Imac i7 or Mac pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Enny5, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. Enny5 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Hi guy I I am looking in to buying new machine. But i am bit puzzled what to get Mac pro ( Refurbished Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon dd3) or Imac quad core i7 2.9ghz. I will be using this machine for educational purposes motion design (cinema 4d After effects and editing (Final cut, motion, apple color). so it has to last me for at least 3 years and maybe do some bussness in near future. In my case i will need rendering speed and connectivity. I really love the Imac because of the display and the speed but i am only limited to fire wire 800, i know that in new imac you can install esata port (at OWC) but it is major operation and it might void the warranty of the machine. I will defiantly be working with HD footage and FCP mixing live footage with cg in the near future. Can you please answer me some questions before i spend money.

    1- How much difference is there in rendering speed when it come to Imac I7 2.9 quad core and Mac pro quad core 2.6? According to mac world Imac gets 225 and mac pro gets 203 in Speedmark 6 tests will i notice the difference between those two machines when using Cineam 4d and after effects

    2- I will be using FCP and working with HD files when it comes to raid what is my option here? how do i connect external HD raid to my Mac esata or firevire? what are option here to get best speed? on the budget?

    3- If i go with Refurbished Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon dd3 how old is this machine? how long will be upgradable? is it better to get Imac since it is new machine. Which one will last me longer?

    4- Does apple motion and color use cpu or video card power?

    5- I will buy apple cinema display 27 inch or should i invest this money and get faster Refurbished Mac Pro 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon dd3.

    6- when it comes to how many layers i can have on a FCP time line does this depends on hard drive speed raid or cpu power.

    7- Should i go with DDr3 or ddr2?

    What would you guys do in my case?

    Thanks for your help
  2. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    TBH, there won't be that large of a difference. The real question you should be asking yourself is if you value a 27" display over added upgradability.

    The only options with the iMac are FW800, USB, or ethernet. RAID is where the Mac Pro really shines through, as an internal SATA connection trumps all three of those options. You also have the option of adding a PCIe RAID card if software-based isn't enough for you.

    The 2.66 GHz model came out in March of 2009, and will be upgradable as long as the current models. They are essentially the same machines, but with swapped CPUs. Because of the upgradability, the Mac Pro will probably last longer.

    There are some tasks in Motion that use the CPU, but most of it is GPU intensive. The default GPU is better with the iMac, but you could easily throw an upgraded card into the MP.

    Just as in the MP vs. iMac arguments, you won't likely notice that small of a clock boost. The money would be better spent on a good display...I'd recommend against the ACD 27" in favor of a used 30" Dell panel (~$700 used)

    In either machine, you don;t have much of a choice. They both use DDR3 @1066 MHz (with the Mac Pro being ECC desktop-sized). IIRC You can technically use DDR2 RAM in the 2009 Mac Pro, but there aren't any benefits performance-wise.
  3. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    That's not quite accurate. The iMac comes with DDR3 1333MHz RAM, and the Mac Pro comes with DDR3 1066MHz ECC, but can accept DDR3 1333MHz ECC if you buy it from somewhere else.

    I personally had this issue recently, and I decided that I'd rather have the expandability / upgradability, better graphics card and choice of a matte screen with the Mac Pro over the iMac, despite it being very powerful and very nice-looking.
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    The speed of memory you get in a 2010 Mac Pro is based on the factory memory spec of the particular Intel CPU.

    The 4- and 8-core models use CPUs (W3530, W3565, E5620) that call for 1066MHz memory, whereas the 6- and 12-core models (W3680, X5650, X5670) call for 1333MHz memory.
  5. rmoore08 macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2009
    I was debating the same thing. I would love a MacPro for the upgradability, but then I'd have to buy another monitor, and it would just be really expensive... so I'm leaning towards the iMac right now.
  6. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    I worried about the cost of a 27" moitor but ended up going for 2 22" monitors and am so happy. £300 for both including DVI leads. And i can rotate them into a portrait angle.
  7. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    I'm leaning towards getting the Apple LED Cinema Display... it has the contrast performance that I want and it just really looks the part! Expensive, but cheaper than others in it's class!

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