Mac Pro or new iMac? Please help.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nimbuscloud, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. nimbuscloud macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    Hello fellow Mac people.

    I have a question. Since the new iMacs have come out, I was wondering would it be a good purchase. I do web design, some graphic design for a college. I would like to get a Mac Pro, but the price is pretty high. I'm currently using a Dell Precision 450, it's pretty old and very slow. An iMac would be easier to pitch to my boss, since I pitched the Mac Pro and he needs to think about it. The things that I'll need to do is:

    High Priority:

    Web design with Dreamweaver and Flash
    Graphic work with Photoshop and Illustrator
    Some video editing for web site
    Some Adobe Acrobat Pro stuff

    Smaller Priority:
    May need to use VM Ware Fusion for Windows XP and Office for Outlook and maybe (a big maybe) AutoCAD

    Can I do that with the new iMac? Or will I have to go gung ho and keep trying for the Mac Pro? I'd like something that will work well for about 5 years.

    The two Macs that I were looking are are:

    24-inch display
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    1GB of RAM (but will get 4GB not bought through Apple)
    320GB HDD

    Mac Pro
    20 inch display
    Two 2GHz Dual Core Intel Xeon
    1GB of Ram (but will get 4GB not bought through Apple)
    250GB HDD

    To give you an idea of what would be ideal for me. I'd like to be able to have Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Safari, Firefox, Windows XP, Outlook, and IE open at least. Right now, I can have Outlook, Firefox, IE, Acrobat and maybe Dreamweaver open...but my computer chokes on's very slow. I will need to do some video editing soon, and there is no way in hell that my Dell can do it. I'd use iMovie with whichever Mac I get. I won't need to do a whole lot, but maybe a few clips for the web site from time to time.

    Is the iMac good for my needs or do I need the Mac Pro? Thanks for your advice. Anything is appreciated.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    The problem I have with the iMacs for work machines is their all-in-oneness and the glossy displays. Let's say the display goes or the hard-drive fails... and then you're without a machine for a while.

    The Mac Pros are easier for most people to get into to do make minor repairs and upgrades, and over a depreciable period, offer a far longer useful life... tell your boss that the Mac Pro will be good for that kind of work for 5-6 years; the iMac perhaps 4. You can fit another internal drive in there for local backups as well without the hassle of an external drive.
  3. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    People will be on both sides of this question, so here is my view: the new 24" iMac is a prosumer machine. The iMac is not as expandable or fast as the Mac Pro but You could do what you need with the iMac. It will save your boss money (which will be appreciated), take up less space on your desk, and give you a test machine which may be more in line with what your average user has.

    Buy a Mac Pro if you need it now. Don't plan on keeping it 6 years. Six years ago people were buying the Cube. Would you want to be using that now? Strangely, you can upgrade the iMac model you chose to the faster processor and larger HD for less than the pre-configured price. Add an external HD for backup and you have a very nice system and saved money. Your boss will remember that in 3 years when you want to upgrade to the new, much superior model. Best wishes.
  4. nimbuscloud thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    Well, I guess the thing is...I work at a private college. Our IT department doesn't have a huge budget like most state funded colleges. Not to mention that the school is purely Dell/Windows. Asking for a Mac Pro, along with CS3, a DV camcorder, and some memory was very tough. It was almost $5k all together. He didn't shoot it down, he said "he'll think about it." Trying to get a cheaper iMac might help, since he won't feel that it's a financial risk or something. But I would need the iMac to actually work well for 4-5 years...or at least better than my craptastically old Dell.

    Also, thanks for your advice. Everything helps.
  5. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    If you work for an IT dept for a school there is an EDU discount that can help and also the refurb shop is a little cheaper. You can get a nice non-Apple 20" display cheaper. I believe you would get more years of use from the Mac Pro.

    Base Mac Pro 2.66 1GB Ram is 2299 EDU to start...Refurb is cheaper by $100 too
  6. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    It seems you made the case for the iMac. As Ziwi suggests, don't forget the institutional discount. It applies to all of the models. If there is a place near you where you can see it, go test it for yourself. When I was in your position, our school had an account manager at Apple. See if your school does. Stuck with the $1800 machine. Your department head will be pleased that you stayed within budget and may be impressed with how versatile the machine is for the price. Best wishes.
  7. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    For your needs, the iMac would suit them fine. The Pro will be useful for much longer. For my money, I'd get the Mac Pro, but I tend to not go cheap. i always regret it when I do. I do not consider the iMac "going cheap".

    Don't get a screen smaller than 23-24".
  8. nimbuscloud thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    Yeah, I was wondering would the iMac be enough. I would hate to get it and have it bottleneck really fast. The prices that I listed were with an educational discount, so that's the cheapest the new computers will get outside of refurbished...and I don't know if our institution buys refurbished computers...especially Macs. It wouldn't be reliable for me to price a refurbished computer(s) that is eventually sold out.

    The Mac Pro just seemed like overkill, but it would last longer...though very hard to convince my boss because of the price. But this purchase will have to be worth my needs, since my IT dept. would never think to get a Mac. I'm kinda new there, so I'm trying to open their minds a little, or at least get myself a computer that I can work more productively on.

    Don't get a screen smaller than 23-24"? Wow, I wish lol. With the iMac, that will be possible. With the Mac Pro, I don't think I'll be able to do it, 20" would be my max with that.

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