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Old Oct 24, 2012, 05:48 AM   #1
macstevie9
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Upgrade Advice Saught.

Hello - long time Mac Pro user who has been considering an imac for some time, and just saw that the new ones have been released.

My question is whether I would notice a speed increase going from my current Mac Pro to the new basic 27" imac. I don't really care about the thickness or the form factor; I just need something that will last and be hassle free to use day in day out.

I have been to a shop to test out the iMacs last month, but unless I can sit and work on it for a day it's a pretty pointless exercise for me - hence posting here.

My current system is 5 years old - and the speed seems fine to me, I am rarely frustrated. But I do worry about it dying as it's so old!

Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number of Processors: 2
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Processor): 4 MB
Memory: 8 GB

I have 3 separate hard drives - one for work files, one for personal music & photos and one for the OS and apps.

I always have Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Mail, Firefox open - and often maybe throw in InDesign or a HTML editor.

My current machine has been switched off less than 10 times in 5 years, so this is another factor.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 10:54 AM   #2
Lone Deranger
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Couple of things.

1. If speed isn't a problem yet, don't bother and just wait for the 2013 Mac Pros.
2. Turn off your machine when you don't need it. It'll likely save on wear and tear as well as help save the environment from unnecessary energy wastage.
3. It's 'sought' not 'saught'.

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Old Nov 3, 2012, 11:04 AM   #3
comatory
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You say you are not worried about speed so why getting a new computer?
Nobody really knows how well the new iMac will perform as it's not been shipped yet, synthetic benchmarks alone will probably point to a conclusion where 2012 iMacs are as fast or even faster than 4 core 2010 Mac Pro's.

Yes, raw performance will be definitely higher but remember, iMac is very different form factor which means plenty of possible problems, depending on what kind of user you are.

Forget about having three hard drives inside the machine, not the way to go. Forget about upgrading internal harddrive cheap. You can either spend a lot of money on BTO with SSD/Fusion Drive or live with the stock drive in it. Replacing it yourself is rather difficult and definitely voids warranty (unless performed by official repair center).
RAM can be upgraded by yourself if you get 27" model. You are stuck with graphic card forever, it is a big deal to someone, honestly unless you are a gamer or someone who does 3D modelling, this shouldn't bother you. The hi-end options for GPUs are pretty good.

If you are serious about working on new iMac, I'd get base i5 27" model upgraded to either Fusion Drive/SSD (you can get i7 processor if your applications support it, otherwise it's useless to you). The shell out another grand or so on Pegasus R4 RAID array which connects via Thunderbolt. This unit is highly expandable, it has four 3.5" drive bays which can be used as work disk or backup, or actually both.
With this setup, you're probably good to go. If you don't need high speed access to work drives, you can probably get USB3 external drives for cheap.

OR

You can save yourself a lot of money by getting another 8GB RAM for your machine, SSD for your boot drive, maybe new GPU and you can keep using the computer the way you're used to for probably another few years. If your computer is in dust-free environment and it is plugged to PSU unit and within room temperatures, you will probably get another 5 years of that machine. If you need more CPU power down the road, you can upgrade your Mac Pro from four cores to eight cores with CPU swap, bringing you 50-100% increase for 200 bucks. You can flash EFI (something like BIOS) so your Mac Pro can run latest OS X release - Mountain Lion. All of these things cannot be done on iMac, except the RAM.

To me, you sound like you want new computer so it's your call. If you have the cash and want the iMac, go for it, if not, just get SSD and you will see major improvement in day-to-day usage.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 12:26 PM   #4
CASLondon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macstevie9 View Post
Hello - long time Mac Pro user who has been considering an imac for some time, and just saw that the new ones have been released.

My question is whether I would notice a speed increase going from my current Mac Pro to the new basic 27" imac. I don't really care about the thickness or the form factor; I just need something that will last and be hassle free to use day in day out.

I have been to a shop to test out the iMacs last month, but unless I can sit and work on it for a day it's a pretty pointless exercise for me - hence posting here.

My current system is 5 years old - and the speed seems fine to me, I am rarely frustrated. But I do worry about it dying as it's so old!

Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number of Processors: 2
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Processor): 4 MB
Memory: 8 GB

I have 3 separate hard drives - one for work files, one for personal music & photos and one for the OS and apps.

I always have Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Mail, Firefox open - and often maybe throw in InDesign or a HTML editor.

My current machine has been switched off less than 10 times in 5 years, so this is another factor.

I'd argue to stay with the Mac Pro line, especially if you are a heavy photoshop user, and seek upgrades to your current one or move up to a 2010-12 model.

In terms of getting another 5 plus year stretch, upgrade paths, maximum ram, configurable storage options, and performance dating over time, mac pro over imac all day long.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 12:40 PM   #5
50548
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Wait for the Mac Pro 2013 edition - it will come in a totally redesigned case and will introduce, for the first time in many years, the equivalent of the fabled headless xMac.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 01:22 PM   #6
comatory
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRLawyer View Post
Wait for the Mac Pro 2013 edition - it will come in a totally redesigned case and will introduce, for the first time in many years, the equivalent of the fabled headless xMac.
you say that as if it was a sure thing. nobody knows anything.
headless xMac? right, it's the last thing Apple would do - give you affordable and upgradable Mac, not gonna happen. workstation-class computer will be always expensive, if you want cheaper option, you'll have iMac/Mac mini.

but I agree with you, stick with your Mac Pro, doesn't seem too limiting for you. 2013 should bring something for the pro's but nobody really knows, if it's new Mac Pro or new product altogether.

my bet/opinion is powerful Mac Pro in the same/similar case (you can argue that it's 8 years old design but it has really good airflow and cooling) OR retina iMac Pro = something like HP Z1 computer, Xeon chips with some upgradeability - probably one PCIe slot, accessible RAM and maybe swappable 2x2.5" drives - storage and expansion options will be hapenning via multiple TB ports.
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