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Mac Pro vs. iMac (Energy use)


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Mac Pro vs. iMac (Energy use)
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markw10
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Join Date: Aug 2006
 
2007-03-17, 20:42

I currently have a macbook pro but plan on getting a desktop mac sometime this year. My perfect computer would probably be the 'headless' mac but there's no such thing as that. I've even thought of a mac mini but I know power is limited. I ended up coming up with a Mac Pro. I don't like the idea of upgrading the iMac and then losing my monitor. I know there's a variety of processors I can use as well as other configurations. I'd likely add a 24 inch widescreen monitor to it but overall the Mac Pro does seem like overkill to me. If I get a iMac I'd likely get a medium range 20 inch model.
My question comes down to power usage (wattage, etc). It seems with the 4 core system out now and the future 8 core mac pro's that are rumored that this is a very powerful system and although nice way more power than I need. I like the tower case where I can expand it more than the iMac but with all those cores I can't help but wonder what type of power it uses. How does the power of a Mac Pro compare to a iMac? (wattage, etc) and are there many power saving features where the mac pro could use far less than maximum if I don't use full power? I see it is considered to be a energy star computer.
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2007-03-17, 20:57

Under heavy usage, the Mac Pro will consume about 980 watts, whereas the iMac consumes no more than 220. And thats JUST the Mac Pro, the 24" ACD will add anouther 90.

Given how much power it consumes, though, its surprising how quiet it is; its pretty much dead quiet. However, the X1900XT upgrade adds another fan that is quite loud when in heavy usage. Thankfully, when my X1900XT is in heavy usage, there are usually loud explosions coming from my speakers .

And I feel your pain on the midrange Mac. I had to save up for quite a while for my Mac Pro, because the mini wouldn't cut it and neither would the iMac. Hopefully it will last me the better part of a decade if I keep upgrading the components.

Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.
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macleod
Now in lower-case™!
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
 
2007-03-17, 21:20

At times I wish I had the 24" iMac. I even was considering selling my Mac Pro recently because it seems to put out a good bit of heat. If you are in a small room without air-conditioning, like my current dorm room, you tend to feel it a little. I also sometimes wish it was a little smaller because it is a little more power than I need, but I wanted it for the expandability that it offers compared to the iMac. I don't know if that will help you in your decision at all but those are the only problems/buyers remorse I had with my Mac Pro.
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Windowsrookie
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minnesota
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2007-03-17, 21:30

Mark, I got lost there a few times. Paragraphs please!
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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-03-17, 21:45

980 watts at full power is simply insane (how much does it use while idle or surfing the net?). That will significantly heat your room and significantly affect your electricity bills, and probably significantly contribute to melting the polar ice-caps too. For comparison, a small window-mounted air conditioner also uses somewhere in the region of 1 kW.

Energy Star compliance is pretty meaningless. I believe it's mostly concerned with power supply efficiency and very low power consumption while in a stand-by state. I'm sure the Mac Pro has an efficient, high-quality power supply, but it must also be a bloody enormous power supply.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
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Windowsrookie
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minnesota
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2007-03-17, 21:56

Must be those Xeon's.
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markw10
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Join Date: Aug 2006
 
2007-03-17, 22:12

I am curious about lower power states. I'd mostly use it for simple word processing, web page development, some photoshop work, internet browsing, and an occasional game (most likely Flight Simulator X under Windows in Boot Camp). I know the Mac Pro is overkill for my uses. I just like the expandable case but with USB and Firewire maybe that's not that important and I like how the iMac isn't that hard to move from room to room.
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nickshim
 
 
2007-03-18, 05:20

Check out http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304387 - Apple state that the Mac Pro idles at 171W, maxing out at 250W full belt...
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julesstoop
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
 
2007-03-18, 05:27

So this number of 980 Watts is for a theoretical situation in which all of the computer's components are running at maximum performance/power?
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BFG
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bristol, UK
 
2007-03-18, 05:28

Mark if those are the only uses your going to be needing the mac pro then i really do think your going for over kill. what makes you want the desktop over your laptop - more screenspace etc or? If i were you i'd get a decent sized display and a mac mini and a fast external HD.

Mr Chuckles the Nipple Monkey
2.66Mac Pro 1900XT and lots of goodies
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markw10
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Join Date: Aug 2006
 
2007-03-18, 10:18

The idea of the Mac Pro is the expandability vs. the Mac Mini and iMac. The thing I don't like about the iMac is the built in monitor. The Mini seems like a good option. I guess the iMac isn't really that much more expandable than the Mini. It seems that the memory and CPU speeds are more limited. I know Apple is rumored to be bringing many updates out late this spring/summer so maybe I'll just wait a little longer.
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Schnauzer
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Arizona
 
2007-03-18, 11:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windowsrookie View Post
Mark, I got lost there a few times. Paragraphs please!

hahah yeah
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