Mac Battle: Workstation Shootout Pits iMac 5K vs. Mac Pro

iMac_vs_MacProRecently, the Rocket Yard tested the Late 2015 27” iMac with Retina 5K display with different memory configurations to show the huge performance gains that can be achieved with more memory. We ran a memory-intensive Diglloyd Photoshop Huge test with 8GB, 16GB, 24GB, 32GB, 48GB and 64GB OWC memory configurations and the impressive results can be found here.

But we haven’t stopped there. We put several different iMac and Mac Pro models (2009-10 Mac Pros are loaded with an OWC 240GB Accelsior E2 SSD and Sapphire HD 7950 card) to the test with OWC memory configurations up to 128GB!

Check out our new shootout page to see what we found when running memory-intensive Diglloyd Photoshop Medium and Huge tests with the different memory configurations in the different machines. The Diglloyd Medium test generates a 15.7 GB scratch file using a 20,000-pixel-wide image. And the Diglloyd Huge test generates a 56 GB scratch file using a 40,000-pixel-wide image.

The complete results (with some surprises) and winners of the shootout can be found here:


As you can see, it’s fairly simple: More memory = a faster Mac. And our testing shows that even “old” Mac Pros with OWC upgrades can be a performance powerhouse that rivals newer Macs. So, be sure to visit to find memory upgrades for nearly every Mac and more to get the best performance from your machine.


  • Hey – it’s hard to keep up with blog entries when they are released, but this information is very helpful. In line with the thinking of Apple is losing its way, knowing how Apple hardware performs with hardware and upgrades is very helpful.
    If SJ were around, he would NEVER convert the hardware into soldered memory modules, and the hard drive for the mac mini to be nearly impossible to access.
    Anyway, thanks for the reviews and keep the great information coming.

  • RE tests with MacPro5,1 with 48 GB RAM: was the Accelsior used as the boot drive or as scratch drive? Does it matter? My system boots from a 240GB Pro6G and uses the 480GB Accelsior as scratch. (Otherwise same as your test platform).

  • Nice test. I’d like to see a 2013 6-core (and others) in there too since I’m trying to pick between that machine and a top 5K. And idea how that machine would fare?