mac pro or imac, buying adivce?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by oddsocks, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. oddsocks macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2007
    Hi All,

    I currently have a 5 year old mac pro, which is a dual 1.8, has 1 gb of memory (did not realise it was that low) 64mb graphics card and a 150gb hard drive.

    As is expected it is starting to show it's age (also apple and adobe are tarting to drop support for non intel macs). I work as a freelance graphic designer and particularly find it very slow using photoshop, flash etc. With this in mind i'm looking to upgrade and was not sure weather to keep with the mac pro or to switch to the imac. I've listed below the basic requirements I would like to use my mac for.

    Design - I use all the adobe software and also quark.
    Games wise I like strategy so would be games like civ and football manager.
    Storage - I would like to keep copies of music and films on itunes as I have medialink to connect to my ps3.

    The problem that I am having is I like the mac pro from the aspect of having multiple hard drives (separate work and play), and feel that the mac pro has a bit more longevity as you can update graphics cards. However, the imac is much cheaper, and don't know if the mac pro would be over kill for what I use it for.

    Sorry if the question gets asked a lot, but it is a lot of money and would like a tailored.

    One final point is apple finance. What experience have you had, is there a better option as i'm not sure if i like only having the 36 month option?

    Many thanks,

  2. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'd say just go an get an iMac, you can even portion the hard drive so it's like having two, when it really isn't.
  3. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    The Mac Pro is over kill for you, but if you have the money, the Mac Pro might be the right option for you.

    For one, you said you would like seperate HD's.
    Also, this thing will last you a long time, so I think you'll get your money's worth.

    Not saying the iMac won't last long of course.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    For me the choice was simple because I already owned a 30" display and I simply didn't have the room for another 24". The iMac would have suited my needs and then some for running DW, PS, Aperture, HDR, etc. However, then the question was what to do with my 30" and how much would I miss it? I went for the MacPro.

    If you like separate drives and such then I think even saving your cash by getting the iMac and just getting something that houses multiple drives externally is perfect. There are external housing that can carry at least 4 drives.

    If you have a display that you're happy with and it's big enough then I'd say get the MacPro. Really that was all it took for me.
  5. oddsocks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2007
    Thanks for the quick response.

    For what I need I am struggling to find any drawbacks for the imac. I was also thinking I could always add an external hard drive to store media on.

    Is the apple store the best place to buy from if you what to pay on a monthly basis?


    After reading a few more responses (5 appear while I reply to the first response). I'm starting to get lost again. I do prefer the MacPro as it is what I a used to. Also spending to much time on macrumors i'm drawn in by the prospect of a new apple display next year. Pricing them up on the apple site, it works out at about double for the macrumor on a monthly basis.

    From what I understand there are not expected to be any big updates until next year for either model.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    If you're asking about their financing through Juniper then yes, you'd have to get approved then you can buy online or in store. Your approval is done online. I won't lecture you on the terms of that card or anything like that but I'll say if you have access to another method of payment then you should compare the two cards. :)

    There are also other sites like B&H Photo and Adorama that do a Bill Me Later™ thing, you may want to check into that.

    Good Luck.
  7. yellowcanary73 macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2008
    You might want to just look into some of the problems they are having with the LCD on the IMac 24in.:)
  8. Mhaddy macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2005
    I'm in a similar situation and was gung ho about getting the iMac over the Mac Pro until I sat down and used the iMac. The biggest issue (for me): the glossy screen and inconsistent colour display. As I do a lot of design work myself, the glare on the glossy screen is a turn off and gets in the way of my work. I've also found that if you go into Photoshop, fill a new document with a dark colour, zoom in and hit "f" a couple of times until it goes full screen, the colour that you see on the top of the screen will be noticably different than the colour at the bottom of the screen. This will vary depending on the angle that you're viewing at, but this was a deal breaker for me. JMTC.
  9. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    The glossy screen and possibly strange noise coming out from the computer.
  10. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    My first reaction is, upgrade your RAM, that should give you a good boost with your graphics applications. Have you checked to see what your VM usage is when doing work?

    Also, the glossy screen for graphics work might be the best option, especially if you already have a calibrated external LCD that you use. Of course you could keep the LCD and attach it to the iMac, if you have the space.
  11. FireSlash macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2007
    I had a similar struggle when I was buying.

    the MP is still overkill for what I do; I've yet to push the system load past 400% outside of benchmarking.

    Here's what sealed it for me though:
    - Not tied to a display; I can use as many as I can plug in, any brand any size.
    - More DIY. I can add ram and HDDs without a trip to the Apple store.
    - More expandable. With full realization that the CPUs are going to last me a long time, it's comforting to know I can toss 4 SATA (Current standard with no signs of immediate change) drives and up to 32 GB of ram. (DDR3 may eclipse this in the future, but this ram won't disappear, you can still easily find the slower previous gen ram, as well as SD-Ram for older pros)

    in short, the iMac is very finite. You can upgrade the ram, but that's about it. The HDD can be replaced with a larger one, but not easily. You're stuck with everything else. As someone who doesn't like to invest in new computers that often, the Pro makes more sense to me. As many Mac Pro/Powermac owners here can vouch for, these suckers last a long time :)
  12. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    As an ex-PC user I have to say my first reaction to the iMac was "Where is the computer?" But in reality, for what I do--and I do quite of bit of web development, the iMac is perfect for me--and it looks great in my family room. I could have afforded the MacPro but I really loved the look of the iMac--and I don't really care about making radical changes--easy access to RAM is all I need. So for me, and I think a lot of ex-PC users fall into this category--the iMac is a perfect choice!
  13. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Well, you can upgrade you PowerMac G5 (notice how I didn't call it a Mac Pro? :p) and make it usable for another few years yet. Ram and video cards for that model shouldn't be too hard to find.

    But anything you buy now (even a Mac Mini) will be faster. So the real concern is budget. I think the iMac 20" with your current external monitor hooked up for a dual setup would be a very nice cost effective solution.
  14. oddsocks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2007
    Thanks for all the reply's.

    I should be ordering my mac pro in the next couple of days. I went in to my local apple store to have a play around on the imac. As has previously been mentions the screen has some issues for what I would be using it for. My mac is connected to a poster printer where we run out press ready proofs to be signed off. The issue comes when sitting down with a client agreeing on designs on screen then not matching up with the printed proofs.

    I do like the imac, and for web work it it's great but I don't see it as a dependable machine for colour.

    Thanks again for all the advice, I just need to stop looking at all the accessories and just buy what I need.
  15. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    Hello all, another ex-PC here. I Just picked up a 24" iMac about a month ago.

    I went back and forth on the iMac/MP debate quite a bit. I really wanted something I could tinker with, with drive bays and PCI slots and so forth. But in the end I figured I could get a lot of goodies for the $1000 I saved and I didn't feel I really needed a dual quadcore to do some light video editing and to manage my pictures. I still wish I could have bought a powermac style machine of about the specs of my iMac for around $1300-$1500 or so, but I think I made the right choice of what was available.

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