Can I really justify a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by thesheep, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. thesheep macrumors regular

    thesheep

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    #1
    Been working for a couple of years on a MBP Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz with 3GB RAM. It's OK but a little sluggish at times, and I'm running out of storage - external drives sprouting out all over the place.

    I do lots of web graphics stuff with Photoshop+Illustrator, as well as run Parallels for testing in Windows web browsers.

    I've realised that although it's nice to have the portability of a laptop, I hardly ever move it from the desk where it's plugged into my cinema display.

    I'm debating the idea of buying a new Mac Pro but having trouble justifying the cost.

    What puts me off is the fact that a top of the range 24" iMac with a 3.0GHz processor is £100 cheaper than the basic Mac Pro. Yet it comes with more RAM and a bigger hard drive and a full 24" screen. And from the benchmarking tests I've seen, in practice the iMac really isn't far behind the MP at all for the kind of stuff I do. The extra 2 cores not making a huge difference here. With that top iMac it almost feels like Apple is making it difficult for people to buy the MP.

    But of course it's not that simple. I hate the glossy screen on the iMac and I already have a perfectly fine 23" cinema display with a nice matte screen. So I'm still leaning towards the MP. But the fact it costs so much and apparently doesn't look like a great deal next to the top iMac makes me hesitate.

    I kind of assumed that a MP would beat an iMac hands down, but looking at the benchmarks on http://www.macworld.com/article/139507/2009/03/macpro2009.html I see that the 3.0GHz iMac is already faster than a Quad-core Woodcrest MP, and not too far behind the current ones. It trounces an old G5.

    Anyone else in this kind of situation?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  3. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #3
    What's your budget and how important is keeping a matte screen?
     
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #4
    You can also always just use your 23" ACD as a primary display with the iMac but would be kinda a waste to have that 24" too if you don't like it. Kinda like that 15" display on your MBP.....

    The MP will really only give you more internal storage and better graphics but if the iMac is enough for you, why buy the MP? Unless you like having all those external hard drives around.
     
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #5
    Well, depending upon his use of space, the imac storage may not be enough :eek:
     
  6. bigbird macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    MP vs iMac

    The MP is so much more a "professional" computer. It is built like a tank, is very easily user serviceable, and of course it is wickedly fast on certain apps. That being said, the iMac can do almost everything the MP can currently, at a lot cheaper price point. However that will change once Snow Leopard is released. Then there will be a much bigger performance gap between the iMac and MP. In our house there is an '08 dual quad MP, '05 iMac, '09 MacBook, and '09 Mini. My favorite to use? The Mini because of the size factor. My favorite to show to demonstrate to friends? The MP, because it's so fast and such a beast to look at.
     
  7. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yeah, we get it. It's cheaper.

    Now when will you get that this is not an option for the vast majority of folks who either don't have the expertise, or who do have the expertise but who have better things to do with their time, or who have expertise, free time, but who are morally inclined to live up to license agreements?
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    good day to you too bud.......

    but seriously, whats your issue?

    i just said its an option:rolleyes:
     
  9. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #9
    That's complete speculation. And, at best, the gap will grow only when everyone starts releasing apps targeted to multi-processing. For things like cs4, it's going to be quite awhile.
     
  10. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
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    California
    #10
    Was I not clear as to "my issue?"

    Everytime anyone asks this kind of question, someone chimes in "hackintosh." And "hackintosh" is almost never a viable answer for the OP who asked for advice. We get it. You're a technically-proficient scofflaw. Now how about actually helping the OP out with some real advice?
     
  11. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #11
    I think this is the key point. Unless you're using/writing apps that take advantage of multicores and need to do some serious parallel number crunching, the MP simply won't carry the same value as the iMac. It seems those benchmarks you linked to were all serial tasks, which would explain why the 2.66 quad beat the 2.26 octo. No matter how many cores you have, if you're running a serial task, the high speed will do it faster (given the same grade hardware).

    Snow Leopard is going to change some things, but I haven't read enough about what exactly they're doing to give an informed opinion.

    I know what you mean about the glossy screen: I despise them too. I suppose if you did go with the iMac you could simply set up dual monitors and use the 23" as your primary one.....
     
  12. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #12
    well you are not the op so you do not know if it may be an option for him or not.

    i dont care much for your opinion on me just saying a hackintosh is an option. we know you dont like it, fine. im not suggesting it to you anyways, can you understand that?

    unless my posts concerns you, mind your own:rolleyes:
     
  13. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #13
    Yes, you are the Mac Pro target customer.
     
  14. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #14
    part of the reason the imac is close to the mac pro in performance is because most software isn't very well for multiple processors or large amounts of RAM. over time that will change. $2500 spent on an imac will be be money well spent now, and it will be time to upgrade again in 2-3 years. With the mac pro, you have lots of potential that is not yet being tapped by the software developers, but it will be. so it will be good for 3-5 years. If you want to squeeze more use out of it, you have the ability to upgrade it for a a few hundred bucks here and there, meaning you could get even more years of use out of it. it's an easy choice if you ask me.
     
  15. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    OP: get the mac pro and use it with your 23" ACD. It'll be the perfect set up.

    Sure it costs more than the iMac but for the work you do and the amount of storage space you need, without a doubt the mac pro with its 4 storage bays is the perfect fit. Throw in the ability to up your ram and video card over the next 5 years and you shall be sitting pretty without having to start another thread like this asking advice because your imac is feeling sluggish.
    :)
     
  16. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #16
    Im close to your situation. I have a MBP 17" from 2006 I like to replace. I do a lot of *ucking around with CS 4 and once in a while do a major update to my schools webpage.

    The iMac is so good of an option, pricewise. However I hate the though of the temps on the iMac. Core 2 Duo + a 4850 and HD slapped behind a monitor.

    You have to buy a mini displayport to DVI to get your cinema display to work.

    Run out of space, cheap internal SATA hard drive and slap it there. Nice and clean compare to having firewire 800 cables everywhere.

    So im buying a Mac Pro in the summer, im still in college so I will get a free iPod touch with mine.

    If you do not have the money, buy a used Mac Pro. Make friends with pawn shops. I check every week to see what they have.
     
  17. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    norcal
    #17
    So many people, especially those who don't know a computer's true use, for what model it is, would still rather "look" cool and have a very expensive Macbook Pro, and show it off.

    I had a chance to buy a $2500 dollar Powerbook, cash in hand, and it had ports I would never use, or I could spend $1600 and get an iBook and use almost everything on it. I went with the iBook.

    Those higher end Mac laptops ($2500 for mid level model with 320 GB hard drive and dual processor) are best utilized if used fully. Otherwise, it's cheaper to buy the Mac Pro ($2500 for 640 GB hard drive, quad processor) and work, unseen, at home and get a lot more stuff done. :)
     
  18. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #18
    If a year ago there had been a 4 core iMac that supported at least 8GB of RAM, and I hadn't already had a display I was going to use, I probably would have gone with the iMac. There still isn't a 4 core iMac :(
     
  19. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
    #19
    Someone else already mentioned this, but why do people think that Snow Leopard will unlock more of the Mac Pro than the iMac? If it provides a performance boost at all, it'll provide the same boost to everything. Spending an extra $500-$1000 because of speculation about a company that often fails to meet it's hype even half way isn't very smart.
     
  20. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #20
    I've said it for years now. If you have to ask, the answer is no.
    The MP no more capable then the iMac really, just another computer. Sure, its a hell of a computer, and a lot faster, but you can still do all of the same graphics / production work on an iMac. It will just take a little longer to process.
     
  21. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #21
    The main issue for you is the glossy screen on the iMac, which in your situation I would steer away from...

    The Mac Pro, though more expensive, is almost twice as fast as the base iMac. You already have a 23" ACD...

    I think it's worth the little extra, as it will take a lot longer to become obsolete than the iMac due to its extra speed. And it is easy to upgrade the graphics card, RAM & hard drives when you need, and the iMac may not offer all the storage you need in (only) one 1TB drive.
     
  22. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #22
    Save yourself some cash and get a used 1st or 2nd generation mac pro. The 1st gen will have a quad core and can be upgraded to a 8 core when needed. 2nd gen already has 8 core and is faster. Depending on your budget, if you can fund a 2nd gen 2.8, go for it. Saw one for 1999.00 just recently.
     
  23. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Minnesota
    #23
    fo sho. do this.

    refurb 2008 2.8 8-core

    some used 2006 2.66ghz 4-core systems on ebay
     
  24. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #24
    I second the hackintosh suggestion. #2 would be last years model. (like bozz2006 just said).

    BTW, one can also describe a 2.66 eight-core Mac Pro as being "OK, but a little sluggish at times".

    For web work in the various editors and PS stuff I wouldn't think more than a Mac Mini, laptop, or iMac at most would be needed tho. I hear you on the external storage but $3000 ~ $6000 is a little high for that convenience IMO. Especially aren't Apple storage vaults pretty reasonable by comparison?

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/ho...es/storage?n=desktop&mco=MTY1NDMxMw&s=priceLH
     
  25. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #25
    if you can afford it, get the mac pro. if you can't afford it, then don't get it
     

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