Mac Pro or iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Kristenn, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Kristenn macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2009
    I'm making this topic and asking this question for a friend who wants to spend money on a computer that will last the longest.

    It will probably be in a year or so but still, which computer do you think would last the longest? Obviously the iMac is cheaper and the Mac Pro is pretty darned expensive but could it be possible for a Mac Pro to last 8+ years easily just for the fact that you can actually upgrade graphics cards in those?

    I'm assuming the computer will be used for writing, light photo editing and gaming. I know the MP seems like really over kill for a consumer but I was just told to ask MR what would actually last the longest before it got just... too slow.

    Also, Apple's monitors are pretty expensive. What are the best PC monitors out there for the price? Quality on par with Apple's (not necessarily as big as 30 inches)

    Thanks in advance ^^
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Its best to wait until you need to buy and then judge the models available. The advantage of the Mac Pro is that it has PCI slots to accommodate cards for things like USB3.0 and e-sata and the video card can be upgraded. This aspect will make it more useful for a longer period of time.
  3. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    hard to say because sometimes new stuff comes out which isn't always compatible. For example even though if you had a 2006 Mac Pro you'd have spare PCI slots, not all the latest graphics cards are supported on it. But for things like adding new interfaces like USB 3.0, adding Hard Disks, stuff like that, It should be ok.

    I think the question is what would you be prepared to live with. Suppose some really cool new technology came out which was incompatible with a Mac Pro you had for 4-5 years, would you be prepared to live without that if you had expected your Mac Pro investment to last for 7-8 years. On the other hand you could get the top of the range iMac, still a very capable computer, and replace it after 4-5 years.

    Its complicated to work out whats best because you cant really tell what's coming in the next 5-10 years, either way its a bit of a gamble, but the safer one is to get a cheaper computer now meaning you'd have less to lose if you found you needed some new feature in future, which might be incompatible with a more expensive computer you expected to last a long time.
  4. jerry333 macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2005
    It depends on the usage. If it's just e-mail, iWorks, and web browsing, then the iMac is plenty. If you're going to be doing some heavy hitting, then the Mac Pro is way better. I have both and my 2006 8 core is far faster than my 2009 iMac when push comes to shove. It's not just about the processor, it's also about the interconnect bandwidth.

    If you have 500 e-mails coming in at once and you're also trying to do some effects in Photoshop while people are IMing you, and you're importing a DVD, while people are hitting your website, the iMac can easily bog down.

    As far as the monitors go, the Apple ones seem to hold their calibration better. "There's nothing that can't be sold for less by making it a little worse."
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    I suggest you take an alternate view on what "will last the longest" means. Unless its entirely an academic question, but its purely about value for money, you are probably best advised, every two or three years, to sell the iMac, which holds its value pretty well, and buy a newer model, (perhaps immediately after it has been replaced by a new one, while there is stock going cheap).

    I would guess total outlay with iMac over say 8 years to a MacPro would be similar, but you'd end with with a computer that is 2 or 3 years old, not 8, and considerably faster than an 8 year old MacPro.
  6. Kristenn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2009
    Yeah I was thinking more age as in the upgradablility of the computer but I think I agree with everyone so far. An iMac just makes more sense. I just don't see anybody... even my friend having the need for 4 hard drive bays.

    What I think should happen?

    Mac mini
    Mac Pro

    I know I know, dream on. LOL

    But still, they have a MacBook and a MacBook Pro but not just a plain old Mac?
    I was thinking something like $1500 for a Mac tower shorter than a Mac Pro with room for maybe two hard drives, Core i7 and a good video card.

    But anyway, yeah I agree. I think the iMac would last just as long and would be less of a hole in the wallet for my friend.
  7. blunderboy macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2010
    Unfortunately, I don't foresee Apple introducing a midrange tower any time soon. I think that Apple sees its market as being different from that of the "generic PC market"; that is, Apple thinks that its users wants "set-it-and-forget-it" solutions, and an expandable tower appeals more to "tinkerers" who would look for a Windows or Linux operating system. It's an unfair assumption, but I think that's what drives Apple's decisions here.

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