refurbished 2013 27" Imac 3.2 vs new 2015 13"Retina MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Zmmin3, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Zmmin3, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

    Zmmin3 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
    My current computers are:
    Computer #1
    2008 24" Imac 2.8 Core 2 Duo, ATI 2600 video card
    I can still do lightroom 3 on it but any type of video editing is impossible.

    Computer #2
    mid 2011 13" MacAir.
    It has a damaged screen in bottom right hand corner but is still usable. I hate for people to view photos on it.
    It can do some video editing or a lil online gaming but the fans kick on high after a few minutes.

    Now for $1,499 I could get a
    refurbished 2013 27" iMac 3.2 quad, 1TB hard drive, Nvidia 755

    Or a brand new 2015 13" retina macbook with the new 2.7 and the newer 256GB flash storage

    Now even though the 2013 iMac is two years old,,, is the iMac still faster than the 2015 rMBP? Or does the new processor combined with the new SSD negate that?

    1500 is really my upper limit I can afford. Just trying to figure out which is the better way to go. Hate to spend that on two year old technology when there is newer there.
  2. Zmmin3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
    When I was at the Apple store yesterday to get a quote on my screen repair, I asked the genius what his opinion on this would be. He said if portability at all was a concern that to go with the new rMBP. If I could live with the damaged screen on my air (which he said wasnt that bad), that I should go with the 2013 Imac because it has a dedicated graphics card. That even two years old, having a graphics card would be better than the integrated graphics of the rMBP. To repair the screen on my Air would be about $400.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I'd go with iMac

    But try and get it with a fusion drive.... For fats boot up and app loading times.
  4. Zmmin3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
    Fusion would bump it beyond my price point. Plus I havent seen to many of that particular model with the fusion drive.
  5. Airboy1466 macrumors 6502


    Feb 23, 2015
    As far as raw power goes the iMac blows the rMbp out of the water 8 cores clocked at 3.2 to the rMbp 4 cores clocked at 2.7 but if your comparing speed macbook wins all day whythe SSD so it comes down to do you need the power or speed if your used to the snappness of the air then go with the rMbp but if you honestly feel like your going to need all the extra power go with iMac
  6. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I was in the same boat and opted for the iMac and use my ssd in a TB enclosure.
  7. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    First, if you go with the iMac, you must replace that platter with an SSD, and unless you have skills and tools, you'll need to pay someone to do it.

    That 1TB drive will be a real bottleneck to that iMac. I know firsthand because we have 2013 iMacs with both platters and full SSDs -- I refuse to work on the spinners. Especially if you are doing real work (compiling, data analysis, video editing), SSD is pretty mandatory.

    If you need portability, then the Macboook. If you don't, a 2013 iMac with an SSD will be way more powerful.
  8. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV

    You already have the choices picked out. We can't help you decide if you want portability vs the convenience of having a desktop (I say convenience because of not plugging in power, bigger screen, etc.). Personally if I was doing business without anyone and they pulled out a laptop with a cracked screen to show me "professional" then I would most likely find someone else.
  9. Zmmin3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
    Theres been some good input here, thank you

    Yeah I would love to have an SSD in the Imac but as option with Apple its crazy expensive even on refurbs.
    I changed out the hard drive on my current 2008 mac with no problem so I think I could also probably do it on a 2013. Thing is, I just would not want to because I would want to keep warranty in place. My current mac is a refurbished and it had many probs the first couple of months. So I would want to keep the warranty in case of same. Once warranty was up I prob would install an SSD. As poster below posted I could use an external drive in mean time. I have read some threads here on that.

    Are you running the OS on the external hard drive? What set up are you using?

    Yes thats one of the reasons that steers me towards a laptop. Though I also have an Ipad Air with the retina, capable of displaying work.

    So right now I am leaning toward the Imac. I know it wouldnt be as snappy as the rMBP but I know it would handle all the HD video and photo editing I would throw at it.
  10. dor macrumors member


    Mar 14, 2015
    One option has SSD, the other has spinning... SSD is the way to go.
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If you can wait....

    and save another $400, then this would be a better bet for you. Fusion and the 2gb 775 graphics, all you'll need for years...
  12. LittleLuth macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2014
    No spinners...

    It has gotten where I cannot even do relatively basic data analysis with a machine equipped with a spinning hard drive - feels so slow... Also, in my painful experience the flash drives are way more reliable. That's just anecdotal but that's my experience and I am sitting in front of 3 Macs and 3 Windows machines working through some drive issues as I type this...
  13. Zmmin3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    If you _need_ an easily portable computer, you need the MBP. No choice. If you merely need a computer that can be transported and moved to another place, if you keep the box then it is five minutes to pack and five minutes to unpack.

    I have the impression that what counts for you is raw CPU power. And the iMac has tons more of that, having a quad core processor at higher speed. And if you want to do any video work, 256 GB SSD is a bit tight. The other big plus is having a 27" monitor; that is a _huge_ advantage for photo and video work.

    Some people have their mantra "must be SSD, must be SSD", but they didn't actually look at what you are doing. You need big screen, lots of CPU power, lots of storage, and that's what you get with the iMac.
  15. CeratixD macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2013
    The SSD is really important? I only use my computer for media, like video, music, browse, maybe some games (minecraft, sc 2, diablo 3). Once in a while I cut the size of some of my videos for more storage. For example when a video size is 2GB and I want to copy/paste to my table for watch it on the road.

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14 March 22, 2015