HELP: Do I buy iMac maxed out now, or wait for iMac Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by RuffDraft, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. RuffDraft macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    Hi all,

    I've been waiting for an update to the Mac Pro forever (like many of you), and now I need a new system. I'm a wedding videographer running a 2011 early MacBook Pro at 2.4ghz and spending a day rendering my footage to proxy before editing.

    I'd like the new iMac, but would imagine that it'll still be plagued with the heating issues that people have mentioned on here and fans running constantly.

    Do you think this will still be the case? In my shoes, would you buy the updated one as soon as the store comes back up, or would you wait for the iMac Pro?

    My initial thoughts are to max out the iMac now, and see the price difference. I can wait until December. I lose days editing, but I'm not that busy as yet, and so I can afford to lose a day if I'm wise here and there.

    Would appreciate your input - I'm mostly interested as to whether or not this new iMac will run hot with the 8GB VRAM etc. that they're adding into it... is it a big update or not? I'm not a massive tech nerd, though I try to be. Would appreciate those who understand more about what's just been added into it.

  2. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    The Kaby Lake chips run cooler than Skylake at similar clock rates, so that should help. I've no idea about the GPU though. If it were me I'd be mildly inclined to buy now and get the lower end 27" configuration since it's likely to generate less heat, and the high end configs won't make a huge difference in render time. Any of the new iMacs will render a lot faster than your 2011 MBP.
  3. gian8989 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2015
    Wait next week for benchmark and temp test. The iMac Pro is still far and we don't know if the new cooling system will work. I don't think you would have problem with the new iMac but having a real workstation is always nice for work.

    I personally don't like the idea of all-in-one workstation (too much money and no possibility to upgrade) but at least the will be the external GPU support.
  4. RuffDraft thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    Thanks to the two of you. I am always someone who pays the Apple Tax hard, if you like, by maxing out whatever is on offer at the time, as I find the longevity is increased by quite some way over time.

    Yeah, I'm thinking if I go iMac Pro, I'm going to have to find an additional £700 or so to pay up to 64GB RAM, as the RAM isn't user-replaceable, which sucks.

    Are there any documents explaining the external GPU support for the iMac Pro?
  5. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Your computer is your work. Speed is money. Seems to me waiting will keep you wasting time waiting on your existing computer. Lost money and business. I'd buy the fastest you can buy today and then reassess when the iMac Pro comes out. Macs have great resale so it's really a no risk prop if a new machine will increase productivity significantly.
  6. gian8989 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2015
    I only saw it on the show with macbook pro but it should also be supported by imac since it has thunderbolt 3. iMac Pro is going have firepro GPU so an external GPU is a good idea only for gaming or if you need an nvidia card in bootcamp in my opinion.
  7. teohyc macrumors regular


    May 24, 2007
    The normal iMac should suffice.

    My 2013 Mac Pro quad 3.7Ghz takes 1hr+ to render 10 minutes of 4K.

    The 3.8Ghz iMac cost USD $2299. That's less than half the price of the iMac Pro. With 8 cores, the iMac Pro may be twice as fast. But I personally don't think it's worth the money to get the iMac Pro for your purposes. If you can wait for a render overnight, you probably don't need the iMac Pro.
  8. RuffDraft thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    How about this: I buy a top spec MacBook Pro now, and then opt for a compartmentalised Mac Pro when one arrives next year? I've read on Apple's site that three 4K streams can run natively inside FCPX without lag until the computer gets too hot and changes its ways - that's quite some power in itself. I'm reluctant to spend £5K on an iMac Pro when the iMac Pro is non-upgradeable. That said, 16GB RAM inside the new MacBook Pros seems to be quite a small amount. 32GB and I would have made the jump.

    With three 4K cameras running at once, I have to transcode to proxy before even getting the footage to play on my 2011 MacBook Pro. I also have between 8 and 10 audio devices within each multi-cam edit. I thought with the new iMac Pro, those render times would be vastly improved due to the increase in VRAM as well as CPU power?

    I'm reluctant to buy the current iMac due to its heating issues. I'm reluctant to buy the 15" MacBook Pro, as the screen is smaller than my current 17" MacBook Pro. The iMac Pro sounds awesome if I can afford to update to the 64GB RAM.

    I know I'm losing time with my current setup - I have been for quite some time - but the business is just over a year old and although customers are growing, and 2018 looks particularly busy, I can cope with my current MacBook until Christmas if I have to - providing it doesn't die in the meantime.
  9. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    Max out the memory on any modern iMac and it'll be fine for what you want, then in December see if the iMac Pro is that much better to be worth the switch.
    If you're running 4K already then $5k for a machine to hang everything off is no big deal.
  10. RuffDraft thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    Thanks Georgio... I can see that it is going to be worth the difference with the inclusion of VEGA. I would definitely benefit, but for the sake of six months, I can cope with continuing to edit in Proxy files, even if I do lose a day to rendering. I will just have to be savvy about when I make the rendering start and end in relation to other tasks, e.g. shooting weddings - working whilst I'm out, even if I don't intend on editing said wedding yet.

    Appreciate the help - this thread has helped to answer the question for me, and I think I'll be in line for the iMac Pro... even if it does cost another £1K to double the RAM and increase longevity.
  11. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005

    But look at the refurb site for 1 of the current 2013 Mac Pros. I know some people still slam them, but I have a 12 core 2.7 with D500s and it rocks. I can't foresee myself getting anything new for a long time. That said, I wonder what the news about the iMac Pro will do the current MP resale value.

    Even still, if you didn't want a MP, you might find a gem of a deal on a current iMac.

    My last 6 Macs have been refurbs....saved money each time.

    I wanted to mention that because it might make the decision more palatable for you knowing you can save some money, get a faster machine, edit and make more money then flip it on kijiji or to a family/friend when it comes time to buy the iMac Pro and/or new modular MP (if they come out with one).

    So, Yes, go buy a newer machine and.

    Time is money! :)

    Good luck,
  12. mralmostpopular macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2011
    Seems to me that you should be approaching this stuff from a business perspective. Do you need something right now? Then get what's available right now. It doesn't make very much business sense to wait for something that won't come out for quite a while.

    Going along with that, you need to think about cost. The iMac Pro will start at $4999. That's a lot of money to spend unless you absolutely need it. There are some questions you need to ask yourself. Is your income from this business enough to justify the cost? Do you really need to extra power?

    You have to put aside any feelings of desire for the fastest machine, and think about cost vs. benefits of your business as it is today.
  13. RuffDraft thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    Thanks you two.

    I am looking at this from a business perspective: sole trader; will make enough money from this iMac Pro to justify the cost - I'll pay for it with 5 weddings at my current price point, and I just shot 4 in the past two weeks. I will use the machine for around six years again, to which I should be shooting 30-35 weddings per year for five of those years at a higher price than I am currently, which is a total of 170-200 weddings with the cost of the Mac being around 3-4 of them in the long run with increased pricing for my services year on year.

    I don't like buying and selling on; I have 10-12 weddings to edit this year, but likely less, as three of those weddings are in December, so I'll most likely be using the iMac Pro to edit on those. I can deal with the slower process for this year, but next year, I can't, as I'm looking like I'm going to be a lot busier then.

    Appreciate your inputs, but I am going to hold on... lose some time to gain more with the iMac Pro in December than buying a 5K iMac now for £1000 less and putting up with its older GPU etc.

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12 June 5, 2017