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Old Jun 12, 2013, 10:56 PM   #1
ChitoCrisis
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Build a Mac Pro or wait for the new one?

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford the new Mac Pro. It looks like its going to cost so much money and I seriously won't need that much power. I also don't like how you can only upgrade it externally. Not a fan of that.

If I were to build my own Mac Pro, how easy would it be and how much would it cost me? My budget is $2500. I'm not sure if that's a little low though. I can increase it up to $3000 though. I need it mainly for Maya but I also use Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and a little bit of Flash. As a bonus it would be nice to play some games as well (on the Windows side) and mainly so I can create mods for some games. But it's not a priority of course.

I'm not very good with specs but what's something I can build with that budget?
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford the new Mac Pro. It looks like its going to cost so much money and I seriously won't need that much power. I also don't like how you can only upgrade it externally. Not a fan of that.

If I were to build my own Mac Pro, how easy would it be and how much would it cost me? My budget is $2500. I'm not sure if that's a little low though. I can increase it up to $3000 though. I need it mainly for Maya but I also use Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and a little bit of Flash. As a bonus it would be nice to play some games as well (on the Windows side) and mainly so I can create mods for some games. But it's not a priority of course.

I'm not very good with specs but what's something I can build with that budget?
You might be able to buy a used (but latest production model 5.1) for that amount, you'd have to search around and/or wait also. I would probably get an iMac if I were you. Your budget can cover that.

I just bought a 5.1 (new from apple) but even that is more than your budget.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:19 PM   #3
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I'm not sure whether the base model will see a price increase. I don't think it will start over $3000, but you have to account for storage. With maya and after effects, it really comes down to how you use them. Photoshop just needs ram, lots of ram.

Thumb resize.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:20 PM   #4
ChitoCrisis
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Originally Posted by crjackson2134 View Post
You might be able to buy a used (but latest production model 5.1) for that amount, you'd have to search around and/or wait also. I would probably get an iMac if I were you. Your budget can cover that.

I just bought a 5.1 (new from apple) but even that is more than your budget.
Yeah you're right. How good with the high end iMac be for Maya (3d graphics/animation)? And how does it compare with the Mac Pro from my school:
6-core INtel Xeon, 2.66 GHz
8gb RAM
ATI Radeom HD 5870
vRAM 1gb

If I get an iMac I might get this:

3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

(I can up the ram if necessary but I think 8gb is more than enough)
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:24 PM   #5
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See what MP's folks over at Autodesk are using.
Video cards, ram, raid etc. You might catch a fire sale from someone
interested in the 6.1 but needs to sale their 4.1 5.1 first

http://www.usedmacs.us/
http://www.powermax.com/parts/code/PM_CU_MP
http://www.macofalltrades.com/Mac-Pros-s/298.htm
http://www.dvwarehouse.com/Apple-Mac-Pro-c-5210.html
http://www.megamacs.com/index.php
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:25 PM   #6
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The U.S. online store has a refurb 2012 base model for $2,139, and a barely-different 2010 base model for $1,819. Either can be upgraded to your heart's content. The current iMac is probably much better for the same price, but you lose the expandability.

If you're thinking of building a Hackintosh instead, well, I can't say I'm qualified to answer that. But really, the current Mac Pro can last you quite a while with upgrades, unless you're a really heavy user.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
Yeah you're right. How good with the high end iMac be for Maya (3d graphics/animation)? And how does it compare with the Mac Pro from my school:
6-core INtel Xeon, 2.66 GHz
8gb RAM
ATI Radeom HD 5870
vRAM 1gb

If I get an iMac I might get this:

3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

(I can up the ram if necessary but I think 8gb is more than enough)
8GB is really bare minimum for a new machine these days, but you can update it after purchase as needed. If you're frequently running low, just purchase more and test the new memory upon arrival. You can tell quite a lot just by glancing at activity monitor. If you see a drop in performance and notice that it's low on ram, it's evident.

FYI there is no 6 core mac pro clocked at 2.66. There are 2009 quads. There are 2006 quads. There's a 2007 8 core at that. The 5870 is starting to show its age.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:32 PM   #8
ChitoCrisis
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
8GB is really bare minimum for a new machine these days, but you can update it after purchase as needed. If you're frequently running low, just purchase more and test the new memory upon arrival. You can tell quite a lot just by glancing at activity monitor. If you see a drop in performance and notice that it's low on ram, it's evident.

FYI there is no 6 core mac pro clocked at 2.66. There are 2009 quads. There are 2006 quads. There's a 2007 8 core at that. The 5870 is starting to show its age.
I probably typed it wrong then.

Not sure what to do. :/ I've always wanted a Mac Pro. But I'd have to get a new video card for it. It's all complicated for me. lol
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:34 PM   #9
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I suppose you'd be able to build a Hackintosh 2013 MP "equivalent" within the bounds of what will be available drivers-wise in 10.9.

It's purely speculation at this stage, but I suppose you'd be able to use Ivy-E CPUs on C600 based motherboards. And since 10.9 will supposedly run on all the same Macs 10.8 will, you should have quite a few options for graphics.

But in the end, nobody will know for sure until the new Mac Pro ships and/or the community knows more about its final hardware.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 11:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
I probably typed it wrong then.

Not sure what to do. :/ I've always wanted a Mac Pro. But I'd have to get a new video card for it. It's all complicated for me. lol
I'm not sure how to advise you on that one. If a 2009 mac pro was cheap, I would say it was a decent option. I don't like to suggest aging hardware if it's still quite expensive. It's always possible to hit a wall that way on Apple's software support. You'll find the general consensus on here is don't buy anything older than 4,1 at this point, and if you're going used, look for a god price. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the price predictions for the new one until they have an official announcement. Right now the processors it's supposed to use aren't even launched. The ones available to oems currently are engineering samples used for testing and development. I can tell you maya and after effects are fine under Windows with the right gpus. In fact maya probably has way more windows users than osx users. It wasn't what I would call "well supported" on OSX until maybe 2008 when they went to an intel build. Early versions were barely usable on PowerPC macs, so Windows machines had a lot of time to gain support with that one. It also runs on Linux, but installing it wouldn't be fun.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:26 AM   #11
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In this life

You can do almost anything you want to do as long as it's legal, you just have to do it. Comes down to time to do it and money. So just do whatever you FEEL. But if you don't FEEL like either one right now and can't decide just wait till you FEEL yourself going in one direction or not.

Cause honestly I can see any kind of conversation like this, especially, whether to get a big ole Tower and fill it up or get a lean Cylinder with barely any guts going 50/50% either direction. It's honestly a toss up.

My only push would be this. When you build yourself you don't have an Umbrella company covering the whole monstrosity. Sure you can get parts, but, it's nice when somebody is updating the OS for you for your specific hardware. That's the numero reason I don't build my own. And for some reason I have had better longevity with the Computers I bought from Apple vs the one I built myself (3years)

Good Luck!!
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 02:24 AM   #12
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I'm very rarely indecisive but when I get that way I just don't do anything. If I don't so a clear path down either road there is no sense on embarking on it.

Wait, neither old nor new MP's are going anywhere, let the new one unfold then make a decision.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 12:55 PM   #13
crjackson2134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
Yeah you're right. How good with the high end iMac be for Maya (3d graphics/animation)? And how does it compare with the Mac Pro from my school:
6-core INtel Xeon, 2.66 GHz
8gb RAM
ATI Radeom HD 5870
vRAM 1gb

If I get an iMac I might get this:

3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

(I can up the ram if necessary but I think 8gb is more than enough)
I'm GUESSING because I don't us the same software... I would guess it would perform better than your current school system. The processor is faster, the GPU is faster with double the memory, the SATA bus is faster, and the memory is faster (guessing on the memory).

I would bump the memory up to 16GB and go with the iMac or a used Mac Pro 5,1.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford the new Mac Pro. It looks like its going to cost so much money and I seriously won't need that much power. I also don't like how you can only upgrade it externally. Not a fan of that.

If I were to build my own Mac Pro, how easy would it be and how much would it cost me? My budget is $2500. I'm not sure if that's a little low though. I can increase it up to $3000 though. I need it mainly for Maya but I also use Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and a little bit of Flash. As a bonus it would be nice to play some games as well (on the Windows side) and mainly so I can create mods for some games. But it's not a priority of course.

I'm not very good with specs but what's something I can build with that budget?
It sounds to me like Xeon hardware is a little over the top for you and something like the i7-4770 would be the best fit. So, maybe slicked out hackintosh that can dual boot to windows is the way to go? But if you want it legal, buy a used 4,1. I think that's the best value for the money in the Mac Pro land right now. A refurbished 5,1 2.8 quad core Mac Pro is well within your budget ($1819) straight from Apple with 1 year Apple care, which you won't get if you're buying a 2009/2010 machine on Criagslist, for example. And at that price you can easily upgrade RAM/GPU/HDD to your needs. And at least while they are still available, you can upgrade to W3680.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 02:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford the new Mac Pro. It looks like its going to cost so much money and I seriously won't need that much power. I also don't like how you can only upgrade it externally. Not a fan of that.

If I were to build my own Mac Pro, how easy would it be and how much would it cost me? My budget is $2500. I'm not sure if that's a little low though. I can increase it up to $3000 though. I need it mainly for Maya but I also use Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and a little bit of Flash. As a bonus it would be nice to play some games as well (on the Windows side) and mainly so I can create mods for some games. But it's not a priority of course.

I'm not very good with specs but what's something I can build with that budget?
You can buy a 2009 single 2.66GHz or dual 2.26GHz for $1,000+ shipping.
Single upgrade: $500 for a 3.33GHz 6-core W3680 (easy to do)
Dual upgrade: $500 for two 3.33GHz 4-core X5590s (harder to do, but guides out there).
Dual upgrade: $1,200 for two 6-cores, either 2.93GHz X5670s (95W TDP as shipped in Mac Pros) or 3.33GHz X5680s (130W TDP, but people use them).

So say $1,600 for a 3.33GHz 6-core or 8-core with more work, or $2,300 for a 12-core.

$300 for a GTX 670, $100 for 16GB RAM (if the used Mac doesn't come with that anyway), 120GB SSD $100 or 250GB for $170.

You can put together a powerful Mac Pro from used system+CPUs for a decent price.

Last edited by Umbongo; Jun 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 02:58 PM   #16
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You can buy a 2009 single 2.66GHz or dual 2.26GHz for $1,000+ shipping.
True, for example: http://www.macofalltrades.com/Mac-Pr...66-4c-e09a.htm

2009 single is $799 at macofalltrades. $50 shipping, and I'm seeing tax, even in CA....? Sounds like a pretty good deal.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 03:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Umbongo View Post
You can buy a 2009 single 2.66GHz or dual 2.26GHz for $1,000+ shipping.
Single upgrade: $500 for a 3.33GHz 6-core W3680 (easy to do)
Dual upgrade: $500 for two 3.33GHz 4-core X5590s (harder to do, but guides out there).
Not sure if quoted used prices or not, but relatively soon that will be only option. In September Intel is going to pull supplying retailers from getting 3500/3600s. Have a little longer until December for 5500/5600s

System vendors can still get them ( service replacements, continuity contract boxes , etc. ) for another year or so (the ones who need longer than that will need to stock pile), but the retail market should dry up before the end of the year.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 04:00 PM   #18
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Not sure if quoted used prices or not, but relatively soon that will be only option. In September Intel is going to pull supplying retailers from getting 3500/3600s. Have a little longer until December for 5500/5600s

System vendors can still get them ( service replacements, continuity contract boxes , etc. ) for another year or so (the ones who need longer than that will need to stock pile), but the retail market should dry up before the end of the year.
Yeah used prices, but you can get new tray and even boxed models for those prices if you spend enough time looking on eBay or hardware forums.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 07:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
I'm very rarely indecisive but when I get that way I just don't do anything. If I don't so a clear path down either road there is no sense on embarking on it.

Wait, neither old nor new MP's are going anywhere, let the new one unfold then make a decision.
Exactly, if you don't have to make a decision don't make one. Or at least you can't really make a good one because, you don't know the price. Cause if they go all 5K 6K 7K then it's probably a NO. If they go 3K, 4K, 5K it's probably a YES. Prices for computing power are pretty relative to how much power you end up getting. Then an extra 25% for something if it NEW.

Even eBay reflects price for power pretty quick...
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 08:17 AM   #20
ChitoCrisis
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Think its worth buying a used Mac Pro and upgrading the processor, video card and ram to match the iMac's if not something better? I would like the option to upgrade which is why I want a Mac Pro.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 09:09 AM   #21
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Think its worth buying a used Mac Pro and upgrading the processor, video card and ram to match the iMac's if not something better? I would like the option to upgrade which is why I want a Mac Pro.
Socket 1366 is DEAD, we are probably seeing the last production now.

Ivy socket 2011 is not out yet, it won't be until the fall an will most likely be the last generation to run 2011.

Haswell desktops are out to a big Meh response from the enthusiast community

If you're going to buy a MP right now don't buy new..If you build on socket 2011 use a 3820, if you build on 1150 remember there only 16 PCI lanes.

It's a terrible time to do anything with computers at the 2K plus price range.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 01:36 PM   #22
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It's a terrible time to do anything with computers at the 2K plus price range.
Enter "New Mac Pro". Apple had our backs all along.
Expandability will return with Skylake-EP.
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