Mac Pro Or 24" IMac Help Please.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pcorajr, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. pcorajr macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    I am having a very difficult time choosing which Mac I should purchase. My options are the 24" IMac or the Mac Pro base model. my budget is no more than 2400 dollars give or take. Here is a little background or what I will be using the computer for.

    1. Gaming using Boot-Camp + Vista. I will be playing mainly MMORPG and occasionally some RTS or Single player RPG. Games like Vanguard, LOTR online, WOW, WAR, EQ2, Starcraft 2. This is the only reason I will be using Boot-Camp and windows on my Mac.

    2. I will also be using my new Mac for IPhoto and IMovie We have a 6 year old and a new born and I would like to start taking more photos/video and doing some editing and slide shows to distribute around the family.

    3. Normal day to day use internet surfing, e-mail, blogging,Itunes, Ripping and converting video for my PSP/Blackberry.

    This is not the first time using a Mac but it is been a long time since I owned one. I am and IT Professional, so must of the day i have to deal with PC and windows.

    The reason why I'm having a hard time choosing is because of the gaming. I like to play the latest and greatest MMO out there, and while MMORPG are not very graphic intensive, they do sometimes require a good video card. My main concern here is that I have a machine that will play these games or any MMORPG coming out in the near future.

    Knowing that the IMac is receiving soon a upgrade is killing me. This is mainly due to the fact that my home PC is dead and I'm using my work laptop until I purchase my new mac.

    So here are a few questions i have about the IMac and Mac Pro:

    1. If I Get a Mac Pro can I upgrade the video card in the future via Apple when they release a new Mac Pro.

    2. Any gamers out there can tell me how the 24" IMac does with games? mainly in a Vista/Boot-Camp scenario.

    I'm not going to ask if i should wait for the new IMac. I would rather see if people are pleased with their current setups and their gaming performance.

    In the end this is what I would get,


    24" only upgrade i would do is bump the ram to 2 GB and upgrade to the Nvidia 256 MB 7600 GT + apple care This system cost as much as the Mac Pro Base system.


    Mac Pro Base model + Apple Care, I would only get this setup if its possible to upgrade Video card and ram with out Voiding Warranty.
  2. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I have heard the 24" with 256 7600GT runs well with games, def. get the 2GB or consider 3GB. That Mac will also handle all the iLife you need it to. All that said, the Mac Pro is more horse and you can upgrade the video later, but the RAM is expensive and it only comes with 1GB. The iMac sounds like a better solution and should do you fine, but if you have that much concern with gaming, you won't want the stock Mac Pro, but the X1900 video option.
  3. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    It sounds like you'd benefit from the MacPro.

    Have you looked at Apple refurb MacPros? They carry the same warrantee and are usually hundreds less.

    On the other hand, keep in mind the iMac has a stunning 24" display built in, also kinda good for games.

    However, in the long run, staying away from all in ones makes sense (not that I haven't owned three iMacs since their introduction), because quite simply, they get outdated faster and lack any real upgrade potential down the road say, oh, 4 years. My iMac G4 is about on its last legs, just because of the software I'm asking it to run. On the other hand, my 6 yearold PowerMac G4 tower is still rather useful in many capacities because of its expandability factor.

    Just keep all this stuff in mind!
  4. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2007
    Get the Mac Pro with the ATI Radeon X1900 XT.
  5. krunk macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2004
    Getting an iMac if games are important is a bad move. It's not upgradeable and the 7xxx series is "ok" for most of the games out there. But it's incapable of playing some of them and many can only be played at low resolution and low to medium graphic settings.

    Even if that is fine for you now, you can bet it's going to choke on the DX10 games coming out around the corner and then you'll be faced with buying an entirely new computer rather then a vid card upgrade.

    Think of the iMac's like a very large, non portable Macbook. That's basically what they are.
  6. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    I can't answer from experience about how the games would play on the iMac, however I wouldn't say you've anything to worry about – particularly the games you’ll be playing. I’m sure other members with more practical experience will be able to advise you, but in the meantime, have a search though the gaming and iMac forums as they’ll be some info there. Sites like Barefeats do some good speed tests – these will concentrate of first-person shooters, but it will give you an idea of the machine’s capabilities. Also the Apple forums have some ok threads, I think.

    If you got the Mac Pro, yes you can install a new video yourself no problems as it’s a user-replaceable part. As to buying a new card from Apple, I don’t know what the current policy is; in the UK, you used to be able to, but it’s a while since I’ve looked and they were expensive.

    Normally, I would say that the Mac Pro might be considered overkill for what you intend to be using it for and that you might consider a machine meant as a gaming rig – but you’ve obviously done your homework. However, I would strongly advise not getting the standard video card.

    Worth checking Apple’s refurb store.

    This review of the 2.0 and 2.66 Mac Pros is well worth a read, if you haven’t.:
  7. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2005
    I faced the same situation and went with the iMac 24 with the 256 7600GT option and 2gig.

    Games look stunning on it. I run full screen with everything switch on when playing WOW and EVE.

    Hope that helps.

  8. pcorajr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Great, Thank you All for the the help, Along with the post here and some more research really help set my mind on the Mac Pro.

    I called Apple Right after reading the post here and by god i tell you they helped clear a lot of misconceptions.

    The main one been that in the future i could buy a video card and upgrade with out voiding my applecare. This mean a lot to me because i was under the impression that only video cards purchased from apple where supported.
  9. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Good job!

    BTW - on andantech, there was an article on upgrading the processors in Mac Pros - not saying you would want to do it now, but it might be future food for thought.
  10. amc382 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2003
    i'd get the imac.

    mac pro's are overrated for anything but professional type work. you sound like you'd be using it for consumer type use, so buy the consumer machine. it's not like the mac pro is better, it has higher specs, but whatever.
  11. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I agree that the iMac is like a non-portable Macbook Pro, but I disgaree that they arent good for reasonably current games.

    I have a Rev A CD iMac (X1600) and I've never had an issue playing current release EA Sports games in BootCamp or with COD2 (with a fairly high settings) in OS X.

    The point is well-taken about the lack of upgrade options. I bought the iMac because it did what I needed it to do (and still does); the lack of upgrade options doesnt bother me because by the time this computer stops being able to do what I need, I'll just purchase a new machine.
  12. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    Mac Pro's are not overrated for anything but professional apps. Because it is the only computer Apple offers that is truly upgradeable.

    Sure, for the OPs uses the Mac Pro is a bit much, and in the case of the FB-DIMMs his games may suffer. But if you want upgradeability there isn't much of a choice.

    The Mac Pro is a better overall machine as far as what it offers. No just because of specs.

    I do think the OP should go with the iMac, unless he wants upgradeability or wants to expand he uses to professional work later on.

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