Upgrading... or not?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fluocat, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. fluocat macrumors newbie


    Jul 18, 2017
    Hi everyone,

    I wonder if I could get some advice from you guys about a possible update of my computer.
    At the moment I own an iMac 27-inch, Late 2012:
    CPU speed: - 3.4 GHz
    CPU Type: - Intel Core i7 (3rd Gen) (Ivy Bridge)
    CPU Model: - 3770
    Cores: - 4
    Cache: - 8MB L3 cache
    64-bit: - Yes
    Turbo Boost: - Up to 3.9 GHz

    Installed RAM: - 32 GB
    Hard Drive: - 1 TB Fusion Drive
    I've always been happy with this machine and still find it quite powerful. I use it intensively for design, UX/UI work and sometimes heavy retouching.
    It's a few years old and while I'm loving the big screen, I find the lack of portability quite limitating sometimes. Therefore I am considering updating and have a dilema:

    1. Keep the old beast and get a 12" Macbook focusing on small size and weight for portability

      1.4GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GH
      z16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory
      512GB SSD storage

    2. OR sell the iMac and get a Macbook Pro + a larger screen for my office
    • 3.1GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
    • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory

    I would also like to know if I would see a real performance improvement when switching from the iMac to one of those laptops. I know the Macbook is maybe not as powerful but how does it compare to an old iMac like mine? And would the MBP be a lot faster than the iMac?
    I tend to use a lot of apps and softwares at once, and have Chrome open all the time with minimum 200 tabs at once (ouch!). How would these laptops behave?

    Any input would be immensely appreciated.

    Thanks all!!
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The 16gb RAM limit is your issue to be honest, either learn to close apps when you aren't using them (they open instantly with the insanely fast SSD's after all) or keep the desktop for the RAM. Also consider the 13 inch non touch MBP bar for your mobility needs its a far better computer than the retina macbook and almost as thin and light.
  3. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark

    So - Media work is always some of th tasks that require the most power from computers for smooth experiences. What GPU is in your iMac and is it the Adobe suite you use for work?

    When you're in a normal situation with your computer, what does Activity Monitor say about RAM pressure?

    Whilst the MacBook will obviously perform quite a bit worse than both your iMac and the MacBook Pro, in exclusively single-threaded tasks, it runs really well, and in very cool conditions it can even do tasks that hit both its cores at max quite well.

    Big question is - Why do you miss portability? Is it to do a bit of light stuff on the go, when you're away from your main system? Or would you like to migrate your entire workflow to a more portable system?
    If you think you'll be at your desk more than, let's say 40% of the time, I would recommend the MacBook and keeping your iMac. If not, The MacBook Pro would be better suited.
  4. pallymore macrumors regular


    Sep 24, 2013
    Boston, MA
    The CPU in the MBP is not going to be a whole lot faster than your iMac.
    i7 3370@3.4GHz passmark score: ~9311
    i7 7920HQ @3.1GHz passmark : ~10037

    I don't think the improvements in CPU is going to be noticeable in your daily tasks.

    the 12inch Macbook is going to be way slower than your iMac.
    Both have much faster SSDs though. I'm pretty sure you will see some improvements there.

    The MBP is going to be an "upgrade" - but I think it all comes down to if you really need portability - you are basically paying $3000 for that.
  5. throAU, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I'd suggest:

    Keep the machine and get either a Retina Macbook or iPad Pro.
    Or even just keep the machine and save your money until it breaks.

    That machine is still strong compared to current devices, intel have basically done very little in terms of CPU development since 2011 other than lower power consumption - which for your imac... not a massive concern. it has no battery.

    yes, a new machine will benchmark faster. yes, a new machine will have a warranty. but unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket, or you really want a portable machine to complement it.... i'd hold off.

    Also, right now the CPU war between AMD and intel is hotting up (vs the past 5-6 years of nothing much happening) so personally, right at this moment is probably a super bad time to buy anything with an x86 processor in it, unless your machine is broken or it is a new device for a new use case (i.e., a portable). I suspect there's going to be a few major leaps in performance in the war between AMD and intel in the next year or so (shots fired!) and right now is only the start of it.

    That's my reasoning anyway, take it for what it's worth. We're certainly on the cusp of a great many things being shaken up for the first time in years, so if you can hold off for a little while on Mac side (either Macbook or iMac) you may have less buyers remorse 12-18 months down the track.

  6. fluocat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 18, 2017
    Thanks guys, it is really helpful.
    Might wait indeed...

    I miss portability when I travel (or when I'm stuck in a country for administrative reasons, like now!) and I only have my iPhone Plus to manage clients or do some personal stuff. I've been looking at iPad for years but no, unfortunately they are not for professionals! They don't do much more than an iPhone. So I thought having a laptpop could be a good solution.

    But I was thinking indeed that I wouldn't get to enjoy a real improvement on performance which is always nice when you just spent $3000!

    I'll keep thinking about it.

    Thank you so much!
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    If I were you, I'd get the MacBook and keep the iMac. You could even get a lower end MacBook (to save money) than what you posted because it wouldn't be your "heavy lifter" (and the m3 MacBook is the price/performance sweet spot in this generation; previously it was the m5, now rebadged as i5).

    If you buy the MacBook Pro, you spend significantly more money for a machine that's less portable than the MacBook, and you don't even get much of a power bump when you're at your desk. The only big advantage is consolidating down to a single machine.
  8. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    agreed. and a single machine is always a compromise performance wise. if you push a macbook pro the fans get noisy, etc.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Don't count out an iPad just yet the iPad pro with a keyboard and the upcoming IOS 11, will perform proper multitasking and have a user controlled file system worth a quick read up about it.

  10. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Agreed, depends on what you need to do whilst "mobile".

    For me, the ipad does the "portable device" stuff better than my Macbook. But for me, portable device stuff is referring to webpages in meetings (job system), taking notes, checking/sending email, and the like.

    Anything more than that i do at a desk (thus, my Macbook will likely not be replaced with another macbook, but with an iMac or other desktop Mac. the iPad has replaced the Macbook's job, for me).

    Depends what you need to do away from a desk though. But the number of things you're likely to do while mobile that an iPad can not do is shrinking. And for the performance on offer, they're much cheaper than a Macbook.

Share This Page