Buy a Mac Pro to replace 27" iMac i7 late 2009?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by InfoTime, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. InfoTime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #1
    I'm suddenly interested in buying a Mac Pro.

    My current machine is the late 2009 27" iMac with the 2.8GHz i7 processor and 8GB RAM. I don't run anything that is too "professional" level. The only thing that really pushes me toward a higher-end Mac is the use of VMware Fusion. I like to have at least one Windows VM in use and want it to run as fast and as seamlessly as possible.

    My business is supporting small business and residential computer users. This week I've got a Mac Pro in the shop because one of the drives in the RAID 1 was failing. As I work with the machine I'm in love with the ease of changing out the drives and all the flexibility that provides.

    I'd potentially have an SSD as the boot drive, a larger drive for storage, a drive dedicated to Windows and the fourth drive possibly a Time Machine backup. It will be helpful to have lots of boot choices too with the upcoming release of Lion.

    I've wanted to upgrade my machine to SSD, but any such change is a huge ordeal compared to changing a drive in a Mac Pro. The flexibility of having four easily interchangeable drives is really appealing.

    So, I'm thinking about buying a refurb Mac Pro - most likely the most recent base model that retails at $2,499 (currently $2,199)

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC560LL/A?mco=MTkyMTM1OTY
    Originally released August 2010
    One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor
    3GB (3 x 1GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
    18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

    Questions:

    1) Will I be stepping back in performance coming from the i7 to this processor?
    2) What monitor should I pair with this - the 27" Apple display
    3) Anything else I should consider?
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    I'm surprised that VMware Fusion is running poorly on a computer that good. In my experience, the three keys to good VM performance are plenty of memory, multi-core processors, and, to a lesser degree, having the VM image file on a separate drive instead of your main system drive.

    I don't think the Mac Pro you've selected will be massively faster for VMware Fusion than your current machine. In fact, it might be quite a bit slower with only 3GB of RAM instead of the 8 you have now.

    I personally don't like Apple monitors. I don't like glossy screens, they are overpriced, and they lack physical adjustments for swivel, height, and rotate. I like Dell ultrasharps, one of the few model lines that are still available in the 16x10 aspect ratio.
     
  3. InfoTime thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #3
    The performance of the VM is good on the current machine. And, I'm sure I would upgrade beyond the 3GB, probably to around 8GB or so.
     
  4. feldhaus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009

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