2nd hand mac pro or new iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shanko, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Shanko macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Hi all, been reading this site for years but never posted before! ;-)

    My 24'' aluminium iMac is on it's way out, I'm looking at buying a replacement and was hoping you might be able to help?

    Should I wait for the new iMac or purchase an older mac pro? I've been looking at a A1186 2.8 quad x2 (8 core) I could get this and two monitors for roughly the same price as a new 27'' iMac. Would there be much speed difference and would I bugger myself up with it going out of date quicker?!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    Its a dilema. First question you will be asked is what do you want to use it for. Are all the 8 cores v the quad needed in your sw,

    he iMac screen sure is nicer and productive. The MP case is more flexible with regards to upgrades.

    You can look at benchmarks but these aren't necessarily helpful in real situations.

    For some it comes down to aesthetics
  3. Shaneuk macrumors regular


    Aug 29, 2010
    Older mac pro.

    If you want to upgrade it in the future you just have to buy the parts, if you wanted to upgrade an iMac, you'd have to buy a new computer.
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Either way, wait. You want a computer that will offer Thunderbolt which will be the thing of the future for lighting fast data transfer and neither of the current models have them today. You don't really need them today but a year + from now you will.
  5. hbryan macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2009
    No Brainer

    Get the mac pro. It has much, much more in the way of capabilities than the iMac.

    Don't sweat the thunderbolt port just yet. It will be a while before anything will be available to go with it.
  6. PeterQVenkman macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2005
    The 8 core 2.8 is starting to show its age. buy a newer computer when the new iMacs are released. Only buy the mac pro if you get a GREAT deal on it.
  7. Jakintosh™ macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2007
    wait for the sandy bridge imacs... the sandy bridge macbook pros were kind of really ridiculous. like, REALLY ridiculous. it wouldn't hurt to see what these new iMacs will be capable of.
  8. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Having got a Mac Pro, Id say that for standard use, the iMac is the better choice, since my mates i5 27" iMac, as well as the Soon-To-Be-Released SB/ThunderBolt iMacs (based on the MacBook Pro scores), outperform the 8-Core Mac Pros from back then. Unless you need the expandability, get the iMac, it has a fantastic screen (I have the Cinema Display - fantastic display, same as in the iMac), and will outperform that model of Mac Pro. Ignore the people who go "OMG Get the Mac Pro It has 8 Cores of an Older Architecture. It must outperform a brand new iMac" when in fact it doesn't, any Quad-Core iMac 27" from this, or the soon-to-be-released next generation of iMac will perform identically or beat that MP, and you can get 3 years of warranty, which is better than you'll get on any used MP.
  9. Bwa macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Boston & San Jose
    You already had a 24" iMac -- did it have the glossy screen? If so, and it wasn't a problem, I would get the 27" iMac, ideally in one of the SSD configurations.

    If you owned a non-glossy iMac, I'd be wary--I had a glossy iMac for a while as a 2nd machine and hated the monitor. I ended up selling it.

    The 2008 Mac Pro is a bit old at this point--and I say this while typing on one.
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    In single threaded tasks, you're right. But the current i7 iMac doesn't even come close to the multithreaded performance of the 2008 octad Pro.

    However, you're probably right with the next generation SB iMacs. Assuming that they likely have a clock speed of 3GHz+, they should indeed be faster than the octad Pro in any tasks.
  11. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I was talking about in general (Sadly most day-to-day tasks are single core still, heck even Final Cut Pro isn't particularly great at multiple cores/processors, yet we've had MP Macs since its introduction) - and especially the SB ones (I mean I expect them to compete with my Mac Pro no trouble, just as the current MBPs are nearly the same performance wise, at a lower clockspeed - 2.2 vs 2.8)
  12. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Fair enough. But considering that the OP didn't mention his usage pattern, the difference between single and multi threaded performance has to be mentioned.

    Even the current i7 iMacs compete your Mac Pro (2.93GHz Quad vs. 2.8GHz Quad of the same processor architecture) in terms of CPU performance. The desktop Sandy Bridge processors (which is what the iMac is going to use) will run circles around that very machine.
    The current MBPs already outperform your machine (CPU only) and they use mobile processors which are clocked at least a GHz slower than the desktop parts.

    So yes, Sandy Bridge will make a huge difference to the iMacs, just as it did to the MacBooks. With SB and Thunderbold there is actually little point to buy a Mac Pro for the majority of use cases.

Share This Page