$3,500 to spend on a new workstation

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bobsaget, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. bobsaget macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
    Hi guys- I'm a motion designer and am looking to upgrade from my 2011 MBP 17" as my main rig. I predominantly use After Effects CS6, but definitely use the rest of the Suite as well.

    Anyway, I'm looking to spend around $3,500 on a new computer. I already have a 27" thunderbolt display, a 512GB crucial M4 SSD, and am planning on throwing 32-64GB RAM into the system. I have my eyes on a refurb 2.4ghz 12-core (June 2012) for around $3,300.

    Is this a pretty good route to take? What would you do at this point in time with my budget?

    PS: is the 2.66 or even 3.06 12 core worth the extra $$$?

  2. pszilard macrumors member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I think that an Ivy-Bridge box might be better performance. I just ordered the 15" NON-Retina MBP with the upgraded cpu. I have 16GB of Corsair MACMEMORY already sitting on my desk to deploy plus a 480GB Corsair SATA 3 SSD Series 520. Additional storage will be via Thunderbolt to a LaCie 4TB (RAID 0) enclosure. All to plug into a 27" monitor, of course.

    This will give me portability as well as power.

    Too bad we won't be able to compare rigs sometime! :)
  3. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    You won't be able to use the TB display with the current Mac Pro.
  4. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Yes he will, the only thing he wont be able to use are usb and ethernet on the display, the video will act as a minidisplay port connection.

    Why do people keep saying it?
  5. theSeb, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Probably because it's true. This is not correct. The whole internet disagrees with you, including people that have actually tried it.

    The common theme:

    Please provide a link or proof because in my eyes you're spreading misinformation.

    There is a reason why Apple is still selling the ACD.

    And so forth. No one has managed to do what you're saying is possible, because it's not possible.

    Still don't believe me?

  6. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Sorry I stand corrected. I remember reading somewhere that the display can be connected and it was somehow in my brain that its possible. I was really under the impression that Minidisplay port will be compatible with ATD - sth like backwards compatibility.

    Apologies to all.
  7. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    No worries. It's compatible in the one direction, but not the other.

    You can plug in miniDP accessories into a Thunderbolt port. You can't plug in Thunderbolt accessories into a miniDP port. Unfortunately this means that people with a Mac Pro or with other pre 2011 Macs cannot use the ATD.
  8. will waters macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Great Britain
    Back onto the main subject...

    I personally would wait to see what apple bring out next year in the Pro line up, it might not be anything worth getting excited about...

    In case we are disappointed i would either go with the best iMac or MBP, failing that you could go down the Windows/Hackintosh route?

    If you need one now though, the MP from 2012 will not offer many improvements over the previous model's, however you could get yourself 2 really nice pc monitors and sell your thunderbolt display....

    Hope this helps

  9. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    The top end 12 core options are very much worth the money. I would buy the best you can (the 3.06 surely is blazing fast, I use the 2.93) and you can upgrade RAM later.
  10. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    Definitely wait a week though until the product announcements at the very least. Never know if you'll be surprised.

    For sure something is coming next year to replace the mac pro if you can wait till then.
  11. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    This is true and correct. We tried this once and it did not work.
  12. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    I still don't get why people keep recommending hackintoshes as work machines... You may save a few bucks here and there... but how much is your time worth?
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Probably because for anything non-mission critical it may make sense at home or as a project. Think lawn car:)
    So tempting to get more power for $2000.00+ less.
    For work based mission critical yes very stupid and also putting your employer in possible hot water. But then again if I built one and I was fixing it all the time my opinion may change very quickly. You can probably get them stable if you try hard to version lock everything and resist the weekly update pull.
  14. TRAV9614 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2012
    Maybe the top of the line iMac would be a good choice. I would wait until oct 23rd to see if the new ones are released first though.
  15. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    I second the wait for the new imac. Likely will be faster than the latest macbook pros and possibly a more powerful GPU it will give you the best bang for the buck, however with after effects CS6 fingers must be crossed for an nvida gpu as the raytracer is CUDA only. If you aren't raytracing 3d or you are using a 3rd party openGL plugin for 3d like Videocopilot Element 3d then AMD gpu shouldn't be much of an issue.

    That being said I just got a retina macbook pro recently (2.6ghz/16gb) and it has been great so far for AE. It renders much faster than the Mac Pro 2,1 I use at work, and with the latest update it is CUDA enabled. AE hasn't been updated for the retina display so it still isn't 100% crisp in the scaled resolution modes, however Premiere has already been updated and looks stunning, in the future I believe the rest of CS6 will support retina and will also look great.
  16. TRAV9614 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2012
    If you went with the iMac you would also be able to have two displays since you already have a Thunderbolt Display.
  17. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    For a side project, and as a fun hobby computer project and non critical home computer, I'll probably give hackintosh a try sometime in the future.

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