Latest Mac Pro or latest 27" iMac?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by jim_britt|1, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. I just had a fire in my new office, an electrical fire and smoke damage to my equipment. Looks as if I'll have to replace my 2009 Mac Pro with 32GB memory, 4 hard drives equaling almost 6.5 Terabytes. I'm just wondering if anyone is using a new iMac for their work.
  2. Steve Huff just posted two articles regarding his choice of a used Mac Pro v an iMac with comparable capacity.

    I am now using an iMac, 4 core, 32 GB memory, 4 TB combo drive for business, which is photography, audio and video editing (plus bookkeeping). In terms of speed, the iMac does just fine, and the 5K monitor is spectacular. It does huff and puff a bit when rendering video for DVDs and MP4s.

    Huff's reasons for going with a Mac Pro was for reliability. In his opinion, the iMac is not intended of heavy usage, and has a life of about 3-4 years in that role. His experience with a Mac Pro is about twice that estimate. The Mac Pro is much easier to repair and keep up to date, whereas the only thing you can change in the iMac is the memory, and that only with the 27" version.

    I reserve the internal hard drive for software and scratch memory. Most programs use the primary drive even if you offload some duties to external drives. For project work, storage and archives, I use external drives. I have a 5 bay USB3 box for this. I also have a 20 TB DROBO drive (sort of a RAID) for backups and long term storage. For things that need to be fast, I have a 5 bay Thunderbolt drive with a 1 TB SSD in slot 1.It's handy for editing and rendering video, which can take 150 GB or more for a multi-camera shoot and bog down slower drives.

    Networking and sharing is very easy with the iMac, and I presume the Mac Pro. The learning curve is relatively shallow, and there is plenty of help in various forums.
    jim_britt|1 likes this.
  3. I'm also wondering if I can boot the iMac 27 (same set up as yours) from and external HD running )OS 10.6.8 so I can scan with Nikon Scan.
  4. The current OS is 10.12.3, "Sierra". You can set up a boot disk partition on an external drive for an older version of OS, but you must already have it, or download it from a bootleg site. Sierra will not let you download it from Apps. Instructions for doing this can be found on the web.

    I tried, but didn't want to expose myself to an ilicit website for the OS. When I started using the iMac my first job was to load the operating system, Sierra. There was a bug in Media Encoder which nearly halted my video production. It was a blame game between Appl, NVidia and Adobe. "Yes there's a problem, but it's not us." Supposedly, everything worked on the older OS. I've encountered other software which won't run in Sierra, but nothing I can't do without.
  5. I admit it. I got the full-blown Mac Pro. Not so much because I need it but because it was so beautiful--graphite black cylinder, cool in every sense.
    It is wonderful and I have never regretted getting it. :)

    Like the original 1984 Mac, getting one is a statement of faith and aesthetics, as much as cold reason.

    Probably the highest powered iMac would have served, however.
  6. There are at least two options if you wish to have a Windows machine in the MacPro/Imac - a Bootcamp partition (firmware and disc), or Parallels (software). Functionality in Parallels is limited. It's easy to set up and there is no danger to your existing data. However it is slow, and makes everything else slow when running. On the plus side, you don't have to reboot to use a Parallels partition. It's just another window.

    On the other hand, it is very useful to be able to share Windows hard drives over the network (or directly). I use a program called "Paragon", which lets me read and write to NTFS hard drives. Otherwise the Mac can read, but not write to Windows hard drives. There is a sister product from Paragon which allows a PC to read HFS (Mac) drives. Paragon runs in background, and automatically mounts drives as they are connected.

    Remember the "sneaker net" days, before networking and the Cloud, when you would load a floppy disk and hand it to a colleague? Now I exchange projects in 4 GB chunks (with myself, working both a PC and iMac).

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