Your choice: Refurb 2009 quad core MP or iNew 5 iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by thebeave, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. thebeave macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    #1
    Do I buy the refurb 2009 quad core for $2150 or get an 27" iMac i5/i7 for $2k +? I keep my machines for 5-6 years.

    I am upgrading from a dual 2.0 G5 and need a second machine. Want to run CS4/5, Ilife suite and probably final cut express eventually. Already have two drives filling and an okay 20" monitor (want to get a much better monitor eventually)
    the pros / cons of the machines to IMO:
    MP: speed/ flexibilty/ expandabiliry/ raid potential of the MP, but will have to buck up $600 for a screen to
    y satisfaction
    iMac:the speed and fantastic real estate of the i5/ i7 are great
    Lack of expandability is negative.
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #2
    Given the software you're using (and potentially will be), I'd say the MP.
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    given the current state of the 09 MPs id currently say do not get it... there is an audio problem (see here).

    of course, you need the MP it seems!
     
  4. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #4
    So what? The Mac Pro gets a little hot when playing music.:rolleyes: It's not like it goes into kernel panics or anything. Nonetheless, Apple must address this issue. More noticeable though are the color imbalances (yellow areas) on Apple's new 27" iMac screens. I would wait if I were you before buying either system. Apple should be updating the MP soon... in either Feb. or at latest in March. I recommend the MP for your needs. :D
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    actually, if you read the thread i linked to, some of the users 09 MPs ARE having kernel panics!

    i most certainly would not want my expensive computer running at ~60°C->80°C when all i do is play audio!!

    i agree. wait for the MP updates, see if the audio issue is resolved, i dont see the iMac colour issue being resolved soon.

    personally though, my 27" iMac screen is beautiful - im no graphics artist by any means but i have zero yellow tinge issues at all. its fine for me.
     
  6. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #6
    In that case then I must agree with you. I never had any kernel panics when listening to music though which i must say is very often. However, I find it ridiculous that my MP runs at 60 degrees celsius when playing a song. Oh well, at least it allows me to turn down the heat in my room:) Apple should start advertising the Mac Pro as a bundle package since not only do you get a powerhouse workstation but a heater also LOL :D
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    yup dont forget the power increases haha! a heater would probably use less power! ;)
     
  8. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #8
    GET THE QUAD! The iMac will dead-end quickly, especially comparing with an i5. And one day when you need a little performance bump you can buy a W3580 CPU @ 3.33 GHz and pop it right in. With 4 GB sticks you can go to 16 GB, which is quite a lot even for what you intend to do. 8 GB sticks have been announced, and it's only a matter of time before those prices fall to a more reasonable level.

    RAID storage may be a more important consideration for you. The Mac Pro has the iMac beat many times over with RAID and other storage options. You should be able to upgrade the graphics card with very little effort, as I did when I swapped out the GT120 for the EVGA GTX285. Add an SSD boot drive and you'll be in Nirvana for quite some time. Want a 30" monitor instead of a 27"? You can do all of these things with a Mac Pro.

    There is discussion about sound applications causing the Mac Pro to heat up. One poster is suffering from temperatures exceeding 75C with kernel panics to match. However, I and others are not experiencing such dramatic temperature rises. In my case, playing iTunes w/ visualizer on AND playing back a streaming 1080p movie trailer only causes my CPU to go to 53C, which is well within all specifications. I have witnessed a disproportionate drop in OpenGL performance while running iTunes, to the tune of 21%, even though Activity Monitor reports iTunes CPU usage at 1.9%-2.3%.

    Whatever is causing this "hot" iTunes bug, it isn't really manifesting itself on my system to the degree others have reported. I have not had any issues, or noticeable loss of performance, with any of my applications or workflow. In fact, I upgraded to a 3.33 GHz Nehalem from a 2.5 GHz dual single-core CPU G5. I feel like if my Quad went any faster I would have to turn myself in for undoubtedly breaking some law.
     
  9. thebeave thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    #9
    So how easy is it to swap processors if I want to upgrade in the future Can I do that w/ out voiding the warranty, etc? Is it a simple process like upgrading Dimms or HDDs? Thanks
     
  10. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    MP, but only buy now if you really need it.

    Have you thought of buying one of the 2008s off the refurb store?
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    I gave an answer only in reference to the two choices listed, but the '08 would be a much better way to go. ;) It's still a MP (expandable), quite viable for the software listed (and should be for some time to come), and is an EFI64 based system. So graphics cards are still upgradable (as well as OS X once it goes K64 exclusively). No heat issues related to audio, and it's easier for internal 3rd party RAID cards.

    Best all around IMO. :)
     
  12. thebeave thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    #12
    OK so there is an 08 on the refurb site - $2400 for an 8 core 2.8Ghz vs the 09 metioned above. Is that a long term better solution? And are processors upgradable on both machines? Thanks
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    IMO, yes. The biggest difference lies in the IMC in the '09, which as it exists, isn't utilized for the most part. There's precious little software that can utilize triple channel DDR3, and it's not what you'll be using. Software is always behind the hardware, and by the time it catches up, you'll be up for a new system anyway. ;)

    This is a better fit for balancing performance and budget from what information you've given.

    Yes. Both can be upgraded, so long as it's not already the fastest CPU in their respective families.

    The '08's use Xeon 54xx series parts (note that not all are capable of 1600MHz FSB, so be careful, as you could cut your memory performance). The '08's do use 1600MHz FSB, and it does help.

    The '09's use Xeon 55xx series parts.

    In both cases, CPU's are expensive though. The 3.2GHz '08 (refurb) is a really nice system. Same price as the base '09 Octad (new), but it's faster in both single and multi-threaded performace vs. the '09. Upgrades are similar enough. But given your budget, I'm not so sure it's a solution for you (i.e. you might be able to stretch to get the machine, but nothing left over for a monitor or upgrades you'll need for the software, such as RAM and drives for additional throughput).
     
  14. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space
    #14
    It always pays to take a look at the refurb pages.
     
  15. kxfrog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    The mac pro will be better for your needs, internal scratch disks, ssds, new monitor/ graphics cards. Don't worry about the audio problem it isn't that bad, although i do avoid playing audio much. Hopefully :apple: will bring out a fix!!! Come on :apple:
     
  16. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #16
    I agree 100%
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #17
    well tbh i think some of the users at MR are closer to a fix then apple is ;)

    using an i7 iMac kext, it is possible to rid the temperature issues - however other problems arise :(
     
  18. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #18
    Keep the faith! I have a workflow very similar to the OP's, and this iTunes heat bug should have no effect on that.
     
  19. smacman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    #19
    I can only speak for myself, but unless Apple issues a patch to fix the power management of the Nehalem CPU (Early 2009 Mac Pro), I will regret purchasing the machine. Out of principle, stable or not, it needs to be fixed..
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #20
    idk about you or the OP, but a 20% hit in performance JUST from playing music isnt a "no effect" situation.
     

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