Have to buy MacPro now, best value??

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by critmoney, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. critmoney macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    I am looking to buy a MacPro set up in the next few days for a 20 day photo production. I have a hard time spending money on "about to be replaced" technology, but it's a biz expense and necessary at this point in time.

    I'm looking for some opinions on what configuration would be considered the best value for the money. Doesn't have to be the cheapest, more about which set up maximizes the money I'm spending given the imminent refresh (Q1 '12 supposedly).

    I'm planning to put OS on SSD (3GB because no 6GB SATA) and at least 24 GB of RAM.

  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    6-core. either buy one straight up or get the 2.8 quad and swap the CPU yourself.

    technically a dual-CPU model is a better deal, but not many photography apps can use all those cores.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
  4. DustinT, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

    DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I agree.

    Its a shame that your application is going to require more than a 17" ultimate MBP which is at least current technology. Putting a 16 gig ram upgrade in one of those is only $629 now. You could easily be under $3900 for the MBP with a 128g SSD AND a 4TB Thunderbolt array from Promise. Add in $629 for the 16 gig ram upgrade and you're under $4500 dollars. If you qualified for Apple's educational discount than you could knock off $235 from those prices.

    It could be argued that the MBP + TB array would perform nearly as well as the MacPro *unless* your uses demand the additional ram the Pro supports.

    But, the MacPro is probably a safer choice.

    Attached Files:

  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    I got mine a couple of weeks back....If you haggle a little, you should get th 16GB free.
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    well i posted this


    this forum has so many rules on selling gear, but I think I can refer you to the marketplace to my listing .

    ☞ mods please let me know if this is allowed. I know he is a new member and there are rules for new members and the market place.

    If it is not allowed please clean that part up.

    I know I can refer you to my quad to hex mod thread that shows how to make a quad 2.8 into a hex 3.2 or a hex 3.33


    it shows how to upgrade a base model to a hex core.

    I am now using a mac mini server with a promise pegasus. in place of the hex core mac pro as my needs are not a lot for gpu more for fast storage.
  7. dansmac, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

    dansmac macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2011
    Temecula, California
    I believe it all depends on what type of production run you are doing. Many applications don't take advantage of multiple cores (Adobe) but others rock with lots of cores (Capture One).

    SSD is cool but I have found in my studio work very little advantage. Once the OS and applications are loaded for your run the need for disk speed goes away assuming you have configured the right amount of memory.

    I have found speed on display refresh (fast graphic cards) provide no value for still photography work and a waste of money.

    So with that said and "guessing" on the type of production ... I would suggest:

    • Mac Pro 3.33GHz six-core (either upgrade or new)
    • 24GB memory with 3x8 for best Xeon three-channel performance
    • SSD only if it makes you feel like it is faster
    • RAID 1, 5, or 10 external storage for your original and final work. A must for pro production.
    • Dual displays. I have found the DELL 24" IPS LCD the best display for photo work unless you want a true photo wide color gamut EIZO monitors that will cost you $3,000 each. The older Apple Cinema 23" are very good also if you can find them. The newer displays from Apple don't work for me in photography.
    • Large UPS battery backup.

    "My" Photography Post Processing Studio...

  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    forgot to mention, you can also get a 2009 2.66, apply the 2010 firmware hack (it's around here somewhere), and swap in a 6-core.
  9. critmoney thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    Thanks for all the info guys, very informative.
  10. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    If you're going the SSD route with 24GB of RAM or more, the best 3 options are the 6 core 3.33GHz and the 2 12-core models. Best value would have to be the six core. If you're going for longevity consider the 12-core options, although they are considerably more expensive.
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The older sRGB eizos had some amazing models too. The 23" cinema displays were okay but really really really hit and miss. Half of them had terrible uniformity and overall not that great unless you get an amazing deal on a lightly used one. The triple channel thing will probably show you no truly noticeable performance increase. It looks good on paper but doesn't show much advantage beyond that.

    One thing... how do you work with such a small wacom tablet:p? That would drive me absolutely mad as it would throw the cursor tracking way off.

Share This Page