Advise on buying Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by simon.sagen, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. simon.sagen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #1
    Hello Friends,
    I am still a Windows PC user, and i am very tired of all the crashes, viruses and millions reboots, Blue Screen of death and loosing my precious data.

    I have, finally, decided to invest in a good mac pro or iMac.
    my usage: Website creation, Multimedia (Photograhy, a bit of Video Editing), a bit of Gaming, and general usage.

    I had a few questions, as i am a complete newbie with regards to MACs:
    - Can i buy a MAC Pro, and upgrade the processor in the future (as i know HDD, RAM, Graphics Card can be upgraded and other small external accessories can be added in the later future)
    - Does MAC based systems crash or have viruses?
    - What are the down sides of buying a Apple system?
    - Is IMac better or a Mac Pro? ( i like the idea that i can keep upgrading Mac Pro, which means it will last much longer!)
    - Is it easy to use/install pirated Apple Software on Apple Systems?
    - Where can i buy Apple System most cheap (i have seen US offers the best prices, i am in UK, and can get a friend to bring it with her from US)
    - Does an IMac come with a Mic?

    I thank you in advance for your guidance and help.
    Best Regards
    Simon
     
  2. sclough macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    #2
    1. Not sure about the processor upgrade as I don't have a pro, but there are others here who can probably verify.
    2. In my experience, it is extremely rare for OSX to crash. I personally haven't seen a crash in probably 3 years. Viruses are practically non-existent. The exploits that do exist are typically something in Safari, for example, that requires you to click a malignant link. With that said, because of the OS design, exploits also can do far less damage. I've never been affected by an exploit in 6 years of Mac usage and run no anti-virus type software and don't know any Mac users who do.
    3. Downsides are hardware lock-in (the other side of that coin is that OS X works extremely well with it's hardware), some say in certain situations that Apple hardware is more expensive although this is also very debatable. If you don't like OS X (how could anyone not like OS X), then obviously Apple hardware doesn't make much sense. Also while there is an amazing amount of unique software available for the Mac (more than most people realize) there are some cases where certain software only runs on Windows. I don't game, but gaming is probably one of those areas where Apple is down a little. However, now that you can run Windows virtually via Fusion or Paralells for Windows apps and dual boot Windows via boot camp (for gaming) a lot of that is mitigated.
    4. I'm guessing for your use an iMac would be fine, but learn a little more and try out the systems at the Apple store.
    5. Why use illegal and pirated software? You wouldn't want people stealing your things. Have some honor.
    6. Sorry, I'm in the US. Here Amazon and the Apple store are some of the best places. If you know somebody coming to the states, that might be cheapest because of the Euro/Dollar rate.
    7. I'm sure it has a mic that's suitable for video conferencing, etc.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #3
    Mac OS X crashes as much as any other operating system. Countless times per week I have to "Force Quit" applications because they stop responding and on a few occasions I have had a "kernel panic" where the entire system stops responding and you have to restart. I do not think that it crashes any less often than my Windows Vista or Windows XP machines.

    Downsides are definitely gaming and the fact that Apple often cuts corners in the production of its machines. The 20" iMac, for example, has a much lower quality display than the 24" model, but this isn't specified on the product page. The company also uses old hardware in its Mac Pro, like the graphics cards which are often a generation or two out of date.

    Mac Pro is really a professional machine, a workstation if you will. Most users will never come anywhere close to using the power which it has, meaning that buying it will be a complete waste of money for them as they never use 4 or 8 cores.

    If you are a student, it's best to buy the computer from the Higher Education store. You get a huge discount and a free 3 year warranty when you do so. If you're not, look at John Lewis as they give you a 1 year warranty extension on their computers. If a friend brings a huge desktop computer with her to the UK, she'll have to pay import tax on it which can erode any potential savings you make with the US currency rate.
     
  4. simon.sagen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #4
    Thanks

    hmmm, interesting answers, I did not know that one might have to pay some tax while bring the system from US to UK! and i am worried that one says that MAC rarely crashes and othe says it does as much as PCs :confused:

    I hope more answers will help me better understand and reach a positive conclusion.
    Thanks again to the people who have answered my questions.:)
    Regards
    Simon :apple:
     
  5. Bakey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    O Donny Boy
    #5
    There's clearly something wrong with your machine buddy - may I suggest you start to check a few bits 'n pieces out first (RAM)! :rolleyes:

    Personally speaking I find OS X to be extremely stable; right from my G4 up to my Macintel -- no where near as flaky as XP!

    Moving pretty much lock stock to Mac has done me no end of favours - I get my work 'done' safe in the knowledge that it's much less likely to die on me!!!

    Good luck in your choice and please don't be put off by the other guy... :D
     
  6. PCM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #6
    For video editing, Final Cut / Logic is the only way to go. Mac for sure.

    However, if you ever plan to get into 3D, stick with a PC. I am getting into 3dsmax and rhino and they are PC only. Of course you could dual boot on a Mac Pro but it's really a damper on workflow to boot back in forth if you want to edit a texture in Photoshop. The programs run horribly in parallels. I'm thinking of getting a PC with DVI switcher just to run Max :(
     
  7. TayHarley macrumors member

    TayHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #7
    I too am ready to make the leap to Mac and part with the cash for an iMAC/MBPro - but already discounted the MBPro as overkill for my needs (and a prayer that Apple bring out a tablet pc).

    My biggest concern, reason for change is constant crashing, patching, virus scanning and regular graphics freeze in Windoz - now a constant problem when running just two Office apps together.

    In two minds about the iMAC 2.8 with Graphics Upgrade versus 3.06 with the larger hard drive (£240 difference). Is the higher speed and graphics card worth the investment in terms of future protection? By maxing out the RAM in a year or so, would 'the other guts' of the iMAC give out before the ATi graphics card became underpowered in comparison to the Nvidia?

    Having read the threads - I will purchase the software outside the Apple Store - any fb on the cheapest software/care deals ?

    Thx in adv . . .
     
  8. simon.sagen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #8
    Dear TayHarley

    Hi TayHarley,
    my friend, could you kindly post your own query as a seperate post, as i am hoping to get more answers these nice folks who frequent this forum.
    I wish you all the best in your struggle to find the system.
    Best Regards
    Simon
     
  9. Ladybug macrumors 65816

    Ladybug

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    #9
    - Don't quote me on this but I don't think the processor is upgradable.
    - In the 3 years I've been using Apple systems, I have yet to see a virus. Thats not to say you shouldn't practice safe computing. I don't use antivirus software or click on dubious links and so far so good. As for crashes, all OS's can crash but its not a daily occurrence. I've had a few programs stop responding and a few hard lockups which required a reboot. I've never been forced to rebuild my system.
    - Downside to having a Mac would be that most stores don't carry software for my Mac. In the PC world you can just walk into any store and pick up what you need. Since owning the Mac, I usually have to order all my software online. Minor inconvenience but something to consider if you like instant gratification.
    - I personally own an iMac. Thats not to say the Mac Pro isn't a fine machine. It's just more computer than I needed. I would say a Mac Pro is a better machine as far as specks go, and most of the parts are upgradable. With an iMac you won't have that luxury. The iMac is what it is, and its a great computer, does all that I need, however only the ram is user replaceable. On the plus side for an iMac, its a much simpler all in one solution. It takes less space, has less wires running too and fro, and has video and audio built right in.
    - I don't personally know about pirated software for the Mac. I've purchased all my software and haven't had any problems finding commercial or shareware applications for my Mac. Software is very easy to install and uninstall normally, and this probably isn't the best place to ask this question.
    - I've bought directly through Apple Online store and Amazon myself. I haven't had any problems either way. I like the idea of dealing with Apple directly, leaving out the middle man in case of problems early on, but have had no negative experience with ordering from Amazon (Macbook) either.
    - The iMac has a mic built into the screen along with video. Also it does have built in speakers too, but if you're into music you may way to get a good speaker system. I use my system with speakers and a headset.

    I recommend Bootcamp and installing Windows for your gaming needs. VMWare and Parallels work great if you need to use Windows software without rebooting, but not for gaming. If you want to spend less on a system you might want to consider checking out Apple's refurbished computers. About the only thing I can recommend before you jump into the water is for you to make sure you can find a Mac replacement for any software you might need. The hardest part of switching for me was unlearning my Windows way of doing things...most things are easier on the Mac but it took my brain a few weeks to make the jump. Best of luck to you whatever you decide.
     
  10. simon.sagen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #10
    Thanks to all

    Hi Friends,
    I want to thank you all for wonderful advise, especially "Ladybug", just what i wanted to know.
    I hope to buy an IMac from America, and a friend of mine will fly it back with her.

    Best Regards and thanks again
    :apple: Simon :apple:
     
  11. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #11
    The processor is upgradeable. But its a Xeon, so you have to keep in mind that they are expensive unlike Core 2 Duos, I dont think upgrading a Mac Pro is worth the money. By the time the Mac Pro becomes too slow there will be a different Xeon socket that will be incompatible with current mac motherboards.

    OS X and Windows are both perfectly stable if properly maintained and on good hardware. You must have something wrong with your machine if you find Windows unstable. Neither OSX or Windows ever crashes for me.

    Your gaming life will be very short lived with an iMac, and very expensive with the Mac Pro since mac video cards are outrageously priced and very slowly released. Your best bet is to get an imac and build your own PC for gaming.
     

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