Tired of waiting, so another iMac vs. MacPro query

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MCHR, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. MCHR macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    You know the story. Tired of waiting for the 'promised' MacPro, and all the minor drama that surrounds the next gen tower.

    My 2005 G5 is finally showing its age and I'd feel comfortable getting into another machine. So, based on my usual workflow and existing hardware, I thought I'd ask the masses for a recommendation.

    I'm using Photoshop almost exclusively, sometimes with Illustrator or a similar image software simultaneously (up to 3 image apps open). I usually have Firefox and iTunes open with Mail. Individually, not a large number of apps open, but you can see there's a lot going on already.

    In Photoshop, I usually work with files less than 50MB, and no more than 30 layers in the largest files. I'm not making billboards or photo-quality print media, just sketching and illustration. Though I might have five or six files open at any given time for cut-and-paste.

    I already have a good color-correct HP 24" monitor (low glare) and a Cintiq sketch tablet for a dual-screen workspace. I also have an external LaCie professional drive for backup, FW800.

    Now, the question is basically 'is an iMac i7 enough of a machine for me'? I see there is a 2.93 i7 available as well as an option for an SSD which may be nice. A bit more ram for open apps and I think I'm good to go. Though I don't 'need' a monitor, I am questioning if the iMac might be enough for my workload needs. I don't see the type of quantity of work rising that dramatically in the near term.

    The other option is 'easy'. MacPro 2.93 (or higher) with extra ram, and possibly some minor detail I'm missing right now. I just don't like the waiting game Apple has us going through right now.

    The G5 has been (and is) a faithful machine. I just see room for improvement and needing to pull the trigger on a new machine with a month.

    Thanks for any pointers or suggestions.
  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I have no clue what "waiting game" you are talking about since the new mac pros were just announced and should be available for preorder on the 9th but an iMac i7 would be plenty for what you do.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You could buy the 2.66GHz quad Mac Pro for 2149$ from refurb store if you really want Mac Pro. Otherwise, the iMac is just fine and the high-end is more than sufficient for your needs
  4. parakiet macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2008
  5. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009

    I need to see physical hardware to be convinced this isn't yet another 'virtual release' of an MP.
  6. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    There has never been a 'virtual release' of the Mac Pro. You will see physical hardware. In a few days you'll be able to place an order for one.
  7. juicedropsdeuce macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    I agree. Hopefully that is not the case THIS time, however. When it happened to the MBP I was a little peeved.
  8. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Perhaps. But as I see it the new machines will be catering to high-end power users (audio, video, HD editing). 12 cores for me will be overkill I have to believe.

    Which leads me to think that a faster quad (for Photoshop etc) may be sufficient (?). As it stands now, the 2.26 octo is probably more than I'd be putting to use.

    So, from a realistic (cost vs. usage) view the quad core looks the most attractive. Am I to believe that there will only be one speed offered in any variation (quad, octo or 12 core)? Looks like the rest of the MP line remains unchanged. . . . .
  9. SnoFlo macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2010
    I use a mac for photography a lot too though my files can usually exceed 1GB (8x10 LF scans) in size. I bought the 2009 21.5 iMac and then sold it, replacing it with a 2.66 Mac Pro. I am much happier now after the switch. For me, the internal drives (including a solid state boot drive), and the ability to upgrade just about everything, including the CPU, makes the difference. The iMac screen never met my requirement for an editing monitor either. I run the internal drives as a striped RAID further boosting performance. The software I use doesn't utilize more than 4 cores.

    Well, this is just my 2 cents, but for me the Mac Pro is the machine to get.
  10. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    You guys are complaining about a non-issue. In three days you can order a MP. Just relax and enjoy your angst for the next three day.

  11. fabriciom macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2008
    Madrid, España
    Is as simple as can you afford a mac pro? No, then an imac, yes then a mac pro... Not that difficult to understand.
  12. rajbonham macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2010
    You sure about that? I have NO idea if it's true or not (I'm hoping not), but someone in another thread claimed they talked to an Apple representative over the phone recently. Apparently they said the August 9th release is a no go anymore, as Apple has delayed the new Mac Pro...
  13. Bartman01 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
    Unless you are making $$ with the machine the deciding factor is YOU. If you are making $$ with the machine, make it a business decision on cost vs benefit to your bottom line.

    I've looked at the iMac for personal use, and there are several things I really don't like about it based on MY usage needs. But those things may not be anything you care about. For most 'normal' people I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one.
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    A Quad is sufficient, unless the other software you're using is capable of utilizing all of the cores, and you spend a substantial amount of time using those applications. But for Photoshop as the primary application, you'll be fine.
  15. Cavepainter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    Los Angeles
    If you already have a good quality monitor and also a Cintiq, and you said youre even considering an imac with a SSD, then you have the money, so Id recommend the Mac Pro. You don't really need the monitor on the imac, so that big selling point is not a big positive for you.

    With those rather small 50 mb images and moderate amount of levels, you certainly will find that both the Imac and the Pro way more than adequate, coming from a G5.

    I'm in almost exactly the same position... I do lots of Photoshop work, Ive already got a nice 21" Cintiq, and I'm still surviving with an ancient G5. Im also deliberating between the I7 and the entry mac pro. I still am on the fence- I could use a nice monitor, and I know the i7 is incredibly fast, but Im a bit concerned about imac quality control issues. Im sick of waiting too.

    If you have the money, buy the low end Mac Pro. With your small images, both of your choices would be more than up to the task and any more than 4 cores is probably a waste of money for you. But if you can afford 2500, and youre already set up with good monitors, go for longer term reliability, and that would be the Pro.
  16. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    A lot of different opinions going on in this thread... so here's mine. The MacPro is over-kill for what you need, and the entry level one is over priced unless you don't care about value. The best deal on the new Mac Pro's is the 12 core unit... but not many people are going to need that. Certainly NOT the average user who dabbles in Photoshop and Illustrator!

    Since you already have equipment that you plan to use and just need something to help you move forward with a new Mac, I suggest you consider the mini. Yes... I said it! The new Mac Mini would get you into Intel for a decent price and let you continue to use your existing hardware. Then save up for the "next" update a year or 2 years from now and see what Apple does then. Anyway, the mini has plenty of power to run Photoshop with what you plan to do. It would be faster than the G5. If you were going into 100+ MB file size, or maybe HD video - my recommendation would be different.

    Having said that, if you're set on getting a Mac Pro, then look at refurbished or used earlier versions. I just sold my mint condition Mac Pro 2.66 Intel quad that was loaded with ram for $1300 - I'm sure there are other deals out there. But out of the new entry level Mac Pro vs the 27" i7 imac... the iMac is the better deal and will probably run faster.
  17. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    That's got to be the understatement of the year! He's only working on 50MB images in Photoshop and Illustrator. My laptop alone would be bored with that.
  18. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Unless you need/would benefit from multiple internal HDDs or PCI slots, you'd be wasting your money getting a Mac Pro.
  19. inaka macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2010
    Get the Mac Pro.

    I do DTP for a living too and have a PowerMac G5 dual 2.0. I'm mostly an Illustrator user myself.

    Is the Mac Pro overkill for your needs? Probably. But you sound like me and have been using a system for over 5 years. If so, you'll want something that will last and the longevity and expandability of the Mac Pro make it the right call. Plus you already have the display with the G5 and for DTP work you have more display expansion options with the Pro. (I have 3 19" displays with my old pm G5...I could not go back)

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