Should I buy the iMac or MacBook Pro retina plus monitor

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sagah, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. sagah macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    For pure power, the iMac is still substantially more powerful.
  3. pockyrevolution macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    But if you value the ability to pack up and take your system on the go when traveling, then MBP is the winner. The battery life on the portables these days is just amazing!
  4. Jhingha macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2011
    I have a Macbook Pro 15inch (early 2011) + Thunderbolt and this combination gives me a great advantage in portabillty.. close my laptop, go home and continue to work on a big screen. and vice versa. altough my model has some trouble with providing the power for a thunderbolt display sometimes.. I suppose the new models (retina) don't have that problem anymore.

    Adding a computer to your screen shouldnt be a problem too as you can add any mac mini (if they ever get an update)
  5. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    Is 4B Retina stuck with only 4GB?

    On the other hand can you add in as many RAM as you like on the iMac after purchase? Can you add in something like 20GB or 24 GB of RAM?


    What can you do on the iMac that could be hard on the retina MBP?
  6. yjchua95, Apr 3, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014

    yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Yes, on a retina, you're stuck with the amount of RAM you configured with it. It's soldered.

    On a 21.5" iMac, although the RAM isn't soldered, it's bloody murder to open it up and replace the RAM.

    On a 27" iMac, it's user replaceable as there is a door in the back panel that pops open for you to access the RAM.

    You can add in unorthodox figures of RAM to an iMac, although you won't get the full performance out of it (dual channel). It's best to install RAM in the power of 2 (i.e. 8GB, 16GB, 32GB...etc)

    Well what can you do on the iMac that's easy on the iMac but taxing on the rMBP? Basically stuff like AutoCAD, rendering and video editing. Sure, a 15" rMBP with a 2.6GHz quad core i7 can do all that too, but the rMBP will overheat way faster and get throttled more. For these tasks, my iMac's fans barely spins up at all and remains completely silent.
  7. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I have a retina right now and a 11" MacBook Air I used for travels. I am debating between selling the retina and using proceeds to get the 27" iMac and making the air my portable machine OR selling the Air and using the proceeds to buy a monitor only.

    To me, it seems that having a Retina with a monitor is better, as it makes for easy portability and you don't have to manage and synch files between two systems. I have a dropbox account but then on the portable unit thats not always connected when traveling its not an ideal solution.

    The only downside I see to using an external monitor with a retina is its not as elegant. If you have the iMac, you'll have just the power cable, where as synching your retina will require several cables and maybe even a notebook stand depending on how you do it.

    The final downside is that unless you get the Apple display, most other companies displays are not that good looking aesthetically.

    I know for the major geeks out there, its all about function, but some of us do value aesthetics and how they impact the "vibe" in the room/house... and as such struggle to make such a decision.
  8. sagah thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2013
    How expensive is the apple display compared to other recommended displays? Is it that much better?

    How much would it cost to buy 32 GB of RAM for the iMac
  9. MartinAppleGuy, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

    MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    When compared the similarly priced Macbook Pro to the iMac, the iMac is much (much) more powerful. (much ;) )

    For £1249, you get a Macbook Pro retina with a 2.4Ghz i5 Dual Core (w/ Hyperthreading), 8Gb of RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris GPU, and a 13" retina screen.

    For £50 pound more, you can get an iMac with a 2.9Ghz (turboboosts upto 3.6Ghz) i5 Quad Core, 8Gb of RAM, 1Tb HDD, nVIDIA GeForce GT 750m with 1Gb of GDDR5 VRAM, and a 1920x1080p 21.5" screen.

    So the iMac has a larger screen, a much faster CPU (almost double the geekbench score), a much better graphics card (Iris is nothing when compared to the 750m), you get VRAM.

    The Macbook Pro has a higher resolution (although I would argue that the Iris GPU still is not good enough to run such a high res display while doing intensive tasks), and an SSD.

    Seeing as a second monitor could set you back a good few 100 pound (well, it depends on the size, res, and if it is Thunderbolt, pre-calibrated [properly] or IPS).
  10. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    I just got 2 Dell U2412M (24 inch 1920x1200 IPS) screens, a MacMini quad i7 with 2x256GB Samsung 840pro in RAID 0 for 1GB/s write speed and 16GB 1866Mhz, and I take that in my bag between the 2 locations of the screens. Total price comparable to the MacBook. Easier to carry, very speedy, and at 1900€ a great deal with 2 fantastic displays.
  11. kyriostrife macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    If you value portability, get a MacBook Pro.

    I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro and a gaming desktop (win7). I recently got rid of the desktop and use just the mbpro now because of the work I do on it. I have debated on getting a 27" iMac to use just for that but because I move the mbpro around and end up doing work on it anyway it wouldn't be smart to get an iMac and just be annoying to have to move files back and forth.

    I connect my mbpro to a 24" monitor in one location. I have a 27" 2560x1440 Korean monitor but it's giving me issues connecting with a dual link dvi adapter almost to the point where I feel like my only option is either a new retina mbpro or buying a Thunderbolt Display. Both would be nice but I don't have the money for that unfortunately. If I wasn't mobile I would just get a 27" iMac instead.

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