Now I really don't know what my next machine should be.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by StephenCampbell, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

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    Sep 21, 2009
    #1
    Now that the Mac Pro is not very accessible or upgradeable, the line has blurred for me between that and the iMac in terms of what should be my next machine. I'll need external hard drives and optical drives with either one, so it really comes down to how much power I need.

    The main things I do are surf the web, listen to music, look at photos, watch HD videos, some gaming, some basic video editing in Final Cut Pro 6, use Garageband for music recording/creation, and music notation software like Sibelius.

    My 2006 Mac Pro basically performs well enough for everything I do, and the only reason I'm beginning to think about an upgrade is because support is being pulled for this machine, starting with the non-support for Mountain Lion.

    My main concern with the iMac is that it ages too fast relative to the Pro machines. I'd like a machine that can stay snappy and 'in the game' so to speak for at least five years. My Mac Pro is at seven years and hasn't skipped a beat. Again, I would choose the new Mac Pro over the iMac in a heartbeat if there were upgradeable hard drives, GPUs, optical drives etc inside the machine, but with those things being external anyway, what's the point of the Mac Pro?

    I suppose it does still last longer, but how does the cost compare to the iMac? For example, if the Mac Pro was $6000 and lasted six years, that would be to me the same price as a $3000 iMac lasting three years.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #2
    I guess it's tough to make choices. I am thinking you may go for the 27" iMac or if storage and expansion is important to you, the other option is get a used/refurbished 4,1 or 5,1 Mac Pro. I know the current Mac Pros are old technology, our choices now seems to be limited.
     
  3. Bear macrumors G3

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    #3
    Based on your usage, getting an iMac with the best graphics option might be reasonable for you. And worst case if you find out you really need a MacPro in a year or 2, all your storage and accessories you have will plug right in.
     
  4. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

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    Dec 22, 2008
    #4
    your usage is considered light, thus an imac would more than suit your need. of course, you can always go overkill with the mac pro and satisfy your want, not need, but that would be like killing a rodent with an RPG. there are many with a 2009 imac thats working perfectly without skipping a beat.
     
  5. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    But if I had an iMac from August 2006 I would have had to upgrade again already, probably in 2010 or so. So even if the Mac Pro is overkill at the time of purchase, how does the value compare to the iMac when you factor in the extended lifespan?
     
  6. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #6
    I was working on an iMac from late '06 for graphic design and web development work until just recently, and I just bought a new Mini which is blazing fast in comparison. I went Mini over iMac because I can easily change it out in a year or two if something faster comes out and still keep the same display, keyboard, drives, etc.

    Any current revision Mac is going to be more than adequate for what you want to do, if anything the games might be the most limiting aspect.
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

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    #7
    My iMac (with AppleCare) cost about $2000 + tax 3 years ago. I will probably replace it within a year. The iMac I would buy today would be about $2350 (with AppleCare) refurbished and I would expect it to last 3 to 5 years.

    Make your own call about the value of an iMac from that.

    My heavy uses are gaming and photo editing.
     
  8. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

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    Dec 22, 2008
    #8
    a top of the line imac now would still be more than what you need to do what you do. however, if you just want the latest and greatest, then the whole upgrade in the future to meet your need is moot point. you seem to already be against the imac and set on the mac pro (not sure if the novelty factor) so not really sure what the point would be in continuing this thread.
     
  9. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    #9
    You could literally buy any machine on the market right now and it would have no problem dealing with your usage of it.
     
  10. fa8362, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013

    fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Looking at your usage, I'd buy an i7 Mac Mini and an Xbox and save more than a thousand bucks.
     
  11. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I'm definitely not set on the Mac Pro. In fact I'm leaning towards the iMac at this point.

    I'm well aware that today and for the next couple years at least, a new iMac would serve my needs brilliantly. It's just that if the new Mac Pro is equivalent to a 2017 iMac, then buying it now is like buying a new iMac, and then buying another new iMac in 2017, all at the same time and in advance.

    Because I'll need external peripherals either way I'll probably end up going with the iMac, unless the Mac Pro is less expensive than we expect.
     
  12. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 24, 2012
    #12
    The new Mac Pro has at least one Xeon, and two 6GB Fire Pros. Right there that's $4000, before even considering the cost of the case, SSD, power supply, thunderbolt controllers etc.

    Essentially, the iMac will definitely beat the MP handsomely when it comes to value for money based on the things you say you need it for, even if you buy another in in 2017.

    The Mac Pro is going to cost twice what the iMac does.
     
  13. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

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    #13
    That line of thinking makes no sense at all. First, no one knows what a 2017 imac would have. There is future proofing, and then there's buying things that you're not going to use.

    Instead of buying a 200HP car to do my grocery shopping, I'm going to buy a 500HP race car for grocery shopping because I don't want to have to buy another car in 4 years again. Does that make sense? Today's imac will still be more than what you need in 2017. FYI, Firepro cards are for pro applications and like 3-D modeling and CAD and such. Don't confuse them for gaming cause they are not built for that purpose, but hey, if you have a wad burning a hole in your pocket, by all means. But ask yourself this, how much would you consider the MP if it still retained the outgoing model's case design and Apple just updated the guts?
     
  14. SMDBill macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2013
    #14
    The lifespan only really ends when you decide you must run software it can no longer run. What some have not really ventured into in their consideration is that once the machine may not be so capable within a newer version of OSX as they would like, it may still be more than enough for Linux in order to gain even more years of service from the same machine for some different purposes.

    And while Linux is nice enough to run, if you care to, a new MBP right now will be more than capable of ALL that you do 3-5 years from now. However, newer machines each year will make it feel less "capable", and eventually feel obsolete, although the true capability of that machine lies solely in what it is expected to do for its user. Your uses may justify a Mac Pro today if you intend to keep it for as many years as it is capable of supporting your uses. Without question its processor(s) today will be more capable at x point in the future than any current iMac purchased today. But you still have to decide if that value point is worth it to you or not based on needs and intentions.
     
  15. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #15
    You aren't factoring in that used Macs have great resale value. You can offset a lot of that cost of your next machine with the sale of the previous model, especially if you're upgrading every 2-3 years.

    And generally speaking that's going to be a lot more efficient computing-wise than trying to future proof your purchase. I've gotten to the point where I buy any tech item knowing that it's becoming obsolete as soon as I open the box.
     
  16. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Thank you for the replies. I'm basically decided on an iMac now, unless the price of the Mac Pro is astonishingly low (relative to expectations).

    If I get a $3,000 iMac every four years, with all subsequent purchases being offset by a $1,000 profit from selling the old machine, that's basically $2,000 every four years. A $6,000 Mac Pro setup would have to last twelve years to match that value, and at that point would be worth nothing anyway.

    Thanks again!
     
  17. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    Stockholm, Sweden
    #17
    If you don't do any of the things you do on your computer, for a living, you could go with even a rMBP and be very happy. Your usage is really light and don't even need the power of an iMac.

    But you mentioned that you wanted it to last a while, thus iMac is better than the rMBP.

    Regarding the Mac Pro;

    Upgradeable GPU's - No one knows what kind of upgradeability we will get with GPU's.

    External optical drive - Why would you even want this to be internal? If they're external, you can tuck away your computer and only have your optical drive there. You'll get a cleaner desk area, less noisy working place as well as (most likely) easier to use your optical drive since you won't have to bend down under your desk and put your CD/DVD/BD in your internal optical drive since you can place your external optical drive wherever you want basically.

    External storage - These generate heat and sound, having them in an external and separate case is better for both your ears as well as having your computer last longer since it won't get as warm as if the storage was internal. And over TB2, the storage will be basically as fast as your internal storage (when talking HDD's - SSD's is another question).

    As long as we get some sort of GPU upgradeability, they did the right thing in removing those moving parts (ODD and HDD) from the computer case and to external cases.
     
  18. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Sep 21, 2009
    #18
    Yeah, if the GPU in the Mac Pro is upgradeable that will make it slightly tempting, but the main reason I always went for the towers was so that I could have everything in one enclosure. With that being gone, combined with the fact that I don't actually need the power of the Mac Pro, I think the iMac becomes a no brainer.
     

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