High-end iMac or entry-level Mac Pro?

Electronista by Sanjiv Sathiah

Entry-level Mac Pro makes for a tempting proposition for power users

Now that the long-awaited redesigned Mac Pro has reached the market, Mac power users have something of a dilemma when it comes to choosing a powerful Mac for the home. In our full review of the Mac Pro, it became quite apparent that the Mac Pro is a very powerful machine, but that its full power only revealed when running professional-class applications. Although Mac power users may not use their Mac for their profession, many opt to use professional applications made by Apple and third-party pro apps as well. In most instances, a high-end iMac has plenty of power to run the same applications as the Mac Pro. Yet, there is no denying that the new Mac Pro has incredible appeal, not only as the most powerful Mac that you can buy, but also as yet another stunning example of Apple's engineering and design prowess. As a power user, or Mac enthusiast, should you save some money and stick with an iMac, or should you realistically consider opting for a shiny new Mac Pro?

An iMac configured to a similar level as the entry-level Mac Pro will run you $2749. This will get you an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor clocked at 3.5GHz, 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, 256GB flash storage and a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. The entry-level Mac Pro costs just $150 more than a fully-specified iMac, which buys you a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of 1866MHz DDR3 EEC RAM, 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage, and dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM each.

The iMac, of course, also incorporates a high-quality 27-inch IPS LED monitor for the price, but for some power users, that is not necessarily a selling point. This group would sooner that Apple built a tower equivalent of the iMac with the same or similar componentry that included the option for high-quality desktop-class discrete graphics processing. Particularly when you can't use the iMac display to run your gaming console or Blu-ray player through, as you could for a brief period (with the help of an adapter). For this group of users in particular, the entry-level Mac Pro makes for a tempting proposition. read more...

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