New iMac vs Current Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jbuba, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. jbuba macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2005
    I know this is a typical question, but i need some advice on an upgrade...

    I currently have a 20" iMac G5 2Ghz which has gotten really slow over the past few years. It can't playback HD videos without lagging and converting videos from xvid/wmv to mp4 (to import into iTunes/iPhone/AppleTV) takes a long time. About 25 minutes for a 30 min show. I read that the newer Intel Macs with the Core 2 Duo processors can do this in around 5-10 minutes.

    So the question is, how much faster would the new iMac's be than the current MacBook PRO? I compared the specs and besides being able to upgrade to 2.8 Ghz, the CPU, RAM and GPU all seem to be about the same. If the iMac has a performance advantage over the MacBook Pro, then I'll get that. If the two are the same performance wise, then i think i would get the MacbookPro, so i would have both a desktop and laptop. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    It's either a laptop or a desktop decision in the end.
  3. kymac macrumors 6502a


    Nov 4, 2006
    well.. think of it this way, you can always turn a laptop into a desktop by getting an external screen, mouse and keyboard, but you can never turn a desktop into a laptop.
  4. mkgm1 macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2007
    Does anyone know how the 2 graphics cards compare? Which one is better?
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    The HD 2600 Pro is better. You get more shaders and a 128-bit memory interface.
  6. Tumeg101 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2007
    Orange County, California
    The MBP video card is loads better then the one in the new iMacs...
    I totally suggest the MBP, it looks better, is portable, and as said earlier, it can be made into a desktop, even though it is more expensive then the iMac, almost everything about the MBP is better....
  7. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Jun 4, 2005
    New York, NY
    The MBP's video card is worse, the CPU is a good deal slower (desktop CPU vs. laptop), faster HDD on the iMac, larger screen on the iMac. How is everything on the MBP better?

    I'd get the MBP, just for portability sake.
  8. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    The processors are the same. The iMac uses Merom, Intel's mobile part, as opposed to Conroe, the desktop part. So at the same clock speed, the iMac and MBP are the same in that regard.

    As for the graphics card... it's a little bit up in the air. The Nvidia parts are better in most situations, but the Nvidia parts also cost more. And in some cases, the ATI cards do better than the Nvidia cards. I would expect that if ATI improves its drivers, the difference between the iMac and MBP cards will be a wash, but for right now the advantage is slightly in favor of the MBP.
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Both computers use mobile processors.

    I want to see if the ATi video cards in the iMac are the desktop versions or mobile variants as well. I'd want to see benchmarks first but I'm going to side with the 8600M GT.
  10. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    there are no benchmarks for the hd 2600 pro, only the xt that i've seen completely depends on whether the card is the desktop or laptop version in the imac. If its the laptop version it'll probably be about even. If it's the desktop version it'll be much faster.

    Overall..the imac will be faster on the whole, but it really depends on what you use it for and if you need the portability.
  11. TheCubedXbox macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Gamespot just did a "Video Card Roundup" feature and posted benchmarks for the hd 2600 Pro along with the 8600GT (both desktop not mobile). I dunno if that will help anyone but I thought I'd throw it out there.

    As for which is better, I will be getting a new iMac. But I need the screen real estate for video editing, thats my reason.
  12. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    i take that back,1697,2151673,00.asp

    seems like the 8600gt is faster assuming both are laptop versions
  13. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Its the same components in a different case.

    The hard drive is faster in the iMac because its a 7200rpm desktop drive, but the rest is the same.

    It just comes down to whether you want a laptop or desktop.
  14. mgargan1 macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Reston, VA
    straight from Tom's Hardware

    Best PCIe Card For ~$115: Tie
    GeForce 8600 GT
    Codename: G84
    Process: 80nm
    Universal Shaders: 32
    Texture Units: 16
    ROPs: 8
    Memory Bus: 128-bit
    Core Speed MHz: 540
    Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1400 effective)
    DirectX / Shader Model DX 10 / SM 4.0

    Prices of the new midrange DirectX 10 video cards have dropped like a rock in the past month. The 8600 GT was a terrible buy at $150, but now, as it approaches $100, it's much more attractive. The 8600 GT will slightly beat the old 7600 GT and X1650 XT in raw performance in the $115 price category. In addition to speed, the 8600 GT has the added bonus of being DirectX 10 compatible, as well as being a good overclocker.

    NOTE: beware of slower DDR2 versions of the 8600 GT! The GDDR3 versions are the recommended cards; DDR2 equipped 8600 GTs will be notably slower.
    Radeon HD 2600 XT
    Codename: RV630
    Process: 65nm
    Universal Shaders: 128
    Texture Units: 8
    ROPs: 4
    Memory Bus: 128-bit
    Core Speed MHz: 800
    Memory Speed MHz: 800 (1600 effective)
    DirectX / Shader Model DX 10 / SM 4.0

    The performance of the 2600 XT is very close to that of the Geforce 8600 GT, although the Geforce seems to have the edge when antialiasing is enabled. Nevertheless, the 2600 XT has better video acceleration features in Windows XP at this time, and is a viable alternative in this price segment.
  15. TheScavenger macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2007
    Kansas City, MO
    Has anyone found out yet if the iMacs GPU is a desktop or mobile version?

  16. weaverra macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2006
    Also you can get larger and faster hard drives in the laptops now.

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