Portability vs Power

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ryan1524, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Ryan1524, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

    Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    I've had enough of reading. I've been searching these forums for something to tip me one way or another for over a week with no success. I need real people to bounce ideas of off. If you don't want to read all of it, skip to the bottom. I'll give the summary.

    Most of the laptop vs desktop threads around here are asked by college students or people who legitimately needs portability. I, on the other hand, do not. I need a powerful computer for the best value, but maybe once every 2-3 months, I do take it with me on the road. This has been a pain to my decision making process.

    I am currently using a 3.5 yr old Macbook Pro. It's not even unibody, and it's perfect for most things, except HD video and Photo editing (Photoshop, Lightroom).

    I no longer need the daily portability, since I'm not a student anymore. However, laptop life is all I know, and I Love it. I love the idea of being able to snap the machine close and run with it. I Love the idea that such immense power is packed into a tiny and unassuming package.

    On the other hand, being realistic, money is tight, and I need as much power as possible. So in comes the iMac 27" nearly $1000 cheaper and twice the power of the best MBP I can buy.

    - Want power
    - Low funds
    - Likes laptops
    - Confused

    Should I...??
    - get an iMac and keep my old MBP for those rare occurrences that I need a photo studio on the road (albeit very slow)
    - get a new MBP for middle of the road performance. It'll still be at least twice as fast as my current MBP (but weaker than an iMac for more money).

    The options (I was trying to match the dollar here, not the specs - If I swing one way or another, the gap will widen):

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.3GHz quad-core Intel i7Originally released February 2011
    15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Hi-Res antiglare widescreen display, 1680-by-1050 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    750GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6750M

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7Originally released May 2011
    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1GB memory

    Built-in FaceTime HD camera

    Assume middle-road RAM option and 2GB GPU.
    Custom iMac - $3259 (2TB + 256GB SSD) or $2659 (2TB)
    Custom MBP - $2809 (500GB)

    Any input is appreciated. Thanks guys.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    It would be helpful to include the specific models that you're referring to from bot the iMac and MBP. If you're looking at the 15" or 17" MBPs, they have very good performance (better than all but the i7 iMacs), even considering what looks like a low clock speed.

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