Decision Help -- Mac Pro vs. maxed-out iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hfg, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #1
    I need some wise opinions please ... :)

    I recently upgraded from a 2008 Mac Pro (heavily upgraded) to a new 2012 maxed-out 27" iMac which really is pretty nice. However ... the fire-sale last Monday on 12-core 2012 Mac Pros grabbed my attention (and purchase).

    I need to make a decision on which one to keep, especially since the Mac Pro could be returned ( :eek: ), or sold with perhaps a bit of profit. I have many upgrade parts which will update the 2012 Mac Pro further. I am not a Pro, but an advanced amateur photographer and electrical engineer who likes to tinker and upgrade. I probably won't run any software that actually uses all 12 cores. I hope to keep/use it for at least 3 years of everyday general usage. This will also run Windows for some PC type gaming.

    What are your opinions and why? :)


    2012 iMac Configuration
    3.4 GHz Core i7
    32 GB RAM
    768GB SSD plus Thunderbolt Pegasus J4 with dual 2TB RAID-0 hard disks
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB VRAM
    27" 2560 x 1440 integrated display

    2012 Mac Pro Configuration
    2.4 GHz dual-6 core XEON 12-cores total
    32 GB RAM
    1TB SSD RAID-0 on Sonnet PCIe plus additional hard disks/ssd as desired
    ATI HD 5870 1GB VRAM
    30" Apple Cinema Display 2560 x 1600 (or sell and get 27" ACD - new design coming?)


    Thanks for any suggestions, comments, or opinions... :)

    -howard
     
  2. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #2
    If you need to buy a computer now, go for the iMac. You otherwise will feel robbed when Apple introduces a new Mac Pro later this year with vast improvements. Mac Pro is still using Nehelem processors,no Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. Basically, the 21.5 iMac is not upgradeable, but the 27" is more upgradeable. With all its new components, the iMac is POWERFUL--just also consider price (upgrade to 768 ssd from Apple is very overpriced). Good luck!!
     
  3. d-m-a-x, Mar 16, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013

    d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #3
    if you like Mac Pro, grab a used or refurb. Or the hugely discounted one from best buy. I have a 2006 with upgraded everything. Took it on set yesterday, it kicked butt!!

    oh, did not read your post. Yeah, mp's can go a long way because of upgrade-ability. Better investment. I have always stayed away from imacs because they are so hard to take apart. is the hard drive goes bad you are stuck with an expensive repair
     
  4. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    127.0.0.1
    #4
    Why would you reply without even bothering to read the original post first?
     
  5. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

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    #5
    i responded to the title - who are you, the blog police?
     
  6. phoenixsan macrumors 65816

    phoenixsan

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #6
    What I would do....

    based in the comments in your OP (not being a Pro user and no using effectively all the cores)it is recommending you little bit of thinking . You have estated you are an engineer and like to tinker with hardware. Being a Mac Pro user and an engineer also, my opinion will be biased towards keeping the Mac Pro. But the iMac is new hardware, more future-proofed and seems that fit the bill for you. So, bottom line of my advice: Sell the Mac Pro.

    :):apple:
     
  7. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    This is a forum, not a blog.

    The title is a summary of the post. The post provides context and more information than is contained in the title. The risk with responding to the title on its own is that you miss something important (like the fact that the OP has already bought a bargain Mac Pro) and end up looking rather silly. This renders your post pointless. You may as well post something about Justin Bieber.

    This is not complicated stuff.

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #8
    well, i did edit my post on the forum to correct myself. If a you wan't to correct me a second time thats fine. Be a childish finger pointer
     
  9. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #9
    @Howard. Hi. You might get mixed opinions as some may suggest keeping the iMac and some will say keep the Mac Pro. I think the Mac Pro is suitable for you since you mentioned you like to tinker and modify your computer. Sometimes it's hard to base the specs on paper and best is real world actual usage and convenience.
     
  10. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #10
    Why would someone buy 3 year outdated technology when Apple themself has said an update is coming later this year? If you can not hold off, might as well buy the newest tech you can find (the one OP specified even has a close, if not higher, Geekbench score than the Mac Pro).
     
  11. ssdaytona macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #11
    I have nearly the same set up and bought the Mac Pro 2.4GHz 12-core for $2,500 also.

    I just can justify $2,500 for 3 yr old tech. The iMac i7 is not as powerful when all 12-cores are being utilized, but come on, not many of us will need it. The Mac Pro is not here yet, so we'll see if it's to my liking.
     
  12. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #12
    Can you link to exactly where Apple said that an update for the Mac Pro is coming this year?

    I am going to venture to say you can not since Apple never said that an update is coming for the Mac Pro in 2013.
     
  13. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #13
    Sure, search google for "Apple says mac pro 2013" and choose the second link for a macrumors article titled "Apple tells reseller..."
     
  14. ssls6 macrumors 6502a

    ssls6

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #14
    There are two pieces of information floating out there:

    Tim Cook was quoted as saying "something special for the pro users this year". He did not say when this year or specifically "mac pro". He said "pro users".

    An analyst/reporter called Apple HQ (supposedly) to confirm that he meant "mac pro" and was told "yes".

    The first is credible since it was reported by multiple sources as quote. The second is a bit less credible since it is word of mouth by one person. That doesn't make it not true, just less credible.

    Apple doesn't officially say anything on products until the roll-out which hasn't happened. Officially, none of us know anything.

    My own belief is Ives will do something special/different or he just won't do it. Since he is a "minimalist" designer, I think it will mean less flexibility not more. My money is on a cube (tribute to Job's and Next).
     
  15. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #15
    So that's a no then. You are reading Mac Pro when they never said Mac Pro.
     
  16. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #16
    No, you are incorrect. The article cites a French Apple reseller which told its customers,"Apple has told us there will be a new Mac Pro in Spring 2013". Also, in June, an Apple spokeswoman said in June that Apple was working on an update for the spring. Just look at the macrumors article "Apple tells reseller that a new Mac Pro..."--it is all there.
     
  17. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #17
    You have nothing more than a reseller claiming that Apple told him something and nothing else to corroborate it.


     
  18. hfg thread starter macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #18
    Thanks for all your comments so far ... :)

    I am not making a purchase decision here, I already have both computers and upgrade parts. I am wanting to consider how close the performance might be with common software applications for general day-to-day computing now and in the near future. I have not yet opened the Mac Pro, so there are several avenues available if I don't keep it ... the iMac is, of course, now a used computer (3 mo) and would reflect that in the resale value. It is unfortunate the 3.33GHz 6-core wasn't the "fire-sale" configuration, then it would be a more obvious decision. I do realize that the CPUs in the Mac Pro can be upgraded, but at considerable cost (at least today). Plus, I doubt my applications are really heavily influenced by absolute clock speed. Graphics capability, especially for Windows games, would be a consideration and not easily compared in online reviews.


    Regarding "future-proofing":

    The future of the Mac Pro is a big issue, especially since there hasn't been an actual confirmation that there really will be a new tower Mac Pro other than the rather vague Cook comment of "something special for the Pros" later this year. Then, there is the hesitation to purchase the first generation of a totally new product.

    If there is a new Mac Pro, it may not have the upgrade configurability of the current tower chassis design using somewhat common industry parts. My experience with keeping the 2008 Mac Pro relevant was normal RAM and Hard Disk (SSD) upgrades, plus 4 graphics card upgrades and a couple of PCIe bus cards. The assumption that the new design will have Thunderbolt integrated with the video is worrisome as that may limit conventional (PC form-factor) graphic card upgrades due to the integration of the Thunderbolt bus and video on the same connector and the source of those signals. The functional form factor of how this may be standardized is unknown at this time in either Mac or PC environments.

    Regarding the lack of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 interfaces in the existing Mac Pro, this isn't a big concern to me at this time as I don't have many USB 3.0 devices nor a Thunderbolt display. The requirement for those interfaces for storage devices is largely satisfied by the internal disk expansion and eSATA PCIe cards for external storage. Usb 3.0 can be added with a PCIe card if needed. The Thunderbolt (PCIe on a cable) interface is far more important to a sealed all-in-one such as the iMac or laptop than the Mac Pro with real PCIe slots, which here again can potentially use existing PC products if suitable drivers exist. I have adequately and neatly expanded my iMac using the Thunderbolt interface, but of course, I can't easily upgrade anything inside the iMac chassis, the graphics being the most likely item.

    Thanks again for all your considerations and comments...


    -howard
     
  19. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #19
    The thread starter already have both the iMac and Mac Pro and wanted to get feedbacks here as to which machine he gets to keep in relation to performance comparisons.
     
  20. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    Location:
    Earth
    #20
    Hi Howard. We're glad that somehow our feedbacks helped you with whatever decision you will make. I agree with your above comments on the Mac Pro, the thunderbolt and USB 3.0. Even with my present work, the need for the thunderbolt is not that urgent for now. You may also check on Aperture, if you are using that application in batch image processing. My friend told me Aperture uses multiple cores in processing large groups of images. This is second hand info I am getting so I could confirm on this. Have a good weekend.
     
  21. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Japan
    #21

    The MacPro... No question about it. ;)
     
  22. Mactrunk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    #22
    Keep both machines.
    They are both great and serve different needs.
    The Mac Pro is much better for swapping drives and reconfiguring.
    More CPU power under the hood too.
    The iMac is an elegant desk machine.
    Network the two and get the best of both worlds.
     
  23. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #23
    As I am taking a 2 year old iMac in for service for the second time, while a 4 year MacPro has been opened and modified and upgraded ad lib with nary a hiccup (and if the display goes, I'm not out a machine), I'd vote MacPro.

    Although I have a G4 iMac that still runs. I also have the last "easy to service yourself". It is paperweight due to blown capacitors in the power unit and on the motherboard.
     
  24. Mactrunk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    #24
    I agree.. the iMac is terrible for user repairing.
    I fixed my wife's iMac and it was a real PITA.

    Mac Pro is easy to repair and modify.
    Just did a PSU swap on on older mac pro... very easy.
     
  25. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #25
    And I answered: the iMac will perform the same, if not better than the MP if you do not use all 12 cores.
     

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