Current: MP Early 2008 Octo; Upgrade....iMac Core i7 or MP August?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
So here is what I do:

Development - iPhone, iPad - 90% of my time, BB, Android, WM (using VMWare): - mostly tests from my PMs and final gold masters to upload to our distributors

VMWare w/W7



Aperture 3 - all Nikon D90 RAW images


Those are the main things I focus on. Of course I have lots of other stuff going on too, but that's the gist. I regularly use about 10GB of RAM and have 18GB as Aperture sucks it down. I use a 1TB drive + 2TB of backups.

Currently have a Mac Pro early 2008 model Octo-core. Love it to death, but am looking for some changes. So what am I looking to improve?

1) Faster video card. Aperture loves faster video cards.

2) 27'' LED display

3) SSD boot drive

4) Faster CPU - mine is pretty fast as it is, but not much do I have that uses all my cores all the time. Sometimes Compressor does, but I rarely use that. Maybe 4-5 times a year. Aperture does. XCode does.

So I see three options to me:

1) Get a new video card for my current Mac Pro, get the new 27'' LCD coming in Sep, buy an SSD drive. I get 3 out of 4 and it'll probably cost me about $1500 total. But I don't get any faster CPUs. But overall not a bad idea.

2) Get a new Mac Pro in August. According to Geekbench and general benchmarks (which apply to stuff like XCode) the CPUs seem to nearly 2x as good as what I have now. Not exactly 2x but mine scores about 8k in GB and the new ones seem to come around 15k. 12 core (my dream) hits around 30k. I understand this is a perfect scenario, but honestly stuff like Aperture and XCode works at near perfect parallelism works for me. I'd either be looking at the 8 core or even potentially the 12 core one. Of course get a 27'' LCD with it. 512GB SSD + 2TB drives. Main two negatives is that it keeps the plenty of cables I have around (I'm a neat freak) and its super expensive. General expandability is nice, but in my experience I just don't push it beyond drives and RAM.

3) Get an iMac Core i7. Putting the max of everything = 16GB RAM, 2TB+256GB SSD. This gives me the 27'' LCD, faster graphics than I have now, in a unit that's $2k or more cheaper than option #1, but about $2k more than option #1. Plus its in a super neat package that cleans my desk area up considerable. SD card slot is nice - even though I have one on my desk, again this just makes it nice. Main negative is that while its faster than my current Mac Pro (by about 15-20%) its not as fast as option #2. But its considerably cheaper. Its almost like a compromise - cheaper, but not as fast. But still an upgrade in every other way.

I've been leaning towards #3 most of today, but lately been leaning back to #2. Of course in the back of my mind I keep thinking that #1 isn't that bad of an option either. I get most of what I want except the faster CPUs. One other plus of #1 is I can keep waiting for the next major update that gives us USB 3.

I really wanted some faster processors though. So - any thoughts? Lets say that money is a consideration, but the budget allows for any of the 3 above. What say you?
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