Mac Pro Vs 27" iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GTONEMESIS, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. GTONEMESIS macrumors newbie

    Due to the unexpected death of my 2006 Mac Pro tower 1.1 I need to buy a new Mac tomorrow.:(
    On the day I bought it it was the best Apple had to offer and to be fair 8 years isn't too shabby considering it's almost daily use (I will post up the issues on a separate thread).

    I am currently torn between these two options:
    Mac Pro
    3.7GHz quad-core with 10MB of L3 cache
    16GB (4 x 4GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
    256GB PCIe-based flash storage
    Dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM each
    802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking (3); IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
    Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
    Then use my existing 30" Apple Cinema Display


    27" iMac
    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
    3TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse

    Whatever I end up buying I plan on buying one of these too:
    WD 4TB My Book Thunderbolt Duo Dual-Drive Storage System

    I mainly used my now dead Mac to watch Netfilx, store photographs (12,000+) & video, some light photo retouching and fairly light video editing using iMovie.
    I am however considering moving to a better video editing suite.

    Thankfully all of my stuff is backed up on my Time Capsule so I am hoping my new machine will accept the old Mac Pro's back up. Although I am a bit annoyed that I can't just pull off some of the things I want now for my MacBook Air.

    All suggestions welcome.

  2. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    If you are willing to live with the shortcomings of a built-in screen, then the iMac is perfect for you.
  3. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    iMac sounds like a much better choice as far as I can see. I would even look at a refurb if you want to save some money.
  4. Robert Davies macrumors 6502

    Robert Davies

    Jul 28, 2011
    People's Republic of Wrexham
    Another issue affecting the new Mac Pro, is that availability is somewhat patchy.

    ie If you can find stock, to be able to buy one tomorrow (today actually, it's 0124hrs!) you may need to buy what's available, not what you would like.

    Availability tip: Costco had/have them in! Bizarre, I know!
  5. RoastingPig, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    i feel as the only mac pro worth getting is 6-8 cores with d700's..that is if you dont mind paying 5 grand and up

    the stock quad just doesn't make any sense in any way when you put it up against the imac 27 with 780 and pure ssd. except for the pure eye candy and joy it brings taking the lid off.

    in the performance category they see each other eye to eye and the imac comes with a free 27inch ips display plus keyboard and mice

    on the mac pro side.. lets say in a couple years you might be able to find parted systems on ebay and do upgrades yourself on the cheap. but also maybe not since apple upgrades this system every 600 years.
  6. GTONEMESIS, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    GTONEMESIS thread starter macrumors newbie

    My two closest Apple stores have a fully spec'ed iMac 27" in stock and the Pro Tower I listed.

    Other than my lampshade iMac I have always bought towers as I may naively be under the opinion that they last longer and if something breaks such as a HD I can swap it out, which I don't think is the case for the 27" iMac?

    Is the 27" screen better quality than my 30" HD Cinema Display? (I think it's 2560x1600?)

    Is the Pro tower I listed a slower/less capable machine than the 27" top spec iMac?

    Thanks for the input chaps.


    PS. I'm not too worried about budget, but I don't want to pay out for an over spec'ed machine if I don't need it.
    I always went for the most powerful Mac in the past as I did a huge amount of graphic design & photoshop work, now my Macs are more of a photo hobby/entertainment hub.
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I agree with all of this except the last phrase. If you only need a Quad (and that sounds like plenty for your stated usage)... the iMac is the far better value.

    If you're going to be pushing your machine hard (maxed out CPU a good portion of the time) the nMP undoubtedly offers better thermal performance, whether that translates into added longevity... it's hard to say... I'm no expert on the internals of the iMac. At any rate, given your stated usage for this computer, I don't think overworking it will be a problem.

    You've probably seen the 27" display with your own eyes. It's fantastic. Your 30" ACD is good, but its getting long in the tooth given it's based on 10-year-old technology.

    p.s. how do you get yourself in a situation where you're so dependent on your computer you must buy one tomorrow when it breaks, yet you're running a computer that's 8 years old. If it's that important, why not be a bit more proactive? Replace things on your schedule... not theirs. :)
  8. Macman45 macrumors demi-god


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I too vote for the iMac....I do photo and video work on mine...

    I'd consider a couple if things though...If I were buying now, I'd go for the 768 SSD in favour of the 3TB FD...I have the Fusion drive as when I bought my current iMac, the larger SSD wasn't an option...And yes it works well, but I'd buy that SSD now.

    I also would consider increasing the RAM at some point, but don't pay Apple's prices...Crucial, and others have way better prices and the job is a simple one, which will not effect your warranty at all...Apple even post instructions on their site.

    My specs for reference:

    27" Imac
    3.4GHZ CPU
    2GB 680m GPU ( you have the 4GB option and I'd take it)
    3TB Fusion Drive ( I'd replace this with the 768 SSD )
    32GB RAM

    It's still a very powerful Mac, and I don't think you need the MP...As nice as they are, the cost is prohibitive, and although I was considering one come upgrade time, the lack of easy user upgrades put's me off....I did have a 5.1 Hex for a while and that was a joy...just slide open the panels and everything is to hand...I was always changing drives and testing third party cards etc.
  9. zarf2007, Mar 3, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

    zarf2007 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010

    if you want an alternative get one of these, brand new and with applecare included:

    just stick in one of these to get USB3:

    and one of these:

    with this:

    for a 500GB SSD boot drive.

    you will have to change your hd enclosure to something that does USB3, something like this:

    but at the end you will have a system that pees on any iMac for performance and GPU've already got the screen so thats one less thing to buy...
  10. GTONEMESIS thread starter macrumors newbie

    I have seen one but I didn't use it/look at it up close.

    As for the schedule, I'm not dependant on my computer, I have a MacBook Air and a Dell Laptop (plus the iPads).
    I work in central London and I drive to work so picking up a new Mac is easy for me today and I have plenty of time tonight to get it set up. That's why I am buying one today, it's more convenient.
    I also didn't see the need to replace my existing one as it was working fine.

    The iMac and the Pro are both circa £2500.
    But the iMac will work out cheaper as I can sell my 30" screen for around £500 (I still have the box for it too).
    Whether I get 8 years out of it remains to be seen...

    But I assume which ever one I buy I will see a marked improvement on my existing set up.
  11. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I see... Yeah no doubt about the fact it will be a marked improvement. BTW, if the Mac Mini had been updated by now, that would be another consideration, but it's not the best time to invest in one of those with a Haswell update now overdue. At any rate, it could do the job for you (for awhile at least) if you want to keep the budget to an absolute minimum.
  12. GTONEMESIS, Mar 3, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

    GTONEMESIS thread starter macrumors newbie

    This is my current spec:

    Attached Files:

  13. Macman45 macrumors demi-god


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Pretty much anything you buy is going to give you a very satisfying performance hit...Like I said, I'd opt for the iMac.....the top end is a powerhouse...mine still kicks most into next week and it's a year old...The newbie with a large SSD and some off Mac storage should save you some money ( as you point out, no monitor costs)
  14. nathan43082 macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2013
    Do you do any serious gaming?

    If so, then one thing to consider is that any of the new Mac Pros is going to have an edge (sometimes huge) with the more graphically-demanding games on the market, especially if you use Bootcamp for Windows-based gaming. The only games that won't be better are those that rely more on the CPU than the graphics card(s), since the top-end iMac's i7 is a smidge faster.
  15. GTONEMESIS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hi everyone, thank you for your assistance and input.

    My options ended up being i'Mac 27" or no Mac today as they didn't have any Mac Pro's in stock.
    Like the other advice on here, the Mac sales guy also suggested the iMac as the best option.

    This is what I ended up with:
    27" iMac
    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
    3TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse

    The Apple guy told me a place to buy RAM from but I have forgotten it:mad:
    I will spec it up to 32GB. Any suggestions for a place to buy it from?

    Once again, thanks for all of your assistance/suggestions.

    Here she is all set up and ready to start backing up from Time Capsule (Once I have tried a benchmark test thing).

    Mark :)

    Attached Files:

  16. GTONEMESIS thread starter macrumors newbie

  17. BinaryTim macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2011
    I'm in the U.S. and usually buy my upgrade parts from OWC:

    They ship to the UK it looks like, but I don't know what the cost would be.

    A place in the UK I hear about from time-to-time is ScrumpyMacs but I'm not sure if they maybe only sell full systems and not parts, I don't know.
  18. Benguitar Guest


    Jan 30, 2009
    On January 20th I placed an order for a baseline 2013 Mac Pro, and this morning I canceled the order and ordered a customized 27" iMac.

    Long story short, I plan on using it for light video and audio editing with Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, ProTools 11 along with using Vectorworks for work.

    I consulted one of my long time friends at :apple: and his personal recommendation is that I use the iMac, as he believed that it would cater to my needs better than Apple's new Mac Pro.
  19. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    i once had an imacs screen poop out on me and since that day i swore never to buy an all in 1... id use a mac mini g4 before id use another imac again...i did buy my mom one recently tho. :)
  20. zarf2007 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010

    get it from crucial, always get memory from there and totally reliable: (27-inch, Late 2013)&Cat=RAM

    only thing I would change about your spec is the fusion to a 1TB SSD, had the fusion previously and dont think it gives anyway near the performance of a true SSD, but its better than just standard 7200RPM HD though....
  21. GTONEMESIS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Thanks, I will give them a try.

    I had planned on changing to the SSD based on the earlier comments in my thread but in the end I had to take what they had.

    I've got some previous video rendering tests from a few years back on my Mac Pro so I plan on running the same tests on the iMac once it has finished moving my data over from my Time Capsule (still 14Hrs to go when I left the house at 4.30am this morning...)

    The screen quality is very good and actually makes my MacBook Air screen look a little hazy by comparison.
    But it's still not as good as my BeoVision 55:D

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