Mac Pro or iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dbwrobel, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. dbwrobel Guest

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #1
    I'm looking to pick up a computer for my research for grad school (programming and computer vision), which I would also like to use as a personal home computer (ie. for games, music, internet, maybe some video editing here and there). I've been looking at some machines and I'm currently eyeing the 27" i5/i7 iMac models either refurb or new, as well as some older Mac Pro models on Kijiji (I'm liking the Mac Pros due to their expandability, from what I've read - the iMac I don't particularly like due to the glossy screen since I work near a window). Would it make much sense speed/performance wise to pick up the Mac Pro with cheaper lcd(s) over the iMac? The Mac Pro I believe is a 2008 model for 1400 with 4 gb 667mhz ram, 2 500gb hds,2x 2.66ghz xeons, and a geforce 7300gt (which I'm hoping to replace with a 8800gts I have laying around).
     
  2. No1nfoProvided macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #2
    I'd go with the Mac Pro. If you can stand the glossy however, it would be a more difficult choice because the iMac's monitor is so nice. That being said, the Mac Pro with its expandability and everything is awesome. Just be sure if you do upgrade the graphics card of the Mac Pro that it is compatible with OS X (although I can't find a website with these compatibilities).
     
  3. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #3
    After reading one other recent post about an iMac, I would just want to add that if you really intend to do any kind of upgrades besides RAM in the future, your best bet is a Mac Pro. I often see questions about upgrading iMacs which can be done--not by me (lol)--but it is possible--but not necessarily simply. The iMac was never intended to be an upgradable computer (except for RAM). So the ability to upgrade should certainly be a heavily weighted factor. I have no plans to upgrade any components of my iMac so it is fine for me. :)
     
  4. jmbill macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #4
    One regret I have with buying an iMac is the inability to open it up to clean it. They get surprisingly dusty inside. I'm guessing a Mac Pro is easy to open and clean internally.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    That is 2006 Mac Pro, quite hefty price too (seen some going for ~1000$). The issue with it is its 32-bit EFI because OS X 10.7 may be fully 64-bit (i.e. 64-bit kernel thus won't work in 2006 Mac Pro).

    If I was you, I would try to find 2009 quad core Mac Pro, even 2008 is sufficient due 64-bit EFI.

    If you don't need expandability that much, you could just get an iMac. FireWire 800 is enough for external drives. The only downside is the GPU
     
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    that's a Mac Pro 1,1, and that's way overpriced.

    unless you have $2000 to spend on a Mac Pro (3,1 2.8 8-core or 4,1 2.66 quad), get an iMac. it will be just as fast, if not faster...i5/i7 quads are faster.
     
  7. talkinghead macrumors member

    talkinghead

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Location:
    Austex
    #7
    Pardon my stupidity, but how would you identify a 08-09 Quad core MacPro ?
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    2008 Mac Pro would be 2.8GHz and uses 800MHz DDR2. It would likely be an 8-core as that was the stock config.

    2009 quad core would be either 2.66GHz, 2.93GHz or 3.33GHz and uses DDR3. Make sure it uses DDR3 as if it uses DDR2, it may be a model from 2006.
     
  9. talkinghead macrumors member

    talkinghead

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Location:
    Austex
    #9
    Thanks, I can do that!
    BTW, I am confused re the new i5. Some are quad some are not. arrgh, why don't they make it obvious.
     
  10. dbwrobel thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #10
    Thanks for everyones input!

    After reading all the responses I think I'm going to grab the top i5 iMac and just max. out the ram and maybe pick up a second screen and use that for the next several years and just maybe move my desk and screens away from the window :p
     

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