No, the iMac is not faster than the Mac Pro

Posted by: on Nov 3, 2011 | No Comments

There’s these here rumors that the Mac Pro may be no more. Much has been said. For example, Marco’s done some excellent analysis.

For Apple, this all comes down to dollars and cents. It’s just business.

However, I keep hearing on the Twitter machine and elsewhere the Mac Pro should go because “the iMac is faster.” The origin of this seems to be this article over at MacWorld which crowns the current i7 iMac the speed king.

Unfortunately, it’s very misleading. The Mac Pro was using traditional hard drives, the iMac blessed with an solid state. SSDs are miracles when it comes to improving your overall computing experience — they’re several times moving data, but the real benefit comes from nearly -0- delay in access latency. It’s a complete game changer.

While this might be a “fair” comparison in MacWorld’s calculus since you can’t order a Mac Pro with a SSD, it’s obviously trivial to put one inside the machine compared to the iMac which does not have user-serviceable drives.

To debunk the rest of this, I’ll quote Marco:

As a point of comparison, almost all desktop-class motherboards today are limited to 16–24 GB of RAM, and the top-end 3.4 GHz Core i7 CPU (available already in the iMac) gets a 64-bit GeekBench score of 12,575. The Mac Pro released more than a year ago maxes out fairly affordably at 48–96 GB, and the top-end dual-2.93 GHz Xeons score a 24,159 in Geekbench.

So it’s not just the PCI slots. It’s memory, multiple processors (not just cores), and Xeon’s compared to consumer chips. Intel’s delayed Xeon E5’s are coming off the line now, so either way, we should know soon.