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IMac i7 5k or Mac Pro 6,1?

iMac or Mac Pro


  • Total voters
    15

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
So I want to get a Mac, I've ummed and arred and looked around and have ruled out some stuff and found myself with a choice of two.

Firstly I have 4 1TB SSD to attach to whatever so will need to get a suitable Enclosure or something! (BlackMagic Multidock for TB2 or Akitio thunder3 quad mini for TB3)

Secondly I do like to play PC games so whatever will have Windows 10 installed via Bootcamp just for gaming.

Anyways here's the choice:

2013 Mac Pro 6 core with 1TB SSD, 32GB Ram and Dual D700 GFX (I already have 2 HD monitors I could use which are okish)

or

2017 4.2 Ghz i7 5K iMac with 2TB SSD, 64 GB Ram and Radeon 580 GFX

The imac is a litttle more expensive but seems worth it for the extra super fast storage, ram and the screen but am still torn as to which way to go.

I've already ruled out a Mac Mini (crappy eGPU support for Windows/Nvidia) and Mac Pro 5,1 (too old), and iMac Pro (too expensive)

What would you do?
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
So I want to get a Mac, I've ummed and arred and looked around and have ruled out some stuff and found myself with a choice of two.

Firstly I have 4 1TB SSD to attach to whatever so will need to get a suitable Enclosure or something! (BlackMagic Multidock for TB2 or Akitio thunder3 quad mini for TB3)

Secondly I do like to play PC games so whatever will have Windows 10 installed via Bootcamp just for gaming.

Anyways here's the choice:

2013 Mac Pro 6 core with 1TB SSD, 32GB Ram and Dual D700 GFX (I already have 2 HD monitors I could use which are okish)

or

2017 4.2 Ghz i7 5K iMac with 2TB SSD, 64 GB Ram and Radeon 580 GFX

The imac is a litttle more expensive but seems worth it for the extra super fast storage, ram and the screen but am still torn as to which way to go.

I've already ruled out a Mac Mini (crappy eGPU support for Windows/Nvidia) and Mac Pro 5,1 (too old), and iMac Pro (too expensive)

What would you do?
When I faced this choice back in 2016, I ultimately went with the top-spec 27" iMac (officially late-2015 model with 4Ghz i7, retina 5K display and thunderbolt 2). At that point the maximum memory you could get from Apple for this machine was 32GB. Other than running up against the limits of the RAM, it's worked very well for my use. I'm upgrading it to 64GB later this month and should be able to see if the CPU is up to running much larger sessions. I have a thunderbolt hub that gives me four additional USB3 ports (delivering USB3 speeds), so that's 8 total. I have 6TB spread across 5 SSDs, two of which are in a two-drive bay. The others are all singletons, so I use 4 USB slots for my SSDS, 1 to a USB3 hub for HD backups and peripherals, 1 for 4TB HD as a media server via Apple TV for the TV/stereo in the other room, and 1 for the audio interface. The other USB3 port right now is running to my main MIDI keyboard. I could probably optimize my ports better if I had to, but this has been very stable for me and I haven't experienced any problems with sample streaming—though I'm sure there is something completely wrong-headed about this set-up as it's very DIY, created through trial and error rather than deep understanding about how all these ports and peripherals work. I still have one thunderbolt port that is completely unused, though I plan to add a second external monitor to make a total of three. I'm undecided as to whether I should add another hub to that thunderbolt port.
 

babylonwaves

Senior Member
2013 Mac Pro 6 core with 1TB SSD, 32GB Ram and Dual D700 GFX (I already have 2 HD monitors I could use which are okish)
independently of your decision on the typ of mac you really should consider to re-think the specs here. i'd rather have a small internal SSD and more external SSD based storage. and i also would go for the smallest graphic card possible unless you want to play games a lot. buy more 3rd party RAM, in fact buy 128GBs, those cost you "nothing" these days. apple simply charges a premium for storage/RAM/GPU.
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
independently of your decision on the typ of mac you really should consider to re-think the specs here. i'd rather have a small internal SSD and more external SSD based storage. and i also would go for the smallest graphic card possible unless you want to play games a lot. buy more 3rd party RAM, in fact buy 128GBs, those cost you "nothing" these days. apple simply charges a premium for storage/RAM/GPU.
I should clarify both these machines are used/refurbished.
 

artomatic

I Compose With My Ears
I have both. I use the iMac Pro (8-core/64 ram) primarily now. Quite a difference in speed between the two.
If you're patient, perhaps you should wait for the upcoming Mac Pro.
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
I have both. I use the iMac Pro (8-core/64 ram) primarily now. Quite a difference in speed between the two.
If you're patient, perhaps you should wait for the upcoming Mac Pro.
I didn't mention the iMac Pro simply as it costs to much, likewise the new Mac Pro 2019 is likely to be outside of my budget!
 

Sami

The Undisclosing
If the iMac Pro "costs too much", you should consider how much money per unit of performance you are getting from a Mac Pro, which just turned 5 years old today. If you have displays, buy a Mac Mini if you desperately need a computer running Mac OS which is made by Apple.
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
If the iMac Pro "costs too much", you should consider how much money per unit of performance you are getting from a Mac Pro, which just turned 5 years old today. If you have displays, buy a Mac Mini if you desperately need a computer running Mac OS which is made by Apple.
Yes but as per my original post I want to be able to play games in Windows under Bootcamp, something the Mac Mini cannot do. eGPU in Bootcamp is poor at best.
 

BubbaMc

New Member
A 12 core 3.46GHz 4,1/5,1 still packs a punch, and is by far the most cost effective IMO. Unless Thunderbolt is a must have (you can connect your SSDs at full speed via PCI-E), I'd seriously consider it.

Accepts full length graphics cards too :) With a 1080ti it'd push more polygons than any Mac except maybe the imac pro. 2080 Mojave drivers are expected, however currently limited to High Sierra I believe.
 
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Shad0wLandsUK

Senior Member
A 12 core 3.46GHz 4,1/5,1 still packs a punch, and is by far the most cost effective IMO. Unless Thunderbolt is a must have (you can connect your SSDs at full speed via PCI-E), I'd seriously consider it.

Accepts full length graphics cards too :) With a 1080ti it'd push more polygons than any Mac except maybe the imac pro. 2080 Mojave drivers are expected, however currently limited to High Sierra I believe.
And now with the Firmware update for Mojave we can boot from NVMe drives!
As I now am :)
 

Sami

The Undisclosing
Yes but as per my original post I want to be able to play games in Windows under Bootcamp, something the Mac Mini cannot do. eGPU in Bootcamp is poor at best.
I still don’t get why the computer has to be built by apple... I know plenty of machines which run windows, mac os and cost a third of the 2013 mac pro...
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
I still don’t get why the computer has to be built by apple... I know plenty of machines which run windows, mac os and cost a third of the 2013 mac pro...
Because whilst Hackintoshs have come along way in the past years there are always comprises that have to be made along the way. I want a reliable system that just works and doesn't require me to manually update kexts or post files, can have have the OS updated without massive amounts of issues (at least the only issue with updates will be software support! Avid!) Not to mention doesn't infringe anyone's EULA.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I have an iMac for Pro Tools and it's a very good computer, but I hesitate to recommend anything too heartily given that we don't really know what kind of music you aim to write over the next years.

If it's full orchestra plus synths plus guitars plus etc. etc., I don't think I'd want to be restricted on my DAW by 32 GB of RAM. Admittedly, I'm piggy and don't want to have to stop and unload anything while working. I have 64 GB on my main Mac Pro and a number of PC slaves; even so it's a bit annoying at times.

What are your ambitions musically? That would help calibrate your responses better.

Also, fwiw, I would never rely for my main "instrument" on a hackintosh. It's hard enough dealing with updates without the unexpected.
 

Damarus

Active Member
Please don't buy a 5-year-old computer... I pull my hair out anytime someone wants to consider purchasing a 2013 mac pro in 2018.

The iMac is going to do much better for what you want. Much much better.
 

BubbaMc

New Member
I still don’t get why the computer has to be built by apple... I know plenty of machines which run windows, mac os and cost a third of the 2013 mac pro...
Audio performance on a Hackintosh (or any PC for that matter) is not guaranteed. With Apple hardware and drivers you can be sure it'll work.

For example, I recently used a new Dell laptop which despite its i9 processor, couldn't handle low latency audio due to poor chipset drivers.
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
Went for the iMac. For my needs the processor should be fine (I'm coming from a 4770 i7) plus the extra ram, thunderbolt 3 and the better gfx made sense. Not to mention the stunning display.
 

Shad0wLandsUK

Senior Member
Went for the iMac. For my needs the processor should be fine (I'm coming from a 4770 i7) plus the extra ram, thunderbolt 3 and the better gfx made sense. Not to mention the stunning display.
I am still on my i7 4770K here on my Windows machine! I am shocked it is still running and performing so well :)

Also gave more life to my 2012 Mac Pro by installing a 512GB 970 PRO!
 
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