Purchase Dilema MBP vs iMac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by harcosparky, May 29, 2011.

  1. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Up until now I have been using a 24" iMac exclusively.

    Was thinking of upgrading as it is about four years old.

    Primary use will be Photo/Video work with the emphasis on Photo.

    Programs used:

    Lightroom 3
    Photoshop Elements 9
    MS Office

    Other uses ( games ) come and go as boredom sets in.

    Well I was on the fence and could go either way, but with the recent ( this morning ) catastrophic death of an older Power Mac ( G4 ) being used by my kids I need to do something ASAP.

    My concern is PERFORMANCE.

    My choices are ...... Retail Sale Units ( NO BTO )

    Option 1) 15" Macbook Pro / 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 / AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5

    Option 2) 27" iMac / 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 / AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB

    I know going with #1 means I will have to buy a monitor and that would come later.

    I guess my concerns are which would be better for my needs.

    The CPU in the iMac is faster, but the CPU in the MBP has hyperthreading.

    Where can I find some fair benchmark results comparing the two.

    I'm gonna be buying tomorrow.

    THANKS !!!!!!

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    For your uses, either would be plenty powerful.
  3. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    Performance wise, either will be more than adequate.

    If you need portability or not, that should play a major role in whichever one you buy.

    Price wise, doesn't matter which you buy as I've already mentioned power won't be an issue, so if you'd like to save money go for the cheaper option.
  4. harcosparky thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Thanks .... price difference is negligible due to education pricing.

    15" MBP $1999
    27" iMac $1899

    I don't "need" portability, but I think I'd use it if I had it. The i7 CPU is an added draw to the MBP.

    I was taking my good old time making this decision .... now I must move.

  5. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    I think your kids would probably enjoy the portability of the MBP too. I'd recommend buying an external monitor and buying the MBP and hooking it up when you want it at the desk.
  6. ' r i S e n macrumors regular

    May 15, 2011
    I would go with the MacBook Pro - it is more versatile in the sense that you could always use an external monitor like you said.
  7. fkhan3 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2010
    I would also go with MBP because of portability. Try out the MBP first and see if you can get used to it and it suits your needs. Also keep in mind that if you do require a monitor with MBP, that would be extra $$$$ depending on what you choose. If you are never going to move the machine from your desk than iMac is a much better and cheaper option.
  8. harcosparky thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    They will not be allowed on the MBP ( if I go that way ).

    They will be getting the 24" iMac.

    Looks like I am leaning to the 15" MBP .... but may step up to 17".

  9. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    Ah I see.

    Well enjoy your new computer regardless, I hope you make the right decision for you. Can't go wrong with the machines you've chosen really!
  10. crispy12 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2010
    If you are doing serious graphics work, having a monitor that can be accurately calibrated might be important to you. In that case, MBP with external monitor might be a better option. Also I find the 17" very heavy, definitely the 15" if you are considering getting an external monitor
  11. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I don't think you can go wrong here. Remember that the iMac does in fact have slightly better graphics performance but a little less on the CPU compared to either MBP.

    Also, be aware that the screen in the iMac is very high quality. Apple sells the same screen for $999 without the computer inside of it. Normally Apple stuff is a bit pricey but thats actually a very competitive price for the quality of screen they sell. So, if you do a lot of graphics work the screen of the iMac would be a big help. Unless, of course, you intend on spending some serious coin on a high quality IPS display like the iMac has.

    So, I think the question is, do I need a bigger and better screen more than I need the portability?

    Finally, Anandtech just finished his review of the iMac. This is probably the definitive review and has some wonderful comparisons to the current MacBook Pro lineup. I think you should really read that before you make your decision.
  12. Newbe macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Purchase Dilemma MBP vs iMac

    I don't have any expertise to provide any benchmark results for you to compare. In this case, the primary computer use is Photo/Video. Therefore, the real deal breaker for you to determine is whether you need portability. In the event, you will not be traveling with your Mac, than the iMac is the way to go. Screen area is the premium factor for Photo/Video usage. The purchase of the MBP will lead to future added expense for the cost of the monitor. If you purchase the iMac you will not have to purchase a large monitor for your Photo/Video work. If you purchase the MBP you will need the additional screen area. Either Mac is going to do the job. The only downside of the MBP is the additional cost for a monitor. Your choice. Good luck.
  13. the_fellowship macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    London, UK
    I'd go for the MBP, having the portability option is always a plus. Hooking up the MBP to an external monitor is a good compromise to the iMac's built-in display. Also upgrading/replacing the hard drive in an iMac isn't as easy as doing the same on a MBP.
  14. harcosparky thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    99.5% sure the decision has been made.

    Since this will be replacing an iMac we are going with the 27" iMac with the i& CPU.

    Called one of the local Apple Stores I can get to with in 30 minutes and they actually have one in stock. The i7 was drawing me towards the MBP, but since I can get it in an iMac at the store I should be good to go.

    I think the only issue will be if I find a problem when I test it out at the store, looking for all the usual suspects. Dead pixels/discoloration .... really going over it with a fine tooth comb.

    Portability is a plus with the MBP, but last year I bought a 64 GB iPad as an experiment to see if it would fill my portability needs and it sure does.

    It serves as a photo/video portfolio, web browsing and email.

    Showing work to clients with it has worked really well, at first I was concerned with the small screen but it has not been an issue.

    I really was not prepared to make this purchase tomorrow, I've been sitting on the funds for several months and figured I would put it off as long as possible .....well it looks like TIMES UP! LOL

    Thanks for all you input.

    Hopefully I will have left the Apple Store with the right decision, I think I will.

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