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jeff prince

Best Bang for the buck Imac vs Imac Pro

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I've been kicking around the idea of buying an iMac or iMac Pro now that the new Pro has been announced.

The goal is to stay under $6000 and get the best bang for the buck.

A maxed out 27" iMac is $5249 

A lower spec 27" iMac Pro is $5949 (slower/higher grade processor, 2x Vram, 1/2 storage)

 

So, what would you buy and why?

 

If going the Pro route...

Is the 3.0 GHz 10 core worth $800 more than the 3.2 GHz 8 core?

Seems the money would be better spent on upgrading to the Vega 64 (+$550) and 64 GB Ram (+$400)

 

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Posted (edited)

I would go as max as possible (budget) with CPU and GPU.

RAM to your (iMac Pro, future ?) needs.

I would stay with 1TB SSD and save some money.

Enough for Apps and System, Data externaly.

 

I think the 10 core Xeon is worth the upgrade.

Fastest single core performance option for iMac Pro.

Standard iMac 8 core may be faster though.

Edited by zoomer
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Jeff

We have bought two I mac pros last years 3.0/10 core and 3.2/8 core both with the vega 64 16 gb vram. I have used both and I don't find much difference in day to day VW and twinmotion work. ( We are replacing Mac pros from 2010, 3.3/6 core some are still in use) 

 

I like that we have more options now for Vectorworks, maxed out iMac´s, Imac pros and soon Mac pros.

 

 

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8 hours ago, zoomer said:

I would go as max as possible (budget) with CPU and GPU.

RAM to your (iMac Pro, future ?) needs.

I would stay with 1TB SSD and save some money.

Enough for Apps and System, Data externaly.

 

I think the 10 core Xeon is worth the upgrade.

Fastest single core performance option for iMac Pro.

Standard iMac 8 core may be faster though.

 

Yes, and this seems to echo Jim's hardware thread.

This article favors the 3.0/10 like @zoomer and supports the argument by saying the RAM could be upgraded in the future.

https://9to5mac.com/2017/12/15/opinion-10-core-imac-pro-sans-upgrades-best-bang-for-the-buck/

 

@Hans-Olav thanks for your comment.  Based on your experience and the benchmarks, it seems like a wash unless you're rendering all the time.

 

These seem like the choices now...

$3850 iMac 3.6/8, 32 GB RAM, Vega 48/8GB, 512 SSD with a predicted replacement in 3 years

$6350 iMac Pro 3.0/10, 32 GB RAM, Vega 64/16GB, 1 TB SSD with a predicted RAM upgrade in 2 years and replacement in 5-6 years.

I imagine the Pro would see a few more years of lifespan, but it's all a guessing game to me.

I hate shopping for computers on a budget.

 

 

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Maybe the iMac may run a few years more.

With an eGPU and easier RAM upgrade.

 

I am a little concerned about dust cleaning

with these AIOs though.

 

But I say this also because this generation of high core

iMacs and Macbook Pros seems to work quite well

without abnormal throttling and nuclear temperatures

for some reason.

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I've been pretty happy with my macbook pro, but I miss my 27" iMac from a gig I just left, hence my desire to get myself a desktop.

I just ran the Cinebench R20 test on my macbook pro and it scored 1346.  I don't know if that's good or not since the scores do not seem to correlate to the thread here on the R15 test, but I've been happy with the performance...until I started playing with TwinMotion.

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Twinmotion uses the GPU.

So an eGPU will help much.

Thunderbolt 3 would be nice. It should work with

TB2 too, but may need some tweaking.

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Hi @jeff prince 

 

I'd go for the iMac instead of the iMac Pro. It's Intel i9 processor is very good and according to what I've been seeing on the internet has been managing thermals very good. 

 

It's a shame though that the new iMac doesn't have a T2 chip or two more thunderbolt ports and the 10Gb ethernet port but all of this stuff are not essential at least for me...

 

Also never buy RAM from apple if you have the option to upgrade it yourself and buy it elsewhere.

 

A video comparing both machines: 

 

Here I leave you two screenshots of a beast of a machine under $6000 ($4249.00 + $948.99 = $5,197.99)

 

https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/imac/27-inch-3.7ghz-6-core-processor-with-turbo-boost-up-to-4.6ghz-2tb# 

https://eshop.macsales.com/cart/?added=OWC2666DR4S128S 

 

551122332_iMac8Core.thumb.png.eac79fb52312879f79319b0e0d385748.png1319491970_128GBRAMUpgrade.thumb.png.0b7105d3f2709ad68e15ba812b125fc5.png

 

Hope all this helps a bit on your decision.

 

 

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Hey @jeff prince - curious which way you went. I'm in the same position; my iMac is approaching end of life (late 2013 model) and I'm torn between a fully loaded iMac (core i9, 32GB Ram, 1TB SSD, Pro Vega 48) vs a base model 8-core iMac Pro (32GB ram, Pro Vega 56, 1TB SSD).

 

The new iMac comes out to $3675, and OWC has factory refurbished iMac Pros with those specs for around $3800.

 

 Especially curious if the Xeon processor + ECC adds any stability. FWIW, I do very little rendering, although I do spend a considerable amount of time in flyover/OpenGL.

 

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On 9/11/2019 at 1:45 PM, Bradley King said:

Hey @jeff prince - curious which way you went. I'm in the same position; my iMac is approaching end of life (late 2013 model) and I'm torn between a fully loaded iMac (core i9, 32GB Ram, 1TB SSD, Pro Vega 48) vs a base model 8-core iMac Pro (32GB ram, Pro Vega 56, 1TB SSD).

 

The new iMac comes out to $3675, and OWC has factory refurbished iMac Pros with those specs for around $3800.

 

 Especially curious if the Xeon processor + ECC adds any stability. FWIW, I do very little rendering, although I do spend a considerable amount of time in flyover/OpenGL.

 

I haven't pulled the trigger yet, going to wait until January 2020 for tax reasons 😞

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Problem with the iMac's lifspan is the display. It does not last much over 3 or 4 years. I have a late 2015 iMac and it already has heavy pink edges and a faulty ventilator. The pink edges are a common problem I read at the MacRumor forums. Repair is 600 euro for the display alone. Cleaning the mac up, new ventilator and repairing is almost not worth it. Selling it with these "features" takes a lot of the value off.

So I won't go for the iMac's pro, more expensive with the same problems. I am thinking of iMac's i9 and sell them every two years. Here in Europe you have practically rentfree financial lease.

 

Another option is a pc, much faster 2080 video cards and easy to upgrade or to add components.  With a LG 27 screen of 400 euro's I get a system that is a lot more flexible. We model in VW and export to C4D for rendering with Corona. With a PC we could also use Lumion, Redshift, Octane and so on. The new Mac Pro's are good news but you're still stuck on AMD videocards. I am not looking forward to go Windows but 95% of my time is spend in VW/Cinema4D. So the OS is not such a big deal really.

 

Still, the iMac i9 is given that I stick to VW/C4D/Corona a very good combination and I don't need to invest time in Windows.  But Mac's no longer have a long lifespan as they used to have. A PC with well chosen components might actually last a bit longer. Especially since you can choose to build one with the latest tech.

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On 11/1/2019 at 1:07 PM, frv said:

 

Another option is a pc, much faster 2080 video cards and easy to upgrade or to add components.  With a LG 27 screen of 400 euro's I get a system that is a lot more flexible. We model in VW and export to C4D for rendering with Corona. With a PC we could also use Lumion, Redshift, Octane and so on. The new Mac Pro's are good news but you're still stuck on AMD videocards. I am not looking forward to go Windows but 95% of my time is spend in VW/Cinema4D. So the OS is not such a big deal really.

Used macs/iMacs for 20 years, so when I started on my own as a self employed architect I def wasn’t going to shell out for an iMac especially now they’re pretty much unfixable/upgradeable with glued screens etc

 

couldn’t stand thought of using windows, so bought a pc and installed OS X on it....hackintosh...best of both worlds, am tempted to have a go at using windows as it would probably perform a little better, but just hate fact that there’s so many updates on windows machines..

 

Would be interested to see how you get on with windows though?

 Twinmotion is def quicker under windows with my 280x 3gb gpu- talking moving up from Medium settings up to high settings under windows..

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