1 day ago in iMac () vs 13in MacBook Pro, Touch Bar () full review to 27in here, bearing in mind that you can hook the MacBook Pro up to.
Table of contents
- Maxed-out iMac vs. entry-level iMac Pro: What's the best $5,000 Apple desktop you can buy?
- Back to the Mac 013: 12222 iMac – Before You Buy…
- Apple’s best MacBooks, iMacs and more
- iMac vs MacBook Pro: Which Should I Buy? - Macworld UK
Maxed-out iMac vs. entry-level iMac Pro: What's the best $5,000 Apple desktop you can buy?
It features the same familiar design, with the same beautiful 5K display. Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos. Unfortunately, these entry-level machines still ship with Fusion Drives, which means there remains a mechanical spinning hard disk inside your computer. Transferring large amounts of data with the Fusion Drive is terrible. The performance, in this case, was hindered by the Fusion drive. Nearly everything is affected by the slowness of the Fusion drive, from exporting videos with Final Cut Pro X, to transferring files via a 10GbE Thunderbolt 3 dongle.
This simple test involved exporting a roughly 10 minute 4K project to an H.
The 8-core iMac with Fusion drive performed close to a real-time export of 11 minutes and 5 seconds. Testing the same export on my base model iMac Pro yielded a much better time of 6 minutes and 23 seconds. In this case, the long export time for the iMac was heavily influenced by the Fusion Drive. When paired with a proper SSD, the iMac performed much better. Export times for the same project dropped to just 5 minutes and 27 seconds, which is even faster than the iMac Pro. This illustrates how the Fusion Drive impedes the performance of the machine, acting as a critical bottleneck.
There a few minor exceptions to the ability to replicate an iMac's specs in a MacBook Pro, and vice versa. That's for the best, though, since the Fusion Drive is a combination of an old-fashioned spinning hard drive and a smaller SSD to store important files like the operating system. Both of our review units cited above were configured with these chips, but the one in the MacBook Pro we tested has only 20 compute units and 4GB of dedicated memory, as opposed to the 48 compute units and 8GB of video memory in the GPU of the iMac we tested.
Both are very powerful, though, and the differences between them are similar to those between the Core i9 chips. Even though the iMac's Radeon Pro Vega has more than twice the memory and compute power, it isn't necessarily twice as fast. Macs can run graphics-intensive games, but their buyers are usually more focused on GPU-accelerated apps similar to those from Maxon, or from Adobe. It's clear that both Radeon Pro models work well for these tasks.
If gaming is your primary goal, though, neither Mac is your best choice. Check out PCMag's top picks for gaming laptops or desktops instead.
Back to the Mac 013: 12222 iMac – Before You Buy…
Also bear in mind, again, that the GPUs cited above are upticks from the base models; the cheaper iMac and MacBook Pro models use lesser graphics solutions. Once you've weighed the spec differences, the rest of your decision largely comes down to personal preference, which requires at least as much soul searching as it does technical knowledge. Aside from the obvious fact that the iMac can't be folded up and placed in a backpack, the machines' differing sizes mean they fill different niches very well.
While it might seem like the iMac is a better choice for watching movies, thanks to its larger display and more robust speakers, chances are you'll probably use your TV at home and a laptop while on the road. In the latter case, the inch MacBook Pro's gorgeous Retina display and decent audio quality make it an excellent movie-watching machine, albeit a highly overqualifed one if you'd use it for just that.
Apple’s best MacBooks, iMacs and more
What if you're a power user who frequently opens multiple apps side by side and plans to connect a MacBook Pro to an external display most of the time? In that case, a inch iMac might actually be a better choice. The notion is: If you need a pickup truck's towing capacity only to take your boat out of the water in the fall and put it back in the next spring, you should probably buy a more practical sedan and rent a pickup twice a year.
The same goes for computers. And while the iMac and the MacBook Pro are marvels of modern engineering, they both have fairly obvious shortcomings. You won't find touch-enabled main displays or digital stylus support on any Mac, even though the vast, brilliant surface of the iMac's inch display practically begs to be touched. The MacBook Pro's Touch Bar, a thin strip of touch-enabled glass that is useful only for some apps, doesn't really count.
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It's occasionally handy, but for most of us, it's far down on the list of reasons to buy a MacBook Pro. Neither will you find much comfort in the minimalist keyboard and mouse that Apple includes with the iMac. The enormous, extremely precise trackpad on the MacBook Pro is unequivocally excellent, however. Making a decision between a high-end Mac desktop and a decked-out MacBook Pro comes down partly to computing power, but mostly to esoterica. Some people in the market for a MacBook Pro will actually be better served by the combination of an iMac and an iPad or inexpensive laptop instead of Apple's flagship notebook, while many others who have the cash to spend on a maxed-out inch MacBook Pro will delight in its Core i9 power, strong battery life, and gorgeous Retina display.
Meanwhile, nearly everyone else falls into two camps. If you're primarily interested in a Mac because of the macOS operating system and don't need lots of processing power, the entry-level, non-Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro or the MacBook Air are better choices. Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa's sweetest-sounding music. We've given the new cards a spin, putting them through the paces of our standard suite of tests and benchmarks.
iMac vs MacBook Pro: Which Should I Buy? - Macworld UK
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