Long Term Upgradability of a Mac Pro (Or Should I just get an iMac)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BiikeMike, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. BiikeMike macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #1
    So, The mac pro is quite a machine, and I am in need of..... quite a machine. I have just started a company that does photography, lighting, video, and other production stuff. I will be running Adobe CS2 for now, (CS3 when it comes out) Final Cut Studio, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Vector Works 12, and various other programs.

    My problem is this:

    If I am going to be sinking $4,000+ into a computer and monitor(s), I want it to be the last computer I buy for a LONG time. With Apple releasing all this new stuff every 18 mos, in 3-5 years, will my pimped out Mac Pro be obsolete? and if so, when they release CS6 that needs a sixtuplet chip 68 core processor, can I put that in the Mac Pro box I get now? I know the hard drive and RAM won't be a problem, I hope to G-d I never need more than 16GB of RAM or 3 terabytes of disk space, but what about upgrading the processor?

    Or, would I be better off spending half the money on and iMac and getting a new one in two years?

    Thanks for the help

    --Mike
     
  2. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #2
    if you need something powerful just get the macpro now and slowly upgarde it. You will be able to get an almost any mac graphics card, and 16 gig of ram and quad 3ghz processesors arnt going to be absolete, at least in my opiionion for about 4 years. Id say go with pro.
     
  3. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #3
    If you can afford to wait a bit, at least wait till the Octo core Mac Pros are out.
     
  4. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #4
    I wouldnt be surprised if the Mac Pro will work with the 4GB modules like the Xserve.
     
  5. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #5
    Is that even a for sure thing? This is definantly somthing that is going to be at least a month or more off, so thats not a biggie. I may even wait until 10.5 comes out, but i'm not sure.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    Your machine will be obsolete the day after you buy it, Accept the fact and be happy.

    Now, when do you NEED to start using the horsepower?

    Take that date, and start making your purchase one month earlier, to allow for delivery, testing and time for correcting any problems.

    <FWIW, MacPro all the way with your application suite. Go directly to MacPro, do not collect iMac>
     
  7. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816

    XnavxeMiyyep

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #7
    I've had a Dual 867 MDD Powermac G4 for five years. I initially paid $2000 for it (it was actually from the previous set of models), and since then it's received an additional hard drive, some RAM, and a set of dual monitors. A couple years ago, my friend got an iMac for maybe $500 less than my Powermac that, even though it has a newer graphics card and a higher clocked G4, only has one processor, one screen, etc., basically it's not as good. Also, with the Intel switch, it should be easy for you to upgrade the processor if needed.

    Basically, you should get the Mac Pro, because even in two years, the iMac will not be as good.
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #8
    If you run into any upgrade problems as a Pro user, it will be with RAM.

    Buy the machine that'll handle the most RAM if you want it to last 3-5 years, and right now the Mac Pro capability of 32GB of RAM is the king. (And yes, it is 32GB of RAM since Apple sells an XServe in this configuration if you don't mind the price.)

    Plus the ability to swap the video card and CPU will help a bit keeping it fresh.

    Right now, don't even consider the iMac until it gets the new chipset, which should cure the 3GB RAM limit and raise it to 4 or 8GB -- that should help with the 2 year keep it around problem, especially if it is 8GB.

    The next gen Centrino Pro portable machines should give a good clue about the next iMac since it will likely run the same portable chipset.

    Right now you are in the buy it now, machine will get upgraded next week mode -- not good for someone looking at a 2-5 year pro machine purchase.

    Remember, even though the iMac seems like a bargain -- those 2 and 4GB DIMMs will make the iMac pricey. Especially since the 2 DIMM limit likely won't change.

    Yes, sure thing being just around the corner with the next generation portable chipset which will upgrade everything but the XServe/Mac Pro and the next CPU in the XServe/Mac Pro.

    Expect these to hit PC users first and Apple as soon as volume shipments merit it. Sometimes it'll make us first, and sometimes it'll be a painful wait.
     
  9. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #9
    Guess I'll be saving my pennies a little longer for a Mac Pro...... Maybe all this hype will bring about something new on Tuesday, not that it really matters...

    And as for when I NEED the horsepower...? Yesterday! seriously, I'm getting another stick of RAM for my MBP but I just shot video for a show and I need to edit it together, and I have 6 DV tapes, SIX! It's gonna be interesting. This will be the little MBP that could! :) (hopefully all the problems i've been having with it will just magically dissapear, and I won't have to send it back to Apple to get the latch fixed and battery looked at :()
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    OK then, I would wait until about 5 minutes after Tuesday's keynote. If there are not upgrades announced then, go ahead and order the MacPro.

    If there are upgrades announced, you'll have to weigh the advantage of delivery times and possible early unit bugs, vs. having the machine now and MAYbe getting a discount on the 'old' model.
     
  11. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #11
    I don't believe that in 3 years time your machine will be obsolete, 4-5 and you will probably be looking for something newer. Your work flow will be better then that it is now with the Mac Pro over an iMac, I'd hope so anyway. Sure there will be 16 core machines out, and possibly a new type of faster memory, huge hard disks etc. Now while this may benefit your competitors if they are buying new hardware, you aren't going to be losing anything in regards to your own productivity, though you may be in a situation where you could benefit from better hardware rather than upgrades. Adobe and Apple will surely be making their software run fine on current machines years from now, that's who their market is.
     
  12. adamyoshida macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #12
    I usually recommend lesser purchases but - yeah - you sound like you need a Mac Pro. Wait until after the keynote and, if Quad Cores aren't announced then, order.
     
  13. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #13
    My rationale for the wait is to get the biggest bang for your buck (obviously). Even if you do not need 8 cores now, you can alternatively get a refurbished 4 core model for a significant discount compared to the current price, which in turn leads to you not having to get such a LONG life out of a single machine!
     
  14. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #14
    Since this machine is enough to run your business, and since it will still be able to do what it does today in 4 years, the only way that it could become obsolete is if some revolutionary new program is released that will not run on a 4 year old Mac Pro. Considering that you could drop quad core processors into the thing, upgrade your graphics card and add more RAM, this seems unlikely.

    Wait and see what is announced tomorrow and then make your decision. Hopefully in 4 years your company will being doing well enough that buying a new computer won't be a problem. Best wishes.
     
  15. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #15
    Exactly. I think the Mac Pro would be best, if not necessary, for your uses. Since there may be new products or price drops after the keynote tomorrow, I would wait until tomorrow evening to order. A Mac Pro won't be obsolete in two or three years, and will be able to handle the work you need it to do then.
     
  16. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #16
    empty Cup, thanks on the best wishes, I hope it goes well too!

    So, Looks like I'll be getting a Mac Pro with as much RAM as I can afford and the nicest video card I can afford.

    So let's say Stevvie doesn't announce a new Mac Pro tomorrow, would the next revision be sooner rather than later? I know thats a stupid question of "should I wait" but if it's going to be the next few months, i'd wait :)
     

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