Bought a MAC PRO - Did I make a mistake...?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GrapeFace, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. GrapeFace, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017

    GrapeFace macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2017

    So I ordered a mac pro since I wanted a desktop version of a mac to use, as I don't need portability with a Macbook pro. However now I'm wondering if I should have just gone for an i5 iMac rather than one of these 'new' Mac Pro's. I ordered the £2999, one with a 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory, Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage.

    My PC is already using an AMD 7970, with an i7 4770k 3.5ghz, and I am mainly am going to use the Pro for music/audio work so I need a good cpu and memory, but I'm feeling like I might've shot myself in the foot with this purchase since it's a 2013 release as well, so it's like shining up some old shoes and selling them for more than a new pair... Should I just cancel the order and get an iMac or Macbook Pro instead?
  2. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    For that workload I probably would've gone with a high-spec iMac for the same price or for one a little cheaper. The Mac Pro is geared more for video editing (with FCPX) and is certainly capable of doing what you need, though.

    I main reason why I don't buy iMacs is because I don't want to have the display integrated with the system, I want to be able to replace/upgrade the system without having to pony up more just because it has a display included. Similarly, I'd like to be able to run whatever display I want and upgrade it whenever I want without having to have the iMac on the desk with it taking up space.

    Did you make a mistake? Heck if I know. Just keep in mind a new Mac Pro will be coming out within the next 2 years or so, you could always sell the Mac Pro you just ordered and get one of the new ones if you want.

    If you don't like the Mac Pro then you should have a return period as well, so you shouldn't be stuck with your purchase initially. Check the return policy from where you ordered it, if from Apple then it should be 14 days, IIRC.
  3. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2013
    What do you need a Mac for, what programs are not on a PC?
  4. GrapeFace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2017
    Logic Pro X and plugins with it I need.
  5. grad macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2014
    This is not about the benchmarks or performance but about the ability to have a proper setup without having a not-good/big-enough screen/keyboard standing on your way. Which neither iMac or MacBook can do.

    Regarding the CPU performance and performance/price ratio you can blame Intel (and of course indirectly Apple for going with that). And you know what, millions of other users in the PC world have "shot themselves in the foot" by buying Xeon CPUs or top-of-the-line multicore i7s for their X99 systems, only to "find" that they are "slower" than i5s for certain applications/games yet multiple times more expensive. But somehow it's just the poor old MacPros that getting the bad name ...
  6. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2013
    I have owned lots of iMac's. I honestly don't like them for Pro work. When you do Pro work your needs change and you might have to get more monitors, more desktop real estate etc.

    The MacPro's are not horrible spec wise, they are just so limited. TB2 is your only way to add any peripheral expansion, that and USB.

    I would look at what expansion you would need. Are you going to have external MIDI controller, keyboard? Are you going to want to have external audio recording and playback? Are you going to want to connect it to mixing board?

    Just make sure everything you need is covered, since the computer is NOT future proof, your basically buying a DEAD architecture, but if you can find the solutions for what you need, then it should work for a while.
  7. plexdk macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2007
    I use a maxed out iMac from 2012 for music production in logic.. no probs at all :)
  8. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    It is not a slow machine by any means, and will likely last you many years. Either keep it, or return it and wait for the January/December 2018 Mac Pro, if you can.
  9. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    If you are already invested in a Logic workflow then the nMP is the best machine you can get to use with it. And right now is probably the best moment to buy one as we just got a "price drop" for a budget conscious scenario like yours.

    While it is true that the other Macs may well serve the power required for your case, but like others said with an iMac you are locked to a screen and its potential throttling, and with MBPs they are meant for being portable etc. I usually would never recommend the nMP to anyone because other Macs almost always out-do it for other purposes, but your use case sits quite firmly into the intended nMP market. One major advantage is the machine is silent or really quiet even under heavy load, which is great for music related tasks.

    Also for audio interfaces, TB2 is more than good enough to suffice, bandwidth wise. The connectors and/or hubs can get expensive though, and even more so if you want TB native hardware. But this is a common issue across all Macs after the cMP anyway.
  10. kimguroo macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    I have similar situation like you.
    I use logic with virtual instruments and Orion studio.
    I did not use many virtual instruments so my MacBook Air worked well without any problem but I started to use many virtual instruments and plug-ins. I need new desktop. Waited 5 months for new IMac but it's very doubtful that we will see new iMac anytime soon and can't wait anymore.
    I decided to buy IMac 27" i7 516SSD next month but very tempting to go with Mac Pro.
    Mac Pro is about $300-$500 expensive without monitor. I don't do video works so I might go with cheaper monitor if I buy Mac Pro. Very hard decision for me too.

    Mac Pro is really old computer even though it will give decent performance.
    iMac is all in one solution and still has strong performances.
    Apple should go 8-core for $2999 and 12 core for $3999 then it will be easy a decision but I feel that it still needs better performance for Mac Pro line.

    Many people said IMac 27" i7 516GB ssd is as good as 6 core Mac Pro. Very few people recommend Mac Pro for audio works since IMac 27" i7 IMac can offer enough performance.
    Looks like IMac 27" might be more economical and better decision than Mac Pro.
    Currently I am leaning toward to IMac but keep thinking of Mac Pro T_T
  11. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2013
    Has nothing to do with the NOW, more to do with the future. Needs change, programs update, then requirements change, but your iMAC screen resolution and build will never change.
  12. Korican100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 9, 2012
    Yes, please understand Mac Pro is not a slow computer. As it does have "dated" internals, its a very good setup. For The nMP can handle Logic Pro and FCPx fantastically.
  13. richmlow macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002

    You didn't make a mistake.

    Your 2013 Mac Pro will last a long time and serve you well.


  14. Morpheo macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2014
    We bought a 6-core trashcan this week at work. Mainly for audio, which in my particular case means film music, so lots of VIs, large orchestral mockups, Pro Tools sessions with sometimes 200+ tracks, dozens of inserts, multiple Altiverbs, multiple video tracks, etc etc, you get the idea...

    I'm like everyone else, eagerly waiting for more info about the upcoming Mac Pro revision... In the meantime I know this 6.1 nMP will serve me well., no, I don't think you made a mistake - I guess it always comes down to what you need, when you need it and why, and how much you can spend on it.

    Just for the heck of it I'll do a GB3 test next week... I'll compare results with my 5.1! :)
  15. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    You can run those nMP full out all day and it won't care or break into a sweat. Can't say that about iMac (laptop with a 27" head monitor).
  16. magic carpet macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2017
    I have a new MacPro on order since there won't be anything new before 2018 (probably it is going to take even longer) and I'm in a real need for new hardware since my current hardware isn't up to the task any more.

    Without the price cut I would have "made the switch", already had made up my mind regarding a specific windows machine. But with this surprising Apple news from last week I decided to go with the nMP.
    I'm sure it will serve me well and for a long time to come, I know that it is a very capable machine.

    I know quite a few people that have the nMP running since 2014 without any issues, it is great for a lot of (professional) tasks. However, it seems that the nMP isn't really up to the task of very heavy video/film postproduction. When you read at the BlackmagicDesign forum - they seem to have LOTS of problems. I don't know if this issues regarding rendering are fixed by now or if it simply doesn't work.
    However, for a lot of things the nMP is great and I'm happy do have one on order.
  17. viersen macrumors newbie


    Oct 5, 2014
    I am thinking on getting a nMP 8 core too. I will be using it for music composition and production for film and videogames mainly so not worried about the GPU. The D500 wont give me any trouble at all. I think the nMP are good for musicians and sound engineers even now in 2017. An 8 Core could give me the opportunity to have as many VST tracks as necessary and able to run many sample libraries realtime. Also been so quiet makes a difference when tracking and TB2 is enough for Audio! No need for TB3.
  18. ctrlzone macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2017
  19. theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    You made the right choice. The nMP is much better for audio work than the iMac. It will also last much longer.
  20. CC88 macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    I'm not an iMac fan. Looking around for changing my late 2012 macmini for video editing and 3d the choice was a nMP.
    I'm pretty happy with it. As I can give you an advice, for 240 euros (I'm in europe) choose the D700 cards.

    They double the performance of D500.
  21. ctrlzone macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2017
    since he is using it for music/Audio that would be a total waste.
  22. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    Don't be so sure... yeah, presently they're overkill, but these days the GPU is often the first component that becomes a performance bottleneck even for non-graphic intense workloads as software progresses over the years (and who knows when audio processing might benefit from GPU compute some day). Since it's unlikely there will ever be a GPU upgrade available for the nMP, if it's not a lot of cash for the upgrade, it may not be a bad idea for longevity. Maybe it will be the thing that keeps macOS 10.16 bearable.

    That being said, I personally don't recommend trying to "future proof" a computer by more than a couple years - after that, I say if you want more computer, then trade it in for a new one.
  23. CC88 macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    I'm sorry didn't read about audio use. Despite this I recommend D700 over D500. It's a benefit for all the interfaces and use. The price is now accessible :)

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