Decked-out iMac or Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AaronICT, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. AaronICT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    #1
    Hello. I'm switching to Mac this month after being a PC user for 25+ years.

    I've been researching the move ever since Apple adopted Intel CPUs, and even more so after Boot Camp was introduced (I have one proprietary PC application I have to use for work), and have settled on either a decked-out 24" iMac or a mac pro, using my own 20.1" Samsung SyncMaster 205BW.

    My main applications will be Final Cut Express and the Adobe CS3 suite when it releases. I also use the Macromedia creative suite (Dreamweaver, et al) and a few other graphics/video odds and ends.

    I do not edit HD video yet, but may before the end of the year.

    So, from everyone's experience with Macs, should I just get a Power Mac and use my own monitor, or get a 24" iMac with more RAM and bigger hard drive?

    My budget is $3,000. (Thank you, Uncle Sam and the Earned Income Credit!)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. My current computer is one I built for myself about 5 years ago with a Pentium 4 3.06GHz w/ hyperthreading. My ASUS motherboard has been dying on me component by component and I know it won't last much longer. So I'm a tinkerer, and I like that the Power Mac is upgradeable and has more room for expansion.

    Are the processors in Power Macs soldered to the boards? Or can I upgrade them in the future?

    Thanks again,

    Aaron
     
  2. wizwaz3 macrumors 6502a

    wizwaz3

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    #2
    I just purchased a baseline 24" iMac for film-school. Final Cut Pro will work very nicely. Rendering Hi-def video does take a little time, but it's relatively quick considering I bought the base model. If you purchase a 24"er with 2.33GHz and 2GB of RAM (3GB is said to be slower, don't know for sure) you will be just fine. A Mac Pro would definitely do the job and do it quickly, but for what extra you pay for it, it's probably best to buy the iMac. I hope this helped!
    :apple:

    EDIT: You can upgrade hard drive, processor and RAM on the iMac, though you probably won't need to.
     
  3. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    Jan 15, 2003
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    51st State of America
    #3
  4. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    i got a loaded 20" iMac to run FCS, the Mac pro is very nice but its also huge, and expensive. I plan on after graduating selling my iMac and getting a mac pro...
    FCS runs great, well its not a mac pro, for my needs it gets the job done just fine.
     
  5. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #5
    I debated the same thing. Decided since I didn't really need it yet to get a Mini and wait till Leopard to upgrade. But I did decide on the 24". You can get a nicely loaded 2.16 or 2.33, 2GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 7600GT 256MB Video for your budget. You really have to watch it with the Mac Pro to keep it under. I personally didn't feel like the Quad 2.0 was worth it for the performance hit versus the savings on the Quad 2.66. The RAM for the Mac Pro, the FB-DIMMs are expensive too. I did a test on a 2.16 24" iMac 1GB RAM vs. Quad 2.66 Mac Pro 1GB RAM at an Apple Store converting .movs and .mpegs for iMovie, not FCP, as well as time to render transitions and effects to clips in iMovie. While the Mac Pro was decidely faster, I didn't see it as worth it. The machine is too big, overkill most of the time, and while I wasn't thrilled about the AIO of the iMac (I would like to get a 23" Apple Display), as well as 2nd HDD and upgradability, I found the Mac Pro to be too much machine and leaned towards the iMac. While I would love a lower priced Mac Pro with a single 2.66 Woodcrest rather than 2 for sub $2000 or ultimately a Cube II in a smaller case offering the power of an iMac with 2nd HDD and 4GB RAM capacity, I will go the route of the iMac.

    For you you need to ask if you want expandability, change of video, added RAM, added HDDs and how much video editing you will be doing. If a lot of those are yes, get the Mac Pro, skimp on the RAM and HDDs and add those later. But I would get the 2.66 version. Also remember the 8-cores are due soon, so you can either get a better one, or get one of the current models for a much better price when they come out. Lastly, consider the Apple refurbs, great deals, great quality control, and good base-spec'd machines that sometimes arrive with better RAM or HDD or video.
     
  6. mattcube64 macrumors 65816

    mattcube64

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Missouri
    #6
    A wee bit off topic, sorry, but...

    3GHz Pentium 4s were available 5 years ago?

    I was a bit younger back then, (13 I guess), so my parents always bought the computers. I couldve sworn we got a pretty nice Dell that was running at 1.25Ghz. Then again, it *was* a Dell. :p
     
  7. AaronICT thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    #7
    The 3.06GHz Pentium 4s were released in November of 2002. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4). So not exactly 5 years ago, but close.
     
  8. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

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    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    I don't think you can upgrade the processor on the iMac.

    I'd go for the iMac, the Mac Pro seems like a bit overkill. You also stated you would be getting better specs with the iMac (aside from processor). Also, IMO, the iMac looks nicer. :apple:
     
  9. wizwaz3 macrumors 6502a

    wizwaz3

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    #9
    That's what I thought... I was debating between a 20"er with 2.33GHz or the 24"er with 2.16... I learned that they're relatively the same and if I ever needed to, I could upgrade because the iMac procs aren't soldered...
     
  10. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    Sure you can, this gentleman here talks about it. Putting a 2.33 C2D processor in his CD 20" iMac/ :]
     
  11. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Just my opinion, but I'd rather have 4 more inches of screen real estate than 17 MHz of processor increase. :rolleyes:
     
  12. wizwaz3 macrumors 6502a

    wizwaz3

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    #12
    No, I got the 24"er, but I was debating because I didn't want to make a bad decision. I plan to go to film school and I didn't want to waste the money on an obsolete computer... And if ya think about it, it's really 34MHz :p
     

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