Buying 2010 Mac Pro instead of future MBP make sense for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dallas112678, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. dallas112678 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    Ok, so first off i'm a aerospace engineering student at the University of Texas. I know ill be taking classes using matlab and solid works so i wouldn't think it that farfetched to be using them on my computer.

    I initially was planning on buying a new MBP whenever they are updated with a newer graphics card (next summer?) with an external display. Lately though ive been rethinking that, i already have a MBP (specs in sig) that stays at my desk 95% of the time. Seeing as i really don't move my laptop around a lot, i am just thinking it would make more sense buying a Mac Pro (especially since i had already planned on buying an external display.) I would go for the 3.2 Quad seeing as apple is undoubtedly going to price the 6 core out of my price range. This would give me way more CPU power than whatever next years MBP update would be, not to mention the graphics (plan on going for the 5870) would blow the MBP's future graphic card out of the water.

    So yes, lately ive been thinking i would keep using my current MBP as a carry around with the Mac Pro giving me the extra CPU power seeing as the only place i would be doing processor intensive is at my desk. Not to mention Starcraft 2 (i so want this game) would play way better on the Mac Pro than w/e MBP's come out next year.

    So does this sound like a smart decision to you guys?
  2. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    Don't buy a single cpu Mac pro. At that point an iMac is a better smarter deal. Mac pros only make sense if you buy them with two CPUs.

    You are better off buying a used dual CPU 2008 macro model or a refurb
  3. dallas112678 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    That thought did go through my head, but the thing that attracts me to it is the 5870 GPU upgrade which is significantly better than past Mac Pro's and current iMac's.
  4. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    But it defeats the purpose to buy a gimped Mac pro with one CPU. You can get a 2008 model with dual quad cores for less than a gimped new Mac pro with only one CPU. Then buy a 5870 later and also put in 16gb of ram in it and have a killer machine for a much better price performance value.

    Buying a one physical CPU Mac pro is throwing money in the trash.

    A 2008 8core 3.2ghz can be had for about 2600 bucks.
  5. dallas112678 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    Assuming i can get applecare on that and they do have an 5870 upgrade for that model, then i would obviously do that. If i can't get applecare with it then i won't do it, i'm not going to spend $2600 on a machine w/o being able to buy another 3 years of coverage for it.
  6. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    You can get applecare for it IF you find this model in the :apple: refurb store or an apple authorized reseller that still has NOS = new, old stock (but this might be unlikely at this point)...
  7. dallas112678 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    Yup, thats not going to happen. Why i never really considered the 2008 Mac Pro. The only Refurb on Apples site is a $5000 8

    Ya after thinking about it a little more i have decided on doing the following. Right now i already have enough money to buy a new MBP next year (I will wait till they upgrade the graphics card) and an external monitor. By the time that happens, my current MBP will be 3 1/2 years old (not to mention it has the deadly 8600) on it so i don't know how many more years it will have. Seeing as i already have money for that future MBP, ill start saving now in addition to having a job next summer for the next Mac Pro refresh (when that new refresh, god knows whenever it will come out, i will have more than enough to buy a multi CPU Mac Pro) this way i'll have an updated laptop with a powerhouse at the desk.
  8. Quash macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007
    Sorry but i find this nonsense to be honest.

    The 27 imac is much better value for most people.

    However there are plenty of reasons to buy a single cpu mac pro.
    - Wanting a faster graphics card then a 5750 is one of the best. (a 5750 aka 5850 mobility is not really a high end card). With the mac pro you can have a 5870 which is twice as fast. And most likely even faster cards will be available in the future.
    - Ability to add a fast ssd without breaking warranty
    - Internal drives (so ability to add > 2Tb drives in the future.)
    - Raid 0/1/10/5 ability
    - PCI express cards (probably usb3 via pci express)
    - Far superior cooling for 24x7 operation
    - Resale value will be higher if you plan to keep it over 3 years
    - Ability to use more the 2 displays (non glossy)

    Also a single cpu 3.2 quad will be faster then 2008 mac pro's for a lot of software. Not all but a lot. The single cpu 3.33 hex will be faster for everything then a 2008 mac pro i imagine.
  9. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    If you are thinking about a single quad, go for a refurb 2009 model. I would suggest this over the 2008 model because the 2009 has an onboard memory die, making your RAM travel a shorter distance and making it seem faster. Also, with that you can still get the 5870 and have plenty of expansion.

    Ya, you can get a really good iMac, but you wouldn't be able to have the expansion as you would with an iMac. Also, the 5870 will kill an iMacs 5750. And if you are worried about a refurb not lasting as long, you should be able to get the 4 year AppleCare for the Mac Pro (they do not offer this for an iMac I believe). This is only available for students and will get you a good solid 4 years of coverage, so no worries there.

    You could still get a 2010 MP if you wanted. This will come with wifi, a magic mouse, and a 1TB HD. Sure, not much of a difference, but still something. Also if you got a 2010 MP, there is a good chance it will last longer, definitely a plus. But if you wait patiently, you could probably find a 2.93 or 3.33 GHz 2009 for a good price on the refurb site.
  10. mjuarez macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    MacPro all the way.

    I was shopping around for a Mac a few months ago, and initially looked into getting a used MBP, possibly mid-2009. However, I already have a 2009 4Gb MBP provided at work, so I started to check out used MacPros (I already had a 30" monitor I was going to use with the MBP anyway). I ended up getting a MacPro 1,1 (2006), with 2 dual-core 2.26Ghz Xeons, and 7Gb of RAM for $1,350 from a local seller (Craigslist is your friend).

    Turns out, the performance is not even comparable. Not even close. Between much faster hard drives, tons of RAM, and 4 cores vs 2 on my MBP, applications fly. Even on CPU and I/O heavy apps, with multiple Windows VMs loaded in Fusion, everything feels much smoother than it ever does on my MBP. My typical workload is Eclipse compiling and debugging a ~200K Java application, Apache Tomcat running alongside, two 512Mb Windows VMs with databases churning in the background, plus Chrome with 20+ tabs, Evernote, Mac Mail with 25K+ emails, and TextMate. This is severely taxing on my MBP, to the point where I sometimes have to close applications. On the MacPro, it never even gets close. To complete a build on my 2009 MBP, it typically takes about 2 minutes. On the 2006 MacPro, the same exact process is completed in 37 seconds consistently.

    You mention graphics performance, and that was also an issue for me, so I just replaced the 7300GT card it had with an ATI 5970 bought off of eBay. It only cost me about $80 total ($180, minus $100 I got for the original 7300GT), AND I can now use dual 30-inch monitors, which the 7300GT was not able to do. I don't really use anything graphics-intensive, but WoW framerates went from ~20fps to ~70fps (maxed out, on a 30-inch monitor, running at full 2560x1600 with 24 bit color and 4xAA), so it was definitely worth it.

    Anyway, I'd say DEFINITELY go with the MacPro. Especially if you already have an MBP to lug around. Even a 4-year old MacPro is much faster than whatever you can get with any MBP, and if you get a recent one you'll just be blown away. Just make sure to go dual-socket, and get it with tons of RAM (I'd say at least 8Gb, possibly even more if budget allows).

    Just my $0.02.
  11. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Makes as much sense as saying "don't but a BMW unless it's an //M, just buy a loaded Chevy Malibu."

    I think this says it all. The iMac is a great machine for some, just like the 328i is a nice car. But some people need other functionality, and a tad more power, hence the 335i. Then there are true power mongers who want/need an unrestrained car like a 335is or //M or Octo or 12 core MP.

    I agree the low end MP is no particular value -- even overpriced, but it will last longer than an i7 iMac and offers the expandability a prosumer/pro user needs. It's simplistic to say the high end iMac is an unqualified "smarter deal" than the low end MP b/c it doesn't fit everyone's needs.
  12. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007

    Well I just found one from an authorized reseller, with Applecare if you wish for less than 2700 bucks. And it comes with a Nvidia 8800 512mb card etc..

    for the dual quad 3.2Ghz box. 2008
  13. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Oh man.~ Not another car analogy. :rolleyes:
  14. Pak^Man macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Beautiful analogy!!!
  15. ibilisi macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2010
    Is this NOS? I would consider this box, do share the source.
  16. grue macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2003
    Uh, or if you need PCI slots, or multiple internal HDDs, or an upgradeable GPU, or a non-glossy display… etc.

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