Considering new Mac purchase (iMac or mac pro)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by freshbread, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. freshbread macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Finally have pushed my 2006 mac to the limit....Do you have an opinion on best potential purchase for me (primary uses: premiere/ae/photoshop/maybe fcp)....

    faster CPU/less cores/Better graphics cards OR
    More cores/slower CPU/medium graphics cards

    Guess considering iMac (not the newest I don't think) vs mac pro varieties (with the idea of down the road maybe upgrading CPU on mac pro)

  2. GameFreak348 macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2014
    Get a Mac Pro, the old ones, not the trashcan style.
    Something with Dual X5650s or a single W3680.
    You can upgrade like everything on a Mac Pro.

    I upgraded mine from a Mac Pro 4.1 with Dual Xeon E5520 2.26 Ghz 8 Core, 6GB DDR3 1066Mhz, NVIDIA GT 120 to a 5.1 with Dual Xeon X5650 2.66 Ghz 12 Core, 12GB DDR3 1333Mhz, PNY GTX 770 OC and I use it for gaming. I can max out everything. I could even put a GTX 980. Cards with TDP higher then 225w require a external power supply.

    I would really get the mac pro
  3. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I probably wouldn't get a quad new style Mac Pro. I would however get a Mac Pro because I like to choose my screens.
  4. vetman35 macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2010
    I bought a base model nMP (12GB/D300/256/Quad) and then upgraded the RAM 64GB and SSD 1TB. I am very happy with it. It is connected to a 30" HP LP3065 via Apple usb powered DP to Dual-Link DVI adapter (hw v3 req). I also have 2 Thunderbolt displays rotated to portrait. Awesome machine. I may upgrade the CPU when I get time, but I am finding the quad core is fine. Sorry, I don't want a big tower anymore. I also love the absolute silence in my den.
  5. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I'm considering the same thing, my Mac Pro tower is just so big! Keeping an eye on this thread to see what others think.
  6. say19, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

    say19 macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2014
    I had to make a similar decision recently. It really comes down to what you want to use your Mac for.

    In my case, I do things that generate a lot of heat. And I can't afford downtime i.e. reliability is important to me (and also to some extent, longevity). For those reasons among others, I went for a Mac Pro.

    On the more cores or better GPU/s question - be clear what software you will be using. Some apps really leverage multiple cores (FCP is awesome on a Mac Pro); others don't much at all (i.e. games). Same story with GPUs, for some design apps, GPU is important, but for others it's actually CPU you want to be thinking about.

    In my case, I always thought I would need many cores but I found with my previous iMac, they were used rarely. So I didn't worry too much about cores this time round. It would be different if I knew I was going to be living in FCP.

    I guess the final consideration would be, from what I have read so far, it looks like CPU upgrades are going to be more straightforward than GPU upgrades in the trashcan Mac Pro. That may also be a factor to consider.
  7. VirtualRain, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Considering new Mac purchase (iMac or mac pro)

    For the kind of work you have in mind, I think 4-6 cores with higher clock speeds taking precedent over more cores is going to be the best choice. As long as whatever you get has a recent discrete GPU, it should be fine for what you want to do (in other words, I wouldn't get an iMac with Intel graphics). Most importantly, whatever you get, make sure it either comes with a reasonable sized SSD or you can upgrade it to one (as you probably already know, this will make the most difference in your day-to-day computing).

    However, when determining if you want an iMac or Mac Pro, the most obvious consideration is what screen setup do you want. If you'd buy the screen that comes with the iMac anyway, then it's value is extremely difficult to beat - the non-retina iMacs with i7 and Nvidia graphics are very nice machines. The Retina iMac is a killer if you like that display (and who doesn't?!).

    If you want/have something other than an Apple TBD then the Mac Pro can make more sense (especially at refurbished pricing). It's powerful and quiet no matter how hard you work it.

    I won't discourage you from considering a 2009-2012 Mac Pro but I will caution you that it was one head-ache after another trying to upgrade my 2009. Unless you really need the latest and greatest GPU for gaming, it doesn't have a lot of allure. (In fact if gaming is your thing, I'd recon you're better off with a Windows Gaming rig anyway - a lot more choice and less headaches).
  8. freshbread thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    So for what it's worth went with 2010 Mac Pro gtx680 40 gb ram 3.33 12 core. Doing cpu upgrade myself. Easy for me to migrate all my set up and should last 2-3 years hopefully. Except need to figure out how to mount my two ssd (currently in lower optical bay of 1,1 in new mp). Thanks for opinions and advice.
  9. Average Pro macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    Mac Pro All the Way

    santaliqueur provided me with the following link:

    The info is easy to understand and confirmed what I already knew - new Mac Pro all the way.

    I arrived at this decision based on the performance and reliability of my oMP (2008). It's still running without any problems. I also wanted something I could upgrade and plug peripherals into with a high speed transfer rate. Instead of focusing on "what's next" or "what could be next", I pulled the trigger because I know the difference in performance is going to be considerable. Also, based on Apple's historical upgrade cycle, the next one for the MP isn't coming until 2016. So, as far as the future goes, I can focus on what they'll release in 2019.

    Make the decision based on the information at-hand and you'll be fine.

    Good luck

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