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  1. #1

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    Default New Retina iMac vs Upgraded 2010 Mac Pro

    After posting in this topic: http://www.mactalk.com.au/14/119112-...27-retina.html

    I have decided to start a new one specifically with regards to my situation.

    I am trying to decide between buying a new iMac (along with all the storage etc. I would require) or to upgrade my 2010 6 core 3.33 Mac Pro.

    I have done a few sums and without going into specifics, a maxed out iMac plus all the extra storage etc, I would need will cost me around $5,780. Take away from this what I can sell my Mac Pro for (I reckon at least $1,500) and it will cost me around $4,280.

    To upgrade the Mac Pro to match the storage etc of the iMac, plus a good 27" (non retina) display, video card etc. will set me back about $3,000.

    Is it worth spending that much on a going on 5 year old computer? The iMac will do me for four years. How long will the Mac Pro last?

    Any suggestions, comments welcome...

  2. #2

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    Default

    What are you planning on upgrading the Mac Pro with?
    I'm going to be filling in the gaps myself, but;

    A Sintech adapter with 1TB Apple/Samsung PCIe SSD (AU$1000)
    Are you also looking at a MacVidCards EVGA 980GTX? (AU$1000)
    Do you have USB3.0 already installed? If not then $30 for that as well.
    What monitor are you looking at getting?

    If you are planning on going down a similar path to what I have described above, then I would be all for keeping the Mac Pro and skipping the iMac.
    I can't see how your Mac Pro won't keep going for another 4-5 years. The only thing I would be worried about crapping out would be the power supply, but then again if your system is well ventilated and not overly stressed, then I can't see this being a problem in the immediate future. Who knows what will happen with the Retina iMac in a year or 2. One little part craps out and you potentially have to replace the whole machine.

    I'm currently a 4,1 Mac Pro which was originally 8 x 2.26GHz, but I've since given it a CPU upgrade to 8 x 2.93GHz. It currently run a small SSD in the system for Applications and have all my data on multiple 3TB HDDs internally.
    The upgrades I listed above are things I have on my wish list (although I already have USB3.0 installed, so I don't really miss/need thunderbolt).
    Something about Jimby.

  3. #3

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    Default

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking. Will get a 27" Dell monitor. I have a USB 3 card but I'm not sure that it's any quicker than the built in USB 2 really. Will probably put 32GB RAM in too.

  4. #4

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjallan View Post
    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking. Will get a 27" Dell monitor. I have a USB 3 card but I'm not sure that it's any quicker than the built in USB 2 really. Will probably put 32GB RAM in too.
    What are you running off the USB3?
    If it's mechanical HDDs (2.5") you won't notice much difference with 3.5" being marginally better. SSDs though are very fast.

    I have a sandisk extreme 64GB flash stick that I paid $40 for that is 200MB/s R/W over USB3. On usb2 it's 25MB/s
    Something about Jimby.

  5. #5

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    Default

    As someone that switched from a MacPro 1,1 to an iMac (now Retina) I find Thunderbolt much more reliable and faster than USB3.
    27" Retina iMac, 4.0GHz quad-core i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, M295X | iPhone 6+ 128GB

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by leon View Post
    I have a sandisk extreme 64GB flash stick that I paid $40 for that is 200MB/s R/W over USB3. On usb2 it's 25MB/s
    I just got one of those. Haven't used it much yet.

    I'm not really using USB 3 much. I use eSATA mainly for external drives.

  7. #7

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    A 2010 Mac Pro will still keep kicking for a while. I would upgrade the Mac Pro if I was in your shoes.

    One downside to consider though is that in four years time, the iMac Retina will have a better resell value than your Mac Pro. But if that doesn't matter then just ignore this ;-)
    ** iMac 3.4ghz QCi7, 16GB RAM, 4TB SSHD, 500GB SSD, 6970 2GB **
    ** MacBook Pro. C2D 2.2ghz, 4gb RAM, 480gb SSD, 8600M GT 128mb **
    ** G5 Dual 2ghz, 4gb RAM, 750gb HD, 6800 Ultra DDL 256mb & XServe RAID 7TB**

  8. #8

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjallan View Post
    I have done a few sums and without going into specifics, a maxed out iMac plus all the extra storage etc, I would need will cost me around $5,780. Take away from this what I can sell my Mac Pro for (I reckon at least $1,500) and it will cost me around $4,280.
    It depends on the config, but I would be a bit surprised if you'd get $1500 for the Pro, so the iMac would (likely) cost you more I'd say.

    To upgrade the Mac Pro to match the storage etc of the iMac, plus a good 27" (non retina) display, video card etc. will set me back about $3,000.
    I also wonder if you could get out of this a bit more cheaply too. As much as a PCIe based SSD would be nice, it's arguably overkill for this machine given the memory and bus speeds.

    I just swapped my work machine (Mac Mini 2012 2.6GHz Quad i7, 16GB RAM, Apple SSD) for my home machine (2008 2.8GHz Quad, 8GB RAM, Intel 320 SSD, GeForce GTX 285) and the Mac Pro does not feel in any way slower at work than the Mini did. That said, I don't do anything too intensive here, but the differences in boot times and disk access are not noticeable even though the SSD in the Mini is more than twice as fast as the Intel in the Pro.

    According to BlackMagic Disk Speed Test, the Intel 320 in the Pro (limited by the 3.0 Gbps SATA bus I'm sure) gets about 220MB/s write and 270MB/s read. The 6.0 Gbps SATA interface and Apple SSD in the Mini allows about 450MB/s write and close to 500 MB/s read.

    Given that, and assuming you're not doing anything super disk intensive, I would be spending less on storage - you can get a top notch 1TB SSD for under $500 that will drop straight in - and either saving the $$ or putting it somewhere else. If you decide to keep it that is.

    On that question, a new Retina iMac will cost you significantly more now, but will (hopefully) be worth something in 5 years whereas upgrading the Pro will save you now but leave you with a machine worth significantly less when you go to sell. If you spend a bit on the Pro now, maybe $2k or less, then you should get at least another 2 good fast years out of it and you'll be able to sell it, the graphics card and SSD separately for ok prices. And who knows what fantastic hardware will be available in 2 years? Maybe the Mac Mini will be grunty again.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

    I am getting back into photography, so will be using Photoshop etc. and I also want to get into some video. For storage I was planning on getting 4 x 3TB drives RAID'd together plus PCI-E SSD for the system. Was thinking of a Dell monitor but after reading a few reviews was thinking about this: VP2770-LED 27-inch Ultra High Definition Display Redefines Image Detail with Splendid Color - LCD Display - Products - ViewSonic instead. The USB 3 card I have is an Orico. I may have to do a bit more testing on that.

  10. #10

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    For photography, or anything colour critical, I would recommend an EIZO or NEC monitor. I have one of the high end EIZOs (CG241W) at home and it really rocks. I've got a couple of entry level ones (EV2436W) at work and they are outstanding for the price - they were cheaper than the high quality DELLs at the time and are far superior. Very accurate and very easy to look at, hour after hour.

  11. #11

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    I don't think I can afford an Eizo or NEC monitor at this stage. I think one of these ViewSonics, properly calibrated will be good enough for my needs. But I'll have a look anyway. Thanks.

    Well, after doing a bit of a search, maybe I can afford one...
    Last edited by rpjallan; 12th February 2015 at 10:40 AM.

  12. #12

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    Yeah, they're not that expensive. And they really are something else in terms of image quality. I used to think the high end DELLs were good, and I think the older ones were, but the EV2436W is so much better than the U2410 (we have a couple of them at work) and it was cheaper too. One area of particular interest for photographers is that EIZOs can be dimmed right down to 80cd/m2, which is about what you need for printing. I have never been able to get DELLs to calibrate properly under about 120.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by soulman View Post
    One area of particular interest for photographers is that EIZOs can be dimmed right down to 80cd/m2, which is about what you need for printing.
    Yeah, I did know that.

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