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Recent MacPro versus new iMac

NewMacEditor's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: 07/30/2010 - 7:56pm

I could use some quick help. I work on Mac Pro's at my job and have been looking for a relatively affordable option to edit at home. I have the chance to purchase a 6-8 month old Mac Pro (without monitor) with a 2.93 Xeon Quad for the same price (about $2400) as a new iMac 27" with ani7 quad. The 'used' machine also has four hard drives, 4GB RAM and Apple Care warranty. Which system would you suggest?

2 - 1.5 tb hard drives 2 - 500 gig hard drives all Seagate barracudas. all new within the last few months
4 gig ram

* Quad-core (standard configuration)
o One 2.93 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon W3530 Nehalem processor
o 8MB of fully shared L3 cache per processor
o Turbo Boost dynamic performance up to 3.06GHz
o Hyper-Threading technology for up to 8 virtual cores
* Advanced Intel microarchitecture
o Integrated memory controller
o 128-bit SSE4 SIMD engine
o 64-bit data paths and registers

vs.

new 27" iMac with upgraded processor, apple care

Thank you


NewMacEditor's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: 07/30/2010 - 7:56pm

Derek, Thank you.

Does that mean thatfor the timebeing you see the systems as fairly equal?



D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

I won't hazard a guess what would be best for you.

I would like to point out something I've observed about Apple.

Having bought an early emac that came with os9 classic and the first version of osx, then an Imac g5, then two intel macbooks...

here is what I believe is the best decision for me:

The imac.

and here is why:

an upgradable tower works in the pc world (not factoring in the difficulties with mixing and matching various components with varying success) is reasonably priced.... big market, lot's of venders...

Apple on the other hand has a track record of releasing new hardware, then software to utilize the hardware, leaving legacy systems behind. There are always compromises and limited choices when upgrading. That translates into higher pricing.

it is easier and safer (in terms of hardware/software integration) to just buy a new system every few years than to try and get the latest technology to work with legacy systems.

Here's my experience:

Emac - shooting professional photos, using j-peg and 6 mp d-slrs ran fine. Too slow to run aperture and shoot RAW. Edited dv footage but slow rendering for dvd.

Imac g5 worked fine with aperture and cs2, hdv and dv ran fine. Too slow for avchd... shooting 14 mp RAW files with D-slr's

macbooks fast enough for avchd (and once imported the g5 can edit) but the latest aperture 2 runs slower.

Now knowing how fast my photography and video cameras are being upgraded and looking to the future with 3D, and anticipating red styled RAW HD footage, and 18-22 mp d-slr's I'm guessing the next gen Mac will run circles around the current ones, and since you'd get ALL the latest OSX benefits, Latest connectivity (ie usb3, Sata, wi-fi etc..) I'm betting that upgrading the mac pro will wind up costing almost as much money as the next gen Imac.

For a small business like mine, I'd rather go the easier route and get a new machine with warranty.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

I can also switch machines if one is busy or broken, no down time..... time is money.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 10 months 3 hours ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

D0n,

Your experience doesn't appear to include the use of a Mac Pro. Had you bought a Mac Pro, you would realize that once you buy an I/O card, a RAID, and some RAM, you won't have to upgrade anything for a VERY long time.

The Mac Pro is a better choice for video because it offers more options for proper monitoring of your video (you should never be juding your image by what you see on a computer screen), and you have many more options for storage, which are also better options depending on what format of video you're working with.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

Rob, I deliberately avoided saying the mac pro isn't a good machine. It is a good machine.

I just know that if I had bought the power pc tower when I bought my first mac, I'd have had to replace the whole thing anyways by now, to upgrade to an intel version... and if I had bought the first intel version, instead of two macbooks, I'd have lost money if it had broken down on me (remember how excited I was when Apple replaced a failed logic board for me, free, even though it was out of warrenty?)

bang for the buck, I'd have been worse off, and further behind the curve in terms of software.

Now if I had a business where editing in the feild wasn't happening, where employees were doing the editing for me, and the machine stayed in the studio, along side one or two other mac pros as part of a network of mac pros all hooked up to 30" cinema displays, then yes I'd be happy to own three of them.

We're small, our budget is small and Imacs and macbooks fit better, for us. Heck our kids use our machines for school work when I'm between jobs.

Apple abandons older hardware every few years.

I got Leopard and Aperture to run on an Imac g5 but both those software packages had to be hacked to install them as both said the machine wasn't supported. Snow leopard will not support power pc macs in any way shape or form, which means neither will any mac software made for 64 bit snow leopard.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 10 months 3 hours ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Sorry, wasn't trying to imply that you dont think the Mac Pro isn't a good machine.

You just seem to suggest that buy an iMac is better because Apple abandons hardware. Really though, for video, Apple doesn't even make hardware. Apple probably wouldn't even make FCP if it were for companies like AJA and Matrox.

And making your purchasing decisions based on the idea that Apple will abandon it's old processors just isn't a good move. Of course things will be abandoned. Why would they support a G5, they're so old at this point and aren't even ideal for ProRes.

If I bought a Mac today, I'd buy the necessary accessories for video that work with my Mac today. Do that and your computer will continue working forever. This is what people did with Avid - they got what they needed to make everything work, and then they didn't upgrade for a lot time...didn't need to.

of course, it all depends what you're doing, which you implied when you mentioned your decision to buy laptops.