Hypothetical position ATM; 2012 iMac or 2012 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jeremy M., Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Jeremy M. macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2012
    I hear all these rumors at the moment that the Mac Pro may be getting an update! I am assuming the iMac as well shall be updated but now this leaves me in a small pickle: what should I buy for my recording studio?

    If I get the iMac 2012 model, I will max it out with additional SSD. It will cost around 3 grand here in Australia.
    If I was to spend the same amount of money on a Mac pro, and add an additional monitor, would this come out with much faster machine?

    I know I know, they haven't been released yet but we know the iMac will (hopefully) come with an ivy bridge and the Mac pro with sandy bridge Xeon processors.

    So guys, the ultimate question is this: will a 3 grand iMac be much slower than a Mac Pro with their updated processors?

    All opinions matter, thanks!
  2. kitsunestudios macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2012
    At the 3 grand level, probably not. If you look at the Geekbench scores for the 2010 27 inch i7 iMac and the entry level 2010 Mac Pro, the iMac is actually a little faster. I'm guessing it'll be the same way this time as well, given the benchmarks on the e5.

    The real benefit of the Mac Pro at that price range is not power, but future proofing. Easy video card or hard drive upgrades, PCI expansion for super-fast SSD storage or new ports, and potentially even a processor upgrade.

    Geekbench scores:

    E5 benchmarks (dual 3.1 high-end quad cores vs. i7 hexacore)

  3. Jeremy M. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2012
    Thankyou very much!

    It seems the benefits are dramatic after around the 6 grand mark (for the cores).
    So my situation has a simple answer: pay 2x more for almost twice the power, or pay the price I am and get an iMac. Thanks!
  4. Code001 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2006
    If you're comparing the 3k iMac (basically a maxed out iMac) and a Mac Pro, I think the iMac would be the better buy. I work in Logic quite a bit, and I've had both systems. In the past, I would have said that, yes, the Mac Pro is the way to go. With today's setups, I honestly feel that the iMac will get you there better than the Mac Pro will. The Mac Pro has the overall hardcore processing power over the iMac, but most recording applications don't seem to utilize that processing power effectively. Sure, you'll notice the cores getting lit up during bounces, but that processing power is better left for the guys doing video work. For audio guys, more RAM is actually what seems to matter more than anything else.

    If you were to buy the iMac, not only would you get a great 27'' screen with a real resolution, but you'd also have some extra money for nice outboard gear, assuming we're factoring in an iMac vs just the Mac Pro i.e. needing to buy a monitor for the Mac Pro. The converters in today's higher end USB/Firewire preamps are pretty awesome, and I don't find myself needing a computer with PCI slots anymore. Load an iMac up with as much RAM as possible, add an SSD for a boot drive, get a nice pre and I'm sure you'll be more than satisfied. Most of the audio engineers I hang out tend to buy the iMacs over the Mac Pros today, so I'm not the only one who feels this way. The Mac Pros are better left to the guys who need to do serious video or 3D work.

    All IMO, of course.
  5. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    If you only do audio work, at this point the Mac Pro is overkill. An iMac with plenty of RAM should serve you just fine. We have a 2009 Pro in our studio that's getting replaced soon and the high end iMac looks like where we're going. It eliminates some clutter and still has plenty of power.

    If you're doing video as well, then the Pro makes sense. HD rendering takes forever so the more power you have the better. We use a separate machine for that though, so iMac is audio only.

    If there's no video, save the extra 3k and buy a new mic or some plug ins. They will be far more useful to your studio than the extra horsepower in the Pro.
  6. Christianatkins macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2013
    My computer is in my living room studio

    This is all awesome info dude. You may have a couple of answers for me...

    I just grabbed a 27"imac with 2.9 ghz, 32 GB RAM and custom modified it to have a 3 TB Fusion drive.

    I will be using two giant orchestra libraries (Albion III Iceni and Cinematic Strings 2). Is what I am about to open up out of the box going to cut it in logic pro 9?

    All answers, just like the original post says, are welcome.

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