Fortunately, switching to a "Mac" allowed me to pick freelance jobs in the local TV industry (you know, they don't like PC guys very much, besides FCS is a must) that gave me the chance to save money and get a real Mac (a very long long dream) but I simply can't make my mind about the right system to get.
If I dig a bit in my pocket I can get a Mac Pro (current stock configuration, plus 2 GB third part memory), which I know would the perfect system for what I do (mostly After Effects and FCS apps), and certainly is a better long-term investment. However, spending almost 3000 USD in a computer scares me a bit, since I'm not rich and I could use part of this money to buy other necessary goods for me, my family or even some extra computer equipment like a graphic tablet.
On the other side the iMac is a fine computer, has a great looking screen, is much cheaper and is somewhat portable, but looks a bit weak to me. If I go for the iMac, I'd go for the 2.4 Ghz 20" model and then adding 2x2GB memory sticks. 24" is so expensive that the Mac Pro would give me a much better price/value rate, so that's a no go. And even when having another screen would be nice, it is not mandatory, because I already own two. Besides, I have the feeling that new iMacs with penryn processors are not that far away.
So, from my point of view these are the pros and cons:
- Lots of raw power (8 cores!), great for dealing with those heavy After Effects renders.
- New, more future-proof penryn processors (Harpertowns).
- A bit better graphic card (Radeon 2600 XT).
- Has 2GB ram stock.
- Lot of room for upgrades.
- More robust, sturdier components, made for heavy workloads.
- Very expensive, I couldn't get anything else but the computer.
- Memory upgrades are pricey, even from third part vendors.
- Even when is expansible, I don't plan to add more hardware to it, at least not for now.
- Overall cheaper, and more accesible memory price.
- Nice glossy screen (useful but not a must).
- I could get a Wacom graphic tablet along with it, and would remain enough to get a couple of Levi's I need.
- Much less processor power.
- Not penryn processors available.
- "Only" Radeon 2600 Pro available.
- Just 1GB memory stock (but even when I'd need to go for 2x2GB sticks, it's cheaper than 2x1GB of Mac Pro's ram).
- Aside memory, it is not upgradable at all.
- Basically a "desktop laptop". Not sure if components will take those 3 or 4 days running work-at-day-render-at-night non-stop sessions very well.
- Does iMac support dual screens? I'd love to attach it my Dell 2007WFP to it.
- Does Mac Pro need an extra "memory raiser card" to take other two memory sticks, if I buy it with only the stock 2 GB?
Thanks in advance, Proteo.