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Discussion in 'iMac' started by galaksy, Jul 22, 2014.
such as desktop or MBP.
Can you do video and music editing on the iMac ok?
It is a desktop. The highest end iMacs are very powerful computers. For a performance/dollar ratio, iMacs will be be better than any of the laptop options that Apple has.
This is my favorite current offering:
This is my second favorite:
The only benefit of the 2012 i7 model is the extra processing power. It is about 15% more powerful than the 2013 i5 model. The first option has a better Fusion Drive and AC wifi (some OSX Yosemite features require AC wifi). The i7 will cost you an extra $80, which is pretty good, so if you are doing photo/video editing it is maybe better to get the 2012 model. There is no external difference between the 2012 and 2013 model, and the 2012 model will be a better performer by a small margin. Both of the computers are powerhouses. A comparable DIY PC would cost around $1600.
The only reason not to get either of these models is if you are going for a baseline 21" model, or you want to get a maxed out $3000 iMac. Any of the models in the $1800-$2400 price range will give you significantly worse performance/dollar. You can get slightly better performance, but it will cost about $600 more before you really notice it.
get a Mac Pro!!!!
And I am not suggesting just the new Mac Pro. I have just had such a bad experience with my i7 mid-2011 27" iMac that I will probably never buy a high-end iMac ever again. In contrast, my office has nine Mac Pro 3,1 2.8GHz octocore machines which run 24/7, and none of them has ever had any serious problems which I could not fix on my own. The only problem I ever had was a burnt out GTX 285 card which I promptly replaced with a GTX 680, and it just keeps going.
My poor iMac in contrast has visited the Apple Store to replace the graphic card twice, the optical drive once, the LCD panel once, and they are about to replace the graphic card now a third time. To be fair, Apple Care has been fantastic, but it is just sad to have my primary computer down so many times and for so long. And when I got mine, it was north of $3000.00 as I had it topped out with every single option I could get.
So in my personal opinion, stick with a MacPro, 3,1 or later, and you will be much happier. The used market is good -- make sure the case is intact and in good condition, and buy a 30" ACD -- I have three of those now which I bought for about $500/each. It was a work of art then, it is still a beauty today.
What is a 30" ACD?
Apple Cinema Display
How much would be the used Mac Pro?
The 2011 models with AMD graphics were notorious for failing. Three of my relatives all have 27" 2012 models, and none of them have had any issues with the computers. Both of our evidence is anecdotal though, so neither of them really count for much. The 2012 refresh also came with a complete redesign for the screen mounting, the heat sinks, and they use nVidia graphics. The comparison to the 2011 model is a little stretch, but you do make a good point that the cMP is more accessible. It does come at the cost of about doubling the weight, and having to know your way around a computer. It also doesn't come with any peripherals.
You can find them relatively cheap, for $500 or less sometimes. You are essentially paying for a computer case and the license to use OSX though. You will most likely need to buy your own GPU, SSD, HDD, RAM, monitors, other externals, and potentially the CPU. It will basically be whatever price you want it to be.
How much might each of those other things you mentioned cost?
The prices on those items vary quite a bit. I would need to know what you want. GPU is anything from $100-$2000, and $300 is normal. HDD and SSD is from $60-$500, and $300 is normal. RAM would be $50-$300, really depends on your needs. Monitors and externals are about $300-$2000, and $600 is normal. Plus $500 for the computer. The CPU upgrade would be probably at least $200.
So what would be the total be
About $1800 for a computer as powerful as the iMacs. It will be upgradeable, it will weigh over 50 pounds, it will not have warranty, it will be louder, and it will be much larger. This is not to say you should not get a Mac Pro. If you like tweaking your computer, the Mac Pro is perfect for that. It is a project though, and if any of your components break, you will be dealing with the manufacturers, not Apple.
Buy a 4,1 or later
The 4,1 with a decent graphics card, memory would be about $1500 -- the ACD 30" would be about $500.00. You can upgrade the 4,1 to a 5,1 and make it a 12-core machine with a little bit of elbow grease and surgeon hands -- check out Barefeats -- they were able to build one that is at least as fast a new MacPro trash bucket (of course, you will never be able to get Thunderbolt -- but I have found that Thunderbolt more a gimmick as I can have whatever I want connected to the oMP via PCI cards). I built a RAID 1+0 set up that gets 1000MB+/s on both read and write cycles without much ado.
The cost of the RAID array with an ARECA card was north of $5000.00 -- but let me tell you -- having things boot up, access, and work instantaneously is worth every single penny and every single drop of sweat I put into that particular server. And I also spent about $1000 for a GTX Titan 6gb. Consider this, the greatest bottle neck in any system is access to storage. Depending on what you are going to use your system for, that is where I would put my money and effort.
I did buy a Promise R6 RAID array for my iMac which now is basically just a huge expensive brick which I cannot access because it requires a computer equipped with Thunderbolt (and my iMac is in the shop). So beware of getting stuck with Thunderbolt devices. I really doubt that Thunderbolt is the interface of the future.
Note that a Windows desktop uses a lot more electricity (idle, an iMac uses 35 - 45 watts, and a desktop PC could use anything from 100-150, then maxed out an iMax will draw 90 watts, and a desktop PC could draw 10X that). This means electricity bills will be much larger on a windows desktop over an iMac. You would also have to pay for anti virus every year for the PC, as well as editing suites (the iMac comes with iMovie as well as a host of other great pro apps). A benefit of the iMac over a MBP is you get a lot more for a lot less. I really needed a dedicated GPU for my line of work, and to get that on the MBP I would need the maxed out one at £2199. To get an iMac with the same dedicated GPU as that MacBook (the 750m), I was only £1299. I edit a lot of video on my iMac (my largest edit must have been when I edited a 2 hour long video with several layers of audio and video, lots of audio enhancements, colour corrections, video stabilisations, transitions, titles and picture in pictures to name but a few). I also to a lot of photo editing which my iMac handles as smooth as butter. Gaming is great too (I can play Dirt 2 maxed out at 1080p).
What is a dedicated GPU?
A dedicated GPU is one that is a separate chip (such as a GTX 780M for instance), and does not share its memory with system RAM.
It's significantly more powerful than an integrated GPU (such as Iris Pro).
Some Yosemite features require wireless AC wifi?
Yeah, I was spreading misinformation. I read it somewhere on another forum. I just looked it up and it actually requires Bluetooth 4.0 (BT LE), which is included on the 2012 machines. My mistake..
just for the record I have a Mid-2011 iMac, i7, 2gb graphics card and the only problem I have had was with the superdrive.
iMac is a great machine, but similar to a laptop, upgradability is very minimal (if at all) which decreases the lifespan for a pro user. The other downfall is that if a component fails inside the machine it is very difficult for the average home user to replace and would then require a visit to an Apple Store or AASP.
My advice is to max out the machine you are purchasing with the exception of RAM if it is user upgradable. Not only will this lengthen the lifespan of the computer but also increase the amount of interest when re-selling the machine down the track, and increasing resale value.
Unfortunately Apple is heading down the road of using non-replaceable components in most of the machines (except maybe the mac mini?) from what I understand there isn't much replaceable in a current gen Mac Pro.
The iMac is a good machine. We still have a 2009 imac running as the admin, image archive and print storage unit for our studio. Main processing is done with a more modern unit. You will see high end iMacs in a lot of video and photography studios as they represent good bang for the buck in the Mac lineup. Upgradability across the Mac lineup is poor compared to Windows boxes.
So how much would it be to max out on an iMac?
About how much larger?
Clearly, iMac power draws can vary quite a bit depending on the model:
Sure, a desktop PC _might_ draw more power if you've got a couple of highend graphics cards or other power-hungry accesories, but with similar components, the difference isn't going to be that huge.
What would be an example of some desktop models with similar components?
From my experience, 5 to 10 times more.
Windows alone really changes the power draw.