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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:42 AM   #1
CFoss
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Question 2011 17" MacBook Pro vs. 2008 Mac Pro - Any reason to keep the Mac Pro?

I have been using my 2008 Mac Pro up until now. I love it. I think it's starting to show its age though. I use it to work on Logic Pro and play games from time to time (Team Fortress 2, Just Cause 2, etc). I think the most intensive thing for it is running the EWQL library, specifically Pianos and Symphony Orchestra. I find it takes quite a bit of time to load the EWQL instruments (ranging from 10 seconds to a full minute, if not longer). The limitation is probably the HDDs, but I am unsure. Not only that, but I find Logic seems to overload pretty easily (though this is might be partly due to the 32-bit architecture limitations, etc).

Specs:
2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon
14GB 800MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM
nVidia 8800 GS
750GB 7200RPM HDD
1TB 7200RPM HDD

I have been going to university for the past year, and the family iPad I have been using so far hasn't really been satisfactory for taking notes. It's been useful for being able to go on the Internet on a car trip. However, this will become a moot point, as I'm going to purchase an iPhone very soon (well, as soon as Apple releases a 128GB version... though 64GB might suffice...).

The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, would probably work very well for me. I would be able to do everything I enjoy doing on the Mac Pro, including using Logic Pro at any time I wanted to. Plus, with the new Thunderbolt port, EWQL becomes an option with external RAID SSDs. At least, in theory.

My question is this: Apart from the AMD 6750 being slightly inferior to the nVidia 8800 GS, and the lack of upgrade options (plus slightly less RAM), is there any reason to keep my Mac Pro? I assume the i7 is better than the Quad-Core? How much do you think I could get for the Mac Pro? According to Mac2Sell.com, I could sell it for around $1200, though I think this might be a little too optimistic. Do you think it's worth selling?

Thanks for your time.
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:44 AM   #2
C01E
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Answer: nope...

2011 MBP's have been shown to even smoke 2009 Mac Pro's in performance tests... (that is unless you need 3 or 4x graphics cards... Then mac pro wins in the upgrade department)

Thats just how good sandy bridge chipsets are... Its the core 2 duo all over again...
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:14 PM   #3
CFoss
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Thanks. I wonder how I should go around selling it then...
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:20 PM   #4
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You can install an HD5870 on it an make it hundreds of times better than the 17'' for games.
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jpjandrade View Post
You can install an HD5870 on it an make it hundreds of times better than the 17'' for games.
I did just that and also added an SSD drive for the OS. It geekbenches in the same ballpark as these new MBPs. 10k - 11k

I'd keep it and put a few upgrades in. Mine is smoking fast with the SSD and has at least a few more years of very usefull life in it.
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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Buy a MacBook Air and upgrade your Mac Pro as it needs it. 17" not as fun to be mobile with the the MBA!
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:54 PM   #7
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What if you need to run 2 external monitors?
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vincenz View Post
What if you need to run 2 external monitors?
From what I read in the spec about Thunderbolt, it can support two monitors at 2650x1600 resolution?

Not sure if the MacBook Pro can support that, but don't see why not, if the laptop's screen gets disabled in that setup.
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpydog View Post
I did just that and also added an SSD drive for the OS. It geekbenches in the same ballpark as these new MBPs. 10k - 11k
Geekbench is an artificial test. In the case of the MBPs, they have superior CPU but much inferior GPU and disk than your Mac Pro, which would make a major difference in gaming.

I would take your Mac Pro over a 17'' MBP any day.
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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I have a 2009 MBP ... 4GB RAM, 500 GB @ 7200, 512mb deicated GPU and dual core 2.(?) CPU. Kept it in mint condition and runs great. I played around with the new MBP and it's not an upgrade for me as I'm more of an everyday user. I guess people who edit videos often will notice a big difference.
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 07:09 PM   #11
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I suppose the main question is "Would I still use the Mac Pro if I purchased the MacBook Pro?"

Some have suggested getting a MacBook Air. However, it isn't very adequate at running Logic Pro. I have enough problems with my Mac Pro! So I might as well go full out and get the MacBook Pro, especially now that I'm on the road a lot more.

Let's analyse the pros and cons of the MacBook Pro:

Pros
+ Well, it's obviously more portable. It might not be as portable as a MacBook Air, but for any portable needs, my iPhone should suffice.
+ According to Geekbench, the CPU has almost twice the processing power of the 2.8GHz Quad-Core. That's simply phenomenal.
+ Thunderbolt allows for external drives to run at an equal rate of an internal drive. This allows me to easily upgrade and carry around an external drive of what I want/need, such as the EWQL library.
+ Although a minor point, the RAM is faster at 1333 MHz compared to the 800MHz the Mac Pro RAM is clocked at.

Cons
- The MacBook Pro is not as upgradable as the Mac Pro. I will be stuck with the AMD 6750, a maximum of 16GB RAM, and with one internal drive (excluding the Optibay option).
- The GPU in the Mac Pro is superior (nVidia 8800 GS), and I can update it later on (to say, the ATi 5870).

It would seem to me that the best option would be to do the following:

- Sell the Mac Pro 2008 for around $1200.
- Purchase a MacBook Pro, for around $2500.
- If I start to desire something a little more for gaming, build myself a computer for around $1000.

How does that sound?
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 07:22 PM   #12
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*Thumbs up*
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Old Mar 12, 2011, 03:52 PM   #13
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I'm sticking to my 2011 Mac Pro.
any ideas on when it's coming out and specs?
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