Mac Pro vs Mac Mini Vs iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macstevie9, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. macstevie9 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Need help selecting a new Mac for work. :D

    I currently use a Mac Pro 1,1 with 2.66 Dual-Core Intel Xeons, 8GB of memory and 3 hard drives totaling 2TB but with only 500GB being used.

    I am forever in Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Pages, Mail, iTunes - these are open all the time - and I often use lightroom as well.

    I am actually OK with the speed of this computer most of the time, but I would like to use Mountain Lion and other future OS updates and I have a concern that the machine 'could' start coming to the end of it's life given that it's nearly 6 years old and has only been turned off around 10 times in that time.

    So I am going to purchase a new Mac in the next 2 weeks! However I am not that technical, so the various specifications don't help me decide.

    I have a screen, so the Mac Mini looks tempting - but I worry going from something so big to something so small must surely have drawbacks?

    The iMac irritates me a little in the fact it pretends to be thin but really saves no space at all - though if it was the best machine for me and my work I'd get it.

    The MacPro just seems too expensive and big for what I need. I am only basing this from the fact that my current setup is OK speed / performance wise.

    My screen is an older silver Cinema Display - also around 5 years old. I like it. Unsure if the new ones are worthy of an upgrade in itself or if that could be reason for an iMac.

    Would anyone more knowledgeable than I have any preference or advice?
  2. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I vote for a have a nice display, there are now 2TB laptop drives and the 16GB of ram limit will be more than adequate for you going forward provided you don't give it all to Ps.
  3. macstevie9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Thanks Chris! Would you say I should order with 16GB? Or would 8 suffice to start off with? It's about £160 difference it seems.
  4. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
  5. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Doesn't sound like you need a dedicated gpu, so I vote mini too.

    Max the RAM via 3rd party and get the quad core model - good to go!
  6. jmck macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2002
    Design work

    Sounds like you do design work. Don't underestimate the benefit of a 27" monitor. The iMac feels expressly designed for design, design, design. I really want to see what the glare reduction looks like on the new model.
  7. EGS1550 macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2012
    Wow, with the exception of Lightroom that is almost exactly my setup hardware and software wise. I had to look at the OP's name to make sure it wasn't something i posted and forgot about.

    I get spinning beachballs daily. I have 7gb ram and running 10.6.8

    Will the max ram and newer cpu take care of this?

    I spend 90% of my time in Illustrator but do have about 20 programs running at one time

    Mail, FontExplorer, Timer, Safari, Chrome, Mail, Preview, Itunes, addressbook, itunes, Acrobat, cs5 AI, cs5 PS, cs5 BR, texteditor, openoffice, numbers, wunderlist, evernote, spotify

    Am I taxing my current 1,1 setup and will the macmini setup take care of this?

    Is a current Macpro or future Macpro overkill?
  8. macstevie9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Yup, I am a graphic designer.

    My current screen is 23" so a little bigger than the base iMac and a little smaller than the big one. I worry that I'd be moving my head a lot with anything bigger.


    Not sure if it helps, but I don't get spinning balls and run pretty much the same stuff except font explorer.


    Just looked at crucial, 2 x 8GB is £59.99! Wow, apple wanted to add on £240! :)
  9. foodog macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    The Mac mini will likely not have the same usable lifespan as a Mac Pro. The Mac mini has fewer, less powerful graphics options but you can buy multiple Mac mini's for less than a Mac Pro.
  10. EGS1550 macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2012
    Is there any reason to worry about the video card in my case (from above)? My primary graphics program is Illustrator cs5/cs6. Everything else I cannot imagine it would matter
  11. All Taken macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009
    Keep in mind the new Mac Mini turns into a hoover under load.
  12. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007

    I would get the mini now, see how things improve (or not), and then reevaluate when the new Pro offering arrives in 2013 (as TC suggests it will).

    The mini is cheap enough to buy and can always be resold, or reappropriated to a home server role etc.
  13. HantaYo macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2012
    I will purchase the Mac Mini. I will max it out and buy third party RAM. I found a great deal on a 27" NEC multisync monitor and that clinched the deal for the Mini. The glare on the 2011 Imac was just too much. How could you do any serious photo editing with all the glare? It will be interesting to see how much glare is reduced on the Imac 2012.
  14. carter2 macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2012
    Quad core i7 Mini is a beast . I think anything less than an i7 is a lot more limiting.
  15. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    From Slashgear:
    Apple provided us with a 3.4GHz Core i7 iMac with 8GB of memory, the top-spec GTX 680M GPU, and the 1TB Fusion Drive; all together, it’s a configuration priced at $2,599. We kicked off with Geekbench, a synthetic test of processor and memory performance, and the iMac scored a whopping 14,064, around 50-percent more than the 2011 model could manage. It’s worth noting that Apple’s portables have narrowed the gap between mobile and desktop, however; the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display scored 12,970 in Geekbench.
    Benchmark Score - iMac13,2 - 27-inch
    Section Description Score Total Score
    Mac OS X x86 (64-bit) - Mac OS X 10.8.2 (Build 12C2037)
    Integer Processor integer performance 12279 Total Score14064
    Floating Point Processor floating point performance 21141
    Memory Memory performance 7573
    Stream Memory bandwidth performance 8532
    System - iMac13,2 - 27-inch
    Manufacturer Apple Product Type Desktop
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.8.2 (Build 12C2037)
    Motherboard Apple Inc. Mac-FC02E91DDD3FA6A4 iMac13,2
    Processor Intel Core i7-3770
    Processor ID GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 58 Stepping 9
    Processor Frequency 3.40 GHz Processors 1
    Threads 8 Cores 4
    L1 Instruction Cache 32.0 KB L1 Data Cache 32.0 KB
    L2 Cache 256 KB L3 Cache 8.00 MB
    Memory 8.00 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 FSB 100.0 MHz
    BIOS Apple Inc. IM131.88Z.010A.B04.1210121459

    In the SunSpider test of browser performance, the new iMac completed in 133.3ms (faster is better); the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro scored 179.5ms in the same test. Cinebench, a test of processor and graphics performance, saw the new iMac score 42.72fps in the OpenGL category, and 7.32 points in the CPU category. Again, in contrast, the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro scored 34.40fps and 5.74 points in those categories respectively, with its 2.6GHz quadcore Core i7 and 8GB of memory.

    FusionDrive certainly doesn’t hurt. In the Blackmagic test of disk performance, the iMac managed read speeds of 409.6 MB/s and write speeds of 318.7 MB/s using the flash/HDD hybrid. Given the flash storage is prioritized until capacity becomes an issue, it comes as little surprise to see those rates up around where recent all-flash models from Apple have performed. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, for instance, came in at 431.7 MB/s read and 382.7 MB/s write with its 500GB solid-state drive.

    The difference is particularly clear when compared to a 2012 iMac without FusionDrive. We also tested a 21.5-inch entry-level iMac, with Intel’s Core i5 quadcore 2.7GHz, 8GB of RAM, and the standard 1TB 5,400rpm hard-drive. In Geekbench, the iMac scored 9164, but the big change is in drive speeds: without the hybrid technology we saw 90.7 MB/s read rates and 107.2 MB/s write rates.

Share This Page