New imac i7 or stick with 2013 Mac Pro Hex

Discussion in 'iMac' started by propower, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have been using a 2013 Mac Pro hex with ProTools and now mostly Logic Pro X for about three years - No complaints. I keep computers ~ 3 years and then sell for ~1/2 and buy new. I like the idea of switching to a new 2017 iMac 27" 5K with i7 and all SSD storage. I welcome any thoughts as to whether this is a worthy upgrade.
  2. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    The iMac probably excels at some tasks than your Mac Pro, since the CPU is much higher clocked, so single thread performance will see some jump. It also has a more modern GPU.

    However for ProTools and Logic if you haven't run into slow downs on your nMP I see little reason to upgrade. Those 2 factors above don't do much to music production, unless you got multi-tracks at high freq/bit and lots of plug-ins. Some users reported the iMac 512GB SSD option gives 2000MB/s + write speed, which I think may improve workflow a bit but the SSD in your nMP isn't that far off slower.

    The 5K display is huge value for normal users and more so for visual media, but for music not much. You most likely are already using external monitor(s) for your nMP, and probably more than one of them fixated above mixing desk or spread out to not blocking the sound field. Therefore with the iMac you will need to find place for it and a 27" unit is fairly large. Though the 2K or higher scaled resolution is nice for full screen multi-track editing + some space for metering that's for sure.

    What is your audio interface running to your nMP with? If it is TB1/2 or FW800/400, you will need USB-C converters which are still unproven, potential latency issues or even drop outs can occur.

    If I were you I would stick with the nMP.
  3. propower thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    Great reply - The thing that resonates from what you said is the reality that I went all TB about 5 years ago. Audio performance with a bunch of different AVID systems - Apogee and now a pair of Antelope Units has been 100% trouble free - all 96kHz and often super low buffers. I have a great DELL 27" U2715H monitor but the 5Ks are the best in this area (IMO).

    Internal SSD on 2013 Mac Pro is ~1GB/s Read and Write. The new ones are better but these don't suck :)

    Thanks - still welcome more thoughts. Even have some attraction for the 2015 iMac Retina as a potential alternative...
  4. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    I am in the market for an iMac too, I work in music related industries but I also do visual media, so I need a bit of both. The 2017 iMac has better screen, and much better GPU than the 2015, but even then when I look at the 2nd hand panic seller listing of the 27" 2015 these couple days I am intrigued, a maxed out option probably costs just 50% of buying the new 2017 to similar specs. And in your case, the 2015 having native TB2 is also ironically a plus.

    I also got a Dell QHD 27" but the UP2716D, slightly higher version than yours but same footprint/resolution. If you get a 27" iMac, the space occupied by the Dell would then be for the iMac, with the Dell as extended desktop, but probably not side by side to create a 4-feet barrier in front of the speakers.

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