For those ready to switch if no new mac pro: what are your pc system specs?

dbit

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 2, 2006
230
0
This is not another rumor or speculation thread for people to bicker in. I'd like to hear from everyone who's got their finger on the trigger to purchase or build a workstation if no new mac pro is out this summer. What are your proposed workstation specs or brand?

For me, I've been through the ringer with Apple for a while and am growing a little tired of their limitations for expandability and modification. I need to see some future commitment in this new product. If it's just a speed bump and not much else I will probably still build this workstation myself. My primary needs are motion graphics/3d/video production. My workstation specs are as follows:

Asus Rampage Extreme IV for OC'ing (new to oc'ing and don't mind paying a $100 premium to have such awesome bios controls for the task)
Intel 3930k 6 core OC'd to moderate 4.3 ghz (opted over slower dual xeons by several different video/motion graphics system builders who showed me many different benchmark and real world performance results for my specific needs).
Crucial M4 256GB
3X Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200
64Gig RAM G.Skill Aero low profile 1600
Nvidia GTX 670
Noctura NH-D14
NZXT Switch 810 Case - Black Steel
Corsair PSU Professional Series Gold AX850
Fans + Monitor (still looking)

The price for the above components comes in around $3600
 

pprior

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2007
1,440
8
If I move away from Mac personally I'm going to buy a ready made workstation likely from HP or Dell.

I've built countless home made PCs over the years and inevitably there are gremlins, hours of getting things to work together and bugs during install, etc.

After several mac pros under my belt, I want something that just works and I'm willing to pay a premium for it.
 

Amethyst

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
528
20
If their discontinue Mac pro.

I will upgrade my 2009 Quad 2.66 to 12 core!!!!

(Bought processor board, 2 x Xeon X5670 2.93 GHz 6C/12T)
 
Aug 26, 2008
1,339
1
I've decided to switch back. I do not need to be held hostage by Apple for every single device I use. Planning to move away from the iPhone too. I will keep around a Mac Mini for Xcode however. Here is what I am putting together

Corsair 650D case
Corsair HX750 power supply
Intel 3570k Ivy Bridge CPU. Will easily overclock to 4.5 ghz
GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB WiFi Motherboard
16gb corsair ram. Maybe 32.
EVGA GTX 670 video card.
256GB ssd boot drive, 1tb data drive

The funny thing is this still costs me substantially less than the 2500 dollars Apple is charging for the current mac pro, and absolutely smears it in every conceivable way (including appearance IMO). I have full confidence this is stronger than whatever they will update their machines too. Once I realized Apple doesn't care whatsoever about its customers, it was an easy decision to move on. I will also be frequenting these boards much less I imagine. I just don't care about Apple anymore. I know I am not the only one too.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,062
1,086
Eh c'mon. New Mac Pro is a lock at this point. If the guy who has enough insider information to pin the iPad 3 right down to the announcement date says there will be a new one, there will be a new one. Time for the haters to pack it in.

The funny thing is this still costs me substantially less than the 2500 dollars Apple is charging for the current mac pro, and absolutely smears it in every conceivable way (including appearance IMO).
Not really. The current 6 core Mac Pro is easily faster than that config (except for GPU). Ivy Bridge isn't magic, it's not that substantial of an upgrade. Once the Sandy Bridge Mac Pros ship, things will be much more even on the low end too.
 

strausd

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,997
1
Texas
I plan on switching strictly for better Quadro support. I do a lot of 3D modeling/rigging/animating and consumer cards don't cut it. Here is what I am thinking:

Asus X79 Sabertooth (thought about R4E but it doesn't have as long of a warranty and Sabertooth has all the main OCing features and then some. R4E is more for those doing crazy OCing with unordinary means)
Intel 3960X (may wait another year for Ivy Bridge Extreme)
Corsair H100
Quadro 5000 (maybe a consumer card as well to run a second and third monitor, also hoping these are updated soon)
Cooler Master Cosmos 2 (love this case!)
Antec 1200W
128GB Samsung 830
And maybe some additional fans for cooling
 

dbit

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 2, 2006
230
0
Thanks for the heads up on that Cosmos II case. I'm keeping a list of cases to look at as the time draws nearer and that one is now on it!

I'll be running windows 7 pro or ultimate on the build. I'm basically going to keep this box for my work and probably will still have my MBP around since I just had the logic board replaced. Hopefully I'll just be in my software environments most of the time and won't be doing a lot of general computing on it. If I'm not too disappointed with windows I'll probably switch everything over at some point. I'm not very happy about the proposition to switch, so if I do it and it doesn't kill me I will probably not be enthusiastically buying other Apple products in the future.

If the mac pro really wows and shows some real thought towards the future (better 3rd party gpu support, pcie3, sata3, thunderbolt, possible subtle design touches, not absolutely raping me on every optional config price) then I may be happy staying on for another generation. If it looks like just a small spec bump and the mac tax is still $1000 or whatever there's a good chance I'll build the proposed workstation instead.
 

ZZ Bottom

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2010
804
199
For those of you that are or might switch from OS X to Win, what professional software do you use primarily (regardless of whether you're currently making income from it)?

I recently started playing with Windows 7 in a VM to reacquaint myself. After becoming a full on Mac user in 2008 (started with Win95), I find too many annoyances with Windows. For a company that specializes in software, it seems that Microsoft are quite lazy.

One example is, why the hell does Windows still not have scrolling of inactive windows? There are third party apps to accomplish this, so clearly it's not impossible. I couldn't possibly count how many times I have scrolled on the windows below or beside my active window in OS X. And please don't say why 'why should MS have to include if someone can make a program for it.' It's a tremendous help for productivity, since it doesn't require app switching for data reference.

Regardless of my irritation with Windows, I am building a 3770k/HD 6970 system for Win7 (or Win8) and CS6. I'd much rather use a Mac Pro, but as is for many of us, budget plays a big role.
 

Nostromo

macrumors 65816
Dec 26, 2009
1,358
2
Deep Space
Eh c'mon. New Mac Pro is a lock at this point. If the guy who has enough insider information to pin the iPad 3 right down to the announcement date says there will be a new one, there will be a new one. Time for the haters to pack it in.
I missed that rumor. Can you post a link?

I agree, the no Mac Pro threads are over-baked now.

Apple just bought a company for the high end audio pro - there will be more pro in the future, not less.

I want something that just works and I'm willing to pay a premium for it.
Agree. I have no time and intention to fiddle with a workstation, only to work with it. No interest in a fiddle-station.
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,593
1,061
Hearst Castle
Concerning the original post, if you tone it down just a bit you can save a ton of money. I specced out a system pretty close to what you did, including same mobo and CPU.

But I looked at the performance gains, and didn't think it was worth doubling the cost of the machine. When building a PC, I think the real sweet spot is getting maximum performance for each dollar.

For example, if you ratchet back to an i5 3570k CPU, you can then get a very good Asus 1155 socket Mobo -- and save a lot of money, possibly $1k just on these two items alone.

I question whether, at the stratospheric prices, the 2011 socket plus the fastest Intel chips are really worth it -- you are talking an enormous, enormous price jump for, in my view, minimal performance gains.

Keep in mind the i5 chips can be overclocked very nicely, even with standard cooling. Or you could take a few of those dollars and bump up the GPU even more.

I almost pulled the trigger on the Asus Rampage IV, looked at it in the store, thought it was a bit overkill for my needs, you may conclude the same. Their 1155 socket Pro mobos are very good, plenty of slots for like half (or even cheaper) the price.

Finally, that Coolermaster II case -- before you drop that much on the case, I strongly suggest you look at it in-store. I did, and it was serious, serious overkill for my needs. It is an absolute tank of a case, and it is huge -- even dwarfing the Mac Pro case. Unless you are running four hard drives and three video cards in some kind of crossfire or sli configuration, you should really check whether you need it. I bought a Coolermaster Haf X -- plenty big, nice fans, easy construction, for a third of the cost. My suggestion: if you have only one video card, Cosmos II is way, way, way overkill. Two video cards, still questionable. Three video cards, mmm, probably worth it.

Just some suggestions.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,273
192
Howell, New Jersey
you do not need to buy ivy. you could go with sandy. as long as thunderbolt is not important. buy the 2600k

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...le-_-Processors+-+Desktops-_-Intel-_-19115070

this mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131806

this gpu

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121638


this ram


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147094

this case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112315

this ssd

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-I...JL3Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338687735&sr=8-1

plus a cooler a good psu like a seasonic and a bluray drive windows pro oem these four items are about 380.


this totals to about 18 or 19 hundred. this will smack the the 2010 mac pro quads silly. it would beat the hex 2010 at a lot of work. and the case is nice looking room to expand. the down side is the cpu expansion with this build is topped out. the 670 gpu will just about stay under the limit of the lesser sandy p68 mobo combo.

you could add 100 more to the build and have an i7 3770k with a z77 board. this would allow gpu expansion and maybe a better cpu. of course this allows for 2 gtx 670s and will be graphic master
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,593
1,061
Hearst Castle
you could add 100 more to the build and have an i7 3770k with a z77 board. this would allow gpu expansion and maybe a better cpu. of course this allows for 2 gtx 670s and will be graphic master
This. Listen to the man. Save yourself a ton of money and still get a machine that is awfully close performance-wise to one that is double the price.
 

strausd

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,997
1
Texas
Thanks for the heads up on that Cosmos II case. I'm keeping a list of cases to look at as the time draws nearer and that one is now on it!
Check out the Lian Li V2120 too.

(better 3rd party gpu support,
Seriously doubt that will happen.

For those of you that are or might switch from OS X to Win, what professional software do you use primarily (regardless of whether you're currently making income from it)?
Mainly Autodesk and Adobe apps for me.

Finally, that Coolermaster II case -- before you drop that much on the case, I strongly suggest you look at it in-store. I did, and it was serious, serious overkill for my needs. It is an absolute tank of a case, and it is huge -- even dwarfing the Mac Pro case. Unless you are running four hard drives and three video cards in some kind of crossfire or sli configuration, you should really check whether you need it. I bought a Coolermaster Haf X -- plenty big, nice fans, easy construction, for a third of the cost. My suggestion: if you have only one video card, Cosmos II is way, way, way overkill. Two video cards, still questionable. Three video cards, mmm, probably worth it.
I have checked it out multiple times at multiple stores and ever time I look at it, I fall even more deeply in love ;)

It surprises me that so many people want workstations but don't use apps that benefit from workstation cards, either that or people just don't ant to buy them.


Samsung 830 will provide better write performance, but may bit a tad more expensive.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,273
192
Howell, New Jersey
Originally Posted by philipma1957
this ssd http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-I...JL3Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338687735&sr=8-1



Samsung 830 will provide better write performance, but may bit a tad more expensive.
the samsung 512gb ssd is 679

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php...UyZda5kh5J46ObYzxDB5ISTz5UdODZYadQRqPsUGgSDE8


this ssd is 399



As for workstation cards the apple mac pro top of the line card is a hd5870.

the hd5870 is not exactly a workstation card.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/displays


I guess you could say this card is the best apple sells


http://store.apple.com/us/product/H3314LL/A/nvidia-quadro-4000-for-mac?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ

there are better

http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/product-comparison/product-comparison-master-revised.pdf


but this is about the same

http://www.walmart.com/ip/15172281?...&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=&wl3=14099349190&wl4=&wl5=pla


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004CRS78O...d=11761533651132140255&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

it is 750 to 800.


I would have to wonder if a gtx 670 for 420 now then add the second gtx 670 for 420 more would work better then the one quadro 4000.
 
Last edited:

TonyK

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
1,027
144
Five days a week I'm in Windows in a corporate environment. Windows is what pushed me towards OS X and for personal use I've got no intention on returning to a Windows environment at the house.

Besides hardware costs one needs to consider the cost of updating or purchasing fresh the applications used on OS X. The same goes for those who stated they would also drop their iPhones. For me I've got better things to invest in that re-purchasing software. :)

But for those folks who do decide to switch to a Windows system, is it because of Apple's hardware or are there other reasons?
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,593
1,061
Hearst Castle
But for those folks who do decide to switch to a Windows system, is it because of Apple's hardware or are there other reasons?
OS X is quite superior to Windows, in my opinion. And Apple is the best, by far, in marrying hardware and software. Hence Macs simply work "better" than PCs. And Apple's hardware -- when it's kept up to date -- is, again, one of the best.

PCs and Windows, I don't feel this way. Windows is always more "jumpy." It's not as smooth, not as polished. You can just tell the Windows OS was designed to work on a whole bunch of platforms. Marriage between hardware and software is nowhere near as good.

It's not Apple's hardware at release that's the problem. It's the lack of regular updates, and perhaps abandoning the line.

I can tell you from firsthand experience (because I did it three weeks ago) I can build a PC from scratch, using quality components that are very reasonably priced, and now build a PC that will handily beat (performance-wise) a much-higher priced Mac Pro in any number of criteria, and some are important. This has nothing to do with Apple's then-current hardware, or OS X. It's simply a function of PC hardware is now pretty good, competitively priced, and developing very rapidly. Yet Apple hasn't released a new pro desktop in almost 700 days -- and most of the aftermarket upgrades for the Mac Pro line are now seriously outdated yet ridiculously overpriced for old tech. And this is a problem.
 

dbit

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 2, 2006
230
0
Five days a week I'm in Windows in a corporate environment. Windows is what pushed me towards OS X and for personal use I've got no intention on returning to a Windows environment at the house.

Besides hardware costs one needs to consider the cost of updating or purchasing fresh the applications used on OS X. The same goes for those who stated they would also drop their iPhones. For me I've got better things to invest in that re-purchasing software. :)

But for those folks who do decide to switch to a Windows system, is it because of Apple's hardware or are there other reasons?

I love OSX. It's the reason I'm somewhat in love with Apple computers. I'm not so sure where it's heading with lion/mountain lion and the ios-ish integration, but the same can be said for windows 8 metro-ish crap.

My problem with Apple is also the slower updates on high end machines, the lack of options for customizing and configuring the machines, being heavily mac taxed for the available configurable components, and the secrecy and lack of transparency. I know these are typical Apple things which is why I'm considering moving away. It seems over the past 17 years or so that I've been with Apple, making the decision to purchase a new machine has always been a dramatic process of waiting for updates, not being able to purchase exactly what I need at the time, or being taken to the bank for configuring a machine that meets my specifications. This is also coupled with my increasing need for raw computing power (for audio, video, 3d, and multimedia production). At this point I'm more in need of raw computing power and configurability and would consider sacrificing the OS on the workstation for said power. I'm also taking into consideration the fact that I would be largely spending my time on said machine in application environments rather than doing general computing where I'm frequently interacting with the OS. I may consider keeping a mini or something (like my MBP) for general computing although if I'm not totally turned off by using windows this may change over time.

I really don't necessarily want to leave Apple, but my computing needs continue to grow into more high end requirements and if Apple continues to bend more and more into a mass market consumer electronics company than inevitably we are growing apart.
 
Last edited:

Bill.the.Cat

macrumors member
Feb 13, 2011
89
0
For those ready to switch if no new mac pro: what are your pc system specs?
HP Z620:
8-core 3.3GHz (Xeon E5-2643 x 2)
8x8GB DDR3-1600
SSD boot drive
etc.

Everything a new Mac Pro should offer, including a 3-year warranty, large ECC memory capacity, the latest dual Xeon processors, workstation-grade components; only thing missing is OS X. If there's no new MP announced on June 11th, this is probably what I'll be ordering. I need a machine to run MySQL, R, Stata, Matlab, and QGIS. All of these can run on OS X, Windows, or Linux. If I want OS X for some smaller tasks I can always run it in a VM. Will probably run Win7 as the host OS.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
OS X is quite superior to Windows, in my opinion. And Apple is the best, by far, in marrying hardware and software. Hence Macs simply work "better" than PCs. And Apple's hardware -- when it's kept up to date -- is, again, one of the best.
Depends what your doing with it, OSX is pretty useless in the environment that I work in, so it doesn't just work. But I see where your coming from. I think Apple used to be the best at that. Not so much anymore though. Its gone downhill since the PPC Days.

I don't own a Mac Pro, and I didn't choose one for my job because of how out dated it is. So I see where people are coming from.

I think the Next Mac Pro, should be expandable and not nearly as locked down as the current one. Because I tend to buy a new work station every two years, sometimes more often ( Hell I don't pay for it ). And a Mac Pro would be something I would want, as long as Apple doesn't rape me in hardware support.
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,593
1,061
Hearst Castle
I think the Next Mac Pro, should be expandable and not nearly as locked down as the current one. Because I tend to buy a new work station every two years, sometimes more often ( Hell I don't pay for it ). And a Mac Pro would be something I would want, as long as Apple doesn't rape me in hardware support.
This.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,062
1,086
How exactly is the Mac Pro locked down?

Third parties not making EFI graphics cards is not locked down. It's just no one making EFI graphics cards at the present time.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.