Top tier iMac vs top tier MBP

Discussion in 'iMac' started by skiltrip, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. skiltrip macrumors 68030

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    #1
    Is the top tier i7 iMac still a more powerful machine than the new MBP at 2.3GHz? Or has it taken a backseat?
     
  2. Tyrion macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    That's not a fair question to ask right now, since the MBP just got updated and the iMac is at the end of its product cycle. For instance, I'd take the MBP over the current iMac anytime simply because of Thunderbolt - that alone makes it more future-proof. You should ponder this again when new iMacs are released (hopefully very, very soon).
     
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    #3
    The top of the range iMac is a 2.93 quad core i7 with hyperthreading, turbo-boost and 8MB of shared L3 Cache, whereas the Macbook Pro has a 2.3 quad core i7 with hyperthreading, turbo-boost and 8MB of shared L3 Cache so on raw processing power, the iMac should be around 27% quicker than the MBP

    The MBP does have a 6750m card which may be slightly quicker than the 5750 in the iMac, but overall, the iMac will be quicker, particularly if you go with an hdd model as the iMacs use desktop drives.

    Also, the iMac will take up to 16GB of RAM vs the MBP's 8GB
     
  4. v66jack macrumors 6502a

    v66jack

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    #4
    Second that
     
  5. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #5
    if you compare MBP 2011 vs iMac 2010 .. iMac still wins hands down over MBP, it's just new MBP has new shiny Thunderbold port while your iMac still not

    But in term of performance, top tier iMac has desktop class i7 processor, so it's blazing fast
    Wait until iMac 2011 released, they will of course slash MBP to shame, but iMac is for different purpose. They supposed to replace desktop on your home, and you can't bring iMac to a cafe and just sit around, while with MBP you can.
     
  6. skiltrip thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6

    Why not a fair question? If one of the comparable was a hypothetical future release, then I'd say it's not fair.

    They are two actual computers, that exist. One surely will outperform the other in processing tasks.

    There's always going to be another update. But I'm talking about current models, today.
     
  7. flipster macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    The new imacs will probably use the Ati Radeon 6950 which will finally have the 256mbit bandwidth that the iMac needs. It will probably be 23% faster than the current 5750
     
  8. R3DH3R0 macrumors regular

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    #8
    If you check users scores on geekbench the i7 2.3 MBP has been scoring around 11000-11400 with 64 bit. The imac i7 2.93 has been scoring around 10600 with 64 bit.
     
  9. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    That's pretty crazy. Sandybridge is a pretty considerable jump in architecture then.

    The mobility 5850 in the top end iMac still beats the 6750 in the top end macbook pros, so I expect the mobility 6950 in the newer iMacs to really do some work.

    If those mobile quad core sandybridges rank that high on geekbench, then I expect around 15-20k for the top of the line iMacs once they get sandybridge.


    As of right now the iMac is slightly more powerful still it seems, and will continue to solidify its identity as a desktop once it gets updated.
     
  10. Ecelle macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2008
    #10
    Dont know what to do now ><

    I have the same question guys and need some advice! I start online art school on monday and was looking at making a purchase today for a new iMac. I dont need portability becuase i'm doing all of my school work at home, and my current windowns notebook stays home and never leaves anyway.

    I've been on the fence about either the 27" iMac i7 or a 15" Macbook pro i7 for the last month but chose to go iMac becuase I didnt need portability and I couldnt wait for the macbook pro refresh. Low and behold when I go to the Apple store today it winds up being SAME exact day the refresh comes out.After alot of thinking I still went with the iMac but now im doubting my decision.

    I spent $2198.00 for the iMac with the apple care, and no tax becuase I drove to Delware to buy it. I have 14 days to change my mind, as the MBP is only $40.00 more.Spec wise the iMac is still more powerful(so I think Im not as comp savy as some of you mac vets) but lacks the new thunderbolt port.

    On the otherhand, I do have an awesome 27" screen versus the 15" screen, and atm can not afford to purchase a external display. I think Ill need the screen real estate for what im doing, but I just need some reassurance that I didnt make a foolish decision, or if I didnt I would like to know why, so that I can exchange my computer within the 14 day window. FML lol(also sorry for the novel of a post but Im really doubting my decision)
     
  11. flipster macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    What are you insane? Your doing thigns that invovle graphics, and a lot of intensive programs, I'm guessing. You have a 27" IPS LED 2560x1440 staring you in the face, top specced imac, and your looking to downgrade for more money? Think about what your doing.
     
  12. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #12
    You shouldn't have to rethink it. The high resolution 27 inch ips display is more than worth it for art work.
     
  13. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #13
    Thunderbolt is useless to you. think about it. What can actually take advantage of those I/O speeds? RAID striped SSD drives which you won't be able to afford for five years. Your internal drive will be great. So don't second guess yourself. The Firewire 800 port, should you even need an external drive, is fine unless you're editing 5K RED footage. Don't know what that is? Then you've purchased the perfect computer. Enjoy!
     
  14. Ecelle macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2008
    #14
    well if you put it that way I guess Im being silly lol. And yes im doing Game Art design, so alot of modeling,animation,rendering,photoshop,editing, etc. You guys have to bare with me becuase Im a noob when it comes to this stuff, I havent used a Mac in years and am just getting back into school after 4 years since I left. And your right I have no idea what 5k red footage is lmao(not yet anyway).
     
  15. flipster macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    lmao, come on dude, common sense! 27" vs 15" , desktop processor vs. mobile processor, powerful GPU vs. less powerful GPU

    Personally, if i was you, i would return the thing, get your $2000 back, wait a month, and get the new iMac thats going to come out with a (hopefully, it only makes sense) ATI Radeon 6950M which will kick the 5750's ass
     
  16. R3DH3R0 macrumors regular

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    Apr 27, 2010
    #16
    Even though the 2.3 i7 is a bit faster than the 2.93 imac, you still have to shell out an extra $200 for the processor upgrade on top of the 15" cost, so that's $2399 vs $2199 for the iMac. Then the MPB only has a 5400rpm so Apple will swap it for free but downgrade the size so a 500gb 7200rpm drive. And then assume you want an Apple screen 27" and that's $999. So here we go:

    iMac 2.93 Ghz i7 (Better graphics card, more HDD space, more ram expandability) $2199

    MPB 2.3 Ghz i7 w/ACD (Better processor, portable, Thunderbolt - though nothing uses it right now) $3398

    OR get a refurb i7 iMac they are $1799? Or wait for a new one.
     
  17. Ecelle macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2008
    #17
    Like I said before bare with me as I'm not as tech savy as some of you maybe. Its not ridiculous to think that a top of the line notebook can be more powerful or faster than an older desktop.like the poster above me just said the processor speed on the top tier MBP is faster than the iMac's(many people are saying it is and some are saying it isn't, thats why I posted to begin with)and I could always get an external display later on, but to me in my situation I believe I should stick with the iMac(I think I perfer the all in one aspect). I wish I had the luxury of waiting for the refresh but I need the computer now since I start school on Monday.I think the current iMac should be fine for the things I'm doing as a student anyway. Thanks again for the advice guys I really appreciate it.
     
  18. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #18
    They will be about the same in real-world performance, actually. Don't go by clocks alone, as the new intel CPUs will dynamically over-clock themselves depending on the load (turbo boost). The MBP CPU can reach 3.4 Ghz, which about matches the max speed (3.6) of the i7-870 in the iMac. Given that sandy bridge is about 10-15% more efficient then Arrandale, these new mobile CPUs are very impressive indeed.
     
  19. milescortez macrumors member

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    May 30, 2010
    #19
    Question

    Hi all. I think I'm waiting a month or two for the new iMac refresh. The question I have is how easy is it to add swap drives including potentially removing the optical. Same question for ram. Obviously with mbp it's very easy. Is it comparably simple for the iMac. Just so much more for you money with the iMac and if I need mobility I'll hang on to my upgraded 2008 unibody with 6gb ram a 120 sad and a 750 7200 in the optical bay.
     
  20. R3DH3R0 macrumors regular

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    Apr 27, 2010
    #20
    If you check the new update on the front page, they have the benchmarks from the new processors and they are equal to or faster than the i7 iMac. But as far as the quad core i7 is concerned, it's a lot more than most people need anyhow. If you are looking to do something with graphics then go with the i7 as the 5750 (really a 5850m) is a better card than the 6750 in the new MPB. But I'm sure it's not by a huge margin. It's really a matter of what you need. Do you need something to take to class as well and take notes and what not? Then get the MBP, if not then go with the iMac. I would say go with a refurb online though, it's about $400 cheaper and I've bought refurbs from Apple and never had a problem with them.
     
  21. Tyrion macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 15, 2002
    #21
    Just because they're both devices that can be bought doesn't mean it's a fair comparison. You could also buy an Asus netbook instead of an MBP, but nobody would argue that they are comparable. It's just a fact the MBPs are, as it were, fresh out of the oven and feature some interesting technology (notably Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt). Since the iMac is, at this point, rather outdated and due for an update, it lacks this interesting technology, which makes the comparison lopsided by definition. I really think Apple should have updated both product lines at the same time, mainly because of Thunderbolt. This technology is surely going to feature in the next iPhone and iPad, so nobody in their right mind should b a Mac without it.
     
  22. nonameowns macrumors regular

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #22
    you cant compare a laptop to a desktop because the laptop have mobile cpu while the desktop have desktop cpu. So obviously the desktop cpu will be always better but the laptop can be close though.
     
  23. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #23
    This is utter nonsense. Read some benchmarks. The i7-2820QM (sandy bridge) is actually faster then the i7 920 (which is comparable to the i7 870 used in the high-end BTO iMac).
     
  24. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #24
    For the same generation, bigger things always better than the small ones.

    I went to Apple Store a couple times, waiting for the new iMac, i just be patient and playing around with some MacBook Pro and iMac there

    Believe me man, iMac is just better by A LOT .. yes i was also playing with 17" MBP, but just see the iMac, even the base 21" iMac will dump 17" MBP out of water

    The feel of iMac is just better, sleeker and neater ..
    If you don't travel or carry around your job so much, do yourself a favor and get an iMac, you won't be sorry

    No hassle, no battery problem, no magsafe charger, more power and bigger screen

    I really love the way iMac looks and works, more than a MacPro .. actually a MacPro doesn't feel too "mac" for me. I don't see how a Mac can be special if I have those regular chassis like PC

    But iMac is different, yes there is another all in one pc out there. But whatever they do, they just don't feel the same as an iMac
     
  25. iZero, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    iZero macrumors regular

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #25
    Agreed. Owning both a top tier 2010 iMac, and a top tier 2011 17 inch MBP, the iMac still hands down outperforms the MBP, even though it's a year older. The only thing the MBP is capable of right now, that my iMac is not (until they get refreshed) is the Thunderbolt port. (and being able to fit in my bag/briefcase). But performance wise, no matter what I do, the iMac is notably better/quicker at it, than my MBP. Now, that being said, the MBP is by no means a slouch. It's very, very quick and an excellent performer. But it's rare that current model for current model (or in this case one being a year older), that a top end laptop, will outdo a top end desktop.

    Geekbench may say differently, if so it's incorrect in my case, at least. I'm just stating personal, real world experience, based on the way I use my machines.
     

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