How does Mac Pro compare to iMac?

yalag

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 18, 2007
1,341
55
Ok I'm PISSED!

I just bought a mac pro with AMD FirePro D700 6144 MB to photo editing. I noticed that it's a bit sluggish with my 4k Dell monitor. I figured what I can do I already have the best mac there is guess I'll have to live with it.

And then BAM, the new iMac comes out with AMD Radeon R9 M295X. Will it perform better with photo editing?
 

jetjaguar

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2009
3,001
975
somewhere
Ok I'm PISSED!

I just bought a mac pro with AMD FirePro D700 6144 MB to photo editing. I noticed that it's a bit sluggish with my 4k Dell monitor. I figured what I can do I already have the best mac there is guess I'll have to live with it.

And then BAM, the new iMac comes out with AMD Radeon R9 M295X. Will it perform better with photo editing?
I'm pretty sure your d700s are better and be happy with your setup .. I'm sure its amazing :cool:
 

AppleDroid

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2011
631
84
Illinois
Ok I'm PISSED!

I just bought a mac pro with AMD FirePro D700 6144 MB to photo editing. I noticed that it's a bit sluggish with my 4k Dell monitor. I figured what I can do I already have the best mac there is guess I'll have to live with it.

And then BAM, the new iMac comes out with AMD Radeon R9 M295X. Will it perform better with photo editing?
Nope. It's a mobile variant which is always slower than a desktop gpu. Plus until we see benchmarks that gpu may be crying trying to display 5k pixels while utilizing gpu acceleration for apps.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Actually, the new iMac is an amazing machine for the money...

It offers the fastest single-core CPU money can buy with the 4GHz i7 Quad.

It offers the M295X which appears similar to the D700 (3.5 TFlops).

It offers a 5K display (dare I say the most pixels in a single display money can buy?)

It offers up to 1TB Flash storage.

It offers all this for $3800 USD... Which is the same money as an entry level Quad Core nMP with 1TB SSD and NO DISPLAY!

FFS! :eek: Put another way, it's like buying an entry level nMP and getting a free 5K display.
 

jetjaguar

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2009
3,001
975
somewhere
Actually, the new iMac is an amazing machine for the money...

It offers the fastest single-core CPU money can buy with the 4GHz i7 Quad.

It offers the M295X which appears similar to the D700 (3.5 TFlops).

It offers a 5K display (dare I say the most pixels in a single display money can buy?)

It offers up to 1TB Flash storage.

It offers all this for $3800 USD... Which is the same money as an entry level Quad Core nMP with 1TB SSD and NO DISPLAY!

FFS! :eek: Put another way, it's like buying an entry level nMP and getting a free 5K display.

i thought the d700s are 6 Tflops each
 

rueyloon

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2013
171
11
The d700 contributes very little to photishop. You need raw brute cpu power for editing.
 

yalag

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 18, 2007
1,341
55
The d700 contributes very little to photishop. You need raw brute cpu power for editing.
Is that the same for Lightroom? I thought it's all the GPU?

When I say sluggish, I mean that it drop crazy frames when I pan the photo when zoomed in.
 

MMcCraryNJ

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2012
265
42
FFS! :eek: Put another way, it's like buying an entry level nMP and getting a free 5K display.
I'll disagree with you there, and I think there is a ton of oversimplification going on when describing the differences or specs of both machines.

The big difference to me is the thermal constraints of the iMac. You're going to hit the point of the system throttling back a lot faster on the iMac than you would the nMP. Which is exactly the reason the iMac is seen as a consumer or prosumer machine, vs the professional/workstation-grade usage of the nMP.

If you're doing work which taxes the CPU for long periods of time, you'll benefit from the nMP so much more than the iMac. When you get an iMac screaming for 3, 4, 5+ hours of intense work, you're going to throttle down. Especially since the design of the iMac in general doesn't allow for great airflow and cooling, and even more so since they decided to make it as thin as possible.

Of course some users will never hit the thermal constraints of the iMac, which makes the machine great for them. For the others that do, or for people who simply benefit from more cores, the nMP is still the best machine. All boils down to usage patterns, and if some people who have the nMP are wishing they had this machine instead, they probably didn't need the nMP to begin with, IMO.

Bottom line, one isn't "better" than the other, they are two different machines that suit different people differently.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
I'll disagree with you there, and I think there is a ton of oversimplification going on when describing the differences or specs of both machines.

The big difference to me is the thermal constraints of the iMac. You're going to hit the point of the system throttling back a lot faster on the iMac than you would the nMP. Which is exactly the reason the iMac is seen as a consumer or prosumer machine, vs the professional/workstation-grade usage of the nMP.

If you're doing work which taxes the CPU for long periods of time, you'll benefit from the nMP so much more than the iMac. When you get an iMac screaming for 3, 4, 5+ hours of intense work, you're going to throttle down. Especially since the design of the iMac in general doesn't allow for great airflow and cooling, and even more so since they decided to make it as thin as possible.

Of course some users will never hit the thermal constraints of the iMac, which makes the machine great for them. For the others that do, or for people who simply benefit from more cores, the nMP is still the best machine. All boils down to usage patterns, and if some people who have the nMP are wishing they had this machine instead, they probably didn't need the nMP to begin with, IMO.

Bottom line, one isn't "better" than the other, they are two different machines that suit different people differently.
I agree with you that the two machines are going to be very different under extended loads. The iMac will sound like a Dyson and throttle sooner... No doubt. However, there are a lot of work loads (like photo work) that never peg the CPU for extended periods. Photography requires occasional bursts of performance... Not maxed-out for minutes or hours on end. Only when I'm running Handbrake to convert movies for my iPad do I run the CPU balls out for minutes or hours.

This new iMac is the ultimate photography workstation. Bar none. I'm actually jealous. I'm going to need a 4K display soon or I'm going to be tempted to switch. I can't comment on other types of work, but design, illustration, software or web dev are other tasks for which this new iMac seems ideal. The nMP is obviously still king when it comes to highly threaded tasks, but I'm not even sure it has much of an advantage on GPU intensive tasks now given Apple only allows one of them to be used for compute and one for pixel pushing anyway.
 

Faymus Media

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2014
2
0
I am trying to decide between the new iMac, or the macpro. I use resolve alot for cinema DNG and raw editing and need the power, but also encode h.264 in FCPX as my final delivery in 4k.

I am heavy into video and photo editing.

Here is the machine I plan to buy monday.

8-core 3ghz
32gb ddr3
dual d700's 12gb gddr5
1tb SSD flash drive
thunderbolt 2.5k display while i wait for the 5k thunderbolt to arrive.


Any thoughts?
 

edry.hilario

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
815
0
I am trying to decide between the new iMac, or the macpro. I use resolve alot for cinema DNG and raw editing and need the power, but also encode h.264 in FCPX as my final delivery in 4k.

I am heavy into video and photo editing.

Here is the machine I plan to buy monday.

8-core 3ghz
32gb ddr3
dual d700's 12gb gddr5
1tb SSD flash drive
thunderbolt 2.5k display while i wait for the 5k thunderbolt to arrive.


Any thoughts?
Same here I need an computer for heavy video editing and photo editing, Im going with either the 6 core or quad core with d500s or do you guys think i should get one of those new imacs?
 

rueyloon

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2013
171
11
Same here I need an computer for heavy video editing and photo editing, Im going with either the 6 core or quad core with d500s or do you guys think i should get one of those new imacs?
I do video for a living, go with at least the 8. We have the 6 in the office, it is not powerful enough to work comfortably.
 

violst

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2012
339
161
I think the new 5K iMac makes the 4-core nMP a tough sell. If apple can fit all that tech into the new iMac for $2499 then they should be able to adjust the nMP price point to make the 6-core their entry system and have an 8, 10 and 12 core option to round out the line. The absence of the 10-core Xeon IMO is greatly missed.

Apple likes its ecosystem to have a built in display. And the nMP and the mini don't fit that description and they are the two macs that get the least amount of love from apple. What they did to the mini is not unlike what they did to the nMP. the Mini now no longer has a 4-core i7 option only a dual, why would apple do that, it makes no sense? similar to making the nMP only a single socket machine. For some reason they having knowingly handicapped both machines?
 

Faymus Media

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2014
2
0
once the thunderbolt 5k display comes out for $1299 it will be an amazing setup.

The R9 M295x has 3.5 teraflops, to drive display 5k and edit. So I bet it only has about 2 terflops left for editing. Macpro has 7+ teraflops, so 3.5 for 3 4k displays/5k retina displays. Then another 3.5 for editing. I guess it is a more powerful machine.
 

edry.hilario

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
815
0
so would you recommend the Mac Pro if you're doing heavy video editing? like for example quad core with d700? or quad core is too low?
 

CodeJingle

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
578
208
Greater Seattle, WA
Actually, the new iMac is an amazing machine for the money...

It offers the fastest single-core CPU money can buy with the 4GHz i7 Quad.
Fastest single-core? Did you mean fastest single-cpu? nMP is single-cpu also. You can't compare workstation cpu / gpu with non-workstation cpu / gpu, they are not the same category. It is like comparing apples to oranges. My favorite part of the nMP is the 6 Thunderbolt ports.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Fastest single-core? Did you mean fastest single-cpu? nMP is single-cpu also. You can't compare workstation cpu / gpu with non-workstation cpu / gpu, they are not the same category. It is like comparing apples to oranges. My favorite part of the nMP is the 6 Thunderbolt ports.
I mean fastest single-core performance.

There's a good run-down on the differences here...
http://www.marco.org/2014/10/16/retina-imac-vs-mac-pro
 

menano

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2011
127
37
Neverland
I have a 6-core nMP and no iMac could ever make me regret buying it. I work with film, animation and photography, and honestly the only problem is some software not being able to tap into this beast's full potential. I haven't even come close to pushing it on a day-to-day situation. I have a TB display and I would be a fool to complain. It's just a brilliant combination.

The real question is what do you need, and what can you afford. If you can, go with the mac pro. It's extremely upgradeable, has 2 GPUs, fastest SSD on the market, RAM up till 128GB. And the beauty is you can upgrade it as you need or can afford to.

As to the setup, the main things to consider are the CPU and the GPUs. The GPUs are apparently not upgradeable so you want to go with the best you can afford (I got D500 which is more than enough). The CPU is upgradeable, but very expensive to do so, few options available - also keep in mind: more cores means less power per core. You want to get a balanced machine. More cores doesn't necessarily mean more power.

I hope this information helped. Please don't hesitate to ask anything!
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,136
3,756
La Jolla, CA
I'll disagree with you there, and I think there is a ton of oversimplification going on when describing the differences or specs of both machines.

The big difference to me is the thermal constraints of the iMac. You're going to hit the point of the system throttling back a lot faster on the iMac than you would the nMP. Which is exactly the reason the iMac is seen as a consumer or prosumer machine, vs the professional/workstation-grade usage of the nMP.

If you're doing work which taxes the CPU for long periods of time, you'll benefit from the nMP so much more than the iMac. When you get an iMac screaming for 3, 4, 5+ hours of intense work, you're going to throttle down. Especially since the design of the iMac in general doesn't allow for great airflow and cooling, and even more so since they decided to make it as thin as possible.

Of course some users will never hit the thermal constraints of the iMac, which makes the machine great for them. For the others that do, or for people who simply benefit from more cores, the nMP is still the best machine. All boils down to usage patterns, and if some people who have the nMP are wishing they had this machine instead, they probably didn't need the nMP to begin with, IMO.

Bottom line, one isn't "better" than the other, they are two different machines that suit different people differently.
This is my conundrum.
I love my MacPro 12 core but the iMac 5k looks interesting because of course the amazing display. Mostly of my work is about Photoshop working with hugh files. That's why the 5k monitor looks so appealing to me.
If I maxed out the iMac, I will be spending around $4k and wonder if that is going to give me a close performance as of a nMP at similar price point.

What really makes me wonder if an iMac is worth it because the AIO configuration. I current have my 30" ACD for several years and still a workhorse and perfect. I would hate to get rid of this 5K display because the innards of the iMac will be outdate in few years but the display amazing still.
 

CodeJingle

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
578
208
Greater Seattle, WA
I mean fastest single-core performance.

There's a good run-down on the differences here...
http://www.marco.org/2014/10/16/retina-imac-vs-mac-pro
Oh ok I get it. That was a limitation on Intel's side, their fastest server cpu is not as fast as their fastest non-server cpu, I mean ghz for ghz. But again the comparison is tough to make. For example one of the reason server cpu and server gpu costs more is because they have been through more testing before being shipped. So in terms of compatibility there are more guarantees made.