Advice sought on new Mac Pro purchase

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gvsbdisco, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. gvsbdisco macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #1
    Hi Folks
    Hoping some of the experts could help me out on a configuration decision. I need to pull the trigger in the next two weeks on a new desktop. My main uses are:

    - all standard desktop/productivity apps (Office etc)
    - Stats packages (Stata and SPSS).
    - other research tools that are not processor intensive
    - std web browsing etc.
    - VMWare running Windows 7 (within W7 I will run std productivity software but W7 will have to be running full time)

    My dilemma is that I realize a 27" iMac would meet my needs however, I have two 24" decent dell monitors that would go un-used if I went with the iMac. Selling the monitors isn't a option. So my thoughts are that I would prefer to get a lower end mac Pro, and set up the 24" as a dual display. It would be a good setup for manipulating numbers in the stats packages. The data sets I work with are typically not huge (thousands of rows, and maybe 80 variables max). I also need to purchase within the next few weeks so waiting for the refresh is unlikely.

    While budget is not an issue I am looking to buy an appropriate setup that will last 3-4 years. So I am looking to find the "value" sweet spot in the current Mac pro line-up (I know....probably an oxymoron) wrt processor and RAM. All the other 'stuff' is easy to choose.

    Thoughts? Advice?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    You can hook the 24"s to the iMac as well, triple monitor setup would be so cool! IMO you wouldn't take the full advantage of Mac Pro i.e. expandability (SATA, PCIe) so iMac would fit you fine, even Mini could.
     
  3. sgunes macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #3
    Options are Mac mini (2.66GHz CPU, 8GB memory, $850 + self-bought RAM) and you could hook up one Dell to the HDMI and the other one to the mini-display port.
    That may be the cheapest way to get going right now.

    AFAIK the iMac lets you connect one additional monitor, so would have to pay for something you don't need and have one of your monitors go unused.

    Third option would be the single socket MacPro (new versus refurbished/used 2009 or 2008 models) which would be considerably more expensive.

    As most people here are waiting for the new 2010 MacPro to be released any Tuesday :rolleyes:, you may be better off to go for the low-cost low power-use Mac mini now, then when the new MacPro gets released get a loaded one that will last you for 3-5 years and use the Mac mini as a backup/media center computer.
     
  4. gvsbdisco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #4
    thanks for the feedback so far. It is helpful.

    If I was going to go the Mac Pro route what would you suggest?

    thanks
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Wait for the update. Current quad core Mac Pro is very bad value compared to the iMac. iMac can handle dual externals with ~80$ USB dongle so it's not that expensive.

    I would say either high-end iMac or Mini + 2010 Mac Pro
     
  6. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    B'ham
    #6
    +1

    Go with the high end iMac. The current MacPro is a horrific value right now.
    If you can wait a few months, there might be new Mac Pros out.
    Hopefuly with better than $50 video card options.

    Or you can build a much faster i7 at NewEgg with a blazing fast video card, three times as much memory, twice as big a hard drive and lots of hardware options for less than half the price of the base quad core MP.
     
  7. jwire4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #7
    I would also recommend waiting for a new Mac Pro, or getting a Mac Mini. There is no reason to spend the money on a computer that you won't take full advantage of.
     
  8. zeigerpuppy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #9
    same dilemma - in March!

    I had the same thought in March, there was no sweet spot in the Apple range.
    Mac Pros are very expensive (actually the top end are better value)
    and are hobbled as far as processor upgrades.
    iMac is hard to upgrade, the SATA controller is slow and you can only have one extra monitor.

    I would recommend building your own,
    I built a i920 system with 6GB RAM, 3 HDDs and a GTX 285 dual DVI
    everything runs perfectly, easy install and plenty of good support on insanelymac. Just stick with the Gigabyte motherboards and you'll have a system which is Gulftown/USB 3.0 ready which is faster than a stock 4 core Mac Pro and less buggy (for instance the Mac Pro does weird things with processor usage decoding audio).
    I usually buy computers every 5-6 years and have more demanding requirements than what you listed. Ps... total cost around AUD $2000 for all top end parts, but if you got a lower end graphics card and cheaper parts, you could probably get away with $1500

    ps. for stats have a look at [R], it's truly awesome!
     
  9. gvsbdisco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #10
    Thanks Everyone for sharing their advice. I have gone ahead and ordered a 27" iMac.
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #11
    Oh Boy, now you've done it. It's practically guaranteed now that the new MP will be released this tuesday. It's just the way the world works, eh? :rolleyes:
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    He would still be within the 14-day return policy so he could return it and get a Mac Pro :p
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    Pain in neck for them, though. Good for all those waiting for a MP, however.

    At this point I am happy with my 2008 Octo, so I am just curious as to what Apple has up it's sleeve for the next MP.
     

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