Sell me on the iMac over the Retina MBP!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dre180, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Dre180 macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    Hey all -

    I posted this on the MBP forums but really didn't garner much of a response. To make it short and sweet, I'm purchasing a new machine to replace my current 2007 MBP. I know it's been beaten to death already but just wanted some input as to what would be the better purchase for myself, as I'm having a tough time making my final decision..

    As for my needs - I'm more of a prosumer than anything. Although I haven't yet, I plan on learning and utilizing Final Cut soon enough. I use Plex religiously and would like something that handles 1080p MKV's flawlessly (My current MBP cannot handle 1080p well at all. I plan on airplaying over to the apple tv. Is airplay mirroring stable? Any lag? In my experience using airplay on WiFI (although I have a strong Fios network) it still seems to take forever, so ethernet is a must.

    I'm almost certain to go with the iMac. My only concern since it is so new is the fusion drive. Am i taking a step back compared to all SSD? I've seen the tests, but my concern lies more once the ssd becomes full and it is forced to use the HDD. I plan on keeping this for quite a while, so really the ssd is my only concern. Everything else favors the iMac for my use case. I just don't want to buy into fusion if it will become obselete quickly in favor of all flash.

    If I go iMac specs would be:
    3.4 i7
    8 gb ram (will upgrade on my own)
    3 tb Fusion
    680 MX

    If I go retina MBP specs would be:
    2.7 i7
    16gb Ram
    256 SSD (will upgrade later if prices on SSD's become a bit more modest)

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give..
  2. biggd macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2008
  3. sounddesigner macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2012
    Since you are a video editor

    Since you are a video editor I recommend not working off the internal harddrive anyways... So I would just advice get the imac and an external SSD or a 7200rpm external drive which is more than fast enough unless u r doing a lot of after effects work. Plus with longer video u might have 1tb of uncut data anyways so u will fill one up fairly quickly. Also Imac display is bigger which I always prefer when I video edit. Also more processor is always better. Also 32gb of ram will make workflow so much better.
  4. MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    Could you explain this? A 27" iMac trumps the rMBP in basically every category.

    If you don't need to be portable, I would go with the iMac.
  5. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    1) Buy what you need today and don't sweat what will be come obsolete tomorrow because it all becomes obsolete tomorrow. Some Macs just a few years old are not even supported by Apple anymore because they don't have a capable enough video card to run 10.8.

    2) Buy a laptop if you need a laptop, otherwise you are paying for portability, not power or speed. The stock top of the line iMac 27" is faster than the CTO top of the line rMBP w/ 2.7Ghz proc.

    3) FWIW I'm kind of in the position you are in but don't feel satisfied with the iMac's limited user repairability or upgradability. I have a rMBP, and don't need two, I need a desktop. So I bought the low end 21" iMac to tide me over until Apple unveils it's new pro offering next year. I'll sell the iMac then. They have great resale value so it's a cheap rental.


    Not entirely true. It depends on how each model is equipped. A 2.7Ghz rMBP does beat a and iMac 2.9Ghz in almost every category according to Barefeat's benchmarks, but a 3.2Ghz iMac beats all rMBPs. Of course the low end rMBP's are much more expensive than high end iMac too.
  6. Dre180 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012


    Thanks all for the input. I know you can't "future proof" per se, but I'd like to at least have some peace of mind. I will prob end up going iMac. Friday is d-day, so unless I have a sudden change of heart, that will most likely be the case.

    You're certainly right about the portability, and while I don't have a direct need it is nice to have from time to time. Honestly I can prob get away with my current laptop for my portable needs for the time being. If and when it dies, just replace it with an iPad or a MBA.

    I'm also disappointed with the current trend of these new machines in regards to being upgradeable. What that will make me do, is most likely sell whatever I decide on quicker. That way I can still recoup a fair amount of $$ before it becomes too outdated. All part of the plan from the apple higher ups I'm sure...
  7. ctdonath macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
  8. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008


    Having been through this myself and making the mistake of buying a MBP thinking it would do the work of both machines I found out otherwise.

    My needs are more desktop then anything else.

    I have a 27" iMac ..... took a loss on selling the MBP to get it but I am now happy.

    Learn from my mistake and get the iMac 27" from the start!
  9. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    I worked on a 17-inch Macbook Pro Laptop screen for years and recently updated to a 27-inch thunderbolt. Now, I can't imagine going back to that "small" screen. The 27-inch screen is huge and very useful for getting work done.

    Personally, I wanted both portability and the huge screen, which is why I went with a maxed out MacBook Air with a 27-inch Thunderbolt display. I run the laptop in lid-closed mode at my desk with the 27-inch display, and then grab the laptop and go when I need portability. Best of both worlds.
  10. mainemacuser macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2007
    If you look at the price tag, the iMac comes out on top.

    iMac = $2,918.00

    MBP = $3,598.00 (prices include AppleCare)

    For this price you get a bigger screen (quality is almost as good a Retina - I was at the Apple Store today and the display is gorgeous) a much bigger hard drive, a smoking fast processor and a fast video card. All things needed for video editing.

    The price difference is almost enough to pay for a MacBook Air if you need to take your project on the road.
  11. MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    If you look at his projected BTO specs... the iMac wins.


    I compared prices also, my results came out to be exactly $2749 each without AppleCare. I would still go with the iMac though.
  12. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y

    I was in the same boat to replace my 2ghz 2010 mbp.

    Ended p getting a used 2011 17" w/ AG display 2.3ghz, then on my own added 2 ssds and maxed ram to 16gb. Also bought a thunderbolt display and wd 6tb thunderbolt drive, still coming in cheaper than the comparable rmbp.

    Couldn't be happier
  13. heimbachae macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2011
  14. torana355 Suspended

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    I would go the iMac, i have the exact same config as you are thinking of getting and its a powerhouse. Also i have my Fusion partition near full and the iMac still runs at SSD speeds in general usage.
  15. ctdonath macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Make mobile that which needs mobility, leave behind what benefits from greater size and weight. Remote desktop brings the latter to the former in a pinch.

    A notebook is all about compromise, and all too often the compromise is unnecessary.

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