MBP vs iMac

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I was planning to buy a 24 inch iMac this month, but with no upgrades until next year i felt a bit disappointed. On the other hand the new MacBook Pro looks pretty good, and makes the iMac that i wanted to buy a bit outdated. In terms of benchmarks results and performance, who wins?



I asked many and they are divided on the answer.



(BTW I will use it for video editing, most After Effects and Premiere.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,223moderator
    The MBP wins. The 9800GT is faster than the ATI GPUs and there is the possibility for Hybrid SLI in future. The big thing really for graphics apps is the future GPU computing. This isn't possible with the ATI chips right now. This can extend to rendering eventually but at the very least for video encoding, authoring etc.



    The hard drive is also very easy to access in the MBP but not so with the iMac. You have to take the screen out. This means that with the MBP, you can buy your own cheaper drives including 3rd party SSD drives when price/performance is better.



    You are also getting a mobile computer, which is even just handy if you feel like working in another room of your house or watching a movie in bed or something.



    The iMac does have a bigger screen - the 1440 x 900 screen on the MBP may be a bit cramped for editing (they should really have 1680 x 1050 by now) but you can always get a cheap external display (just make sure to get the right adaptor).



    I'm personally squarely behind the MBP over the iMac. There's a remote possibility they can make a quad-core iMac for January but I'd still go for the MBP now for the other reasons. The quad core would be more expensive anyway.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The MBP wins. The 9800GT is faster than the ATI GPUs and there is the possibility for Hybrid SLI in future. The big thing really for graphics apps is the future GPU computing. This isn't possible with the ATI chips right now. This can extend to rendering eventually but at the very least for video encoding, authoring etc.



    The hard drive is also very easy to access in the MBP but not so with the iMac. You have to take the screen out. This means that with the MBP, you can buy your own cheaper drives including 3rd party SSD drives when price/performance is better.



    You are also getting a mobile computer, which is even just handy if you feel like working in another room of your house or watching a movie in bed or something.



    The iMac does have a bigger screen - the 1440 x 900 screen on the MBP may be a bit cramped for editing (they should really have 1680 x 1050 by now) but you can always get a cheap external display (just make sure to get the right adaptor).



    I'm personally squarely behind the MBP over the iMac. There's a remote possibility they can make a quad-core iMac for January but I'd still go for the MBP now for the other reasons. The quad core would be more expensive anyway.



    What about a 24" iMac, 2.8 ghz, with the NVIDIA 8800 gt?



    I suspect thats faster than any MBP, but its probably pretty close and the choice should be made on whether the user needs portability or not.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The MBP wins. The 9800GT is faster than the ATI GPUs and there is the possibility for Hybrid SLI in future. The big thing really for graphics apps is the future GPU computing. This isn't possible with the ATI chips right now. This can extend to rendering eventually but at the very least for video encoding, authoring etc.



    You mean 9600M GT, right? Which is still slower than the 8800GS in the most expensive iMac.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,223moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    You mean 9600M GT, right? Which is still slower than the 8800GS in the most expensive iMac.



    Ah yeah so it is and it's cheaper than the lowest MBP. The iMac has more VRam too.



    I still think the inability to access the hard drive is a serious flaw in the iMac design though. If you are working on an important project, you just don't want to send your files to Apple while it's being repaired for up to 3 weeks.



    Having the ability to pop out the MBP drive within seconds and hook it up to and external adaptor, plug it in to a spare backup machine and boot from it is very handy.



    I guess ultimately it will come down to whether or not mobility is needed as they are pretty much evenly priced.



    I don't think the iMacs will see much of a spec bump in January. Mobile Nehalem isn't coming for a while. If they pushed the design towards the Cinema display, it would be great but only really an aesthetic improvement.



    Looking at the CPU price list:



    http://files.shareholder.com/downloa..._1ku_Price.pdf



    Intel don't have a mobile chip higher than the 3.06 GHz Core 2 Extreme. The QX9300 is a quad 2.5GHz but for a lot of tasks, you won't notice the difference. In raw rendering, it should be about 40% faster but it's still more expensive.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    My fear was to buy a machine that a couple of months lather (Macworld 2009) would be outdated. I mean, the iMac is already pretty outdated and I have the feeling of overpaying what I'm getting.

    If you say that in terms of performance there is an acceptable gap I'll go with the MBP that btw is the following:



    Intel Core 2 Duo at 2,4GHz

    4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB

    250GB Serial ATA @ 5400

    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)



    (my god is the ram expensive!)



    At the same price I could get:

    24" iMac

    2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    4 GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2 GB

    500GB Serial ATA Drive

    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO w/256MB GDDR3

    Apple wireless Mighty Mouse



    Price is about 1700 euros (2.180,07 US dollars)
  • Reply 6 of 11
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Engine[ITA] View Post


    My fear was to buy a machine that a couple of months lather (Macworld 2009) would be outdated. I mean, the iMac is already pretty outdated and I have the feeling of overpaying what I'm getting.

    If you say that in terms of performance there is an acceptable gap I'll go with the MBP that btw is the following:



    Intel Core 2 Duo at 2,4GHz

    4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB

    250GB Serial ATA @ 5400

    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)



    (my god is the ram expensive!)



    At the same price I could get:

    24" iMac

    2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    4 GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2 GB

    500GB Serial ATA Drive

    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO w/256MB GDDR3

    Apple wireless Mighty Mouse



    Price is about 1700 euros (2.180,07 US dollars)



    The iMac is likely to be at least 20% faster.



    It has a faster cpu and IIRC a faster HDD. You can also get that iMac configured with an NVIDIA 8800 gt which is a little faster than the ATI 2600 pro. But you don't get portability.



    One suggestion; buy the machines with the base configuration of RAM. You can add additional RAM to either machine pretty easily and save some money.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Engine[ITA] View Post


    My fear was to buy a machine that a couple of months lather (Macworld 2009) would be outdated. I mean, the iMac is already pretty outdated and I have the feeling of overpaying what I'm getting.



    The iMac isn't really that outdated, though. Its processors are not from the current generation, but they have the same specs as current-gen CPUs, so you won't notice any difference there*. Likewise, the graphics are previous-gen, but there hasn't been a whole lot of progress on the graphics front (compare the 9600M GT in the MBP to the 8600M GT it replaced- maybe 20% faster).



    *although the unknown factor there is that Apple could get special processors from Intel again
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Personally I like the MacBook Pro better, they are better.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    You will probably find that you are paying for portability with the macbook pro. I use a recent iMac and the current MBP and interchange the two and notice similar speeds. It will probably boil down whether you want to spend the extra money for the MBP.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    I'll go with the MBP.



    Thanks for all your advices. I have just one more question.

    Is it easy to change the RAM on the new MBP? I saw videos and read something but they were all referring to the old MBP. Is it easy? Does it put an end to the warrancy?
  • Reply 11 of 11
    It is more difficult than the last, but only be a few screws. I believe you just unscrew the bottom panel and replace it, doesn't like longer than a few minutes. The ram is still user replaceable so it still won't void your warranty ... those the new RAM obviously won't be covered by apple.
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