Mac Pro or iMac 5k

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aloshka, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    So I have a really nice Mac Pro. It's working great. I've been waiting on new displays from Apple, but it did not happen. I am using dual thunderbolts right now with the nMP, however, I am in need of 4k monitors or at the very least, something not so damn reflective with so much glare.

    Since Apple will probably not release 4k or even 5k standalone until mid 2015 when technology catches up (and i'll have to update the Mac Pro to even make use of them), should I just jump ship and get an iMac? Or just buy third party monitors for the Mac Pro I have now. I absolutely need 2 monitors and size wise, 24+ is great, but no bigger than 30", since having two on the desk can get very cumbersome. The two 27's feel a bit too much right now, but I do like having the space.

    I do hear, that people are having issues with 4k monitors on macs. The UP2414Q looks great, but it sounds like there are weird sleep issues.

    Auto brightness/keyboard brightness is a bit of a big deal for me. The office I work in lighting changes too often, and having to adjust each monitor via OSD is beyond annoying.

    So any suggestions? Getting the iMac is great, but I get the feeling I'll be very annoyed having a 5k iMac and TB display next to it.

    Doesn't even have to be an answer, any discussion is welcome.
  2. octothorpe8 macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2014
    I guess it would really depend on what kind of work you're doing with it?

    I mean, if you're doing hard-core tasks like video editing you might as well bite the bullet and get the Pro because it has much beefier specs and can be extended/upgraded a whole lot more easily than that iMac, which is basically a what-you-see-is-what-you-get proposition.
  3. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    I am a windows and an iOS/OSX Developer. I run 2 virtual machines for Win development. Lots of SQL servers, large db's, etc. Lots and lots of code (thus the dual monitor thing).

    I think I jumped on the Mac Pro because my old iMac that I was using before (2011) was running out of space, and started struggling as I got more clients and the VM's started growing drastically. I got a Lacie version 2 drive and use it (it's TB2 so very nice on the Mac Pro). The new iMac also has TB2, so that issue is gone.

    I do occasionally game (just WoW, nothing special).
  4. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    For me the nMP is still the best bang even though I work in 4K + film production.

    The ports and the ability to use as many as 6 options Thunderbolt is the kicker.

    I still havent figured out if the two ports are shared on the new iMac.
  5. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    What monitors do you use with it?
  6. mBox, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

    mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    In one studio were using dual Apple 30s, GRAID StudioRAID, Black Magic UltraStudio 4K and two Sonnet Echo Express III loaded with a RED ROCKET and Digidesign HDX for Pro Tools.
    The studio runs Avid Media Composer, Digidesign Pro Tools, FCPX and Resolve 11.
    Def cant do that with the iMac at the moment.

    Maybe when Thunderbolt 3 comes out :)

    Edit: Mac Pro D700 8-Core with 64GB and 1TB HD.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
  8. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    To be honest personally I would get the new iMac.

    I would replace my macMini with it.

    I already have a 2012 cheese grater thats loaded and Im still happy with it at home ;)
  9. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Thing is, I already have the Mac Pro. I got it in April (Ordered in Jan, jeez). I love the machine, just the monitors suck. I don't need 4k by any means, I don't do any type of video editing. But because I spend so much time on my comp, going cheap on a monitor or the machine would be silly. Especially since it's more than ⅓ of my entire life spent (actually more, I think).

    This thread is about selling the Mac Pro to get the iMac just for the monitors.


    I miss the Apple 30's. One of my favorite monitors ever.

    So basically you use all-pro monitors. I don't do video though. And before the pitchforks come out and others tell me I don't need a Mac Pro, that is absolutely true. I don't need it, I just got it because speed = more money for me. A difference in 2 seconds for compile times makes a world of a difference. And my business has been my life, so investing in perfect expensive equipment is a no-brainer.

    Thus the big question. Since the Mac Pro is not 100% necessary, but really nice, would the iMac replacement be worth it, solely for the monitor–although I'm neglecting what I'd do with the second monitor.. I do need 2 :) Or 3.
  10. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Then def wait if display options arent met yet.

    What are the specs for the iMac in regards to a second display?

    Is there an option?

    Its not unheard of to use a lower res display as a secondary.
  11. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Ya, OSX does great scaling when it comes to having a retina vs non-retina. But technically yes, same issue. Even if i get iMac second display will suck. So maybe you are right. Just keep the Mac Pro. It is an incredibly awesome machine to be fair.
  12. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I know if I bought one personally I would never sell it.

    Its just so handy in so many levels from what I do.

    Ive yet to boot camp one, have you?
  13. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Yeah, I did bootcamp. Works well. Win 8 only though. Decided to do straightup Parallels though. Got too used to OSX and rebooting was annoying.

    But thanks for your advice. I think I'll stick to the nMP then. I just get the feeling if I sell it, I'll regret it. It's easier to replace monitors than an entire machine. I definitely won't use it's full power outside full CPU usage and memory, and probably like 2 tb ports... but hey, it's an awesome machine.
  14. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I picked up a used Apple 30 for $350 USD online for home.

    It was immaculate best purchase Ive done in awhile :)
  15. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Ordered dual up2414q's from Amazon. They will come in tomorrow. If
    They work well and no issues, I'm keeping the Mac pro. If they are going to have a ton of issues (likely based on forums), then they are going back and retina iMac it is.
  16. JustThinkin' macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2014
    Mac Pro is usually better

    I'd be awfully cautious about giving up the Mac Pro for a new iMac. I think it's worth finding dual displays that work for you, even if you need to try more than one model until you get it right.

    While it's possible you could get away with the 4790K processor for your software development, please see the related post I just made about why the Mac Pro CPUs are better:
  17. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    That's a very very good point that I didn't even think about. Sometimes constant compiling hits the CPU 80-90% for 5-20mins (goes down sometimes, but depending on what I'm working on, I could be compiling, debug, compile, debug, etc, every x seconds). Or running SQL queries that cap CPU / IO at 95% for a few minutes.

    Also, I think I agree with you 100%. I'll find some good monitors. Worst case scenario, I'll keep the TB's and deal with the annoying glare. Until Apple comes out with a new monitor (hopefully).

    I up voted your post on the other forum. Thanks!
  18. JustThinkin', Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014

    JustThinkin' macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2014
    Sure - I hope it was a help. It's possible that Apple will be able to minimize the 4790K throttling because they control both the hardware design (cooling system) and the OS, but I wouldn't count on it.

    I built all three machines using the same low-profile case and the same high-quality, third-party heat sink/fan. In theory, the powerful 2011-3 processors should have been at a disadvantage in this smaller case. But even though the 8-core processor got a little hotter, it never slowed down. And Naturally the 4790K machine had to use a different motherboard, which may have handled throttling differently. But this really cemented in my mind the idea that there's a real difference between "consumer" and "Pro" CPUs.
  19. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Only thing I regret is that I didn't get 8 core, since it's single-core performance is on par with the 6-core (even though the lower clock speed), but it's 8 core on top of that. I think if Apple updates the Mac Pro next year with TB3, or compatible Xeon processors come out (putting in a new proc is not that hard on the mac pro), I'll either switch out the entire Mac Pro or just the processor. For now I think dual 4k's will be nice. Assuming they work and there are no tearing, waking up or general have to ungracefully reboot the mac (which in VM world means severe corruption).
  20. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Dell is about to release a 5K monitor that will work with any computer with two DisplayPort 1.2 ports. Both the iMac and the Mac Pro have this. (So, yes, you could have a 5K iMac, with a second 5K display right next to it.)

    Of course, Dell's display costs as much as the whole iMac.....
  21. JustThinkin' macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2014
    Yes, on paper the 8-core looks like its single-core performance should be slower, but since the turbo speed is still 3.9GHz (the same as the 6- and 4-core CPUs) it's just as fast. The slower standard speeds on the processors with more cores probably allows them to run at about the same temperature as the 4-core under normal usage. Under load the 8-core will still give twice the performance of the 4-core - it'll just run a little hotter.

    Let us know if the monitors work out for you.
  22. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Just got them, trying one in case I want to return both so one at least won't be open. So far, beautiful. Retina looks great. I just played WoW very fast, I could get 80-90fps (I have d700). Even with the smaller TB display, I could never get any frame rates unless I was in the "good" setting. It seems this monitor makes no difference either. Good = same framerate as the TB display. So far no extra heat, actually less than the TB display. Testing sleep, etc, now.
  23. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Further testing... No issues with waking, going to sleep, tearing, anything really. Even on boot, the whole screen is used. Tried every way possible to break and they work perfectly. AG coating is very light, so that is nice, but still noticeable.

    It's really unusable in 30hz, but it looks like 60hz works fine w/o any issues at all. Just have to do that enable DP 1.2 thing in the settings of the monitor. Going to still go check out the iMac in stores. One thing that is really making me not want to use them is the mouse lag. It's definitely 60hz, but the mouse lags. Not by much, but enough to be annoying. It's like everything is a little delayed. Smooth, but delayed. Best way to imagine this is if you have a 1080p tv, and apple tv, airplay to the apple tv full resolution. Notice when you move your mouse it's a little delayed on the tv. Same thing, just not as bad.

    That being said... still going to go check out the iMac. If it has a smooth mouse, more than likely going to get it. Love Retina, and I guess I can live with 1 retina, 1 non-retina TB display(s).

    Say I drank the koolaid, and it's probably true; but I don't like Dell in general. The monitors are great, great build, but stupid things like lack of auto-brightness is killing it for me. My office kind of changes light A LOT. So chances are nMP will go on sale today.
  24. mstgkillr macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2012
    Almost went for the nMP but decided on the 5k iMac...
  25. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    My only fear is fan noise. I mean when playing a game how loud will that thing get? Also, I'm not fully decided yet. If in-store it's going to lag a bit on the mouse too, I'll just stick with the mac pro I have and use the dual 4k's. I guess the lag might be something I can get used to, even though it's annoying.

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