Biggest downside from Mac Pro to iMac: The Audio?

NJRonbo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,427
450
I have a Mac Pro that I bought in
early 2007 that is still going strong.

If not for that pretty 27" iMac that
was announced last week I would
not have pulled the plug and bought
a replacement for what I have now.

The 27" for the moment offers me
a lot of advantages over my Mac Pro.

.....but then I got to thinking.

The audio. What about the audio?

My Mac Pro has digital output. I
have toslink digital cable running
from it to a really expensive Logitech
5.1 system. The audio quality I get,
particularly with 5.1 content is AMAZING!

Logitech Z-5500 Speaker System

But what about the iMac?

All it has is a dinky mini plug on
the back to handle its audio.

Can anyone tell me if I should
expect the same quality sound
coming out of that computer to
my speaker system?

Seems that I have to now deal
with analog input. Can analog input
decode 5.1 sound?

I don't even see an analog input
on this speaker system though
the specs say there is one. Perhaps
they revised the speakers since I
bought it years ago.

I am just a little worried about
the huge step down in audio
capability here. You have this
top-of-the-line iMac designed for
watching HD content but it doesn't
seem that you can output digital
audio.
 

AAPLaday

Guest
Aug 6, 2008
2,411
2
Manchester UK

andyOSX

macrumors member
Dec 6, 2008
95
0
Vancouver, BC
I have a Mac Pro that I bought in
early 2007 that is still going strong.

If not for that pretty 27" iMac that
was announced last week I would
not have pulled the plug and bought
a replacement for what I have now.

The 27" for the moment offers me
a lot of advantages over my Mac Pro.

.....but then I got to thinking.

The audio. What about the audio?

My Mac Pro has digital output. I
have toslink digital cable running
from it to a really expensive Logitech
5.1 system. The audio quality I get,
particularly with 5.1 content is AMAZING!

Logitech Z-5500 Speaker System

But what about the iMac?

All it has is a dinky mini plug on
the back to handle its audio.

Can anyone tell me if I should
expect the same quality sound
coming out of that computer to
my speaker system?

Seems that I have to now deal
with analog input. Can analog input
decode 5.1 sound?

I don't even see an analog input
on this speaker system though
the specs say there is one. Perhaps
they revised the speakers since I
bought it years ago.

I am just a little worried about
the huge step down in audio
capability here. You have this
top-of-the-line iMac designed for
watching HD content but it doesn't
seem that you can output digital
audio.
No, not at all. The iMac has the same digital audio in/out, you just need the mini-toslink to full toslink adapters.

The biggest downside is giving up the 4 internal drive pays, PCIe slots, optional superior graphics cards and eSATA
 

NJRonbo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,427
450
You guys are great. Good to see a fellow
Logitech Speaker user.

Thank God there is a solution. Found
this cable on Amazon which is probably
just as good.

Now I don't have to worry about audio.

I take it that I will get the same quality
sound using this adapter as I would with
the digital output toslink connection on
my Mac Pro?


The biggest downside is giving up the 4 internal drive pays, PCIe slots, optional superior graphics cards and eSATA
You are correct.
 

spcdust

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
970
0
London, UK
Am I correct in thinking the iMac does not output true 5.1 audio as I would assume you need the audio output to be optical?
 

spcdust

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
970
0
London, UK
You would be correct, but if you read the thread you would learn that it does send optical out.
Sorry, I didn't realise that the audio jack also doubled up as an optical out - so does that mean you do get the full 5.1 audio stream data output that an AV Amp can decode?
 

NJRonbo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,427
450
Little more technical here....

So now I am learning that though
the iMac is capable of sending optical
out via the right cable.

As the previous poster asks, with a
proper decoder (the Logitech speaker
system has it built in) is it capable of
handling 5.1 audio?

Just want to know if I will still get
5.1 audio with my iMac.
 

Uncle Pinny

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2008
109
1
London
Yes - it will send out 5.1 via the optical out.

Yes - it should be just the same as the Mac Pro - the digital stream won't be decoded or altered but rather just spat out the back ready to be fed into whatever speaker/amp you may wish to use.

It's the same as the Mac Pro in all respects except for the type of optical plug it uses (3.5mm optical as opposed to toslink).
 

nOw2

macrumors regular
Sep 1, 2009
167
2
I take it that I will get the same quality
sound using this adapter as I would with
the digital output toslink connection on
my Mac Pro?
It's digital, therefore identical. Only an audiophile could hear a difference.

By the way, your text is appearing in very narrow columns?
 

NJRonbo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,427
450
cawesjmu, thank you so much for that link.

By the way, your text is appearing in very narrow columns?
Just my style.

Thanks again everyone
 

unamused

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2009
275
0
interesting thread. thanks for bringing it up! now to get some nice logitech speakers!! mwahaha
no doubt!

Probably one of the best speaker systems for a pc/bedroom home theater setup... I love playing COD4 with these blaring... makes me feel like im actually in the game!

if you wait for a deal, you can get them for around 150.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
You will get the same quality from your imac as you do from your mac pro.

That logitech setup is okay, but those speakers will not be able to distinguish between a good/bad source. That logitech is made for computers, a real amp/speaker setup is very very very costly, but you get what you pay for.

The logitech that you have can be driven by an ipod.... No probs what so ever for the imac. You will not notice any sound quality diff between the mac pro or imac. Only a PC with dedicated sound card will offer you a much better source.
 

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
16,983
4,968
The biggest downside is the cumbersome hard disk upgrade procedure with the iMac.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
no doubt!

Probably one of the best speaker systems for a pc/bedroom home theater setup... I love playing COD4 with these blaring... makes me feel like im actually in the game!

if you wait for a deal, you can get them for around 150.
they are very decent sounding speakers for the price. i am thinking of purchasing a set of Z5500's, apparently they are rather good. i would love to hear how bassy they are as im a big bass person!
 

NJRonbo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,427
450
Trust me, the Z5500 has a lot of base.

Have you seen the size of the subwoofer?!
 

AppleNewton

macrumors 68000
Apr 3, 2007
1,697
84
1 Finite Place
looks like you got alot of good answers.

i have this combo:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10229&cs_id=1022901&p_id=1419&seq=1&format=2
http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10423&cs_id=1042301&p_id=2671&seq=1&format=2

but the other cable linked certainly will do the trick.

i too came form a macpro a couple months ago to a mbp, but thinking of those nice 27" hah.


how do you like the z5500's? ive had mine since 04 or 05...phenomal...i abrely have to turn them past 4 or 5 notches to get high quality audio with alot of clear bass.

but since its digital, it depends on the source of the audio (or film) coding.
as i think the z5500's have a built in matrix to distribute the encoding.
i like to keep them on Dolby PLII Music
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
When I started reading the OP I thought it was going to be a haiku...
BAHA you made me LOL.

Trust me, the Z5500 has a lot of base.

Have you seen the size of the subwoofer?!
excellent. that is what i am after. they will accompany my Sennheiser IE6's nicely.

You usually need a large base for large subwoofers, otherwise you don't get a lot of bass out of them. ;)
smartarse. play nice haha.

wish i could afford a $5k audio setup, but i cant. so z5500's it is!
 
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