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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Mac Pro or iMac?


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Stouthearted

 
Member Since: May 18, 2010
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Switching to Mac finally. I need a video editing workstation and I'm going back and forth between the Mac Pro and the iMac. I love the expandability of the Mac Pro, but I don't have a good monitor to use with it and the new cinema display is out of my price range. The iMac display is incredible, but I'm worried about expansion options in the future. Is the iMac a realistic solution for regular video production use and will it serve my needs for the relative long term? Or should I suck it up and buy the Mac Pro and buy a cheaper monitor?
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Lord Alveric

 
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Decisions, decisions.

The expandability of the iMac is limited: more memory, that's about it. If you want more storage, which for video creation is always needed, that involves replacing the hard drive. The display is a concern too. It's superb, but unfortunately it's also reflective. If reflections are not a concern to you, then the iMac is for you.

A Mac Pro has more expandability: you can add more hard drives as your needs grow and can swap videocards or add more than one. You can plug in any monitor. You can buy a cheap panel now and later down the road buy a better one.

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harryb2448

 
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iMacs are severely limited in fact. Use a BenQ LED display with my Mac Pro and it works faultlessly. Not too dear either. And remember, a lot of failures are reported with iMac optical drives, minaturisation in my book, and they are expensive and difficult to replace.
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yzfmik

 
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When I switched from PC to Mac I bought an iMac & 2 MacBook Pro's. I wanted to TOTALLY eliminate Window's PC's from my life!

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 MacBook Pro 13" 2.26GHz
 iMac 21.5" 3.06GHz /  iPod 30GB /  iPhone 5 32GB
 iPad 2 64GB / 3rd Gen iPad 64 GB/ iPad Mini 32GB
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JP-ME

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzfmik View Post
When I switched from PC to Mac I bought an iMac & 2 MacBook Pro's. I wanted to TOTALLY eliminate Window's PC's from my life!
You could though have the best of both worlds by installing W7 on all your machines. I would never eliminate such a competent OS from my computing needs.
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the8thark

 
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Well the Mac Pro base model is over 2x more expensive then the base model imac. SO that's a big consideration. Sure the imac is not really upgradable. But at half the cost you can just get a new imac in a few years time and sell off the old one to recoup a little of the cost. imacs tend to keep their resale value rather well.

And secondly the Mac Pro is pretty much overkill for 99% of people. Even for light-moderate video editing I'd still recommend the imac. Unless you are wanting to push 6-12 cores (even more with virtual cores) to the absolute max (which is pretty hard to do I must admit) I'd not bother. It's just not worth the money.

I'd just look at the prices and get the imac with the specs you need and in a few years sell and buy new. It will handle most video editing tasks well. And in a few years you might not end up selling the imac, you might just keep it if it does your tasks well. I wanted to sell my imac and get a new but the one I have still does everything I want ti to do (almost 5 years old now) so no need to upgrade for me.

In short the Mac Pro is great, and probably the best option. But for that kind of money you're should not be paying for cores left sitting idle cause you can't do tasks that make them all tick over. That's just silly. And for RAM. The imacs these days can handle 8-16 GB max depending on the imac you get. And that should be heaps for pretty much everything.

Sure in the imacs if the screen goes you're without a computer. But to me that's a very rare thing. In my life I've only ever owned all in one computers and every time in the Apple ones the hard drive or CD/DVD drives died in them, the screens were just fine. But if you're worried there's always apple care.
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Daddy Elmis

 
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If I had paying customers depending on me for video product, I'd probably invest in the Mac Pro. It's a professional piece of hardware, and I agree with The8thark that it's probably overkill for most users who buy their own (as opposed to company purchases for work).

If its a serious (or not so serious) hobby, the iMac will do just fine. I run FCE 4 on a 2009 iMac with zero problems. I use a FW outboard drive and have had no issues. We can do anything we need to do as amateur filmmakers (including winning some prizes for film). As an aside, I'm also running Pro Tools LE 8.0.4 on an even older 2006 iMac (the white one, 2MHz, 2g ram) with a Digi 003 interface -- Pro Tools is notoriously finicky about hardware and performance -- and it runs fine.
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