The new iMac 27 inch or a Mac Pro?

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
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Hey guys, I am fairly new here. I have been reading the site for a while now but I finally registered. I am trying to decide on what system to get. A few weeks ago, I really wanted a MBP 13 inch so I could take it to my university while I work. The thing is, I will only use it there. I do not really need it, its just for convenience. So I would like to know what you guys think of a fairly maxed out 27'' iMac vs base Mac Pro

What pushed me toward the iMac or Mac Pro direction is that my current Windows based PC is so incredibly slow. It sometimes lags when I scroll through a webpage, so I really want to either replace it, or use it as a secondary computer. I was looking forward to the Mac Pro since I use a lot of After Effects and Photoshop, but it does not come with a monitor. My current 24'' monitor is giving out, so if I buy a Mac Pro, I will need to buy a new monitor to go with it sooner or later.

My question is, is the rendering or general performance of the Mac Pro so much better than the iMac? Right now, my computer takes a very long time to do anything, so no matter what I get, it will be faster. It takes me about 3 hours to render a 20 minute video with After Effects, where my current 20 inch iMac (late 2008) took under an hour.

I could really use the all-in-one type since it comes with a display, where the Mac Pro does not. And I am pretty sure any computer I get right now will be better than my current one.

The iMac I was thinking about is:
# 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
# 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB
# 1TB Serial ATA Drive
# ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
# 8x double-layer SuperDrive
# Apple Magic Mouse
# Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) and User's Guide
Price: $2,399.00

The processor is a MAYBE, I might just go with the i5.

Mac Pro:
# One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
# 8GB (4x2GB)
# 640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
# NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB
# One 18x SuperDrive
# Apple Mouse
# Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide
Price: $2,749.00

I also plan to bootcamp into Windows 7 for Visual Studio development and some small games (I am running on Geforce 9600 GT, so I believe the iMac is better than that)
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
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The hub of stupidity
The iMac actually has much better performance than the Mac Pro at single threaded tasks, unless you are willing to wait for Gainestown in a few months I would go for the iMac. No HDD swap though...:mad:
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
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Okay, so I might just go with an i5 iMac to save some money. Do you guys think I should wait a bit since it was just released, or is it good to buy say next month?
 

parakiet

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2008
123
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iNeed a better gpu in the future => mac pro
iNeed an SSD => mac pro
iNeed harddisks in raid => mac pro
iNeed a specific pce card =>mac pro

do know that you pay for the component on the mac pro (doh) but you actually have to pay for the upgrade possibility too!
 

xWhiplash

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Oct 21, 2009
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I dont upgrade my computers that often, I buy a new computer every year or 1.5 years so I dont have the need to upgrade. I will keep my windows based PC around in case I do need to upgrade to play a game or something, I can.
 

Rapmastac1

macrumors 65816
Aug 5, 2006
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In the Depths of the SLC!
I would get the iMac and swap the i7 for the ram upgrade. Upgrading ram through apple is really expensive. When I got my iMac, I think it cost 200.00 to upgrade the ram from Apple, but I paid 80.00 for ram and did it on my own.
 

thomanjones

macrumors regular
Dec 26, 2006
123
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DC
I did a quick spot-check on RAM prices yesterday as I was configuring a new iMac, and while they were still more expensive than Crucial or OWC, it was in the 10-20% premium range (from Apple), which is MUCH better than the old 50-200% markups from a few years back.

That will probably be less true in the coming months though, as most RAM vendors adjust their prices frequently to stay competitive, while Apple only updates them every so often (AFAIR).
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
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I might do that, but the extra $200 for 8GB does not bother me too much. I am running 4GB now and am very happy with it, so I might stick with 4GB for now and get i7.

I should have enough money to get both i7 and 8GB though.
 

eelpout

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2007
236
6
Silicon Valley
You might want to check this article on the i5/i7. The question is really will hyper-threading and/or turbo boost have any impact, as the raw processor speed between them is negligible.

I'm a bit shocked that Apple didn't immediately drop the Mac Pro's price by at least 10-15% yesterday. Now that base Pro seems to have come straight out of the Silly Party.
 

fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
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(Central) NY State of mind
I might do that, but the extra $200 for 8GB does not bother me too much. I am running 4GB now and am very happy with it, so I might stick with 4GB for now and get i7.

I should have enough money to get both i7 and 8GB though.
Everyone keeps saying $200 for 8GB isn't bad.....however, you're really paying $200 for 4GB....the base model already comes with 4GB, so it is still quite a premium.
 

madwolf

macrumors member
Oct 11, 2009
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0
Brand new crucial 4GB (2x2GB) is $82 with free shipping, half the apple price. Get the 4GB version and add more ram yourself if you need it. Unless you're completely lost in the world of electronics and you'll be afraid to open your new iMac, in that case get it pre-installed from apple for extra money.
 

DDave

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2009
106
0
Texas
Brand new crucial 4GB (2x2GB) is $82 with free shipping, half the apple price. Get the 4GB version and add more ram yourself if you need it. Unless you're completely lost in the world of electronics and you'll be afraid to open your new iMac, in that case get it pre-installed from apple for extra money.
I totally agree, get the i7 and add the ram later. That's what I'm thinking of doing myself.
 

Kronie

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2008
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I'm returning my Mac Pro to Apple and ordered the iMac yesterday. If that answers your question.
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
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I dont really care about the price. If I have enough to get 8GB of ram initially, I will order it through apple. If not, I will get the i7 + 4GB of ram and upgrade later if I need to.

I havent touched my 4GB of ram in my windows machine so I doubt I will need 8. Like I said, if I have enough when I order, I will just get the 8GB.
 

Nadav35

macrumors member
May 18, 2008
74
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Just remember,...

I'm returning my Mac Pro to Apple and ordered the iMac yesterday. If that answers your question.
You will be SEVERELY limited to what you can upgrade.. You can't use SSD drives, u can't use HARDWARE RAID, you can't upgrade the video memory.. You will be stuck with an imac which has very little expansion.. stick with the mac pro - its far better and will knock the pants off of any imac.

I just got 32GB of memory for my 2008 3.2 mac pro and 4 SSD drives and I can wipe the floor with that imac.

No imac is a match for the mac pro. 2008 or 2009.
 

cschmelz

macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2007
305
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You will be SEVERELY limited to what you can upgrade.. You can't use SSD drives, u can't use HARDWARE RAID, you can't upgrade the video memory.. You will be stuck with an imac which has very little expansion.. stick with the mac pro - its far better and will knock the pants off of any imac.

I just got 32GB of memory for my 2008 3.2 mac pro and 4 SSD drives and I can wipe the floor with that imac.

No imac is a match for the mac pro. 2008 or 2009.
Well, a lot of this isn't really true. You can use a hardware RAID but you don't get the speed advantage of the big pipe feeding it, but you can use a FW800 striped array if you just need a lot of space.

Yeah, they aren't professional HD video editing packages for the pro, but the new iMacs are probably more than adequate for >90% of those here who do stuff at home, including photoshop, aperture, and even most Final Cut stuff.

If you make your living doing these things, maybe (MAYBE) the Pros are better for you.

Honestly I'd rather save the money going with the iMac and then just completely replace the machine every 2-2.5 years as the rush of new tech appears.
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
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Okay so one final question. I really need a new computer as soon as possible. With everybody all worried about the first few months of the 27" with the quad cores, should I go with the C2D instead?

I know I would greatly benefit from a quad core, but I am running on Dual Core right now and am very happy with it. Its not the dual core thats causing my issues, I never heard of anybody else lagging while watching movies or scrolling through a page. It even lags on MS Word when I type. I really do not know what it is, but my 3.3Ghz Core2Duo shouldnt have these issues.

So anyway, spend the extra few hundred and get a quad core, or get a dual core since they are less likely to have problems?