The new iMac 27 inch or a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by xWhiplash, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    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)
  2. rrijkers macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2007
    The Netherlands
    I'd go with the iMac, it saves you quite some bucks.
  3. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Whichever you choose, please get the RAM from a 3rd party such as Crucial.
    Apple's RAM prices are far too high.
  4. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
  5. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    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:
  6. zarusoba macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2006
    Just make sure the iMac display will give you accurate color.

    Being IPS, it should be OK??
  7. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    the new iMac display is said to have more accurate color than the matte ACDs
  8. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    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?
  9. parakiet macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2008
    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!
  10. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    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.
  11. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2006
    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.
  12. thomanjones macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    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).
  13. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    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.
  14. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    yeah i personally would get the i7 if you get the iMac. the i5 isn't bad, but the i think you'll be happier with the i7
  15. eelpout macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2007
    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.
  16. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    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.
  17. madwolf macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2009
    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.
  18. DDave macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2009
    I totally agree, get the i7 and add the ram later. That's what I'm thinking of doing myself.
  19. Kronie macrumors 6502a


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

    Aug 12, 2009
  21. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    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.
  22. 2contagious macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2008
    who "said" that? can anyone confirm this?
  23. Nadav35 macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
    Just remember,...

    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.
  24. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    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.
  25. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    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?

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