Software Engineer - What to buy?!?! Pro or iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cis4life, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. cis4life macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2008

    I'm looking to purchase a new Mac. my macbook pro (about 4 years old) needs to be updated. I work as a Software Engineer (Web, .Net (C#), Java, PHP) but recently have got pretty deep into Objective-C. So I know I want to Mac OS (best of both worlds - via VM of course). I beating myself up over either to get a 27 inch iMac or go Mac Pro. The Pro is naturally more powerful, but I've been looking at youtube where the benchmarks are showing that the iMacs can pretty much hold its own over the Mac Pro.

    I do "Some" video, but nothing major. What i do is RUN VM's. Many of them (maybe not all at the same time). I have environments for standard .NET development and SharePoint Development, test VM's for mac OS's, various Windows OS's and so on. Thats what I do.. Develop. I like the fact that the Mac Pro is completely upgradable (well, will be soon), but I can literally save a grand by going with an iMac. I will be doing some Unity development, so I will start getting into some 3D work (via Blender 3D and checking out cheetah 3d), but won't be doing anything like rendering the next Pixar movie.

    I'm just torn, I have the money, but don't want to just spend money cause it theres, but i want this to last awhile. ahhh hate this... (real problems right :) ), what do you all think?
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The maxed-out 27" will suit you fine.
  3. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    Base your decision on the amount of memory that you believe you will need to run the most VMs you will need running simultaneously. If that amount of required memory is greater than roughly 26-28GB, then I would go with the Mac Pro. Simply because the max RAM you can put into the 27" iMac is 32GB.

    With 26-28GB in VMs, that leaves you 4-6GB for OS X, and virtually zero room for growth over the next 3 to 5 years (assuming the average VM resource requirements growth of 10-20% annually).

    If you're nowhere close to using up that much RAM with all your required VMs powered on at the same time (worst case scenario), then I agree ... the 27" iMac, maxed out, should be fine.
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    It also depends if you have any peripherals. The iMac comes with a great screen, keyboard, and mouse. You may need to add more than $1000 to the cost of your purchase if you don't have peripherals for your nMP. Just something to consider.

  5. vnttr macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2012
    I would go for nMP. RAM being one reason and if this is a machine you depend on you don't want a problem with the display to cause lost productivity.

    Just my $0.02...
  6. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    In general the base nMP is hardly faster than a max'd out iMac 27. For a few things (exporting single-pass H.264 video) the iMac is much faster.

    The 8-core nMP with D500 graphics is considerably faster on multi-threaded and GPU-oriented workloads, but is much more expensive.

    You know your own workload characteristics. I'd suggest you put a representative portable workload on a thumb drive and load it on an iMac vs a nMP at an Apple Store to evaluate the real-world difference.

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