Do I need a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Antipode2012, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Antipode2012 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #1
    Here's my situation. I work for a university (lecturer), and I sit at my computer 60+ hours a week. I have a 300GB archive in lightroom, which is where most of my archival research is stored. I use it all the time.
    I mostly use Lightroom, Photoshop, and all the usual office software. I do some high resolution audio editing, and Final Cut Pro from time to time.

    My current setup is a 2012 MBPro (retina) with 16GB of ram and 500GB HD, with a thunderbolt display. The laptop does everything I need it to OK. Sometimes it struggles with going through all the lightroom files and makes some fan noise, but it's no big deal.

    The university provides a base iMac every 4 years, and the current one is so slow it's not worth using. It's too slow for itunes to work without stuttering, and word files take a minute to save. It backs up to data centres constantly, works off network drives, and checks for viruses endlessly etc etc all bogged down. I need something that can withstand all that.

    So, one of these?:
    1) iMac 5k with max ram and the better graphics card, 512 GB SSD. About $4000.
    2) MacPro 6 core, plenty of Ram, 512 SSD, D500? About $5500

    Benefits of 1) I get two displays, one of which looks terrific, cheaper.
    Downside: lack of power?
    Benefits of 2) More power. Might be working better in 5 years' time?
    Downside: one display which isn't as nice, costly.

    I have some money in a budget, and I need to spend it now. I won't have that budget again in my career, so I want to make sure I get the best I can for the future. I could stretch it to a Pro, but I don't want to if an iMac is better for my needs. Money for future upgrades will come from my pocket (so I probably won't buy them).

    What would you do?
     
  2. woodbine macrumors regular

    woodbine

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Bath, UK
    #2
    Have you compared Geekbench for your laptop vs the nMP? Have you checked out the refurb lists? Maybe you don't need a higher spec nMP.
    Consider that the nMP is actually quite upgradable it's a more longterm solution for me. There are some excellent screens out there that are not so expensive.
     
  3. Morpheo macrumors 65816

    Morpheo

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    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    Paris/Montreal
    #3
    I would go with the MacPro without any hesitation.
     
  4. maplingstorie macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Location:
    Malaysia
    #4
    I hear that Lightroom is CPU-intensive and requires no GPU. Photoshop however does use the GPU but for filters, manipulation. I think I would compare the CPU performance of between nMP and the iMac to come to a decision.
     
  5. Mr. Orange macrumors newbie

    Mr. Orange

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Location:
    Belgium
    #5
    I'm still deciding between those two machines. I think it all depends on future-proofing. Do I max out the 5K or do I upgrade the nMP steadily when new components come out?

    I would really want a larger screen (LG34UC97-S) for LR and FCPX editing, so the nMP is a nice choice. The latter is an huge investment.
     
  6. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a

    Wahlstrm

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #6
    For anything photo related the iMac will be faster.
    That 4.0Ghz will leave the MP in the dust for 95% of the tasks.

    Adobe is horrible at using cores.. A lot of stuff is still single, dual and on rare occasions quad core.. After that it´s a diminishing returns at a rapid pace.

    I use DXO Optics PRO a lot and that program basically has 100% scalability, it eats every singel Mhz you have available. The 6c would be a dream for me :)

    Both machines are Rev01 and a dead end in terms of "future proofing".

    In 3years that i7 and the 295 will probably feel quite old and the 5K RiMac (unlike the other imacs) will newer work as a monitor for another computer..

    The current Mac Pro is old tech already and will never run 5K displays witch might be the standard in a year or two for anything above 24"..

    If you need to buy today, go with the iMac.
    If you can wait then buy the next Mac Pro :)
     
  7. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #8
    I can't think of a good reason to buy an AIO even with a sexy 5k screen. The current iMacs real flaw though is it's inability to be used in target display mode so when the internals are out of date they take the screen with them. This isn't necessarily bad if you upgrade every 3 years due to life cycle replacement but in my experience that doesn't happen with Macs outside of a Mac shop. I think you'll get a couple more years out of a Mac Pro but that computer leaves me cold simply because it's the ultimate in vendor lock in and has the potential to be as non-upgradeable as the iMac possibly more so. Historically with the iMac people have been able to replace the mobile GPU's with ones out of high end mobiles with the same drawbacks as replacing the cards in older Mac Pros but with the current question of how do they drive the new display that might not be possible going forward. I recently bought an new cMP for work simply because I can plot a chart going forward and will not receive money for a new computer for more than a couple years.
     
  8. richneerd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    #9
    Mac Pro is the way to go.

    Let us know what you get.
     
  9. Mr. Orange macrumors newbie

    Mr. Orange

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    Oct 20, 2014
    Location:
    Belgium
    #10
    Hope they update the nMP with Haswell and maybe introduce the 6-core as the base model. Just in time for Xmas. ;) The 5K is sexy, but not a must-have for me.
     
  10. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #11
    I would plump for the 6,1 without a doubt right now. I know which one will be left standing after 2-3 years of seriously hard work with hardly a trip to the store for an AppleCare breakdown.

    The 5k retina is a little bit too bleeding edge technology for my liking, the 6,1 was in its own way but that's thermodynamically and not overclocking video interfaces to drive a big panel.
     
  11. maclove4life macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #12
    what do you mean "bleeding edge technology?" also..at this moment..wouldn't nMP be fading out? with 5k...i dunno..
     
  12. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #13
    The likelihood of Apple overclocking a pair of bonded DisplayPort interfaces and putting one of those mobile AMD gpu's under rather a lot of strain in that chassis, driving that big lovely panel doesn't fill me with absolute confidence that they will be completely and utterly reliable after warranty runs out.

    The Mac Pro on the other hand will last and Dell will be there next business day to change your 5k panel if it goes pop.
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    I edit raw fils quite a lot in Lr with my 13" 2.4/8/256 rmbp and never have any lag worth mentioning. I always wonder what folks do that their macbook can't handle Lr and Ps.
     
  14. maclove4life macrumors regular

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #15
    oh ok...good point.
    regarding to dell:you saying nMP2013 may be able to go up to 5k?
     
  15. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #16
    With six thunderbolt 2 channels and it being able to drive 3x4k displays I would say it's extremely unlikely that it won't. I will bet my pound coin on it driving a pair come the Dell screen shipping, which hopefully will have that nice matte-ish coating instead of ultimate gloss too!
     
  16. Antipode2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #17
    Thanks for this link. It makes me think the iMac might be the way to go. Although I do use Final Cut Pro, it isn't something that my MacBook can't handle, so I'm not exactly the highest end user (the video wouldn't be 4k, and most likely to come from a Canon DSLR).
    If it were for home, the MacPro might be better, since I could upgrade easily. But for work, where I'm locking into 4 year total upgrades anyway, and I don't get a choice about which version of the OS I use, and which software they load, maybe the iMac is best. The University is using CS6 rather than CC, so perhaps I'm better off with a setup in a very conservative upgrade environment.

    I do spend all day looking at the screen...



     
  17. maclove4life macrumors regular

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #18
    to be honest...i don't think we need beyond 4k, yes?
     
  18. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #19
    If your mate is giving you stick showing off his iMac you might but I am always averse to using all in one computers and laptops for really hard work. Cleaning out iMac systems post AppleCare is a filthy job. I've been in firms where they have bought iMac's which were supposed to replace 4 and 5,1's and they had multiple logic board and GPU swaps. They actually replaced the iMac kit with 6,1 and kept the old towers going with gpu and storage upgrades which was slightly annoying as I had my eye on snatching a dual socket for peanuts :mad:
     
  19. maclove4life macrumors regular

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #20
    i never used iMac...but I definitely hear you lol.
     
  20. say19 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #21
    It's difficult. I was in a similar position but I eventually chose Mac Pro.

    This was in the end mostly because although I loved every one of my iMacs, I was always having heat issues and GPU failure. I used to push my iMacs harder than the typical user I guess, and I also used Bootcamp a lot (which used to generate too much heat because of poor fan control).

    At this point in my life, I want something rock-solid reliable. And the iMacs, in retrospect, never were this for me. Loved them, but tired of the repairs and replacements.

    ymmv ofc

    Good luck!
     
  21. theSeb, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #22
    I wouldn't try to make any real life performance comparisons, or conclusions, based on Geekbench. Geekbench is a fun test to check and compare your 0-60 MPH results. It will never tell you how well the machine will perform in a real race.

    Geekbench does not stress a CPU enough to see the effects of throttling due to heat that one might experience in a real workflow. The 5K iMac looks very sexy and tempting, but I would be very wary of thermals and throttling in a machine like that.
     

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