Mac Pro v. iMac future upgradeability

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by boraxatude, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. boraxatude macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    I did a quick search specific to this topic. Pardon me if I overlooked an existing thread.

    I've had a G5 dual 2.0 tricked to the max since it was first released (2003/4). I am using a dual monitor setup (Dell 2407wfp and 2007wfp). Both monitors look great and work well. I am gearing up to finally replace the old system in the next few months and am caught in a quandary.

    On a regular basis for the past 7 or so years, I've continually upgraded hard drive capacity and memory as my needs have expanded. I've had 2 hard drives fail on me. I replaced the stock video card a couple of years after purchase with the best available for this machine at the time.

    I used to edit video (rarely anymore). At one point I used a $4k external raid hooked up via an ul4d dual scsi card. The scsci card and Huge Systems raid are still hooked up and working fine, although I don't even want to know how much that 4k paperweight is worth now!

    Currently, I do quite a bit of photoshop/illustrator/lightroom etc. work. I don't foresee the need for any extensive video editing in the future.

    My quandary? Limited budget (in the neighborhood of 2-2.5k) v. the ease of future upgrades. I've seen that the 2011 iMac 27" is difficult for the DIY upgrade and currently (according to OWC) there is not an easy solution to the temperature/fan problem when replacing the main hd.

    The other factor is of course size... If I don't need it, why have that big piece of aluminum sticking out from under my desk anymore?

    I can see that as SSD prices continue to fall, I will want to eventually have an SSD only machine. Super easy to upgrade a Mac Pro. Not easy with an iMac. The iMac does have thunderbolt and so that opens up truly fast external storage capabilities in the near future (albeit with a hefty pricetag). Likewise, I'm sure the next generation Mac Pros will be equipped with thunderbolt.

    So, I've been wrestling with the idea of a refurbished (or even ebayed) 2010 mac pro 2.8 quad or 2.26 8 core v. a new or refurbished 2011 27" i7 iMac. I'm sure that the 2010 Mac Pro prices will dip a little bit once the new ones hit in the next couple of months.

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd suggest the iMac. The pro is just overkill unless you need something heavy-duty. With thunderbolt, there are a lot of opportunities for high-speed upgrades, and they shoud get cheaper as time goes on
  3. macphipsi macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    the iMac is great, but it seems like you like to hold onto the same computer for a while and upgrade as you need. I would get the MP if i were you. They come with decent specs off the shelf and will allow you to continue "tricking" them out as your needs change. If its in the budget, its best to always be able to do more than to limit yourself out of the gate.
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008

    you have displays and input devices already, Thunderbolt devices will cost the same (and you'll have the same cable mess) whether you have an iMac or a Mini, and both aren't expandable. one is just a lot cheaper. you can even take the money you saved and shove SSDs into the Mini.

    or you can buy used.
  5. boraxatude thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Thanks for the weigh-in... Specs on the new minis look good, but I don't like being limited by only 8gb of ram.

    I am leaning towards a 2010 mac pro (waiting until the next release). It is overkill but this gives me plenty of room for expansion. The G5 was overkill when I got that, but it served me well until now. Plus I've got the displays and can always upgrade those when necessary (not sure if I like the iMac display for photo editing).

    I would definitely go with an iMac if only taking it apart wasn't so complicated... One time, okay I can deal with that... but hard drives always fail and I don't want to have to deal with dust on the glass and potentially messing something up taking it apart more than once.

    Mac Pro is a go.

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