Will a new 15" Macbook Pro be a step up from an old iMac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Leekenn, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Leekenn macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2014
    Hey all!

    I have been looking at upgrading my computer, which is a 2010 iMac with a dual core i3 processor. My main candidate is the current top spec 27" iMac. However, I have recently been thinking that I'd love to have the portability of a macbook. Comparing the two, it's surprising how much the closest-priced 15" macbook keeps up with the iMac on paper - a quad core i7, 8 gigs of ram, not to mention a SSD disk (albeit a small one). However, I know that laptop processors often are significantly slower than 'equal' desktop processors, and also that overheating problems and general space issues can prevent laptops from rivalling their desktop counterparts in real-world performance.

    If I go for the macbook, do you guys think I'll still see a significant performance increase over my 2010 iMac? As I use my computer to produce music, it's quite important to me that whatever I go for next is good with CPU, memory and hard drive punishing applications, and the scale of my productions has increased enough that my current iMac is quite seriously underpowered. I'm guessing that the new iMac would fit the bill pretty perfectly, but I'd really like to be able to work on my projects remotely so if the macbook can handle my work, it might be the better choice.

    Any advice would be seriously appreciated!
  2. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    If you need to go mobile then get the MBP. The difference between the two is imo the graphics card. You still get great performance. The 2014 MBP would be faster than a 2010 mac.. Thats a no brainer. So go with what you need.
  3. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    Even the processor in the base 13" cMBP scores ~20% higher than your dual core i3. If you are happy with your current machine's performance, going to ANY of the current MBPs, or even MBAs is going to be an improvement.

    When you factor in an SSD, and since your budget allows, a quad core processor, and you are going to have a notebook that will run circles around your current desktop.
  4. kidsleepy macrumors member


    Jun 16, 2014
    Montauk, NY
    Regarding your mention of laptops overheating - it's my understanding that apple had a little bit of an issue with this in their early-2008 15 & 17" MacBook Pro models, but that ever since the unibody line took over, their laptops have been more than "very" stable.

    If portability is worth the price of a current MacBook Anything, I'd say give it a go (but maybe wait until the inevitable spec bump that's likely coming in a couple months)... because a boost in speed, as others have said, is a given.
  5. kidsleepy macrumors member


    Jun 16, 2014
    Montauk, NY

    i just purchased the macbook pro 13.3" retina model, i5 processor, 8gb of ram, 256 gb of storage.

    this thing is a ****ing machine. incredible. and those aren't even the best macbook pro stats.

    if you're getting the 15" they come with i7 processors. buy the i7 quad core and you should have your eyebrows blown off by the abilities. also, get as much ram as possible, i don't know what your fund situation is but if you want blazing speed, max that out.
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I wouldn't say laptop processors are significantly slower, as they TurboBoost to similar speeds as the desktop counterparts.

    And the CPU will TurboBoost all the time unless it hits throttling temperature.

    If you compare the i7-4960HQ (2.6GHz quad core i7 in the high end 15" rMBP) with the i7-4770S (3.1GHz quad core i7 in the high end 21.5" iMac), they perform almost identically.


    In multicore tasks, the i7-4960HQ even outperforms the i7-4770S.

    With the macoh stressing tools on my 15" rMBP (2.6/16/1TB/750M), I find that it doesn't throttle at all even when encoding for a long time.
  7. kidsleepy macrumors member


    Jun 16, 2014
    Montauk, NY
    totally forgot to mention, i produce music too.

    what do you use software-wise?

    even on my macbook air 2008 using garageband i was getting awesome midi<>usb response time albeit it overheated constantly while tracking songs or editing video.

    my new macbook pro retina is awesome, it doesn't overheat doing any of these tasks.

    i think its safe to say you'll be fine upgrading your system to a laptop, and i think the 15" pro will be awesome for you. also its got the hdmi out now as well so you can do dual monitors to make you music production a flash.

    good luck brother, let us know which one you settle on!
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Just FYI, iMacs use laptop processors, not full fledged desktop ones. You're comparing apples to apples (bad pun eh?).

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