Top-line iMac or base-line Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bpeeps, May 6, 2011.

  1. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #1
    Top-line iMac or base-line Mac Pro?

    Hey guys, I'm a video editor that works mostly with RED footage in Final Cut Pro and After Effects. I'm also a gamer running Bootcamp and Steam. I'm currently working on a 3 year old Macbook Pro and looking to upgrade by the end of the year. Here are my choices, I'm wondering if a new top of the line iMac will outperform the current base model of the Mac Pros for gaming and video work... or if the Mac Pro is the way to go.

    27" iMac
    3.4ghz Quad-Core i7
    2TB Serial ATA HD
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB
    $2,304 (Student)

    Mac Pro
    2.8ghz Quad-Core Xeon "Nehalem"
    2TB 7200 RPM HD
    ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
    $2,614 (Student w/ no display)

    I plan on buying RAM (and Mac Pro display) elsewhere so I did not include it in the specs. Thoughts? :)
     
  2. MacForScience macrumors 6502

    MacForScience

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    No question Mac Pro this is the only solution for Video Editing. The Mac Pro will give you the expandability you will need it is a joke trying to do video editing at a pro level or using RED on an iMac. Get the Mac Pro and as you have money buy more drives (RAIDs), and RAM etc. You also give yourself the option of installing pro level capture cards. I will admit that the dual thunderbolt ports makes the issue less clear but not enough for me to alter the recommendation. You may consider waiting for the next gen mac pro with thunderbolt before buying if you want to play it safe.

    Cheers
     
  3. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #3
    The iMac is going to be faster than the MacPro. Which I think is pretty sad. The MacPro will give you more expansion opportunities, but if you don't need them it's a moot point. You could throw on a Promise RAID hooked into Thunderbolt and get extremely fast transfer speeds. I would get the iMac and start saving for the next major upgrade in the MacPro line. I wouldn't buy any current Mac that didn't have Thunderbolt.
     
  4. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    #4
    Not only will the iMac be faster, but it will also use a heck of a lot less electricity. A MacPro along with a monitor will draw 1,300-1,500 watts running hard. Think a small space heater on high. An iMac about 200-250 watts. Maybe you don't pay for the electricity, but the MacPro is a very power hungry beast.
     
  5. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2011
    #5
    At this time I'd go for the top of the line iMac 27".
     
  6. Black.Infinity macrumors 6502

    Black.Infinity

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Location:
    Apple tree-Toronto
    #6
    Imac 3.4 I7 geekbench score is 11602
    And mac pro 2.8 nehalem is 8360 but once new mac pro comes out with new cpu then mac pro will beat imac
     
  7. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #7
    The answer BEFORE Thunderbolt would have been more difficult. Assuming TB external drives, I'd say iMac.
     
  8. gpat macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 1, 2011
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    Italy
  9. bpeeps thread starter macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #9
    I'm thinking this may be the option. I just wish I had some idea of when it would happen.
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I'm not sure where you got that numbers, but they are far from correct.

    My dual quad Mac Pro with two video cards, 5 hard drives, dual 20" and 30" displays (all IPS thus power hungry) pulls 550W on full throttle. The displays alone amount for 250W. Considering that the Mac Pro has a 980W power supply (which is over the top any way as the internal components won't draw more than 800W even if you upgrade the processors to 130W TDP models which aren't offered by Apple), it will never come close to 1300 watts.

    The 2009 and 2010 Mac Pros are extremely power efficient. The base config with 27" ACD won't consume much more than the iMac. 100W more, tops given that it uses ECC RAM and desktop graphics.
     
  11. maclaptop macrumors 65816

    maclaptop

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    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #11
    One of the best advantages of the Mac Pro I use is it's so easy to upgrade.

    I know it's obvious, but sometimes overlooked when drawn in by the great styling, and small footprint of the iMac.

    Frankly, I'm such a Mac addict, I have both :)
     
  12. MacHamster68, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #12
    definite no to the iMac as you wont be satisfied for long if you do even only semi pro work , but yes to MacPro , but the westmere model please do yourself that favor , the nehalems are more ancient then a PPC processor now , not bad , but not future proof :D
     
  13. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    If you can afford it and plan to keep your mac for at least 5 years, I would recommend the mac pro :) The advantage of the mac pro is that you can upgrade many of the parts in it yourself.
     
  14. MacHamster68, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #14
    you forgot something

    not only is a MacPro easier to upgrade , it has more features the iMac is lacking
    PCI slots, HDD bays ,you even can far easier upgrade the processors and the MacPro takes ecc ram and 64GB of it ...which has its advantages too


    and when i am on to it , who here has looked at the power consumption of his computer ....i mean honestly i guess not even 10% searched for the least powerhungry computing device and bought a iMac then , as for the people who just surf the web and send a email and sometimes watch a HD video, i have to tell you the iPad 2 can all that too and consumes far far less electricity then a iMac
     
  15. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Sorry? :confused:

    Nehalem not future proof? Apple still sells Nehalem processors (base Mac Pro and the 3.2GHz option). And just FYI, Westmere is nothing but a DIE shrink from Nehalem. The architecture is still the same, namely Nehalem.

    BTW: The full stop is left from the comma.
     
  16. MacHamster68, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #16
    You did see my big grin? as i build up /mod a PowerMac G5 DC 2.3 .which is as future proof as you get it with a 5year old Mac ;) ( a MacPro is a long term investent and not for just 1-2 years use )
    You have to agree eight cores are better then four in the MacPro and you get with that westmere option 4 cores more and more ram to name it 3GB more and it does only costy £800 more
     
  17. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Did I miss the "big grin" again? ;)
     

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