Just how bad is my 08 Mac Pro Compared to iMacs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by FreakIndeed, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. FreakIndeed macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2012
    Excluding any upcoming updates in July or the fall to the iMac line, I'm trying to determine if purchasing an entire new machine to replace my Early 2008 Mac Pro is even that great of an idea.

    I don't know much about Geekbench, but my 2 X 2.8GHz quad core Mac Pro is scoring 9732 compared to the average of 11478 that the best iMac is pulling.

    If I popped in a Radeon 6870 (to get OpenCL) and an SSD boot drive, would a complete iMac purchase even be justifiable? What other "real world" improvements would I see when working in Photoshop CS6 and Premiere Pro CS6? Obviously Thunderbolt would be one, but I don't even see myself making much use of that at this point.
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I don't think you will see any real improvement. Your machine is likely to be slightly faster (or same speed) for multi-threaded applications anyway and your GPU is faster. The only 'improvement' I see are Thunderbolt (if you need it) and the display (unless you already have an Apple display).
  3. flatfoot, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    If I had the Mac Pro you have, I don't think I would trade in its expandability to get a not-so-much-faster iMac.

    Yes, pop in an SSD and a 6870. Especially the SSD is worth it, even more so with the current prices.

    Your Mac Pro offers already what Thunderbolt mainly added to the iMac line: storage expandability. The advantage of the Mac Pro is that it's internal, so nice and tidy.

    If you need faster external storage than FW800 can provide, pop in an eSATA card. These ones are really affordable and don't need additional drivers. The downside is that they "only" provide a bandwidth of 500MB/s, which is usually a bottleneck with SATA3 SSDs (at least with two of those in RAID0), but perfectly fine with mechanical HDDs. You'd need four to five of those in RAID0 to reach 500MB/s.

    EDIT: If you really wanted to upgrade to something faster, you could get a single CPU MacPro4,1 or MacPro5,1 (used for ~€1,600) and pop in a 3.33GHz 6-core W3680 CPU for ~€550. By selling your current Mac Pro for ~€1,000, you'd have a really fast, expandable machine for ~€1,200.
    That's what I'd do if I weren't stuck with what I have now due to chronic lack of money. ;)
  4. woodbine macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2010
    Bath, UK
    I'm in exact same position, and I have a buyer all lined up for my 2008 MP.

    It does have the SSD upgrade but still on a 3870 GPU.

    Two things are swaying my decision, power consumption and portability.

    Since its main use will be basic FCP and a once weekly Compressor render, I figure the trade offs in drive space etc will be compensated by the lower power usage and that it can be moved around a lot easier.
  5. Nandifix macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2012
    For simple video editing or graphic design the iMac will do fine plus as you mentioned the power consumption will be lower. I heard recently that if you leave a mac pro on all year and put it to sleep when not using it, it will still cost you £230 per year. Expensive!
  6. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    You did not mention how much RAM you have in your Mac Pro. If you haven't already I would suggest bumping it to 16 GB if you haven't already for use with CS6. It is not essential, but you will see a real improvement.
  7. FreakIndeed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2012
    Thanks for the input everyone. It definitley seems like upgrading components of my Mac Pro is the way to go for now.

    Dornblaser, I have 10GB of RAM right now with two open slots still. So I will probably add another 4GB.

    Flatfoot, thanks for the info on those cards, I'm definitley looking into adding one to my system. That will allow me to add a sata to esata bracket in another slot and use the two motherboard ports for external drives.

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