So....should I buy a maxed out iMac or Mac Pro.

td2243

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 14, 2013
351
164
Santa Fe, NM
I'm pretty much going to need to make a decision by the end of summer. I've been waiting (like countless others) for a new Mac Pro announcement, but I'd rather just get something and start using it.

What do you guys suggest? I will be doing....

1. Video editing
2. Pro Tools recording
3. surfing the interwebs, etc.

Also, for those of you with Fusion Drives, is it worth the extra dough. I'm guessing things run faster.

Also, are the latest versions of iMac 27's faster than the latest Mac Pro's? Or vice versa? Sorry if these are noob questions, I just know I'm not buying a Dell again. :)
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,282
4,803
Well, the iMac should be faster than the Mac Pro if you disregard the multi-CPU models. The Pro hasn't been updated in ages. I would wait for the WWDC though, it possible that the new Pro will be released somewhere around that time.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
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Here
I'm pretty much going to need to make a decision by the end of summer. I've been waiting (like countless others) for a new Mac Pro announcement, but I'd rather just get something and start using it.

What do you guys suggest? I will be doing....

1. Video editing
2. Pro Tools recording
3. surfing the interwebs, etc.

Also, for those of you with Fusion Drives, is it worth the extra dough. I'm guessing things run faster.

Also, are the latest versions of iMac 27's faster than the latest Mac Pro's? Or vice versa? Sorry if these are noob questions, I just know I'm not buying a Dell again. :)
Do you need more than 32GB of RAM? ECC?
Do you need more than one hard drive?
Do you want/need to stay up to date with graphics?
Do you want/need a nice display?
Do you want/need an optical drive?

The most recent iMac is about 1500GB points faster than my 3.2 quad whether that will effect you or not is for you to decide. The difference is I have 15TB of internal storage and 48GB of RAM to compensate for that 1500 points.
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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Do you need more than 32GB of RAM? ECC?
Do you need more than one hard drive?
Do you want/need to stay up to date with graphics?
Do you want/need a nice display?
Do you want/need an optical drive?

The most recent iMac is about 1500GB points faster than my 3.2 quad whether that will effect you or not is for you to decide. The difference is I have 15TB of internal storage and 48GB of RAM to compensate for that 1500 points.

Thunderbolt = more HD's.
680MX is one of the best cards today even if it's mobile.
Yes nice display.
Optical external USB works just fine.

I had a powerful built system and went with a loaded IMAC. No regrets. Does everything I need fine.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
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Thunderbolt = more HD's.
680MX is one of the best cards today even if it's mobile.
Yes nice display.
Optical external USB works just fine.

I had a powerful built system and went with a loaded IMAC. No regrets. Does everything I need fine.
I also have 20TB as backup so now I need to keep internal as external and external backup, no thanks.

680MX is a nice but mobile so it's stuck in time and 10.8.4 has Titan support and we've had Kepler support support for 8-9 months and Fermi support since 10.7. External optical's are not fine for me.The Mac pro and any tower type desktop IMHO you either understand and need or you don't. There is no right or wrong.
 

td2243

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 14, 2013
351
164
Santa Fe, NM
Do you need more than 32GB of RAM? ECC?
Do you need more than one hard drive?
Do you want/need to stay up to date with graphics?
Do you want/need a nice display?
Do you want/need an optical drive?

32GB should be plenty, I assume.
Generally, I use more than one hard drive as backup, but I can always use externals for that right?

I have a display now, but two is always nice for editing.

My wife has the 'superdrive' for her MBP.

----------

Thunderbolt = more HD's.
680MX is one of the best cards today even if it's mobile.

What do ya'll mean by mobile? :confused:

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680MX is a nice but mobile so it's stuck in time and 10.8.4 has Titan support and we've had Kepler support support for 8-9 months and Fermi support since 10.7. External optical's are not fine for me.The Mac pro and any tower type desktop IMHO you either understand and need or you don't. There is no right or wrong.

Lost me with most of this. :eek:
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,023
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Lincoln, UK
As they are now? Buy an iMac. The Mac Pro is too outdated and so doesn't have enough power for the money.

As they will be after updates? A real unknown.

My gut feeling is the Mac Pro will have a new form factor that widens options so that it can be sold in the volumes it needs to to remain viable.

I'm hoping the new Mac Pro will offer from i7 to dual Xeons so that not only will existing Mac Pro owners be satisfied, but so will people like me who could not justify the cost of the Pro, but want a tower (less down time for repairs (my iMac spent multiple weeks with Applecare for a new screen then HDD) and a tower plus monitor is neater than iMac, USB hub, multiple external drives).
 

td2243

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 14, 2013
351
164
Santa Fe, NM
My gut feeling is the Mac Pro will have a new form factor that widens options so that it can be sold in the volumes it needs to to remain viable.

I'm hoping the new Mac Pro will offer from i7 to dual Xeons so that not only will existing Mac Pro owners be satisfied, but so will people like me who could not justify the cost of the Pro, but want a tower (less down time for repairs (my iMac spent multiple weeks with Applecare for a new screen then HDD) and a tower plus monitor is neater than iMac, USB hub, multiple external drives).

Yeah, I've been hearing about new Mac Pro's for ages. I'm inclined to believe there is something coming out, but who knows when really. Could be 2014.

BUT, thanks for the comments. If they don't announce a new Mac Pro at WWDC, I'll just probably get an iMac.
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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I also have 20TB as backup so now I need to keep internal as external and external backup, no thanks.

680MX is a nice but mobile so it's stuck in time and 10.8.4 has Titan support and we've had Kepler support support for 8-9 months and Fermi support since 10.7. External optical's are not fine for me.The Mac pro and any tower type desktop IMHO you either understand and need or you don't. There is no right or wrong.
Why are external opticals not fine? Makes no difference if it's external or internal.

Same goes for External or Internal HD's connected via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.

680mx stuck in time? What does that mean?

----------

680mx is a mobile card. 680 is a desktop card.

32GB should be plenty, I assume.
Generally, I use more than one hard drive as backup, but I can always use externals for that right?

I have a display now, but two is always nice for editing.

My wife has the 'superdrive' for her MBP.

----------




What do ya'll mean by mobile? :confused:

----------




Lost me with most of this. :eek:
 

td2243

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 14, 2013
351
164
Santa Fe, NM
[/COLOR]680mx is a mobile card. 680 is a desktop card.[/QUOTE]


Interesting. How is that bad or not preferred? Not being a smart ass, I honestly don't know. :eek:
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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[/COLOR]680mx is a mobile card. 680 is a desktop card.

Interesting. How is that bad or not preferred? Not being a smart ass, I honestly don't know. :eek:[/QUOTE]


680mx is a downclocked 680. Just not as powerful.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
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Why are external opticals not fine? Makes no difference if it's external or internal.

Same goes for External or Internal HD's connected via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.

680mx stuck in time? What does that mean?

----------

680mx is a mobile card. 680 is a desktop card.
when you rip and burn as much as I do it's not acceptable for the drives to be external. The 680 and iMac are stuck in time there is no upgrade path for either there is for the MP though. Neither is bad or good it's a different strokes for different folks kinda thing. If it were my dollars I'd buy refurb and throw a hex in it some RAM at it and a 680 in it. It'll cost less and perform better.
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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when you rip and burn as much as I do it's not acceptable for the drives to be external. The 680 and iMac are stuck in time there is no upgrade path for either there is for the MP though. Neither is bad or good it's a different strokes for different folks kinda thing. If it were my dollars I'd buy refurb and throw a hex in it some RAM at it and a 680 in it. It'll cost less and perform better.
Again it makes NO DIFFERENCE if it's internal or external no matter how much you burn. Most PROFESSIONALS have external burners anyways with the larger 5 1/4 drives as they are stronger.

They are not stuck in time. Mac Pro is now, it's dated. Old technology. Hasn't had an update in a long time and looks to soon be axed.
 

GXPvince

macrumors regular
May 12, 2008
114
0
Again it makes NO DIFFERENCE if it's internal or external no matter how much you burn. Most PROFESSIONALS have external burners anyways with the larger 5 1/4 drives as they are stronger.

They are not stuck in time. Mac Pro is now, it's dated. Old technology. Hasn't had an update in a long time and looks to soon be axed.
What he is saying is you can not upgrade the video card on the iMac. And yes, the the Mac Pro may be dated, however it is upgradable. I still have my 2006 Mac Pro editing video and photos professionally running an 8-core 2.66 (upgraded from 4 cores which cost me less than $100 for twice the performance). Try doing that with a 7 year old iMac. My 2012 Mac Pro I wouldn't be surprised if it also lasted 5-6 more years, especially with an upgrade path all the way up to 2-3.46 6-core processors and video cards such as Titan and other recently released cards(plus future cards not released yet).

OP it's up to you buddy, advantages disadvantages for both.
I wouldn't mind having an iMac, but I sure would miss my internal drives and 12 cores, upgrade ability.

I would like to add though: I got my Mac Pro at an amazing prince $2599 compared to the 3700 apple wants for it. I would have not paid 3700 for my 12 core machine, I would have bought the iMac over it without a doubt!
 

Mike Valmike

macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2012
551
0
Chandler, Arizona
Yeah, I've been hearing about new Mac Pro's for ages. I'm inclined to believe there is something coming out, but who knows when really. Could be 2014.
Well, we know it will be this year. Both Tim Cook and Apple have, in a rare moment of specificity, clarified that it will be. Cook's original comment was JUST oblique enough that it could have been interpreted as some product other than the Mac Pro, but then Apple Corporate confirmed to the NYT that Cook meant a new Mac Pro. So. Now, "2013" could mean 12/31/2013 and be technically true. So take that for what you will. But with as tenuous as Apple's hold has become on the professional market, if they break THIS promise, look out below.
 

davidb367

macrumors member
Feb 13, 2007
73
10
Beg to differ.

iMacs cannot be upgraded. Most iMac's have a lifespan of three to four years. Most are GPU outdated in two.

My upgraded MacPro 1,1 (2006) is just as fast as a 2011 Mac Mini Server and has double the cores. I can't run the latest GPU's (because of Mountain Lion) but I can run 68XX level nVidia GPUs. Newer models can run the latest GPUs.

A used MacPro and upgraded as Chris suggests will be cheaper and last longer than an iMac. A MacPro is an excellent fit for video work.
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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Maybe, but the top of the line IMAC right now is faster than a maxed out Mac Pro. And thanks to Thunderbolt, you can add external cards to an IMAC to upgrade it even more.

Beg to differ.

iMacs cannot be upgraded. Most iMac's have a lifespan of three to four years. Most are GPU outdated in two.

My upgraded MacPro 1,1 (2006) is just as fast as a 2011 Mac Mini Server and has double the cores. I can't run the latest GPU's (because of Mountain Lion) but I can run 68XX level nVidia GPUs. Newer models can run the latest GPUs.

A used MacPro and upgraded as Chris suggests will be cheaper and last longer than an iMac. A MacPro is an excellent fit for video work.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
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Again it makes NO DIFFERENCE if it's internal or external no matter how much you burn. Most PROFESSIONALS have external burners anyways with the larger 5 1/4 drives as they are stronger.

They are not stuck in time. Mac Pro is now, it's dated. Old technology. Hasn't had an update in a long time and looks to soon be axed.
I have also have two external 5.25 desktop drives along with the two internal. The make a lot of noise, have a fan and require external power. Are they fine? Yes. Are they a good always on the desk solution? No.

Old and dated doesn't mean slow or ineffective. 1366 is a dead socket, but so is 1155 now.

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Maybe, but the top of the line IMAC right now is faster than a maxed out Mac Pro. And thanks to Thunderbolt, you can add external cards to an IMAC to upgrade it even more.
The top of the line iMac is faster than the entry level Mac Pro the 3.2 Quad not a maxed out Mac Pro. please keep in mind though that TB is PCI x4 plenty for some, not for others.
 

Red Fuji

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2012
71
2
USA-Pacifc Standard Time
nizmoz,
how do you conclude that the "680M is more powerful than the 680MX"

the 680MX has 1536 pipelines (CUDA cores) while 680M has 1344.
the 680MX is 2500 MHz while 680M is 1800 MHz.

sidenote:
the 680MX was released AFTER the 680M.
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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nizmoz,
how do you conclude that the "680M is more powerful than the 680MX"

the 680MX has 1536 pipelines (CUDA cores) while 680M has 1344.
the 680MX is 2500 MHz while 680M is 1800 MHz.

sidenote:
the 680MX was released AFTER the 680M.
I never said 680M. I said 680. GTX 680 is a full desktop card.

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Sorry it is obvious you don't want to admit that the Mac Pro is now slower than the IMAC and external devices make no difference. Someone on here already tested a loaded MP vs a new IMAC and the IMAC was faster. :rolleyes:

I have also have two external 5.25 desktop drives along with the two internal. The make a lot of noise, have a fan and require external power. Are they fine? Yes. Are they a good always on the desk solution? No.

Old and dated doesn't mean slow or ineffective. 1366 is a dead socket, but so is 1155 now.

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The top of the line iMac is faster than the entry level Mac Pro the 3.2 Quad not a maxed out Mac Pro. please keep in mind though that TB is PCI x4 plenty for some, not for others.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
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I never said 680M. I said 680. GTX 680 is a full desktop card.

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Sorry it is obvious you don't want to admit that the Mac Pro is now slower than the IMAC and external devices make no difference. Someone on here already tested a loaded MP vs a new IMAC and the IMAC was faster. :rolleyes:
So your iMac scored over 26,000 on geekbench and can hold 128GB of RAM?

But yea I'm imagining stuff. To repeat the '12 iMac is faster than the 3.2 Quad Mac Pro and that's it.

*edit* and according to Passmark the 680MX is comparable to the desktop 570
 

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iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
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when you rip and burn as much as I do it's not acceptable for the drives to be external. The 680 and iMac are stuck in time there is no upgrade path for either there is for the MP though. Neither is bad or good it's a different strokes for different folks kinda thing. If it were my dollars I'd buy refurb and throw a hex in it some RAM at it and a 680 in it. It'll cost less and perform better.
Well even if you buy a hex MP and put a desktop 680 or 780 in it, some of the essential ports and interfaces are plain missing or outdated.

  • No USB 3.0 .. well yes, you can buy PCI-E USB 3 card, but it will complicate things further and it's a PITA to plug it in the back and for that kind of money, why not giving it out of the box, a mere $900 MBA can have it, why not MP?
  • No Thunderbolt .. obviously, whether you use it or not, you have the option. Again, for a computer costs that much, why so limited?
  • No SATA III .. yep, it's SATA II in 2013 .. No matter how you play it, it's just plain criminal, for a computer having 4 HDD/SSD bays for super huge storage, it's so limiting.
  • RAM is slow at 1066MHz
  • You need to buy another display, that's another money to cough out and a good display costs a fortune, unless you'd pay $150 brandless display for your MacPro.

Unless MacPro is updated to today's standard, it's really hard to justify MP purchase nowadays. It's like buying iPod Classic while iPod Touch can be had for the same dollars. Oh yes it has bigger storage, but clunky, slow, and outdated too.

You can upgrade your MP all you want, every month, quarter, or year .. but the basic potential is just .. non existent.
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,197
325
So your iMac scored over 26,000 on geekbench and can hold 128GB of RAM?

But yea I'm imagining stuff. To repeat the '12 iMac is faster than the 3.2 Quad Mac Pro and that's it.

*edit* and according to Passmark the 680MX is comparable to the desktop 570
I don't see the problem here? Top of the line iMac is a i7 quad, baseline MP is a quad. Same core, same threads, both cost roughly $2000++ (despite MP has no display yet) .. so what's wrong with compare the two?

You get quite plenty on iMac for the money, by Apple's standard
On MacPro, you only get Radeon 5770 by default, that's puny for $2499 today.

Oh yes, but but ... you can slap another $400 for 680, another $800 for decent display, another $500 for a hexcore Xeon, another this and another that :rolleyes: .. well I bought a Mac computer because I want least work out of the box, otherwise I'd slap a built in PC which costs less or more power and offers great connectivity. Why berating a Mac to PC level?

I might be an :apple: user .. doesn't mean I wouldn't look for another route given Apple does not provide the solution.
 

td2243

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 14, 2013
351
164
Santa Fe, NM
Thanks for all the input guys. It really helps. Unless something in the Mac Pro line is announced at WWDC, I'll most likely get a souped up iMac. If something is announced, I'll splurge and get a Mac Pro (or whatever it is called on the next go round).