I'm in real need of a new machine as my old iMac is starting to slow me down. My ideal solution would be to get a powerful Mac Pro, with at least 32GB of RAM for some serious AE work.
However, with yesterday's paltry update to the Mac Pro line I'm not convinced it's going to be a good idea. It doesn't look like Apple are going to continue supporting this product line.
The iMac by all accounts seems near enough the Mac Pro's processor performance and is far cheaper, however the maxiumum RAM available is still 16GB. I was hoping for an update to this line too yesterday but no such luck.
Then there's the new MBP, which has been brought up to speed with the iMac's memory with the new 16GB max RAM. The retina display and its portability makes it very attractive for freelance work, as I will be moving around.
Does anyone know how the new MPB might handle relatively heavy AE work? Would it be the same as the iMac? Or if I am really serious about AE work should I still get a machine which will allow me to install a large (>16GB) amounts of RAM? I understand it's the RAM more than anything else that After Effects really needs.
All this is really making me consider switching back to PC, however I love the OSX experience so much and hate windows!
[Kim Taylor]"The iMac by all accounts seems near enough the Mac Pro's processor performance and is far cheaper, however the maxiumum RAM available is still 16GB."
The iMac is not near the Mac Pro's performance for AE. According to this benchmark [link], the 6-core Mac Pro is 25% faster than the iMac. If you also look at results from this benchmark [link], the 12-core Mac Pro is over 50% faster.
Of course, I agree with Roland. If you want performance, your best option is a PC. In that second benchmark I linked to, a 16-core ProMax ONE is 75% faster than an iMac.
Of course, the iMac is considerably cheaper than all of these workstation options.
Regarding platform choice, I used to be all-Mac. HP sent me a Z800 last year to evaluate, and I was really impressed -- not only with the raw performance, but with the Windows 7 experience, too. I'm cross-platform now, running Macs and PCs side-by-side. A PC running Windows 7 on good hardware like the Z-series is a perfectly viable alternative to the Mac platform.
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