Hard decision iMac or MacPro - this makes even more harder ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mjoshi123, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010
    Here is interesting comaprison between iMac and MacPro and looks like iMac makes reasonable case against MacPro


    I know everyone will not agree with it. And I personally am not a an iMac fan due to its display. But this makes interesting case why people should take second look at iMac before plunging into MacPro. Any thoughts ? And let me make it clear my usage is going to be primarily for digital image editing using LR5 + CS6 and some school level film making. Here is my thought process - I can lease iMac for now and at the end of lease at 2 years, I can go and get MacPro as by that time Apple would have moved to newer architecture on MacPro instead of current ivy-bridge. - what do you think ?
  2. CH12671 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2013
    Southern US
    Maybe it boils down to your need for thunderbolt 2, how many displays you want to run, how many tb ports you will need, whether or not you like Apple's display, and if you're willing to hedge a bet against software coders leveraging the dual amd's in the nMP (in the future). Certainly right now the iMac is a tough opponent of new Mac pro. And it may always be.....or someday the software might catch up to the hardware and then there will be a big difference in favor of the nmp
  3. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Having trouble viewing the article on a pad, but...

    The pros power (and cost) is in the video cards that don't express well with LR/PS. And the iMac has a standard screen.

    I need a digital photography workstation and am currently looking at this:

    2014 mac mini quad
    Huge ram + SSD
    1+ high gamut display (nec/eizo)

    With a 3k budget, half goes into the screen, where it counts.
  4. mjoshi123 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010
    ive same thing but 2012 model.
  5. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    It seems more so oriented toward generating page views (somewhat controversial and narrow merging of info ) than new information.

    The same sites review of Mac Pro makes allusions to the high end BTO might turn in results that were interesting in graphics. Well this one brings it and still continues to allude to the results would be interesting. Kind of puzzling.

    The entry Mac Pro doesn't come with a complete complement of RAM DIMMs. The top end iMac does. One more DIMM in the Mac Pro and that multithreaded Geekbench score is likely approximately even. A full 4 DIMM setting can bring a 1% difference and that is all that article is making a big deal about on that specific test.

    A couple of percentage point swings in Geekbench aren't particularly well ground in evaluating real world application usage. First, it just isn't that precise a measurement instrument under actual usages conditions. It primarily tries to measure the CPU subsystem. Few apps are solely dependent upon just that.

    The fully speced out BTO iMac and entry Mac Pro are close. So it isn't particular surprising they are close in performance. Whether one or the other is a better fit is far more likley dependent up other characteristics than the standard 'drag racing' generic benchmarks.

    The final odd thing is that the D300 is actually clocked a bit higher than the D500. And yet this article avoids hard D300 numbers like the plague. It keeps referring back to the D500. The D500 is a good candidate to have relatively poor drivers. It is a quirky modified Tahiti XT that AMD has never sold before. Apple opted for a uniquely kneecapped D700 to implement the D500. They had AMD turn off a number of cores probably to hit a cheaper price point ( likley picking up more than few GPU parts that don't pass full testing but a subset of part works 'good enough' to be a D500 ).
    The D300 and D700 are more closer to be standard FirePro parts. AMD (and Apple) have a long track record of new config's drivers being non-optimal out of the gate.

    "school evel film making" for school or just the level of expertise? For school not sure leasing makes any sense. The resale value of Macs is typically pretty good. Holding something for two years (that is relatively new) and letting it go has a pretty good chance of being cheaper than a lease.

    In two years, the Mac Pro will probably still be about 1 year behind the iMac in Intel x86 microarchitecture implementation. If going to let single threaded Geekbench scores drive your buying decisions you'll still be on iMac on that iteration too.

    LR5 and CS6 are mutlithread enough in various common phases that if the mutlithreaded CPU performance is the essentially the same the Mac Pro is likely a better fit. (the SSD is better and the bulk I/O subsystem is better. ).
  6. carlosm86 macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2014
    my honest to bob only reason for not wanting a decked out iMac is I dont want a 27" screen . My set up looks best with a 24" dual monitor set up.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I totally get your frustration here.

    Ideally the Mac (mini) Pro should have been your best bet but alas, the GPU decision by Apple left many high and dry where some graphic applications are concerned. Have you checked any of the Photoshop/Lightroom sites/forums to see what Adobe's official stand is on updates with respect to better exploiting the ATI GPUs? (Open CL etc.). I remember reading somewhere that the CC versions will do better than the stand alone or will in the near future.

    As for me - I use a Mac Mini 2.6 with 16gigs RAM and internal SSD for Capture 1 Pro and Photoshop CS6 along with my NEC 24" monitor. I would have happily later this year gone for the new Mac (mini) Pro except for the very problem you mentioned.

    Some options -

    Bite the bullet and get the iMac and a second monitor.
    Get the Mac Pro and consider the 6 core with the D500 and depend more on the CPU (for now).
    Bide your time with a Mac Mini but realize it is limited on RAM and the present on board Intel 4000 is mediocre and regroup later for a final purchase of a new computer later this year and focus on the monitor and external devices you might want (remember the TB2 devices should be backwards compatible meaning you can hook it up to a TB1 port on an Apple iMac or Mini but of course verify).

    Apple has really gone astray and its form over function "innovation" and not considering the applications many would want to use. Candidly, I find that the iPad and iPhone also suffer form over function and that is a real shame (no reason to have such tiny text throughout the screen menus and forces people to put on and then off their glasses etc.).

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