Mac Pro or old iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Frozonecold, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #1
    I have an older iMac from late 2006 it is a 2.16Ghz C2D with 2Gb of memory and 256Mb of video ram. I also have a quad-core 2008 Mac Pro with 6Gb of memory and a Nvidia 8800GT. I am thinking about selling the Mac Pro and the 23" Apple Cinema and going back to my old iMac. I do take advantage of the extra resolution of the Apple Cinema, but I doubt it is worth $3k. I also like to play games on my mac, but again it isn't worth $3k. The iMac had sufficient performance 90% of the time, but the Mac Pro's performance is a tad overkill in my opinion. The only problem I have with the iMac is that it only has 2Gb of ram and I can use 5Gb easily, but I know that OSX's memory manager likes to hog ram when it is available. What do you guys think? I really would like to have that $3k again ;).
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #2
    I had an original Core Duo iMac, also with 2GB of max ram. And I just love leaving my computers on all the time and leaving apps running instead of quitting them. I went a bit overboard and replaced it with a Mac Pro and now have 10 gigs of ram in it. Never regretted it once ;)

    If you can deal with the ram limitations, and if you really don't/won't need the performance, then I suppose selling it would be the way to go. Why not just sell the iMac and keep the Mac Pro for another few years? Grand Central is sure to breathe even more life into the Mac Pro and keep it viable that much longer. But the choice is up to you and depends on how badly you need that money. Hope this helps.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #3
    Thanks. There are times when the iMac was sluggish and there were plenty of times when it had too little ram, but the Mac Pro is constant overkill. Once Grand Central is here the Mac Pro would be able to last me 10 year, which I don't need to be able to do. Maybe selling both of them for a new iMac is a better choice, but i really despise the glossy screen. I don't need the money really, but I can't help but think that I wasted it. (except when encoding videos) I figure that if I was able to do Photoshop CS2 work on an old gateway PC with 128mb of ram for 4 years, then using the iMac for another few years should be a piece of cake.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #4
    My 2 cents... Sell the iMac and keep the Mac Pro for a long time. I used to have one of those iMacs and it was sufficent 90% of the time too but, to me, it felt restrictive. After using my Pro for a few months I have found so much more that I can do with it (video editing, DVD ripping, virtualization, etc) that I have been able to max it out as well. Looking at what I do now, the iMac could only do 50% of the tasks.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #5
    I don't do video work. I do webdesign and web development with the occasional video encoding and gaming.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #6
    Then the Mac Pro is probably overkill... you could always buy a last-gen iMac with a 24" screen and the matte finish. I believe the last model (2.4 Ghz) could handle 4Gb of ram so you would be set for quite some time.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #7
    I didn't think the last gen had a matte finish. Also do you think that 4Gb is enough. I am not doing any work right now and I am using 3Gb of ram. It probably stays under 4Gb most of the time, but I am just worried that soon I will be consistently using more than 4Gb.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #8
    The old white-shelled iMacs all have a matte finish. The new Aluminum ones all have a piece of glass that distorts color.

    As for 4Gb being enough... that's a question I can't answer. My guess would be that you would stay under or around the 4Gb mark. The more memory you have, the less you have to use the hard drive's "swap" memory. If you are constantly using 4Gb+ (or forsee doing that) then the Mac Pro is the only option for OS X.

    Do you do any virtualization or cross-platform web development? The only reason I ask is that if you do, being able to have multiple VM's open at the same time makes the Mac Pro a God-send and the one reason I couldn't go back to an iMac.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #9
    I usually use IE4OSX, but that only uses 200Mb of memory. Is there any advantage of using a VM for IE? I only use VMs for server setup.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #10
    VM's are more flexible... For me, when I create a new web page, having an XP VM with multiple browsers is nice for testing. However, VM's suck at I/O operations so the more memory you can dedicate to a VM, the faster it is.

    I do find it weird that you Idle at 3Gb... Are you running Leopard? Right now I'm idling with only 2Gb of memory being used and I have mail, itunes, ical, and firefox running.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #11
    To my knowledge IE is the only browser that is Windows only, which is why I use IE4OSX. I idle at 3 because I have a lot more open than you. I use a bunch of widgets and background programs, which are the most likely cause of bloat. When "me" comes out I may start using mail too, so that definitely won't help.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #12
    True... IE is the only Windows Only browser commonly used but IE4OSX sometimes doesn't work right (at least for me.) Regardless, I use VM's for legacy apps and windows only software.

    By the sounds of it, to answer your initial question, a Mac Pro is what you need. Idling at 3gb, doing that many page swaps, slows down any computer. And if you try to do any more than your current work load, you'll regret not having the extra power of a Mac Pro.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    albusseverus

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #13
    matte iMac screen & match RAM

    the iMacs have glass over an ordinary matte screen, if you're really desperate, you could take the glass off - people who actually own one are extremely happy with their glossy screens

    I had 3GB in my 20" Al iMac for a week... the performance hit is not worth it. It's better to have matched RAM, I didn't think it was possible, but I immediately noticed the improvement when I put the second 2GB in.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #14
    I would sell the iMac and Keep the Pro, it seems you are a heavier user than you think.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    DeuceDeuce

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    San Dimas, CA
    #15
    I agree, anytime you have an option pick the Mac Pro.
     
  16. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    I agree. Sure the iMac might be fine for you right now but what about 12 months down the line? You've got a Mac Pro there that will be faster than any iMacs available for probably near enough 3 years. Although iMac speeds will get faster, they won't get 8 cores or 4 cores that perform faster than the current 8 in the Mac Pro for a good while yet.

    You have a machine there that can be upgraded a good long way, extra memory if you need it down the line, better graphics cards, more hard drives, better optical drives, better screens, multiple screens. With your iMac you can max out the RAM, maybe put a bigger hard drive in. That's it though. When it becomes too slow and you find yourself RAM limited you'll have nowhere to turn other than to sell it and replace it with a newer iMac or Mac Pro.

    If I were you, I'd sell the iMac and buy yourself some Applecare.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #17
    Fine, I'll keep the Pro for now, maybe I'll get a laptop in a few years when they have more ram.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #18
    I plan on selling the iMac, but I will hold off on the Applecare.
     
  19. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #19
    Put a reminder in your phone/calendar a few weeks before your Mac is one year old to remind you to think about buying it again. Personally, I'd always get 3 years warranty on any Mac and on any laptop. If a PC's motherboard dies then its pretty easy to get another compatible one and fixing it yourself. If your Mac motherboard dies, you're pretty much screwed.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #20
    You can buy parts for Mac Pros, but the Mac Pro's motherboard costs more than Applecare, so I will write myself a note.
     
  21. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #21
    Exactly. Its always about the logic boards with Apple. Most of the time the CPUs are an issue too but everything else is user replaceable. While these Macs *should* last for many years to come, I'd rather have that peace of mind. And hey, if two years later they deem it not worth repairing, you could be lucky and get a whole new model! :p
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #22
    Yeah, I do like the security and the opportunity to get a new computer if mine breaks in 2 years. I wonder if anyone has exploited Apple to get a replacement.
     
  23. macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #23
    G5 Tower.

    Logic board failure after 1 year

    $1100 repair

    :mad:

    AppleCare

    Get it!
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    #24
    Don't worry, I will. I am just waiting until closer to the 1 year deadline.
     

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