CPO Mac Pro? eBay Mac Pro? or Brand New?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jian, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. jian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #1
    I want to buy a Mac Pro, I do a lot of Final Cut Pro, Motions, and some After Effects. Maybe I'll learn blender and Nuke too. Now I've having a dilemma, my financial aid money don't come until late August, so I can wait until September, now should I get a Apple Certified Preowned Mac Pro? or should I just go eBay a more or less recent (less than 2 years old) Mac Pro? or should I just buy a brand new base model? I have about 2.7~2.8k budget, and I will upgrade the RAM, Graphic card and maybe SSD later but all aftermarkets.
    Some eBay models seems really nice, sometimes you can get a 2.0-2.6 8-Core Xeon processor with 2G of RAM for only 2k-2.5k, since I'm gonna upgrade the RAM aftermarket anyway, 2G RAM won't really bother me that much.
    Apple CPO is almost like brand new to me. It IS a little overpriced, but it comes with a year of Apple Care and all the services are just like what I get if I buy a brand new Mac.
    New Mac Pro are a little bit expensive and I can only afford a base model, but a 4-Core Xeon and aftermarket 12-16G RAM, it should be good enough to handle the video editing jobs? My current MacBook Pro (early 2008) is equipped with 2.5Ghz Intel Duo Core, 512M of GPU GeForce 8600 GT, and 4G of RAM. And is the new purchase would really worth it?
    Any suggestions people? Thanks

    PLUS Apple Online Store Down :)
     
  2. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #2
    Kudos for taking the time to do your homework and ask for advice prior to making your decision.

    And there has been a fair amount of buzz as to whether Apple will or will not update the MP line before the end of the year. I'll leave it to the real nerds to debate how likely this is based upon the intel road map, jonny ive's twitter postings, and et cetera. But I think it's a safe bet to say some sort of refresh is a possibility.

    Applecare would be preferable, IMO. A refurbed MP has the same parts and warranty that a new machine has for a slight discount. I'd choose that route first.

    Another possibility if you live in or near a larger metro area is to try Craigslist. They'll want cash, but you can meet with the seller face to face and examine the machine before you take possession of it. There's also a chance that you'll find a MP that has, or is eligible for, Applecare. This option may be more attractive if Apple does update the line, or people think that they will, as some people may be tempted to sell their current models to buy the newer ones. You'll also be able to take possession of the machine immediately. If you can find one with applecare coverage for a cheaper price than the apple store, that would be your best bet.

    And those reasons in reverse are why I'd consider ebay as one of the last options. No face to face, possibility of fraud, no opportunity to inspect, and having to wait for delivery (not to mention high shipping charges).

    I recently got a flawless '09 2.66 quad for $1300 with 8 gigs of ram and over 2 tb's of drives with all of the original documents, accessories and even the box! Applecare was allowed to lapse (ugh), but I figured that the $800 to $1100 savings would be enough to cover a hard drive or video card going out within the next year or so. (And get that westmere 3.2 ghz 6 core cpu I've been eyeing on newegg when I get some time-dang you, Phillipma1957!)

    Pulled up a discussion on another forum on the differences using FCP on a Mac Pro or Macbook Pro: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/200/881689

    In the meanwhile, sorry about your forced wait, and good luck with your decision.
     
  3. jian thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    Thank you for the advice. but wait, you said you're waiting for a westmere on Neweggs, does that mean the CPUs in Mac Pros are upgradable too? Did not know that. So if I get a CPO Mac Pro, it doesn't even have to be "THAT" recent, since after market CPUs and GPUs are definitely a lot cheaper than what Apple offers?
     
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #4
    Yeah, turns out the real geniuses on this here forum figured out how to flash the 2010 MP firmware onto the 2009 models (turns out the two have the exact same architecture, and apple decided to release it as a new model instead of providing an upgrade like all the other manufacturers). So, firmware update, a hex key...and I can take my '09 2.66 4 core nehalem to a '10 3.2 six core westmere for roughly $630. Big performance boost for the money. ....not like I'm really using it's capabilities as it is already. It's just sufficiently geeky and thrifty enough to appeal to almost every fiber of my being.

    But doing the math, it only really works out if you already have an '09 or can land a good deal on one. And you have to have a pocket full of cash and be ready to pounce when a good deal comes up on craigslist; I had to make a three hour round trip to buy mine.

    Phillipma1957 really knows his #$#@ concerning upgrading hardware. Cindori is pretty much the go to guy on using or converting windows based graphics cards on MacPro.
     
  5. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #5
    Craigslist first by far. At least here in LA, there are amazing deals all the time and more or less often you can even offset some of the case by offering materila possesions for trade in value etc, then I'd go Apple Refurbished, but I'd only resort to eBay as a *LAST* resort, probably *NEVER*, why?

    Shipping adds to cost

    Can't inspect the machine

    Piece of scum scammers are still prevelant

    There's always the chance of it getting nicked up in shipping.

    Thus, Craigslist, then Apple.


    For the sake of sanity, too, I'd not buy a new one right now in case they do get refreshed which I think IS likely sooner than later given the rumors AND the imminent Thunderbolt port addition.

    But that's just me ;)
     
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    Very well put. But he also stated in his original post that he's going to have to wait until late August or September to get his school money to buy it.
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    If you have to wait till September anyway, and you have something to use in the meantime, I'd definitely wait until the next model comes out.
     

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