2014 D700 Mac Pro or 2014 Maxwell iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MegaCell, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. MegaCell macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2012
    Hi everyone :)

    I currently own a 21.5" 2010 i3 iMac, and I was thinking about buying an FF class future-proof machine sometime this fall/winter. However, I cannot decide on wether an iMac or a Mac Pro would be the right choice. My budget is around £4800 (I live in the UK) but ideally I wouldn't want to spend that much.

    I plan to do some light animation, general iWork stuff, Logic and some Final Cut Pro X editing on OS X and do some heavy gaming on Windows via bootcamp. At the moment I don't do very much gaming or FCPX as I don't have much time and I made the mistake of installing Windows in VMWare rather than bootcamp (Oops!). However, I will have more time in the future and plan to take up these things. Unfortunately my iMac won't..
    As a result, I plan to buy a new machine.

    If I was to buy a machine now, I could either choose a top end iMac or a hex core Mac Pro:

    (This doesn't include software btw)

    3.5Ghz Quad i7
    8GB RAM (home upgrade to 32GB)
    1TB Flash Storage
    GTX 780M with 4GB Graphics Memory
    Magic Trackpad + Some sort of gaming mouse that I haven't decided on yet
    Apple Keyboard with Keypad/Some sort of gaming keyboard

    Price: Around £3000

    Mac Pro:
    3.5Ghz 6-Core Xeon
    32GB RAM
    1TB Flash Storage
    Dual FirePro D700 with 12GB Graphics Memory
    Magic Trackpad + Some sort of gaming mouse
    Apple Keyboard with keypad/some sort of gaming keyboard
    LG 29EA93 monitor [around £350]
    Price: Around £4800

    Initially the iMac seems like the much better computer for the amount of money you are spending, but another member of the forums who uses a GTX 780M powered iMac stated in another thread that Battlefield 4 has frame rate issues running on High (without AA). The Mac Pro seems (at this point) to be a better purchase.

    However, as I plan to purchase a new machine in fall/winter of this year, this may change. Nvidia will launch the new Maxwell GPUs, and if the iMac refresh includes these then the performance may be better for gaming that the Mac Pro.

    So I ask: If I was buying a computer now, what would everyone recommend? And in 8-11 months time, what do you think would be the best choice?

    Any response will help :)
  2. MegaCell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2012
  3. keigo macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2006
    nobody can tell you future update for mac how it will be like.

    Faster yes by how much nobody can tell.
  4. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Even if Nvidia launches Maxwell there is no guarantee that Apple will select them. If Nvidia keeps dragging their feet on OpenCL , then all the more likely they won't make the cut.

    I wouldn't expect radically different general GPUs performance in the iMac. The Mac Pro isn't likely to move in the Fall '14 ( or maybe not even the Q4 '14 ). There is a good chance there will be mainstream FirePro refresh mid 2014. That might provide a clue where things are going on Mac Pro. It should also me more clear what of the two choices Apple went with for mobile class GPUs by late June / early July. [ I doubt they will split the iMac 27" and MBP 15" design wins. ]

    Pretty good chance that in the Fall ( Sept-Nov ) that still looking at this same Mac Pro configs.

    As for the choices now I'd consider an external TB drive for both bulk and the Windows Image. ( or perhaps an external drive with iMac for windows image and Fusion internal ).

    iWork is non factor.

    Relatively mainstream Logic is pretty much a non factor between the two. ( more headroom on Mac Pro but if not completely stressed out on the current i3... even the modern i7 provides headroom. )

    low/light animation ( again pretty much a wash unless there proprietary Nvida tie in with the specific software )

    The viable LG 29" ultra wide monitor is indicative that the FCPX isn't going to be that much of a differentiators either. Mac Pro would be better but it isn't high color , high resolution video contexts.
  5. Vanilla35 macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    Next year's iMac, and live with the fact that apple won't blow you away with their GPU's. Seeing that I saw gaming in your description I will only reply to that, since you would even consider buying a mac pro because the iMac's card isn't good enough for certain games. To be honest I'd wait for the 880 option (if they don't go radeon) because the 780 is still looking dated as it's too close to the 680 atm.

    You may say, what is dated? Why does it matter if my card is "dated" when it can still process well? Well game designers are capable of putting many many levels of detail into games, but they do so based on what they see the capacity and capability of modern cards are, and with the 780 being so close to the 680 there is likely going to be underutilized detail in modern games with the 780 over the 880, regardless of the jump. I'd expect a decent performance jump with the 880 though

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