Apple MacBook Pro Retina Display vs Apple iMac : Worth upgrading?

Apple updated the iMac back in May 2011 and apparently has no plans to do so in 2011. This could entice users to swap their desktops to the newer MacBook Pro notebooks especially if they are ready to add to the base unit hardware.

An iMac (MC812B/A) with a quad core Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 2.8GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB GDDR5 memory and a 21in 1,920 x 1,080 pixels display (plus optional Mac OS X) costs just over £1,900.

A souped up iMac (MC814B/A) with a quad core Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 3.4GHz, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, an AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB GDDR5 memory and a 27in 2,560 x 1,600 pixels display (plus optional Mac OS X) costs around £2,465.

In comparison, a 15in Macbook Pro (MD104B/A) with a quad core Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory and a 1,440 x 900 pixels display costs around £1,979.

The 15in Macbook Pro (MC976B/A) with a quad core Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.6GHz, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory and a 2,880 x 1,600 pixels display costs around £2,459.

The iMac uses Intel's old Sandy Bridge and AMD Radeon HD 6x70 architectures which appeared beginning of 2011 and 2010 respectively (you can check our quick comparison between Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge).

This means that the more recent MacBook Pros are likely to be faster as well as boosting features like USB 3.0 which is absent from the iMac and provide with an excellent excuse for a "well deserved" update.