nMP, oMP or maxed out iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zarf2007, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. zarf2007, Feb 17, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014

    zarf2007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #1
    ok, so I have sold my 2012 maxed out iMac for £2000 and have extra to put towards one of the below....

    currently deciding on the following:

    maxed out 2013 iMac - 3.5Ghz 4Core, 1TB SSD, 780/4GB GPU, 16GB + 16GB aftermarket RAM, external BD-RE drive = £3000 approx (with HE discount)

    nMP - 6C/512SSD/D500GPU's/32GB - £3384 Edu Price

    Mac Pro 2012 - Brand new boxed on eBay - with upgrades - 6Core 3.33Ghz/24GB Ram/GTX680 2GB mac edition/512GB Samsung Evo 6GB PCIe SSD and 1TB 7200 HD - £3190

    for the mac pros i have a spare 27" IPS dell Ultra HD monitor.

    All have applecare and the 2012 pro also has 3 year cover for the CPU upgrade.

    My uses are VMware for work (lots of VM's running windows 2008/sql server, Linux/Mysql etc) for work, some hardcore windows gaming (dont want a separate bloatware gaming rig for this), HD video editing (non 4K and as a hobby).

    While the maxed out iMac beats both in single core geekbench the others obviously beat it in multicore.....

    While I am tempted to go for another iMac, having come from one I fancy a change and also am not too keen on another all in one...if I did go for it I would have to have 1TB SSD as not keen on the fusion as had it previously and would not consider normal HD only......also if i got it im wondering how good the high end graphics card is and how it compares to the GTX 680 2GB in the 2012 mac pro or the D500 in the nMP.

    The nMP is nice but not sure I can wait until march or april meaning i would be without a mac for 2 months at least.....also seems like overkill for the stuff i do...

    I am leaning towards the 2012 mac pro because I have always admired its physical look and the spec on offer is acceptable (ok no TB but can get a USB3 card and also not planning to run TB disk arrays as not really needing loads of storage - more likely to add a 3TB internal HD for long term storage). Also with the SSD and 680 card, gaming under bootcamp windows 7 should be decent enough......it is older tech so that does put me off a bit...and its also closer to the price of a nMP.....

    I guess I consider myself more than a casual user but less than a full on 'pro' user....which makes me think the nMP is overkill but the iMac is too 'johnny consumer'......

    would appreciate any suggestions
     
  2. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #2
    Some considerations that may effect your purchase.

    • The cMP can have multiple CPU's vs the nMP with multiple GPU's
    • The nMP has Thunderbolt 2, the cMP can not use TB at all
    • The cMP is more upgradeable and allows more options.
    • The cMP will depreciate quicker now that it is an end-of-line product
    • The cMP will cost more on yearly energy bills than the nMP
    • The nMP is a little more portable being tiny
    I am not trying to influence your purchase here, just some differences that may be important to you.
     
  3. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #3
    Just went through almost the exact same process, apart from not having an
    iMac - coming from an old 3,1 mac pro.

    Ordered a New MP from Ebay today :)
    6 core 3,33 / 24 gb / 1TB drive / 3 year warranty.

    I will be adding a Samsung EVO 500 or 750 gb.

    It suits my needs perfectly as a music producer/writer.
    All my external hardware / drives and expensive PCI cards will just drop in
    and work perfectly.
    nMP would mean changing so much hardware etc that it would be a very
    expensive route !! ..... maybe next time but I'm not a "loo brush holder" fan
    myself !!

    Go for it :)

    Martin.
     
  4. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #4
    I'd go for the nMP. The dual GPUs could really be good for Windows gaming/Crossfire, and the SSD is nice and fast.

    The SATA2, lack of Thunderbolt and power issues on the old Mac Pro are really going to hold you back. I don't think the old Mac Pro and SSDs are an especially great combo, especially in since SATA2 won't be able to really handle a newer SSD well. You could add a PCI-E SSD, but you're talking about putting down some serious cash at that point... I held off putting an SSD into my Mac Pro and just saved money towards a new Mac Pro just for that reason.

    The iMac isn't a horrible option, the GPU on there is very nimble as well. The core counts are the only thing I worry about with that config.
     
  5. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #5
    The only worry on an iMac is that the design is similar to a laptop (all in one) and I don't think it would cope well with being on 24/7 which I assume your VM's require.
     
  6. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #6
    The oMP can be upgraded to a nMP class Flash based NGFF SSD for about $300. $250 for a 128gb Samsung XP941 and $50 for NGFF PCIe adapter. A 256Gb XP941 can be found for around $450.

    I offload my user files and some large apps to a Samsung 840Pro mounted to a velocity X2. I also use 2X HGST 4TB internals for data and Time machine.

    With a flashed 680GTX, I boot to desktop in under 20 seconds, beating the nMP by 15 seconds or so. I get less than 1/2 a spin of progress timer when the system boots.

    Power usage differences... If you idle both machines for a year, the cost difference is about $70. The more you use the cMP, the less of a difference there is.

    a 6-core 990x can be picked up today for 700 on ebay. Ymmv.. I purchased mine for $475 on sale at Frys last summer. With that, my cMP averages 16,200+ on Geekbench 64, about 2000 more than $2999 nMP.
     
  7. riggles, Feb 17, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014

    riggles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #7
    Hmm. Is it just me or does £3,100+ seem like a lot for a 6-core cMP? I realize it's new, and that's a good thing, but still. Maybe a used cMP could be had for less?

    I don't know what the needs are of VM users, and I'm not a gamer, so I'd probably be a bad person to listen to. But I bought my used 12-core 2010 Mac Pro a few months ago with the thinking that it had the best performance-per-dollar for my needs (3D artist) and that it would be able to cover me for the next 2-3 years. That's all I would hope for. After which, a more clear picture would be available with the new Mac Pro and it's fit in the overall market.

    Edit: Moving the SSD to a PCIe slot only cost me $48 with the Solo x1. Not a big investment.
     
  8. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #8
    As far as I know, the iMac is designed to be on 24/7.

    It's the component failure that's a problem for that. If something died on the iMac, the entire unit might have to be swapped, or scraped.

    On the new Mac Pro, things are modular. The GPUs are proprietary, but at least you can replace them without replacing the whole logic board. Processor is removable, and the disk is removable.

    On the old Mac Pro, you can remove and replace a lot of stuff, but the system buses are all last decade (not an exaggeration) technology. The 2010 Mac Pro wouldn't be bad if it wasn't just a 2009 Mac Pro, which used a 2008 era processor and chipset... And buying a computer today that's basically using a chipset and technology from 2008 is risky.
     
  9. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #9
    Running VMs can be memory intensive, depending on what they're doing.

    For memory,
    • the cMP is quite good - up to 128 GiB with newer ones
    • the tube is OK - 64 GiB supported, but possibly 128 GiB
    • the Imac sucks - only 32 GiB

    IMO, drop the Imac from the list.
     
  10. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
    #10
    ive had a 2010 imac on for around a year non stop with reboots about every 2 weeks or so, its running my media server and when i use it that thing runs as good as ever
     
  11. zarf2007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #11

    yeah I am sorely tempted, and the delay for nMP is not helping! also I do think the older case looks better.....Its also good that these are brand new as I dont like buying used kit as never know what state its in

    ----------


    yeah think I will do that.

    ----------

    agree that I think the mac pro would be more robust and also not such a hassle if a component dies.....

    on the last point I am mitigating some of this by using a PCIe SSD and also my need for TB is non existent as I will only be using local storage and the VM's I use arent caning the disk too much...but yeah its a fair point......however I wonder how many six core or 12 core 2010/2012 mac pro owners have felt the need to upgrade to the new Mac pro? especially if they have a 680 gfx card in and PCIe SSD.

    ----------

    yeah the cost of the 6core is a problem (for both 2012 and new).....i think the iMac becomes attractive as it beats these on all single core apps..I definitely plan to use a PCIe SSD as a boot drive...I guess with the 2012 I would have the graphics card, SSD and form factor that i like but it does seem like a lot of money for older tech....

    ----------


    the dual GPU/crossfire option is nice but I would need to purchase another monitor (at least £500) and also looking at the benchmarks on a one on one basis the GTX 680 beats the D500 anyway.....my SSD will defo be a PCIe.

    ----------

    Noted. I am wondering how much noisier the 2012 mac pro will be compared to the nMP, also with a 680 card in this might be worse.....I realise the nMP is super quiet but for the old Mac Pro are we talking about hackintosh tower levels of noise or is it not too bad? dont want it to be too distracting..
     
  12. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #12
    I have been running a 3,1 tower for 4 years in a recording studio situation.

    There is very minimal fan noise, even recorded with a microphone in the same
    room, just 3 metres away and heard nothing from the Mac Pro tower !!

    Honestly it's not an issue at all unless you strap it to your ear !! :)
    ( unless you work in a vacuum and need total silence ? )
    M.
     
  13. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #13
    Well, the faster the GPU card runs usually equates to a louder noise as they have 2 or 3 tiny fans on them, the nMP GPU's have no fans and use the thermal core instead so the design makes it quieter. The only time I would assume you get to hear a distracting hum is if you max out the CPU+GPU which will ramp up the noise considerably. Both machines would do this under gaming but to what decibel I do not know.
     
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #14
    The ability to upgrade individual components is a big deal.

    I read someone's comment about looking forward to using his D700s for next 5 years and almost fell off my chair.

    The 7970s (sorry, D700s) are already 2 years old. In 5 years they will be 7 years old.

    Let's think about 5-7 year old GPUs and see how useful they are today.

    Mac 3870 came out Summer 2008 - No OpenCl, basically completely useless today, between 5 and 6 years old.

    8800GT for Mac, also 2008ish. Has limited OpenCl and NO CUDA in 64 bit. How many real studios are using these to render AE, Premier Pro, etc? I'll bet under 5% of working Pros are using these anymore.

    AMD 4870 for Mac, 2009. Not quite 5, first AMD card with OpenCl. How many Post Production houses using these? I'd guess ZERO, but if anyone is, please raise your hand.

    GTX285, 2009. Not quite 5 years old, limited OpenCl and currently NO CUDA since 10.9 came out with CUDA 5.5. So, not quite 5 years old and nearly useless.

    We can't see the future, whatever the "Big Thing" is next year or 2016, you can be pretty sure a 7970 (or R9 280X or D700, whatever you call it) won't be it.

    So, while you can already put better GPUs in a 2009 than a 2013, this gulf will only widen.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    I've got a 2008, so maybe I'm not in your target group, but I'd be making the same decision for the same reasons if I had a 2010...

    By the time you look at adding dual video cards and a PCIe SSD to the Mac Pro, your PCI-E slots are basically full. And you've got no Thunderbolt, and Thunderbolt adoption looks to be growing, especially with displays. The DVD drives and SATA slots are basically dead space at this point.

    Sure, the nMP doesn't have PCIe slots. But the video card upgradability question is still unanswered (the reviews implied that Apple is still considering it.) And the classic Mac Pro is PCI Express 2.0 and has no ability to provide power to newer cards built in, which means the clock is already ticking for being able to upgrade the classic Mac Pro's GPUs. Macvidcards mentioned 5 years as a large window for upgrades, but honestly, I'd be very surprised if anything near top of the line GPUs worked in a classic Mac Pro 5 years from now. As it stands right now, you have to shoehorn an external power supply in the Mac Pro to even get current top end cards working.
     
  16. zarf2007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #16
    Went for the 2012 Mac Pro from same place as you, 6C 333/24gb/gtx 680 2gb/pcie 512gb SSD/1TB HD, usb3 pcie card....was pricey but happy with the choice and think it will suit my needs and new boxed with 3 years apple care...just waiting for the oMP haters to weigh in now!
     
  17. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
    #17
    excellent choice!. ive gone down to the apple store a couple times and played with the new mac pro and i cant see myself liking it. ive had my debit card in hand ready to buy the stock 6 core on bhphoto but always get a vision of cords everywhere and trying to stick a gtx 880 in there but cant.
     
  18. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #18
    GOOD MAN !! Congrats :)
    I decided to do all the extra upgrades myself, one PCI SATA III card may have
    been a mistake but I will give it a go (HighPoint RocketRAID 642L)
    So, EVO 750 gig SSD / WD Velociraptor 1TB 10,000rpm / WD Black 2TB and an
    Inatek USB3.0 PCI Card.
    Might have to get an Apricorn V2 card ... we'll see.

    Compared to the nMP that I spec'd out and all the additional drive chassis and
    PCI chassis I would need etc... it's almost a third of the cost !!

    That wasn't the point, it's affordable but it just doesn't suit me right now.
    Perhaps I'll jump on the third version in 3 years or so :rolleyes:

    M.
     
  19. zarf2007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #19

    Thanks!

    Yeah, just cannot like the new dustbin form factor, no matter how much I try, think it looks like something you'd see in a high end hair salon!

    ----------

    Yeah I figure it will do me for the next 3 years......tbh can't get excited about the nMP, maybe I'm unusual in wanting only one GPU but was still impressed with the barefeets gtx 680 vs d500 results and noted that it trounces all current iMacs so decision made!
     
  20. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #20
    GPU has no interest for me as it's just running Logic /protools and I don't
    do any video or graphic work ... I wouldn't have a clue !!
    Still using my 2 x 23in Apple aluminium cinema displays from 2007 !!

    Enjoy, we should compare performance when we have them ??

    Martin.
     
  21. zarf2007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #21
    Yeah I did a price check and realised the PCIe SSD 512gb Evo upgrade option was only £100 cheaper than a 1TB Evo + velocity 2 card so canned that option and bought the parts for self install! Also got the same USB3 card as you....mac is arriving Monday so looking forward to it.....

    ----------

    Yep definitely will post some stats...
     

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