New quad iMac or Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by piecer239, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. piecer239 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2009
    How much faster are the processors in the Mac Pro vs. the new quad iMacs? I'm a photographer and have an old dual G5 and really need to update. Is it worth paying double for a Mac Pro or can the new iMacs handle photoshop work?
    I realize anything will be better than what I have now, just trying to figure out what direction I should go in.

  2. sweex macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    I would buy the iMac. I think that the quad-core is powerful enough to handle Photoshop, it's cheaper and you'll have an ATI Radion HD graphics card which, I think is better then the NVIDIA G-Force GT 120. You'll have a bigger HDD more options and not to forget a beautiful 27inch display included...
    But I'm not a photographer and I don't often use Photoshop so maybe the mac Pro will be better but I don't think so, especially if you look at the price difference!
  3. Poncho macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    My 2008 3.06Ghz iMac with 4Gb Crucial RAM handles Photoshop work easily. The new iMac will only do it much better.As for Lightroom, the same. As for Microsoft Word, no difference. A Word doc is not going to open noticeably or usefully faster on a new Mac compared with a G5, and the blank page that greets you is not going to get filled with your pithy thoughts any the quicker either.
  4. a350 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2009
    Mac Pro for the RAID capability and because you can upgrade it.
    More than likely a Mac Pro will last at least twice as long as the iMac.

    Mac Pro can have 4 HDD drives, can have 2 super drives, PCI cards, better ECC memory. If you are serious about data and speed then the Mac Pro is your choice.
  5. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    Does the mac pro have a 27" LED backlit 2560x1440px LCD display attached to it? Don't think so. And to get a decent monitor for photoshop work would just be even more. I'd go for the iMac. Go for 8GB ram, a quad core processor, and you'll be set. You can get a firewire external drive or NAS to backup and store extra stuff on. All for less than the price of a mac pro.

    A mac pro is for someone who needs the power of an 8 core machine, 4 HDDs, massive amounts of RAM. For Photo work, a macbook pro is fine, let alone a quad core iMac.
  6. Mexbearpig macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2008
    Well he has a G5 so I'm guessing he has a monitor that is good enough for him because he has been using photoshop on it already :rolleyes:

    And OP, do you feel like you are fine with the G5? If you think you will ever need to upgrade, get the Mac Pro.
    It depends on if you are a hardcore photographer or not.
  7. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    Any of the new iMacs will suit your needs. You will find that any of them is a big step up from your G5.
  8. a350 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2009
    I'd love to see the performance gains from running a RAID array with a firewire hard drive :rolleyes:
  9. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    Dude, they're doing photo work not Video or audio editing. A quad core iMac with 8-16GB of RAM and a 1 or 2TB drive would do fine for photoshop work, especially if the G5 is handling it.

    If money is no object, don't hold back and get a pro. But you'll also have to buy a nice display. If you're trying to keep the budget down and still get what you need, the imac will suit.
  10. Ryn0soR macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2008

    Upgrading from a G5 to a i7 imac is going to be like going from a skate board to a Ferrari! Your G5 might be around 1GHZ (no idea, just guessing), compared to almost 3GHZ for the i7. The i7 runs 4 dual thread cores ( that equals 8) compared to one. The bus speed and memory speeds have doubled, cache is 20x more ample... The imac is really overkill and will be fine unless you want a job with Pixar animating the next Monsters Inc.
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Either will be a dramatic improvement over what you have now. But if you can afford it, the Mac Pro is the way to go.
  12. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    My choice would also depend on your data storage/access requirements

    Using Aperture rather than Photoshop mainly, I have a 700 Gb of Photo storage files on eSATA RAID 1+0. To benefit from the speed of access (more important for Aperture than PS) you either need the MacBook Pro (17") or the Mac Pro. My RAID Box will run on FW800, but is noticeably slower. Also the Mac Pro is likely to have a long life like your previous machine and can be upgraded, but you will pay for this.

    I am considering the same upgrades. My MacBook Pro (2.6 Early 2008) is much faster than a G5 2GHz with the X800 XT card and maximum RAM for this type of work, but the laptop is feeling its age (it has a very tough life) and I would like to replace the desktop machine, but the Mac Pro is just very expensive although I have a good (albeit now old) Apple display.

    Good luck with your decision.
  13. a350 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2009
    Right you are.
    OP, keep this in mind, if you are doing photo work now and using a DSLR, most now are coming with HD video capabilities, nowadays still photography is just a gateway drug to HD video. Would be a shame to shoot video and not have anyway to edit it. Keep in mind the file sizes of a 24+ megapixel RAW file also. Full frame photo editing can be very taxing on a system and takes large amounts of storage.

    It comes down to if the OP is serious about photography or not, I would recommend an iMac to my mom but not to a serious photographer.

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