Imac i7 or Mac pro 8 core 3.2 gz?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Enny5, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Enny5 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Hi guys i am about to purchase my first Mac just because of FCP. i am editor/designer by trade and i would like to learn FCP and its lovely apple color . i will be using this machine for color correction and rendering with programs such as Cinema 4d After effects and some real flow.

    I will be mostly editing in HD and HDV. Should i go with Imac or mac pro. The only reason i am thinking Imac is because of the screen since i cant afford color correction monitors closes thing would be imac screen since is HD. Is there major difference in DDR2 and DDR3. My only concern that FCP apple color cant handle hd editing and hd color correction on apple color
    Any advice would help. and how can i tell if this mac pro is this year model or 2 year model

    Thanks guys

    Mac Pro 8-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (2 x 1GB) of 800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
    500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    Two 16x SuperDrives (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (two dual-link DVI ports)

    Or new Imac i7 with 12 gb memory
  2. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    The iMac screen, while very nice (people where I live have one), some people say that outside of a light-controlled environment that it isn't too awesome for colour-correction. Not to mention if you want colour-correction you will have to buy a calibrator on top of a display - if you're just looking for IPS displays, HP, Dell, and others have some affordable options. NEC makes excellent monitors for the money and are a good step up from the first rung of IPS displays, although they'll command a higher premium.

    Technically, yes - but the iMac uses RAM in dual-channel anyways which negates some of the speed improvements DDR3 will offer. The processor architecture will use RAM more efficiently on the iMac then the MacPro, but its limited to expensive SO-DIMMs where you might be able to save money on the MacPro with FB-DIMMs, and at the end of the day you can probably put more RAM in the Pro then the iMac.

    The answer lies within ;) The 800 MHz FB-DIMMs give away that this is a 2008 system.

    I would take this machine over the iMac, even with the low RAM - far more expandable of a system, and the ability to use a RAID will be a boon for working with HD and higher-resolution film (2K, etc) that requires massive throughput. You need to invest in more RAM, a nice display, and some more HDs and you will have a system that is leaps and bounds past the iMac; when you start waiting for footage to render it will all become clear. Not to mention the i7 iMac's turbo-boost might increase processor performance slightly, but it won't compare to the always-on performance of the Xeons (part number escapes me) and you have two of them.

    Of course, that's just my opinion; I could be insanely wrong on one of these points and not realize it.
  3. Enny5 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010

    Thanks for the info, i mean i can go and get right now and save some money around 600. This mac or imac i will be mainly used for learning such as FCP and cinema 4d so what i was thinking imac is get imac i7 2 terabyte external HD but i cant aford new high end monitor for color correction i mean i can hardily afford this Imac. But my conern is hd editing what type of hd can i edit on imac just for personal projects.

    i can alos get Mac Pro/8-core 2.8GHz Xeon / 14 GIG RAM for 3000
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It sounds like you'd be better off with the additional cores of the '08 3.2GHz Octad.

    There is a difference with the memory between the two systems (memory controller is on the CPU in the '09 systems, including the iMac you're looking at = additional bandwidth, especially in triple chanel mode, which the iMac can't even do), but so far, there's precious little software that can utilize it anyway, and what you're using can't.

    You also have the ability to run RAID, upgrade graphics cards, and select better monitors.

    NEC would be a good balance of price/performance for what you're trying to do. They are a bit on the expensive side, but try to find a refurbished unit/s 9what I did, and it's fine). I did opt for an extended warranty though, as the refurb warranty is shorter than that of a new unit.

    And you'd probably want a calibrator anyway, iMac or separate monitors.
  5. Raytrace macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2010
    I was just facing this question myself and ultimately decided on the MP, same as the one you're considering. I'm now running two 24" HP IPS monitors and added 16 Gigs of RAM and it just hums right along.

    I love all the USB and Firewire ports available and of course the key word here is expandability!

    I too was (and am) very temped by the big powerful iMac but when it comes to HD video production AND color correction, the only way to go IMO is the Mac Pro.

    BTW, Check this out:

    8 core 2008 mac at
  6. Enny5 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    What about this

    Hi guys me again what do you think about this configuration Over new Imac i7
    I can get this machine for 2000 or imac for 2600 with apple care. I know imac comes with nice screen. But my main reason is rendering speed would this mac pro early edition be as fast as Imaci7 i mean what is the difference?
    One idea i love about mac pro is expandability but my question is will i be able to upgrade my video card i know that some early models wont take just any video card would this be the one?


    Model Number: MA970LL/A, MA970LL / A
    Key Features:
    Processor Xeon Quad Core 2.80 GHz x2 (Eight Cores Total)
    Installed Memory 4 GB (DDR2 SDRAM)
    Operating System: Apple MacOS X 10.5
    HDD Size: 320 GB
    Video card: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB single-link DVI/Dual-link DVI
    Processor Type: Xeon Quad Core
    Processor Speed: 2.80 GHz
    Processor Manufacturer: Intel
    Processor Upgradability: Upgradable
    Installed Qty.: 2
    Bus Speed: 1600 MHz
    Video Output Interface: PCI Express

    RAM Technology DDR2 SDRAM
    Installed RAM 4 GB
    Max Supported RAM 16 GB
    Supported RAM speeds 800 MHz
    Installed Video Memory 256 MB
    Technical Features
    Integrated Input/Output Ports: FireWire (IEEE1394a) x 2, FireWire (IEEE1394b) x 2, RJ45 Lan Port x 2, USB 1.1 x 2, USB 2.0 x 5
    Other Features: 64bit Ready
    Hard Drive
    Hard Drive Interface Serial ATA II
    Hard Drive Capacity 320 GB
    Hard Drive Rotation Speed 7,200 RPM
    Storage Controller Type Serial ATA
    CD / DVD
    CD / DVD Type DVD±RW Dual Layer/CD-RW
    Audio / Video

    More Intel
    The Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.8 (Early 2008) is powered by two 2.8 GHz Quad Core 45-nm Intel Xeon E5462 (Harpertown/Penryn) processors with 12 MB of level 2 cache per processor (each pair of cores shares 6 MB), a 128-bit SSE4 SIMD vector engine, and 1.6 GHz "64-bit dual independent frontside buses." Via custom configuration, this model could be equipped with a single 2.8 GHz Quad Core Xeon E5462 processor, two 3 GHz Quad Core Xeon E5472 processors, or two 3.2 GHz Quad Core Xeon X5482 processors.

    By default, it was configured with 2 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 EEC "fully-buffered" FB-DIMM memory, a 320 GB (7200 RPM, 8 MB cache) 3Gb/s Serial ATA hard drive, a double-layer 16X "SuperDrive", and an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics processor with 256 MB of GDDR3 memory and two dual-link DVI ports.

    Expansion includes two external 5.25" "optical" bays (one free by default), four internal 3.5" "cable-free, direct attach" hard drive bays (three free by default), two PCIe x4 slots, and two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots (one free with one graphics card installed). Ports include dual Gigabit Ethernet, five USB 2.0 ports, two Firewire "400" ports, two Firewire "800" ports, and optical digital audio in/out, among others. Bluetooth 2.0+EDR is standard, AirPort Extreme (802.11g/n) and a modem are optional.

    Compared to the original Mac Pro that it replaced, the Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.8 uses a more advanced architecture with faster and more efficient processors with larger level 2 caches, a more advanced vector engine, faster frontside buses (1.6 GHz instead of 1.33 GHz), faster memory (800 MHz instead of 667 MHz), support for optional faster Serial Attached SCSI drives (with the installation of the Mac Pro RAID card), and two 16-lane PCIe 2.0 slots.
  7. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    What would it take for the iMac to be able to utilize triple channel mode, and how can I find out what kind of applications benefit from this?
  8. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    The iMac's motherboard just can't do triple channel mode.
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It's impossible. The LGA1156 parts memory controller is dual channel only.

    It's not actually the board that's the limitation, but the CPU itself. One of the DDR3 channels was elliminated to reduce both the production cost (fewer transistors), and the pin count (smaller package size = more parts per wafer). This makes for a cheaper manufacturing cost (as well as makes it easier to fit on a smaller board).
  10. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    Thanks for the correction. I learnt something new. :)

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