iMac or Mac Pro?

Ursadorable

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Original poster
Jul 9, 2013
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So I priced out an i7 27" retina iMac with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3779

Then I priced out a quad core Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3979

The price difference is ridiculously narrow. Now honestly, 5K res is a little overkill and a nice 27" IPS HD monitor is fine.

How can Apple justify the price of the iMac being so high, that panel must be worth a heck of a lot.. and what advantage does it hold over buying a Mac Pro? Neither are really upgradable, which is why I'm still using my cMP... but I would like to update in the next year or so.
 

ivoruest

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
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Actually I think you're paying the most for the SSD rather than the screen. Also, what CPUs and GPUs are you selecting? It is not a very fair comparison you're making here.
 

Pakaku

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Aug 29, 2009
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Picking one or the other really depends on what you need. But with that said, I would personally pick a "modular" form over an "all-in-one" form, so the Mac Pro would be the obvious choice for me if the price differences were that narrow.

I don't think the Mac Pro price includes a monitor, at the least, so that's one key difference in the prices. That means not only is that iMac 200$ cheaper, but it's also a 5K screen with a Mac Mini stuffed inside. The Mac Pro is a standalone machine with no screen included. That might not matter as much to you if you're still using the same hardware from your old Mac Pro, but it's still not part of the new Mac Pro's overall price. Take away the average price of a 5K screen from the price of the iMac, and then you have a fairer comparison in prices.
 

pat500000

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Jun 3, 2015
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So I priced out an i7 27" retina iMac with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3779

Then I priced out a quad core Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3979

The price difference is ridiculously narrow. Now honestly, 5K res is a little overkill and a nice 27" IPS HD monitor is fine.

How can Apple justify the price of the iMac being so high, that panel must be worth a heck of a lot.. and what advantage does it hold over buying a Mac Pro? Neither are really upgradable, which is why I'm still using my cMP... but I would like to update in the next year or so.
I wouldn't exactly say nMP is not upgradable. I posted once about how to upgrade ssd from OWC. What exactly are you tying to upgrade with nMP? GPU?
 

Ursadorable

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The GPUs are pretty much locked in to Apple's finite offerings.. I doubt anyone is going to come out with an nVidia card for the nMP for example.

The nMP seems like it would have the higher longevity.
 

pat500000

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The GPUs are pretty much locked in to Apple's finite offerings.. I doubt anyone is going to come out with an nVidia card for the nMP for example.

The nMP seems like it would have the higher longevity.
For a work wise...yeah it would. I mean.. it's a workstation regardless of people's opinion. Apple's aim with this was to do editing....at least that's what they were trying to tell us.
 

pat500000

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Honestly though, my 3,1 has alot of life left in it still. Though, I think I'd probably end up buying a 5,1 before the nMP.
5,1 is a good choice. Are you doing editing? I just got 5,1 6-core. hopefully you would get at least that or higher.
 

Ursadorable

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I just use my Mac for 3D design, some casual gaming and the usual surfing, netflix etc..

A new iMac would suit my needs, but I'm more concerned with longevity. Being stuck with a built in monitor potentially reduces that longevity.
 

pat500000

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I just use my Mac for 3D design, some casual gaming and the usual surfing, netflix etc..

A new iMac would suit my needs, but I'm more concerned with longevity. Being stuck with a built in monitor potentially reduces that longevity.
That longevity is something I would question with imac...soldering stuff.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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So I priced out an i7 27" retina iMac with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3779

Then I priced out a quad core Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3979

The price difference is ridiculously narrow. Now honestly, 5K res is a little overkill and a nice 27" IPS HD monitor is fine.

How can Apple justify the price of the iMac being so high, that panel must be worth a heck of a lot.. and what advantage does it hold over buying a Mac Pro? Neither are really upgradable, which is why I'm still using my cMP... but I would like to update in the next year or so.
You can easily upgrade the iMac from 8 to 24 GB for less than half of what Apple is charging for 8 to 16 GB. That brings the cost of it down a bit.

But yes, that 5K panel is worth a lot. It's crisp and well saturated, and easily beats out any HD or 2.5K IPS panel. You may think it's overkill, but it makes a difference in many situations, even just reading text.
That longevity is something I would question with imac...soldering stuff.
The only part soldered in the 27" 5K iMac that isn't in the nMP is the GPU. The CPU is in a socket, as is the SSD, and the RAM is easy to upgrade/replace.

The 21.5" 4K iMac is a bit different, only one of those (the SSD) can be replaced separately from the logic board.
 

Serban

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Jan 8, 2013
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anyway, they gave you a lot of answers but hey, you should buy one of these now? you can't wait at least until WWDC?
imac usualy are updated on stage around Oct, but this year this will happen only if it will be a redesign otherwise we will get an internal spec bump at WWDC like faster ram, faster dGPU and thunderbolt 3 ports. Mac pro also should be updated and it will be much improved after a 2 years wait
 

Ursadorable

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I'm doubtful there will be an iMac refresh this year. The top BTO iMac has a i7-6700K, which as far as I know the fastest i7 Intel produces still.
 

Serban

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I'm doubtful there will be an iMac refresh this year. The top BTO iMac has a i7-6700K, which as far as I know the fastest i7 Intel produces still.
an silent update for dGPU with polaris , faster ddr4 ram, and thunderbolt 3 ports it is a must from selling point of view.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I'm doubtful there will be an iMac refresh this year. The top BTO iMac has a i7-6700K, which as far as I know the fastest i7 Intel produces still.
I expect to see an update this fall, though I do think the current 5k iMacs are a great buy. I have no regrets with my machine.

The issue with the Mac Pro is Apple's seemingly apathetic attitude towards it. I find it a hard pill to swallow to spend over 3k on a machine that has not been updated by apple in over three years.
 

off_piste

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Oct 25, 2015
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Why are people saying you can't upgrade a Mac Pro? I thought they were fully customizable?
 

Ursadorable

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Original poster
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Why are people saying you can't upgrade a Mac Pro? I thought they were fully customizable?
You can upgrade the RAM and SSD.. but unless a 3rd party comes out offering custom GPU cards for it you're limited to those two options (as far as I know).
[doublepost=1461419484][/doublepost]
The issue with the Mac Pro is Apple's seemingly apathetic attitude towards it. I find it a hard pill to swallow to spend over 3k on a machine that has not been updated by apple in over three years.
That is very true.. I wouldn't even consider it until a refresh. Whenever that might happen.
 

off_piste

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Oct 25, 2015
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You can upgrade the RAM and SSD.. but unless a 3rd party comes out offering custom GPU cards for it you're limited to those two options (as far as I know).
[doublepost=1461419484][/doublepost]

That is very true.. I wouldn't even consider it until a refresh. Whenever that might happen.
I guess that settles it for me. Was trying to wrap my head around a Mac Pro's ridiculous pricing versus the headache of building a Hackintosh. If I can't later upgrade the GPU I find that to be a major turnoff. I thought that problem was limited to my wife's iMac.
 

xmichaelp

macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2012
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So I priced out an i7 27" retina iMac with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3779

Then I priced out a quad core Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.. CAD$3979

The price difference is ridiculously narrow. Now honestly, 5K res is a little overkill and a nice 27" IPS HD monitor is fine.

How can Apple justify the price of the iMac being so high, that panel must be worth a heck of a lot.. and what advantage does it hold over buying a Mac Pro? Neither are really upgradable, which is why I'm still using my cMP... but I would like to update in the next year or so.
The panel does cost a lot. A standalone 5k display almost costs as much as an iMac.

And no, 5k is not overkill. Once you've used a 200 PPI screen there is no going back.
[doublepost=1461477642][/doublepost]
just wait seems that among updates for the imac will be a redesign as well. i think this year apple will make all the macs with the same colours as the 12" Macbook
leak image
Leak? No, that's just some fan made image.

There is no indication there will be a redesign. That's just wishful thinking.
 

Serban

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Jan 8, 2013
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yes maybe but an update will be, for much better dGPU, new standard ports with thunderbolt 3, faster ddr4 ram and so on, but rumours said apple is working at a redesign
 

Mago

macrumors 68020
Aug 16, 2011
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Beyond the Thunderdome
I Suggest everyone buying a Mac to wait until upcoming WWDC, there are few things sure: new Mac Pro trashcan and new retina MacBook pro , and maybe new retina MacBook on 14 and 16", the MacBook pro should now include options for Xeon and ECC ram and a bunch of all new AMD Polaris GPU, also it's possible an earlier updated iMac just to include thunderbolt 3 DDR4 and the new AMD Polaris GPU ,also a powerful Mac mini it's possible (should be the biggest Mac event ), all around thunderbolt 3, Polaris and SkyLake plus some regular improvement to OSX and iOS as siri on OSX, much VR related development around fcpX "VR Kit" and maybe a re launch on OSX Server.