Since you’ve stumbled across this page, chances are you’re in the market for a new Mac desktop, and not sure of which one to get. You’re likely thinking, “The iMac is nice with it’s all-in-one form factor, but that sexy cylinder and all it’s power would be great for those intensive tasks.” Well, I’m going to explain the difference, and which one might be a better option for you.
Who’s it for?:
The iMac is a great system for someone who does general purpose computing such as write documents, email, instant messaging, watch videos, and will take care of most web browsing activities. The iMac fares well when it comes to gaming too, especially with a higher end GPU option. The iMac is also capable of video/photo editing, animation rendering, music producing and software compilation for those developers out there, just not to the same extent as the Mac Pro though.
Why should I choose the iMac?:
The iMac would be a great fit if your computing consists of what I explained above. It’s all-in-one form factor is nice and compact, and the iMac’s display regardless of the size chosen is beautiful.
The iMac is also significantly cheaper then the Mac Pro. Starting at $1,099 for the base 21.5” model. That is a great price for a computer like this as it comes with the display built-in.
Who’s it for?:
The Mac Pro is an undeniable power house. With it’s 4 - 12 core Intel Xeon E5 processor options, and dual AMD FirePro GPU’s the Mac Pro is built for the most demanding tasks. The Mac Pro is a great choice for users whos tasks consist of frequent video/photo editing, animation rendering, music producing and large software compilations. On the gaming end of things, the Mac Pro would be capable of playing some games, but it wouldn’t do as well as an iMac with a GTX 780M GPU.
Overall, the Mac Pro is for any user that wants/needs heavy computational power. If you fit any of the usage scenarios above, and have over $3,000 to spend on a new Mac; you really can’t go wrong with a Mac Pro.
Why should I choose the Mac Pro?:
You should choose the Mac Pro if you plan on doing tasks that utilize heavy CPU and GPU computational power. The Mac Pro also allows you to attach displays of your choice, and supports up to 3 4K displays, or 6 Thunderbolt displays.
So, which one should I buy?:
That ultimately depends on what you are doing. If you are a general computer user, the iMac would probably suit you well. If you are frequently in Photoshop, Maya, Blender, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Xcode, or do any other tasks that takes a lot of computational power to complete; then the Mac Pro would definitely be a great choice.
Source: Apple Inc.
All OS X and Mac images used in this article are the property of Apple Inc.