iMac Vs Mac Pro

In this article, I will compare all models of the 2013 iMac and Mac Pro Computers from Apple, weigh up their pros and cons and determine which one would be best for you.

The iMac Vs the Mac Pro, for creative professionals and Mac enthusiasts looking for a powerful desktop computer, deciding which one of these illustrious machines to purchase can be tricky.

First off, the iMac is a more comprehensive computer, in other words, it’s an all-in-one that includes a mouse, keyboard and display. It’s an actual desktop setup that works out of the box, whereas the Mac Pro is a beautifully designed kitchen appliance-like device that lights up and doesn’t do much of anything out of the box without you purchasing or already owning a mouse, keyboard and display.

imac vs mac pro

In my view, the iMac is an attractive option not just because it gives you either a 21.5-inch or 27-inch display but because its starting price point of €1,349 is far more reasonable than the Mac Pro’s €3099. Now spec for spec, the Mac Pro blows the entry level iMac out of the water. The base models of both machines stack up like this. The iMac starts with a 21.5-inch display as I’ve said, offers a 2.7Ghz Quad-core Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel HD graphics and a 1TB mechanical hard drive.

The basic Mac Pro gives you a 3.7GHz Quad-Core Xeon E5, 12GB of RAM, an insanely powerful GPU from AMD and 256GB of flash storage.

The iMac is not a bad entry-level consumer grade machine, but it’s no powerhouse. Both machines can be customised heavily and consequently the price can sky rocket considerably. The Mac Pro is really designed for the most processor intensive tasks you can throw at a machine, specifically, 3D modelling and animation rendering work and video editing when you need it done yesterday.

If you spec the Mac Pro all the way up to the highest level, including all of the professional software, peripherals and max out the hardware, it comes to just under €20,000. This is really a big investment that businesses and production houses would purchase and not for most folk who will be more than happy with the higher end iMac. So, if we ramp things up to the highest configurations for both computers we can begin to see an even greater disparity between them. The 6-Core Mac Pro offers a 3.5Ghz Intel Xeon E5 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a dual-core GPU. This will set you back €4,099. The high-end 27-inch iMac starts with a 3.4Ghz Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, along with a GPU with 2GB of RAM.

Customising the iMac can significantly close the gap between it and the entry-level high-end Mac Pro. By upping the ante to a 3.5Ghz Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive and an Nvidia Geforce GTX 780M with 4GB of video memory. That costs €2848 and considering it offers the consumer a display along with a keyboard and mouse, it’s a far better out of the box, high end option. For many users who need a powerful Mac but don’t want to spend close to €5000, this will be the best solution and it’s one I’d recommend. The iMac also provides more storage than the Mac Pro but that’s because it offers a Fusion drive or Mechanical drive, whereas the Mac Pro uses flash storage, which is more expensive but far faster.

Of course the Mac Pro can crank things up to a 12-core processor and 64GB of RAM, the iMac can only hold a maximum of 32GB. Furthermore the upgradability of the machines is a crucial point to discuss. Both the iMac and Mac Pro allow the user to upgrade the RAM by themselves. However the Mac Pro will allow you to upgrade the RAM and Flash Storage module quite readily, you can’t do this on the iMac. In addition, the Mac Pro’s CPU can be upgraded, again unlike the iMac. In my view, that’s an enormous benefit and will mean that from the low end Mac Pro to the high-end edition, the machine is completely scalable and therefore has the potential to be a better all around investment because you’re more likely to hold onto the machine for longer.

When it comes to the iMac Vs Mac Pro, it’s very difficult to pick out which one is more worthwhile for you, because it really comes down to what you need a new computer for. Many PC users will likely balk at the prices I’ve mentioned and they are perfectly right to.

Apple Tax is a painful reality and if you can find a suitable alternative from another PC manufacturer at a more affordable price, you should. I have no allegiances to any particular brand, Macs and PCs are all just computers to me – things to get work done with.  However, if you absolutely must go Mac, then try to determine how much power you’ll need. In the future, us video editors will likely be editing 4K video for example, so that means a Mac Pro is probably an ideal machine for you.

But if you feel that all that extra horsepower will go to waste for your tasks, then stick with the iMac. It’s also worth thinking about the considerable cable mess the Mac Pro creates because of all the devices and peripherals you’ll likely have to plug into it.

The Geekbench scores don’t lie however, the Mac Pro is an animal, but I can only speak from my own experience, the high end iMac is no slouch and a worthy consideration despite its lack of real upgradability beyond RAM. Crucially the presence of a gorgeous higher than HD display, is a major selling point.

For more tech news and comparisons, visit Computing Forever on YouTube.

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