Upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro... Buy Current iMac or Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hotwire132002, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2004
    Cadillac, MI
    I'm looking at upgrading from my 2008 Mac Pro to a newer machine... long story short, my video production business is growing and I need to set up a second edit suite.

    I primarily work with Final Cut Studio 3 (I haven't made the leap to FCP X just yet). I plan to buy a newer machine for myself, which will free up my current Mac Pro for my other editors to use.

    So, I'm debating whether to buy a top-of-the-line iMac (Quad-Core 3.4Ghz i7) or a mid-range Mac Pro (8-Core 2.4Ghz Xeon). From what I've read, it sounds like the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since mid-2010, and it sounds like the current iMac is generally a better, faster machine.

    Frankly, my current Mac Pro handles everything I do just fine... so anything that's on par with it, performance-wise, should be sufficient for my needs.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a similar upgrade -- has anyone moved from an older Mac Pro to a current iMac? How does the performance compare? Is there any real reason to go with a "current" Mac Pro (which, from what I gather, uses nearly 2 year old technology) over an iMac? I don't use any special capture cards, or really need the Mac Pro's internal expandability...

    Thanks in advance for any insight anyone can provide!
  2. vailr macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2009
    Apple will most likely be updating their Mac Pro, iMac & laptop product lineups very soon to take advantage of Intel's new Ivy Bridge CPU, which is due for official release by next week(?) or so. The Mac Pro can utilize more on board memory, compared with the iMac. Which would be an advantage for video editing, I would assume. And: likely getting Thunderbolt ports, also.
    Note: Apple tends to overcharge for memory, so just configure a system with minimal installed memory, and then upgrade with memory purchased from a 3rd party vendor, such as Newegg.
  3. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The mac pro was last updated in 2010. They definitely bumped up the price on desirable configurations. The imac was updated in 2011. Sandy Bridge E came out recently which the mac pro could use, and the imac will most likely see a relatively flat change with Ivy Bridge (no big speed boost expected there, but the gpu should get an okay update). Intel is a bit behind with the midrange xeon models. Currently Ivy Bridge E isn't expected until Q2 of next year. I'm not a big imac fan personally, but on cpu only functions, the current top imac should be roughly on par with what you have now assuming good core utilization in both machines. Either one is probably fine. The display is okay too. Don't trust the color on it as accurate, but it's not bad aside from the reflectivity. That annoys me more than anything, especially given the lack of a display hood.

Share This Page