6 month old iMac. The iMac kills the Thinkpad in CPU intensive tasks though - 2.8 C2D vs. 2.0 C2D - when converting a movie with Handbrake, the Thinkpad is otherwise unusable. The iMac remains almost normally responsive.) I realize SSD's are expensive and don't have a lot of space - but they are the single biggest speed improvement you can buy today, and most of the reason a laptop feels slower than a desktop is because of the much slower 2.5" drive. The SSD rectifies this. Use the original drive that the MBP ships with as external storage.

    For me, in that switch, the screen size would be the big difference. The 1920x1200 resolution of the iMac vs. the 1280x800 resolution is a huge difference. (This is one of my major complaints with the MBP range - the 13" should have more resolution than this, and then font scaling should be handled in the OS as determined by the end user's vision requirements. 1280x800 is almost unusable for any in-depth work.) As it is, the 'size' of the fonts on the MBP would be larger than the iMac. If I had to work with only a laptop, I would need an external monitor to connect to.
  13. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    13" MBP - 113 PPI (pixels per inch)
    24" iMac - 94 PPI

    So everything will appear smaller than on the 24" iMac. You may find the sudden loss of real estate a shock to the system at first as well although it depends on how good you are at adapting and what programs you use. You may find programming will benefit from a second external screen.
  14. OzyOly thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2009
    Melbourne, AU
    Looks like I'm going to have to get to an apple store and see the 13" to check if I can read everything okay. :rolleyes:

    Glad to know the speed of it wont be so much of a concern. Hopefully the next update will give a bit of a speed bump to close the go between my imac.
  15. petestan macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2010
    Delighted to have come across this discussion. I'm going from 24" iMac to 13" MBP too, but I've been waiting for this mystery processor update for 2 months now. Anybody got any idea how long more it will be? I may have to give in and buy the current spec MBP..

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