Advice: New updated iMac or upcoming MacPro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by td2243, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. td2243, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013

    td2243 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM
    Hey guys,

    I'm not a techie, so alot of the specs go in one ear and out the other. I'm definitely wanting a new computer by the end of the year. Granted, we don't know what the new Mac Pro's will cost, but let's assume the entry MP is affordable, because the maxed out new iMac is.

    Here are the tasks I do or will do that are taxing on a system:

    -Video editing with Final Cut Pro 7. I do quite a bit of photo/video editing.
    I also plan on getting the Adobe suite to switch over to Premiere and After Effects.

    -I do audio editing using Audition on a weekly basis. (probably the least taxing)

    -I plan on getting ProTools and recording music as well.

    Knowing these are what I plan to do with the new machine, can you guys give me pros/cons for each, or better yet, what would better handle my requirements....for awhile? I really use my systems for a long time without replacing every couple of years.

    Things I like about each:

    -Probably can handle ANYTHING I throw at it. May possibly more machine than I need.

    -Has screen (I have one screen already, but two are a must).
    -Can be configured with 3TB Fusion drive.

    Things I don't like about each:

    -Lack of expansion
    -Most likely super expensive SSD options only
    -Will require peripherals all over.

    -Probably will get outdated faster than the Mac Pro, but not sure about that

    With today's announcement, the iMac sure looks like a viable option. Would it be enough for my needs or would a Mac Pro be better? Please advise. :eek:
  2. snapdragonx macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2012
    Personally I'll be waiting for the Mac Pro.

    The iMac is a great machine, but if you're doing a lot of video rendering then a 6 or 12 core CPU in the Pro will make a world of difference.

    I also don't like the iMac display for video editing. A lot of them seem to have a yellow tinge on the display which really messes with the colour accuracy.
  3. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Or get the Mini.
    It is not so Mini anymore. The Mini 2.6 quad is still very close to the top BTO iMac in CPU performance (which your use demands) and you can easily tweak drives and RAM (for example 500Gb OZC Vector or Samsung 840pro with 7200rpm HD), and most important for you: pick your own display.
    For serious video work you need a screen with flexible refresh rate. I don't know if you work in 24/25/30p? but the iMac only works OK with 30p content.

    All the buzz right now about Haswell is nice, but the real difference will be made with Rockwell as it allows a real speed boost because of the 14nm process.

    And you can swap the mini easily with every update, as you have a lot of cash left. So you always have the newest and latest. With iMacs and Pro's it's usually a long term buy.
  4. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I think having a display is also a con of the iMac. It's great if the glossy finish doesn't bother you but otherwise it's a deal killer. Another reason to consider the Mac mini.
  5. kumquat macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011
    I have the highest spec'd 2012 mini with two SSDs and maxed out RAM and would never even consider doing real video editing on it. Seriously, it struggles with semi-intensive Photoshop work. If you're working on feature length projects or doing any kind of real gfx really do not assume you would be able get away with using a mini. These machines are not built for actual work. Personally, I'm not sold on the new Pro form factor and definitely don't want more cables tangled on or near my desks but you'll have to replace the iMac much sooner like next year for a better screen.
  6. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2011
    I don't know how you could go from a Mac Pro to a Mini. The GPU is horribly underpowered compared to what's offered on the Pro line or base models of the iMac.

    Honestly as I've said a few times before I'm waiting on the price announcement of the new MP. If it's more than $3k starting I'll be picking up an i7 iMac + Fusion Drive. Considering it's most likely 2-3x faster than my current '09 Quad it will be a good upgrade. Plus I can always attach my NEC as a 2nd display.
  7. Saltymac macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Rocky Mt State
    Two problems with your premise's - 1. what is an affordable price for the MPro ? Is $2500, 3500 or higher affordable for you;
    2. imac con - no pathway to upgrade simple items like ram and hdd - hard drive goes out not under warranty and you are up a creek. 16 GB of Ram is $184 dollars and higher amounts (32) not offered.

    You surmise quite a bit about the new MPro and the cons. Let's wait and see what the final product is.
  8. td2243 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM
    $3000 is pushing it for a new computer and I'll be surprised if the new Mac Pro is under $3K. Heck, we all thought the iPad mini would be $299, but it was $329, so the MP could be upwards of $3500. I know nothing, I'm just guessing.

    Also, can't you upgrade the RAM on the 27"iMac yourself?


    And yes, while the glossy screen isn't the most optimal, my second screen is matte, so I'd use it for watching renders of clips from FCP. I'd also most likely use it for photoshop work.


    I think we are in the same boat.
  9. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Rockwell? After Haswell (v3 ) is Broadwell (v4) . After that is Skylake (v5) and then Cannonlake (v6). Broadwell is the transition to 14nm with a shrink. Skylake is the first optimized for 14nm.

    [ Given Rockwell is trademarked by a substantively large company, I doubt they really want to go with that as a codework. It would be like using Apple. It is only going to get the lawyers somewhere worked up. ]

    However, Broadwell is reportedly largely going to be largely targeted at BGA (mobile) solutions. The "real" speed boast is just waiting for 2-3 Intel tick-tock cycles to do the comparisons. It brings a substantive drop in power savings: up to 30%. For the desktop version they probably can use that with Turbo mode to crank the clock substantively higher.

    Yearly buying Mini's is not likely to be very effective performance wise. If want to buy the latest version every year then it certainly burns through a fixed pile of money at as slower rate.
  10. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    you put Premiere and AE in there. So i'd say wait for the new pro w/ the ridiculous vid cards in it for their open GL acceleration.

    Although I know many people are sticking to FCP7 because they're used to it, i'm lead to understand it doesn't address 64 bit memory. I could be wrong, I've never used it. Has FCP X matured yet?
  11. jdblas69 macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    I think your decision will become a lot easier once the MP is released. It is just too hard to try and compare the new iMac to a product that has not been released yet. Sure some specs about the new MP are known but a lot of unknowns as well, price, BTO options etc.
  12. td2243 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM

    Very true. I think I'm just scared of what the price will be. :/
  13. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    FCP 7 make rather poor use of modern hardware (e.g., does not leverage GPUs to get computations done). If using that to gage scaling requirements that will likely push higher than needed estimates. Either FCPX or Adobe will leverage the GPU much more effectively. Pragmatically that means don't need to narrowly focus on CPU when making the system selection.

    It isn't just editing. What is being edited? There are several estimates where folks will fill in that blank with some full length 3-D movie with 4K requirements and $10K cameras that generate mega data. If this is editing just mainstream HD (or lower resolution) video then drives a completely different class of machines.

    Likewise for photos. Tens of thousands of 32MP (or higher) sensor photos or more mainstream?

    Either way ProTools probably means Thundebolt. Again the complexity of the audio work drives requirements. A couple to several instruments versus double digit orchestra.

    Anything with pragmatically limitless budget. Over spending on the core computational unit can leave less budget for other stuff need to buy ( lens , training , ProTools , etc. )

    You can largely construct the equivalent of Fusion drive with the new Mac Pro also. It will be outside the box but the performance would be the same.
    The drives should be in the same unit (if one off/detached the other is also.)

    These are mutually conflicting. If can expand then can have stuff "all over". It does expand. It isn't shoveled inside of a single box. Also not particularly required that peripherals are all over. Thunderbolt devices that do more than one thing are possible.

    As for PCI-e SSD.... iMac is in similar boat at this point. Likely going to need a SSD anyway (will need multiple drives. One of those being a SSD will likely help far more than hurt.). The Mac Pro will just means at least one of those is already in place.

    Depends upon how much headroom buying.

    Mainstream video editing and limited scale audio work should work on a reasonably configured 27" iMac with the 3rd party upgrades ( RAM , additional storage. ).

    Better is fitting the budget and not skewing the spending on any one subsystem to the detriment of others.
  14. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    32 GB (4x8) is offered and you can upgrade the RAM on 27" models yourself
  15. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    The Mac Pro has no less expansion than the iMac (it actually has more). It also has peripherals all over = to an iMac. The Mac Pro options should be no more expensive than the iMac.

    it sounds like your negatives for the Mac Pro are equally negative for the iMac.

    The iMac will probably be significantly less expensive, and if it has the CPU 'oomph' you need and expect to need for 3-5 years, it will probably be the better deal for you.
  16. td2243 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM
    That's what I thought.

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