Increasing numbers of emails run along the lines of:
“Considering an iMac instead of the Mac Pro because the Mac Pro is an old design and the iMac is new. So I’m going to get an iMac and add X, Y, Z”.
Where X, Y, Z are all the goodies to add to the iMac in order to (partially) implement the features the iMac is missing in order to make it more like a Mac Pro. Substitute Mac Mini for iMac as you like.
This is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
The idea is summed up as a disemboweled Mac Pro: all the drives and SSDs and cards that could be internal to the Mac Pro made external to an iMac, in a tangle of cables. That can work, sure.
But if I were buying a workhorse Mac today, it would still be the Mac Pro.
The iMac is better than ever, but the Mac Pro remains a workhorse rock-solid machine. I’ve written extensively on this topic so I’m not going to rehash yet again (search the blog index for “Mac Pro” and/or search this site).
John P writes:
Yes, I have to agree. I bought a top-of-the-line iMac (with external drives) in 2008 for video editing. It ran very hot and became unstable. After a year the internal HD packed up and a year later the graphics card went.
In 2010, I bought a MacPro 2.8 Quad core, 24 GB RAM. I installed an SSD boot disk and set up a RAID for video media. Last year I upgraded it to a 3.33 6 core. This machine has been rock solid and I never hear the fans running. These things are built to last.
I have read all the comments about how great and fast the new iMacs are, but you simply cannot beat the MacPro for reliability. This is the issue that most commentators seem to skip over. The real question is: can an iMac hack the pace day in and day out for the heavy duty stuff?
MPG: iMacs prior to the late 2012 model were like toaster ovens under any significant duty cycle. Really shamefully bad design for longevity.
The late 2012 model is a huge step forward in that regard, but it cannot be considered a serious choice for video that involves HD transcoding and the like and would be a struggle for 4K video: the 12-core Mac Pro being the right choice.
Martin D writes:
People seem to keep forgetting that the iMac is and has always basically been the guts of a laptop bolted to the back of a large LCD panel.
MPG: Yes. With a few more ports and a beefier graphics card.