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First Gen Mac Pro vs. New iMac i7

SiskoKid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
349
2
Hey, guys!

So I have a first gen Mac Pro. Its stats are as follows:
2 x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
6GB 667 MHz DDR2
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB

I always heard that iMacs are not as powerful as the Mac Pros. Obviously, but mine's so old I'm sure the new iMacs are far more powerful. I was wondering if it's worth it to sell my Mac Pro (and anyone know where other than eBay or Craigslist?) and will the new iMac be able to be used for heavy editing (FCP, After Effects) and for gaming (Starcraft II, Portal, etc.)

Sorry if these are dumb questions, but I bought a 2009 MacBook Pro (work reimbursed me) that I needed for trips, and I thought for sure it'd be faster than my Mac Pro, but geekbench scores are far lower and it struggles (even though I got the fastest NVIDIA 9600M GT 512MB card at the time) to game. So I am kinda hesitant to buy what's essentially a redesigned MacBook Pro in a monitor since even a MacBook Pro 3 years after the fact couldn't keep up with my Mac Pro.

Can anyone chime in and help? I wanna update my desktop computer, but it's gotta keep up with my intense usage of apps like FCP, AE, Photoshop etc and my gaming.

For $3300 (before tax), I can get the top end iMac with 2TB of storage and an SSD drive. For the same price, I can get a brand new Mac Pro without any BTO changes, but the new Mac Pros come in August and they haven't priced them yet. So I'm just looking for advice.

Thanks :D
 

alust2013

macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
4,779
1
On the fence
Well, naturally the MBP would be slower than your Mac Pro. You are comparing a dual-core mobile processor to a quad-core server processor, among other components. That is a lot more power in the mac pro, regardless of age. Even the new i7 MBP would have trouble keeping up with your Mac Pro. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the iMac being a MBP in a monitor though. A couple years, that wasn't too far off, but now the iMacs use almost all desktop components, aside from the GPU, which is a mobile unit, but provides performance comparable to a midrange desktop GPU. The new i7 would also be considerably more powerful than your current pro, as it is a much smaller process, higher clock speed, turbo boost, and hyperthreading, providing 8 virtual cores.
 
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SiskoKid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
349
2
Lynnfield all the way and why did you expect the Core 2 Duo notebook to be faster?

I don't know what Lynnfield means, and I expected my MacBook Pro to be faster because it was 3 years newer than my Mac Pro. If the new iMac is faster than my Mac Pro, I don't think it was too crazy to think that 3 years after the fact a high end MacBook Pro could've at least matched my Mac Pro in performance.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,094
299
Indianapolis
Well, naturally the MBP would be slower than your Mac Pro. You are comparing a dual-core mobile processor to a quad-core server processor, among other components. That is a lot more power in the mac pro, regardless of age. Even the new i7 MBP would have trouble keeping up with your Mac Pro. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the iMac being a MBP in a monitor though. A couple years, that wasn't too far off, but now the iMacs use almost all desktop components, aside from the GPU, which is a mobile unit, but provides performance comparable to a midrange desktop GPU. The new i7 would also be considerably more powerful than your current pro, as it is a much smaller process, higher clock speed, turbo boost, and hyperthreading, providing 8 virtual cores.
I'd compare a Q6700 against the Core i7 870 first.

I expected my MacBook Pro to be faster because it was 3 years newer than my Mac Pro.
It's a notebook. You're playing with 25/35W of power vs. 95/130W per socket. It's still hard to find a notebook faster than my Q6600.

I wonder where this misconception comes from.
 
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iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
If you sold your Mac Pro to a site like gazelle.com, it is worth in the neighborhood of $1099. You'll probably get more selling it in the usual places.

If I were you, I would look into keeping it and upgrading anything you can in the machine, it is the most upgradable Mac and you may be able to breath some new life into it. I do have to ask, even with your Mac Pro as it is, does it really have trouble in doing what you need it to?
 
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SiskoKid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
349
2
Well, naturally the MBP would be slower than your Mac Pro. You are comparing a dual-core mobile processor to a quad-core server processor, among other components. That is a lot more power in the mac pro, regardless of age. Even the new i7 MBP would have trouble keeping up with your Mac Pro. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the iMac being a MBP in a monitor though. A couple years, that wasn't too far off, but now the iMacs use almost all desktop components, aside from the GPU, which is a mobile unit, but provides performance comparable to a midrange desktop GPU. The new i7 would also be considerably more powerful than your current pro, as it is a much smaller process, higher clock speed, turbo boost, and hyperthreading, providing 8 virtual cores.

I just always heard that the iMac was essentially a MacBook Pro hiding behind a desktop monitor. Beautiful machines, just what I heard about its hardware parts.

So are you saying that replacing my Mac Pro with an iMac isn't a good idea? I think they're beautiful machines and I'd love to update after 4 years, but I don't wanna regret it.
 
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alust2013

macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
4,779
1
On the fence
I don't know what Lynnfield means, and I expected my MacBook Pro to be faster because it was 3 years newer than my Mac Pro. If the new iMac is faster than my Mac Pro, I don't think it was too crazy to think that 3 years after the fact a high end MacBook Pro could've at least matched my Mac Pro in performance.

If you are basing it purely on the age of the machine, yes that would be reasonable, however, you are talking about two completely different classes of machines. One is a high-end workstation computer designed to still be potent several years down the line, the other is a portable workstation, and for the portability, you sacrifice a considerable amount of performance. Now if you had compared a 2009 mac pro to your 2006 model, yes, the 09 would have smoked yours. Not so a laptop with half (or less) of the processing power.

EDIT- to answer the second post, I think the iMac would be a good replacement for your Mac Pro
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,094
299
Indianapolis
I just always heard that the iMac was essentially a MacBook Pro hiding behind a desktop monitor. Beautiful machines, just what I heard about its hardware parts.
The iMac was a notebook on a stick until the last revision. Even the older Core i5 750 would have a field day. You're just limited to no internal upgrade options and Mobility Radeon HD.
 
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SiskoKid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
349
2
If you sold your Mac Pro to a site like gazelle.com, it is worth in the neighborhood of $1099. You'll probably get more selling it in the usual places.

If I were you, I would look into keeping it and upgrading anything you can in the machine, it is the most upgradable Mac and you may be able to breath some new life into it. I do have to ask, even with your Mac Pro as it is, does it really have trouble in doing what you need it to?

Ya, it struggles with HD footage and compared to our newer Mac Pro machines at work (2008 models), it seems to take forever to encode or compress anything.

I tried updating the graphics card to the 4870, but Apple doesn't officially endorse that. And basically all other components, save for RAM and Hard Drives, aren't touchable or swappable.

I also use Windows software for some things (cause some apps work faster in Windows) and 64-bit isn't allowed either.

So because it's a first gen machine, it's difficult to keep it up to date at this point and is coming up to a brick wall in terms of future proofing. I'd just like to update soon (it doesn't have to be right at this moment though) just to have peace of mind.

And the iMacs are so pretty, I thought if it could do what I needed, then why not sell my Mac Pro and jump in :D
 
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iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
Ya, it struggles with HD footage and compared to our newer Mac Pro machines at work (2009 models), it seems to take forever to encode or compress anything.

I tried updating the graphics card to the 4870, but Apple doesn't officially endorse that. And basically all other components, save for RAM and Hard Drives, aren't touchable or swappable.

I also use Windows software for some things (cause some apps work faster in Windows) and 64-bit isn't allowed either.

So because it's a first gen machine, it's difficult to keep it up to date at this point and is coming up to a brick wall in terms of future proofing. I'd just like to update soon (it doesn't have to be right at this moment though) just to have peace of mind.

And the iMacs are so pretty, I thought if it could do what I needed, then why not sell my Mac Pro and jump in :D


Well if upgrading the Mac Pro hardware and possibly cleaning up the boot drive is out of the question, both you can do but will involve investing time into it, buying a new Mac may be your only solution.

If you want to get something a little more future proof, look into getting another Mac Pro instead and they will be a little easier to upgrade than the one you currently own. And along with the iMac upgrade last week, Apple did announce an upgraded Mac Pro as well.
 
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SiskoKid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
349
2
Well if upgrading the Mac Pro hardware and possibly cleaning up the boot drive is out of the question, both you can do but will involve investing time into it, buying a new Mac may be your only solution.

If you want to get something a little more future proof, look into getting another Mac Pro instead and they will be a little easier to upgrade than the one you currently own. And along with the iMac upgrade last week, Apple did announce an upgraded Mac Pro as well.

Ya, I guess the smartest thing to do is wait to see what the new Mac Pros will have and how much they'll cost.

I just like the idea of getting rid of a huge tower and a getting a bigger, prettier monitor. And they're just so pretty I was hoping it was something that I could feel confident could replace my Mac Pro with flying colors.

Anywho, thanks to everyone who helped me out! I'll probably see you guys in the Mac Pro forums in a month or so :p
 
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ditzy

macrumors 68000
Sep 28, 2007
1,718
175
The new iMac pretty much beats your Mac pro in every way. Unless you think that you are going to want to upgrade your GPU or your RAM above 16 GB the new iMac seems a perfect choice for you.
 
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