$3500 Mac Pro Budget.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bagelche, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. bagelche macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    I know varieties of this have been posted here, but this thread'll have my specifics.

    I have $3500 to spend on a Mac Pro. Primary purpose is video editing in Final Cut Pro and Premiere CS5 (mostly AVCHD footage, but also SD DV).

    Here's the purchase I mapped out so far, but I'd appreciate your input. Is there a semi-equivalent monitor (from Dell or whomever) for notably less?

    Mac Pro: 2.8GHz quad refurb w/ ATI 5770 video $2,119.00
    RAM: 12 GB $320.00 (OWC)
    SSD Boot Drive: 120 GB $260.00 (OWC)
    Other HDDs: 3X 1TB ~$210.00
    Monitor: Apple 24” refurb $599.00

    TOTAL: $3,508.00

    I can fit the applecare extension into next year's budget, so won't worry about it here. Separate funds are available for a Matrox Mini (probably with Max) and a client monitor--something under $300, but that's TBD.

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Sounds pretty good for your budget. You could sub the apple monitor for a less expensive model and get a 3.2GHz model instead, just as a potential suggestion.
  3. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    I agree with this, but it's personal preference when it comes to monitors. If you really like the ACD go for it. But the 3.2GHz upgrade would not be insignificant for your work. Either way, glad to see you aren't buying HDDs, SSDs, or RAM from Apple :p
  4. bagelche thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    I'm not mad into the ACD. We have a G5 with the 20" ACD of yore and it's a solid monitor, though seems to be a bit dim w/ age. That is the machine we're replacing. Our other main editing machine right now is a 24" iMac. I like the screen size for editing, particularly with 2-up on widescreen footage. The display is fine and reflection shouldn't be a problem in the room where this computer is.

    I know Dell has some IPS panels I should be considering, but I don't know exactly what. I'm all for moving up the quality/price line, but there's something nice about the visual connection of the appleverse. Not that that should trump bang for the buck.

    As a modestly obsessive dealhunter, I've no problem shopping out for parts. :)

    I am intrigued to see how the SSD boot drive changes things. I've never worked with one before. My plan right now is to RAID 0 the two sets of 1TB drives (or 1.5TB if they fall in the budget at purchase).

    Thanks for the feedback.
  5. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    Dell offers the U2311h and U2410 in that size range. The former is a very good deal at about $300 in the US. I believe the U2410 is closer to the refurb price of the 24" ACD. That extra $300 in savings would get you on your way to the CPU upgrade if you choose to go that route. I'm not sure I have a recommendation as they're both viable options. HP has a few in this range as well...check out the ZR24w. I think it's slightly less than the U2410. All of these are IPS monitors so pick one with the appropriate features, price, and good reviews.

    Edit: Just wanted to add that SSDs make a world of difference. It was the single most noticeable and substantial upgrade I've done. Boot times are incredible and the entire system just feels snappier. OWC and the OCZ Vertex 2 series are the brands to look at. I'm getting by with 60GB, but I think 120GB is a good choice for you, as you've already outlined in your budget.
  6. andrewsd macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2008

    I have seen some of the displays with the IPS and they are very nice. Also have you considered getting a cheaper monitor so you can have two or a bigger one then 24"ACD. I know you mentioned you enjoyed the size of the 24" but just me personally used to love having two Displays for editing video.

    Oh nice system though and as other have stated I don't think it would be worth it to you to get a little more faster processor as the current one you listed is more then substantial. Best of luck!
  7. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
  8. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    seems like a nice system. I got a eight core refurb and added all kids of extras, its a beast, but then i use it for 3D renderings and stuff. the 2.8 ghz is fine, stil ridiculously fast, and the SSD will make it quicker than mine :p

    Now the ACD is great, i use the 30" screens 3 of em, but then thats a different league :p The 24" is really nice, its def. worth it, but consider if u get a cheaper one from dell that u wont have an isight, microphone, or speaker. If u dont need those extras then get a Dell or something. A matte screen is also nicer to work on then the glossy ACD, even if its not very bright.

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