Working from home - Mac Pro OR iMac 5k

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bobbydaz, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. bobbydaz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    In my job I will soon be changing to an almost permanent working from home situation and have a couple of options kit wise.

    1. Take my existing 2010 Mac Pro 3.33 hex (SSD, 24g ram) + ageing apple Cinema Display

    2. But a new iMac 5k and spec up as much as budget will allow

    3. Keep Cinema Display and consider new 2013 Mac Pro

    Now option 1 will cost nothing, but my concerns are age of the display, power consumption of the MP and screen plus being fairly bulky. Option 2 would be nice, the display will be gorgeous as we know, but i would need full SSD storage which will be expensive. Option 3 is going to cost a fortune, but still worth considering.

    Working in graphic design, doing a fair bit of heavy photoshop work (1-1.5gb layered files) so this Mac will be worked pretty hard 8-9 hours a day.
     
  2. VAGDesign macrumors 6502

    VAGDesign

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    #2
    Hi,
    I would suggest No 1 with upgrade to GPU that can provide you 2 x 4K monitors and run them in Retina Mode or native 4K resolution.
    Only cost is to buy monitor(s) that run at 60Hz @ 4K resolution. You can sell the Apple Cinema Display to save
    some cash.
     
  3. someoldguy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    usa
    #3
    I think that were I in your place , assuming your MacPro will still do what you want ,I'd keep the Mac Pro and put out the cash for a good monitor , an Eizo or NEC , plus a better graphics card if your's is elderly .Then start banking cash for a new or refurb nMP. Make the cMP buy you a nMP . You'll already have a good monitor , and can transfer your internal HDD's to external housings when the time comes.
     
  4. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    thanks for the advice. I have the stock ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB, what's a decent upgrade and how much do they cost? Would I see much improvement in Photoshop or general use with an upgraded graphics card?
     
  5. filmak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    between earth and heaven
    #5
    Imho it's better to keep working on your current setup and just buy a new and better GPU card with 4k support.
    Also a good investment could be to upgrade your old monitor to a new EIZO or NEC and move later to a nMP, after its long awaiting update, which probably will happen in 2016.

    The iMac retina has a stunning display but it is still 8 bit, maybe this is not enough for your work - color gradations etc.
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #6
    I don't know what the real world difference in power consumption would be between your Mac Pro and a new machine would be. If I had to guess, I would say a new iMac would be considerable less expensive to run than either of the Mac Pros because the iMacs use mobile (more power efficient) CPUs and GPUs.

    The current Mac Pros have dual GPUs which can be quite power hungry. However, they use more power efficient CPUs than your current Mac Pro. Keeping either of these systems on 8-9 hours a day will probably result in a significant increase in your electric bill.

    As for the display, there are some nice 4K and 5K monitor on the market now that are much nicer than the old Cinema Displays. The iMac 5K display is gorgeous, as well.
     
  7. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #7
    You can expand (double) RAM, upgrade GPU of course, throw in a SSD blade like SM951 as well and even dual CPU - more to have 8 DIMMs.

    Have you stopped by http://www.macperformanceguide.com ?
     
  8. Wilbah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    #8
    I updated the processors in my 2009 MacPro- even after buying nMP- and find this to be a much easier and in fact, faster machine! I put a 1TB SSD, loaded it up with 4 4TB internals, and a new graphics card and new 3.06 processors, and maxed out ram. The thing flat out flies. We edit video on that machine, and the cost comparison (what it can easily accomplish with loads of on board storage) for dramatically cheaper cost isn't even close.

    Yes it gets hot (which means its eating electricity, too)- I think that might be the only draw back I can think of. You'll need a new monitor for either machine. Price out a nMP with that much thunderbolt storage, and RAM, and SSD, and your into some serious $.

    Plus, I'm happy to be getting the extra bang for the buck out of an older machine that can still deliver the goods and make us money.
     
  9. Arron Rouse macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Location:
    Chichester, UK
    #9
    To me, it depends who's paying. If you're working for a big firm and they can afford it, the iMac probably makes the most sense. It's got an excellent screen and is easy to move to/from the office if things change again.

    If you're working for a small firm and budgets are tight or it's your own money, take the Mac Pro home with you. Don't worry about the Cinema Display's age, worry about whether it's good enough for the job -- replacing a monitor is easy.

    The nMP is long past due an upgrade and probably not worth it for PS -- the iMac is a better bet for PS.

    To me, as filmak mentioned, the only other factor is whether you want/need 10bit.
     
  10. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Some great responses, thanks all. Firstly I have to say my current MP has performed brilliantly for the last five years. I've upgraded to SSD for boot drive plus an additional 960mb Mercury Accelsior blade for work in progress storage. As for who's paying, that will be the company not me. i am concerned about the power costs for running a MP and monitor 5 days a week, plus it's a much bulkier set up than a super slim all in one iMac.

    i have a few months to decide, but still no closer to a definitive decision. Lots to think about.
     
  11. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #11
    Maybe but no fingers crossed a Mac Pro 7,1 announced by late fall again like it was in "Late 2013" - though I would want to wait 3-4 months AFTER it shipped and while the nMP has a smaller PSU you would end up investing in Thunderbolt storage, even with iMac. Think the cost of say 400W you are using 24/7 now? Your looking at a $3k iMac or $5-6k Mac Pro?
     
  12. Macsonic, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #12
    Hope you come up with decision that's beneficial for your needs. I think the classic Mac Pro would be a better "fit" for your home based graphic design. There was a time an electrician was fixing one of our wirings and by chance he had a watts meter gadget and I asked him to gauge the power consumption of my cMac Pro and the watts at that time, if I recall correctly was around 397w at my usual load. I am also using a 30" Apple Cinema Display and still running fine even though it's old hardware. I've also had the chance to use a new Mac Pro, 8 core and did not see a noticeable speed difference with graphic design compared to the classic Mac Pro. And keep in mind only one GPU will used in the nMac Pro and the other GPU will be idle.
     
  13. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #13
    For heavy photoshop work the mirror displays in the iMacs are almost useless because of constant reflections. Either keep your current Mac Pro or get a new one - I often edit 1-2 gb psds too with the machine in my sig and see no reason to upgrade. I do want to replace my 27" Dell with a 27" Eizo with hardware calibration however. Put your money towards a good screen (= not an Apple one), this will be a good investment for color critical work and easily last for about 5 years.
     
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #14
    iMac 5K has a GPU that regularly runs at 105C

    These will have short, hot lives, especially if used to their ability.

    As a point of reference, most desktop GPUs will shut off via thermal protection before hitting this number

    instead, this is the point that Apple starts turning down clocks and upping fan
     
  15. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #15
    Holy smokes. 105C is insanely hot. It's a pity Apple and Nvidia can't get together and get some of the Maxwell GPUs in to the Macs. They are by far the coolest and most power efficient GPUs I've ever seen, not to mention pretty good performers.
     
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #16
    Yep, 105C is a guarantee of future issues. No way around it. If not the GPU itself, then the elements surrounding it on the PCB. And then of course that fantastic panel just a few mm away from the Flaming Hot GPU. No way it isn't going to show effects of radiated heat as time goes on. Anyone getting a 5K iMac should absolutely get Applecare.

    The crazy thing is the fan never maxes out. They choose quiet over faster and/or longer life. For a machine that routinely runs at temps that would trigger a thermal shutdown in most other GPUs.
     
  17. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #17
    Guess they haven't overcome their G4 MDD aka 'mirrored vacuum cleaner' debacle yet. :D
    No matter if the machine dies way too early or has to clock down, no. 1 priority is 100$ customer satisfaction in 'loudness'. :(
     
  18. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I think I'm leaning towards sticking with my current Mac Pro. To be fair it has been a brilliant Mac for 5 years and never let me down. Really struggling to find a GPU upgrade in the uk, no one seems to be selling graphics cards for old Mac pros. As I'm fully SSD it's probably the only upgrade I can make.
     
  19. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    #19
    Get in touch with the folks at create.pro they'll be able to help you breathe some extra life back in to your system. They have custom graphics cards that they put in their machines. They may be willing to simply ship you one.

    They can also help you max out that Mac Pro to 12 cores should you feel the need.
     
  20. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #20
    I don't think Photoshop will benefit considerably from a high-end GPU in real world applications.
    I think you'd only need a new one if you want to drive some 4K screens.

    The product portfolio at create.pro tells me "We've ripped of some EFIs from MVCs cards but don't have clue how to make them run on other GPUs, so we sell some cards with EFI, some without, and we hope no one will notice we don't know what we do". :D
     
  21. Duane Dibbley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    #21
    Have you seen this thread?
     
  22. someoldguy, Aug 15, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015

    someoldguy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    usa
    #22
    A rather belated reply but ... I've got a flashed 7950 in my 4.1-5.1 . Put the thing in more to 'future proof' the system than for any particular program's usage. I haven't found a whole lot of difference , if any , in how Photoshop behaves in comparison to the 5770 that was in the machine previously . I don't do particularly extreme PS work , though. The improvement for me was on the Windows side , with some solid modelling stuff (Inventor , Rhino) seeming to be a lot smoother .
     

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