Which to choose...iMac vs. Mac Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jeffreyk, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. jeffreyk macrumors regular

    jeffreyk

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    Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
    #1
    I currently own a 2008 Mac Pro (3,1) with 10GB of memory (with a 30-inch external Dell monitor) and although I really love my current system, I was just thinking an upgrade may be in order soon. You know, just pondering my options especially if a new system I discuss in a second would be quicker. If I opted for a brand spankin' new 27-inch iMac i7 3.4GHz with 16GB Memory (why not get the full blown model since we're just talking what ifs) would that outperform my current Mac Pro? Just wondering; thanks for the input.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    I'm pretty sure the top of the line current 27" iMac is faster than the current top of the line Mac Pro. However, the Mac Pro is long overdue for an update and the update could put the Pro back on top.
     
  3. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

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  4. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #4
    Same with the top 2.
    The Pro has been out for a pretty long time.
    Intel probably came out with newer model of Intel Xeon so I would wait.

    If you cant, go with the top end model of iMac.
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #5
    no one can say anything without knowing what you do or what software you use.
     
  6. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816

    rhinosrcool

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    #6
    The question is which system is faster and more powerful.
     
  7. henry72 macrumors 65816

    henry72

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    #7
    Exectly, maybe what he needs is an iMac + SSD with more RAMs :)
    iMac is powerful enough for most people.
     
  8. Texran macrumors regular

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    #8
    Just run some benchmarks on your system and compare them to the ones posted around for the new iMacs.
    If your current system doesn't have any issues I'd keep it. The upgrade for the top of the line iMac won't be that great. The biggest upgrade would be the addition of an SSD, and you could add one to your current system, albeit at a slower throughput since your Mac Pro would only be sata 2.
    If I was looking to upgrade and money wasn't an issue, and I needed the computing power, the Mac Pro would be my choice.
     
  9. jeffreyk thread starter macrumors regular

    jeffreyk

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    #9
    I was considering the iMac as I could get a fully equipped iMac for comparably much less than a new MacPro. I probably overdid it originally with the Mac Pro as I don't run any intensive video rendering Apps but liked the "old fashioned" flexibility of having a separate desktop computer with the monitor of my choice.

    I wouldn't have the money to go full out with buying a new Mac Pro with a bunch of upgrades but I could get the fully loaded iMac which I described in my original post. @rhinoscrool, you're right on the money. I was just trying to get opinions of what the more powerful system would be: a fully loaded new 2011 iMac (with current and updated components) against my current 2008 Mac Pro.
     
  10. kasakka macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #10
    I probably wouldn't bother updating since you already have a nice system and a big display. I have a quad core desktop PC and 30" 2560x1600 display at home and a 27" iMac at work. For most things there is no real performance difference, though the GPU in the iMac is probably nowhere near as fast.

    If you work with things like 3D rendering, scientific calculation, video encoding etc then you will benefit from the newer stuff, but otherwise not really that much.
     
  11. toxic, Sep 5, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011

    toxic macrumors 68000

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    #11
    that question is never black and white.
    can the OP's software use more than one core? more than four? if it uses all eight, then obviously the MP's processor is faster. if four or less, then the iMac's processor is.

    what if the OP just needs faster IO? you can do a four-disk RAID in an MP, or easily add an eSATA card and use an external RAID enclosure. or you can throw in a ton of RAM and make a RAMdisk, which reads and writes in several gigabytes per second, not a measly few hundred megabytes/second.

    or if the OP does 3D renders or scientific work, CUDA or workstation GPUs help process much of the load. the iMac doesn't offer anything that can do CUDA, or any workstation graphics cards.

    or maybe the OP doesn't need any of that and can just buy a Mini.
     
  12. blunti macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 15, 2011
    #12
    I wouldn't bet my life on this. Top of the line MP is the 12 core 2.93GHz.

    Depends on what apps you use but fcpx, ae, nuke and similar apps would run MUCH better than on the imac.

    but if you only use a comp to browse/email...
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    Its faster at about half the things bench tested against both: https://www.macworld.com/article/159862/2011/05/bto2011imacs.html
     
  14. seniorgeek macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2011
    #14
    In my opinion the only reason to buy a Mac Pro is if you need the mobility, if you are happy with your current system I would say that you do not need mobility. The obsession with what system is faster is way overblown, all modern processors will work for 90% of today's users. Unless you use CAD programs or other intensive software on a regular daily basis most of us don't need the fastest computers made, besides in a few months it won't be the fastest. If a current system does what it needs to do it is not obsolete.
     
  15. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    How on earth do you get to the conclusion that Mac Pro is mobile? It's a huge tower, not exactly something I would want to bring with me on lectures in school :D
     
  16. seniorgeek macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2011
    #16
    Sorry, a senior moment, I just had MacBook Pro on my mind, I apologize for that.
     
  17. namethisfile macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

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    #17
    i think the poster above prob meant the imac or the macbook pro. the mac pro is too big to carry around. and even the imac is too big also. both (mac pro and imac) are desktops, which brings me to my case about your dilemma. i think the new imac's are great and will prob last you a long a long time, if you go that route--just like your mac pro has. the only reason why i would wait, if you can afford the mac pro is that the mac pro is a completely different machine than the imac and caters to a completely different set of criteria like the ability to upgrade cpu's, gpu's, monitor, expand hdd, memory, peripherals, etc---that the other macs just can't match. of course, the new sandy bridge cpu's has made it possible to have mac pro like power on the go, or in an all-in-one form, but those other macs still can't match the ever important expandability factor of the mac pro. so, the imac would give you current cpu & gpu power but it won't last long. while, the mac pro will... more likely.

    another alternative and a more sensible one at that (me thinks so), if you need that extra juice now is to get the new top end mbp. this way, you can still get the new mac pro when it comes out later without having redundant desktop computers on your hands.

    just my .2 cents.
     
  18. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

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    #18
    What about upgrading your mac pro? Faster CPU, new Graphics card, SSD and a new monitor would give you a huge boost.
     
  19. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Haha, I was just joking, I kinda figured you were talking about the MBP :rolleyes:
     
  20. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2011
    #20
    yeah, I only know of one person who has a Mac Pro and they use it for animation (which its great at). The iMac is a very viable option, even for animation. But if it's your career, on the fly, or your doing gig's of high definition video, you should really consider a pro.

    Aside from that you got your iMac, which configured properly is capable but not as powerful, great for anyone who likes doing but doesn't depend on such power. You can always get the best iMac (processor/GPU) wise, later update the RAM and HDD to SSD. Get yourself a souped up little iMac with lots of power. It's cheaper and you can take your time with upgrades in case money is low.
     
  21. turbobass macrumors 6502

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    Los Angeles
    #21
    If you don't need the power / monitor to do video-intensive stuff I would maybe get one of the lower model iMacs as they are super powerful ... though if you want to drop some ducats by all means.

    Just not if you're another WoW player who thinks they need to spend $3K on a Sandy Bridge Mac to play WoW (lol).
     
  22. tasty-the-dog macrumors newbie

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    Jul 31, 2011
    #22
    Strangely, I just did this: went from a Mac Pro I got in '09 to the top of the line 27in iMac w/ SSD and 16GB RAM. I do pro audio work and I've got to say I love the iMac. It smokes the Pro in most every regard, is way quieter, puts out less heat and uses less power. Maybe I'll be frustrated in 5 years when I want to upgrade something and can't, but having used both I definitely don't regret my decision. The Mac Pro is great but it's also the most overpriced computer you can buy from Apple. Unless you're doing INTENSE video rendering on a daily basis I don't see the point.
     
  23. jeffreyk thread starter macrumors regular

    jeffreyk

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    Nov 28, 2007
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    Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
    #23
    @tasty-the-dog, that's pretty much exactly what I was wondering. I'm considering the switch from MP to iMac like you did and I'm happy to hear that you have enjoyed the move to the iMac. Looks like it's time for a trip to the Apple Store to test drive some iMacs!

    As this thread seems to be coming toward an end, thanks to all that responded to my query. I appreciate the input.
     

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