Mac Pro or new iMac?

Luis Ortega

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 10, 2007
I have gotten tired of waiting for the Mac Pro to get updated and was interested to know how well the new iMac with a 2.8 core 2 duo extreme and a 1Tb hard drive and 4 Gigs ram would handle working primarily in FCP Studio 2 and the Adobe CS3 Master Collection software.
I would naturally add external firewire hardrives for video editing,
I would also enjoy running some Windows games on a nice 24 inch screen.
My main concern is the 256 mb video card offered. How will this limit performance on a 24 inch screen?
Is this new iMac a viable alternative to running the software mentioned above in as reliable and stable a way as a Mac Pro?
Will the 4 gig maximum ram on the iMac be a noticeable limit on the speed or performance of the iMac for video editing?
Thanks for any advice.


Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
The Kop
Please only post one thread.

What is your current computer, how long has it latest you. The Mac Pro will last a much longer time than the iMac.


macrumors newbie
Aug 6, 2007
I'd go MP

It's not like the imac won't do the job, but I wonder whether you're limiting your investment not only monetarily but in terms of expandability.

I'm in the same situation and rather than downgrade, I'm opting for a second hand-ex demo MP

Maybe some questions to ask yourself are:

are you happy not being able to work in the future with other video formats than DV/HDV ? (I don't think the imac supports HD type I/O cards)

are you looking to accomplish a number of short term projects and that's the main mission of the machine, or are you looking to a more long term investment ?


macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2007
The big iMac should be fine for FCP and CS3, it is 3D work that could be a little slower then necessary. However, since you are considering 1Tb/4Gb then a Mac Pro will probably suit your needs better. If you are a pro go pro. If you wont be making tons of cash on the Mac Pro then get the iMac.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2003
USA, New York
Both Machines will accomplish the tasks. If this machine is going to be generating you money then you can always opt for the less expensive solution in the iMac. This will allow you to save money in the short term and maximize potential revenue. Depending on how work intensive you are going to be making this machine it might allow you pay it off and save enough money for a all out Pro system. Again, I think it comes down to money management oppose to what machine will do the job. Obviously, both will at the moment. Make the machine pay for itself.

In my case, I do occasional freelance work but it's not my main source of income (i use a Mac Pro at the company I work for). I've been milking a old iMac G4 Flat-Panel (800MHz/1gig RAM). Now I am in the market to get another system. I mostly do heavy print and web with the occasional 3D and video. I would love a Mac Pro w/30inch display but it's a little out of my range and probably way too much (OK, I'm lying, it's never too much. LOL!). I am however debating between a new iMac 2.8Mhz. Similar to the spec's you've mentioned. The other option was a maxed out MacBook Pro. The iMac is less expensive and has better spec's BUT the MacBook Pro is portable which is not really necessary for me but would be a nice convenience. I'm not sure what route to go but any suggestions are welcome. It's a tough choice.

Another little thing about the iMac is the graphics card. Is it me or is 256megs on the video card the bare minimum? Don't you think they should have had the 512 option? Any feedback is appreciated.