12-14-2010, 08:15 PM
The i7 in a 27inch iMac would be better than the quad core of the Mac Pro. 2 Quad Cores in a Mac Pro would probably be better than the i7 but that starts at $3499.
Get at least 8GB of RAM in your desktop (of your choice) or get 4GB and upgrade it aftermarket. 16GB is ideal but quite expensive still.
Ideally you would want a workstation graphics card (available aftermarket in the Mac Pro), not an ATI Raedon series (found in iMac and Mac Pro)
The Mac Pro would be the best with the dual quad cores + workstation graphics card, but that's gonna set you back a few grand. The iMac 27" with an i7 would be more economical but you would notice a slight lag in performance between the two.
So basically you want:
8GB min. of RAM
i7 / dual quad cores (the single quad on the base Mac Pro is a little older tech than the i7 and doesn't support hyper-threading)
Get an external 1/2TB Esata external hard drive
Workstation graphics card (ATI FirePro/GL or NVIDIA Quadro FX)