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Thread: Mac users - what kind of mac should I get?

  1. #1
    Super Member dblincoe's Avatar
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    Mac users - what kind of mac should I get?

    Hey Mac users. I'm looking to get a new mac. Curious what other mac users are using and what kind of performance they are getting with LW.

    What do you think I should get?

    I have a pretty new macbook pro. I'm really looking for a great desktop workhorse!

    FYI...this will be a work machine!

    Please no rants against mac and pc...they both have their place.

  2. #2
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    If you're eyeing a Pro then wait. The new ones should be around in a few months coupled with a decent speed boost.
    If not then the highest end iMac is a decent choice.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  3. #3
    Super Member dblincoe's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike. Seems we are bouncing messages back and forth between this forum and email...just got your reply to my dbwtools email.

    Still not sure what is going on.

    I am wanting a workhorse. Most likely a desktop.

  4. #4
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblincoe View Post
    Thanks Mike. Seems we are bouncing messages back and forth between this forum and email...just got your reply to my dbwtools email.

    Still not sure what is going on.
    Haha, yes we are. And I'm puzzled as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by dblincoe View Post
    I am wanting a workhorse. Most likely a desktop.
    Well, the iMac with the i7-2600K will outperform the current single socket pro ($2,199.00 vs. $2,499.00) - so depending on your budget it may be the better choice.
    However, if your budget is higher then I'd certainly wait for the next generation Pros (the earliest rumoured date is mid-August, which I suspect to be a little premature).

    Cheers,
    Mike

  5. #5
    Pixel and Poly Pusher JeffrySG's Avatar
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    Yep, I would wait for the release of the new MacPros. You should at least see what kind of specs/prices they will have. I never liked the idea of tying a workstation to a monitor. I already have a monitor that I like. I'd rather put that money towards more computing power.

  6. #6
    3D Mac Maniac Scazzino's Avatar
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    I agree with Mike!

    If you can wait a month or so and are looking for a Mac Pro there may be new ones coming out shortly. If you're looking for an iMac then now's probably as good a time as any. I prefer the Mac Pro. I'm currently running the original 3Ghz 8-core and am waiting to see if a new 16-core is going to come out next or not to replace the existing 12-core in the lineup, otherwise I'll jump for a 12-core... You can never have too many cores when rendering...

    Here's a good buyer's guide that tracks the releases and the average product refresh cycles...

    Mac Buyer's Guide
    http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

    I generally buy the stock machine from Apple (perhaps with an upgraded video card)
    then add more RAM and HD space from OWC: http://macsales.com

    Last edited by Scazzino; 07-23-2011 at 09:02 PM.
    MikeS [LWProfile] 30+ Yrs of Award-winning Media DreamLight.com

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  7. #7
    Super Member dblincoe's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm torn between the huge iMac with the nice display or going all in on a mac pro. Only downside is I will have to also pony up for a good display. But I am looking for something that can really crank out some renders.

    Thanks for the comments so far guys! Thanks Scazzino, for the great links.

  8. #8
    Registered User Rayek's Avatar
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    I would go for the mac pro - at least you will have your own choice of better quality screens. The glossy iMac screens aren't exactly great for a color correct workflow.

  9. #9
    ack ack Markc's Avatar
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    I would go for the MacPro personally. I am waiting to see the new specs before purchasing.
    I have previously contemplated the 27inch iMac as it does look good value for money, but would not be comfortable leaving it rendering overnight for 12+ hours, whereas a MacPro is designed for such activity without breaking a sweat.

  10. #10
    Go with the Mac Pro..the current ones are quite good...mine is 3 years old and still keeps up...You can wait for the next model, which of course will be better..but my philosophy on that is that you will just end up waiting forever because there will always be something better.

    That being said....

    If you can wait a few months, go for it....if not, go for the 12 core Mac Pro.... The iMac will perform nicely for a while...until you want to upgrade something..like RAM or even Graphics card...iMacs arent really made for 3d work.

    Oh...and get the maintenance plan..trust me...it saved me $400 or more recently..lol.
    Rob Depew
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  11. #11
    Registered User SonicN2O's Avatar
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    I've got an iMac, and it does good, Mac Pros are just too expensive for me, but if you've got the money, go for it.
    "'Sup, Djents?"

    iMac Quad Core i7
    24GB RAM 1600MHz
    GeForce GTX680MX 2GB

  12. #12
    Super Member dblincoe's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I haven't ever had a problem with my iMac (one of the first intel ones). I have hit it pretty hard at rendering over the past 5 years and never had a problem. The past two years I have been using my macBook pro just because it is faster, more memory, etc. I've never used a mac pro before and nothing with more power than my 2 core duo macbook pro. What are we talking about as far as differences in a power? Is it going to be a big jump in let's say rendering speed or just a so so jump?

  13. #13
    3D Mac Maniac Scazzino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblincoe View Post
    Thanks everyone. I haven't ever had a problem with my iMac (one of the first intel ones). I have hit it pretty hard at rendering over the past 5 years and never had a problem. The past two years I have been using my macBook pro just because it is faster, more memory, etc. I've never used a mac pro before and nothing with more power than my 2 core duo macbook pro. What are we talking about as far as differences in a power? Is it going to be a big jump in let's say rendering speed or just a so so jump?
    Depends on which one you get and what you are moving up from... A few years ago I moved from a dual processor 2GHz G5 and four dual processor 1GHz G4's (roughly 12 GHz total, though newer machines are generally faster than old at the same GHz..) to a dual processor 4-core 3GHz Mac Pro (8-core total, 24GHz total) and that one machine was so much faster (more than double) at rendering than the entire previous render farm so I replaced those 5 machines with this one for rendering.

    The new Mac Pro 12-core should be even faster and the rumored 16-core even faster still... My 3-GHz 8-core is pretty solid and I didn't expect the newest 8 or 12 cores to be fast enough to justify an upgrade for me, but the new 16-core should about double my speed again. so I'd be looking forward to upgrade again then...

    You'll get the biggest bang for the buck on high core systems when rendering because they make pretty solid use of all cores. General computing won't use all the cores as much though, so if you do lots of rendering then the more cores the better. If you only do a little rendering then you may not need a huge amount of cores...
    MikeS [LWProfile] 30+ Yrs of Award-winning Media DreamLight.com

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  14. #14
    Super Member dblincoe's Avatar
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    Hey all thanks again! I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on the purchase tomorrow. Wish I could go all in on a Mac Pro, but I'm going to get the 27in iMac, with the upgrades. Here are the specs:
    3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    16GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    1TB Serial ATA Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5

    Thanks for all of your input. I appreciate all of you!

  15. #15
    Registered User SonicN2O's Avatar
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    That's what I got, with a little more RAM...
    "'Sup, Djents?"

    iMac Quad Core i7
    24GB RAM 1600MHz
    GeForce GTX680MX 2GB

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