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Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hhaydenn, May 15, 2011.
2010 basline Mac Pro or 2011 Maxed out 27" iMac? (no SSD though)
You have to tell us something more than this. What is your budget? Do you already have a monitor? If so, what monitor do you have? What are you going to do with your computer?
Ok, my bad.
I already have a 27" LED ACD. Budget is around 3-3.5k
I'm going to be doing serious video editing (final cut pro 7) as it's currently my job to do so and the PC I have at the moment is seriously not up to par with todays standards. It's video shot on a Canon 7D, so there quite huge files that will have to be processed and rendered. Also a lot of heavy Photoshop work (RAW images etc)
Well, the current iMacs are faster than most of the Mac Pro so if you have nothing against the iMac, then I would go for it. The 27" with i7 should be the best for your usage. iMacs have Thunderbolt now so you can even add high-speed external storage when the devices come available.
I was the owner of a 2009 27" iMac and just recently sold it to buy a Mac Pro. I'd suggest you to get one because I couldn't be happier with the switch but it depends on what's most important to you.
Personally the HDD in my iMac was starting to make noises and it annoyed me to no end to have to bring the whole computer for repair if anything was wrong with it. With a Mac Pro you can easily change parts if anything is wrong or that you want to upgrade. Even the CPU is a reasonably easy upgrade in the 2010 Mac Pro; see the threads about people upgrading their base quad core to a powerful 6-core for cheap in the forums. If you plan to game you also get a better graphics card (with the 5870) that is also upgradable.
The biggest problem with the Mac Pro though is its price. With an iMac you'd have two 27" screens while for about the same money with the Mac Pro you'd only have your ACD unless you want to buy another one. You'd also get, if you stick with the base model, a slower computer, although they should be pretty close. But contrary to the iMac you can easily upgrade it later and make it faster with a CPU swap, internal HHDs and SSDs, more RAM (you can get 32GB for a reasonable price on the Pro, 16GB only for a reasonable price on the iMac).
So there you go!
I am in the same pickle, as I am leaning towards the Mac Pro for some of the reasons Broc27 said. I like the fact I can expand on my own with basics tools. Removing a screen form an iMac does not sound like fun. However, the new iMacs are awesome and Thunderbolt in all likelihood: is another prominent external capability that Hellhammer pointed out. Now, does a person buy the 2.8 or the 3.33 six-core? Those Mac Pros are my options right now.
EDIT: I am considering Mac Pro refurbs too!
The 3.33 hex from Apple isn't really a good buy any more (provided that you don't mind a little DYI).
Get a 2009 2.66GHz quad refurb from Apple for $2000 plus a W3670 for $600.
Makes a 3.2GHz hex for $2600. Put in 24GB of RAM and you'd still be under $3000. That leaves $600 for SSD and storage.
Thanks for the input! I do not mind a little DYI, as I will investigate how much labor is involved with a processor swap. However, I am still debating the purchase of an iMac. I like the 27" cinema display a lot. If my laptop did not puke, then I would have a six core right now. Damn!!
I will not speak on behalf of the OP, but I am interested in the best value and performance. Waiting a few extra seconds for a render or photo edit is not a problem for me. The machine I buy will not be a paycheck generator, at least not in the near future. The OP did not specifically identify which aspects of the iMac and Mac Pro he or she is comparing. Well other then not equipping either machine with an SSD.