iMac/Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by phade, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. phade macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #1
    Hello,

    I've been lurking around for quite some time here. A little background on me real quick to give the complete perspective.

    I do graphic design and programming for a company in San Fran. and just recently got an iMac (27" Base 2011) at work. I was using a custom PC at the house (i7 12gb's ram ETC. However it is the first series of the i7. An i7 920.) On that machine I was previously using I had it setup as a hackintosh. Anyway after getting the job I was allowed to get an iMac and again I got the base 27" with 12gb's of memory. I love the machine works great. Does pretty well with After Effects and other renders I do occasionally.

    Now my question is for myself (personal/personal work) should I get an iMac or a Mac Pro? I'm quite use to having a desktop that I can upgrade (5 years of my life I was in I.T. and those are quite recent years.) It's hard to commit to a All In One. However will it fit what I currently do? Should I not get the Mac Pro since it isn't any benefit over what i'm trying to do?

    Quick background on what i'd use it for. I'm a photographer and videographer. I use a Canon 5D and 7D and we know that uses a less than friendly codec for editing. However I use the CS Masters Suite which helps a bit since my current PC has a mercury friendly GPU. I will be planning to switch to FCP X when it is released (I heard the 7th of this month?). I do quite a bit of color correction and other things in After Effects and end up rendering quite a bit of footage which can take forever to do on about any machine.

    I would also like a way to hook up a broadcast monitor to the machine but haven't found the means to do so. Even if it's just using a Matrox adapter to calibrate it correctly however I'm not sure what I could use otherwise to do so. I know of no box that will allow me to output to a broadcast monitor (bnc or the like).

    What are your thoughts? I want to make the switch for my personal work to a Mac but want to future proof myself appropriately. The Mac Pro is quite expensive and I'd be lying if I said I don't want the nice 27" monitor to go along with it. However that's not in the budget. Anyway. iMac or Mac Pro is the question.

    Thanks!
     
  2. DannyBres macrumors 65816

    DannyBres

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Id say iMac if you dont need the 6/12 core capabilityies of the MacPro.

    The 3.4 i7 in the new iMac is a very powerful and with 2 thunderbolt ports and the ability to hold 16GB of Memory and an internal SSD, the iMac is more expandible than ever.

    You can power 2 30" monitors natively in addition to the 27" iMac screen.

    and you have 2 10GB/S I/O ports for all your file storage and transfer needs..... that it should last 5 years!
     
  3. Bat6111, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    actually, the iMac can hold the ram up to 32GB in the near future when the price goes down. for me personally, I select the iMac because its more flexible like what I do. such as I have 3 iMac (2 of 2010 and 1 of 2011) connected them together via the Belkin Mini DVI to Mini DVI. I can swap the screen for the second and third and especially when I render my task. I can render them just only 1iMac (8 Cores) or 2iMacs (16 Cores) and 3iMacs (24 Cores). When I leave some of my iMacs render, I can use the screen as my workspace too (leave it render in the background and use the screen as a workspace)

    So, If you planed to have a render farm setup, I would suggest go with the iMac.

    :apple::apple::apple: Here is my setup so far :apple::apple::apple:
     

    Attached Files:

  4. CHSeifert, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

    CHSeifert macrumors 6502

    CHSeifert

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    #4
    WoW....just WoW

    Makes my dual 27" setup looks like nothing......

    Don't you mostly run the 2 in monitor mode to avoid having to fiddle with 3 keyboards and mice ?
     
  5. Bat6111, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

    Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    I usually run them as triple screen for my task. I am doing 3D job, so I really need a lot of space and a lot of cores for my render farm.
     
  6. phade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #6
    Quite impressive to say the least.

    I'll be using two 23" monitors with the iMac. It will be a 27" with heavily upgraded specs. I suppose at this point there is no reason to not go with an iMac. What kind of rendering are you doing and are the render times more than acceptable?

    Thanks everyone! Really great information.

    As a side note does anyone edit DSLR footage (h264) in Adobe CS? Will Premiere still play back in real time?
     
  7. Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    I am doing 3D, I mainly use Autodesk Maya for 3D and render it out from Maya to Nuke for compositing and finally edit it on Final Cut Pro. So, for render time in Maya is the slowest ever but yeah it depends on what shader i am using and also the image quality too.
     
  8. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #8

    Just out of curiosity, why'd you decide to go with iMacs instead of MacPros?
     
  9. Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    because I have already owned 2 iMacs and both iMacs are 2010 model. the latest one right at the middle is the 2011 one and it can share up to 3 screens. So, i decided to go with the iMac and all three screen look the same with the chin. Especially, I pay less money than get the MacPros and as I said I can leave both 2iMacs render as a background and use those 2iMacs screen as a workspace.

    Each iMac has their own 8cores (4 Cores and 4 from Hyperthreading) with 16GB of ram. also, the one at the center I still have 8cores (4 Cores and 4 from Hyperthreading) with 16GB of ram to work with.

    All 3 iMacs have a render farm setup and connected through the Gigabit Network.
     
  10. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #10
    The MacRumors Buyers Guide suggests that now is not a good time to buy a Mac Pro. It's late in the average cycle.

    http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_Pro

    So we are comparing today's iMac with yesterday's Mac Pro. If you feel like you on the brink of a Mac Pro, maybe you should wait for the Pro update and do the comparison then.

    (But I'm getting the iMac!)
     
  11. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #11
    Ah makes sense. That's a pretty sweet setup! Now I'm off to Google more about render farms.
     
  12. phade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #12
    Sounds like I could be waiting till late Q4 earlier Q1 of next year is that assumed to be correct?

    If so that's a large amount of time unfortunately while my machine is not bad I really want to gravitate towards FCP X. Could have great support for DSLR's (Hopefully...)

    My PC could get some money invested into it but i'm more than somewhat digging the iMac I have at work and really want to make the switch. I've been running the Mac OS on my machine at the house for about 5 months. It's about time I just make the switch i'm just worried it won't be the powerhouse I need it to be. In that regards my iMac would be spec'd with 16gb's of memory (12gb isn't enough regardless of saving $100 bucks) i7 and the 2GB video card (I game every now and then).

    Will this compared to a Mac Pro work out in my favor or not? Will I be that shoe horned into not being able to upgrade it will be a complete limiting factor in about 1 or 2 years?

    Generally with a desktop I rebuild the inside (Case DVD etc aren't useless in that amount of time). Which is really the equivalent of purchasing a new machine.

    I'm basically ordering tonight or not so I want to make a good decision. I've been trying to make it for about 2 months and it's time now. I just want it to be the best educated decision I can make though.

    I also almost want the Mac Pro since it's the "Pro" version which is lame too think. The iMac can be used professionally.. It's just that thing in the back of my head. Anyway.

    Anymore thoughts?
     
  13. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #13
    Apple is more of a consumer based company than a professional one. Case in point, look at the interface of FCPX. Everyone is nervous about it at work.

    I use the iMac as a "pro" video editor, the new models are really great machines. Top-line iMac should last you more than 2 years, in my opinion. I had this same debate (iMac or MP), but ultimately based my decision on the refresh time-frames and current specs.

    I could only afford the base model of the Mac Pro with a few upgrades. And the current iMacs perform better. If you play the waiting game with technology, you'll likely always be waiting. Q4/Q1 and the new Intel chips that Apple will use in the MP's are a ways away.
     
  14. Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    I agree with you bpeeps. For technology stuff, you really can not wait for it! Its like you go to Apple Store and purchase your machine. At the same time, your machine is outdated already there.

    So, if you plan to get a MacPros with the Hexacore, then go with it but If not just go with the iMac as bpeeps said "the base model of the Mac Pro with a few upgrades, the current iMacs perform better"
     
  15. phade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #15
    Thanks everyone!

    Fully customized 27" i7 getting ordered! Shows 2-4 days to get it built I think..boo I want it sooner! ;)

    And on the FCP front it's a bit worrisome that it should be out (7th?) shortly and not much more has surfaced. And what did scared some due to interface looks etc.

    I've editing with Premiere for the longest time so it will be a switch/change already trying out FCP. Let's hope it's decent however if not Adobe is next in line.

    Anyone have thoughts on if FCP X will be a hit or miss?
     
  16. Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    I have no idea about FCP X because its away too cheap. Im just waiting for the release of it because the preview of FCP X in Las Vegas. What they showed was amazing BUT they didn't mention about Motion Pro, SoundTrack Pro, Color etc. at all. Especially, they used these bundle when they showed on the stage.

    So, I still keep waiting for the release and see that they might sell these bundle separately.
     
  17. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #17
    FCPX is all anyone is talking about at work, we have about 20 Mac Pro workstations in-house (I work from home most of the time on my iMac). And our post-production manager is already prepping to upgrade everyone to X.

    The new features are exciting and looooong overdue. Background rendering, 64 bit and multi-core support, color-matching, magnetic tracks, metadata, etc. But the interface, is what will be the dealmaker or breaker for many professionals. The $299 price-tag and the iMovie interface all point to Apple wanting FCPX to be more universal in appeal, i.e. appeal to the consumers so we can make more money!

    I suppose change is hard for anyone to get used to. If the workflow of X makes it easier and faster to edit, then bring it on. But if the interface inhibits any of that, it could be a horrible disaster.
     
  18. phade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #18
    These are great points.

    I don't follow everyones business practices as in-depth as some however I believe Apple should know if their previous versions of FCP are $1000+ that they might sell more copies at a lower price... However they need to sell 5+ to equal one previous sale...

    So they might have sold less before but made the same amount. I tend to like the interface but if it becomes a gimmick in a sense it will be not very welcome. If it works well and I can get a great workflow going I see no reason not to use it.

    The color matching was great I would like to see it in practical use however. I suppose best/worse case scenario it might give a good base to work with in the color correcting phase. A lot is yet to be seen however though.

    Fairly excited to check it out and hopefully welcome what has been done with it. I love my Adobe products however editing hour long projects can be a nightmare and a bit unorganized when coming back to them later. Can make life miserable really. The grouping and things FCPX will do might make it good enough for that alone haha. The audio sync as well is high on my list...I love separate audio but it's such a pain to do at times...especially with a multi cam setup.

    Time will tell a lot.
     
  19. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #19
    Hi guys,
    here is something else to consider as a workstation + rendering farm:
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #20
    well, i just guess that Apple might sell it separately as a plug-in or additional software etc. such as FCP X $299, Color-Matching $199, Soundtrack Pro $299 etc.
     
  21. wangkom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #21
    wow, that looks nice. i was planning on going one iMac and 2 27" ACD. Can I ask what are you using to mount the iMacs? I want to get some arms for mine but haven't found one I like yet.
     
  22. Bat6111, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    Bat6111 macrumors member

    Bat6111

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #22
    Thanks,

    At first I was googling about the mount too and unfortunately, I couldn't find one. Then, I called the Chief Manufacturing (I had their product before when I used dual 2010 iMacs) and they said I have to use dual arm mount with this set up too. :eek:

    So, I ordered 2 of KTP225S and connect both arrays together with KTA1001 Series. You can't get a single arm set for triple screen because of the iMac or ACD have 27'' size and especially, the weight of triple iMacs or ACDs. You have to use dual arm mount and connect both arrays together. :D

    to attach the iMac or ACD to the array, you need to get the VESA MOUNT that cost $39 NOT $29. ;)

    here are some of the pics
     

    Attached Files:

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