Retina Imac Vs refurb 6 core mac pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gtedit, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. gtedit macrumors newbie

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    Nov 20, 2014
    #1
    Hey,

    I was going to buy a top-spec retina iMac (CAD $3249 + 32GB owc ram = CAD$3700) but then happened to see that I could also get a 6 core mac pro with D500s for a similar price (CAD$3479 + 32gb OWC ram = $3954). I don't need the 5K screen (yet) so would happily buy a 1440 or 1080 with decent colour accuracy for $5-600. All in all, for my needs I'm looking at difference of around CAD$750-800 between the two systems once I'm ready to edit.

    I'm getting the system for pro video editing (but not pro grading or mo-graph - although I do dabble). I'm looking to be able to edit feature length projects in 4K (h264s, r3ds, dngs - but not necessarily at full rez- -1/2 would be great) with smooth playback in FCPX and premier. I'd like to have a few effects going as well (film convert, re-times, rgb curves etc). This machine is going to be used to cut indie features, commercials, trailers, events and docs.

    So which system should I get? Will the 6core nMP be worth the extra $800?

    Thanks for any info/feedback

    PS have also posted this in the iMac forum. First response I got there was to post this here. Appologies for the duplicate.
     
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #2
    Mac Pro no question. 5K iMac is a letdown for FCP X rendering performance in my opinion. The Mac Pro on the other hand, is not.
     
  3. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Go with the nMP. I repair Macs for a living and I rarely have people asking for help with their Mac Pros. The iMacs on the other hand, have many issues. Mostly related to heat. Hard drives die prematurely, GPUs need reflow/rework, or someone breaks the video connector while attempting a DIY, etc.
     
  4. mdelrossi macrumors member

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    Jun 22, 2005
    #4
    Just a question,
    What do you mean by its a let down?
    I haven't downloaded FCP yet, but my experience with after effects is great so far. Since I have a month or two to return it if the MacPro is that much better...
    I just picked up a base retina at the Apple store.
    I don't know if FCP uses multiple cores, but I do know that After effects does and is a ram hog(I do title treatments for motion picture trailers).
    I pulled up a project that took me 44 min to render on a MacPro 2008 8 core 2.8Ghz 32 megs ram.
    On the base retina iMac it took 14 min.
     
  5. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #5
    FCP X does use multiple cores, and when I was in the Apple store I played with the base retina iMac and FCP X timeline rendering performance wasn't very impressive. As far as the benchmarks you gave that sounds about right for a 2008 Mac Pro, as we are talking about the 2013 Mac Pro in this thread which I expect to have much better performance in the GPU department especially.
     
  6. PhiLLoW macrumors 6502

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    May 31, 2014
    #6
    I had a maxed out Late 2013 iMac and Switched to a 4 Core nMP in the beginnend of 2014. The MacPro is a lot faster and stable while Editing, rendering etc. iMac seems to struggle with high temperatures.

    It also handles multiple displays much better. On the iMac the iMac-screen has to be always one which was really annoying in my Setup.


    Go für the MacPro. Best machine I've ever had.
     
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #7
    The option GPU in the 5k is a 125w part and from what I read about the GPU throttling some are having, most likely down to the usual inconsistent thermal paste suggests to me that they are getting close to the edge of the thermal envelope that 2012 27"/5k chassis can handle. With that GPU being always on I have my doubts that it will be reliable long term either.

    The Mac Pro 6,1 on the other hand will take as much GPU abuse as you can throw at it and hardly make a sound.

    I too am an Apple and Windows engineer and I wouldn't buy an iMac, even with that lovely 5k display to do a Mac Pro's job. It's designed for punishment unlike any all in one or notebook. Which is why my Mac Pro is delegated to the hard tasks and my MBP gets off very lightly :D

    ----------

    I second all of that. Seen quite a few iMacs used as Mac Pro replacements have had multiple logic boards during AppleCare and get retired and replaced by 6,1 with the 4-5,1 still going strong.

    I have even had some 5k owners saying over on the iMac section that they have never heard of GPU throttling in a 2012 27" on chassis which I found highly amusing. Like you if they've ever had to open these iMac's up post AppleCare to give them a service and repaste and polish the cooling system and know without a doubt they are not true professional systems that take constant, hard punishment of the CPU/GPU by design. For occasional use only imo.
     
  8. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2005
    #8
    The attached image is a typical thermal paste application on a Mac. If you push your computer hard, heat will be an issue sooner or later. Smokers tend to kill their Macs much earlier (those black greasy tar like build-up on the vents and fans are very hard to clean).

    I'd stay away from an iMac no matter how appealing that 5K screen seems.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #9
    That is one of the better ones, I've seen much worse. As someone who simply thinks that every Macintosh across the board has awful thermal paste application/guidelines never mind poor die plate surfaces that certainly does not help these chassis one bit. When I repaste and polish they run a darn sight cooler my way than what Apple instruct their engineers to do. Nevertheless the chassis, just like the notebooks are simply not designed that way for long hard work.
     
  10. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I hate to admit that most Macs suck at gaming because Windows fanboys would use that as a talking point. Many a time I've seen iMacs that had their GPUs toasted because some kids were running Steam.
     
  11. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #11
    The annoying thing is though - that if Apple pasted like a gamer or a cooling junkie like I am with both the die and plate surfaces they would be able to run much faster and throttle far less. I have yet to not improve on Apple's stock paste ever - closest was my 3,1 with the liquid silver and I still got 4c lower than stock done my way.

    But nevertheless there are only two Mac chassis capable of gaming or hard CPU/GPU work with aplomb - both are called the Mac Pro.
     
  12. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    They have no incentive to do that is my guess. Fried your Mac? Here's a shiny new one that will fry soon after the warranty expires. :D

    Interestingly enough, my oldest functioning Mac has no fan at all - yet it was a sales flop. G4 Cube which you may recall is of the Power Mac family.
     
  13. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #13
    Indeed - though every Apple Tech I am friends with all paste their own kit my way - funny that eh :D

    My G4 cube got sold so the only PowerPC Mac I have left is my G4 Mini with 10.4.11 which still gets dusted off to help keep PPC systems going strong.
     
  14. TjeuV macrumors 6502

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    #14
    You don't need a 5k screen ... yet, you say. As far as I now it's not going to be possible for the 2013 Mac Pro to handle a 5k screen in the future. Maybe something you want to keep in mind.
     
  15. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #15
    That new Dell 27 looks like it will use a pair of DP connections to drive it. Whether OS X will support it is a question for those like MVC can answer. I expect it will either now or very soon!
     
  16. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    #16
    It's one thing to spend time and money on a few systems to bring them to highest possible levels. It's a completely different thing with mass production. In mass production you usually go for "good enough for the majority of users" instead of "best possible".

    If Apple would bring the high-volume systems to "gamer or cooling junkie" standards, it'd make the machines a good bit more expensive.
     
  17. Gav Mack, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #17
    I disagree - first of all the surfaces of the die should be spotless and heatsink plate should be machined correctly and the squares spotless too covered with a clear tape cover. Then precisely the right amount of paste added. I reckon it would add no more than 30 seconds to the production line time and that is in the order of cents, and perhaps 1-2 dollars for extra costs of the machining.

    To save millions for them in refurb logic board costs and also angry users having their GPU fail prematurely like with the worst culprit of all - the MBP 2011. And also bear in mind users are paying a hefty premium for that option GPU in the 5K so why shouldn't they expect a bit of TLC?

    Apple have micron precision everywhere else bar between the die and heatsink and it is a constant bugbear of mine even when I open up a current Macintosh its plain to see they are very far from it.
     
  18. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #18
    Apple have the numbers in front of them. Many people at Apple study these numbers every day. If there was money to be saved here with better application of thermal paste, then they would do it.
     
  19. Gav Mack, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #19
    Apple have known about the huge spike in GPU on the MBP 2011 for over 15 months. I have seen the stats with my own eyes from more than a few AASP's and friends who work in UK stores, and repasted and polished a lot of 2011's to prevent the GPU failing. None have since, not one. I have even sent feedback to Tim Cook, Jony Ive and Apple engineering about this specific issue and the reply I got from corporate relations was frankly a joke. They do not care about changing engineering guidelines to prevent failures period to save them and customers millions. Engineering is now overruled by accountants and lawyers because those guys most know.

    3-4 years ago I would have agreed with you - but now I pretty much think like MVC now. Apple do act like the old IBM, do not care and it's 1984 all over again.
     
  20. theSeb, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #20
    Apple, just like any company, care about profits. I am not sure if I misunderstand, but it seems to me that you're suggesting that Apple is willing to lose profits by not implementing a small and not very costly change to engineering processes for whatever unknown reason? That's how I interpret it.

    Anecdotal evidence aside, Apple will have the numbers to see just how much money they will lose on warranty replacements.

    In simple and real world terms the suggestion seems to be that Apple is not willing to implement a change in production that will cost $5 more per unit to save $100 per replacement.

    Bear in mind that I am making up numbers here. But if we think about things like this, then things start to make sense. If I build 100 units, implementing a $5 change will cost me $500 more. Obviously Apple deal in much bigger numbers, but bear with me. Let's say the failure rate without the change is 1%. So that means I will lose 1 unit at $100 for 100 units produced. That means my overall expenditure is -$100, instead of -$500.
     
  21. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

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    #21
    I remember checking out the G4 Cube and it wasn't exactly quiet. It must have been the HD. Now the tangerine G3 iMac I had sounded like a mosquito buzzing around your ear. I took it to a shop and got charged $30 to tell me that it was the normal irritating fan noise. My Power Computing Mac clone had been much quieter.
     
  22. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Finally someone with a brain. You are absolutely totally 100% correct. Apple's overall profit would rise considerably. They are complete and total idiots for not doing as you say. Where did their engineers get their schooling?
     

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