Need help choosing between keeping iMac or selling and buying rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DeusInvictus7, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #1
    Hey guys, just looking for some advice here.

    I did a google search and found some info that was useful, but that was from June when the RMBP was first released and still in the "first round" of possible problems.

    As some context, here's some background information: Right now I have a 2011 27" iMac - 3.4GHz, 12GB RAM, 2GB Graphics, 1TB HDD, and also an iPad. I had a MacBook Air for a while which I recently sold since I hardly touched it since buying the iPad. I thought I would give the iMac + iPad combo a try for a while, and ever since school started, I get by OK with this setup. The only problem is, the iPad isn't proving to be the "All-in-One" school companion I was hoping to get out of it. It's great for a lot of my classes, particularly my Microeconomics class where I can draw graphs on the lecture notes with my Jot Pro. I also keep my textbooks on my iPad (using the CourseSmart app) to save some weight in my bag.

    However, with some of my other classes, having an actual computer that can have multiple windows open at the same time side by side, and being able to code on campus without using the school computers is something I want to be able to do. Having to go home to do my programming work is not that fun.

    I don't really want to go back to a 2-computer setup, since having to sync files back and forth is a tad harder and more time consuming than iCloud. I guess DropBox would be a good alternative, but either way, a two computer setup is something I want to avoid.

    The 15" rMBP seems like a perfect replacement if I can get a good sale from my iMac. Not too much power loss (barely any really), and really good portability (the weight pulled me away from the previous MBPs). I would probably still get a TBD sometime in the future to get the larger display, which would probably be my "home" setup.

    What do you guys think? Should I try to sell my iMac and go 15" rMBP + iPad?
     
  2. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #2
    Tough decision, one I've messed around with in the past. My situation is as follows:
    • 2011 27in iMac - I use this for when I need to maximize productivity. Big screen, lots of real estate, windows side-by-side without any hassle
    • 2011 13in MBA - I tend to use this more often, since I carry it around with me everywhere (it's not even 3lbs!), plus I like to do my homework and whatnot in bed =P
    • 2012 iPad 64GB - I seldom use it, but for what I use it for, it's very important. I take all my lecture notes on it using a GoSmart 200 series stylus (I highly recommend it, it changed my perception of notetaking on the iPad for good!) and record audio lectures with it. I also carry it with me everywhere, so sometimes I like to do a dual-screen setup with my MBA when I'm at a friend's place or in the library, with the iPad displaying something of reference whilst I type away on my MBA
    Now like you mentioned, a two computer setup can be a pain with syncing, but I use the heck outta Dropbox. I maxed out my storage using the Google Adwords method (Google it), so I'm at 25GB. I also placed my Dropbox folder in my Box folder (which is 50GB)... merely for the fun of it, but having everything doubly saved in the cloud is peace of mind.

    Notability, for instance, takes the notes I take on my iPad and automatically backs them up to Dropbox in PDF format. From there, I can instantly pull them up on my MBA or iMac or iPhone or any other computer, for that matter. Any edit, any modification, of course gets cross-synced. The whole system works flawlessly and I love it.

    Now, that's just my experience... simply to demonstrate that it's possible and it can work without too much hassle. I also have a 2012 Apple Express router, which lets me access my iMac from anywhere I have internet (through iCloud verification). So if there happens to be a file that's on my iMac (very unlikely) that's not in my Dropbox, I can still get to it =)

    Now, an rMBP and iPad would be a sweet combo too. Especially if you end up with a TBD down the road. I would actually prefer this (despite my huge anecdote), but because I use my iMac as more of a server (since it has a 1TB hard drive, which stores the majority of my photos/videos/etc) to stream to my Apple TV and whatnot, only having one computer wouldn't be particularly ideal (since I tend to use my laptop and desktop simultaneously)

    But for you, heck, go for it... unless I changed your mind at all :) ... can't go wrong with either setup though, that's for sure!
     
  3. DeusInvictus7 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #3
    Thanks for that response Kyle. I actually use my iPad very much the same way you do during class. Notability with a good stylus is a sweet note taking combo. I want really badly to have the iPad as my sole school device, but with the classes I'm taking it just can't be.

    Actually, we use our other devices very similarly. My iMac is my media hub as well for my AppleTV. That's one of the main reasons why I would want to keep it. That way I don't have to remember to plug in my MacBook Pro to my external drives so I can stream to my tv. A minor inconvenience I guess but it was a reason why I got a desktop in the first place. My MacBook Air was my go to portable device until I got my iPad.

    I'd have to see what I can get for my iMac, but I think if I can get a good sale out of it, my productivity would increase quite a bit with having a laptop again.
     
  4. boto macrumors 6502

    boto

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #4
    I would personally dump the iPad for a notebook (well that's if you have an iPhone). It is far more convenient to have a rMBP to complete all of your projects, note taking, and any other assignments at school or wherever you go rather than returning home to do it. The only problem that I'm still unsure about is your uses, whether you game a lot and what particular demanding games you play. The current 2011 27" 6970m is FAR better than the GT 650m. Also, have you gotten an idea of which model and configuration your going to get? Nonetheless, just wait patiently until the Apple media event to see if your interested in the 13" rMBP, newer iMac, or a spec bump 15" rMBP for SSD+CPU, if they release.
     
  5. DeusInvictus7 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #5
    I don't game that often, and while I do enjoy cranking up the graphics, realistically I'm fine playing at lower settings if need be. The most demanding game I own is probably battlefield 3, but I haven't played in a long time. Guild wars 2 is my most recent game, and before the Mac beta came out I was fine playing the game in a Parallels virtualization with lower settings.

    As for the configuration, I'd be choosing the 2.6ghz with 16gb ram. Haven't really chosen between SSD size yet, but most likely the 512 unless I really want to save that money.

    I just want something power-wise that is comparable to my iMac, that way whenever I do any of my photo editing projects or video encoding, I don't notice a huge difference. I will be waiting for next week's event, if the 13" rMBP gets good internals and stuff that can nearly compete with the 15", then I might just go for that, but that's probably a long shot.
     
  6. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    #6
    I'm looking to upgrade from a 13" MBP and I'm in a similar situation. Contemplating some kind of portable device with a desktop at home, or just a suped up MBP + TB display.

    Definitely leaning toward a rMBP with display at home. The most worrisome thing in that situation is the longevity of the display. Hopefully the technology isn't obsolete in the next decade, since the value of it comes from just replacing the computer and keeping your existing display with future upgrades.

    I love the size of the 13" so I'll get the 13" rMBP if, and only if, there is a quad core processor and discrete graphics. I know it's a long shot but without it then there's hardly any benefit over a 13" MBA. May also consider classic MBP since I'm fundamentally opposed to their take on upgradability. We shall see.

    Overall, I'd recommend going the rMBP route. For me the TB display as an external display and dock is what sells this for me. I can't work on such a small screen at home, and after plugging and unplugging magsafe, ethernet, firewire, displayport, and USBs constantly the dockability will be EXTREMELY refreshing.
     
  7. DeusInvictus7 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #7
    Thanks for those points. I agree that if the 13" gets all the goodies on the 15", maybe not as powerful but at least quad core and discrete graphics, then the 13" will be very very tempting.

    Waiting until next week for the event seems to be my first step, just to see what Apple releases.
     
  8. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #8
    Quad would be nice... the graphics I don't care that much about.
    HT4000 should be able to push those pixels around just fine ( not talking about gaming ).
     
  9. DeusInvictus7 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #9
    Realistically, I could get by without discrete graphics, since I was semi-ok with playing games on low with my MacBook Air. But depending on price, if it's high enough without discrete graphics, then I might as well go with the 15".
     
  10. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #10
    I can agree to that :) If price is a factor and form isn't that important ( 13" vs 15" ), then most likely the 15" model will be more advantageous. Personally, I doubt the 13" model is going to come with a dedicated GPU. It will also be slightly more expensive than the current 13" model ( I'm guessing at least 200-250 USD more - Base vs Base model of course ).

    We'll know for sure in a week ( hopefully )... :)
     
  11. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #11
    Get a laptop and ditch the iMac. Portability really sounds like a must for you. If you're doing a lot of programming, I would recommend the 15 inch screen, but its obviously up to you. The fastest rMBP is also faster than your current iMac.
     

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