Am I better off selling my Mac Pro and buying a new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by zauze, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. zauze macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2012
    I'm a video editor, who's enjoyed having my Mac Pro for the power, but as iMacs keep getting better that advantage isn't as apparent. Even if the new ones are still 4-core, their benchmarks may well be better, and I'll have thunderbolt going for me as well.

    I own a Mac Pro 2,1 Xeon 8-core 3.0 Ghz w/ 12GB memory, 1TB ATA HD, and a 1TB RAID storage. It looks like I can probably get in the area of $1500 for it on Craiglist. Thoughts?
  2. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    Even with 2010 CPUs, the current Mac Pros out-benchmark the current iMacs.
  3. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    You could probably argue it either way. You've already got a nice base with the CPUs you've got in there though, considering you're doing primarily video I'd probably keep it for the flexibility.

    Spend some cash on a beasty graphics card and swap out the ATA drive for an SSD and that thing will blaze.
  4. thegreatdivorce macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2010
    Upper Left USA
    At this point, I'd say you'd be better off upgrading to an iMac. Between the updated ports and hugely improved processor architecture, you'd see a nice boost in workflow speed.

    Not sure I'd buy an iMac at the moment, though. Wait for the refresh.
  5. philipma1957, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    sell your machine it is old it is out of warranty.

    I would argue sell it and buy this

    then add this

    you get a 1 year warranty out of pocket you are about 500 bucks.

    many refurbs come with extras. you may get the better gpu or more ram happens often.

    you can always do this upgrade

    here are gpu upgrades if you get a 5770 gpu ;

    here is info on gpus that work

    cindori is a top poster on the macpro forums if he says the nvidia 670 works it does.

    if you really want an iMac wait till the 2012 comes out.
  6. jji7skyline macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    Even 2010 Mac Pros have far superior CPUs for video editing than current - near-future iMacs.
  7. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Depends. If you're talking about quad MP, then it's not true. Current 27" iMac with i7, let alone 2012 iMac match MacPro in term of raw performance.
    The only drawback of iMac is limited upgrade/expandability and a bit fewer RAM slots compared to MP.
    But you must remember the new quad MP costs $2500, and you need to add your own display, or flush another $1000 to get Apple Display to match whatever included with $2300 iMac.

    If you're talking about 6, 8 and 12 core MP, paired with GPU like the new nVidia Quadro 5000, well then yes. iMac doesn't hold a candle. But those MPs cost three arms and four legs, so yeah .. they should be A LOT better :eek:
  8. CoreyLahey macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2012
    Take it from the dude named after a plus size bra
  9. dmax35, Sep 9, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012

    dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    Ask the same question in the Mac Pro section and get and you'll get a different answer.
  10. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    If you can get by wait until later 2013. Apple CEO Tim Cook is promising something really great for the Pro users.

    If not, then a used or Apple refurbished i7 iMac would probably tide you over.
  11. nagareru macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2012
    Lima, Peru
    Its amazing how many people think an i7 sb or even an i7 ib imac can outperform an octacore Xeon mac pro. Just the CPU performance is double or more. Xeon processors can work under industrial workload that means making the 8 cores - 16 threads run non-stop for years and by that i dont mean simply having the computer turned-on, I mean rendering, non-stop. Mac pros are built for that not Imacs. People who say iMacs are equal to mac pros have never used the processing power, reliability and longevity these beasts have.
  12. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Well then how about quad MacPro? Does it still better or faster compared to iMac with i7? Yes it's barely expandable
    But the MP costs what? $2500? And it gets you outdated GPU/CPU? Yet you still to spend another money for quality display?

    Yes, a hex, dual quad or dual hex MP is not exactly "expensive" since they don't have that much competition.
    But quad MP and high end i7 iMac are directly compete each other. And like it or not, iMac wins hands down.
  13. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    You're correct here but you're approaching it from the wrong angle. Most people would have a hard time stomaching buying a new Mac Pro right now. But someone who already has one? Is it worth it for them to sell it and pick up an iMac with newer components but lower benchmarks? I think not.

    Someone with an an immediate need to improve the performance of their existing Mac Pro should consider one of the new Nvidia Quadro cards. Someone with a less immediate need should sit tight and wait to see what "new and exciting" products for professionals actually arrive in 2013.
  14. mojothemonkey macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2005
    I thought the AMD/ATI cards had the crown bigtime in recent releases for GPGPU -supported rendering and co-processing.
  15. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    I don't follow it that closely, but there were new Nvidia's within the past week that I believe are the current winners.
  16. mojothemonkey, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012

    mojothemonkey macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2005
    Well, for general 3D gaming, yes - you are correct as far as what the top models can do. On a dollar-per-performance battle, though, AMD/ATI is very good at dropping prices to make their better cards fight the battle with lesser Nvidia cards, so they're winning on that front too. But if money is no object, the highest Nvidia is usually the best bet (baring a recent AMD/ATI release while Nvidia is catching up - that couple month gap).

    From a GPGPU standpoint, though, I just went back and looked it up. The AMD/ATI chips are something like 3-6x more powerful in coprocessing. If you look at bitcoin mining/decryption, which is a loose indicator, you see the 7970 doing 825 Mhash/s while the Nvidia 680 is at 110. I guess it has to do with the fundamental difference between the chips, in that AMD/ATI uses many times more stream processors, which are able to be utilized for this type of thing.

    So, long story short - if you use programs that piggyback your GPU's processing power to compute or render, you're better off sticking with a couple year old AMD/ATI card vs even the latest and greatest Nvidia. Of course, this PROBABLY doesn't apply to most people who might read this... unless Adobe followed through with their plans to use the GPU for computing - they do that yet?
  17. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    I was thinking specifically of the $2500 Nvidia Quadros that just came out, not the GTX's.
  18. mojothemonkey macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2005
    Nope. The Nvidia Quadros get similarly crushed. Nvidia came out with a line called "Tesla" that was made purposely for GPGPU computing. Their top top of the line card, which costs about $2200, is now on par with (actually still just barely under) an off-the-shelf 7970, which is about $400.
  19. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    I want to believe you, but I don't understand how Nvidia could get away with charging $2200 for $400 performance.
  20. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    As long as they're about the same, I'd wait for the next Pro.
  21. jrlcopy macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    Boot into windows and you'll probably get that performance back. But in all seriousness, the quadro cards are meant for some complex stuff, usually to get any real performance your hardware needs to include a raid/fiber/gige type connection and needs some serious material pushing through it.

    It's a great card for real time effects in video apps, or people working with 2k and 4k images, or complex number crunching. But you need lots of other fancy pants stuff to go with it.

    But remember the iMac has an ssd which puts it in a league of it's own, does your Mac pro have an ssd or is your so living on a 6 disk raid? That's your performance bottleneck.

    OP replace your sata drive for an SSD and it will be like a brand new machine. Get a pciexpress sata 3 card and it will be even more amazing.
  22. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    If this is the "2007" mac pro i.e.: the bumped up 1,1 that they renamed or a custom upgraded 1,1. you probably won't get $1500 for it on craigslist. People generally ask 2-3x more than they get for macs on craigslist. From experience, you'll probably get about $900 in actuality. Ask $1100 and be firm (don't flex below $900). If you ask $1500, you'll find 50 techies messaging you and working you down to $800.

    An example is that an less upgraded Mac Pro of the same basic components will actually sell on craigslist for 300-500. It's not a bad price but it really considers the age of these machines. The stock models are not really competitive with a 5,2 mini and lightyears away in performance power of the newer mac pros.
  23. mojothemonkey macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2005
    because they are probably targeted at computing farms that are all set up to use some standardized set of instructions and code for nvidia? meaning the target customer biz wants to stay all nvidia instead of mixing it up?

    the quadro cards are still great for real time 3d rendering and that kind of thing, just less so for co-processing.
  24. colincarter, Sep 19, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012

    colincarter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    stick with the pro, you would be going from a pro grade tower / components with loads of expansion potential to a glorified laptop with a big screen.

    any serious work and the imac gets really hot and the fans kick in. My macpro is silent under any loading.
  25. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2012
    The iMac is supposed to get hot the aluminium is a natural heat dissipator and it's not a glorified laptop either :rolleyes: . To OP I'd stick with the Pro if I were you.

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