Advice Required: Mac Pro or iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by scottrichardson, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. scottrichardson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #1
    Hi all,

    As I start to face issues with my 2009 Mac Pro (screen dying) etc, I am looking at my options moving forward. One of my options is to upgrade my Mac to a new one.

    I am a web designer, developer and graphic designer. I also DJ, make music in Ableton etc.

    I have been using a 2009 Mac Pro that's been heavily upgraded and it's been a fantastic machine to date. It's STILL fast enough for what I need it for.

    But I would definitely like to upgrade so I can make use of newer technology like Thunderbolt etc. The question is:

    Which should I get:

    6 Core Mac Pro, D700, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Dual Displays ~$9000 AUD
    This will last me longer, but it's a huge investment and may be more power than I really need?

    27" iMac, 3.5GHz i7, 32GB RAM, GeForce 780M, 1TB SSD ~$4600 AUD
    Probably won't last as long, but it's half the price, and also happens to be a generation ahead in CPU design, but only 4 cores.

    I'm sure many people have been faced with the same conundrum.

    Scott
     
  2. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Wow! With your current machine, are you sure you don't want to just upgrade your displays and continue using your machine. Nothing you've listed is going to be much of an upgrade.

    On the other hand, I can understand the itch to upgrade :D

    Get the 6 core pro with 1 TB HD, but stick to the D300s. Nothing you're doing requires top of the line video card usage. If you're thinking a 27" iMac is good enough monitor space, why not get a used 30" ACD for $500 and call it good.
     
  3. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #3
    I'd definitely agree with this!
     
  4. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #4
    Which part? :)
     
  5. leon771 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Keep existing set up. I've see your PC on Mactalk and I have the same system as you, except for the Sonnet Tempo. I can't see why you just don't replace the faulty 24" monitor and keep using the machine.

    What specifically do you want thunderbolt for?
     
  6. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #6
    Thanks Leon.

    I wouldn't mind buying a new display or pair of them, but Apple doesn't sell any displays that work with my Mac Pro. I guess I could buy another 24" LED Display 2nd hand. I definitely want both monitors to be the same make/model.

    I mean, I'd be happy with a single 27" display, but I can't buy one. Apple stopped selling the non-thunderbolt model a while back :(
     
  7. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #7
    There are plenty of 27" monitors out there that will work just fine and are every bit as nice as the Apple display for half the price...
     
  8. scottrichardson, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014

    scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #8
    I have the Gigabyte GeForce 660 Ti Overlocked Edition 2GB
     
  9. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #9
    Saw the 660 in your sig...
    (have you confirmed there is in fact something wrong with your display and not an issue with the video card?)

    I agree with the others, with the machine you have now I don't think you are going to see a significant improvement going to a 6 core nMP or iMac. if you want external drive space, add an esata port and a drive dock. Only drawback vs thunderbolt is it won't be hot-swappable.

    As far as monitors, I don't know what is specifically available in your neck of the woods, but you can get cheap 27" Korean imports that will connect via DVI, or you can spend a bit more and get something with display port and/or something from a more reputable manufacturer.
     
  10. AppleNewton, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

    AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    1 Finite Place
    #10
    if its just an apple display you want, check the store.apple.com refurb section for the LED Display 27" - thats the one you'd be looking for. or find a better deal on amazon or ebay for one.
    at least with the refurb store there is a warranty to be had.

    Also if you're having issues with displays...I'd go against the iMac. considering it is an all-in-one, if the display started exhibiting issues you're out both a display and computer.

    Either stick with the Mac Pro you have and get the display you'd like...or get one of the baseline new MacPros. either option are fully suitable replacements.
     
  11. Mactrunk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    #11
    Yes, indeed...
    If it's just the monitor you need, there are many great, cheap, options that are equal or better to Apple.

    You said the machine was plenty fast for what you are doing.
    Geeze for $1000 or less, you could get a smoking 30" monitor.

    That being said, I do understand the inclination toward upgrading.
    At this point, I wouldn't invest in either an iMac or the new Mac Pro.
     
  12. pcd109 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    #12
    First i do 3d and graphic design so i can only help with that portion. Your mac looks plenty powerful to me for start. In your place i would check the gear to see if it's not the video card(maybe put an officially supported apple card like ATI7970?).
    Second, if you still want to upgrade i would not purchase SSD and RAM from Apple. Under no circumstances iMac for pro use; they can't sustain prolonged rendering heavy cpu/gpu use because of very bad thermal. Go for MacPro, D700(future proof) and 256 SSD(you can use your existing 840's on external usb/tb2 enclosure and call it a day). Also put the 8 core cpu and you are way under 9k -7829AU. If you add 512Gb internal it will only be like 8189AU. This configuration will obliterate your current mac(or imac for that matter) out of the water in both single and multi core usage. But in day to day usage you may not notice that big of a difference(unless you do rendering/3d/heavy graphics). Again, if you don't use 3d rendering and heavy scenes i will not upgrade from your configuration for at least 1-2 more years.
     
  13. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #13
    Couldn't disagree more.

    I also think you should just invest in a monitor upgrade, given your current specs. Unless you just like parting with money.

    Your machine still has value, there is no hurray to upgrade to MP. Wait for one more iteration at least, if not more, before making that move. You will not see any performance gain at this point, only a smaller bank balance.

    I also don't agree about the no pro apps ever comment re the iMac. The top spec 27 with a 3.5ghz is a screaming machine, which outperforms the nMP on things like xplane 10. That being said, I would not spend that kind of money going down that road myself.

    The monitor market is full of ever increasing options, and the thunderbolt displays currently are not that compelling, unless they release a new product there is no point making this change for Thunderbolt.

    My 2 cents.
     
  14. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #14
    I share the same sentiments with the other members' comments here. I am also using the same Mac Pro model as yours. With 680GTX GPU but I am still using mechanical HDs without SSDs. Sometimes I alternate the GPU to the old GTX285. I work with heavy print graphic, web design and AE Rendering and so far my machine does the job well. Apps still open quick and crisps. But eventually I will get SSD. It's just not that too urgent for me for now since with mechanical HDs the job still gets things done.

    Also consider the timing of the purchase at this year. $9000 AUD is big and you'll need to think it over many times before spending that much money. The feedbacks I get from other business owners is that 2014 was a slow year in business that 2012, 2013 was better. Though may depend on location. There's also the factor of an updated new Mac Pro over the horizon. You'll probably want to wait and find out if the update comes out.

    I also see used non-TB Apple Cinema Displays being sold or other brands. For now I think it's the best option.
     
  15. Riwam macrumors 6502a

    Riwam

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    #15
    A new prophet came to the world.

    Very far seeing! Does he mean the horizon in Australia? :D
     
  16. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #16
    Probably yes the horizon in Australia :D Kidding aside, reason I mentioned this was sometime in May the threadstarter started a topic if there will be a new updated Mac Pro for 2014 http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1737956
     
  17. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #17
    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the responses and the grounded suggestions.

    You're right. All I need is a new display. For me, since I run two IDENTICAL 24" LED Displays from Apple, and one dying, I would want to replace both so that I can maintain having two identical displays.

    However I came across an amazing new display from LG which is a 21:9 ratio 3440 x 1440 display. It's perfect in every way for me, and it costs just a hair over that of the Thunderbolt display from Apple (which is of no use to me since I have no TB on my Mac Pro).

    http://www.lg.com/au/it-monitors/lg-34UM95

    The frustrating thing is that LG display has been recalled due to a backlight issue and won't be available until August/September some time.

    So, the smartest thing to at this point in time is to wait. I will just make do with the single working 24" display until this LG solution is a possibility.

    My machine is still incredibly fast and responsive. And like most of you say, even the newest nMP or iMac isn't really going to offer me any substantial day to day improvement. Although some power savings would be nice as my electricity bill is pretty nasty with my Mac Pro on 24/7. :D

    ----------

    I cannot stress enough how much of a difference SSD's make to our machine. Seriously go out right now and grab yourself the Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro and whack 1 or 2 SSD's on it. The difference will hurtle your machine into the future :)
     
  18. nox-uk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    #18
    Aoc and Dell are bringing one out too. I'm also waiting for the screen issue to settle down, and I'll go from there. The AOC looks to be cheaper, (500 vs 800 from what I've read) but no thunderbolt. I currently have a 2010 so can't use thunderbolt, but going forward I'll definitely be greeting a thunderbolt equipped something next time.

    Decisions

    Nox
     
  19. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #19
    Very True. :) SSDs are faster. I did have a chance to experience its speed as sometimes I get to use the Mac Pros in the office of my client whenever he wanted me to edit a file on his machines. He had SSDs in them. I have a problem collecting payment from a client so I had to defer my plan of getting a Sonnet Tempo Pro for now. I guess nowadays, I have to factor in the current business situation before making purchases.
     
  20. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #20
    Keep in mind that 2 different displays of different ages/usage may be further from a match than you think. These things can drift in different manners.

    Well my concern would be that I don't think your current mac pro gpu drivers support that resolution. If you went with the mac pro, I'm not sure you would need to upgrade it all the way. Nothing you mentioned would really stress even the base model. As you mentioned your 2009 one still does the job.
     

Share This Page