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Old Dec 25, 2012, 01:08 AM   #1
macrumors 6502a
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Mac Pro Christmas present exchange for iMac?

Hi everyone. I first want to say merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. I have a "nice" problem to pose and hope I can get some feedback.

My parents got me a new Mac this Christmas. Please understand I'm very thankful and grateful (let me get that out of the way first to avoid potential abuse in the thread).

As happened the last time my parents gave me computer, my mom called Apple and sought out (was talked into) the very most extreme thing they had to offer, a 12 core Mac Pro. This is outrageous overkill for my needs. Just like last time, the Apple phone rep apparently sensed my mom's lack of tech knowledge and convinced her that I could use a machine like this "so I don't fill it up with all my photos."

I use my current desktop computer (2006 Mac Pro) to house my iTunes media library, to play with photos and video in a very amateur way, and do other mundane things. I also have a 2011 Macbook Air that I use mostly for work related things (I'm an engineering professor).

I am considering exchanging the Mac Pro for a high-end 27" iMac. Because of the price differential, I could also add an additional Thunderbolt display, Thunderbolt backup drives, Fusion drive, and a few other perks. My current thinking is that I would take this unopened Mac Pro to the Apple store, ask for a gift card for the purchase amount, and place an order for January delivery of a new iMac. There are a few reasons i am thinking about doing this.

I know Apple has something new in store for the Mac Pro in 2013. I feel that major updates might shorten the length of time this machine is eligible for updates and upgrades. I already feel a little burned by Apple with regard to my 2006 Mac Pro, which cannot run Mountain Lion (easily) and which I have had to jump through ridiculous hoops to pair up with a marginally up-to-date graphics card. The fact that this 2012 Mac Pro doesn't have Thunderbolt (cannot even connect to the Thunderbolt display!) makes me feel that it will not be enjoying the Apple love for very long.

Another advantage of the exchange is the nice display options I'd have. Currently my Mac Pro is hooked up to a 20" Cinema Display (from when the aluminum models first came out a number of years ago). I feel an upgrade to two 27" screens would be a more definitive advantage than having a zillion processing cores.

I realize that the iMac is almost un-upgradable and as such is more of a disposable product that might not have the legs of the Mac Pro. However, based on my experience with my current Mac Pro, Apple hobbles the upgrade path to these wonderful machines, which should be so superbly upgradable, and in the process really diminishes what should be the Mac Pro's crowning advantage.

I am basically wondering if anyone can think of a compelling reason why I shouldn't do this — maybe something spectacular about this Mac Pro that I've overlooked? Will I somehow find a use for those 12 cores that I don't currently understand? Does it really have a value for a user like me, given the pricetag?

Your help would be appreciated.

Last edited by apple_iBoy; Dec 25, 2012 at 01:14 AM.
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