Mac Pro 2010 or Quad iMac 27"

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by seisend, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. seisend macrumors 6502a

    seisend

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    Switzerland, ZG
    #1
    Hi,

    A friend of me which is an architect student wants to get his first Macintosh. He asked me for advice which machine he should get. He would like to buy a new 27" Quad Core iMac. He mainly wants to use programs on it like:

    Archicad, maybe autocad (bootcamp), Cinema 4D

    I have no experience with these programs, but I know that Archicad and Cinema 4D work great with mutlicore systems.

    As he is doing a lot of rendering and these programms support multicores, I think the Quad Core iMac would not be a bad decision because he said he wants to travel the mac sometimes to other places for work, too. But then he also means, that he wants to let the machine running over night for renderings, that means the iMac would be powered on maybe 24/7 . And he ruined his current PC due to stress the machine all day with renderings. So I think, the iMac isn't build for such heavy use 24/7 is it? I have an iMac 08 at home too, and this thing gets pretty hot on the back side sometimes. So I would recommend him an upcoming Mac Pro 2010 and he would have more power for renderings too... Because overall, I think the Mac Pro is the perfect rendering machine.

    His budget is limited at the time.

    What do you guys think ? Is there someone working with these programms ?

    thanks
     
  2. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Portland, OR
    #2
    I think the imac is a great call for his needs. And thus far all the tests I've seen show it outperforming the current MacPro anyway.

    EDIT: I had a G3 imac that was constantly on for thee years as I used it as a server; it was a daily use intern machine before that and is a casual use web machine now. It still runs fine. :)
     
  3. hwhalers macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #3
    IMO, the single-socket Mac Pro is a very poor purchase for someone who doesn't live and die on having internal expansion. The cost is just too high for too little.

    The i7 iMac will be plenty fast for rendering, and the low-end Mac Pros are not worth the 30% + Monitor premium for almost everyone.

    If he's worried about reliability, adding AppleCare to an i7 iMac with 8GB of RAM is still cheaper than getting a slower Mac Pro with only 3GB, before the cost of a monitor. Besides, I know people who use their i7 iMacs for 3D purposes (including extended renders) and have no concern about it.

    Mind you that this is all basing his decision off the '09 Mac Pros. The '10 models may or may not change the equation entirely. If they get more cores with more power for the same base price, then it becomes more complicated.
     
  4. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #4
    It's a pretty safe bet that the '10 Mac Pros will be available in 6 or 12 Core configurations, therefore they will offer a significant performance increase over the current models and the i7 iMac, especially for multithreaded apps.

    My advice is to wait and see what the new Mac Pros will offer, and make a decision then.
     
  5. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #5
    If they're not in any hurry then waiting for a Mac Pro revision might be a good idea. However, the 27" i7 iMac has the price and performance sweet spot hit right now, and whatever they do to the Mac Pro they wont be bundling in a 27" LED IPS screen.

    It feels unusual to recommend an iMac for this sort of work, but with the i7 that's really where Apple have taken it. We're going to see a lot of 'pro' iMacs due to this generation. Hell, they might as well have gone the whole hog and called it the iMac Pro.
     
  6. seisend thread starter macrumors 6502a

    seisend

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    Location:
    Switzerland, ZG
    #6
    Thanks for all your answers.

    I am aware that the current iMac is the much better deal than a current Mac Pro. My thought where just that the Mac Pro is just build for this sort of work. As I said, he has a budget limit and would be happy if he doesn't need to spend too much. I don't think that the Mac Pro 2010 will be the "bang for the buck". But the Mac Pro 2010 will be defenetly faster than the Quad Core iMac. In fact, the current basic 8 Core model is surely faster in multicore renderings than the new Quad Core iMac.

    Overall I think the Quad Core iMac would be a good decision. Nice to travel sometimes to different places. Overall nice speed, big screen and a good price. I am just still a bit worried about heat (maybe SMCfancontrol will do it too ;-) ). I will recommend him buy Apple Care too.
     
  7. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
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    #7
    If Apple really wanted to make an iMac Pro, they'd NEED NEED NEED eSata. Until light whatever becomes the standard, eSata is really the only budget level, usable external expansion option for professionals. Add 2-3 eSata ports and I would buy an iMac and never look back...
     
  8. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #8
    usb 3 will be the norm by the end of this year if not earlier. Hopefully esata will also be there, but I'm not counting on that.
     
  9. snouter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    #9
    I have my doubts that sticking an i5 or an i7 in such an enclosed space is such a great idea. In day to day use, the heat may be ok, but rendering in Cinema 4d means all 4 cores at 100% for as long as the render takes.

    My homebuilt i7 920 has a pretty large heatsink and fan on it. It stays cool, but the heatsink and fan are as large as a softball.
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #10
    The price gap between 4 and 6-cores is going to be in the ball park of $700 for the processor on a single socket though. That's the retail price though. It'll probably be $1,000 BTO.
     
  11. seisend thread starter macrumors 6502a

    seisend

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    #11


    OK, has somebody experience with iMac and Cinema 4D / archicad ?
     
  12. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #12
    So you think the standard configuration will remain at 4 cores? I think they need something to really seperate it from the i7 iMac in terms of performance. Only 6 cores standard would really do that in my opinion. With Apple, I could be wrong though...
     
  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #13
    "Enjoy the new 6-core Mac Pro starting at $3,499."

    That is unless Apple decides to have a price cut on the single socket systems. :rolleyes:
     
  14. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #14
    Now THAT sounds realistic. -.-
     
  15. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #15
    I'm sure USB3 will be awe-inspiring, but the sustain rates on 1.1 and 2.0 are so terrible that even though with low sustain 3.0 should blow most things out of the water, I'm already less likely to utilize it (I mean, really, 2.0 is theoretically faster than FW400 by 20%, yet in my experience it's usually 30-50% slower). SATA transfer rates, especially sustain rates, have been excellent in both I and II, and with III around the corner...
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #16
    USB 3.0 tends to keep pace with eSATA 3 Gbps. There is some competition with powered eSATA ports but USB 3.0 also offers much higher bus power than the old 2.0. Gigabyte has even gone further than the USB 3.0 spec for power as well.

    It's just up to the vendor to include a $3 NEC USB 3.0 controller or not and the additional SATA III hardware. Otherwise ASUS offers a very affordable combo card and Seagate pairs an USB 3.0 ExpressCard with their portable drives. You'll be limited by the PCIe x1 lane but it's better than USB 2.0. I still don't know what notebooks are using the PCIe 2.0 based ExpressCard slots.
     

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