2.0 GHz. Mac Pro: Stupid?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wwworry, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. wwworry macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2002
    I'm on a pretty strict budget and need to get a new computer. All I can afford is the 2.0 Ghz. Mac Pro or a souped up iMac. I will be using it for video work.

    I tried out a 2.66 GHz. Mac Pro at the store and found it very much to my liking for what I want to do. Almost instantaneous! The problem is that the 2.66GHz. model is a much better value than the 2.0. I would feel a bit stupid, maybe, getting the 2.0 model.

    What do I do?
    How do I justify the 2.0 model? Maybe I could upgrade it later when I have more money.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you can, just save up and buy the 2.66 GHz model. It will last a lot longer.
  3. ipoddin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Yeah, you could always upgrade the processor later. It will still be a screaming computer.
  4. Abulia macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2004
    Kushiel's Scion
    A "lot" longer? :rolleyes: No, I disagree. You'll see a minimal difference in performance. In fact, the 3.0 only gives a ~5% in performance over the 2.66 at a $800 premium. The 2.0 only shows a 15% performance decrease over the 2.66 yet by the numbers, is 25% slower. (Source: MacWorld)

    MHz doesn't mean everything. The 2.0 is a fine chip and the gap between those two machines is minimal.

    To the OP, the 2.66 is the better deal, but the 2.0 is a fine choice. You're not stupid for buying what you can afford.
  5. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I agree that you're not stupid for buying what you can afford. Rather it would be stupid to spend beyond your means. That said, if the difference between being able to afford the 2.66 and buying the 2.0 now isn't particularly long (a few weeks), and you don't need the computer right now, save up and get the 2.66 machine. I edit on a dual 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5 and it does everything I need it to, but in the middle of a long FCP render or Compressor batch, I often find myself wishing I had been able to get a little faster machine.
  6. Demoman macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2005
    Issaquah, WA
    For me the question would be, "Can I accomplish my work effectively with the 2.0". I would not even be thinking about the upgrade possibility. To do so, you would probably gave to scrap, or take a big hit selling, the two processors being upgraded.

    I do video myself. The 2.0 is going to be a great working environment. Also, I doubt the processor-intensive tasks will be significantly better with the faster processor. When you do get to the point where you just flat-out need more HP, you may be able to afford another MP with 8, 16... processors. This has been a successful strategy for me. I have recently ordered another MP for the additional processing power. But, I still use my G5 2.0 for much of my work, even though there is a quad right next to it.
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The 2.0 would work fine for your needs, but it may not hold resale value as well as the 2.66.

    If you can stand to wait just a bit, I would have cash in hand ready to pounce on
    a 2.66 or 3.0 refurb.

    They should be turning up some time soon, but mark my words, they will move fast
    so you need to watch the refurb listings daily.
  8. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2005
    Think about your two comparisons:
    four cores at 2.0GHz w/ 1333 FSB
    two cores at 2.13GHz w/ 667 FSB

    The first option will remain a 'fast' (or usable, down the line) computer for longer, right? That would settle the question for me, even before you get the option of upgrading possibilities.

    If it's possible to scrape up the $300 for a 2.66 machine, it's worth the money, but you're not in bad shape with the 2.0.
  9. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    I wouldn't say its stupid. But it wouldnt be smart. The 2.66 machine is a great value. I pondered going with the 2.0, but not only will it not have a decent resale value but it is slower.

    I choose to save some more cash and I bought a 2.66, and downgraded the HD to 160GB to save a few bucks.
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You can buy the X1900XT card later through the online store for $359.00 edu
    You can ALWAYS add bigger and better HD's
    You will ALWAYS save buying 3rd party RAM.

    So just get the better machine and upgrade as your needs progress.
  11. wwworry thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2002
    Normally, I'd just throw it on a credit card. However, I'm in a particularly odd time where that is impossible. I do, however, have $2500 to buy the upgrade to final cut studio and a computer. I don't think I'll have any extra cash until early next year.

    Don't ask me the specifics about why I have $2500 for a computer and holes in my shoes. But that's the true situation. I'll just be able to afford an extra gig of ram. stupid expensive ram. I'm glad you guys are reassuring about the fineness of the 2.0 quad. I'll probably keep the machine long after it's resale value plummets beyond "why bother?".
  12. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    IF you have the moeny for a quad 2 ghz get it. Its a quad, so no matter what it s going to be fast. You can slowly up the ram, which will make it faster. Get what you can, and as apple says "a million configs" you can up that RAM, and pretty much whatever you want.
  13. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    do you need the upgrade to final cut? what are you using now? fcexpress? i would cut out the upgrade if you can and use that for the 2.66. if you're doing video work, then you'll probably have enough money soon enough? to buy the upgrade to FCP? that's what I would do if you can swing it without fcp...

    best of luck,
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    It isn't stupid, just not the optimum choice -- the middle is the sweet spot.

    But that doesn't make the 2.0GHz machine a poor choice -- at least you don't get a RAM, HD, Optical, and a CPU downgrade for the bottom machine.

    Like you did under the good, better, best configurations.


    The Mac Pro will remain viable for a bit longer than the iMac, CPU upgrades aside.

    The 32GB RAM limit, 4 PCI-Express slots/video card upgradeable, a 2nd optical bay, 4 drive bays, and 2 extre SATA port (6 total)

    That is a longterm machine for high-end work compared to an iMac with 3GB of memory, and external upgradeability.


    C'mon quads in the Mac Pro future, and the iMacs following the slower notebook upgrade curve... :eek:

    However, the refurb 2.66 Mac Pro is the best choice.
  15. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    i'm was thinking about the same thing. I don't think it is stupid because the chip is upgradable. Down the road you could probably upgrade to the 3ghz chip and in the end it might even probably be cheaper than you buying the 2.66 one now, or around the same price. Mind you i said down the road.

    Personally i think the Mac Pro under any configuration is probably the safest and best buy in the lineup because of how fast and upgradable it is. It will easily last you 2-4yrs.
  16. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    you lose max. 20% in performance. in real life you lose probably 10%. nothing that will stop you from working or even slow you down too much. and you can upgrade later (most likely).

    it's not stupid to buy the 2.0 mac pro.
  17. DavPeanut macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2002

    Do you have a monitor to use with the Mac Pro already? If not, thats gonna run you another $400-$1000. Also, If you could conceivably buy through a friend in education you could save yourself a good $300 on the computer and a whole lot on Final Cut Pro.
  18. weldon macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2004
    Denver, CO
    If you're on that strict a budget, you might consider an iMac. Unless you are certain that your workflow and apps can take advantage of all four cores, the new Core 2 Duo iMacs are not that much slower than the Mac Pro in many applications.
  19. wwworry thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2002
    I have a dell 20" already and another crt. I'm going to go with the 2.0 and a bit of cheaper kingston RAM. I think I'll be happy doing my spinning videos.
  20. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Yes, I am well aware that clock speed is nt everything. However, I would not call a 33% increase in clock speed from the 2.0 GHz to the 2.66 GHz "minimal."

    2.0 is fine, 2.66 is better. Buy with your budget, either way it will be fast.
  21. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You might want to read xlr8yourmac.com's test results on using non compliant
    DIMMS without the CORRECT oversized heat spreaders.

    Honestly, I think it will serve you the best, to hang in there and save just a bit more
    to buy a properly configured 2.66.
  22. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2005
    I'd suggest getting the 2.66 - get the minimum config from Apple and upgrade RAM, HDD, etc. from the outside market at cheaper rates whenever you're able to afford those. For example, reduce the HDD to 160GB.

    I'm not very sure about how CPU upgrades will work out in the future.

    [If you need Bluetooth, get it from Apple when you order the Mac - it's difficult and more expensive to get it installed later internally, unless you like the idea of an external Bluetooth dongle.]

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