Advice on Buying a Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zer0tails, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi everyone!

    in light of my computing needs, I've decided to do away with the macbook pro and switch to a mac pro. I am considering a Mac Pro + an ultralight portable. Maybe one of the new macbook or macbook airs.

    The configuration I am looking at is a essentially the base model: Refurbished Mac Pro 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon.

    My question is a long term one. How long can I realistically expect to get out of this machine? in the past I only used portables and they would give me a good three years before I needed to upgrade.

    I like the mac pro because it's not only a speed demon, but I like the near unlimited expandability it will give me. And so, can I expect to get at least 5 years with the mac pro? Can the cpu be upgraded in the future? Will it work well with snow leopard?

    And when the new mac pros come out, will it be significantly different ? Is it gonna be a redesign ? better specs? I can live without having the top of the line because for my work: video editing and photo design I don't need the top of line. I'm also thinking the new mac pros will be too expensive for me, but i can afford the refurb. I'll get about 2300 for my MBP and the cost of the Mac pro is 2499.

    I am also hoping that, the cost of the mac pro, and ability to upgrade the system will mean that I won't have to upgrade to a new system so often.

    I already have a display and keyboard/mouse so i do not need to factor in the cost of that.

    thanks! let me know if I should be going for it.

    cheers
     
  2. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #2
    Yes, You can get about 5 years out of the machine but i would recommend getting the 8 core just so your more future proof. The new one is supposed to be quite a bit more powerful but won't be coming out for a while. Yes it will work well with snow leopard as it won't be much different. The thing with the mac pro is that it can be upgraded a lot so really once you have the processors. You only really need to up the ram and storage.

    It seems you would benefit from it so i would get it.
     
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #3
    It's not unreasonable to get 5 years out of it, given the expandability. If you're a high-end user, you may need to upgrade before that to keep up with specialized software.

    Snow Leopard is a streamlining of Leopard, so it should run even better.
     
  4. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    yes, I believe it is the 8-core version. These are the specs listed on the refurb site:

    Refurbished Mac Pro 8-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (2 x 1GB) of 800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
    320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (two dual-link DVI ports)

    edit: I am not so sure anymore if this is actually the 8 core version. As when I actually click to the learn more section, it is no longer stated as 8 core. I want the Harpertown processors. I guess I'll need to do more research on the differences between the various models. The mac pro really is new territory for me.
     
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #5
    If it's 2.8GHz it is either a single quad core (usually around $2,000) or a dual quad core (usually around $2,400 or $2,500).
     
  6. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    @ Umbongo: is there a significant performance difference between the two? Worth the $500 difference at least?
     
  7. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #7
    In the future. It will make a difference. Yes the one your looking at is an 8-core. It says 2 Quad core.
     
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #8
    As Techguy172 said in the future there may be benefits even if you can't use it now. A lot of effort is going in to making it easier for programmers to make their software take advantage of multiple cores. However in the end you really need to consider if that $500 can be put to better use for yourself. All you are losing is time, there is nothing an 8 core will be able to do that a quad won't. The quad will just be slower and really the advantages of more cores comes when doing very heavy processing tasks not day to day usage and average creative use.

    Then again I saw a good quote on here the other week that said something like better to buy once cry once than buy once and cry many times. Eluding to the idea that you don't want to spend 5 years annoyed you didn't go for 8 core.
     

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