Advice on a New Mac Purchase


Howdy folks...

I'm going to upgrade my Mac very soon and I'm trying to decide which way to go:
27" iMac I-7 quad-core
MacPro quad-core intel xeon "nehalem" processor.

I've been running a 24"iMac 2.33GHZ core 2 duo for about 4 years now.
It's starting to feel a little sluggish - probably due to a lot of WAVES plugs-
session with strictly logic plugs seem to run very quickly in comparison.

Does anyone really know if there's an advantage to one of these
processors over the other?

iMac 2.33GHz 2GB Ram, Snow Leopard,
Metric Halo 2882 2d expanded
Well, the Mac Pro would be a better way to go for a few reasons: you can add more ram, more drives, have real PCIe expansion slots... I would go for the Mac Pro over an iMac in a second.


If money is no object, then go with the Pro. There's no contest.

But if you want to save money, I'm running an i5 quad iMac and can tell you that it's VERY sweet. I push it pretty hard and I haven't had a hiccup yet, and you can add up to 16 gigs of RAM and a firewire drive when you need to expand.

But with the Mac Pro you can get a 12 core machine, which will scream. Starting at only five grand.


I was in the same situation as you (except upgrading from my ancient G4 tower), and I did a lot of research to find out the consensus. Here's my take. The entry-level Mac Pro is way overpriced *from a computing power standpoint*. The 27" quad i7 iMac is faster, and considerably cheaper. Plus you get a great 27" monitor with it.

But, the iMac is not expandable of course, so you have to figure out your priorities. I opted for the quad i7 iMac, which I will have to replace much sooner than the Mac Pro, but it gives me the opportunity to save some money NOW, and to max out the RAM. So far, I am very very happy with it. Lots of power in a beautiful space-saving package. If you use a USB or Firewire audio interface, you're set. Of course you cannot use expansion cards of any kind, so maybe that will decide it for you.

The pricing sweet spot seems to be the 8-core Mac Pro. If you can swing that, it's a no-brainer. If you can't, the iMac might be a better choice. In the past, iMacs always seemed like fancy toys to me, but this feels like a real computer, just prettier. :D

Bear in mind that you pay a large premium for high-end workstation-grade components in the Mac Pro. I believe they are absolutely worth the price, but this will not always translate directly to improved computing speed per dollar.

All my opinion of course, but I just wanted to pass on my impressions from a lot of reading and talking to people.


You know, I'm not sure the high-end Mac Pro's ARE worth the price. I would almost encourage someone to look into building a Hackintosh before they went high-end Mac -- but that's a whole other kettle of worms.

I couldn't be happier than I am with the iMac quad. And as Smeet says, you get the monitor, too -- which is PHENOMENAL.