iMac vs Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Check 6, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    I know this discussion has been hashed out before but please bear with me as I'm looking for real suggestions.

    I currently have a Mac pro ( latest issue0 configured with 2 2.4 processors, 12 gig of RAM and the Radeon 5870 graphics card with one gig of RAM
    a solid state drive for the operating system and a 1 tb Hd for data.

    I am considering a Imac 27" ( current not the soon to be released on) with the i7 processor at 3.4 gig 1 TB internal HD and 12-16 Gig of Ram. Radeon 6970 graphics card with 1 Gig of RAM .

    I already have a firewire 800 external 1 TB HD for time machine and will eventually get a Thunderbolt storage configuration.

    Besides the normal email word processing and internet research I run Aperture Photoshop, Final cut pro and Indesign

    Since I already have an Apple 27" LED display I would run it with the Imac for a two display set up

    One of the reasons for the possible switch is to reduce clutter on and around my desk So the question for those more knowledgeable than me ( as in most of you), with the exception of losing the SSD would the system run these tasks faster, slower or about the same?

    Losing the SSD would slow that portion down but there is also a significant increase in processor speed. Thanks
  2. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    Really thought I would bring out lots of comments/ opinions
  3. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
  4. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    honestly, have no clue. I'm just a an old guy that wants a fast computer and trying to reduce the number of boxes on my desk
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I wouldn't use geekbench for this one.

    It should be about the same. Final Cut Pro assuming FCPX is pretty well threaded. I don't think the older one scaled quite as well with higher core counts. Aperture uses all cores in some things. Photoshop and InDesign scale minimally past 4 cores. They can use more. They just don't use them well. I can't see either making a huge difference. If you were doing anything that really leaned on the gpu, the 5870 would still be significantly faster in most use cases. The imac you're considering is the older one. It should become cheaper when the new one comes out, but Apple has it announced for December. The display reflections on that and the thunderbolt display you already own have always annoyed me.
  6. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    I got this display to get work done as my 30" matte screen ACD is in for repair under warranty and the etic is unknown at this time.

    Another question for all. Is it possible and or practicable to upgrade the processors in my Mac Pro. It is the latest version MacPro ( I think that means 2010)
  7. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    There are a couple possible options for cpu upgrades, with the highest being those currently used in the 12 core models. The highest benefit provided in your situation would probably be if you're processing loads of raw files in Aperture or Photoshop or rendering video in FCPX. I know for most of your uses, that machine should not feel slow, assuming it's not waiting on disks or memory swaps.
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    It's all in your usage. Your current GPU is way faster than the iMac's. The iMac CPU is faster at single threaded stuff. The Mac Pro faster at multi threaded.
    32-bit Geekbench. Not sure which 2.4 you have.
    Mac Pro 2.4GHz 8-core: 12700
    mac Pro 2.4GHz 12-core: 17213
    iMac 3.4GHz i7: 11518

    I would not do it. A new fully loaded Ivy iMac maybe as the GPU is at least 20%-30% faster as well. But a downgrade in GPU and side-grade in CPU is a waste IMO.
  9. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    Thank you, good advice
  10. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    What would be the benchmark for a 3.33 Ghz 6 core processor

    also in real life is there a noticeable difference in 1066 mhz RAM and 1333 Mhz RAM

    Lastly, I know I really don't understand the "core" subject, so in using applications like Photoshop, Aperture, Illustrator, In Design and Final Cut pro how many cores are really used and what is overkill

    Reason for all this is I have dropped the Imac alternative but may give my current Mac Pro to my adult son ( he is looking at a mid life career change to graphic design) and get myself a new MacPro so I'm searching for as much information as I can get to make the right decision. Thanks
  11. Ben1l macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2006
    Sounds like you have more money than sense if you want to trade in a brand new Mac Pro that sounds like it cost £3k+, for an iMac that will be obsolete in a matter of days.
  12. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    Actually I don't and I was not going to trade the Macpro but instead give it to my son who is working on a second career in graphic design, that's what Dad's are for.
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    My 6-core gets 16220 in 64-bit Geekbench. 15000 in 32-bit. No real life difference to my eyes to 1066 or 1333MHz memory. This may be because I don't rely too heavily on RAM intense apps like After Effects though. I get by fine with 12GB.
    Read through this as it is a good primer on what uses what even if it is a little out of date. Still applies. So much good info on this site.
  14. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008
    I think if you're running older versions of FCP and Adobe, getting a new computer won't help all that much.

    If you're looking to move to FCPX and the newer Adobe Suite I'd recommend getting the latest iMac when it's released, you'll see improvement gains because of the new AVX processing in FCPX and Cuda benefits in Adobe.

    There's no way I'd buy a Macpro as they stand now for creatives, I'm personally waiting next year and either get the 2013 Macpro (whatever it may be) or wait for the new iMac
  15. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2005
    Wirelessly posted

    I concur with the rest of the gang. Put the MP under the desk. :)
  16. throAU, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Depends how big your working set of data is, and whether or not it will fit in the maximum of 32 gb of ram in the iMac.

    If you run DONT very large projects in aperture or photoshop, and are NOT dealing with more than 30gb of data at a time, the iMac may be faster.

    BUT... the mac pro can do things like run SSD in RAID, take 96gb of RAM, etc.

    Concur with the rest. Put the tower under the desk, don't buy a new machine until the new pro comes out next year.

    Historically, the biggest impediment to getting work done quickly is RAM. Work out if your workload is memory starved or not, and if it is, buying more ram will make it faster.

    The other big slowdown is IO. If you currently have an SSD and are considering jumping to an iMac without one.... i'd suggest you'll be in for a world of pain in terms of reduced system performance, unless your workload is entirely CPU bound.

    To better answer your question, we really need to know the size of your projects and how much RAM you're consuming.
  17. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    I've started several threads over the last few days asking a number of questions concerning processor speed and Imac vs Mac Pro. for the most part the comments have been very helpful and I appreciate the time people have taken to provide them. They helped me come to a decision, which by the way, is to stay with the MacPro. Great machine that satisfies all my requirements and is expandable as time goes on. the next step is to grit my teeth and upgrade the OS from Lion to Mountain Lion. The "grit my teeth" comment is because when I upgraded my MBP from Snow Leopard to Lion there were some glitches. So thanks to those that offered suggestions
  18. Lampmeister macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I switched from a Mac Pro to a 27" iMac last year, and while I like the iMac I sort of regret making the switch. The Mac Pro is just stupid fast in how it performs tasks, and even a fully hotrodded iMac feels sluggish in comparison. I'm saving my lunch money right now for the next-gen Pro...I just hope Apple doesn't mess it up!

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