12222 Apple Mac Pro vs. 2013 Mac Pro: How Far Has the Hardware Come?
But we can still compare the basic specs for both base configurations and high-end models and make an educated guess about pricing and performance. The most obvious place to start making comparisons is with the base models of each system, the stock configurations that sell for the lowest price. In the case of the new Mac Pro and the iMac Pro , these starting options are quite similar.
While it will be months before anyone has the chance to actually compare the performance offered by both systems, it's reasonable to think that these basic models will offer similar overall capabilities. But there are some substantial differences, as well. One of the big ones is that the iMac Pro, with its all-in-one design, has a built-in high-end display.
Aside from the display, the Mac Pro is more upgradeable, regardless of the configuration you buy. This can be done, but the practice is not officially endorsed by Apple. The Mac Pro's expandability offers huge long-term value to professionals, because they can update the hardware in the future, keeping pace with changes in technology and heavier workflows without jettisoning the entire system. The top configurations of the Mac workstations are an entirely different matter.
Without the physical constraints of the iMac's slim housing, the Mac Pro has room to expand and grow well beyond what the iMac Pro can offer, and these differences are most stark when comparing the top configurations. Aside from the fact that both systems can be outfitted with up to 4TB of solid state storage, the two top-of-the-line systems are almost nothing alike. Whereas the iMac Pro can be outfitted with an core processor, the Mac Pro can scale up to a jaw-dropping 28 cores.
While that's not unprecedented in the realm of workstation PCs — HP's got workstations with even larger RAM options — it's miles beyond anything else in the Mac family. In graphics processing, the other major piece of any workstation, there's a huge difference between the two systems. But even a more powerful GPU can't compete with multiple cards working in tandem. The two GPUs are connected by some specialized circuitry that Apple is calling Infinity Fabric Link, and it sounds as if this two-cards-in-one approach allows the machine to transfer data between the GPUs much, much faster.
For higher-end configurations, it's not even close. You can outfit the expandable Mac Pro with a huge array of powerful components, going far beyond what the top configuration of the iMac Pro can provide. The only question mark is price. It's highly likely that the top Mac Pro configuration we've outlined here will cost tens of thousands more. The other half of the Mac Pro equation is the display. The Pro Display XDR is bigger, at 32 inches, with 6K x resolution and a powerful backlight with tightly focused local dimming.
That backlight supports high-dynamic range HDR at brightness levels better than most premium TVs can offer, with a peak brightness of 1, nits.
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That's a dramatic improvement over the nits of the Retina 5K display on the iMac Pro. I don't really desire a souped-up gaming engine, or a second computer.
Mac Pro vs. iMac Pro: Which Mac Desktop Is for You? | Tom's Guide
The MacBook either will do. I would go with the Pro because those Retina screens are dope and it is only a bit more money and wait until later for the PC. Chances are you won't have a ton of time to play games anyway according to Steam I played about 10 hours of games between January and April this year, which was third year for me in CS.
I used to average twice that in a week , but the ability to work on assignments on the go while at school during breaks and things like that, not to mention taking notes in class far outweighs any benefit the power of the desktop would have power which you won't really need for the extreme majority of undergrad CS courses. Any time you will need a serious amount of power, you will likely be expected to use school hardware anyway.
And definitely get the Mac. Despite what others will try and tell you, there isn't really anything on the market that comes close to them right now, hardware-wise specs are irrelevant for CS. Any modern, moderately fast processor will be just fine.
It's time for gamers to pay attention to Apple's hardware again
Something like a gaming laptop would be complete overkill, and you would massively sacrifice usability for power, which you don't want to do. They have the best keyboard, trackpad, and battery life on the market, if you need you can triple boot them OS X, Linux, Windows. You have to do some EFI magic for Linux but it isn't hard.
This probably won't be required as a VM will cover most cases you would need in undergrad. Also, Linux on Mac hardware is godlike.
Since there are only a comparatively small number different hardware configurations, drivers are really easy to deal with, the Linux dev people, at least on Fedora, have it set up so that all the keyboard shortcuts stay like OS X, and the media keys work the same as in OS X , all the major programming related packages you would use on Linux are available on one of the three major Mac package management systems I'm a HomeBrew guy myself. MacPorts is fine too.
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I've never messed with Fink before but it is apparently kinda cryptic to use. I prefer clang myself but alas , and so on. Also, like others have said, a laptop paired with a mouse, keyboard, and monitor is a great setup that easily replaces a desktop while still allowing the portability of a laptop. That is what I use during school too. A lot of programming shops are moving to using this type of system too since it makes working with others easy since you aren't tied down and allows you to take your laptop home if you want to work from there for a day or something.
Another thing, a warning of sorts. This only happens to some people but it definitely happened to me and a few people I know. Programming may partly kill your desire to play games. I very seldom play anything anymore because, since I spend so much time looking at computer screens doing my work, I try and do non-computer stuff when I have free time to save my eyes from getting worse. Programming, at least for me, also happens to scratch the same itch playing games does. I find them equally fun in most cases except Assembly. I would rather get punched in the face than write Assembly but I prefer programming because I feel like I am accomplishing more with my time.
Oh, and there's another thing.
Whatever setup you end up with, make sure to install Flux or something similar on Linux there is Redshift, though there is a Flux beta too that I use. Since you will be looking at computer screens a lot and probably working at night a lot, reducing eye strain is quite important. One last thing.
Get a Dropbox or something like that account and save all assignments to it. Not only does this save you from system failure causing you to lose work, but it allows you to work basically anywhere since all you need is the internet to fetch your stuff. I'd just get the laptop and wait and see how things went. Maybe your room-mate already has a rig. Maybe the school has a better option. Maybe you'll be too busy for games or maybe you'll get hooked on some little addictive asshole of a game on your laptop anyways :P Or maybe you'll get there and realise you need it to program, test and play how you like to.
At the very least I would keep the money in the bank until after I moved and settled.
Mac Mini gaming
Then if you decide you want it not only do you not have to lug a desktop with you when you move but you'll also get something better for the same price. In my first year studying physics I had a gaming PC and boy, what a mistake. It's way too easy to start playing games all the time when you can play almost everything on steam.
It's a good idea to put heavy gaming aside in your first year so you can work hard at your studies and have time to try new things or hang out with friends. After that year you'll have a good idea of what it takes for you to do well in school and then you can figure in gaming time. EDIT: In my opinion, high-spec laptops are a waste of money.
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If you really want a high end PC, just get a desktop. I'm a fan of the Clevo WST , personally. Gets kind of noisy when going full blast but doesn't get too warm and it's silent when not playing games etc. It's likely you won't find that kind of power in that small a form factor for that kind of price many places.
Can be configured with up to 16 gigs of ram, two msata ssds plus a 2. Got a pretty decent matte ips panel too. Not a huge fan of the keyboard or mouse pad but they're functional. Bit thicker than most No optical drive but who uses those anymore.
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