Imac 27 i7 or One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem”

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by frocco, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. frocco macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009

    I cannot afford the MP & 27" apple monitor,
    so I was thinking of the One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” and a cheap 24" monitor until I have the funds.

    How would this be vs the imac 27" i7?

    I do some gaming and web development.

  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    The 27" iMac would suffice your gaming needs, unless you need to have a better desktop GPU and must use a Mac Pro therefore.

    Your other stated need can be even done with a Mac mini and a big or two big external display(s).

    What kind of games are you into and what settings do you want to play them at?
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The i7 would actually be faster for you, if only slightly. No need for the mac pro for games.
  4. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    The Mac Pro has a much stronger video card.

    Having owned both iMacs and Mac Pros, I'd go for the Mac Pro any day of the week.
  5. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    The iMac can have a 5750 at best; the 5870 you can get in a Mac Pro is significantly faster, plus it can (probably...) be upgraded still more in the future without having to replace the machine.

  6. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    I don't think so. What matters most for games is the GPU and either Mac Pro GPU options at 1GB will be superior to that of the HD 5670 at 512MB I would naturally assume.

    Top that off with the Mac Pro pushing 1920x1200/1080p on the 24" vs. the iMac 27" GPU struggling to push 2560x1440 and I think for games at least, you'll find better performance on the MP.

    Add to the fact you can upgrade the Mac Pro GPU later as well.

    I vote for Mac Pro as well.
  7. oilfighter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Mac Pro has the potential of having better video card
    it's cheaper to add SSD
    much easier to add HDD
    You can get 2 x 24inch monitor for the price of a 27inch.

    imac is cooler looking though.
  8. stix666 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2005
    I was faced with this choice. Just ordered the Mac pro in the end. I like the idea of having fast internal easily swappable hard drives. I think the CPU will be upgradeable if I need the extra speed later on. I have space for it too. It works out £500 more expensive (including ssd and led cinema display) but the RAM, hard drives and GPU are easy to upgrade.

    Ordered yesterday, should be coming today :D
  9. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    I see the imac (i7) as a VERY good but also purposefully flawed computer.

    I believe Apple has intentionally designed the imac so that it is a simple and closed device. If you need IO/expandability the MP is the only way to go.

  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Amen to that.
  11. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    That is a good point, although the i7 iMac has a "5750" which is actually a mobility 5850 with 1GB. Still a good point for games though, if the OP is a serious gamer.
  12. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    I actually had this exact dilemma today when choosing what to get. Eventually I went for the Mac Pro;

    2.8Ghz Quad-Core Xeon
    6Gb Ram
    2Tb HDD

    Expandability - If for some reason I wanted to;
    Add more RAM
    Add a new/more HDDs
    Would like to add an SSD
    Add/Replace with better GFX card

    ..then I don't have to sell the entire machine, I can just upgrade it.

    If the HDD fails, I can replace it.

    I was a little concerned about the possibility of the iMac getting knocked over, which was probably unwarranted, but the Mac Pro would be on the floor, so that's not so easy to move.

    Also, this way, you can get a matte screen!

    If you compare the two, the iMac initially looks like the obvious choice;

    2.93Ghz i7 - fater than the 2.8Ghz Xeon
    8Gb RAM @ 1333Mhz - cheaper than the 8Gb RAM for the Mac Pro, which also only runs at 1066Mhz
    The SSD option for the Mac Pro is almost daylight robbery too.
    And all of this, for less money!


    It depends what you want it for really; I personally like to use gaming as a benchmark; though I don't game much myself, it's one of the most demanding things you can do, so a machine that's well-rounded enough should be fine, and to me, the iMac, whilst a beautiful machine, is a big MacBook Pro.

    What I will actually be using it for is Music Production and Visuals in VDMX, which is CPU and GPU intensive respectively, so this machine personally would suit me better.
  13. stix666 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2005
    Well balls to this! The FireWire bus is hosed. And the box looked like it may have been opened prior to my receiving it

    Order cancelled - not really feeling the love for :apple: right now :mad:
  14. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Sign! I'll take my matte 21" Eizo over Apples 27" mirror any day. Gaming sucks on these mirror screens. Many games have a dark atmosphere with night sequences etc., like Batman Arkham Asylum, Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Left for Dead, ..., if you are not in a completely dark room you'll constantly wonder if that's an enemy or a reflection hiding back there. Plus the Mac Pro has a way better, upgradeable desktop gpu.
  15. frocco thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009
    I am wondering if I wpuld be happy with the entry level MP and a 300 dollar monitor over the 27" imac i7.

    I also thought about getting a 1300.00 PC Desktop and a macbook pro 13"

    Then I could game on the PC and run some cool software on the mac.
  16. wacomme macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2009
    Like the OP, I'm having trouble deciding between these two machines too. I'm not a gamer, but a part-time photographer - use Aperture and Photoshop. Other than this, I do a lot of web surfing and oftentimes have 8-10 apps running at once.

    I have a nice 30" NEC monitor and a PowerPC G5 currently.
  17. UltimaLink macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    Somewhere in PA.
    Think of it this way.

    Mac Pros specs
    Xeon core, which is the exact same as an i7, just branded differently, anyone else that says differently has no idea what they're talking about. I even talked to someone that works for Apple and they said the i7 iMac and the Quad Mac Pro are the same.
    3 gigs of ram
    640 gig HDD

    iMacs specs
    Xeo- I mean i7
    4 gigs of ram
    1 TB HDD

    Now, tell me, is the GPU worth an extra thousand or so?

    Also, you only get 3 gigs of ram and a little more than half the storage.

    Go with the iMac.
  18. lazy4u macrumors newbie


    Oct 30, 2010
    i orded a 2010 mac pro 2.8ghz quad-core with the 5870 graphics card. im only want a computer for: watching blue ray movies( ill have to buy a blu ray driver for mac),multi tabling online poker sites, web browsing and gaming.( does mac support sli or crossfire?)Should i have gone with the alien desktop computer with 2 5870's with a 6core for about the same price $2500-2900. i still have 3 days to cancel order. please give insites.( first ever computer perchase)
  19. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    OS X does not support Blu Ray playback. You'd have to rip and encode before watching, which you can do in OS X with a Blu Ray drive. You cannot Crossfire or SLI video cards. Don't get a Mac Pro for serious gaming. The 5870 is a fantastic card, but you can build a better gaming box for much cheaper as a PC. Plus, Apple is very slow in releasing new cards for future upgrades.

    Although, as your first computer purchase, building may not be an option. Based on your uses, it sounds like you're going overkill. You can get a cheaper PC still, but if you want OS X, the Mac Pro will definitely serve you well as long as you understand the limitations I already mentioned.
  20. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    having made this decision myself all of 4 days ago, I have to say, loving my Mac Pro (I did get the Cinema Display, and it supports it fantastically, better, as said above, than the i7 iMac manages too).
  21. lazy4u macrumors newbie


    Oct 30, 2010
    Well i decided to get the 3.2 Nehalem with the 5870. Hopefully they will get cross fire working.(under windows at least).
  22. Aronis macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2011
    Just curious as everyone else seemed to ignore your post.

    What happened with your new computer?

  23. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Probably because it's not relevant to the thread?

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