Yes, another one..iMac 24" or Mac Pro 2Ghz

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Glenn Wolsey, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Nov 24, 2005
    New Zealand
    I'm looking to upgrade my current setup after this years WWDC, and I'm stuck between two options at the moment. A tricked out 24" iMac or a baseline mac pro and 23" Cinema Display.

    The uses I need from it are pretty simple. I like to work in Aperture a lot of the time, and do occasional video editing. Not more than a few hours a month though. The main use of the machine will be Pages+Mail+Safari+Skype+Transmit+Aperture+iMovie+Photoshop CS3.

    If I bought the iMac, I would make it last around 12-18 months, then sell it and upgrade to a new iMac or consumer based Apple computer. The downside of this machine is no upgradeability, but the upside is I can sell it and get a new one in a years time. The price is also much cheaper.

    With the Mac Pro, I'd try make it last 3 years without buying a new machine. The pros of this machine are upgradeability, and the ability to run 2 23" ACDs. A downside is I'll be keeping the machine for much longer, and after a while I might want the "latest" thing. The price is around $1500 more than the iMac.


    Mac Pro NZ$ 5,950.74

    Two 2GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    1GB 667 DDR2 FB DIMM ECC - 2x512
    500GB Serial ATA 3GB/s drive - 7200rpm
    NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB SDRAM
    Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)
    1 x SuperDrive
    Airport Extreme & Bluetooth 2.0+ERD
    Apple Keyboard & Mighty Mouse

    iMac NZ$ 4,342.87

    2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    500GB Serial ATA Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB SDRAM
    Apple Wireless Keyboard & Wireless Mighty Mouse + Mac OS X
    24-inch widescreen LCD
    AirPort Extreme
    Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

    What do you think I should go for? Mac Pro which is more expensive and make it last, or the iMac 24" and upgrade it each year, meaning I get the latest technology.
  2. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    iMac. Unless you're using every aspect Final Cut Studio on a very professional level, need more than 1 internal hard drive, or 4 GB of RAM, the iMac is more than adequate for what you want. You can get another 23" with some of the money you save over the Mac Pro and have 2 displays. The iMac with that GPU games almost as well as a 2.66 Mac Pro with x1900, so Aperture won't complain at all either.
  3. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I cant believe I'm saying this but, iMac for sure. If you're upgrading computers that often, there's no reason to get a Mac Pro. I usually buy towers and keep them for up to six years and they usually still have decent resale value and are quite functional. But to only get 3 years out of a Mac Pro? That just seems like a waste of money, but hey I'm not you. If you really like the latest and greatest that often, go for the iMac. A Mac Pro would be overkill for you.
  4. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    OK OK, the mac pro might be overkill, but if you go for a Dell 24" monitor instead of the pretty apple you can save yourself some $$$, and if you want to upgrade in the future a mac pro will keep even more of its original value over time. Plus you can keep the monitor if you want to upgrade etc.

    That said, if you're on an 12-18 month replacement cycle to begin with, you could get a future iMac that will outperform the mac pro (2.0) in perhaps 2 years (i'm thinking about whether i'd prefer having a powermac 2.0 dual from 2 years ago or a brand new imac 20" C2D or similar, they're both worth about the same in resale today).

    Oh, and also, don't bother with apple's hard drive upgrade for the mac pro, you can buy a whole 500gb drive for $140 US.
  5. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2005
    Hell get the 24" iMac - I did :)

    Really the iMac you describe above beats the MacPro except for the processor which many apps wil not use anyhow.

    Think of the classy looks .... the silent style .... built in webcam :p you skype don't you?

    You do not get iLife with the pros (i think).

    Grab a second screen (dell/mac/matsui) if you really need it but I doubt you will. How many pixels can you keep track of?

    Then if you live long enough enjoy a high re sale value and get the latest wonder on offer, you know the 30" iMac with built in coffee machine.

    Good luck.
  6. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2006
    Definitely the iMac, based on your usage.

    A 2GHz Mac Pro with 7300GT is not going to hold its value for long, as it is really at the bum end of the Pro spectrum.
  7. Richard Flynn macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
    Yes you do.
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    imac, no question given your uses and the price difference.

    that said, by WWDC (which is when you said you wanted to buy) there will be new imac and new mac pros, so what's the point of comparing current models? Who knows what the best option for you will be based on what's available at the time of WWDC.
  9. phungy macrumors 68020


    Dec 5, 2006
    24" iMac will suffice. Saves you NZ$1500 too.
  10. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    I'd go with the Mac Pro, but I wouldn't get an Apple monitor. They are overpriced, and don't have amazing specs. Also I'd buy the upgraded hard drive elsewhere for a third of the price.

    You can get a Dell 22" widescreen monitor for $296 shipped.

    The Mac pro will be faster, less likely to break, more upgradable, etc.

  11. Multimedia macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    Quad Mac Pro Most Definitely

    I agree most certainly.
  12. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    I'd get this (all in US dollars, mind you):

    Mac Pro
    Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
    Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple wireless Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Accessory kit
    Two 2.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    1GB (2 x 512MB) (baseline)
    250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s (standard)
    Mac OS X - U.S. English
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI)
    AppleCare (if you're selling in 2-3 years, this is the only thing to add value.. and this is a big investment, I think it's important)



    1. Go to and get another two 512s for $170 (total).
    2. Go to and get another two HDDs. (I recommend Seagate due to 3-5 year warranties, and quiet factor, and a 500GB/7200RPM SATA drive is $149. Other manufacturers have 500GB drives as low as $130 though.) So total $300 for an extra terabyte. Ideally you would just pop these into the four internal SATA drive bays.
    3. Go to and get the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP 24" widescreen LCD. The quality and versatility and value of this monitor is unparalleled, and they have a lot less color issues than Apple's big LCDs. Sadly. And they don't look half bad next to a Mac either with their updated matte silver stand/look. Total: $674.00

    Total spent: $3803 US. Or $5,391 NZ. $600 less than you expected. You could buy some lenses with that, or even a second 24" Dell widescreen display!
  13. Macheath_Messer macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2003
    Ringgold, GA
    I agree with all your points laid out, but what's the one about "less likely to break"? I don't get what you mean. Are you talking about heat-related failure? Just scratching my head on this one. :)


  14. Glenn Wolsey thread starter macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Nov 24, 2005
    New Zealand
    Just bringing this back up, I've just gone over a few things on paper.

    Reasons why I want to upgrade:

    I need more RAM
    I need more HDD space
    I need a larger screen
    I need a better video card

    These are all things which I can easily upgrade on a Mac Pro, which seems to me as if the main deciding factors of me "wanting" a new computer are crossed out with the Mac Pro, as I can upgrade just these things, where's with my current iMac I cant.

    How many years do you think I could get out of:

    A: 24" iMac up specced.


    B: 2.66 Ghz Mac Pro, 23" ACD (thats the only details you need to know as all other can be upgraded easily).

    The difference is around NZD $2000.
  15. hal0n macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2004

    You need to compare those monitors back to back. My apple 20" (the lastest version) smokes my friend's 20" dell in image quality. Colors, contrast, etc... They are really nice monitors.

    I think the mac pro's are much better investments than imac's. even if you sell it in 2 years it will be worth much more.

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