Defecting from Windows to Mac, but can't find a Mac "desktop" computer?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by arrowtree, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. arrowtree macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013
    I am defecting from Windows to Mac. 30+ years of Windows prison was
    too long for me. Now I deserve a treat. :)

    I started with the MBA to replace my Windows 8 laptop.(a.k.a machine from
    Microsoft hell) Windows 8 is the #1 reason that I'm defecting, by the way.

    However, I can't seem to find a Mac "desktop" computer to buy. How come
    Apple doesn't make those anymore? I would rather not buy one of those
    iMacs because I prefer monitor and desktop separate. However, the new
    Mac Pro black cylinder is both a little too expensive and weird for my tastes. :)

    There doesn't seem to be anything in-between? :(
  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Welcome to Macworld. The classic tower Mac Pro desktop has just been discontinued and your option now is a used Mac Pro or refurbished Mac Pros from Apple. Try eBay, OWC or Macofalltrades
  3. ColdFlame87 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2004
    Woodland Hills, CA
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I also would suggest the Mac mini - if you want the separate display, etc.
  5. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    A last generation Mac Pro tower - like we all have on this sub forum.

    A 3rd generation onwards will support OSX Mavericks. And if you want to install Windows you can use good old Windows 7 64 bit instead of Windows 'hate' :D
  6. jameslmoser macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    Since you already have a macbook air, you could just buy one of the Thunderbolt displays/docking stations. This is what I use with my macbook pro at our vacation home. Another option is to make a hackintosh.
  7. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
  8. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    while this is the Mac Pro subforum, and I am a fan of it; unless you plan on doing some serious heavy work (or playing new games) then a Mac Mini would suit fine. I had one in-between my Mac Pro's and it surprised me just how powerful it was. Also its pretty much the quietest thing I have ever had.

    with the i7 and 8 or 16GB Ram and an SSD it will blow your socks off.

    If, however you want to do some gaming or want lots of internal disks; then a Mac Pro is better as it can have its video card upgraded and takes 4 SATA disks in it. Its downsides are SATAII, USB2 and it a big footprint. The SATA and USB are fairly simple to add (I have them both as PCIe cards).

    A used one can be had or possibly a refurb. Pretty much any model from 2009 onwards will be a good system with flexibility for future upgrading.

    The only thing thats a no-no right now is Thunderbolt. This is not an option for the 2012 or older Mac Pro's. If you aren't planning to use it then fine.
  9. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    The mini is a great machine as long as you understand the limitations of a laptop in a box. It's a desktop machine but not really.

    The Mac Pro is also a great machine as long as you understand that it is out-of-date SATA, PCI and USB-wise. As many threads here will attest to you cannot just plug any PC thing into a Mac Pro and have it work.

    If I had to do it all over again I would get a 27" iMac and live with yet another set of limitations..

    If you are looking for current desktop CPU, desktop GPU, desktop power supply and desktop upgrade ease Apple not longer makes a product for you.
  10. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    If you're a casual computer user, the mac mini is a great product. You may not want to buy immediately, as it is expected to be updated reasonably soon. The only reason to go with something higher-end is if you need serious graphics power (high end gaming or video editing, etc.).

    Otherwise, I agree with some of those above. Get a 3,1 4,1 or 5,1 MacPro. It can be upgraded as needed, and is suitable for very high end graphics, etc.

    I noticed recently that the PC market does not really market a MacMini imitation (unless I just can't find it) - this is somewhat surprising as it really is a great little machine...
  11. arrowtree thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013
    wow... this just goes to show you that I know nothing about Macs.

    I thought the Mac Mini was the Apple TV. (or vice versa) :eek:

    I think the Mini may indeed be what I need at this point. Just an
    easy way to do casual Mac computing on display/keyboard/mouse
    of my own choosing.

    Thanks to all the replies. :)
  12. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    The Buying Guide linked at the top of the page has a Don't Buy warning for the Mac Mini as a refresh is expected.
  13. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    Usually I tell people if the current spec does what you need then don't worry about the 'refresh expected' notice. In this case, however I feel that if you decide upon a mini then waiting for the refresh would be a good idea.

    The new Haswell and updated graphics will make a big difference to the Mini (reason I sold mine was the HD4000 graphics, while good were not up to some of the more demanding games).
  14. mpantone, Dec 4, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Mac = computer from Apple

    Since you are unfamiliar with Apple's computers, I suggest you carefully read the information here:

    The three product lines: Mac Pro, iMac, and Mac mini are covered there. The Mac mini product line debuted in 2005.

    If you actually scroll down to the bottom of that page, you will see a "Compare all Macs" link in the Mac navigation section that will lead you to this page:

    where the Mac desktops are clearly defined.

    As others have mentioned, it might be worth waiting for Apple to release the new Mac mini since it appears you have no immediate/urgent need to obtain a desktop Mac.

    You have asked several questions here recently that are well covered by Apple's corporate website. You should consider doing a careful reading of that site. It would give you a baseline level of understanding without the haphazard, piecemeal, and grossly inefficient way of asking some anonymous bboard like MacRumors (of which some answers are of dubious value).

    Anyhow, good luck with your purchase decision.
  15. arrowtree thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013
    or I can pick up one cheaply as soon as the new Mini is released? :)
  16. mpantone, Dec 4, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Occasionally (but not always) Apple will sell discontinued models in the Clearance section of the Apple Store. As is typical with Apple, there are no deep discounts, the price reductions are generally modest. You will need to be prompt in buying discontinued items, as Apple keeps a very lean inventory.

    You might be able to find a cheaper discontinued Mac mini from one of the resellers (Amazon, MacMall, B&H, etc.) although sometimes channel inventory dries up before an imminent product release (it's one of the clues that new models are looming on the horizon).

    Note that either way, the retailer is unlikely to have every single discontinued model configuration available for sale. Also, there would be no built-to-order option, they would generally be standard configurations (i.e., leftover inventory that would have been stocked on a store shelf). If you are looking for a very specific configuration (particularly a built-to-order configuration), you really need to buy it while it is still a current product, even if it is near the end of its projected sales cycle (like the current Mac mini).

    An alternative is to buy a refurb from Apple if you need a computer today. Apple stands by their refurbs the same way (warranty) they stand by their new products. The only difference is that the refurb will be packed in a plain brown cardboard box; it will not come in retail packaging. Refurbs are generally offered in standard configurations, not all configurations will be on sale at the same time.
  17. cgk.emu macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    You'll find Apple land to be a prison as well.
  18. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    Apple doesn't have a desktop "desktop". It has a laptop in a small box that it pretends is a desktop.
    That's the closest it gets anymore.
  19. arrowtree thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013

    I do realize that. :) However, it's quite different when one willingly
    choose to check himself into the Apple prison. Like marriage, I'm
    sure I'll eventually consider it to be a supermax prison as well.
  20. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I'm a professional graphic/web designer and also do some 3d modeling and animation, and my 2012 Mini is more than sufficient for my needs. It's a lot faster than most folks give it credit for, though most people also think they need a lot more machine than they probably do.
  21. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Only if you're determined to game on a fairly limited platform; assuming you had enough money for a Mac Pro ($3,000+) you could easily just buy a quad-core Mac Mini, which is more than powerful enough for most general use while giving you a bit of breathing room, and then spend the rest on a gaming machine. You could build a pretty good gaming rig for $600, or a really good one for $1,500 and still have money to spare ;)

    Definitely agree about waiting for the Mac Mini update though, it's what I'm doing before I decide whether to go with the new Mac Pro or not, as a Haswell update will give the Mac Mini much more graphical power. Still not enough for serious gaming, but it'll make it a pretty sweet machine.
  22. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I have tried to build these gaming rigs for $600 and even the amazing super ones for $1500 using various online parts shops and boutique sellers, but I just can't do it. Where am I going wrong?
  23. millar876 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2004
    Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
    I have the current Mac mini, the quad core i7, and is a brilliant little machine. I managed to get it to play 10 full hd (1080/24p) videos at once in QuickTime player and they played flawlessly. I use mine as a media server, with 8TB of external hard drives plugged in over usb3. It can transcode and stream to my iPhone, iPad, smart TV and mt iMac all at the same time with no issues and for encoding videos it's plenty fast enough for me. I too would love a Mac Pro but if I had that kind of money going spare and spent it on a computer, I'm pretty sure I'd be divorced rather quickly, as I'm not a pro and don't have a need for that kind of powerhouse for what I do with it. If Apple were to bring back a version with a ati or nvidia gpu as well as the iris pro graphics I might consider replacing my iMac with one. But at the moment I like the dedicated GPU on my iMac for games
  24. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Jun 28, 2011
    Welcome to the world of "We know what's good for you!".

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