Which is supported longer - iMac or MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shintsu, Mar 27, 2017.

?

Would would be supported longer?

  1. 27" 2011 iMac

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. 13" 2012 MacBook Pro

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  1. Shintsu macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #1
    I'm looking at a 2011 27" iMac 2.7 GHz 8GB RAM 1 TB for $625 vs. a 2012 13" MBP (non-retina) 2.5 GHz 4GB RAM 500 GB for $450. I'm wanting to buy this computer for general web use, typing docs and the like, watching videos, and doing some light development work. I have a gaming PC which I intend to keep for playing games, but I'd like to make the switch for my everyday tasks since it looks like Microsoft is destined to shove Win10 down everyone's throat and I've had the last straw with the way they're pushing it and putting ads in (even if all can be disabled).

    I don't especially need the computer to be portable, but I don't have a laptop besides an ancient ThinkPad that runs Lubuntu (which is just for messing around with more than anything). I do have an iPad that has seemed to work ok in a pinch when my gaming PC went out, but that was just for a week. I would be using this computer 95% of the time plugged in sitting on my desk, but the nice part would be that I could take it somewhere if the need came up.

    As far as the iMac goes, truly a 24" iMac would be the better size for me for the exact spot I want to put it but I can fit a 27". I've heard the 21.5" is harder to service too, so I have my hesitations for that reason. I have a 30" display (2560x1600) that I would be running as the main display with the iMac being a second screen if I went that route. If I go with the MBP, it would be closed and going directly to the 30" screen. So with the MBP I will need either a USB switcher for my keyboard/mouse or an Apple keyboard/mouse to use with it.

    I could afford to buy a new iMac or MBP, but I'm not sure how committed I am to making this switch so I don't want to put that much into it yet. Since Sierra removed some support for devices, I'm always afraid of the eventual cutoff from Apple where it gets no new OSes and that's what I want to avoid. Performance wise, I think the 2011 and 2012 are both plenty fast enough (though I'd probably have to put in an SSD in either, long term). I have a relative running a Thinkpad T420 from 2011 and it has no problems and I know it could have Win10 installed and keep on trucking for many more years. My ancient Thinkpad is a 2005 and works perfectly besides being not good at playing web videos.

    So that all said, which would be supported longer - the 27" iMac or the 13" MBP?
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Apple support Macs for about 5 years from date last sold, rather than first sold. If a system is deemed vintage, they won't even touch it.

    As such, the 27" 2011 iMac will likely be deemed vintage some time this year, because they stopped selling it in October 2012.

    The 2012 13" MBP was recently discontinued on Apple's website, so the support will run up to around 2022. The support means that they still manufacture parts for them and an AASP/Apple Store can still fix them.

    Just a heads up that the 2012 13" has issues with the HDD SATA cable failing. Apple have a silent repair program for this, so if you have issues with performance even with a SSD fitted, or intermittently get a question mark icon on startup, pop into an Apple Store. They'll fix it free of charge, even if you're out of warranty.

    I would definitely recommend upgrading the 13" with an SSD and/or 8-16GB RAM. macOS is intolerable on a standard HDD. Upgrading the RAM would be 2x4GB DDR3 1600MHz SODIMM or 2x8GB, respectively.

    Please let me know if you have any further queries. :)
     
  3. Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #3
    Hmm, see this is what I was starting to think. The 2012 MBP was the last new one they made of the pre-Retina style so hardware wise, they were still selling ones just like it not too long ago. I have no doubt the iMac is faster right now and would outperform the MBP, but for my intended use I think the extra power is largely unneeded. I do still have my gaming rig for anything demanding of a highly powerful computer in generally any regard.

    I realize I just typed 4 GB for the MBP - it actually already has 8 GB. So the SSD is the one thing it needs. Unless they changed terribly from just 2 years ago or so, I used to have a 2008 iMac C2D Extreme running I think it was Mavericks? It just had the HDD and surprisingly was pretty decent performance wise. I'm sure if I put an SSD in it would be better, but the HDD performance was hardly bad.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    Mavericks was much nicer on an HDD, Sierra is a little hungrier. Plus desktop HDDs tend to be a lot faster than their laptop counterparts (in regards to seek times & read/write speeds, not RPM). It's ironically why a 2011 iMac with a stock 3.5" HDD runs Sierra a lot smoother than today's base iMac with a 2.5" 5400RPM drive... :(

    But still, SSD is a must. As you know it's pretty much the best upgrade you can do to any computer.

    You do mention that the 2011 iMac will be much more powerful, but it honestly isn't that great a processor — the i5-2500S is pretty much outperformed by any mobile quad i7 in a 15" MBP from 2011 onwards. Even the absolute lowest Early 2011 15" has a better CPU benchmark.

    So you're not missing out on so much performance as you may think. Granted it's about 30% faster than the 2012 13" but if you're hitting the CPU bottleneck on the 2012, it's unlikely the iMac would have made much difference.
     
  5. Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #5
    I was just looking at the geekbench 3 scores to compare. The iMac was 7121/7826 (32/64) to the MBP's 5106/5689. That's what, roughly 50% faster or so?

    It's funny, on my gaming PC I was still using an i5 3450 that I bought new up until a few months ago when it was just throttling my 1080 too much. The 3770K fixed that issue for the handful of games that were doing it, otherwise I'd still be using that i5. And I imagine my demands on the Mac will be lesser than my PC.
     
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #6
    Vintage and Obsolete status is based on the last date manufactured, not the last date sold. https://support.apple.com/HT201624 That may be an important distinction. It's true that Apple stopped selling that MacBook Pro model in late 2016, but when did the last one leave the factory? Apple normally runs with a pretty lean inventory, but it's conceivable they were working down old inventory for a while before pulling the plug.
     
  7. Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #7
    So what really changes for Apple products from Supported -> Vintage -> Obsolete? As someone who has always used Windows, this really bothers me because I feel like the hardware should be dictating obsolescence and not the company who decrees somewhere along the line a computer is "too old". But then again, I don't know if these are fluff terms that in practice mean little or if they're more consequential. That 2011 T420 I could still buy parts for and I can run any OS I conceivably want to on it if it passes minimum requirements.

    Comparable to how Microsoft does support long term for old OS versions, is this more just life support when "Vintage" and no support when "Obsolete"? Barring of course mom and pop type places or DIY who can fix anything - for a price?
     
  8. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #8
    Good point, though it's pretty much the case that when Apple stop selling it, they stop manufacturing it. Maybe a few weeks either side at most. We're just splitting hairs at this point and confusing the OP.

    @Shintsu 2012 13" will be supported up until 2022.
     
  9. Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #9
    Based on? I'm confused now after reading on Apple's site that support is for 5 years after it's not manufactured any longer. Are you saying the 2012 is functionally the same as the non-retina MBP they were selling up until recently when they stopped selling them? So even though it's a 2012, it's 5 years from now instead of 5 years from 2012 (Which would put it at vintage status after this year)? Even though it's technically the same, somehow I can easily see an Apple repair center or something declining repairs because it's too old because it's going to say it's a Mid-2012.
     
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    It was released in 2012. Yeah identical specs/hardware until they stopped selling it. Discontinued in October 2016: http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...re-i5-2.5-13-mid-2012-unibody-usb3-specs.html

    So, whoops, my maths could use a little work. 2016 + 5 = 2021. But other than me failing basic arithmetic, it's still true that it'll be supported for some time, until late 2021.
     
  11. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #11
    Everymac.com shows the date "discontinued," which would be date last sold. It's hard to know date of last manufacture, other than to wait 5 years for Apple to add it to the Vintage list. Then we can compare it to the discontinued date and see how long it took to work through remaining inventory. I'd figure for a model that has a "refresh" in the pipeline, the last date of manufacture may be 2-3 months prior to last date of sale. For a model like this, the last of its kind... they could have ended manufacture sooner than that. Hard to know if it was a week sooner, or a year. Apple's very good at inventory management, but if sales volume was fairly low, it could have made sense to build up inventory rather than run a factory line at low output.
     
  12. Shintsu thread starter macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #12
    So if I'm going to buy one of these used, I remember in the past seeing some sellers talking about meeting at the Apple store and that they would check the laptop for no charge to make sure it's working fine. Is this true? Will they still do this? I'm highly suspicious of these used since they have so many sensors and so much control over the computer, and on the iMac I used to own the owner didn't think he put a password in but luckily I checked and there was some kind of password. I eventually with his help got it off before I purchased, but I don't trust anyone selling one of these used not to have it still tied to iCloud or something else that could hose me if I don't clear it all off there. If the Apple store can save me this headache, that would be a boon and I can just recommend it to the seller.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    If the 2012 MBPro is in -good shape-, it's the better buy.

    Already has 8gb of RAM.

    Put an SSD into it (480gb should be "big enough", and not pricey) -- 15 minute job.

    That should last you a good, long while.
     

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