Why I Chose the iMac Over the New Mac Pro
For years I have been the technology nerd that most people in my industry tend to be. Our jobs in the post-production world require that we have a certain amount of working knowledge and up-to-date information on trends and advancments in the world of editing and design software and hardware. For me, this typically means dreaming about the latest gadgets and wishing I could afford them. Back when I purchased my first Mac Pro with all the goodies to have a working Final Cut Pro suite at home, I felt like a boss. Quite frankly, I should have, since I dropped over $10,000 on everything!
I work for a mid-level production company now and there is a constant back-and-forth when it comes to technology. The ability to work quickly and efficiently is always weighed against the cost of doing so. So when we decided to upgrade some of the editor's machines, some research had to be done to decide the best route. I must be getting old because in the past if you had asked my opinion on whether we needed to buy Mac Pros or iMacs I would have laughed in your face and said Mac Pros without a second thought. But here is why I decided to go with the iMac for our company.
First and foremost is cost.
Spending just over $3,000 on an iMac got us the 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, 18GB of RAM 3TB Fusion Hard Drives, upgraded graphics cards, and AppleCare. Plus, this was the 27-inch so there was actually a monitor.
Second, getting a monitor and a hard drive.
This sort of speaks for itself. Since budget is an issue, the fact that a monitor is included in the price of the iMac is huge for us, plus, the Mac Pro only ships with a minimal amount of hard drive space geared towards running your OS and software only. You would need to buy some sort of RAID system to have projects on, and with the cost of Thunderbolt accessories still a little pricey, that gave us another reason to hold off.
Third and finally, fitting our needs.
The Mac Pro is awesome, please do not misunderstand me on this point. If money were no object, then Mac Pros for everyone. I truley believe that the Mac Pro will be the new wave in post-production computing. The truth is, the majority of the work we do is 1080p, minimal After Effects work, little to no 3D, and the ability to render and output overnight. Lacking the need to work with 4k footage, render complex Cinema 4D scenes, or do crazy compositing rendered the need for the new Mac Pro unnecessary.
In the end, to outfit 4 editors with new machines will cost us just over $13,000. The equivalent in Mac Pros would have set us back almost $17,000 and that would have been without storage options and new monitors. One day when 4k footage is the standard for our company, and the price of this technology drops a little more, we will most definitely be heading the route of the Mac Pro, but until then I will be enjoying my 27-inch retina display.
Since I didn't really get into specifics in the article, here are a few great articles on the specs and comparisons of the new Mac Pro and the iMac. Enjoy!