Help please iMac or Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by marko1953, May 21, 2007.

  1. marko1953 macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2007
    I am still in 2 minds about an iMac or a Mac Pro. I am a part-time Wedding Photographer. I use Canon 20D and later (I hope 5D) . Last wedding I came home with 1100 photos in Raw. I use Lightroom mostly then a little Photoshop CS2. I also use Proshow Gold to make a nice slideshow for each wedding. At the moment I have 8 weddings booked for the rest of the year. So I am not a full-time user yet. I hope to get more weddings and would like to have a good computer set up that can handle large numbers of raw files etc. I have been using a PC 2.2 with 1 Gb ram. I recently had a virus which forced me to re-format my HD.I had all important photos on external HD so no drama but I really want to switch to Mac.
    Shouild I get a Mac Pro or an iMac 20"? I have priced the following options:
    Mac Pro 2.66 with Radeon card and 1Gb Ram (upgrade later to 2Gb or 4Gb )or
    iMac 20" 2.1 with 2Gb Ram.
    I went to the Mac shop today. The 20" iMac screen was brilliant! After demo with the iMac I keep changing my mind from the Mac Pro , the iMac was so good!
    I know the Mac Pro is much more upgradable but it is about $1200 Au more expensive and thats with only 1Gb Ram. I would have to use my existing display for a while. Would the iMac be Ok for what I do now? would I be wishing I had a Mac Pro in 6 months? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Hey my wife and I are in a similar situation. She is a part time wedding photographer. She uses a 20D, hoping to upgrade to a 5D this year.

    I this we are going to go with the Mac Pro.
    Here are some things to think about.
    1. CPU>>GPU for CS3. The 4 cores on the Mac Pro is going to be much better than the 2 on an iMac.
    2. The 512MB on the x1600 video card won't help much with CS3. You are better off spending more money on RAM.
    3. External displays made by Apple are better than the one on the iMac.
    4. You can add 3 hard drives and make a RAID 0 swap drive on the Mac Pro. This will be very helpful when dealing with the RAW files from the 5D.

    I don't want to be down on the iMac it is a great machine. However, as your business grows, the iMac is not going to scale with your business.

    You might want to get the base Mac Pro and add to it later.
  3. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    i second that as well, a base mac pro should do well for what you are doing right now, but if your business grows even a little bit more i think you will be pushing your iMac a bit, an dthen if it grows more you will really be wihsing you had a mac pro you could just upgrade nmore and more and more, instead of being limited by the iMac, iMac is a grrrrreat machine(like my friend tony the tiger would say) but limiting for photographers and video my opinion at least ...
  4. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Thirded! It may be more cash upfront, but a Mac Pro is a better long-term investment.
  5. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    I agree about the Mac Pro. Far more flexible when a hardware upgrade is required. I too was originally planning on getting an iMac, but the 8 core processor ability and extra hard drive bays of the Mac Pro were far more fitting to my needs, and probably would be for yours too.

    Also, I would be reticent to buy an iMac at this juncture, as it is long overdue for a product update and/or form factor change.
  6. gvdv macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2007
    I have the same dilemma for different reasons (wanting to use a Mac for audio and video work).

    To my mind, you need a machine that is meant to be a workhorse and that is, therefore, reliable. You cannot afford to make a mistake with the importance of events such as weddings, and the Mac Pro is deliberately constructed to stand up to the wear and tear of professional use. Other Macs of lower specifications aren't made to cope with and withstand that kind of use.

    In addition to dealing with still images, you may also find that you move into video work for weddings at some point, and from what I understand, the Mac Pro will really shine in video editing over any Macs of lower specification.

    If you can, go for the 8 core (unfortunately, I can only really afford the Quad core).

    Just my 2 cents

  7. KJdanReuben macrumors regular

    May 22, 2007
    I am in the situation as well, except with video. I am trying to sell my iMac G5 so that I can invest in a Mac Pro. I am waiting to buy until after June 11. Intel is supposed to be shipping new quad core chips in the second half of 2007 (June) and I am hoping that the entire Mac Pro line will be upgraded to dual quad cores. I would suggest waiting until after WWDC just incase they are announced. But, if you did buy one now, I doubt you will be disappointed. I will wait for the entire line to be upgraded. The Mac Pro is the way to go because they can be upgraded so much.
  8. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    I'd go with a Mac Pro, it will serve your business well for many years.
  9. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I'm not sure 8 core is worth it for that kind of stuff. I'd say the basic Quad Core with lots and lots of RAM and a quality monitor as soon as one can be afforded. Also, the upgrade to CS3 is well worth it for the speed boost on Intel.
  10. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    Another vote for Mac Pro. I was considering spending more for Octo-core but the the quad is more than enough. As the 4-core chips get cheaper I can always upgrade later.
  11. gvdv macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2007
    I'm missing something here. Aren't the current quad cores composed of dual configurations? If not, how will this improve things?

  12. gvdv macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2007
    What uses would you say the 8 core is most suited to, or - put another way -what might 8 cores do better than Quad cores?

  13. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    3D rendering / video encoding mainly I would say.
  14. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Another vote for MacPro

    I would personally go for the octo core, as I do video & Music, I am waiting on the rev 2 to buy as,
    1. That's when I expect to be able to afford one.
    2. That's when the expected WOW version should hit, (New Video Cards, Stoakley Seaburg, Penryn processors, Possible 4-1 terabyte HD's, 32 gigs supported ram, BluRay Drives, Leopard with ILife 07. It's what keeps me dreaming, :D
  15. gvdv macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cromulent and mperkins37,
    Thanks for your replies.

    Not sure what to do as I could wait forever for the next upgrades, and I can't really afford even the current Quad core configuration, so I think I'll go for that (and probably regret it). Will wait until after the proposed announcement in June, though.

  16. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
  17. KJdanReuben macrumors regular

    May 22, 2007
    I'm sorry, I don't think i was too clear when i said dual quad cores. What I meant was that i am waiting for the whole line to be upgraded to 8 core machines.
  18. NickD macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2007
    Agreeing with everyone else. The Mac Pro is definitely the best option for you.

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