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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - Which to choose... iMac or Mac Pro


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jgrover

 
Member Since: Feb 03, 2007
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So I am in the market for a new desktop and I am trying to decide between the 24" iMac 2.4 and the 2.66 Mac Pro. The MP costs a good bit more $$ then an iMac, but it has a lot going for it. Especially in the ability to expand as needed (RAM, hard drives, etc...).

Costs aside, what I am looking for is advice from people that use their Mac's like I do - That is...

Ripping DVD's to MP4
Burning CD's
Playing an assortment of flash based games (not much 3d gaming though)
Ripping CD to MP3
Play with different OS's inside of VM's
Cataloging and touching up a TON of pictures

Looking at this objectively (and not emotionally - which always leads me to BIGGER IS BETTER! ) I think the iMac will be more then enough machine with 2-4 gig of RAM and a big ole firewire drive to store everything.

Am I overlooking anything??

I've been pouring over the tests done at Barefeats and other then questionable performance out of the Radeon 2600 Pro, they hadn't had anything bad to say about it...

How does XP or Vista run in Parallels or Boot Camp on the iMac? Anyone have a Vista performance rating handy?

(I know the iMac has the glossy screen - there's a ton of threads debating it already)


Thanks you guys!
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jgrover

 
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I found a couple threads on this very topic on another forum, and one person even did a head to head with Photoshop on a MP and the 2.4Ghz iMac. He noted there was very little difference in photo editing... that's one big thing out of the way!
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Bear Hunter

 
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...it comes down to whether or not you need the portability. If not...I would go for the 24" iMac.
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jgrover

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear Hunter View Post
...it comes down to whether or not you need the portability. If not...I would go for the 24" iMac.
I'm considering the Mac Pro (not MacBook Pro) to the iMac.

I think I have my answer - I found the 2.8ghz iMac scores a 5.0 rating in Vista. which I am familiar with... that gives me enough confidence in it's performance to not worry about making a $2000 mistake.
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rogair

 
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It doesn't sound like you'll be using any 'pro' applications like Final Cut Pro, Aperture, etc. so you'll be just fine with a 24'' iMac
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BlackSheep

 
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I am typing on my new 24",2.8Ghz, 4GB ram, 1TB hd. It's awesome!! I'm a regular iMac person who uses the internet, checks my mail, makes small movies, rips and burns all types of media, types documents, uses iPhoto like no other, fools around with Photoshop, listens to iTunes, plays games, watches DVDs the list goes on and on. I also use VMWare Fusion with Windows XP 64x (I think Vista bites) and it rips. Honestly its faster than any PC I've ever used. I love it. I would go with the iMac. You wont regret it.
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bryphotoguy

 
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I just couldn't stand the all-in-one system and lack of expandability of the iMac. I had to switch over to the Mac Pro. It's expensive but well worth it.
You could save a few hundred and downgrade it to the dual 2GHz model instead of the 2.66GHz.
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johnstac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogair View Post
It doesn't sound like you'll be using any 'pro' applications like Final Cut Pro, Aperture, etc. so you'll be just fine with a 24'' iMac
Are you implying that the IMac will not run Final Cut Pro and/or Aperture? I am simply asking because I have never used a Mac either but I will be buying one soon. I want to learn Final Cut Pro and maybe use Aperture as well. I thought I had read somewhere of others who were running those programs on an IMac.

Thoughts?
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WakeCarver

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrover View Post
I've been pouring over the tests done at Barefeats and other then questionable performance out of the Radeon 2600 Pro, they hadn't had anything bad to say about it...
ATI/Apple will release regular firmware updates to increase the performance of the 2600 card, don't worry about it too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstac View Post
Are you implying that the IMac will not run Final Cut Pro and/or Aperture? I am simply asking because I have never used a Mac either but I will be buying one soon. I want to learn Final Cut Pro and maybe use Aperture as well. I thought I had read somewhere of others who were running those programs on an IMac.

Thoughts?
I think an iMac will run those apps fine. You would just have more expandability options with the MacPro.

"I call this the Greatest Zooks Album." -CEREAL KILLER
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Bill S

 
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There is the issue of the screen. You are limited to the IMAC screen forever. Also expandability, Internal hardrives, upgraded graphics card.
Is the Imac a great machine? Yes no doubt. Will it meet your needs in a few years? Don't know. Will the Macpro meet your needs or be able to be made to meet your needs in a few years, probably. I just ordered the Macpro, so I am justifying my decision.

Either way you should be good.

Bill S
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elf

 
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I asked this same question on another forum.The only difference is that i was wondering about the mac mini.I do everything that jgrover does and was told that the new mac mini with the duel core would do everything i was looking for.The imac to me is not a choice simply becouse if one thing goes then everything needs replaced.So its always been between the mac mini and mac pro.Was i misinformed?Just wondering looking to get my first mac soon.And was wondering if the mini is enough. thanks
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Agnieszka

 
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I have a similar dilemma for iMac v.s. Mac Pro

I am switching from PC to Mac. Unfortunatelly, because some of my programs run only on Mac (like AutoCadd), I will have to download Windows to it. I'm a beginner Architectural Designer and those are the programs I will be using:

-AutoCadd
-Rhinocoros 3D build + Maxwell rendering plug-in
-Photoshop
-Illustrator
-InDesign
-and few smaller design programs like sketch up etc.

Here is the trick: Some of those programs like AutoCadd, Photoshop, and Rhino, I may have to use simontanously, AND depending on a building material (concrete v.s. glass), Maxwell takes hours (50 hours for glass) to make a smooth, accurate rendering. So my computer may have to run for many hours at a time.

I also hope to expend the variety of programs as I grow as a designer.

In addition, I'll be burning and ripping CDs and do all the other everyday things that most people do.

I WON'T be playing games, or making videos... (at least I don't think that my job will require the latter any time soon...). I won't be doing much switching between Window and Mac, but some might be required.

I am not crazy about the idea of all-in-one iMac, and I usually replace my computers every 5 years or so, so expendability might be nice.

But I also don't want to go for 'overkill' if I don't need it.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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MYmacROX

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnieszka View Post
I have a similar dilemma for iMac v.s. Mac Pro

I am switching from PC to Mac. Unfortunatelly, because some of my programs run only on Mac (like AutoCadd), I will have to download Windows to it. I'm a beginner Architectural Designer and those are the programs I will be using:

-AutoCadd
-Rhinocoros 3D build + Maxwell rendering plug-in
-Photoshop
-Illustrator
-InDesign
-and few smaller design programs like sketch up etc.

Here is the trick: Some of those programs like AutoCadd, Photoshop, and Rhino, I may have to use simontanously, AND depending on a building material (concrete v.s. glass), Maxwell takes hours (50 hours for glass) to make a smooth, accurate rendering. So my computer may have to run for many hours at a time.
Autodesk - AutoCAD for Mac

Rhino OSX In development right now.

The other Adobe apps you refer to are all available for Mac also.

A current 21.5" iMac i3 (or better) with 8GB RAM will do what you want.
If you have the budget, get a kick-butt Mac Pro and that stuff will be done in a fraction of the time. But you're gonna pay $$$ for that speed.

16GB iPhone 5, 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad 1st Gen.

Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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Agnieszka

 
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I tried the AutoCadd for Mac, but it's not yet nearly as sophisticated as the one for PC.

Half of my (expensive) software is for PC; I am going to replace it slowly for all Mac, but I can't buy right now both a new Mac and all the new software.

I don't mind spending more $$$ as long as I will use it. I just don't want the extra gadgets to sit idlly on Mac Pro IF iMac were enough for what I'd need.
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