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Old 10-25-2009   #11
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

Paul - if they offered the antiglare screen on an iMac you'd buy that over a Mac Pro? I'm about to purchase a Mac Pro - suggestions?
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Old 10-25-2009   #12
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

I think I would yes. I like the all in one aspect. I don't need lots of drive bays (all my storage is available over the network). The CPU performance of the new imacs is a match for a mac pro, and you can even spec out an i7 chip now. It'll take up to 16GB of (expensive) RAM so that limitation has gone (my current imac can only manage 3GB). The 27" screen gives you the same horizontal pixels as the 30" screen I'm using to write this. It'll make a great media centre. Little things like a built-in SD slot, decent quality speakers, isight webcam are all very useful. If it's anything like previous imac's it will also be very quiet, which is important for me.

A quick look on the mac site (uk) shows that for around 1600 I could get the 27" quad core i5 with 4GB of RAM, or for 1900 a mac pro with 2.6GHZ Xeon and 3GB of RAM. I think the imac is better value personally, particularly if you don't already have a high res monitor. Just so long as you don't need things like hot swappable drives nor the need to upgrade your graphics card or CPU in the future - which I doubt would be a particularly near future based on the high spec of the 27" model.


Just a shame that the screen is glossy, but plenty of people don't seem to have an issue with that so maybe it's just a personal preference thing...?
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Old 10-25-2009   #13
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

My 2 bobs worth, I use a non glossy Samsung Syncmaster (PC )at home, and the Glossy iMac at UNI. The glossy iMac is in a relativley low lit room with more ambient rather than direct light. I have experienced virtually no difference between the two. It really comes down to the environment the screen is to be used in, in a store one screen may look better than the other, just bear in mind that your space at home may have very different lighting.
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Old 10-25-2009   #14
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

The monitor I plan on using with the Mac Pro is a Samsung Syncmaster. I'll likely upgrade it next year, but for now it'll work find, yes?
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Old 10-25-2009   #15
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

I guess it'll work fine.

If you're looking at a monitor upgrade then from all accounts the panels in the new imacs are of good quality and should equal any equivalent stand alone monitor. You have to spend a lot more money to get better than that. I think there's a danger of chasing your tail when aiming for the "best of the best" - everything else then becomes a weaker link that also needs improving.

The imac's are good enough - or probably more than good enough - for photo editing (assuming adjustments to your environment for reflective screens).

That's just my opinion of course. You need to try them out in your usual environment and see for yourself. It's a lot of money to blow on something that may not be right for you.
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Old 10-25-2009   #16
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

My biggest attraction to the Mac Pro is the processing power and the storage capacity. Is that justified? Or am I overshooting? My desktop had two internal drives and still I had a bunch of external ones. I don't want to deal with all that.
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Old 10-25-2009   #17
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

I think the new imacs have near enough equivalent CPU performance to a mac pro., and the higher specced ones start with a 1TB drive, which can hold a lot of stuff (just make sure you're strict with regards to backups ). It'll be interesting to see the benchmarks once they're in the hands of the reviewers. I suspect they'll easily hold their own with the mac pros. For me it would be a no-brainer - a quieter desktop experience, lots of performance, and a nice screen thrown in compared to the extra expense of a mac pro, but only you can decide if that's worth the loss of "upgradability" compared to the pro systems.
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Old 10-25-2009   #18
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

So a quad iMac has equivalent performance to an 8 core Mac Pro?

Can you explain this processor stuff to me? A LOT of the cost of a Mac Pro is in the processor choice.
Do you order a quad or an 8 core?
A single 2.93 or two 2.26s?
Really tighten the belt and order two 2.66s?
If you order a quad, can you upgrade it later to an 8 core?

And what is all the talk about quiet? In the retail shop I couldn't hear the Mac Pro, but it was a pretty crowded and not at all quiet place...
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Old 10-25-2009   #19
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

Depends on how you determine "better". The comparison I did earlier was between an 1900 Mac Pro with a single 2.6 Ghz quad core Xeon and the 1600 iMac with a 2.6Ghz quad core i5 (US and Swiss prices will no doubt be different but the relative difference should remain similar).

When you start going down the route of 8 core Mac Pro's then you've moved the goalposts (and price comparisons) a bit as the imac won't obviously scale in that way.

the mac pro will be upgradable should you purchase a single CPU now and want to expand later. When you get to multi-cores a lot of the benefits may not be realised unless the applications are able to run in a highly parallel way (i.e. are multi-threaded). You may even find a single highly clocked (multi core) CPU can do some tasks more quickly than lower clocked dual multi-core CPU's. Best bet is to check out some benchmarks, particularly around things like Photoshop rendering, to see if the extra processors (and costs) are worth it.

As for noise. I believe the new mac pro's are pretty quiet, but my tolerance for noise is very low so if it emits more decibels than my imac (which is whisper quiet) then I'd class it as noisy .
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Old 10-26-2009   #20
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Default Re: 27" (2560x1440) 16GB RAM Quad for $1,999.00

Interesting info Paul - thank you.

I'd been to several photog's sites and saw that most of them with Mac Pros have 8 core machines, so figured that was the best way to go. But maybe I am wrong?

With the other things I'd like on the machine, the price difference between a quad 2.93 and a dual quad 2.26 is very small - only 350 Swiss Francs. What do you think the performance difference is there?

Where can I go for the benchmarks you mentioned?


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