Should I get a $1999 iMac or $2199 MacBook Pro Retina

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cinnabun93, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. cinnabun93 macrumors newbie


    Jan 24, 2013
    I am doing college at Penn State World Campus which is online and I don't need portability but it wouldn't hurt. My dad is buying me a machine for college and I can choose between these two because his budget was 2200 dollars not including tax. I am very thankful I can finally get a Mac. I am a computer science major so I figured a Mac was a good way to go because I can boot into any operating system. I play some games on PC and love the look of the new iMac but just can't decide.
  2. FallenRook macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2012
    If you don't need to do anything too intensive the rMBP will be fine and you will have portability.
  3. BeeJee macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2011
    Long Island/North Jersey
    Do you have a tablet or anything to use if you need something on the go? Honestly, I thought I would take my MBP everywhere when I first got it but I now realize an iMac would be better for me, I'd really like a bigger screen, I know I can hook up an external but thats not the point. BTW the SSD in the Retina means everything is brutally quick, I really wouldn't be able to go back to a standard HDD, I love the silence.
  4. thehustleman macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2013
    I'd definitely recommend the iMac - a very impressive machine!!!
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Nothing beats the 27" iMac display, and the ergonomics of a desktop system are superior to a portable. If you don't need the portability, the iMac is the way to go.
  6. itsamacthing macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2011
    I would get the MBPr if I were a student so I could work and study anywhere like Starbucks or the library where all the cute girls are

    If you have the imac, your not got a meet any girls!


    If that is not a factor, get the imac, I love mine
  7. Hungry&Foolish Suspended

    Mar 29, 2012
    Retina would be my suggestion.
  8. Lobwedgephil, Mar 5, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

    Lobwedgephil macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2012
    Portability is your biggest question, in college I would think the rMBP would serve you better.

    But online college, meaning you're always home, if correct, would change my answer.
  9. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    if you have an ipad you can use your imac from distance through logmein, so you have your imac desktop and functionality with you all the time (you need internet connection). So go for iMac
  10. cinnabun93 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 24, 2013
    I do have an iPad 3 and iPad mini both 16GB varients.
  11. ArtieFufkin10 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2012
    I'm a big fan of MBA + iMac

    So why not get both of those? For example, if you're willing to compromise a bit on costs, you could get the $999 11" MBA and the low end 21.5" iMac for < $2300 with your education discounts.
  12. cinnabun93 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 24, 2013
    Do you think that's a better option than getting the Retina MBP or the 27" iMac?
  13. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    Since your doing uni online I would get the 27 iMac. Im gonna be honest, the retina MB has a better res and is retina but the iMac has a bigger display and a better GPU even on the low end 27, but the high end, 1999$ has a 675mx. Be just fine for gaming if you do any. Good Luck :)
  14. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I suggest getting a laptop. The 15" rMBP is plenty powerful. I'm a computer engineering major and I'm doing just fine with a base model 13" MBA. I also play the occasional game or two.
  15. fronesis macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Get an iMac and an iPad Mini.

    Work on the beautiful and HUGE iMac display, and when you need portability use something really portable.

    I was a Powerbook/iBook/Macbook user for 18 years, and I still have a Macbook Air connected to a Cinema Display in my office. But I'll never go back to having a small notebook screen as my ONLY machine. And for travel and portability, the iPad (in its various versions) is simply far superior to a notebook.

    I can see why a select few professionals (photographers, filmmakers) might need the portable power of a macbook pro, but for the vast majority of us, cheap desktop plus cheap iPad is a much better computing equation.
  16. ArtieFufkin10 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2012
    I sort of agree, but I'd rather splurge on desktop power and skimp on the portable power. Its great to have the large screen and power of the iMac when you're at home. And if you're into research or heavy computing, you can remotely login to your iMac to do that computing when you're away.

    Personally, I think I'm done spending $2k+ on a laptop. It just isn't for me.
  17. AndiS. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    Since you don't need the portability, and play games, the iMac offers you many obvious advantages, as mentioned by other posters.

    With your budget, you could also throw in an upgrade, like the Fusion drive, i7 CPU or 680 MX GPU. For games in Windows the 680 MX would make most sense, and is the cheapest upgrade, while the Fusion gives you SSD speeds, but only in OSX (there is a way around that, but I don't find it necessary for gaming).

    Just options, the stock 1,999 iMac has plenty of power already.
  18. Muscle Master macrumors 6502a

    Muscle Master

    Oct 15, 2010
    If you can take games out of the equation... 13 inch air and a Thunderbolt display is the best of both worlds
  19. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    I would personally recommend the iMac. It will be much more powerful than a Retina MacBook Pro in every way possible (RAM, HD, CPU, GPU, etc.). You can also get an amazing 27-inch screen.

    I was in the same shoes as you (was even thinking about returning my MacBook Pro for an iMac), but portability is an issue for me. As for you, not so much. An iMac will last you longer and be more future proof due to its power.

    It would also make a great main desktop machine, which means should you need a laptop in the future, you could just get a cheap refurb MacBook Air ($800 USD, very cheap in terms of Apple laptops) for anything on the go and use your iMac for when you need performance and power and as your main station.
  20. Ravesh macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2014
    sri lanka
    since your college is online and you don"t need portability take the imac it"s a awesome computer but if you need portability take the macbook pro or do the best of both worlds thing take a macbook pro and save up and buy a thunderbolt display later but if your taking the macbook pro with retina display take the model with the gtx 750m:D

    :apple:ipad air :apple:ipod touch 5g
  21. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    This thread is now moot.

    A quick check shows that the OP bought an iMac apparently last March, then (replaced it?) with i7 15" RMBP in April, but is now considering replacing it (so soon!) with an MBA because the RMBP is too heavy.
  22. haylight macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2014
    MBPR, no question.
  23. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    Sorry but if the OP still wanting to buy something i recommend to wait for retina imac in october. Yosemite is very pleasant on retina displays
  24. Kjos macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2013

    If you are a computer science major, I promise you will you need to use Windows exclusive software, in which you will need to run Windows on your Mac. BEWARE that if you choose the FUSION drive option for your computer choice YOU CANNOT RUN BOOTCAMP!!!!! Only standard sata harddrives can do bootcamp. You will need to you VirtualBox for the use of a windows operating system. Be aware of this man and I hope you love your new machine!
  25. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    I have a late 2013 27" iMac with a 1TB fusion drive and I installed windows via bootcamp just fine, what are you talking about?


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