Quick Help! i7 iMac or 2.8 QC MacPro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RustyMac, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. RustyMac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #1
    Hi all! I have been using a black MacBook 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo for the past 2 years for graphic design work (Adobe CS3, print and web design) and it has been a great machine. No complaints. I am now expanding my design skills and my small design business is growing. So I need a new computer. I will be using the new computer for Adobe CS5 and also programs like CAD. I am also a fabricator and restorer and I work on vintage cars and bikes. I want to be able to design my cars and bikes before I tackle the project.

    I figured since I already have a decent laptop, why not go with a big desk top. This way I would have the best of both worlds. Plus, I do most of my work in my personal studio. So, since I was driving yesterday through a state that does not charge sales tax, I stopped at an Apple Store and the Apple people convinced me to buy the i7 iMac for $2199. I have not opened the box yet.

    I was thinking last night on the way home if I should have bought the 2.8GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro for $2499 and also buy a Dell UltraSharp 24-inch ($599) or 27-inch ($799) screen. I know it would cost much more than the iMac but would I be getting a better system? Would it be better in the long run? Is 2.8 Mac Pro faster than the 2.93 i7 iMac?

    Any help please. I need to make a decision now before I either open my iMac or go and exchange it for a Mac Pro. I know, I should have done my research before purchasing.:confused:
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    I tend to think smaller is better. In your situation, I might find myself choosing whether to keep an iMac or go for a Mac Mini. I know it's not upgradeable but neither is an iMac (easily). I wouldn't consider a Mac Pro unless I had a specific situation which required the ability to add hard drives or upgrade hardware in the future.

    You haven't mentioned using apps which require 8 cores or a massive amount of throughput so I would say you can stick with the iMac and be very happy.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    Mac Pro is only worth it if you need the upgradeability (internal HDs, PCIe cards, CPUs..).
     
  4. RustyMac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #4
    I don't see adding any new hard drives anytime soon. I now that I say to my self that maybe in the future I will but I sometimes think big. I currently use a 500 GB Time Capsule as a wireless external hard drive and I still have 350 GB available. Plus, I burn CDs or DVDs of my old projects this way don't over load a hard drive.

    One last question, should I have waited for the upgrade on the iMac? I see people mentioning here that the might be upgrading them in January?
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    You can always use externals via FireWire or USB too, so amount of storage shouldn't be an issue.

    Depends how soon you need it. It's possible that iMacs will be updated as soon as in January but in the past it has taken 8-11 months to update thus I would say Q2, March or April to be more precise.
     
  6. Brother854 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    #6
    Keep your business overhead low while you are starting. Get 8+GB's of RAM and press on.

    If you find bottlenecks in your workflow, keep notes on them. When your business grows and your time gets crunched, take a look at those notes and figure out whether to buy a new machine or charge more.
     
  7. RustyMac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #7
    So are you saying to just keep using my black MacBook or keep the iMac? I could just buy the 24-inch dell screen ($599) and use what I have.
     
  8. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #8
    I'm still using a Macbook with an external monitor. I was running out of disk space until I kicked iPhoto Library out of internal storage and put it on a firewire external drive. I now have 68 gig free. I would only upgrade if necessary. OS X tends to avoid hogging resources so older hardware can run just fine as long as you aren't doing intense computation, graphics or movie editing. I also considered a new HDD but decided it was easier and cheaper to simply move the photos off to an external drive. I haven't touched my RAM but that is something I might consider if it gets me another year of trouble free use.

    If the machine you are considering is for business use, consider need versus want and I think you will find you can keep the black Macbook or at most move over to a newer iMac but the MacPro is definitely overkill. As for timing, since you own a Mac you have the luxury of waiting until you see exactly what you want. Perhaps you might decide to upgrade some time in 2011 when even newer iMacs come out.
     
  9. MacSignal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #9
    Open the box. Your first decision was a good one. Both the iMac and the MP will feel fast running the software you're using as compared to your laptop. For the work you describe, the iMac will work as well as the MP.

    There is always speculation about updates. The only sure thing is to buy right after updated hardware becomes available.
     
  10. skate71290 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Keep the iMac, it is an incredibly powerful machine with a built in display, the cheapest option for the most power. Your setup is good and the iMac will last a good 3-5 years.
     
  11. Barnzee macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Location:
    Oak Harbor, WA
    #11
    Agreed


    I would keep the iMac because you get an IPS monitor and a nice computer all in one, and IPS monitors aren't cheap.
     
  12. RustyMac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #12
    The only thing I am figuring out now is that money is tight and having spent $2600 when all said and done is too much for now. I am thinking of just getting an ISP Dell 24in screen for $599 might be a smarter choice for now.
     
  13. pna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #13
    By all means, if you can get your current (and projected) work done with your macbook, there's a huge upside to staying with your current setup and just getting a nice IPS monitor: Simplicity. Like it or not, adding a second computer does add some overhead, and some thinking and planning about where to keep what files, how to sync them up, etc.

    Personally, I quite like making the decision that, at some point, you'll upgrade, but putting it off for a time until it's really, really necessary. It lets you save up money and figure out exactly what it is that you'll need, so that you have both the money and the knowledge ready at a time when the machine comes out.

    Other options, obviously, are to pick up one of the last gen 27" quad core i5's from macconnection. I think they were $1500 or so, and I seriously doubt you could tell a difference in your workflow between it and the current gen i7. It'd be $900 more than just the monitor, but that might be easier to stomach than $1600 more.
     
  14. jazziethomas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    #14
    Obviously the Mac Pro has some benefits of its own: faster SuperDrive, the four hard-drive bays, speedier CPU options and greater connectivity, for a start. For most users though, balancing high performance with price, the iMac’s combination of a slimline form-factor, huge amounts of processing power and integrated display will likely hit the sweet spot that previously only an entry-level Mac Pro would’ve filled.
     
  15. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #15
    I'm sure you already made the decision but here are my two thoughts:

    1) For any business, go with the Mac Pro if possible. If that Hard Drive fails on the iMac, your not working until it's fixed...or you're working with an attached Firewire drive which is going to be slow. With a Mac Pro, slide the drive out, put in a new one and you're good to go. No need to visit the Apple Store.

    2) Buy a Mac Pro refurb. I just bought the 2.8 Quad refurb for $2119....beautiful machine. I'm a web developer designer....sure a Mac Pro is a bit overkill....but I love it. 16GB of RAM, 120 SSD and 4 - 2TB drives.

    3) Regardless of which....backup, backup, backup ;)

    -Kevin
     

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