Anyone else looking at the new iMacs?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zorinlynx, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #1
    I have a 2006 Mac Pro. I hate to admit it, but it's starting to feel slow. At work we have been buying the new iMacs and they feel like quite fast and capable machines.

    I was thinking of getting the 27" i7 model, with a 256GB SSD. This, coupled with external storage and a fileserver sounds like it would do the job that my Mac Pro does, but even better.

    My decision process is becoming victim to the long wait Apple has given us for the new Mac Pros, along with the unlikelyhood that the prices will come down. My budget is about $2500.

    iMac Advantages:

    - Consumes less power

    - Smaller form factor

    - Lower cost

    - Gorgeous display built in

    iMac Disadvantages:

    - No ECC memory option available

    - Completely unupgradeable; what you buy is what you get.

    - All storage options must be external, and Thunderbolt options have been sorely lacking

    - Any repairs involve hauling the machine to an Apple Store; they won't send you parts and let you do customer repairs.

    - Weaker GPU, but for what I do this isn't much of a factor

    - That above-mentioned gorgeous display won't be obsolete when the machine is, and can't be moved to a faster system

    So, any thoughts? I keep wondering if anyone else is in this same boat. I've loved my Mac Pro and it gave me a wonderful service life but Apple is making it hard to buy another one. Back in 2006 the Mac Pro was light-years ahead of any other Mac model in performance, but these days the difference is only marginal. Help me decide! :)
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    For many Mac Pro users, the built-in display of iMac is actually a disadvantage. Although it's IPS, it's not as high quality as e.g. NEC or EIZO displays are. And it's glossy. If you do something that requires color accuracy, you can't compromise the display. A small error will be seen in the final product as well.
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #3

    why would you put the ssd in it? you say it is for business. the internal ssd costs cost 500 bucks it is only 256gb and if it dies your business is dead in the water. why would you not buy this piece of gear?

    Mods note this is no longer for sale. this listing is dead and the item is not for sale.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/15070469033...X:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1560.l2649#ht_3028wt_1308


    Or you can build them here is my thread on this build


    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118

    putting an ssd inside an iMac and using it for business is basically crazy when you can have a solution like the lacie.

    the lacie can have an instant backup if you need one it can be just as fast as the original unit (buy 2 lacies)

    or it can be a clone on the internal hdd .


    quite frankly any person using an iMac with an internal ssd for business is really gambling for no reason at all.

    you can build a 128gb ssd little big disk for about 550 you can build a 256gb one for about 750 and you can build a 512gb one for about 1000..
     
  4. zorinlynx thread starter macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    #4
    I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. How is an SSD more likely die than an HDD? In my experience it's the other way around; SSDs are a lot more reliable due to lack of moving parts.

    I plan to buy AppleCare on this system, so if it DOES die within the three year AppleCare period, the drive gets replaced for free. And I will have the old Mac Pro as a backup system so I can still get stuff done while the iMac is being fixed.

    I back up my data religiously, too; it's not like I'd actually lose anything permanently.


     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    SSDs are still very new technology. The lack of moving parts makes them less prone for things like shock damage, but in most cases the controllers have not been bug hunted enough to make SSDs truly reliable. Apple uses Toshiba SSDs which have been proven to be one of the most reliable ones, though. If Apple used SandForce SSDs, then it would be Russian Roulette.

    I guess the point was that you have to send the iMac to Apple to get the SSD fixed while you could fix it on your own if it was an external SSD. You would still have to wait for a replacement drive so there is no much gain IMO, assuming you can use your Mac Pro in the meanwhile.
     
  6. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    Sep 12, 2007
    #6
    I think it's all completely irrelevant anyway.

    You are more productive with an SSD and you must have a backup (bootable preferably) to get yourself back and working until you can replace the SSD.

    The Intel X25-M drives are very reliable, and the 320 series are based on the X25-M drives.
     
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #7
    if my iMac built in ssd dies with apple care it will take as long as a week to get my machine to be up. if my iMac hdd has its lacie fail it takes 30 seconds to plug in a new lacie. I say anyone with a new t-bolt iMac that puts in an internal ssd for use as a business machine is wasting money. in the form of time. also the internal ssd runs at 240mbs and the lacie runs at 400 mb/s
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    Not everyone has two Thunderbolt enclosures and several SSDs. If you only have one SSD and it dies, then you need to wait for a replacement drive to arrive. Depending on the seller/OEM, this may take up to weeks. Sure, you can boot from a backup in the meanwhile but you can do the same in the case of Apple SSD. The iMac may need to be at Apple for a few days but that's not a problem if OP has a secondary machine.
     
  9. Neodym macrumors 65816

    Neodym

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    Jul 5, 2002
    #9
    If you put a SSD in that machine as system disk, it will actually feel like a new computer. Costs a lot less than a fully blown new iMac and will help you to hold out a little longer until better offerings by Apple become available.

    CPU-wise a 2011 iMac may of course run circles around your 2006 MP - unless you do video or music work that scales with more cores. In that case you could upgrade your 1,1 inexpensively to 8 cores to get back up to par with current iMacs and minis.

    Oh - one important point seems to be missing on your pro/con list: noise level under load...
     
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #10
  11. MyFakeAcc macrumors newbie

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    May 6, 2011
    #11
    Only in case of raid0 what means 240GB at uber speed for approx 1k$.
     
  12. Kimmo macrumors member

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    Jul 30, 2011
    #12
    Yep, went through the same decision process and bought iMacs for my wife and daughter and a 2010 Hex refurb for me. :):)
     
  13. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #13
    Not sure why you would sacrifice TRIM for performance you are not going to feel in day-to-day work though.
     
  14. 3587 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 23, 2008
    #14
    I think I will be doing the same... I have the 2009 Mac Pro 2.66 Quad... My next computer will be the fastest iMac they offer... Max out the memory and the graphics card... 256 SSD/1TB and you're set. That thing will smoke my Mac Pro. I won't use it to its full advantage, but who cars, when you have the $ why not? Much cheaper than the bottom line Mac Pro when you go with the top of the line iMac, plus it will be much faster. Go for it.
     
  15. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    #15
    And spend more in the process than the 2012 E5-1650 and 7870 will be?

    No thanks.

    I'll be upgrading my MP 2009 2.66 to the 6-core, 3.2Ghz, 7-series and 16GB ram.

    Twice the CPU performance, three-four times the GPU performance.

    Lovely stuff :D
     
  16. highdefw macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2009
    #16
    To be sure, wait until March just in case there is a Mac Pro update...

    lots of rumors and such, but honestly it doesn't mean anything unless direct from Apple.
     
  17. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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  18. Digital Skunk, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011

    Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #18
    Well, a hex Mac Pro with state of the art GPU will dust any four core Mac hands down. The big question that the OP is asking is if any other pro/business user is considering the same thing, and I would have to agree, the iMac isn't an ideal choice but it is becoming a viable option for anyone not needing the full blown expansion of the Mac Pro.

    The iMac we are looking at now isn't the glorified laptop on a stand it used to be. Quad Core i7 2GB GPU and up to 32GB of RAM isn't going to bottleneck anytime soon, and by that I mean at least 3-4 years easy.

    As for repairs, most of the hardware in a Mac is user serviceable save for the logic board, which would send you back to Apple regardless. The SSD option and the proprietary temp sensor on the HDD are my only repair concerns.

    Color correction is moot given that a pro user can connect and tone from a second display. Anyone in the market for a high end NEC or EIZO isn't asking about getting an iMac because of price.

    At the end of the day the decision is going to be between full expansion of the Mac Pro, and the WYSIWYG configuration of the iMac. Max the iMac out and the performance of a similarly priced Mac Pro are the same.

    I am still holding out for a much sooner than February release of the 2012 Mac Pro, but the iMac will be on my desk by March.

    P.s. thunderbolt won't be coming to the older Mac Pro towers, so it's worth the wait.
     
  19. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #19
  20. goodcow macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Apple offers on-site repair for iMacs and MacPro's with AppleCare.
     
  21. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #21
    They won't be able to replace an equally priced Mac Pro in terms of expansion.

    They do, but it's very limited and based on an authorized repair center's ability to make it to your site.
     
  22. gglockner macrumors 6502

    gglockner

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    #22
    The thought has crossed my mind. I'm looking for an upgrade in 2012; a hex core iMac would be tempting. Currently, the most taxing thing on my Mac Pro is when I fire up a couple of Windows VMs; a fully loaded iMac would do well for that task. However, the point about user-swappable disks is well taken; disks can and do fail, even SSDs, and the ability to swap a disk lets me repair my Mac Pro in an hour or two, as opposed to waiting 1-2 days for Apple to repair an iMac.
     
  23. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    #23
    I had a family member's iMac 21.5 for a couple of weeks to reinstall the OS a fix some other software issues. There is no way that I would take the fastest iMac available over my 2010 MP 3.2 quad, just no way at all.

    While an iMac is a great computer iMacs and Mac Pros are very different machines built for very different uses.
     
  24. gglockner macrumors 6502

    gglockner

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    #24
    An iMac with an SSD and a Core i7 processor can compete with a Mac Pro. Looking at the Geekbench results, a Core i7 iMac has higher scores than my 8-core 2009 Mac Pro. We can argue that the Mac Pro is superior in various ways, but I think this proves the point that a top-end iMac is in the same ballpark.
     
  25. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I'm in the same situation as the OP - I have a 2006 Mac Pro, which is starting to show its age. It's a bit noisy, it takes up most of my desk (if you include the monitor) and has limited scope for upgrades. Buying one of the current Mac Pros is out of the question - I just can't afford it (and that's before you consider that they're going to be replaced once Intel's latest Xeon CPUs get released).

    So, unless Apple releases something between the iMac and the Mac Pro (the mythical xMac), my next computer will be a 27" iMac, which I'll upgrade with a third-party SSD (in all likelihood, a Samsung, unless Cherryville is particularly fantastic). I like the looks of the iMac and I like the small(er) form factor. I won't miss the scope for upgrading (all I've done to my Mac Pro is add some more memory and hard drives).

    I don't do any video processing, or edit massive images in Photoshop, so my needs are relatively modest. I think a decently-specced iMac will serve me well.
     

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