"Downgrade" to nMP?

ifraaank

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
192
6
Odense C, Denmark
Hi fellow power users!

I currently own a late 2012 iMac, top-of-the-line (almost). The specs are:
  • 3.5 GHz i7
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 2GB Nvidia 680MX
  • 1 TB Fusion Drive
  • External Thunderbolt Display

I am really considering getting the new Mac Pro.
I would like the base configuration, upgraded to 512GB flash, D500's, and 16GB RAM. But I am a bit worried, so here comes my questions:
  1. Would it be a downgrade from my current iMac, or would it blow it out of the water?
  2. I've also heard that the D500' isn't worth it? Is it either D300 or D700?
  3. How do an Xeon processor compare to an i7? And in this case, a 3.7 Xeon vs. 3.5 i7 (same Turbo Boost).

I do quite some video editing, and I don't know a lot about workstation computers yet. Haven't had the "Pro" equipment before, and I do not want to do a wrong investment. (Dat price tag doe...)

Thanks a lot!

//ifraaank
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,821
1,593
Berlin
I was exactly in your position, currently owning the exact same imac, just with a 24" cinema display instead.

I think upgrading to the 4 core base model with d500 and just 16gb of ram would in fact feel like some sort of downgrade.
Mostly because of ram and the amazing display you will loose. Than you'll be in the same boat as I am now, not knowing if you should by another dinosaur TB display while a new one might just be around the corner.

For you to make it an upgrade I would suggest choosing the base model, then upgrading to 6 core and 512 GB SSD. Then get 32 gb Ram aftermarket. (I suggest starting with the low end model cause you'll spend a bit less for the useless 12gb ram).

In terms of single core processing, the 2012 imac sometimes even beats the nMP. At least they should be on eye level.
Multicore I don't actually recall seeing any geekbench scores for the 4 core. The 6 core though will outrun the imac once it comes to rendering in Adobe Media encoder / after effects / final cut or any 3d software.

There's one aspect where even your configuration might be better than the imac and that's fcp x because of the dual GPUs.
But I really think for it to feel like a true upgrade, go get the 6core and invest into 32gigs of ram, otherwise you will feel limited after having had 32.

Another Plus of the nMP: Thunderbolt 2!
You can get a Promise Pegasus2 R4 or better R6 which will deliver read speeds over 1gb/s. It will help a lot with all sorts of video editing and is not possible on the imac (even though an "old" pegasus is screaaaaming fast.)

It's bad because in the end I went for the 8 core with d700, just to justify the switch for real.
 

ifraaank

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
192
6
Odense C, Denmark
Thank you for your answer.
Do you think, graphical wise, that no matter which graphics cards i choose, it'll fell as an upgrade? Due to the iMac being a mobile GPU, and nMP has two, workstation GPU's? :)
 

Stingray454

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2009
588
104
Cool, I have the exact same spec iMac as you except for the external display :).

If it's a downgrade or not depends a lot on what you use it for. If you use it for surfing, gaming, mail, internet and light work (photoshop with files that are less than a few hundred megs, video editing in resolutions at 1080 or lower and so on), I'd say that it's a downgrade. The quad core in iMacs are faster on single core tasks, ie most stuff. The 680MX is actually really fast, see this link for comparison with 7970, that is in the ballpark of gaming performance from a d700 (because in OS X you won't get crossfire speeds). In windows gaming the d700 is faster though, but imo a nMP just for gaming is a huge waste of money. If you use your machine for 3d rendering, heavy video editing, OpenCL calculations and such, then it's a much more motivated purchase.

Where I live even an 8-core with 32Gb/1Tb ssd goes for about $10k retail, which is a huge investment. I don't deny that I really want the nMP, but that kind of cash for a computer when my iMac can do maybe 90% of what an nMP can do (in my use-case) just doesn't feel worth it. It's hard to resist, but I'll pass for now. Maybe the next update will be so great that I just can't resist :p

Buying the 4-core nMP with 12GB ram and upgrading to an 8-core/32GB yourself would save some cash, but still not enough. Personally I'll put some cash into a hackintosh, for a third/fourth of the nMP cost I can get a similar performance computer for gaming and work, and update each component as new are released. Although I admit it won't be anywhere near as quiet or good-looking.
 

ifraaank

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
192
6
Odense C, Denmark
Where I live even an 8-core with 32Gb/1Tb ssd goes for about $10k retail, which is a huge investment. I don't deny that I really want the nMP, but that kind of cash for a computer when my iMac can do maybe 90% of what an nMP can do (in my use-case) just doesn't feel worth it. It's hard to resist, but I'll pass for now. Maybe the next update will be so great that I just can't resist :p
Also $10k here... Insane Apple prices in Denmark...

I guess you're right. My iMac suits me well for what I do. But I reeeaaally want a MP, but after cooling down, I'll probably wait for the next gen.
But here's the catch! The resale value for my iMac won't be that high, if I wait..
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,821
1,593
Berlin
Seriously? Prices in Denmark differ so much from the ones in Germany even though it's both euro? Ok I guess you guys have higher wages and living costs in general...

I sold my iMac for 2000€. iMac value was what pushed me too
The Mac Pro from the edu store cost 4.870,00 (without taxes cause I'm a freelancer)
That is 8core
12gb
512gb ssd
D700
Plus 580€ for aftermarket 64gb ram.(without tax)

Makes 3500€. I'd say that's quite ok for such a configuration. But now I need a display :( can't choose one!

If it's so expensive up there, why not order one here and ship it over? I mean like seriously! Just make a short visit to Germany:)
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,772
2,056
Thank you for your answer.
Do you think, graphical wise, that no matter which graphics cards i choose, it'll fell as an upgrade? Due to the iMac being a mobile GPU, and nMP has two, workstation GPU's? :)
I wouldn't look at things in those terms. The same goes for Xeon vs comparable i7 in most cases. The comparable cpus that are branded i7 cost the same amount. There are 4 and 6 core options in an identical socket using the same chip. The same goes for the imac. The 775m and 780m are branded as mobile chips due to their being within a certain tdp range typically suitable for 17" gaming notebooks. You would want to look at measured performance, then attempt to correlate that with average and peak requirements in terms of your own use. Right now the posts seem to be about hype, which is not really rational or cost effective. If your current rig isn't holding your work back, I suggest waiting until we have more concrete performance numbers. That brings me to my last question, where is your current machine incapable?
 

wildmac

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2003
1,167
1
Are you editing in FCX?

If yes, then the nMP will be an upgrade for you.

Otherwise, it will be a side grade for you at best unless you really deck it out, and perhaps not even then unless you are doing heavy rendering.

It really all depends on your apps.
 

ifraaank

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
192
6
Odense C, Denmark
If it's so expensive up there, why not order one here and ship it over? I mean like seriously! Just make a short visit to Germany:)
I live right be the edge of Denmark, so I might as well go to Germany and buy one. I'll save quite a bit :D

Thanks for all your answers guys. Back to the drawing board to see if I really need one! :apple:
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
Seriously? Prices in Denmark differ so much from the ones in Germany even though it's both euro? Ok I guess you guys have higher wages and living costs in general...
They don't have the euro. They do have a very high 25% VAT. Prices don't seem much different between DK and Germany.
 

ifraaank

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
192
6
Odense C, Denmark
They don't have the euro. They do have a very high 25% VAT. Prices don't seem much different between DK and Germany.
The Mac Pro I'm looking at right now costs 35.271.25 kr. in the Danish Education Store. This is in $, $6447,42.

If I configure the same Mac Pro in the German Education Store, it'll cost 4.507,72 €, or 33.621,28 kr. ($6145,81)

I'll save almost 2k kr., and that's still quite a amount of money for a student like me. (And I live very close to Germany, so I might as well do it.)

To compare, this Mac Pro, in the NON-edu store in the US, costs $4,899.00.......... (which is 26800,47 kr.)
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,821
1,593
Berlin
Oh I wasn't aware you guys still don't have the Euro.
It cat really get confusing at times :eek:
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,018
89
But you are forgettimg that in DK you get full garanties for 2 years FOC, whereas in Germany ans the US you'll have to buy Apple Care. Without the VAT in DK and in Germany the prices are actually quite similar, it may even be a bit cheaper i DK.

I live in Greenland, and hence do not pay VAT, and it is cheaper for me to get it in DK without Apple Care, than in Germany with Apple Care. It would be a bit cheaper in the US, but adding FedEx/UPS costs, it's not really a big difference...
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
The Mac Pro I'm looking at right now costs 35.271.25 kr. in the Danish Education Store. This is in $, $6447,42.

If I configure the same Mac Pro in the German Education Store, it'll cost 4.507,72 €, or 33.621,28 kr. ($6145,81)

I'll save almost 2k kr., and that's still quite a amount of money for a student like me. (And I live very close to Germany, so I might as well do it.)

To compare, this Mac Pro, in the NON-edu store in the US, costs $4,899.00.......... (which is 26800,47 kr.)
I didn't look at your specific configuration. But the base model, before tax, is

18800 dkr = 2520.74 Eur (google)
2520.17 Eur in the German store, before tax
$2999 = 2200 Eur in the US store, before tax

As usual, the US price is much cheaper. Within Europe the prices however are quite comparable. Of course if you can save 2k kr that is nice, but apparently you loose the second year of warranty if you buy outside of Denmark.

So ignoring national taxes, pricing in DK is quite competitive within Europe...
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,018
89
But remember that any ourchase within the EU will include the national VAT, which cannot be refunded by EU citizens. Hence there is an almost 10% price difference between Germany and Denmark, which translates roughly to Apple Care. If you're a resident in a non-EU country you can benefit from this, IF you can get a merchant to ship to you VAT-free...
 

ifraaank

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
192
6
Odense C, Denmark
I might have another solution on the price point actually. In DK, there's the normal store, the education store, and then some stores for universities. My university store is a little cheaper then the Apple Education Store, so i might give that a go. Their site is down right now though...

Again, thanks for the answers, now I just need to know if the D500 is worth it, or if I should go all in for the D700. (and work a little more :eek:)

I might stick with the 3.7 quad core cpu, or MAYBE the 6-core.
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,821
1,593
Berlin
I might have another solution on the price point actually. In DK, there's the normal store, the education store, and then some stores for universities. My university store is a little cheaper then the Apple Education Store, so i might give that a go. Their site is down right now though...

Again, thanks for the answers, now I just need to know if the D500 is worth it, or if I should go all in for the D700. (and work a little more :eek:)

I might stick with the 3.7 quad core cpu, or MAYBE the 6-core.
In the end, coming from the same iMac as you do, I thought well-the d700 is one day of work over the d700..and I think the upgrade in speed is considerable once apps make us of open CL. Recently I read everywhere that from Adobe over black magic to Maxon that they want to move further to open CL in the future. Plus In my previous two iMacs I didn't max out graphics and I always regretted it..
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,018
89
Max out what you can afford.

Yes you can upgrade the RAM and possibly the CPUs later (std. interfaces), but the flash storage and the GPUs are using proprietary interfaces, and hence it'll be a while before anyone cracks that nut... The market is simply too small for anyone to care.
 

ifraaank

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
192
6
Odense C, Denmark
Okay. I think that I'm almost there. If I get a good price for my iMac, I'll go for
  • Quad 3.7 OR Hex 3.5
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB flash
  • D700
I'll have to keep my eyes open for benchmarks on D500 vs D700 though. Pretty tough upgrade. :)

Thanks for your help. :apple:
 

Stingray454

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2009
588
104
I would personally go for the quad core on order, both to save money and because it's actually faster for most things (gaming, surfing, general creativity on a non-professional level). Then I would probably upgrade to the 3.3 8-core later if I needed more power (faster single-core due to more l3 cache, and a lot faster for multi-core calculations), it would cost less than ordering apples 3.0 GHz 8-core as BTO, and you can even sell the quad-core to get some of the money back. Also, you can spread the cost for the upgrade until later this year, better than forking out a fortune when you order :) Just a suggesion.
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,018
89
Not entirely true.

The 6-core will supposedly run at exactly the same speed as the 4-core, except when utlising the 5th and 6th core, which is when it will lower the clockspeed to 3.6MHz (http://www.marco.org/2013/11/26/new-mac-pro-cpus).

So, in a single core application the are equally fast. Same is true for the 8-core. Only the 12-core is actually slower...
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,821
1,593
Berlin
With turbo yes.
What I never got about this whole turbo thing was how quickly the turbo can kick in. Like immediately whenever one core is demanded?

Like I do anything in any simple 1 thread software and it immediately operates that one core at turbo speed?

Or is the 8 core initially a bit slower than the higher base clocked quad, but the boost kicks in after a second or so?
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,604
4,608
The Peninsula
With turbo yes.
What I never got about this whole turbo thing was how quickly the turbo can kick in. Like immediately whenever one core is demanded?

Like I do anything in any simple 1 thread software and it immediately operates that one core at turbo speed?

Or is the 8 core initially a bit slower than the higher base clocked quad, but the boost kicks in after a second or so?
I don't know how the new Mini Pro handles Turbo - but I have some HP ProLiants with E5-v2 processors.

Those default to Turbo when set to "Max Performance" profile, and only back off from Turbo when the die temperatures get hot.

On one 16-core server (dual socket 8 core) that is running a load that can't use more than two cores I set the BIOS to only enable two cores per socket (turned a 16-core into a quad core).

Resource monitor always reports that the "core clock" is 126% of maximum, regardless of the load.

They're always running at full Turbo....
 

Anim

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
614
22
Macclesfield, UK
As a + comparison, the new Mac Pro has:

a much higher TDP, 130 vs 84 so you will get longer (time) turbo boost
a whole host of upgraded ports
A small form factor (for a non all in one)
Environmentally friendly
Dual GPU's if your software can make use of that.
Portable (assuming you have HDMI/Thunderbolt at the other end)

On the flip side, the iMac is a great machine for shorter bursts of power, has a built in monitor with HD camera & sound.

So it comes down to what you put value in.

I am writing this on an iMac which has been a fantastic machine over the years so not trying to be biased here.

Anim
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,821
1,593
Berlin
I don't know how the new Mini Pro handles Turbo - but I have some HP ProLiants with E5-v2 processors.

Those default to Turbo when set to "Max Performance" profile, and only back off from Turbo when the die temperatures get hot.

On one 16-core server (dual socket 8 core) that is running a load that can't use more than two cores I set the BIOS to only enable two cores per socket (turned a 16-core into a quad core).

Resource monitor always reports that the "core clock" is 126% of maximum, regardless of the load.

They're always running at full Turbo....
That doesn't sound bad! Question is how osx handles this..
 
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