iMac or Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Intel Inside, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Intel Inside macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    Hey Guys!

    Im trying to decide what Mac to purchase in the near future. I've narrowed my choice down to the iMac and the Mac Pro as i don't need the portability.
    I'm going to be using it for:-
    Gaming (Spore, WoW),
    Final Cut

    Which Ever i buy I will be using dual displays, primarily for using XP and OS X via VMWare.

    So an you help me choose which would be most appropriate.

  2. fluidedge macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2007
    since final cut is at the bottom of your list i'd say go with the imac.
  3. avihappy macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2006
    A few things:

    1) With the iMac, you can only use one external display IN ADDITION to the built in one. So you will have at most the built in + external display. You can't have three or more. Only two.

    2) Is expandability important to you? If want to be able to easily upgrade the video card, RAM, HDD, or add expansion cards, then the Mac Pro is the way to go.

    3) The iMac is able to handle what you have listed (but IDK about Final Cut). It should work fine for what you want. The Mac Pro is if you want to go beyond those things, into things like video rendering and conversion and dealing with heavy amounts of 3D graphics.

    4) If you decide to go with the iMac, then hold off until they refresh them. They are right now very outdated and not worth the price apple is selling them for.
  4. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    If you have to ask, the iMac is probably fine for your use.
  5. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    Agreeing, get the iMac.
  6. Soxy macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2008
    The iMac is fine unless you really wanna blow gaming/Final Cut away then go for the Mac Pro.

    Although I'd say if you have the money get the Mac Pro for sure.
  7. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    I'm trying to decide between the Mac Pro and imac aswell, I like the fact you can upgrade the Mac Pro more, and have a better graphics card, but the processing power of an imac would most likely be up to my needs anyway. And the fact you get a nice 20" or 24" screen in the iMac which works out a lot cheaper than buying a screen of that quality seperately does it not? I'm personally holding out for a while to see if there are any new releases, I would buy a quad core iMac right now if there was one! [​IMG]
  8. RichardI macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    You are caught in the same pothole that gets us all. The iMac doesn't have enough and the Mac Pro is way overkill (and way overprice).

    What you really want is something in between the iMac and the Mac pro, and there is no such animal at the moment.

    Rich :cool:
  9. Drumerdude macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2009
    If you are a hard core gamer and use final cut all the time for big projects, you can get an mac pro. It would be a little bit of a waist of money just for those two programs. I would personally go with the 24'' imac. You get an nvida graphics card, which is very good, a fast 3.06 processor, standard 500gb hardrive, and standard 2gb of memory. Everything is fine, but the memory. I would upgrade that.

    You are getting more for your money with the imac.
  10. alexbates macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    If you are using dual displays, you might as well go ahead and get the Mac Pro. It would also look pretty good if you had two Apple Cinema displays next to each other.

    If you must buy a desktop Mac, I would wait a few months. There will probably be a refresh of the Mac Pro, iMac, and Cinema displays pretty soon.
  11. bmh16 macrumors regular

    May 5, 2008
    South Wales, UK
    Rather than making a new thread i thought i would post here seeing as the OP as had quite a few replies.

    Anyway i am also wondering whether to get a Mac Pro or iMac. I currently use a MacBook (the 1 and a half year old version) and I am using Logic Studio, but finding it tough to use on the small power and the small screen that the macbook holds! Apart from logic Studio it is pretty much like what the OP wanted, like small usage like from iTunes, Safari, Mail, Messenger, basically those apps that all Macs are good enough to run well! Anyway iMac or Mac Pro? And what are the big differences between the both as i see the Mac Pro is quite expensive in comparison!
  12. Soxy macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2008
    The Mac Pro is quite a bit more powerful than the iMac, but that really depends on what you're doing since the majority of that power comes from the multiple cores and better graphics cards, the only difference apart from power is the all-in-one factor (no Monitor with MP) and the pricetag.

    iMac would suit your needs perfectly imo.
  13. Drumerdude macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2009
    The mac pro is quite a bit more expensive. Like some users have posted before, if you want dual screen computability the mac pro is a must. The pro looks really cool with two new LCD monitors.

    It all depends what you want to use your mac for. The mac pro is for more of professional editing. (This doesn't mean you can't get one) The imac is still very good for editing and gaming purposes.

    I would wait a month or two to get a mac, because there are a lot of rumors about new macs coming out.
  14. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    The top spec iMac will certainly be enough to fulfil your needs. With what you've said you want to do with it, I don't think you would notice a difference between it and the mac pro.
  15. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    If you're going to be doing any gaming, are going to be using FCP, and are going to use dual displays, Mac Pro, no question.

    You don't specify a budget, but if money isn't the limiting factor, I don't even know why you'd consider an iMac.

    A lot of the other posters seem to be implying that a Mac Pro is "too much computer". Personally, I don't think there is ever any such thing as "too much computer", or "more computer than you need".
  16. bmh16 macrumors regular

    May 5, 2008
    South Wales, UK
    Thanks for those replies then guys, was planning on getting the imac anyway, but ive wondered lately if Mac Pro would be better, but it's much more expensive and if iMac is good enough i will deffo go for that :) Will most definitely be waiting for the new iMacs though, can't afford it atm anyway, just waiting at referrals coming through and then in a few months being able to afford being able to get it (for free!!). So yeah just planning in advance really! :D
  17. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    Final Cut Studio works perfectly on MBPs and iMacs, and if quad core iMacs are really coming soon that makes the Mac Pro even less necessary.
  18. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Its called the single CPU Mac Pro.
  19. zPolarBear macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2009
    If I could...

    If I could have afforded it, I would have gone with the MacPro. I bought one for my wife 6 years ago, and I've never regretted it. That machine blew everything else away. That was before the new graphics hardware.

    However, some of us have been having severe problems with heat. If you do get an iMac, then the AppleCare is a must, not an option. The Power Supply (PS) is running 72C (162F) right now as I am doing nothing but typing this... The wireless runs 60-64C and higher at times. Ambient is 24C (75F). I ran Never Winter Nights2 (recompiled for native Mac operation) and stood in a village and just let it look around (constant loop of just turning around--held the key down) and by the time I stopped it an hour later the GPU was at 78C! (172F)

    I have found a few versions of "FanControl" around that are designed to handle increasing the fans to cool the machine. They are good, but I'm rewriting the daemon to be more secure and cleaner and have two slopes for quieter operation. If anyone is interested I may post the source when I'm done. I tried smcFanControl2, but it did not work well in a multi-user environment and sometimes lost it's configuration. I did use it long enough to run the fans to max and see what happened.

    I ran the fans to max and played NWN2 and the temperature of the GPU peaked at about 68C; a touch on the warm side, but not dangerous (like 78C). I did not want to have to set the fans to full, just to handle whatever the game might throw at me; I want the fans to quiet down when they can.

    The choice is really up to you. I just think the MacPro will last longer; probably by about 2-4 years. Also, the iMac tops out with the nVidia8800GS, which is a lower-mid range card. The MacPro with the 8800GT is going to be better, longer. My MacPro started with a simple Radeon 9000 and now I can upgrade it to Radeon 9600 (or 9800 ?) if I like...

    PS: I use iStatPro from for Temperature readings.
    original FanControl:
    improved iMacFanControl:
    (There's even a couple of MacPro versions of FanControl if you look...)
    - - - - - - - -
    24" Alum. iMac (2008) 3.06GHz C2Duo 4G RAM 8800GS 500G HD DVDburner ... the works...
    Running 10.5.6, iWork'08, FireFox3.0.3 and more...
  20. Chuck Fadanoid macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Munich, Germany
    What about future-proofing? If you want the machine to last a while, I'm sure the Mac Pro will still feel fast in a few years from now based on your needs.

    I moved from iMac G3 to PowerMac G5 (display model that was reduced by a third due impending Intel Macs) and really can't envisage going back to an all in one, even though I'm more sentimental about the iMac than G5. I love the expandability of the tower, and it still feels fast even though I run it in "Reduced" processor mode. Maybe I'll get an Intel Mac Pro when Apple switch from Intel to SPARC ;)
  21. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    Which is exactly why I don't believe Quad Core iMac's are coming for the foreseeable future.
  22. johnsy macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    If you look to the longer future and expandability, get mac pro. iMac is after all consumer model and you will start regretting your choice after you will realize what a pain is to change for example a hard drive. Of course they look OK and will do all your listed tasks, but you will be able to max out mac pro cheaper.

    For example- jan 4, 2009 memory prices vs now OWC prices(you might find even better deals):

    32 GB $1200 now- $1190
    24 $913 898
    16 $618 560
    8- $310 300

    and that is after regular memory prices increased because some memory manufacturers went bankrupt.

    Besides you will be able to hook up 2 regular size screens with mp vs iMac setup. Mp carries a little bit more investment, but will last longer.
  23. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    You don't seem to understand what the Mac Pro is for.

    Nor do you seem to understand the difference between a quad-core laptop processor and an eight core Nehalem Xeon.
  24. johnsy macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    The op seems needs computer for casual use. He will do everyday tasks and probably just occasionally will use it for final cut pro. So iMac will be OK for that, but dual display setup will be not that nice as mac pro with dual cinema displays.

    As far as laptops go or laptop based computers (imac) they will always lag in speed, power and upgrade options.

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