Top of the line iMac or low end Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LotusLord, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. LotusLord macrumors 6502

    LotusLord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #1
    I need a new computer. My current PC is 6 years old and has been upgraded as far as it can be. My mother's birthday is coming up and she wants an iPod. My brother is a college student, but gets a computer from school. So my thought was get together with my brother, go to the Apple store and purchase my new computer with his discount and get the free iPod touch, and gift that to my mom.

    However, I can't decide on what machine would be best for me. I have a 22 inch HP monitor already and don't really have the desk space for dual displays, plus the iMac's limited upgrade options, and potential for difficult repairs scares me. I'd of course get Apple care, but I'd want to keep the machine for quite a while. The 8 core Mac Pro is just a little too expensive for me, but I know that would be best in the long term for upgrades, so I can't completely eliminate it from my possibilities.

    I would want to run Windows on the machine and play games. Not the highest end games, and I don't mind dropping settings down to get them to run, but Starcraft 2 and other RTS games that have come out more recently, as well as some shooters.

    I know this is a fairly common topic, but please don't shoot me down. It is for advice after all.

    By the way this would be my first Mac. Though my in laws have a low end 24 inch iMac which they love, and I really like using.
     
  2. snakesqzns macrumors regular

    snakesqzns

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    Apr 26, 2007
  3. Mexbearpig macrumors 65816

    Mexbearpig

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    #3
    Ohhh. misread your post. It really depends if you need the power. What will you be doing on your mac?
     
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #4
    I'd settle with an iMac and upgrade graphics to Ati 4850.

    For basic computing + bootcamping and gaming an iMac should be more than enough.

    Also in most games the 3.06GHz iMac will outperform a 2.26GHz MacPro (unless you get the 4870 gfx in the MP)
     
  5. LotusLord thread starter macrumors 6502

    LotusLord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
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    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #5
    I guess my main concern is if and when the hard drive fails, will I be able to replace it. I'm a PC tech by trade, so I work on computers all the time, but having to remove the glass on an iMac to replace something as prone to failure as a hard drive scares me. It seems like a really foolish design.

    I will be doing basic tasks to start on the Mac side, but who knows what else in the long run. I like the idea of video editing, but am inexperienced in such things. Who knows, I may start doing software development. I'm always looking for new challenges, which is partly what is drawing me towards the Mac platform.

    In the PC world I'd buy or build something high end and keep it for 5+ years. I feel that the Pro would be a similar step. Perhaps I'm looking at this wrong.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    The 2.66GHz Mac Pro should be adequate for your needs. Since you already have a money that's the better choice. It's a lot more expandable.
     
  7. ChrisN macrumors 65816

    ChrisN

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Location:
    Demarest, NJ
    #7
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB451LL/A?mco=MjE0NjQ1OA

    Refurbished Mac Pro 8-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (2 x 1GB) of 800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
    500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    Two 16x SuperDrives (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (two dual-link DVI ports)

    price is 3299 btw, might be a bit high but if you don't like this i suggest 24" iMac with 4850
     
  8. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Location:
    Never Ender
    #8
    I would rather have a Mac Pro over an iMac. Look at the Apple refurb page for some deals on a Mac Pro. iMac is very limited, while you can upgrade just about anything on a Mac Pro. You will get many years out of a Mac Pro. Go all out.
     
  9. kc2kth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    #9
    You didn't mention a notebook, but that's what I did.

    I've bought two macs in the past year and a half. Prior to that I was a PC guy for about 13 years. Prior to that I had an Apple IIc. Anyhow...

    I too had recently purchased nice 22" wide flat displays that I didn't want to just ditch. I started with a mini and while it was ok for email, Word docs, and playing WoW at low settings, it wasn't enough. I still didn't want the imac though due to the display issue.

    I ended up buying myself a Macbook Pro, 15". It remains closed on my desktop and I use the external display. Plays games nicely, is quiet (something the Mac Pro may not be, but I'm guessing) and doesn't take up much real estate. My second machine (for the wife) was a white Macbook which also sits closed on her desk. That's even quieter than the pro. Nice part is if we go somewhere, the notebooks can come with us.

    I love the MBP, and my wife's Macbook is perfect for her. Since Apple hasn't released that "mid-range desktop" machine you and I are/were looking for, the notebooks are a great way to go imo. In fact, looking at where everything is headed I think notebooks and netbooks are the computing future. Desktops as we knew them are likely gone, at least in large quantities.

    One other note, I'm not sure how good the student discount is. However I bought both of my machines refurbished. You would never know these machines weren't brand new off the assembly line. Absolutely not "scratch and dent" by any means. They both were perfect - the hardware, the packaging, and everything else in the box.
     
  10. kc2kth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    #10

    Holy cow, do the lights dim when this bad boy powers up or is under load? That was one concern I had - besides price - with the MacPro. These things are seriously high powered workstations. I could see my electric bill jump $30 to $50 a month if I bought one of these beasts!
     
  11. ChrisN macrumors 65816

    ChrisN

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    Demarest, NJ
    #11
    Haha some say that its too powerful. But dont compromise go with that!
     
  12. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #12
    I would also recommend this. Enjoy your new computer.
     
  13. LotusLord thread starter macrumors 6502

    LotusLord

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #13
    I'm thinking new so I get the free touch. I could get the current 8 core pro for 3 grand with student disc. or the quad core for just 100 more than the iMac.
     

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