Power & Portability - Is The iMac Destined To Perform Little Better Than MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PeteJames, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. PeteJames macrumors regular

    PeteJames

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    #1
    When buying a desktop we have generally come to accept much better performance than in a laptop, at the sacrifice of portability. It's an age old forumla that has made good sense until now it seems.

    When checking the geekbench scores from the current imacs and current macbook pros there is really very little difference. Do you think we will see a much more powerful Imacs (perhaps 8 core) this year or is it destined to stay roughly in line with the macbook pros in terms of processing power? The latter may be particularly likely given that apple has drastically reduced the form factor of the imac just recently meaning there is less space which equates to something similar to sacrificing power for portability in a laptop but instead, not gaining portability either - merely sleeker aesthetics. Of course you do get the advantage of a bigger screen included but external monitors are always an option for the macbook pro.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    Up until recently the iMac had used portable components and so performance was on par with laptops. While apple started using the desktop chipset, that doesn't mean the mobile chipset hasn't improved to the point where MBPs have near the same performance of iMacs.

    I'm not sure what to say, I use my MBP as a desktop for about 80% of the time, but it also gives me the ability to take it with me on my trips. With that said, I'll be buying either a Mac Mini or an iMac for my next purchase as my kids need a computer. The desktop makes more sense for them
     
  3. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #3
    I'd also suggest that the other big difference that doesn't come out in an aggregate benchmark score is the graphics card performance. The iMac's top of the line card is much better than the top of the line card in the MBP. When you factor in the premium that you pay for portability, a MBP paired with a similarly-specd Apple display is over $1000 more than a 27" iMac, graphics performance notwithstanding.

    I for one think that the hidden gem is a refurb 2012 2.6GHz i7 Mac Mini with user-installed max RAM and an SSD ("fused" together with the stock 1TB HDD to make a Fusion Drive), assuming you don't need heavy graphics capability. Hopefully 2013 and Haswell will bring even better graphics performance to the Mini - that's when I finally ditch my 2008 iMac! :)
     
  4. designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

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    #4
    I see Apple positioning the iMac as a high-end consumer offering, especially the base model. It's a sealed, all-in-one box for the folks who just want to unpack and power up. The high end model gives a more powerful processor and the ability to upgrade RAM as sort of a back-handed concession to the enterprise user who has a cramped workspace that won't accommodate a Mac Pro.

    The Macbook Pro is Apple's mobile productivity powerhouse where one pays a premium to have all that grunt plus a high end display in a very lightweight chassis. The interesting thing here is that Apple has been moving increasingly toward the sealed box model with this product line as well, forcing more cash out of buyers as they attempt to future-proof.

    That being said, though the iMac has gotten thinner, there's still enough room inside for the components to keep ahead of the MBP in terms of performance.
     
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #5
    The iMac is a monitor with a built-in laptop.

    Apple's quest to make the computer guts ever smaller means it's like gluing a MBP to the back of a cinema display. OK if that's what you want, but just as in a laptop compromises have to be made.

    They seem to be out of the true desktop market.
     
  6. PeteJames, Feb 7, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013

    PeteJames thread starter macrumors regular

    PeteJames

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    #6
    All valid points. I'd find it hard to go for the imac when I could have a full portable version and just plug it into a monitor. That monitor is going to be steep though if one goes for an apple. I do quite fancy buying a new apple 27inch screen for my macbook pro but then I figure for not that much more I might as well opt for a computer inside it. Unless I opted for something like a dell super high res. Apples display is horrifically overpriced in my opinion. Seems to be due an update according to the buyers guide - I wonder if they will bother updating it though and to what if they do. Is it not pretty much retina already? I guess they could make it thinner like the new imac.

    I guess I just wished the imac was somewhere in between the mac pro and macbook pro as I could better justify choosing it over a laptop. I guess really since I have an ipad and a macbook pro even if it is an old 2008 one an imac might be a good choice for me. Just have to hope my macbook pro doesn't take a turn for the worse really. Its a shame the imac doesn't even have a proper SSD like the MBP so I assume it will be noisier. Do imacs tend to be a lot less noisy than macbook pros when their cpu is pushed or do you still get plenty of fan noise?
     
  7. PeteJames thread starter macrumors regular

    PeteJames

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    #7
    When do you think we'll start to see 6 or 8 core imacs? This winter/early next year?
     
  8. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #8
    For the money, iMac graphic chip is much of a performer than any MBP.

    You can go for maxxed out $3000 rMBP and all you have is GT650M cramped into thin chassis to drive a heavily densed pixels display.

    Or you can fork out $1399 and get the same GPU (despite half the video RAM) on high end 21.5". Or even better spend $2349 and you get i7 3770, gorgeous 27", and a mighty GTX 680mx.

    Yep iMac might not be the fastest desktop out there, but it is the best all in one computer in the universe. Period..
     

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