Mac Pro 6 Core vs 5K iMac Full spec

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by RyanCruise_, Feb 6, 2016.


Which would you recommend for me?

  1. Mac Pro - 6 core

    10 vote(s)
  2. iMac 5k

    13 vote(s)
  1. RyanCruise_ macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2016
    The time has come to upgrade my iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011).

    It's between these two:

    Mac Pro
    Model A1481
    3.5GHz 6-core with 12MB of L3 cache
    32GB (4 x 8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
    1TB PCIe-based flash storage
    Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each.


    27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display
    • 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz
    • 32GB 1867MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    • 512GB Flash Storage
    • AMD Radeon R9 M395 with 2GB video memory
    I'll be using this computer for Music Production & Graphic Design - Pro in both area's.

    Currently my iMac isn't running Logic Pro X + other music programs to my liking and It's costing me time...
    wanting to get at least 4 years out of this new machine. Only reason i'm considering that spec Mac Pro is due to the fact that I know someone selling for $6000 w box sealed... whereas a new imac will cost $4300

    Please let me your thoughts
  2. Stacc macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2005
    I would say the only reason to go with the mac pro is if you need lots of graphics card horsepower or more than 6 cores. As far as I know logic doesn't depend on the GPU, so I would say go with the iMac. The single threaded performance will be a nice step above the mac pro and the multithreaded performance should be roughly equivalent to the 6 core. The mac pro hasn't been updated in 2 years so its hard to recommend it at this point.
  3. RyanCruise_, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016

    RyanCruise_ thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2016
    Logic's plugins use the GPU, so multiple chains will take their toll & I do use pro tools, maschine additionally.
    Another point would be heat and sound, my current iMac isn't the quietest and gets quite hot :/
    How do the idle noise db's compare?
    Want to make sure the iMac would be better as I'm looking for longevity & performance in this comp.
  4. dogbait macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Having owned (and sold) a maxed out Mac Pro 6 core I'd recommend the iMac unless you want super quiet performance and plan on using your machine to render continuously. The iMac will probably whine quite loudly if put under sustained load for a long time (batch video encoding, rendering video and 3D etc.)

    The iMac beats the 6 core Mac Pro in speed in just about every way. From disk speed, single threaded CPU performance, video encoding and even graphics performance. The only place your Mac Pro will beat the iMac is in heavily multithreaded stuff where you'll see 10-20% gains (thanks to those 2 extra cores) and in gaming (on Windows only) with AMD's Crossfire enabled where you'll see about 70% improvement.

    The other reason for buying a Mac Pro is of course the ability to hook upto 6x 4K displays...which of course no other Mac can do!
  5. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2008
    Been pondering a similar choice but luckily I'm in a position to wait another 6 to 8 months for a next generation Mac Pro( and that's just wishful thinking on my part - nobody except Apple knows when a new Mac Pro might arrive ). If you're not doing pro photography and/or pro video processing, the iMac should be great but sometimes unanticipated changes ( that increase your needs - maybe you decide to branch out into some video processing ) can make earlier decisions seem poor; it's easy to imagine your business increasing ( both in volume and into some new areas ) and making you wish for a more powerful machine in a year or two. A difficult decision. Good luck.
  6. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    Which Logic plugins utilize the GPU?
  7. brianbrook macrumors member


    Jan 3, 2016
    Northern California
    If you use a GPU at ALL then don't go with that iMac configuration: AMD Radeon R9 M395 with 2GB! you're gonna want 4GB for plug-in's and to keep relevant going forward...think 5 years from now when 4GB will not be enough and cards will all have 8 GB min.!
  8. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    They are roughly equivalent in most of the tests done on Barefeats (

    I had the same choice to make last month and I went with the iMac because you basically get a 27" 5K retina screen for the same price as the Mac Pro without any screen, because single core performance was better on the iMac (I do more photo work than video work), and because the SSD in the iMac is faster.

    But if you do a ton of video heavy work, constantly encoding and taxing your CPUs/GPUs, then I'd go with the Mac Pro.
  9. RyanCruise_ thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2016
    Jeez, Tough decision... I don't really play around with video too much.. However being a producer, recording artist and graphic designer, I'm required to wear the many hats. Leaning towards the Mac pro, then either buying a new display or using my existing 27" imac as the monitor
  10. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    Go to apple store and try it out.
  11. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2011
    I own a nMP and use it for graphic design, photography, and a little video editing and it's been great BUT I would not buy the current model with today's dollars. Unless you use all 6 cores regularly the top end iMac would be faster for most single core and lightly threaded projects unless you plan on running the cpu at 90%+ for hours on end.
  12. Simon R. macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    Logic's plugins don't use the GPU. Not for anything but showing the GUI at least.
  13. SpitUK macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2010
    East Yorkshire, UK
    The Mac Pro would be awesome hooked up to one of those 40" 4K monitors.
  14. RyanCruise_ thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2016
    Decided on the 5k iMac after checking it out today, the screen is amazing!

    What would you guys recommend as good yet affordable lightning external HD?
  15. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 601


    Jul 4, 2015
    The only issue with the iMac is possibly throttling under heavy load.

    The Mac Pro is a con. Companies should be forced to lower prices if they keep ageing hardware on the shelf for so long.
  16. markwilliams4321 macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2015
    I have a Samsung SM951 512GB in an external Thunerbolt 2 enclosure. 1400MB/s for only £295.
  17. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    What are you going to be using it for?
  18. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    I do not know if you are already planning on it, but I would recommend that you buy RAM from a 3rd party vendor. Apple's RAM prices do not exactly represent the actual prices of RAM. There is a lot of money to save there.
  19. KevWind, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016

    KevWind macrumors member


    Nov 7, 2015
    Using Logic it's probably a toss up. But if you use Pro Tools also , note that there seems to sometimes be a problem with PT 12.4 On the new I mac 5k with El Cap Check out the DUC and Gear Sluts for more info on this issue.
  20. RyanCruise_ thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2016
    Yeah I planned on buying 48GB RAM from OWC, such a big price difference

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