Buy a new/used Mac Pro desktop right now or wait?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SamWavy, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. SamWavy, Apr 23, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011

    SamWavy macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Hey guys, Just wondering if you can give me some quick advice.:)

    I currently own a Macbook Pro 2.4ghz Intel i5 (use it with an external monitor, apple keyboard, and wireless logitech mouse),
    mainly for music/video production but now it's time for an upgrade since my work is expanding for upcoming summer projects.
    If I do buy a brand new Mac Pro right now, I plan on keeping it for 3-5 years then upgrade.
    I'm trying to keep a $3000 budget, but sometimes I can go overboard.

    Here are my options ..

    OPTION 1 - Wait until the next Mac Pro is released.
    Upgrade the ram/hd on my Macbook pro for now,
    $105 for adding 8gb ram and $120 for a 1TB Hard Drive.
    (Currently have 320gb hd and a Western Digital 2GB MyStudio external).
    So my cost of upgrade will $225.

    I have lot of work to do this summer,
    so if i wait for new Mac Pro release,
    it better be worth it. Could be months from now!

    OPTION 2 - Buy a new Mac Pro right now
    Brand New Mac Pro desktop (One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor,
    3GB (three 1GB) memory, 1TB hard drive, 18x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD 5770 120 with 1GB GDDR5)
    It retails for $2599 + Tax, but with a special corporate discount,
    I'm getting it for $2100 including tax.
    I plan on spending another $120 for a 2TB Caviar Green Hard Drive and $825 32gb OWC Memory Upgrade Kit.
    So my total for this beast I'll be spending $3045.

    OPTION 3 - Buy a used one, then upgrade after a 2 years.
    Used Apple Mac Pro (2.66GHz Intel Quad Core Xeon, 1GB DDR2 ECC Ram,
    250GB SATA Hard Drive, 16x SuperDrive with double-layer support, GeForce 7300GT 256MB Ram).
    I can get this desktop for $800, and then I plan on spending another $120 for a 2TB Caviar Green Hard Drive
    and $825 32gb OWC Memory Upgrade Kit. So my total for this will be $1845.

    Let me know your thoughts, suggestions and any useful advice.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Well, it's unlikely that Mac Pro will be updated before Q4 2011 or early 2012. That is because there won't be new CPUs before that. So, are you ready to wait that long?
  3. philipma1957, Apr 24, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I say option 2 but with a twist. get the machine for 2100.

    get this ssd for 300

    get the western digital 2tb for 95 at this site

    use BUNNY15 for 15 dollars off

    get the ram at this site for 550

    total cost is 3045 but you get an intel series 320 160gb ssd for free.

    Then one more thing do my hex mod in a year see link you will have a very good setup for years maybe 3 to 5.
  4. Ommid macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
  5. TomKing macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    ok, so I'm in a very similar situation, I have a couple of big projects coming up this year, and I am going to need a machine to edit with.

    Im using logic and several plug-ins. Occasionally deals with RAW video footage, but not to edt, just to view.

    So here's my question... (like i said its pretty similar)

    Realistically I cant wait until Q1 2012 for the new sandy bridge processors, plus my budget only really stretches to the base model mac pro.

    (Now before everyone jumps down my throat, I am aware that it works out more cost effective to go for the duel processor models, and really i should be looking at the hex. but thats where my budget sits)

    Now I'll be dropping an SSD in as the boot drive, as that seems essential at the moment. but obviously the base model only has 4 dimm slots, and only 3GB of RAM.

    So I've been looking at going second hand, 2008/9 8core, 16GB RAM similar prices to new base model.

    I dont need anyone to list the hardware differences, because I know them, but what i could do with is, is someone with real world experience or using Logic with mac pros, and knowing the difference between 667MHz DDR2 and 1066MHz DDR3.

    That said, I understand the data transfer rates between the two, and the CAS timings, and fact that one is 2 and the other 3 channel.

    What I really need to know, is how this will effect my plugins, and also the performance of logic.

    I look forward to your replies. :)
  6. SamWavy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I'm very impatient, and so waiting 6-7 months can be tough since I need to get work done. If I was using this desktop for fun (surfing, checking e-mail, etc.) I would just wait.

    How will the Intel 160GB SSD benefit me? That's an additional $300. Would that be for my macbook pro?
    This Western Digital 2TB is a must and $95 is a good deal. I'm reading on other posts that the Hynix ram is not as good compared to the OWC ram (but you do save $$$).
  7. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    That's not true. Hynix is one of the 5 manufactures of RAM left these days and amongst others (mainly Samsung) the very brand Apple themselves ship with their machines.

    I never had any problem with Hynix RAM, whereas the stories where people had failing OWC sticks after only a view months don't stop.
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    The example was an illustration of a better deal for the same money.

    I use the ssd in my mac pro. It speeds things up a bit. you could just buy the ram and the hdd and spend 2745.

    Hynix is good ram. if you study the site you will read far more ram failures of owc then hynix. Owc rebrands ram Hynix is an oem ram maker. I have purchased ram from owc that has hynix chips in it.

    I like owc for service and they have nice ssds along with a few nice cases for external hdds. they aslo have great install videos for all kinds of apple gear.
  9. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    Got a link? I've never heard anything along those lines about OWC RAM being unreliable - nor experienced it myself - and they have free advance replacement, along with lifetime guarantee policies...
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    I don't have a link, but you could try the forum search if you wish. I can't recommend it though, as you'd probably end up with 5000 threads only because the word RAM or OWC in it. ;)

    There's a myriad of posts in this forum where people had to return their OWC RAM. Especially for people that don't live in the US that's a pain, which is why I can't understand why people out of the UK still buy that stuff. Local sellers are far more convenient (Crucial, Hynix, Samsung etc.).
  11. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Hynix Ram was the original RAM in my 2009 iMac and 2009 MB. Very reliable.

    Regarding OWC RAM there was a very long thread about problems with this last December. It seems like they had a bad batch. I know this is true because I was one of the people with bad OWC RAM. I called their support and they did help be verify it - you can run on just one stick to test, then remove and run off the other stick to test... Anyway, mine was bad and because OWC has advanced replacement I was able to have the ship my new RAM before the defective RAM was returned - they paid for shipping and did take my CC number in case the old RAM didn't make it back. The replacement was fine, using it now, and I sold the original RAM from my 2010 15" MBP which was Samsung brand. Again, the problem with OWC was a bad batch which cleared itself out in about a month. Haven't read any complaint in months
  12. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    My thoughts...

    Option 1:
    I guess you'd have to ask yourself how much more productive you could be with a more powerful (and more flexible) desktop machine versus your current laptop. And I wouldn't expect to see a Mac Pro refresh before Q1 2012 anyway. The Sandy Bridge Xeons aren't expected to ship until at least Q4 2011.

    Option 2:
    This is probably the option you'll want to go with if you really think you can use a more powerful machine NOW. And by this, I mean that it will make you more productive, thus more profitable.

    Option 3:
    Avoid. This is a 2006 (1st-gen) Mac Pro: older EFI-32 platform (limited graphics card choices) and questionable future support from Apple. Also, these machines use DDR2 ECC FB-DIMMs, which cost more than the DDR3 ECC DIMMs that the 2009-10 machines use. OWC's price on a 32GB kit for 2006 machine is actually $1,149. In summary, if you're still considering a used machine, you'll be much better off with a 2009 model at this point.

    I would also evaluate whether or not you actually need 32GB of RAM right now. Any way you look at it, it costs a lot of bones to max out your RAM. What software would you be running? Depending on your situation, that money could be distributed to other upgrades that may make a larger impact on performance, like an SSD or faster GPU.
  13. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    question about ram.. if i only want 16gb right now because I dont have the money to get 32...can i just buy two 8gb sticks and just run them ?? or am i killing performance by now using 3
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    You may loose 100 points in Geekbench. Negligible consequence really. Memory is so fast these days. I don't see much difference between 1066MHz and 1333MHz. Some will say you must have 3x dimms, they can't tell the real world difference either.
  15. Knollwood7E macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2011
    I am planning on switching my investment analysis programs from PC (on high performance desk top w/ Windows 7 Ultimate) to the 12-core MAC PRO. I was planning to wait on the next update of the hardware, believing it would be soon, based on comments in the Buyer Guide section of MacRumors. However comments in this forum clearly show that no upgrade is expected before q4/2011 or q1/2012.

    what is the current view about how much of a performance difference there will be between the current MAC PRO and the next one? My applications are actively updating multiple screens, heavily computational, and simultaneously processing streaming financial data coming in from Bloomberg. If there is a major boost expected, then I would continue to use my PC until the next MAC PRO; otherwise I would buy now. I definitely want to get away from Windows.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
  16. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011

    These 12 core beasts are still going to be beasts once the Sandy Bridge xeons come out... So if I was to buy one now (meaning you NEED it for work/hobby/whatever), I would clearly stick to the 12 core one...

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