Wait for iMac or MP 3.33

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aloshka, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    I'm torn between waiting for the maxed out imac at the end of December or January or just jumping on the current Mac Pro 6-core 3.33. And need some advice.

    I need the machine ASAP and have already gone windows and hated it. I even tried a hackintosh, so I will not go down that route again. I came from MacBook Pro retina and absolutely need more space, better IO and at least 32gb of RAM. Please don't suggest buying a 4-core and upgrading as I don't want to build my own or fiddle with that crap ever again which is why I just want to buy something boxed and easy to upgrade. It also helps with resale value when it's original and still under warranty.

    I need something ASAP, so waiting for the next Mac Pro is out (although I might eventually sell and get it). Waiting for the iMac is already pushing my work back as far as I can. If its more than a month, my decision will be made for me (Mac pro).

    With iMAC I would buy a 1tb Thunderbolt raid 0 ssd or I already have 2 480gb ssd's for the Mac Pro if I go that route. The iMac would be maxed out and with the mem (owc) 32gb, and LaCie 1tb dual ssd tb drive.

    So anyone who knows both and can guess benchmarks, please suggest.
  2. macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    New iMac

    You have a new Macbook Pro. As a temporary measure I would look at an Apple Thunderbolt display and a thunderbolt hard drive. This would give you a powerful, flexible system and some time to think about buying the new iMac next year. The display and hard drive would work well with the iMac as well.
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Oh sorry, ignore the signature. I sold that a month ago and have been working on what I thought would be an awesome custom-built windows 8 machine. Plays games great, but extremely low on my priority list.

    After tons of crashing and weird artifacts showing up on CS6 as well as Virtual Machines randomly shutting down and getting corrupted (I run 2-3 at a time, thus the need for memory, cpu and space). That's why I'm looking to move fast, but can hold of as long as I need to, to make the right decision (they crash about 1-2 times a week, and the restore takes about 30 minutes). All my code, visual studio/etc is always in SVN so no data is lost, just a pain to do restores all the time.

    Retina + TB display: I tried that before, it was good, but would not pull when using a VM that requires 4 cores, 8gb of ram and still took 4-5 seconds to pull intellisense on each pre-compile on a large MVC4 Visual Studio 2013 project (imagine every time you type a keyword, it would take 4-5 seconds before the suggestions pop up).

    Thanks for the idea, though.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2009
    I honestly believe that Apple will discontinue the Mac Pro. Besides, the current one may not have been upgraded for a few years, but is it not 'good-enough' for what you're doing? I run CS6 and some VMs on a 2008 Mac Pro, 8 cores, and performance is still good, so I'd assume the newer ones run even better.
  5. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Tim Cook did say at least one more release in 2013. So not discontinued, just yet.

    The current one is definitely good enough, it's just as much money as an iMac and it makes me wonder if an iMac won't be a better solution with a thunderbolt drive. I mean Mac Pro 6-core still beats the processor since the iMac will use 3770 at 3.4ghz. Outside of memory and a ton of drive space, I really do not have anything else to upgrade (thus the iMac might be a better fit).

    I was just wondering if anyone jumped from Mac Pro to iMac and how it went? Is heat an issue, etc?

    Or am I kidding myself and just stick to the Mac Pro and not wait 1-2 months to get the new iMac.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2009
    I like being able to open up my computer, upgrade things such as the graphics card(s) and other stuff, so needless to say I personally could never resort to an iMac. If a harddrive fails, it's just a matter of opening up the side and replacing it. You'd have to work harder to open an iMac, or ship it out entirely, just to do the same thing. The Mac Pro is really the only truely open Mac left...

    I don't think heat would be an issue for either choice, but the Xeon CPUs in the Pro are meant to handle heat over long periods of time (think of servers, they're virtually always on), plus the processing power itself is in a league above the iSeries CPUs in the iMac.

    The only problem with the Mac Pro, as it is, is no Thunderbolt. But, surprise surprise, there are hardly any worthy Thunderbolt accessories out there to take advantage of, and I can think of better monitors than Apple's Thunderbolt display.
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    But realistically, you can't change out anything other than ODD, Hard Drives and Memory. The only videocards you can replace are very old since OSX doesn't support anything w/o extensive hacking or anything powerful without taking the long way to building a PC and using an external PSU. Unless I missed something. The only real upgrade that I would die for is OWC's Accelsior SSD since it actually outperforms SATA 6 and really makes the Mac Pro a viable contender for a longer time since SATA 6 is the only upgrade I'd want in the next Mac Pro revision.

    I also like cleaness of the iMAC and the fact that I would be using a single 27" LED display anyway (although, I'm contemplating dual 24's ACD). ACD because my environment changes and I love OSX's ability to change brightness on the fly. But realistically with an external backup drive, and TB SSD's, I think it'll be too much wiring anyway.

    So perhaps you are right. MP is the way to go. Now to decide between dual 24's or single 27 (I tried dual 27, it was too much head-turn for my comfort).

    Also, if you can reply with what videocard options there are out there and whether 5870 is still the best choice for the MP. I also wonder how the 5870 stacks up against the GTX 680mx or even GTX657mx on the iMac (I know the iMAC uses mobile chips, but 5870 is really old).
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    If anyone is interested, I decided to go back to rMBP 15". Except I ordered 768gb and maxed out everything. After playing around with a friends 6-core and seeing benchmarks on the new iMAC 27", it's really not a big difference in terms of speed. That and working on just a desktop, I realized just how mobile I really was.

    Thanks all for your answers, I really appreciate it!!
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009
    You missed a lot, OS X has native support for GTX 5XX and 6XX video cards, a GTX 680 for instance can be run with the 2 6 pin power cables the Mac Pro uses, no external power required. Compare that graphics solution with any other Mac? The new iMac with 680MX won't come close.

    I was in the same dilemma as you, chose the Mac Pro, 2 extra cores, far more expandability and add in the fact that 48GB of RAM. PCI-e cards such as SATA 3 RAID, better cooling and USB 3 expansion etc etc the list goes one.

    Above all of that the sole fact that made my mind up was when they did a teardown of the new iMac, only ONE SATA PORT. Yes it can have an SSD but it's proprietary. Previous 2011 iMac for example had 3 onboard SATA ports.
  10. aloshka, Dec 3, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    The gtx's work even in EFI boot screen?

    Now I do feel like I'll miss out, but realistically I work in different places a lot and got tired of remoting in. What little performance gain ill get froma Mac Pro, I'll lose when rdp'ing into it with latency issues.

    Plus I'm thinking I like having everything in one place -- but at the same time I'm scared of having only one point of failure for my work. I take great backups, but can't afford days off during repairs, etc
  11. macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I'm in the same boat for next years upgrade. Currently running a maxed out 27" Imac, and was looking at a Pro in the new year. Sadly I don't think we are going to see any major upgrade, and without thunderbolt a Pro is out of the equation for me.

    If the 27" range has a more user-configurable range of CPU's etc, then I guess that will be the road I take next year.

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