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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:17 PM   #1
ChitoCrisis
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Questions about MP and Mac Pro vs. new iMac?

I'd like to buy a Mac Pro but they are too expensive. I would like to have a high end Mac Pro because my major is 3d graphics and animation. But I'd also like to play video games on it, add tons of storage, and add a blu-ray drive in it. I don't if I can easily upgrade graphics cards on it or even I can even install an internal bluray in it. Can I?

iMacs are still a bit pricey but I can afford it. Infact, I can buy one the one coming out in December. If I remember correctly, the new iMacs don't have a DVD drive. I don't like using anything that's external. I really wish Apple wouldn't downright remove features like that. They should give the consumers the option to get what we want or release more than 1 setup. They are really pushing the whole iTunes and stuff. I personally don't buy anything off iTunes because I buy all my media on physical copies. Apple is literally forcing us to go digital.

That's why I'm strongly considering buying a Mac Pro. I don't want to wait until a new version comes out because I probably won't be able to afford it anyways. But I'm asking what do you guys recommend? Would it be cheaper to buy an old Mac Pro and upgrade it? (ram, graphics card to play games at high settings like Skyrim) Or to buy an iMac? I'd also have to buy a monitor too. I don't have like a budget or anything but it doesn't mean I'm going to drop an insane amount of money either.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:24 PM   #2
ashman70
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We need to know what your budget is before we can recommend anything. It also might be helpful to tell us what apps you may be using, not all apps can take advantage of multiple cores.

You state you don't like 'anything external' that pretty much rules out an iMac as the new models have no optical drive and that would have to be external along with any storage expansion.

Your best best is probably to look at refurb Mac Pro's that Apple sells, they come with warranties and you can add Apple Care, they will more then likely be more then enough power for what you do. You could go with a used Mac Pro from craigslist or Ebay but then you may not get a warranty and it can be hit and miss, but that's up to you.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:57 PM   #3
ChitoCrisis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashman70 View Post
We need to know what your budget is before we can recommend anything. It also might be helpful to tell us what apps you may be using, not all apps can take advantage of multiple cores.

You state you don't like 'anything external' that pretty much rules out an iMac as the new models have no optical drive and that would have to be external along with any storage expansion.

Your best best is probably to look at refurb Mac Pro's that Apple sells, they come with warranties and you can add Apple Care, they will more then likely be more then enough power for what you do. You could go with a used Mac Pro from craigslist or Ebay but then you may not get a warranty and it can be hit and miss, but that's up to you.
Good points.

I use Maya, Photoshop, Flash, and Painter mainly. I might use another 3d app later down the road but for now that's all I use. I definitely want to play some games here and there. Right now the most recent game that I have that might require a good graphics card and power is Skyrim.

I don't really know too much about actual hardware specs (like all these cores and such). I usually compare specs with other models. I currently have a MacBook Pro from late 2008 and it runs Maya just well. However, I haven't created or animated anything that's extremely detailed. But maybe this will help; I have to run a lot of games between low and medium settings or else it won't perform as smoothly.

Maybe something that's on par with the new iMac would be nice. I know for sure the iMac is miles better than my MBP.

If I buy a Mac Pro, I guess I'd have to increase my budget really mainly because I'll have to buy a monitor for it. Or I can use a 42 inch plasma subpar HDTV (it's labeled as "edtv" but supports up to 720p/1080i resolutions) that is lying around the house but I don't know if that would be a good idea. My original budget was $2000 for a 27 inch iMac (I originally didn't want to spend too much money and was going to go for a 21 inch but I want a larger working area so a bigger screen would be better even though I plan on buying an additional screen later down the road). Seeing the current prices for Mac Pros, I guess between $2500-3000. But looking at that number scares me a bit. lol. Hopefully a refurbished is a bit cheaper. Plus I want to be able to upgrade graphics card and install a bluray drive (if theres even one available thats compatible) on a Mac Pro.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:19 PM   #4
thekev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
Good points.

I use Maya, Photoshop, Flash, and Painter mainly. I might use another 3d app later down the road but for now that's all I use. I definitely want to play some games here and there. Right now the most recent game that I have that might require a good graphics card and power is Skyrim.
I'm not sure what to suggest from Apple in this area right now. These applications can push a computer fairly hard. With the imac the newest design is untested, but the gpu would be much closer to those available to the mac pro. I haven't seen how this new one performs under heavy use, as it's not even out yet. The reduced display glare on the new one would be a major improvement. The mac pro has been extremely stagnant. Windows workstations are a little more up to date, but still somewhat stagnant due to atypical hardware cycles in Xeons and workstation gpus (which are always bundled with windows workstations).
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:22 PM   #5
ashman70
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If you look at these refurbs at the USA Apple store, the Mac Pro's start at just under $2000.00

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...ls/mac/mac_pro

You can add all sorts of high end video cards to these, multiple video cards in fact, and run Windows through bootcamp. While multiple cores will be wasted in games, you can certainly game on a Mac Pro, it just might be as good a gaming experience as on a consumer intel i3/i5/i7 CPU, but it is doable.

As for monitors you can use what ever you want, really the choice is massive.

I have three 23" LED monitors connected to my 2008 Mac Pro and they work great.

As you know, the beauty of a Mac Pro is you can build it as you go, adding additional drives, monitors, video cards as you go.

And by the way, I have a blueray burner in my Mac Pro too, works fine.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:05 PM   #6
TennisandMusic
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Is there a reason you want a Mac Pro for this? Everything you list is much better suited for a PC, and you will get way more power for much less money.

Typed from my Mac Pro.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:21 PM   #7
Yebubbleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChitoCrisis View Post
I'd like to buy a Mac Pro but they are too expensive. I would like to have a high end Mac Pro because my major is 3d graphics and animation. But I'd also like to play video games on it, add tons of storage, and add a blu-ray drive in it. I don't if I can easily upgrade graphics cards on it or even I can even install an internal bluray in it. Can I?

iMacs are still a bit pricey but I can afford it. Infact, I can buy one the one coming out in December. If I remember correctly, the new iMacs don't have a DVD drive. I don't like using anything that's external. I really wish Apple wouldn't downright remove features like that. They should give the consumers the option to get what we want or release more than 1 setup. They are really pushing the whole iTunes and stuff. I personally don't buy anything off iTunes because I buy all my media on physical copies. Apple is literally forcing us to go digital.

That's why I'm strongly considering buying a Mac Pro. I don't want to wait until a new version comes out because I probably won't be able to afford it anyways. But I'm asking what do you guys recommend? Would it be cheaper to buy an old Mac Pro and upgrade it? (ram, graphics card to play games at high settings like Skyrim) Or to buy an iMac? I'd also have to buy a monitor too. I don't have like a budget or anything but it doesn't mean I'm going to drop an insane amount of money either.

Thanks in advance!
Honestly, I own an external optical drive that I used with my last Mac, which was a Mid 2010 Mac mini Server. It's an LG 5.25" Tray-load form-factor (as in, the same kind of drive you'd see in a PC desktop or a Mac Pro); it's USB 2.0 and it has its own power supply, but given that it is substantially faster, more reliable and cheaper than the piece of crap they were using in the 2011 and earlier iMacs. Like read and write speeds are all faster, despite it being an external drive. Definitely worth considering, even though you hate things to be external. To be honest, if I were a desktop Mac user, I'd consider such a drive to be an upgrade over the slot-load drive. But that's just me.
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