Used 12-core or late-2013 iMac..hmmm

gpick45

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2014
9
0
So I'm trying to decide between a loaded 2013 iMac (1TB flash, GTX780M w/4GB) or a used 12-core Mac Pro (outfitted the way I want, will cost about the same as the iMac).

Both will do everything I want/need right now and the forseeable future, so I'm kind of torn as to which way to go...

Any thoughts about which would be the smarter purchase?
 

pertusis1

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2010
392
88
Texas
So I'm trying to decide between a loaded 2013 iMac (1TB flash, GTX780M w/4GB) or a used 12-core Mac Pro (outfitted the way I want, will cost about the same as the iMac).

Both will do everything I want/need right now and the forseeable future, so I'm kind of torn as to which way to go...

Any thoughts about which would be the smarter purchase?
Ditto with the above posts. I got a 12-core MP about a year ago and haven't regretted it for a minute. I have been slowly upgrading it as my better half allows ;) Thus far, I've added RAM, an upgraded video card, and most recently, a 30" ACD (used). Solid state boot drive will be next, though I still haven't decided exactly which is my best option there. The only reason you might consider a new iMac is if thunderbolt is really important :confused:

... and for what it's worth, you posted the question in the 'Mac Pro' forum. You should expect more of the same answers :)
 

Mac Gus

macrumors regular
Dec 31, 2013
137
12
New York City
Would be interesting to see what the difference in answers would be if he posted same question on the iMac forum :).

I have a 12 Core. It's a great machine. Don't think you can go wrong with it and it has lots of upgrade-ability. But as mentioned, no thunderbolt.
 

DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
864
198
Rancho Bohemia, California
What will you be doing with the machine? Keep in mind the Mac Pro will only be slower except when using apps that support multiple threads. That said, the expandability of the MP is so nice to have.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
So I'm trying to decide between a loaded 2013 iMac (1TB flash, GTX780M w/4GB) or a used 12-core Mac Pro (outfitted the way I want, will cost about the same as the iMac).

Both will do everything I want/need right now and the forseeable future, so I'm kind of torn as to which way to go...

Any thoughts about which would be the smarter purchase?
Seriously? :confused: This is kinda like asking a bunch of pick-up truck owners if you should buy a pick-up truck or a Mini Cooper to haul your ***** to the dump. :p :D
 

phoenixsan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2012
1,342
2
Echoing another posts here.....

I will say, go for the Mac Pro....:D

You will have raw power and an expandable computer. Future proofing, I will go with more RAM than the stock. I have too a 12-core and expect 3 or more years of productive work coming from the thing....:D....And I suppose I can stand another 3 rounds of new OSes before I get software-obsolescense....Unless Apple does something radical.....:eek:


:):apple:
 

Mactrunk

macrumors regular
May 12, 2005
152
49
It depends on your mission.
The 2013 iMac i7 kills the 5,1 on single processor scores.
But if you are using multicore aware apps, the old MP might be fine.
 

SimeoneSergio

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2012
130
22
London UK
You should give us more details about what you'll be doing with that machine...

It's a bit difficult to give a proper advice. I have friends super happy with their iMac (but they are mostly like home users) while others are enthusiast with the even limited expandability of the 5,1.

Don't be shy in saying you're going to use it with home applications or even small gaming sessions (even if maybe we'd orient you on a computer or maybe a hackintosh).

Cheers!
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,118
9,213
I would go the Mac Pro.

You can start off with a single CPU, single GPU and over time work it upto a 3.46 Dual core / Dual GPU SLI rig, but I love to build PCs.
 

DJenkins

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2012
271
4
Sydney, Australia
I know everyone on here has said mac pro, but these machines by nature are geared for completely different tasks!

Need to know what you will be using it for... e.g.

"I do desktop publishing and want to connect thunderbolt devices that clients send me"

and

"I want to render video and 3D animations"

will yield very different answers :)
 

gpick45

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2014
9
0
Thanks for all the input, everyone...

To answer a few questions:

The 12-core has the 2.66GHz chips. Outside of the routine web browsing, email, etc., I do a lot of hobbiest music recording (Logic, Pro Tools). Occasionally things like home movie/picture editing, blu-ray ripping, etc.

I also plan on using Windows as well --- Visual Studio development, and some gaming.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,118
9,213
Don't you have to change the CPU/RAM tray if you want to go dual CPU?
Yes you do. Though its a plug and play option, you either get a dual CPU tray off ebay or go for a OWC upgrade path. I'd go with ebay, the OWC prices are damn high.

Personally I would purchase a lower spec dual CPU option for the time being, whatever bargain you can find, and latter pop in some higher spec CPUs/Ram.
 

DJenkins

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2012
271
4
Sydney, Australia
Thanks for all the input, everyone...

To answer a few questions:

The 12-core has the 2.66GHz chips. Outside of the routine web browsing, email, etc., I do a lot of hobbiest music recording (Logic, Pro Tools). Occasionally things like home movie/picture editing, blu-ray ripping, etc.

I also plan on using Windows as well --- Visual Studio development, and some gaming.
I think the iMac would serve you well :)
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
6,765
782
It's a toss up. I'd go with whichever one is the better deal, once display is included.

Keep in mind a Mac Pro would require a GPU upgrade probably from the get go to match the iMac as a gaming machine. So factor that cost in as well.
 

0x2102

macrumors member
Feb 1, 2014
69
0
I would go with an iMac. Order it, used it and if you find anything it can't do return it and go for the Mac Pro.

I sold my 12 core Mac Pro because I couldn't stand the noise anymore. Even at IDLE...not to mention at full load. The i5 will run cooler with little less noise under full load. The i7 has Hyper Threading will be slightly faster but runs hotter with a little bit more noise under full load (e.g. HandBrake encoding)

I used my MacMini i7 2.3Ghz with 16GB RAM and 3rd party SSD to bridge the waiting time until my new Mac Pro arrived. To me the Mac Mini felt faster with better response time on any of my day to day activities - including Lightroom. I would have probably kept it as my primary computer if it had a GTX780m in it.

The iMac will be faster at 90% or more of what you want to do. The only time it will be slower is with HandBrake/BluRay encoding.
 
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Mactrunk

macrumors regular
May 12, 2005
152
49
Knowing your mission, I would go with the latest greatest iMac.
The old MP is great, but even the highest version can't give you ThunderB or i7.
BTW, the single processor score on the iMac, kills the old MP.