Buying a new Mac Pro .... today?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CXsjr, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. CXsjr macrumors regular

    CXsjr

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #1
    Folks, firstly I know that the speculation over the 2010 Mac Pro's (potential hex-cores) has reached fever pitch but I've also seen talk that it could be June before we see a product refresh here and I'm honestly not sure I can wait that long .... or can I?

    My current equipment, used mainly for photoshop and other photo work, is a Power Mac G5 (model 11,2) 2.5Ghz quad, 8Gb DDR2 667MHz RAM, and a GeForce 6600 256Mb VRAM graphics card.

    I'm finding my machine to be a little slow these days, especially having checked out the more recent machines available in store. Even opening applications like Excel seems to take an age. In addition, support for non-Intel machines is waning when it comes to the latest software (Lightroom 3 won't work on a non-Intel Mac for example)

    I would very much appreciate some advice on potentially purchasing the current Mac Pro offering with a 2.93GHz quad core with 8Gb 1066MHz DDR3 RAM.

    If I do, is it worth my while spending the extra £'s on ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB graphics card over the standard NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB just for photoshop? And what about if I decide to install windows at a leter date so I can load and play FlightSim FSX?

    What about the extra £'s to go from 2.93Ghz to 3.33Ghz?

    Alternatively, given my potential uses as specified, do you think there are really that many gains to be had waiting for the 2010 hex-cores or will I notice enough significant performance gains over my current equipment with the 2009 Mac Pro as detailed?

    Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciated .... thank you in advance! :D
     
  2. snouter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    #2
    Even the 2008 octos would be a nice step up and perform very well in Photoshop, especially since you are coming from a G5, you would find the 2.8 or 3.2 octos to be pretty powerful.

    Photoshop is not 64-bit on the Mac yet and is not the most multithreaded app in the history of mankind either.

    I would not think the 3.33 option is worth it. Consider the 2.66 and 2.93 refurbs as well.

    edit: just checked the 3.33GHz upgrade price, and, um, no way is that worth it.
     
  3. CXsjr thread starter macrumors regular

    CXsjr

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #3
    Thank you snouter, much appreciated. Can you give me any guidance on the graphics card - trying to keep costs to a minimum right now as I'd only budgetted £2,100 for an iMac i7 but that's another story (screen issues - need I say more ;) ?)

    Does the standard fit GeForce offer any benefits over the ATI Radeon for PS, I'm guessing it doesn't?
     
  4. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #4
    Personally I think the wait is more justified by the fact that the graphics will update. If somebody's going to get a 4870, they might as well flash it themselves at this point (note that only one port will be dual-link DVI on the flash thanks to the DP standard). However, the next poster brings up some very good points.

    ^This. Still the best value professional machine around. Hang out at the refurb store for a while, they still pop up (too bad you're not in the U.S., a 3.2 and 2.8 Octo seem to be in stock).

    Indeed. Apple charges for the whole damn processor to upgrade instead of something sanely scalable. Might as well buy your own W3580 and drop it into the base model and gain a processor to use in a server or whatnot.
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    nope. PS is a CPU based program so the GPU doesnt change benchmarks at all (if it does percentages will be tiny, i.e. <5%).

    id also give another vote for the 2008 MacPro - seriously consider it!
     
  6. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    If you have managed to survive fine with your Quad G5 for this long, what's another month?

    I would seriously wait just that bit longer and at least see what Apple have to offer. It's not like the wait is going to be a whole year.

    I, myself, have the early 2008 Mac Pro and I don't need to upgrade but the machine is also 2 years old by now.
     
  7. CXsjr thread starter macrumors regular

    CXsjr

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    #7
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #8
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #9
    Wait if you are buying new. Prices should come down in the UK as the exchange rate has changed in our favour and currently prices are higher due to the way they handled VAT. I'm guessing a newer system isn't going to let you do anything new, just what you are doing faster.
     
  10. dazey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #10
    Personally, I would go for that ebay one if you can get it at a good price. You can use the money on extras. At this price point I dont think anything new is going to sway you. That was my gamble anyway as I picked up a 2008 octo 2.8 a few weeks ago. I have added some RAM, a 4890 flashed card and it just needs some more drives now.
     
  11. HyperX13 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #11
    I would buy a used 2008. My 2008 BLOWS away my 2009 Mac Pro (specs in sig). No matter what Apple says, higher MGZ always wins!
     
  12. BillB50 macrumors member

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Bucks County, Pennsylvania
    #12
    So how can you compare one machine hobbled with conventional hard drives to one with two SSDs a fair comparison?
     
  13. HyperX13 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #13
    I ran my 2009 with the same SSDs just to be fair and the geek bench showed my 2008 faster.. as a matter of fact, i am buying two more SSDs but one came in bad, so I am RMAing it and then will run both macs with SSDs. Anything to get my 2009 faster. I actually use the 2009 at work, where I need all the possible speed. I wish I would have just gotten another 2008 model.
     
  14. BillB50 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Bucks County, Pennsylvania
    #14
    That puts it into perspective better - I have a single SSD and can't tolerate the other PCs/Macs in the house with conventional drives. Boot times make you pull your hair out - but this probably sounds elitist...

    Before the audio patch I wanted to use my 09 for a boat anchor....

    Just noticed - there is quite a bit of difference in clock speed between your machines as well...
     
  15. HyperX13 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #15
    Yes and the clock speed is where it is at. And you are so right about the audio patch. I really thought I had issues with my hard drives, so I went through 4 hard drives only to realize it was audi/video issues. The reason I thought it was the hard drives is because my windows machine exhibited the exact same thing when my sata drive was in regular IDE mode vs HMCI(or whatever it was in bios). So I assumed something similar was happening. LOL. I will be honest, the feel of both machines now is much better. i also did not run geek bench since the audio fixed. I probably should!
     
  16. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #16
    Am I to understand that you are recommending a computer based on a geekbench score?

    And what is it you do for work?
     
  17. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    The patch does not change the speed of your computer.
    However, the 2008 3.2GHz is ALWAYS faster than the 2009 2.26GHz, in both single and multithreaded applications.

    I wish I knew that when I bought my current Mac Pro. :(

    But it's a little unfair to compare the top of the line 2008 machine, with the low end current machine. ;)
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    Not always. It depends on the architecture (CPU bound tasks). But in the case of the two systems you have, the '08 is faster for both single and multi-threaded applications.

    Though there's architectural differences, the cores themselves are the same. :eek: The differences are in the controller (new features), IMC, and QPI interfaces that replaced FSB, and memory controllers residing on the chipset.
     
  19. iHateMacs macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

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    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #19
    I was looking at that one too. I was put off by his only other ebay sale being a van.

    Also being a private auction rings bells too.
     
  20. dazey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #20
    This makes no sense. If I advertise a mac pro on ebay you will find my last sale was years ago and was probably motorcycle parts. If its a private sale and not a trader (which is what the add suggests) then you expect to see previous items being ages ago and random. He states prefer collection and inspection. How can you go wrong with that? If you are worried about being mugged either go and inspect early in the day without cash and return or take a big mate.
    Not having a photo means very little. Unless it is damaged then it looks exactly like any other mac pro out there. Most of the scams won't allow collection as they don't have the unit to sell.
     
  21. iHateMacs macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

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    Aug 13, 2008
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    #21
    Could be a double bluff. Scammers are getting more sophisticated.

    You maybe right in this case :)
     
  22. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #22
    Hahahaha!

    "It's a smokescreen?"

    "What?"

    "Double bluff. Look, you obviously don't know anything about intelligence work lady…It's an XK Red 27 technique."
     
  23. HyperX13 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #23
    Financial models, and i am just listing observations that 2009 Macs are, in my humble opinion, not as good as 2008 models. Yes, I know the ram is faster in the new ones, but for the things we do, 2008 models work better for us. We are constantly seeking used 2008 models. I must tell you that since the audio patch, the 2009 feels snappier.
     
  24. levinas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Location:
    st louis
    #24

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