With iMac increasing processor speeds, does a Mac pro make sense?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MCHR, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. MCHR macrumors regular

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    #1
    Different answer for everyone, I understand.

    But I'm seeing the iMac lineup is slowly getting the i5, and a 27" screen. I'm no fan of the glossy surface (is there a matte film that could be used?), or limited expandability. But what I would be using it for might just make more sense. And cheaper.

    I'm doing a lot of Photoshop, essentially image generation via Wacom Cintiq tablet. No file sizing much over 75Mb, for example. Several layers, for sure. Often open apps like Illustrator, Firefox, Mail, etc. Cross functional workflow rarely gets more than those with an occasional Dreamweaver thrown in.

    So, if I bump up the ram, set up my external drive, what would be so different between this possibility and a midlevel Mac Pro? For my use, I'd love to hear some opinions.

    Thanks.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    For your use - no. Those that still need a Mac Pro would not be satfisified with an iMac.
     
  3. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #3
    My macbook pro replaced my mac pro even tho MBP had weaker CPU, it was plenty for me. I think majority of people are just going to switch to MBP, especially with those upcoming i7 mobile chips. That's been the general trend recently with more people buying laptops than desktops and eventually the laptops will get fast enough that desktops may not be worth getting even for professional workers (especially if the work has xservs set up in grids for rendering and OpenCL taking off).
     
  4. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4

    Not even considering a laptop. The question was for iMac vs. MP.
     
  5. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Please embellish. My 2005 PowerPC is holding its own with my current workflow. The new iMacs can't do that? Please explain.
     
  6. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    #6
    I think it has moved towards and away from replacing a mac pro.

    I say towards replacement because you have more than a dual core processor in there now. Plus the ram is increased to 16GB max.

    I say away from replacement because the price of the imac quad core may make some people just pony the extra cash for the mac pro. I 5 quad core is 1999, refurb quad cores are only a couple hundred more. Benefits include internal storage, graphic cards and ports. To get above 8GB of ram is also more expensive in the iMacs.

    So cost it maybe didn't, but feature wise it did. Thats just my view though.
     
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #7
    There are plenty of features the Mac Pro has that the iMac doesn't. RAID, ECC memory, more internal drives, processor upgrades, better processing power, support for more memory, expansion ports, more powerful graphics cards, iMacs are not suitable for certain operating environments be it external forces or policy (no web cams or any wireless components for example). Then there is the display issue, some people don't want the iMac one at all and see it as a waste as well as the Mac Pros supporting more displays.

    Maybe none of these things apply to you, but for someone wanting OS X who needs such things then the Mac Pro is the only real choice, the iMac doesn't come in to the equation just because it got a decent desktop processor.
     
  8. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #8

    Or in other words, expandibility :D
     
  9. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #9
    The Wacom Cintiq doesn't have a good enough panel for your needs? (<-curiosity)

    Well, erm, you might want to try and find a 2008 model Mac Pro. They are much more affordable and can drive the monitors you need (wheras with the iMac you are limited to its monitor and the cintiq as external; other externals can be added via USB, but not pretty IMO).

    And if the cost of FB-DIMMs is getting you down, its not that much more expensive then DDR3, IIRC (at least for 4GB DIMMS).
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    This is a much better way to go IMO, as it's EFI64, and is more of a value than the '09 systems. Performance wise, it's no slouch by any means, and even with the upgrades, will be less expensive, as the upgrade costs are very similar to those with the '09's (less with some things, more on others, but mostly the same).
     
  11. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #11
    A Mac Pro doesn't make sense for your use. But there are plenty of those that would not be satisfied with the iMac, the other posts explain quite a few of those reasons.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #12
    Processor wise, the new Nehalem based iMacs are suitable. It's with things like drive throughputs where it falls a bit flat, especially if it's used professionally where time to completion has a financial aspect to it. The screen is in the eye of the beholder, and at least there is a matte film available. Memory wise, it can take 16GB (though not inexpensive for that much).
     
  13. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #13
    The computer is a package in the sense of the iMac - just because it has a couple of features that would be suitable for the pros doesn't make it suddenly usable for the pros.
     
  14. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #14
    A Mac Pro makes sense if:

    1. You want the choice of monitor. As beautiful as a machine the 27" iMac is, the glossy surface is not for me for hours of Photoshop.

    Also: the screen is very good. But try to compare it with an Eizo Coloredge or a high end NEC or LaCie. Sure, it'll cost you. Best deal in high end should be the NEC: 25,5" at 1200 dollars.

    2. You want a lot of RAM. Sure, it sounds great to have a maximum of 16 GB RAM in a 27" iMac (maxing it out costs dearly, though, because of the current price of the 4 GB RAM units). But applications use more and more data. Two years from now it may not look as great. The next generation of Mac Pro will have at least 64 Gb RAM maximum, maybe even 128 Gb.

    3. You want your drives inside the box and not connector spaghetti to external hard drives.

    4. You want a really fast computer for video editing, large Photoshop files (let's say 60 to 80 layers, 1 Gb plus file size - you get there easily if you use a 18 to 24 Megapixel camera). You want to work with software like Maya or 3 ds max.

    Yes, the current 27" iMac (i7) has caught up with the Mac Pro. But this is today's iMac and yesterday's Mac Pro. Wait for the Mac Pro that will show up in Q1 2010.

    I'm not only talking of multi-cores and processor speed. Also the bus, for example. What kind of RAM it takes.

    Sure, the current iMac became much more of a real desktop than the previous ones. But I'm very curious what the new Mac Pro will be. Very curious.

    5. You want to be able to put a high performance video card in.
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    I understand your point, and my comment was that it has part of what it needs, which is a decent Quad core chip.

    It's the rest of it that really doesn't cut it for professional work. Glossy screen, no way to improve HDD throughputs, memory is limited to 16GB (not bad, but there are going to be cases that require more).

    I see it as a "training system", which means it's good for a student to learn on, thats less expensive (i.e freshman graphics design student, as in 4 yrs they're going to want a new system anyway; junior - senior students would be better served with a MP, as presumably it will be income generating within a year or so). But not for professional use. Given the OP's creation of 75MB files, it's not really sufficient, and given the MP's available, an '08 would be ideal. Powerful and expandable.

    Sorry about any confusion. :eek:
     
  16. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #16
    I'm not confused. iThink the two of us understand that there are those that simply cannot use the iMac for their needs no matter how fast the processor is. My comments were more for the OP and those that think that the Mac Pro is no longer needed.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    I got the impression you thought I was in absolute favor of the iMac for the OP's purpose.

    We are seeing eye-to-eye as the saying goes. :D So the misinterpretation/confusion was on my part. :p
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #18
    TBH, the imac seems perfect for the OP! he does not need particularly copious amounts of storage for his files, even having 10,000 75MB files is only 750GB, a 2TB drive would cover that and much more!

    the screen real estate is amazing! i can personally vouch for that. the computer is no slouch. 16GB RAM is an amazing amount.

    coming from a G5, the imac will be AMAZING!
     
  19. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    #19
    Well said. :)
     
  20. parakiet macrumors regular

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    #20
    go get an imac and top it off.
    a good eizo or lacie can't hurt (use the imac as secondary)
     
  21. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

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    #21
    +1. Just back up solutions to think about if the OP is so inclined.
     
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #22
    hook up an external FW800 RAID enclosure and you're laughing :D
     
  23. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

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    #23
    +2 :D

    Make sure you post your new rig MCHR, whichever way you go :)
     

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