Mac Pro vs. iMac for Pro use?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kat.hayes, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
    I have a Mac Pro 2x3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 3GB RAM (yes I know that is very low), ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512 MB. I do work with Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere. The only real benefit for me to having a Mac Pro vs. an iMac is the ability to have 3 other internal drives, however, with Firewire/Thunderbolt docking stations and the hope that one day I can buy some type of enclosure that I can connect 3-4 drives and connect it to my Mac Pro via Thunderbolt and have them all mount at the same time, I'm thinking about switching to an iMac.

    1. Understanding that new Mac Pros are complete speculation at this point, how do current high end iMacs and Mac Pros compare performance wise right now?

    2. Aside from being able to easily get drives in and out, what other reasons make you want a Mac Pro vs. an iMac?

    3. How much of a performance difference would I notice from upgrading my current Mac to either a Macpro or iMac? Would it be a massive difference, subtle, etc.?

  2. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    cant comment on external drives - but the 27" imac that just replaced my 2010 8-core seems to be on par simply because of the clock jump.

    how it handles multithreaded stuff remains to be seen from where i sit.

    note: IT replaced my 2.4 8-core with 8gb ram with a brand new imac because I asked for 16gb ram ($200).. bean-counting department sees it as an old computer now. hahah.
  3. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    All of this depends on your workflow. For single threaded tasks the new iMacs compete and sometimes are faster than current Mac Pro. For Multithreaded they just are not able to make up the core count disparity.

    Fastest iMac: 13000
    Fastest Mac Pro: 23000
    32-bit Geekbench points.
    Everything else is a grey area that depends on what you are doing.
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    No answers to your specific questions... but....

    Don't make any decisions until a couple of weeks after the upcoming developers conference (called WWDC iirc). It is not likely that Apple will announce a new Mac Pro at this conference... on the other hand it appears that current supplies of Mac Pros are drying up. Usually this is a sign that something is about to be updated. If Apple is going to announce a new Mac Pro it won't be before WWDC because they don't want to dilute the buzz leading up to the conference. imho, of course.

    There are some really good deals on the refurbished pages lately. Another sign that something is up. If you want a Mac Pro now, and don't need something that is cutting edge... just good and solid and will last you 5 years... look at the refurbished pages. In Canada you can get one for $1859. There is a 6 core (considered the sweet spot for the kind of thing you are doing, imho) for less than $2600. American prices will be similar or the same (international - well, you'll have to look).

  5. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    If you have gone this long with an X1900 and not had your apps crippled by total lack of OpenCl and CUDA, you can probably just get a Mini.
  6. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I know "pro use or not" is an overused phrase. The term "pro use" is almost completely without real meaning since there are so many tasks and workflows that creatives use. Some are simple, others are intensive.

    To me "Mac Pro or iMac" is really about the package technology is bundled in. In many ways a well-outfitted 2012 iMac is way better than a Mac Pro, i.e. faster quad processor, faster RAM, faster GPU, faster SATA bus.

    It just gets down to what you want. Personally I'll take a Mac Pro. I have ML, W8 and SL on separate hard drives. I like the redundancy and independence of that arrangement.

    I've got two OWC Mercury Rack Pros with backups and misc stuff. With three fans each they are noticeably noisy. I'll take my working RE4s internally thank you. I don't have any SSDs so SATA2 is just fine for the moment.

    I'm also a Blu-ray fan. Whether playing BR on Mac Blu-ray Player for ML, Blu-Ray Player (the Windows version) or creating an a file on MakeMKV I like having that BD optical burner right there in the big box.

    So, for me I'll take a current Mac Pro over a new iMac. It just depends what form you want your computer in.
  7. kat.hayes thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011

    I actually use a Macbook Pro as my daily computer, and use the Macpro to store all of my files and do little work on it, though that will change with a new Mac purchase. How much of difference will a newer graphics card make for daily work? Does it speed things up?

    Thanks everyone.
  8. rjtiedeman macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2010
    Stamford, CT
    iMacs replaced G5s in our office

    Several years ago the design office where I work started replacing G5 with iMacs. After years of g4 and g5 towers we were skeptical. However for day to day use with cs5 use we have never had a problem. I personally have a Mac Pro 2010 6 core 3.33 at home and I rarely see the difference. So unless you are editing movies and need 4 internal drives an IMac should be fine. Also the iMacs in the office run almost all the time. None have died. The big aluminum g5s died one after the other.

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