Replace 27" iMac with 13" MBP + 4k?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by benjai, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. benjai, Oct 20, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015

    benjai macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009

    I currently have a 2yr old 27" non retina iMac i5 with 32gig ram and 3TB fusion drive. I think it cost around £1700 with the fusion drive eating up a lot of the cost. As I couldn't upgrade it myself, I thought might as well future proof it. The setup is pretty overkill for my needs which is mainly browsing, photos, sabz/plex, and maybe one game a year. I do plan on getting xcom 2 when it's out but it's not the end of the world if I can't play games.

    I'm considering replacing this sometime before my applecare runs out, and a good candidate would be the retina 27". With a decent size fusion drive, this would again be ballpark £1700. Which is a lot.

    So I was thinking, could I potentially replace this with a 13" mbp connected to a 4k screen? I visit Hong Kong every year so the middle 13" mbp costs less than £1000 there. I think a 27" screen is around £400 and that won't need replacing very often. At under £1000 I don't really mind having to replace the mbp every couple of years if required.

    My minimum reqs are a 27" screen, preferably 4k, 256gb SSD or fusion drive.

    I haven't had a mb since the white plastic ones ages ago so I don't really have much recent experience with them.

    So my questions are:
    1) I leave my imac on all day for downloads and cctv, can I do the same with the mbp?
    2) Can I leave the lid closed? Presumably the mbp screen will be off but the monitor will stay on?
    3) What's the wear and tear on the components like if I leave on all day? I don't plan on taking it out the house at all.
    4) Can you take the battery out and run on AC? I don't want to kill the battery by leaving it charging all day every day.
    5) Will the 13" drive a 27" 4k without any slowdown?
    6) Is the ram user upgradable?
    7) Assuming I max out the ram, what's the real world performance like? I don't want it to be noticeably slower by much.
    8) Any other advice/suggestions? Is what I'm considering crazy?

  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well you'll move from 4 cores on a desktop chip to a dual core mobile chip, thats a lot of processing power, if you never carry it anywhere having a laptop is paying a premium for lesser specs and a screen you won't use.

    The battery will be ok but if you never let it run down a bit it won't last as long it cannot be removed.

    Running in clamshell mode will of course put more heat on the components and will lower the life expectancy.

    A 4K screen is not nearly as good as a 5K one the 5K screens currently available cost £1400 so you are effectively getting the rest of the computer for £300 it really is the bargain of the last 2 years. ( monitor&qid=1445337097&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1 ).

    If you don't need any portability a laptop is always a very bad choice, you would be better off going for the mac mini and saving a fortune for exactly the same specs at 1/2 the price of the laptop, and no thermal issues.

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