imac or mac pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JInx3110, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. JInx3110 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2011
    HI guys I currently have the new BTO i7 iMac with a 2gb 6970m and just the standard 1tb hard drive. I use my computer for photo and web design/editing and use bootcamp to game (most recently swtor).

    I like gaming in high graphics and this is the first time as I've been a mac user since childhood. (apart from consoles)

    Anyway the reason for this post is that my company have need of my machine and have offered to give me more than its 2nd hand value towards a computer.

    I love apple and the op system so no (custom gaming pc's here thanks)

    Should I accept and get a mac pro base system with the 5870 and a MDP ACD?

    I know gaming with a desktop card like the 5870 will be an improvement on the 6970m but will it be much better really, I mean swtor is just poorly optimised its not a graphically heavy/intensive game. I want something that'l last and still play at native res on high graphics on the awesome 2560x1440p monster and the 6970m just about copes with the native res in swtor with max graphics and AA (30-40fps in wz and ilum pvp)

    And I suppose the biggest factor for this is will I be able to use the next generations of video cards in the current mac pro's

    And how much slower in real life is the naehlem 2.4ghz than the sandy bridge 3.4ghz? and could i make up the diff with a good SSD for holding my op's and games on?

    thanks in advance for your advice
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Then you probably will not want the iMac. iMac has i7-2600 but 6970m is a 6850 in mobile clothes. Have you ever seen a 6850 do high res on 2560x1440? Me neither. 5870 is roughly twice as fast and you can choose the your screen size to help cope with Apple's weak sauce GPU options. It can do a great job super high settings on all games up to 1920x1080 past that and the 1GB of memory starts to show as being too low. But all this tech is really old for gaming right now. Wait for refresh as Apple only usually offers 1 upgrade card every few years.
    Mac Pro base system Xeon is slower than your iMac i7. Only faster option is to go 3.33GHz hex or higher (but probably not needed as a 12-core 2.93GHz will game slower than the 3.33GHz 6-core) get the base 2.8GHz and upgrade to hex for $500-700.00 more dollars.
  3. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    First, I guess congratulations are in order if your employer is willing to buy your iMac from you. That's kind of cool.

    Second, you're in the Mac Pro section asking users if you should buy a Mac Pro. We're kind of a biased group. You'll probably get a lot of "Yes, buy the MP" comments here. If you posted in the iMac section, you'd get a lot of "Yes, buy the iMac" comments.

    If you buy the Mac Pro, i think these will be your only regrets.
    1) Cost. It is expensive. If money is cheap, then it isn't a problem.
    2) Bulk. The Mac Pro is big. If you're used to having the tidy little package on your desktop, then you're in for a surprise. The tower is heavy and you'll still need a monitor.

    If you buy the iMac, i think these will be your regrets.
    1) Constantly wondering if you could have had more.
    2) Lack of expandability. Want a new Hard Drive? Go to Apple. They use a proprietary connection. Want a new graphics card to play X? Go to Apple and buy a new iMac. Want more RAM? I hope you own a suction cup.

    Only you can make the decision.

    A few ideas:
    1) You could buy the Mac Pro. I believe you have 14 days to return it no questions asked. If you don't like it after a week, take it back and say you'd rather have an iMac.
    2) Sell your iMac. Use the money to buy the same spec'd iMac. Pocket the difference (you said they were offering more than market value).
    3) Tell them to buy their own computer. This one is yours.
  4. JInx3110 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2011
    first off thanks for the responses guys!

    I was just curious as I can confirm the 6970m does play swtor on max settings at native and achieve 35-40fps 100% You can also play crisis 1 at 1080p with all settings on high and achieve 40-60fps (high not very high). Which in my mind means the real world difference is going to be going from high settings to very high at 1080p with the 5870.

    In when I said market value thats second hand market value in other words they'll give me £1300 roughly in exchange.

    Money is reasonably tight but thats one of the reasons i think a mac pro would be better because I can upgrade as I go along and get more than the few years of gaming I will get from the iMac before I have to start playing everything in 1080p (which does not look nice) on the 27" display.

    If someone could confirm that the next set of graphics cards for the mac pros will be compatible with the current generation as well I think I'll be sold on the mac pro.
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    No one can do that unfortunately. We can break open .kext's and hint at what MIGHT be available as basic drivers exist but whether that means more mobile chips for the consumer lines or actual high end desktop cards will be available no-one knows. It is after all Apple, they have no roadmap for us. But do consider a 1,1 can use a 5870. So you should be OK if and when they upgrade the cards. If not it is OK by me as I will just have to slot a card for Win and use my 5870 for OS X. No big deal. Cluttered but not a deal breaker.
  6. JInx3110 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2011
    What is envolved in having say a 6970 or 7970 in for windows gaming and a 5870 in another slot for osx? can you have them both connected in such a way that the comp automatically use one card over the other depending on what opsys you boot into?

    Or will I have to swap the cards out every time?
  7. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    In principle, you'd just have to replug your display to the respective card. Windows-only cards are ignored in OS X.

    The problem you'd be facing in this scenario, however, is that the 5870 would occupy both of the additional graphics power sockets on the motherboard, so you wouldn't be able to use an additional graphics card without using an additional power supply unit.
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Unless you would want to swap power every switch you'd need an extra power supply. Especially if you want cards that have 8-pin connectors. I would then most likely run 2 screens (one for Win and one for OS X) or get a screen with dual DVI inputs and switch in the OSD what source. Not very elegant and I would much rather spend 200 premium to get the Apple card if they release at least the 7950/7970. Anything less is not an upgrade (or not worth it really) from my 5870.
  9. JInx3110, Mar 12, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012

    JInx3110 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2011
    Can the entry level mac pro support 1333mhz ram?
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yes, it can but the quad-core model CPUs (W3530 and W3565) themselves will only support 1066MHz RAM. So it would be pointless to buy 1333MHz RAM unless you were doing a hex swap (like the W3680/W3690).

    But at the same time, there's no harm in buying the 1333MHz RAM. It'll just clock down to 1066MHz on the quad-core CPUs.

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