iMac vs Mac Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gazfocus, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #1
    I have been trying to make a decision over the past few weeks about which Mac to buy in January (an iMac/MBP/mac pro). I've removed the MBP from the equation but now need to decide between an iMac and a Mac Pro.

    Basically, I do web development, photo editing, and a little video editing and I have been using a MBP as a portable but a Windows Vista PC as my main computer for the past year or so.

    I was all set to buy an iMac but I want your advice first. Either way, I won't be buying until after MWSF but going by the current specs/prices, for £1250 I can get a top of the line 24" 3GHz iMac with 750GB Hard Drive but for an extra £100, I can buy a 4 Core 2.8GHz Mac Pro.

    What would you do?
     
  2. TheCheapGeek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #2
    Well i may not be all that much help, but i have a top of the line 20" iMac and couldn't be happier. I do a lot of video encoding and have seen no real problems. When purchasing i was a good amount of money away from the bottom of the line mac pro. If i was as close is budget as you are i would go with the mac pro just for the expandability.
     
  3. BenEndeem macrumors 6502

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #3
    I was in the same position, and want the computer for almost exactly the same reasons oddly enough. I've chosen to get a top of the line iMac when they come out, because the Pro is a bit excessive for my needs.
     
  4. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #4
    If you only do light video editing, the iMac will likely service you well. The reason the price is close is because you are paying for the integrated monitor. You need to add the price of a 24" monitor and equal amount of RAM to get a better price comparison.

    Even with that, your Mac Pro will have more cores, a faster bus, storage expandability and blow away the iMac with applications that can use multi cores.

    I'd look at it from the reverse... why is the iMac priced as high as it is?
     
  5. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #5
    In normal circumstances, I would agree however, I already have a 5 month old 23" ACD so the added expense of the screen wouldn't be an issue. The only advantage price wise with the iMac is that I could sell my ACD and raise £400+
     
  6. Bad Paper macrumors 6502

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    graphite clamshell
    #6
    ...or that you would have two huge screens, one of which is LED-backlit.

    When I get an iMac next month, I'm tossing the old PC and keeping the 24" monitor.
     
  7. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #7
    Yeah...but would it not be wierd having a super glossy display and a matte display next to each other?
     
  8. wwooden macrumors 68000

    wwooden

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #8
    I'd go with the Mac Pro. Even though the iMac will be 3.0GHz+, it's still a laptop grade processor, not desktop or server grade as the Mac Pro. At the same clock speed, those things will be much faster. If I had the budget, I would have got a Mac Pro just for the fact that it is super expandable and will have a much longer life than the iMac.
     
  9. dannyboxer macrumors regular

    dannyboxer

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #9
    I suppose if you've got the money, go for the Mac Pro. But you'll have to buy an extra moniter though so take that into account when comparing the prices.

    However, for what you'll be doing an iMac will be just fine. I've got the 2.8Ghz version and edit high definition movies and it is blazingly fast no matter how many other programs I have open.

    At the end of the day, it's your choice. Simple all-in-one iMac, or a monster expandable Mac Pro beast. Your choice. :apple:
     
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #10
    I volunteer with a small production company, and we do all of our video editing on two 24" iMacs. Brilliant machines - no need to go up to a MacPro unless you're doing major editing, imo.

    I would go for the iMac and put your ACD next to it. Helluva setup...
     
  11. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #11
    I don't think the term "laptop grade processor" carries the connotation it once did. Laptops have gotten so fast now, they are a suitable desktop replacement for most uses, including HD video editing. The "laptop" grade processor inside the iMac will serve the OP's stated needs quite well for many, many years.
     
  12. rpaloalto macrumors 6502a

    rpaloalto

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Palo Alto CA.
    #12
    If you already have a 6 month old 23 ACD. Your set for the mac pro. Very fast
    You can throw huge amounts of work at it. No heat issues what so ever. Even after lengthy renders or video conversions. The fans are still spinning at normal.
    You can buy huge amounts of ram. The best part is having multiple hard drives. I have one for windows, one for storage/scratch drive, and one for my main boot drive.

    Look to Apples online refurbished store for a good deal
    1,999 single quad core
    2.399 dual quad core
    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac?mco=MTMzNTY
     
  13. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #13
    This is very good advice - there are always good deals in the refurb store especially on the Mac Pros. Just remember that there is an "effective price" of going the Mac Pro route, which is the cost of the Mac Pro plus the value of your monitor, since you could always sell it on ebay if you got an iMac.

    As you can see by the many varied opinions around here, you really can't go wrong. Both machines will meet your needs, with the usual observation that spending a little more will get you more horsepower. Good luck!
     
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #14
    I think iMac will be enough for you. the best iMac will have quad-core processor and good nvidia chipset (with at least 512mb). and if you buy mac pro you will need a screen also. that will cost extra few hundreds.
     
  15. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #15
    No quad-cores in an iMac yet, but other than that, I agree with your comments. :)
     
  16. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #16
    Thanks for your comments. I think IF the iMac sees a quad core (even if it's the highest option iMac, I'll go for that over the Mac Pro. If they still only use dual cores, I think I will opt for the MP.
     
  17. MAC-PRO-DEMON macrumors 6502a

    MAC-PRO-DEMON

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    Jul 10, 2008
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    #17
    As I have both the Mac Pro and the 24" iMac in my office and my son and daughter both have 20" iMacs I would for the money the 24" iMac is very good value providing that you get the best graphics card. But money no object go for the Mac Pro. I am a doctor so I use the computer mainly for looking at Dicom Slides and various other images. I also use Aperture 2 , Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 which run absolutely fine!!! on both!!! If you are doing any movie editing in FCP or Premier Pro or After Affects then you do notice the difference when applying effects and such like. Also importing HD video is alot, ALOT quicker on the Mac Pro. I mean this may be the difference between the ram on the machines, but I dont know.

    If I was in your position, I would go for the the 4 Core Mac Pro with 6GB of Ram and the 8800GT Graphics!!!!
     
  18. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Britain
    #18
    Word of warning, you live in the UK, expect to see a small price increase due to the crap exchange rate.
     
  19. BenEndeem macrumors 6502

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #19
    Hopefully (if any) the price increase isn't too much and is small as the last post says, the current iMac comes to £1,700ish in its highest configuration (not including software and extras), but any increase taking it drastically over the £2K mark will take it off the shopping list for me, though I probably would get a lower spec or refurbished previous gen iMac. I doubt it would happen, but you never know.
     
  20. Bad Paper macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Only if you are trying to view the same picture spread across both displays. I doubt it would be jarring otherwise.
     
  21. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #21
    I don't notice it much with my 24" iMac and 21" matte Eizo. That's a personal thing though. For me (graphic designer & illustrator) the productivity gain from more screen real estate is bigger than additional processing power. That said, I definitely prefer the matte Eizo screen, even though it's smaller. Of course, you can also add an additional screen to the Mac Pro later. After all even though I'm happy with my iMac I would recommend the Mac Pro in your situation, for longevity and expandability.
     

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