Buying a Mac Pro...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wallbank2k9, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. wallbank2k9, Dec 11, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010

    wallbank2k9 macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2010
    i currently own a white macbook (2.13ghz) and a windows computer (quad core 2.5ghz) I will soon be replacing my white macbook with a 13" macbook pro (2.4ghz 2010) and i am also thinking about buying a mac pro. The only problem is, apple are selling their baseline mac pro for £1999, and for the same price i can buy a 2009, 8 core 2.26 nehalem 6gb ram off ebay for the same price, or, i can buy a 2010 mac pro (2.8ghz quad core) with 6gb ram and a 3 year applecare off ebay also. Also, should i buy a mac pro, or an imac? because the baseline mac pro is £1999 and then i have to buy a screen, and to get a 27" apple led cinema display, it will cost me an extra £889, so then my total comes to £2888 for a machine that has the same specs as an imac, that costs £1649.
    The question i am asking is that: am i better off going for the 2009 8 core model off ebay, or a 2010 quad core mac pro from apple, or a 27" quad core imac from apple?
    all help is appreciated
  2. khollister macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    The answer heavily depends on what you are primarily planning on using the machine for. Do you already have a high quality display to use with the Mac Pro? A quad core MP primarily buys you substantial options and performance in the area of disk I/O, some upgradability and the option for more RAM. From a CPU horsepower standpoint, the top end i7 quad core iMac is just as fast. Of course the 8 and 12 core MP's have more cores, but they are usually slower clock speed, so unless your application are well-threaded to take advantage of that, you are actually worse off.

    Unless you are running specific video or 3D rendering software that scales well to large numbers of cores, the faster quad is likely the better machine than the older base octo. Also bear in mind that you could upgrade the 2010 quad to the 3.33 GHz hex core Westmere CPU (still quite expensive at this point) - the 2009 models will not accept a Westmere CPU.

    On the other hand, if you are just cruising the web, doing some light photo editing in Aperture or PS Elements or using iMovie, the iMac will be a more cost effective option.

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