New iMac worth it? (Mac pro 2008 user)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Timan, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Timan macrumors member


    Dec 1, 2003
    Need some help, so tempted to buy the new iMac but not sure if its worth it. (been awhile since I've bought a new machine)

    Here are my current specs:
    Mac Pro 2008 (30" display near same res as the 27" iMac so no biggie there)
    Processor 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Memory 10 GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB
    Storage Crucial c300 SSD 128gb + 1TB Samsung 7200rpm

    Heres what I'm looking to get:
    iMac 27" LED Display 2560x1440 resolution
    Processor 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    Memory 24GB (2x4GB Apple, 2x8GB Expercom) 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
    Storage 1TB Fusion Drive

    So if anyone has any ideas in terms of the new cpu's and their performance vs the xeon's, same with the memory and graphics. Will I notice any difference? Form factor isn't really an issue. Blah decisions decisions...

    Thanks for the help, appreciate it.
  2. jablko macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    As with all things, it really depends on what you're doing.

    According to Geekbench, a Mac Pro with your processors will score 9544. A Macbook Pro with a current i7 2.7ghz quad core chip scores 12160. The iMac processor will be faster than the Macbook Pro version (I'd guess by about 25 percent). This is only a guess, but you're likely to see iMac scores on Geekbench of over 16000, which is quite a bit better than 9544.

    However, the fact that you have upgraded quite a few things may make the difference less noticeable.

    I work on a 2008 Mac Pro too, and I will definitely be upgrading to a new iMac. However, my system is a single quad core chip, no SSD, a video card without OpenCL support, and a 500 gb hard drive. While I could upgrade all of those things, just getting an iMac makes more sense--particularly since my employer makes it easier to budget for a new machine than incremental upgrades.

    I think the biggest advantages you may see would come in these areas:

    * Faster CPU performance. Particularly on single-threaded processing, the new i7 will blow the old Xeon out of the water, and it's surprising how many processes are still single-threaded.

    * Brighter screen. In my office, there's a video work station with two 30-inch ACDs, and you can tell a striking difference between the brightness of the backlight in the newer monitor and the older one. While the LCD panel itself is fine, backlights dim over time.

    * Faster USB. After using USB 3.0, you will find USB 2.0 intolerably slow. Thunderbolt is also a huge step forward in I/O, but actually using it is still quite an expensive proposition.

    * More video RAM. Increasingly, brute force processing is being moved to graphics cards through OpenCL. Where once the graphics cards were only used effectively by games, now Photoshop, Aperture, Final Cut, etc. all do significant processing on the video card. Having more VRAM means it can work more effectively.

    Having said all that, the promised 2013 Mac Pro update will probably do everything this iMac does, but better. If you don't feel overly frustrated by your current hardware's performance and don't mind the extra cost, I'd recommend continuing to wait (and save) for that.
  3. Timan thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 1, 2003
    Thanks for the reply jablko, was just the response I was looking for. Think I'll go ahead and pull the trigger tomorrow, at least its not slower and if I can get something for this old machine on craigslist, won't be out too much.
  4. jablko macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    The Geekbench scores for the new 27 inch iMac are out, and I greatly overestimated the iMac's score. It got 12156, which is almost identical to the Macbook Pro despite having a much faster processor on paper. I guess the turbo boost on the Macbook Pros is almost the same as on the iMacs. So, still faster than your current Mac Pro, but not as much as I was hoping.

    I should note the model they tested didn't have the higher end graphics card, which might raise the score a bit.
  5. turtlez macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    I have the 2008 Mac Pro too but thinking about switching to a PC box. I don't trust heat stuff with the iMac and also don't want to replace the screen all the time when I upgrade.

    I wouldn't get the iMac if were you. It has all the specs to do video stuff but does it have the physical form to do it? haha.
  6. bennetthall macrumors newbie


    Dec 19, 2012
    iMac debate vs 2010 vs the wait

    I have been wrestling with this issue for weeks with little help from the Apple Business team as what I most need to know (when are you refreshing the Mac Pro line) is cloistered secrets

    I understand the iMacs are virtually non upgradeable

    I have a dog so a move is required - and I was near ready to click to buy on the Apple 2010 refurb for 1819 and then load with RAM but I was attracted to the faster i/o and stalled. On another thread I have been advised to not worry about this, PCI-e to RAID would not disappoint... buying on CL is a hassle with risks and "cash only" vs the guarantee, and easy business process of dealing with Apple so I am willing to pay more for that convenience and safety.

    thank you for reading - all thoughts appreciated on this thread.

  7. turtlez macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    The only thing stopping me from getting that new iMac is I am not sure about the display. I am kinda leaning on getting a pro display like the Dell Ultrasharp. Was looking at the mini and that would be instant buy if it had a discreet card.. It seems every product in the computer lineup for Apple is failing me this year. No Mac Pro (not that I could afford another one), iMac price hike and probable heating issues, Mac mini tease with no discreet card, and lets face it all laptops will melt the earth if running pro apps. Same price as the iMac too so i'd rather have the bigger screen and more powerful specs.

    Seriously leaning on a PC so I can have decent performance and a pro screen without paying AUD$5000
  8. Maddix macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2011
    I LOVE my Dell Ultrasharp. I was initially leery about spending the money on one. Once I hooked it up and adjusted the settings, I was blown away. Absolutely no buyers remorse.
  9. turtlez macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    good to hear :) I have been reseaching PC builds and getting great performance for great prices. Knowing that I have an easy choice of a great screen already chosen helps decide me even more. Now to decide, windows 7 or 8. *back to research*

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