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Old Nov 7, 2012, 12:49 PM   #1
Doctor Suarez
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Finally dumping 2006 Pro. Need tips on what to do

Quick background: I have a 2006 Mac Pro that's finally starting to fail me. (I think the Radeon X1900XT is failing, and I don't feel like buying a $250+ GPU for a 6-year-old machine.)

I also have a late 2008 unibody 13" MacBook that is running fine, but is, well, a bottom-rung MacBook with no backlit keyboard, a relatively bad screen, etc.

As far as usage goes, I am kind of a data hoarder... I have about 70 GB of music, tons of other media, totaling out at about 280GB on my tower and another 500 GB on an external drive. However, I just bought Spotify Premium, so maybe my music collection will stop expanding.

I generally don't game on my computers, but that's partly because neither of them can run any of the new titles (Diablo III, Civ V, etc.)

Mostly I write screenplays, listen to music, record and edit audio, and do occasional video editing.

Any way you slice it, the 2006 Pro is going away. Here are my options:

-Keep the MB, buy a smaller-size new iMac.
-Sell both, buy a do-it-all MacBook Pro (would appreciate advice on which one)
-Sell both, buy iMac and iPad with keyboard.

Thanks in advance for taking a look.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:30 PM   #2
phoenixsan
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Solutions.....

a) and b) seems adequate for you. Only thing in a portable is the storage options. Sounds like a new iMac, still without the Fussion drive can be a ideal replacement. But if you can afford the Fussion drive, why not?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:33 PM   #3
Doctor Suarez
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Hey Phoenix, any suggestion on which option would be best? What's the deal with the fusion drives? Are they going to be available for the iMac?

I guess this is a time to mention that I've NEVER been a laptop-only guy. Do you all recommend it? All the cloud services are making it easier to split between two computers, but would I be happier just moving to one?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 02:20 PM   #4
gnasher729
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If you needed the speed of a 2006 Mac Pro, a new 27" iMac with Fusion drive will do just fine. For a cheaper solution if you don't need the speed, 13" MBP + add your own RAM + add your own Fusion drive (1,128 GB is cheap), and use an external monitor at your desk.

All MBPs allow you to add two monitors without any problems, so it's a fine desktop machine as well.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 02:24 PM   #5
nsayer
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I have gone all-notebook myself - with a MacBook Air. For storage, I use a NAS connected to the network. In my case, it's a LaCie 5 BIG Network 2 configured in raid 6 mode. I decided to go that route because I had multiple drives fail on me in a year and said "enough is enough."
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 02:44 PM   #6
designs216
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Based on what you're using it for, I think the base 13 MBP would work well. It's light for when you want to take it traveling but it still has umph for the occasional heavy lifting. It also has USB 3 and Thunderbolt to externally accommodate your burgeoning digital stash.

Sell your existing hardware and use the proceeds against the cost of a 13 from the Refurb store.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 03:53 PM   #7
Dc2006ster
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It seems you do not need a lot of computing power so why not put a new video card in the Mac Pro? I did that in my 2006 Mac Pro a year go. I use mine for photo and video editing and it works well. It will not work with Mountain Lion but I do not care.

This would be the cheapest option leaving you money for perhaps a sold state boot drive, more Ram or another internal hard drive for storage.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:54 PM   #8
Doctor Suarez
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Originally Posted by Dc2006ster View Post
It seems you do not need a lot of computing power so why not put a new video card in the Mac Pro? I did that in my 2006 Mac Pro a year go. I use mine for photo and video editing and it works well. It will not work with Mountain Lion but I do not care.

This would be the cheapest option leaving you money for perhaps a sold state boot drive, more Ram or another internal hard drive for storage.
You're right that it would be by far the cheapest, and I've strongly considered this option, but I just can't be sure that would solve the reliability issue. I took the computer into the Apple Store, where they ran a diagnostic on the power control system and found it to be clean. Instead, I think the GPU is *probably* to blame. Still, I can't be sure, and if I replace the GPU, I've spent more money on the computer to get a machine that's still out of date and still shuts itself down. At this point I'm already buying legacy hardware, and it may only buy me a couple years of compatibility before I'm having this conversation again.

The one card I can find out there to use is the Radeon 5770, and even still it's bottlenecked by the out-of-date PCIE board. It may be a case of paying for cheap and getting cheap.

Also:

I looked at the various MBPs at the Apple Store today. The retina screen is phenomenal, but the biggest one is still only 15 inches. If I put that on my desk, I'd actually be taking a big step back in viewable area. I also kind of hate typing on MacBooks on desks... the sharp metal edge, at that angle, is murder on my wrists. I suppose I could figure out a whole riser-keyboard-mouse docking station thing that would make it all work, though. Also, I would definitely not spend on a retina MBP if I'm plugging it into a monitor on my desktop. Where's the sense in that?

Right now, I'd say the next-gen small iMac seems to be making the most sense. Still, not a done deal.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:04 PM   #9
macman312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Suarez View Post
You're right that it would be by far the cheapest, and I've strongly considered this option, but I just can't be sure that would solve the reliability issue. I took the computer into the Apple Store, where they ran a diagnostic on the power control system and found it to be clean. Instead, I think the GPU is *probably* to blame. Still, I can't be sure, and if I replace the GPU, I've spent more money on the computer to get a machine that's still out of date and still shuts itself down. At this point I'm already buying legacy hardware, and it may only buy me a couple years of compatibility before I'm having this conversation again.

The one card I can find out there to use is the Radeon 5770, and even still it's bottlenecked by the out-of-date PCIE board. It may be a case of paying for cheap and getting cheap.

Also:

I looked at the various MBPs at the Apple Store today. The retina screen is phenomenal, but the biggest one is still only 15 inches. If I put that on my desk, I'd actually be taking a big step back in viewable area. I also kind of hate typing on MacBooks on desks... the sharp metal edge, at that angle, is murder on my wrists. I suppose I could figure out a whole riser-keyboard-mouse docking station thing that would make it all work, though. Also, I would definitely not spend on a retina MBP if I'm plugging it into a monitor on my desktop. Where's the sense in that?

Right now, I'd say the next-gen small iMac seems to be making the most sense. Still, not a done deal.
How about Macbook Pro 15" + thunderbolt display (27") OR When are they releasing the new MacPros? But I am guessing you don't want to pay that much?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:10 PM   #10
Doctor Suarez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macman312 View Post
How about Macbook Pro 15" + thunderbolt display (27") OR When are they releasing the new MacPros? But I am guessing you don't want to pay that much?
Not going to spring for another Pro. I bought my current one in the mistaken belief that I could build it into a decent bootcamp-windows gaming rig, only to see PC gaming take a huge step back and the next-gen consoles emerge.

I could see myself getting a 15" non-retina and just using that with my existing 20-inch monitor, keyboard, and wireless mouse, but I guess at that point the tradeoff becomes the following: Can I sell my current '08 MB for enough money to offset the cost bump from going between iMac and MBP? Is it better to just have one computer vs two?

Also, I haven't yet seen how much the 21.5 iMac costs once I spec it up to my desired levels (considering a fusion drive, etc.)
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:18 PM   #11
Yebubbleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Suarez View Post
Quick background: I have a 2006 Mac Pro that's finally starting to fail me. (I think the Radeon X1900XT is failing, and I don't feel like buying a $250+ GPU for a 6-year-old machine.)

I also have a late 2008 unibody 13" MacBook that is running fine, but is, well, a bottom-rung MacBook with no backlit keyboard, a relatively bad screen, etc.

As far as usage goes, I am kind of a data hoarder... I have about 70 GB of music, tons of other media, totaling out at about 280GB on my tower and another 500 GB on an external drive. However, I just bought Spotify Premium, so maybe my music collection will stop expanding.

I generally don't game on my computers, but that's partly because neither of them can run any of the new titles (Diablo III, Civ V, etc.)

Mostly I write screenplays, listen to music, record and edit audio, and do occasional video editing.

Any way you slice it, the 2006 Pro is going away. Here are my options:

-Keep the MB, buy a smaller-size new iMac.
-Sell both, buy a do-it-all MacBook Pro (would appreciate advice on which one)
-Sell both, buy iMac and iPad with keyboard.

Thanks in advance for taking a look.
Here's what I'd propose. If you are a data hoarder, a MacBook Pro all by its lonesome will suck. I am a data hoarder too and the only way that I can make the Mac half of my own set-up work is by owning and using a NAS for the stuff that I would still like to have easy access to, would still like to be kept redundant, but would do not need to travel with me when I am traveling. If your hardware needs aren't otherwise hefty and if you're fine with the upgradability options offered by a non-retina 15" MacBook Pro, then I'd get one along with a NAS. Even with a 2006 Mac Pro, I'd probably still put the money into fixing it so that you could use it as a NAS versus the comparable cost of an actual NAS (plus you could actually host a plethora of services via OS X Server, and thankfully you are unable to run the piece of crap that is "OS X Mountain Lion with OS X Server" (or whatever stupid marketing name that they have for Mountain Lion Server).

Otherwise, if you have no need for portability but still value expansion and upgradability AND you don't want to wait for the mythical potentially vaporous 2013 Mac Pro, the following is probably the best deal out there, given that the tech is identical to what is being used today, and it's a pretty good price even for two year old tech:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC...ore-intel-xeon

I would either go entry-model 15" non-retina MacBook Pro and that sucker (as you can replace RAM and Hard Drive, and even optical drive down the road with other stuff as needed) AND get that refurb Mac Pro or I'd get a maxed out high-end 15" non-retina MacBook Pro model and I'd spend $300 on your choice between fixing and repurposing your Mac Pro as a Server or just getting a NAS.

This is assuming you have $~3300 to blow. If you don't, I can modify my advice as needed.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:21 PM   #12
James Craner
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Not sure what you budget is, but I think a new Mac mini would be a great replacement for your Mac Pro, they can take the new fusion drives, and given you already have a display would be a good solution. Then get an iPad or a base MacBook Air for your portable needs.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:27 PM   #13
Baytriple
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Crazy fool mr op

I have a 2007 3ghz Mac Pro that is blazing with a AMD 5870 card.

Also running Mountain Lion too.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:27 PM   #14
phoenixsan
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Hello Doctor....

the Fusion drive is a solution just implemented for Apple in the 2012 models of Mac Mini and iMac. Works like a single volume and combines a SSD and a normal HDD.

Maybe this wikipedia link can be more useful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Drive

or

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5446

Currently, the 2012 iMac can be configured as this page says:

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...ac/family/imac

Pick your poison.....
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