iMac vs Mac Pro???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kamber, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. kamber macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2006
    I am a PC user switching to Mac. The main programs I will be using are QuarkXpress7 and PhotoshopCS2. Should I buy a iMac or will I outgrow it quickly? The Mac Pro is so expensive, but if I have to do it I will. Please help!!
  2. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    the iMac should suit your needs just fine, IMO.
  3. theman5725 macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2006
    The Mac Pro as the name implies, is designed for professionals. Just because the iMac is not the most expensive computer Apple makes doesn't mean it's not good.
  4. amin macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2003
    Boston, MA
    This is becoming a very common thread topic. Seems like a lot of people are having a hard time deciding. For my home use and the home use of my dad, the iMac was the clear choice. For those who already have a nice display hanging around, the Mac Pro is a compelling option, even for non Pros.
  5. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Well, what are you doing in PS and Quark? If you are working with huge uncompressed graphics files, especially more than a couple at a time, you MIGHT run into an issue with RAM - the iMac only supports up to 3gbs, and 2gbs is the only affordable option.

    Of course, RAM for the Mac Pro is crazy expensive, too, so if 3gb will do you then the iMac is the winner.
  6. technicolor macrumors 68000


    Dec 21, 2005
    Yes it is, and I still dont have a computer because I am still deciding. :mad:
  7. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    I think it comes down to two things. Get it if you are

    A) Going to make money from it, ie use it for work.


    B) Rich.
  8. jessep28 macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2006
    Omaha, NE
    This should suit you well:

    Mac Pro
    Part Number: Z0D8
    Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
    Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple wireless Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Accessory kit
    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Fibre Channel Card
    16GB (8 x 2GB)
    Mac OS X - U.S. English
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 512MB, Stereo 3D (2 x dual-link DVI)
    Estimated Ship: 7-10 business days


    Apple Cinema HD Display (30" flat panel)
    Part Number: M9179LL/A
    Estimated Ship: Within 24 hours
    Remove $1,999.00 $3,998.00
    (two of them :) )


    I'm just kidding by the way.
  9. Voltes V macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2006
    A good compromise

    Mac Pro
    Part Number: Z0D8
    One 16x SuperDrive
    Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
    2GB (4 x 512MB)
    Two 2.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Accessory kit
    250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    Mac OS X - U.S. English
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI)


    power, upgradeability and $1,000USD more on top of an iMac 20"
  10. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop

    It would be more than that if you factor in a screen.

    The golf between the iMac and the MAc Pro is extremely large, i out grew my iMac G5 rev a very quickly but if i were to purchase a new iMac i feel it has enough speed and graphics (compaired to the geforce 5200 POS in my iMac) to last a decent ammount of time. If i had the money i think i definately would get a Mac Pro and a separate screen, i truely wise the release the Cube2
  11. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    I am also unable to make a decision on which one to pick, MacPro or iMac. The lack of upgradability and parts exchange for iMac is on my negatives lists even though iMac has a compact design for a desktop.

    The consensus is MacPro is for pro users who are making money off by using MacPro (design studios, ad agency, photo journalists, pro photographer, and what-not). I am none of those pros (yet); but, I am always interested in powerful computer which can do whatever I through at it now and in the future.

    I hope Apple can make MacPro a little lighter as it now weighs over 40 lbs. easily. I tend to move around for places every few years and the lighter desktop would be nice when I need to pack and go.

    The positive thing about Apple products is that their power adaptors are compatible for international uses. I think even MacPro and iMac has the automatic voltage adjustment between 100 to 120 v and 200 v to 240 v (or something like that) and 50 Hz / 60 Hz. If I buy it here in the states, I would be able to bring it with me to another country when I leave this country in a few years or so.
  12. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I love my Core Duo Yonah 20". It really is a rocking machine and runs FCP and everything else I throw at it beautifully. The Core 2 Duos will be even better, and are ready for 64-bitness.
  13. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I asked my graphics pro advisor and she said if you are buying for daily professional use, the Mac Pro is the way to go.

    Performance, storage, expandability and connectivity.

    Either machine would require 2 GB RAM installed.

    The benchmarks on the Mac Pro running PPC CS2 are fantastic even when you consider Rosetta's RAM cravings.

    The ATI X1900XT is also the GPU of choice.

    So if your primary goal is income generating production, the Mac Pro is the best choice..
  14. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    well i do love my intel imac, but to be honest, i wish i would have saved and gotten a mac pro. i guess i've just out grown it, i don't know. but here i am with 5 external hard drives, 1 hard drive just sitting around. and on top of that, i've messed around with video files from weddings and stuff that really bogged down my imac
  15. amin macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think those of you who are saying the Mac Pro is only for Pros and the rich are missing the fact that many people already have a nice display, and that a Mac Pro without a display doesn't have to cost as much as an iMac.

    Compare the following options:

    1) 2.33GHz 20" iMac with a 500GB HD for $1949


    2) 2.0GHz Mac Pro with a 160GB HD for $2124

    The prices are similar, and the iMac will have better performance in most apps (those that can't use 4 processors). However, the Mac Pro will likely last longer since 1) more apps coming out are likely to utilize more than 2 cores, and 2) processor, HD, and graphics card upgrades are so much easier to do in the Mac Pro.

    The form factor of the iMac is very appealing, but the choice is not easy.
  16. ipoddin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I've made the same points too. It's tough if you already have a monitor, because you can get an entry level MP for only about $250 more than a 24" imac. And you DON'T have to be a pro to use a MP.

    But the iMac does have a sweet 24" display and dual displays would come in handy too...
  17. MacCurry macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    There are lots of people who are using cheaper ViewSonic or Samsung 20" DVI monitors on the Mac Pro.

    The 20" ViewSonic VX2025vm 1680x1050 monitor sells for $330 and is very nice (less than 1/2 of the 20" ACD).

    2.66 GHz MP with 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD = $2800
    VS monitor = $300
    TOTAL = $3100

    2.33 GHz iMac with 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD = $2000
    TOTAL = $2000

    On the MP the ability to add more than 3GB RAM, 2TB HDDs, another DVD +/- RW drive, newer video cards, quad core processors:
  18. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    i'm another one in the same boat. i think what's really making this a hard decision isn't so much the speed for most ppl. obvioulsy the mac pro is much better. I think it's the display of the imac that makes this a hard decision. It's such a huge display that it almost justifies the speed difference. If this was a 20" imac only, it wouldn't be so hard. Plus quad core, even on the professional level seems a little over kill. I mean an imac has two-cores, each that is faster than a G5, and with photoshop a G5 certainly wasn't a slouch. Quad core really is for Video and 3d now i think, while it would be nice to have, I can't think of anything I would use if for. It becomes an "it's not that i would but i could" sort of things. It's not just for professionals but specific professionals. i mean couldn't any graphic designer get by with a 24 imac? How much different would CS3 have to be for a computer that has two cores each faster than a g5 for it to outgrow itself so fast?
  19. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    I bought a iMac 2GHz Core Duo when they came out in February 2006. And I have loved every second of it. I want a Mac Pro just because look at the thing... 4x3Ghz Cores... 12 GHz of goodness.. but, I dont have the money for it, espcially when All i do is Surf, Chat, Music, and do my bills... I mess around in Gimp and Keep all my pics in iPhoto... but that dosent justify the price difference.

    A Good, 20'' Core 2 Duo iMac Maxed out is a great option.... and if have a little extra, the 24'' is super sweet...
  20. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    The Mac Pro would be a better investment for the future.
  21. ipoddin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Not if you already own a monitor. Since the OP is coming from a PC, I'll take a bet that he already has a monitor. So the gap is much closer than you think.

    Myself, I ended up going iMac, even though I have a 21" LCD. I wanted the 24" screen and with my current monitor, I'll have a sweet dual monitor setup.
  22. kraftzwerg macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2005
    Well, the Mac Pro ist still less expensive than a 17 inch MacBook Pro (that is if you have a display already) and I've never heard anyone say the above about a MBP. You get a lot of power for your money with a Mac Pro and probably won't need to buy a new machine for at least 5-6 years.
  23. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    I think you'll be just fine with the iMac.

    Congrats on deciding to make the switch :D
  24. julesjt777 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2006
    Go with imac

    If you really think about it. The Core 2 Duo is plenty of CPU horse power. Your bottle neck will not be there. The biggest problem would be the GPU and being limited to a x1600 with 256mb or if you go with 24" you have a little better option. But the x1600 with 256mb is pretty decent in the app world maybe not the best in the gaming world but whole buys a mac to game.

    So I suggest going with the imac unless you want to do hardcore gaming. If you want to game then you still need Windows vista if you want to game hardcore.

    And then a mac pro would be a better choice if not a gaming pc. The reason being you could have two seperate drives and use bootcamp to have one drive OSX and the other XP or VISTA (when supported) Then you can do the gaming on the vista side and with the mac pro then you can look into getting your geforce 7900s or ATI x1900s GPUs. And better yet come November the Nvidia G80 with DX10 support.

    But if gaming is not a factor not saying you can't game with the imac x1600 video then the imac 20" is plenty of power. Look at the specs of a core 2 duo its way better then the old P4 3.x ghz and you can do plenty with the older P4 3.x Ghz. Your photoshop will not run any faster on a mac pro vs. a imac core 2 duo. You will find differences when you start messing with Final Cut Pro and hardcore stuff like that. But even there, at least the 20" imac can run those apps great too.

    And you can always boosts power in your imac later when the prices of the CPU comes down, swap out the 2.13 and put in a 2.93 later. And take out the 7200 RPM drive and throw in a WD 10k drive. Quad core is nice but how much advantage is that going to give you. We still have moving parts in our storage and that is the bottle neck.

    In short the imac is not like the old imac especially with the core 2 duo which is 64-bit. They are heavy duty enough to do professional tasks on them.
  25. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    I would say that the iMac is plenty for the use described by the OP. MacPro is a more professional machine with many expensive upgrade options, but I would think based upon usage the iMac will be more than enough...go iMac.

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