Thinking of replacing my 2011 iMac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EricT43, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    I currently have the following setup:
    - mid-2011 iMac 27" i7 w/ 1GB graphics and Thunderbolt display
    - late-2011 13" Macbook Pro base model

    I have upgraded both with SSD drives. I do a lot of gaming (EVE Online and Starcraft II), and aside from that my use is typical home stuff - email, photos, music, movies (watching, not editing), etc.

    I am quite happy with the iMac, and when I got the Macbook, it was for occasional use while travelling. Since then, I got a new job and now I travel about 50% of the time and am using the Macbook much more than I originally expected.

    So now I am considering upgrading to a bigger and better laptop to take with me on the road. I would like a larger display and better graphics/gaming performance. I don't really have more cash to put into this, so I have two options I am considering:

    1) Sell both the iMac and the Macbook Pro, and use the proceeds to buy a 15" Macbook Pro Retina. At home I can use it with my Thunderbolt display, and then take it with me on the road when I leave. (Question, how does the 15" MBP Retina graphics performance compare with the 2011 iMac?)

    2) Sell the MBP only, and use the proceeds to get a 15" Windows laptop with good graphics performance.

    I'm curious what you all would do in this situation, and why.
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Financially - sell 13 MBP - buy 15inch Windows laptop

    Take a big hit selling the MBP and iMac - also you pay a lot for a retina (there great) you just buy a ton for those advanced features it offers.

    If you are rich - do whatever you want. :)
  3. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Id do #1 or #3, which is sell all of it, buy a 15 rMBP which is amazing for lots, even exceptional performance for gaming and also buy just a 24" 1200p Samsung, LG, etc display.
  4. SuX0rz macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2010
    I just did #1 on your list. Except I sold my iMac and an iPad. I've been really impressed with the rMBP for gaming. I've had zero complaints in games like Boarderlands 2 and Skyrim.
  5. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    Sell both computers, keep the ATD, and buy either a base cMBP-15 and DIY upgrade or an rMBP-15.

    Given that you are traveling a lot now, I'd lean towards the rMBP, with the one caveat being that it'll be hard to use in coach.

    The new MBPs are effective desktop replacements.
  6. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    I can't use ANY laptop in coach. I would need T-Rex arms to do that, lol.

    The laptop is my main source of entertainment for when I'm sitting at the hotel. I rarely watch TV, I'd rather play a game, surf the web, watch Netflix, etc.
  7. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    I'm still mulling this one over, haven't done anything yet. I looked at Windows laptops, and there are some good ones out there, but I just can't bring myself to go back to Windows. Windows 8 looks hideous.

    I've also been considering scraping together a few extra bucks and getting a 2011 15" MBP to replace my 13". But I like the idea of getting down to a single machine, that being the 15" rMBP. Then again, traveling all over the US and Mexico with a $2200 laptop is going to make me a little nervous. I'll have to ask my insurance agent about that.

    Long story short, I'm still undecided, so I'm keeping what I have for now...
  8. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I went through pretty much the same thing as you OP a few months ago, except my laptop was an Air, and I don't have an ATD.

    I sold everything and replaced it with a rMBP that had at least the same power as my iMac, which ended up being the 2.6GHz, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage configuration. I was going to go with the 256GB option, but since I wouldn't have two computers anymore, I figured it'd be safe to go for the double storage, and I'm glad I did.

    The rMBP is probably the best computer I have owned, and is probably the first one that will make me NOT want to rush to upgrade when the next revision comes, like I've done with my past computers.
  9. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    As you already own a Apple Thunderbolt display, sell both the iMac and 13" MBP and go for the Retina. You won't lose the big display at home and will have a notebook that's a lot more powerful and has a far better screen than the 13" whilst weighing around the same.

    If you have any SW that's still on CD/DVD use Disk Utility on your current Macs to create DMGs of them, put them on an external and the lack of a optical drive won't be an issue.
  10. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    I picked up a 2.3/256 rMBP yesterday and got all my apps and settings copied over to it. Right now I'm using it with my Thunderbolt display. It's a pretty nice setup.

    My first hurdle was figuring out what to do with my iTunes library when I'm connected vs. when I'm on the go. I have a FW800 drive connected to the TBD, so when I'm hooked up to it, I can access my media without any problems. When I disconnect to move the MBP, however, I can't connect to any media.

    Since I use iTunes Match, what I decided to do was create a second library for when I'm on the go, which resides on the SSD. This one doesn't have any media in it, which allows me to stream my music from iTunes Match. Any videos or movies I want to take with me I'll have to copy into the second library. I feel like this is a fairly simple solution. I just option-click to open iTunes and it asks me which library I want to use.

    I'm going to work with this for a few days and make sure I like it before my return policy is up...
  11. EricT43 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    Well, here's a picture of my setup. I'm loving it so far. I went out and bought a stand for the MBP to bring the screen up to the same height of the ATD.


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