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Thread: Tower Mac Pro or iMac?

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    Tower Mac Pro or iMac?

    Hi all i'm overdue for a new Computer and I was looking for some advice on some of the computers I have been shopping around, I have been looking at either a decent Tower Mac Pro or the fastest 27" iMac, now when I go to the apple shops the say to me that iMac's are as fast as Mac Pro's they are cheaper and save you money.

    Any feedbacks would be more than appreciated

    Cheers BURLIN

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    really depends on what you are using it for, for photography if you are an amateur or a professional who needs absolutely accuracy for your work.

    iMacs are great, I love them but I dont love the glass LED backlit display for processing and editing purposes, great for viewing though. Most serious photographers dont like it as it is simply not as good as using a stand-alone monitor dedicated for photo editing, from your excellent and affordable Dell U2410 monitor at $600 ish to the high end Eizo and NECs at over 5 grand a piece. Apart from that, with 8 gigs of ram loaded you wont notice much difference between the latest iMacs and Mac Pro unless you are doing hardcore video editing and rendering or running a lot of programs at once on 2 or 3 monitors.

    I am looking at getting another Mac Pro tower some time next year to couple with 2 new external monitors, the ability to fit up to 4 drives at once too is great for data redundancy and other stuff for photo storage.

    my advice right now is to just get the iMac and save money, you can always hook up an external monitor to it anyway, and spend the rest of the money saved on more camera gear and programs

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    You may want to consider getting a second hand MacPro tower, a 1 year old one can be had with some of the premium wiped off and still deliver a fast machine with all of the benefits outlined above.
    Certainly being able to add (& swap) drives has become very handy, unless you're using firewire for your externals. (Faster for working with files than USB).
    I bought mine from- http://www.zerothree.com.au/ but others (also reputable) are around.

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    Member Edgar's Avatar
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    I would choose an iMac over the Mac Pro if the main use of the computer is to just do photo editing and viewing. They are great, fast, efficient, and the simple design makes it the ideal work station for non-professionals like me.

    However I also do video editing and although iMac will do the job for my Final Cut Pro 7 just fine (it's a 32-bit editing software), all the essential resources are there, RAM, Processor, Graphics. If you need to hook up more than 1 monitor, there will not be any problems with the new Thunderbolt port (a new tech for connecting multi-devices through a single port in series-connection) although I am yet to personally and physically see how a series-connection works (non of the Apple stores have any demo setup of how connecting 2 external monitors will work).

    However, the only drawback is hard disk storage. I edit full HD videos, and some of my work easily exceeds 100GB of just raw footage. The 1TB or 2TB (upgrades) just won't cut it, and the Thunderbolt external HDD systems are still quite expensive at the moment and lack choices. I need the space while editing my videos before I archive them to my NAS system when the work is complete.

    The Mac Pro would solve this problem, and when optioned with a higher-spec, it will be much more power than iMac and offers more flexibility, but at a much higher cost (we're talking double, triple or even more) to actually get it running, need to factor in costs for accessories such as mouse, keyboard, monitors.

    I am currently editing my videos through my ever reliable MacBook Pro, with video footages stored in my NAS systems externally and although editing my video files through the network can get a bit slow at times, until I can justify the costs of a Mac Pro for what I do, I would be investing in the new iMac with Thunderbolt as the new Thunderbolt hdd drives gets cheaper in the future.

    I am still waiting for that to happen
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    iMacs are great, I love them but I dont love the glass LED backlit display for processing and editing purposes, great for viewing though. Most serious photographers dont like it as it is simply not as good as using a stand-alone monitor dedicated for photo editing, from your excellent and affordable Dell U2410 monitor at $600 ish to the high end Eizo and NECs at over 5 grand a piece.
    Yep, this is the problem with an iMac - the screens really aren't up to serious photo work. They're not rubbish by any means, but if you're serious about your photography, I would say a Dell U2410 is barely good enough. I have one, running alongside an Eizo CG241W and, while the Dell looks good, it is not in the same class as the Eizo in terms of colour and is not overly easy to calibrate in my experience. You really do need a good screen for photo work. Think of how much you'll spend on a lens or body. A mid range NEC or low end Eizo is not out of the question and worth every cent if you take pride in your work.

    A second hand Mac Pro could be a good choice if you're inclined in that direction. My 3 year old 4 core 2.8Ghz machine is still extremely capable and I don't wish I had anything more modern. I get to play with current MacBookPros and iMacs regularly and they're no great improvement. I have upgraded it a bit - it has a high end graphics card & an SSD - but these were much cheaper than a new machine and have probably doubled its life. I'm usually ready for new hardware after 3 years or less, but the Pros are very powerful.

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    If you are looking for a rig for a budget. Go a Mac Mini (the one with a separate graphics card) and get a screen of choice.

    Something im looking into to upgrade my Macbook Pro (its getting on in years) to go with my Dell 2407W Screen (great screen calibrated too)

    FYI: I'm looking into the new(isH) macbook airs too just for portability's sake. But i'm holding off a few months due to rumoured updates.

    Probably didn't answer exactly - but just added another option
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