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2012 mac pro vs. Late 2013 iMac

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I want to upgrade my Late 2013 27" iMac (3.5 Ghz Core i7 - 32 Gb 1600 ram - Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB).


I was hoping for a new 2016 Mac Pro, but that isn't happining.


Will a 2012 Mac Pro 3.06 Ghz 12 core - 64GB ram - ATI Radeon 5770 MD771LL/A CTO be a significant upgrade from what I'm currently using?


I use Vectorworks and Cinema4D a lot.  the 32 gigs of ram in my iMac isn't handling large files very well. 


Thanks for any insight or advice you can offer.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Well The Mac Pro would definitely RENDER faster in Renderworks as well as C4D (12 cores will probably beat 4 cores at ANY clockspeed and these clocks are close), but I very much doubt your problem handling large files is related to RAM, however there is an easy way to check.


Go to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor, click the Memory tab and then open up one or two of the files you're having difficulty handling, then move around in the files a bit and make a few edits. Check the Activity Monitor Memory pane again, if Vectorworks or C4D aren't nearly filling up your available RAM or using anywhere near 32GB each (which I highly doubt they are) then RAM isn't what is limiting you.


Comparing the specs of those two machines though, the iMac actually has a much BETTER graphics card. The GTX 780M in your iMac is excellent in general and has 4GB of VRAM, which is very important for Vectorworks 2016 and 2017 especially. The 5770 in the Mac Pro only looks like it has 1GB of VRAM which would make working with larger files worse rather than better in many cases.

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Im not current with the latest GPU's that work in the "old" Mac Pro.

(Some may need flashing the EFI bios by Windows or you can buy them ready, quite expensive)

You can look here for speed comparisons of GPU's and CPU's for both machines :


And here, don't see you iMac under OS X machines ? :



Interesting is Cinebench for CPU Rendering in C4D and VW Renderworks and maybe for GPU.

Barefeets does GPU Tests with more software and games.


Generally your iMac is cool, because an NVidea GPU (more compatibel than AMD)

and the GPU is at least as fast as the 4 core nMac Pro.

(That is why I had to take the 6 core model. Sweet Spot 8 core was too expensive at that time for me ;) )


I would wait another 6 months.

If Apple really will not bring a new Mac "Pro" for Pros, I would think about switching to Windows.


Edited by zoomer
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