Mac Pro 4,1 (8-core 2.26Ghz) vs current 2.8Ghz quadcore iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by samtasticra, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. samtasticra macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    hey all,
    I just picked up a 2.26Ghz 8-core Mac Pro (Migration Assistant is doing it's thing as I type).

    The graphic design studio I bought it from, have another 3 to sell.

    My dad is in the market for a new Mac. He's been looking at the top-of-the-line iMac (27" quadcore 2.8Ghz). But I'm wondering if he mightn't be better off with a second-hand Mac Pro (he has a G3 tower at the moment, so already has a screen, keyboard and mouse).

    the stats for both are:

    the 2nd-hand Mac Pros (4,1) - AUD$2500:

    8-core 2.26Ghz CPU
    6gb RAM (with 2 spare slots, so easily and affordably upgradeable to 8gb, max = 64gb)
    640gb HD (with 3 HD slots empty. Max internal storage is at least 8TB)
    18x Superdrive (burns/reads DVDs/Dual layer DVDs/CDs) (able to add a second internal drive)
    ATI 4870 graphic card (512mb)

    Current top-of-the-line iMac (27" Quadcore 2.8Ghz) - AUD$2600 (brand new):

    Quad-core 2.8Ghz CPU
    4gb RAM (two slots only, maximum - 16gb)
    1TB HD (space for a second SSD drive?)
    8x superdrive (burns/reads DVDs/Dual layer DVDs/CDs)
    ATI 5750 graphic card (1gb)

    Apart from the obvious benefits of the Pro (expandability in the future), and the obvious benefit of the iMac (it's under warranty), what other arguments for/against both are there?

    Does anyone have a rough idea how the two would perform in their current state, back-to-back? MacTracker doesn't yet have the newest iMac series listed, so no benchmark comparison is possible with it yet.

    My Dad will be using it for graphic design/image processing.

    Sam : )
  2. SatyMahajan macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2009
    Cambridge, MA
    iMac is going to feel faster. But if he's already used to his current screen and gets good print/web color translation results, there will be a adjustment period going to the iMac screen. That being said, I have the 2.26 Octo and do a lot of different stuff (end-to-end dev, graphic design, video, etc.) and it's served me well. Thought about switching to the iMac, but the thought of having external hard drives made my skin crawl. :eek: Plus then I'd have to get rid of my 2 30" cinema displays. :eek:

    My vote is Mac Pro, but I'm biased. Most people on here will tell you the 2.26 octo is a bad deal, I have found it to do everything I've asked for (Xcode, Photoshop, After Effects, Cinema 4D, FCP, Logic Studio, etc).

    Both of the computers will make his G3 feel like it was born in the 1800s.

    Good luck!
  3. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    I would vote for the MP and that's what I did.

    The real world performance I don't think will be that different. If your Dad is fussy he might come up against the tint iMac problems or even get dead pixels.

    There is talk of upgrading the CPUs in these octos although that's not for me.

    Either would be ok, personal taste I suppose. He could also get something like an SSD for the MP which would make it seem faster.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    A G3 tower most likely means your father needs a new if that's Apple. I mean doesn't the G3 use ADC?

    That said, I think the iMac is the better choice. I'm not so sure the 8c 2.26 is a great choice; sure the expandability is good, but the processor isn't very good.

    For graphics design and image processing the iMac is a good choice. Not sure what monitor he has, so I can't say if he keeps it, it will be any good for that task.

    For $170, your dad can have OWC add eSATA to the iMac. Then it'll be good for most things.
  5. eponym macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2010
    That iMac will likely feel a lot faster (and it has 4 RAM slots, not 2).

    What will your dad be using it for?

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