iMac vs Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ag55, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. ag55 macrumors regular

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #1
    I've already ordered my iMac (specs in sig) but was just comparing it to the Mac Pro and found it comes quite close in terms of price. Only reason i went for iMac was it had everything i needed and i was fed up with ''the tower's' that i had with all my PCs.

    Including my education discount the base Pro is about £18 more than the high end iMac (with a GPU upgrade from Nvidia to ATI HD).

    But the Pro lacks wi-fi and bluetooth, has only a 640GB drive and 1GB less RAM than the iMac. But the main difference is the 2.66ghz Nehalem compared to iMac's core 2 extreme @ 3.06ghz.

    So does anyone know how much of a performance difference there is between the two processors. Considering the iMac's is a laptop cpu.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    I'd get the Mac Pro, the things that are lacking are easily upgradable at not so high prices. It will be significantly faster. I'd only get the iMac if it was price/space concerns.
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #3
    i agree

    op: you already have monitors and stuff right? if so, its a no brainer imo
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #4
    Lacks Wi-Fi. The Mac Pro has had Bluetooth since January 2008.

    And three bays to add.

    But can take twice as much.

    Dual-core laptop vs. quad-core Xeon. What do you think?! :p
     
  5. ag55 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #5
    Yeah actually i do, 24" 1080p samsung display, and mx revolution mouse. But i have a windows version of the dinovo edge keyboard, i dont think its compatible with mac.
    The mac pro looks so sexy, room for upgrades, i dont why i was drawn into the imac so much.

    OH MY GOD IM GOING TO RETURN MY IMAC AND ORDER THE MAC PRO
     
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #6
    This isn't 1994. Anything USB works.
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #7
    keyboards are not os specific unless it has some funky buttons that require windows


    not quite.

    webcams are a perfect example
     
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #8
    More importantly if a keyboard holds you back from making a four figure purchase then we better be talking about the Optimus Maximus.
     
  9. ag55 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    one last thing, noise.

    my old dell was really annoying me in its last stages, is the pro very noisy.
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    lol true true

    ive heard they are relatively quiet
     
  11. kmaute macrumors 6502

    kmaute

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    #11
    You're going to notice a bit more noise from the CPU fan (it is a Xeon server processor after all.) Depending on your desk setup, the MP might be quieter... The hard disks and fans could be placed further from your workspace than with the iMac.
     
  12. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #12
    The loudest thing on mine is the hard drive when it's writing.
     
  13. ag55 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    im going for it now
     
  14. rich2k4 macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2009
    #14
    it all depends on what you do.

    i was in the same boat as you. In the end i decided that the imac would be the best choice.

    i was originally planning on buying the mac pro and keeping it for 6+ years. Then i thought to myself, I don't do anything that requires a lot of power, i'd have to buy a monitor, the tower is huge and would take up lots of space, and it would be better if i got something cheaper and just replaced it every 4-5 years.

    The imac takes up less space, is more then enough for what i need, is cheaper, has everything built in. (i was planning on buying a webcam for the mac pro, but the imac has it built in.

    it was a no brainer for me.
     
  15. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #15
    Mac pro can be upgraded with pci express cards. Like a better video card that will smoke anything on the iMac
     
  16. sommls macrumors member

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    Sep 7, 2008
    #16
    The "simplicity" of the iMac is compelling until you think of one part of computing that no one talks about: backup. Adding disk drives to an iMac requires (mostly) power bricks, new enclosures, new nests of USB/FW cables and hubs.

    If you run a home network of more than two machines, it's also easier to add internal hard drives to the MacPro as additional destinations for the other machines in the system.

    I appreciate the arguments about offsite backup (I use Mozy, also) and the relative merits of externally powered drives that survive when your CPU's power supply fails in a flash and fries everything (not quite so frequent as simple HDD failure!).

    But the expansibility of a MacPro turns out to be far more elegant for more serious users than the all in one structure of the iMac. As Apple intended it from a marketing standpoint by not offering an intermediate tower (mini-MacPro), which would cannibalize both iMac and MacPro sales.
     
  17. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

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    #17
    My Mac Pro is nearly silent - the loudest thing I ever hear is the CD spinning up.

    As Tallest said, you definitely have Bluetooth built in, and I went ahead and got the wireless as an add-on - never know where the Mac Pro will be in the future...it might not be reasonably close to a router to have it plugged in.

    Get your extra RAM from OWC - great prices and service.

    Definitely get the Pro for the small price difference, you won't be sorry :D
     
  18. nutritious macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Actually, the heatsinks in the Mac Pro are totally passive. No fan attached to them. I'm not sure, but I believe there is one intake fan in the front and one outtake fan at the back.
     
  19. dipm06 macrumors member

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    Jul 28, 2009
    #19
    yes, they are passive. i think there are two fans in the front and one in the back.
     
  20. Stuart in Oz macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I couldn't agree more. I bought an iMac 24" just over 14 months ago, to serve as my full-time machine for everything (I work from home). Now, on the desk, are two external drives, shortly to become three. The spaghetti junction down the back of my desk is a nightmare.

    LOL - the iMac ain't quiet!

    Let me rephrase that - the iMac is quiet on a cold day, when the fans can run low. On any sort of warm to hot day, the iMac has serious heat issues when you start serious processor use. The form factor just can't dissipate the heat quick enough.

    I've had serious machine failure from overheating (long story, written about it in other threads) but the end result is I have to run the fans at 100% with smcFanControl from spring through to autumn to prevent damage to the thing. In fact, last southern summer, I had to add A/C to the room as well.

    Go the MacPro - don't make my mistake.
     
  21. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    Scotland
    #21
    I bought an iMac almost two years ago now when the first of the Aluminium iMac's were released and I can safely say it was the best purchase I have ever made (computing related anyway...)

    Firstly, it is dead quiet regardless of ambient temperature. I live in Scotland but we do have central heating (set to 22 deg C) and on a sunny day my study reaches around 28 deg C ambient. Not "hot" by any means but not cold either. The iMac fans just keep running at their minimum speed throughout. I do have smcFanControl and certainly the fans are quite loud at 100% but I never need to touch it.

    Energy consumption is a hot topic in my household since my electricity has recently been costing me over £1000 per year. My iMac consumes 93 watts when idle and 125 watts at 100% CPU (both cores) which is a lot less power than the PC it replaced which was drawing over 300 watts. At current energy prices each watt equates to £1 per year if the device is on 24x7 and since my computer is on for perhaps 8 hours per day on average it is a significant cost saving. Add to this the fact the Mac can "sleep" much easier than my old PC and the savings are even greater.

    I don't know what the idle energy consumption of a Mac Pro is but I'll bet it is much higher than 93 watts... When you consider that the CPU's spend most of their time idle (unless you are doing lots of video encoding or folding at home or something) this may be worth thinking about. Or not... ;)


    Final thing to consider - if you got the iMac you could still use your Samsung screen by connecting it up as a second display. This for me is much more useful than the extra CPU power as you get double the desktop space to work with. I couldn't go back to a single monitor after 2 years of dual monitors. You could do the same with the MP but at extra cost. Bear in mind that the extra CPU power will only really kick in for processes which lend themselves to multi-core processing. Most "normal" desktop operations will be faster on a 3.06GHz iMac CPU than on a 2.66GHz MP CPU. The extra desktop space will be useable all the time.

    Either way you will have a great machine but I just thought I'd speak up for the iMac. :)

    Good luck,
    Craig.
     

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