Have you ever had regrets about purchasing a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by efstuck, May 15, 2010.

  1. efstuck macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    Anyone ever purchase a Mac Pro and regret it? Why?

    I understand the general consensus is don't buy a mac pro if you don't use it for work/income, but I would especially love to hear from the more casual Mac Pro users experience of their purchase.


    Please hold off on the 'dont be stupid buying a mac pro if you don't use it for work'.
  2. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I've bought Mac Pros several times and had the following regrets:

    1) I don't use all the power, even for work as a video editor
    2) Takes up too much space and power, (swapped for an iMac upon this realization)
    3) Spent $3k on a tower when I could have gotten an iMac 27" and a second display (which I did) and not noticed any real hit in performance.

    But that's me.
  3. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2004
    I use a quad-core at work and would recommend it to anyone that wants more than what the iMac can offer. I like it, it does everything flawlessly, extremely quiet, lots of RAM space, easy to add hardware. I don't game so no Windows on it. It looks good, next to my twin 22" flat panel monitors.

    I run CS4 apps all day, Thunderbird email, Camino as primary browser, Safari, Firefox, Opera, SeaMonkey and Shiira for testing web pages, QuarkXPress for legacy artwork (we now use InDesign) and a handful of other helper apps.

    When my home rig is no longer useable, I'll buy another desktop Mac, not an iMac or Mac mini. By the way, my home rig is a B/W G3 upgraded as far as I can take it. Powerlogix G3 1.1GHz cpu, 1GB RAM, three internal HDs, 4-port USBv2 PCI card, ATI Radeon PCI 9200 video card, DVD-ROM, external Firewire CD burner, two external 500GB HDs, Logitech MX500 mouse, extra internal cooling fan. She runs great, actually better than most G4s I still use at work.
  4. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    I never regretted any purchase of my previous Mac Pros, they were honestly the best machines at the time.
    the 2.66 quad and the 2.8 Octo, the 2.8 has been my favorite Mac that I've ever used, well up until the 27" iMac of course.
    I mainly used mine to intially replace my old XP desktop I built..then I used it primarily for a couple games, Bootcamp, graphic work, video converting in the grand scheme of things nothing too overkill at the time.

    I say if you feel you can utilize the power of the machine and the options it has available dont doubt yourself, you'll be plenty delighted with it.
    Even if you dont, its still a great machine....If you can find a 2.8 Octo 2008 model in the refurb section definitely jump on that.

    The one thing I regret about NOT having a Mac Pro is the internal harddrive space. thats one thing about having a cluster of external drives and a NAS the MacPro alleviated alot of that for me at the time.
    But ive decided to switch my set up to a more simple, mobile workflow.

    If I had to get a Mac Pro I dont think I would hesitate.
  5. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    I've bought two, the 2008 2.8GHz 8-Core 6GB RAM and 2009 2.66 Quad Core 8GB RAM.

    Loved the 2008, did everything I asked of it. FB Dimms were a bugger though, had to order from abroad, fedex are still chasing me for tax :D

    Ultimately, needed something more portable.

    When I went the 2009 route, it didn't feel any faster, though it had extra, newer RAM and a more recent GPU. To really benefit I'd have needed to spec the processor faster and probably get a new monitor with a faster response time, which I hadn't budgeted for.

    As speed and portability are my greatest concerns, my new machine's going to be a MacBook Pro with SSD. Ah and another thing I didn't like about the Mac Pro - it feels so "expandable" but I never tinkered with them (bar adding RAM on the first machine - CTOd the GPU and RAM on the 2nd). I thought "ooh I'll add a solid state drive, blu ray, extra USBs".... but pfft, like you'll ever get round to that stuff, really.

    I can see why they're not recommended outside of business - you drop that much on something, it had better make some money for you - but hell, I owned mine through University. Studying Law. :D

    To this day, though, I'd grab another 2008 2.8 Octo, providing I had the room :D
  6. efstuck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    Thank you guys - really appreciate the feedback to help me with my purchase :)
  7. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    What are you considering? I do like the Mac Pro, I feel the smarter money is with an iMac though, if it's just for casual home use. Especially if you don't have a decent monitor already.

    Most models come with 1TB capacity as standard which should keep you going for some while, fw800's there for expandability via chained externals - plus the standard RAM config is 4GB, versus 3 on the Mac Pro.

    You get Wifi as standard, usable internal speakers, iSight, mic, CPU and monitor all running off one power lead.

    bluetooth keyboard and magic mouse thrown in too - all worth taking into account, dude...
  8. efstuck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    I am considering the next refresh for the mac pro. I have a 24" 2.4ghz 4gb ram iMac for the last 3 years.

    **A lot of repeat stuff here from another thread - i apologize**

    I don't really want a windows machine, I just dislike the OS and I've often had problems with game crashes and can never figure out what is wrong. I switched to a macbook...then an imac...and now maybe a mac pro?

    Why I feel like I need a mac pro over an imac even though I don't have any sort of heavy usage other than games:

    1) I don't like how my imac needs to be brought in to repair. My HD in my imac broke down once and I had to lug it into the mall. I would have loved to put a bigger HD (not the overpriced apple ones though) at the time but I couldn't. I'd much rather do it myself and choose the type of HD I want...SSD perhaps down the road. A general gripe I have with the iMac is the repair is expensive I would assume after my Applecare is up in a couple months and I don't want to choose between paying a premium for the apple hardware that breaks AND the repair labour costs...or have a useless, broken iMac which then I will have to buy a new computer of some sort.

    2) Expandability: I'm on my 2nd external HD, 500GB internal + 500gb + 1tb externals and looking to get a 2TB one soon. I download a lot of movies..and more recently HD movies/shows which is what I have my 2nd (although really old Samsung Syncmaster 173T) from like 10 years ago. I put on a movie or watch EyeTV (and record which takes up a lot of space) while I play some games, surf the web, do some work, etc. The 4 HD slots would be great in the Mac Pro.

    3) Upgradability(word?)/Futureproofing - my imac is fine for everyday use but playing games on low settings just doesn't cut it for me. I don't need ultra high settings though. I can't upgrade my imac anymore and it feels like a bit of a waste because it would be good for a couple more years if i could upgrade my GPU.

    4) I just love OS X. There just aren't any sort of problems that come up like running windows (even though W7 is better) and it's just better. I don't think I need to elaborate on this point here :)

    5) I rarely use isight and it's more to entertain kids that are over. iMic I use in games but people tend to have a problem hearing me so I ended up using an external mic. I love the keyboard (mine is wired) but I think I would stick with wired anyways because of games - which is why I use a logitech G5 wired mouse.

    I don't use the wifi on my desktop either so that is not a concern for me.

    6) Money isn't the big issue for me, it's just whether it will last me a long time with an upgrade of the GPU every couple of years.

    I am a casual user in terms of programs but I use my computer a lot. It's where I watch movies, catch live shows on Eyetv, play video games, do some work, emails, and spend my leisure time just reading up on stuff online. And it would be nice to have something that could last longer without the limitations of an iMac.

    I guess I am kind of set on it but I just wanted to hear other people's negative experiences of a mac pro - maybe something that i didn't know about - but looks like it's been mostly glowing reviews minus the price point.
  9. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2003
    I cannot comment on a Mac Pro but I can comment on my purchase of a PowerMac G5. To put it simply, "you get what you pay for" this still holds true though not as much as it did during the PowerPC days as the performance gap between Apple's consumer and pro lines has narrowed substantially.

    I still use my nearly 5 year old Quad core 2.5Ghz G5 as my primary machine. This PowerMac is still faster in most aspects compared to my 1 year old Macbook Pro 15" 2.66Ghz C2D with 9600m GT. Only within the past year or less have there been MBP and imacs that have enough juice to outdo my 5 year old tower.

    To put it simply the Mac Pro should keep you happy 3-5 years plus, depending on your needs. On the other hand you could buy an imac and be happy for maybe 2-3 years before you have the itch to upgrade. Sure you can save allot of $$ with the imac but you could easily find yourself wanting/needing a new machine in as little as half the time.

    The upgradability in a tower is nice and surely contributes to its longevity. My quad core G5 is running just merrily after 5 years with 8GB of affordable RAM with room for 16GB, 1 TB of internal storage set up as a RAID 1 array, a flashed 512MB 7800GTX GPU and I still got room for PCI-E cards. This setup should last me just fine for another year or two despite the PowerPC going the way of the Dodo. Thinking back.... had i gone with an imac in 2005 I could have easily gone through two or maybe even three machines in the same 5-7 year timeframe.
  10. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Same as Little Endian. My 5 1/2 year old G5 is still in use every day, though I'll be getting a Mac pro when they're updated.
  11. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    My only regret in buying this 2009 Mac Pro 8 core is that I wasn't more careful about matching it's performance benefits to my needs. This one blows my previous Mac Pro away on Geekbench (5000 vs 15,000), but most of that performance gain comes in areas where there aren't very many applications (64 bit, multithreading etc). Oh well, it's been a great machine. I would much rather have a Mac Pro than an iMac.
  12. thehost250 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    No regrets

    Like most people here I have no regrets either. I think the biggest factor for me and in my opinion should be for anybody is expansion. There is no way an iMac can come close to being expanded like a Mac Pro. Again, one should have a need before buying a machine like that. I do music and video production. There was a time I had multiple external hard drives laying around. Now, everything is inside and you don't even know it's there. There are a few people who buy Mac Pro just for bragging rights but for someone who needs the power and expansion capability it cannot be beat. If it is a more casual user then they should consider an iMac that would suit their need as there is no sense in paying for power you will never use. Again, the Mac Pro is really designed for someone who knows what they need.
  13. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Ive personally (where I work) approved over a dozen Mac Intels as workstations and have no regrets about the purchase.
    I would have said yes prior to Adobe CS5 but now that its 64bit, the over stocking (a few has 16GB RAM) of memory I can justify now :)
    I would honestly be satisfied with iMacs but company perception is that they are considered home computers.
    Ive tried to sway but cant resist the option to purchase/use the 30inch Cinema displays ;)
    Im now waiting to upgrade 4 (3 towers and a XServe) systems.

    Im sick and tired of spygate news :p

    Come on bring the new systems already ;)
  14. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    Cool. I'll touch on these points:

    You've got a good point with the repair angle. yeah, at least most people can tinker with most of the Mac Pro internals rather than relying on the genius bar in a Apple store. Expansion too - easier to move GPUs and HDs to boost performance in the future.

    This is a lot of what you're paying for with a Mac Pro, the futureproofing. I guess that's why consumer Macs cost less than the Mac Pro, as with a Mac Pro you're not expected to buy anew in another two or three years so you can get a newer GPU etc, like you may with, say, a MacBook Pro or iMac.

    Guess you just have to consider if the extra upfront price now, will pay for itself in the years after the warranty ends. You really gonna keep the machine for 4, 5, 6, years? And make use of all, or at least most of its expansion routes? Because it's probably at about that timeframe that you'll notice the extra money you put in now working for you. where you can slam in, say, an SSD and a new GPU once you're unhappy with what you CTO'd.

    iMac or Mac Pro, you'll have an amazing machine. Bear in mind with the iMac route you could always consolidate that drive collection you have - by the sounds of it you have no business using 500GB drives if you use something like 3TB+ at the moment... Get bigger externals! Use something like 1 or 2 x 4TB G-Raid for instance if money's no option :) But then again, yeah... could as well use a Mac Pro at that rate.

    Oh yeah, and if you go Mac Pro route, budget for a really nice monitor as well. As I found out, the monitor makes a big difference in the perceived performance of your GPU, as that's the bit that actually reaches your eyes :D Don't want the beefiest graphics card out there and still have tearing because your monitor can't keep up. :)
  15. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I'm still using a quad Mac Pro 1,1 that I bought in fall 2006. At that time, the price-performance ratio was amazing. It seems to be less amazing now.

    I came from many years of PC and other towers, and I enjoy tinkering. I didn't want an all-in-one. I wanted to be able to add drives when I needed them.

    It's very quiet, and that's important to me. It sits under my desk, occasionally spins up its fans for a moment (when waking from sleep, sometimes) and is absolutely the most unobtrusive computer I've ever had.

    When I do video (capturing, FCP) and still images (CS4) because I don't work under time pressure, it's fast enough for me. If I were a professional with deadlines, then it probably wouldn't be.

    I just got a Dell U2711 monitor and with the 3870 card (I upgraded) the display is superb.
  16. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2003
    The last Power Mac I purchased was the original Power Mac G5 and my only regret was not waiting until the single processor 1.8 model was updated to a dual processor three months later. But such is the life of a first revision pioneer.
  17. efstuck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    That's probably my biggest fear that it won't keep me happy after say 4 years. I'm aiming for 6 but who knows with technology sometimes...
  18. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    Food for thought:

    $2449 2.8GHz i7 27" iMac 2TB, 4GB RAM
    $2499 2.66GHz Quad Core Mac Pro 640GB, 3GB RAM
  19. PeterQVenkman macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2005
    Regretted buying my POS dual 2.3 G5. Expensive, noisy, ate way too much power, and not as fast as it should have been for the ridiculous price I paid. Intels came out shortly after, vendors dropped support for the Power PC, and then a whole mess of the internal components failed 1 week after Apple care ran out. The DVD burner, the hard drives, the power supply, you name it, that piece failed.

    It cost a little less to repair my G5 than to buy a whole new MacBook Pro, so I upgraded to a laptop and donated my G5 shell to a local artist who will shred it to bits and put the metal to better use. The MacBook, despite being only 200 Mhz faster in clock speed, was many times faster in my work.

    The G5 was the only real Apple purchase that I regret. I've been wary of their "pro" machines ever since. My company, however, got me a refurb dual quad 2.8 MacPro. The thing is a beast and has been humming along nicely for years.
  20. efstuck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    I totally understand and that is why i would wait for the supposedly-soon update. I just feel limited with my current iMac 24". In a way...love the machine, but after 3 years...a little bit of regret in how unfutureproof it is and so i probably won't buy another iMac.
  21. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    I'd rather lug a 20lb iMac than a 40lb Mac Pro to the Apple store any day, which I have done before, but with a PowerMac G5 mind you. Don't forget about the logic board or the CPU, both of which you can't simply remove and bring it in to Apple. My logic board on my PMG5 failed and I had to take it in. Let me tell you: 3 measly blocks can be one hell of a journey carrying that thing around!


    iMac: 211 days since last update
    Mac Pro: 442 days since last update (terrible :()

    Anyway, OP, I am in the same situation as you. I've been waiting for the '10 Mac Pro update and I thought today would have been the best bet, but again, we are dissapointed. I am on the fence between the high end iMac and the low end Mac Pro and I think such comparisons would be better suited once the new models are out.
  22. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    I bought my 2.8GHz single quad-core Mac Pro in mid-2008. Don't regret it for a moment. Such a solid all-around upgrade from my then 5 year-old Dual 2.0GHz PowerMac G5. I don't miss all the noise and heat my poor old G5 threw out - not one bit!

    Adding more internal storage and memory is dead easy. I recently added an eSATA PCIe card and am considering upgrading the video card.

    From a processing standpoint, I'm never really overtaxing the machine. I do the occasional audio and video editing/conversion, but four cores take care of my needs nicely. The big thing is being able to add more RAM easily and cheaply. I'm at 10GB now and that seems to do me fine for the most part. I have a good quality IPS display (Planar 26"). I haven't done much in the way of gaming lately.

    If I were in the market today, I would get the 27" iMac with the Core i7. Having four RAM slots with 16GB maximum is a big improvement over the previous models, and the 27" IPS panel is flat gorgeous. Internal storage would be my main stumbling block, and now I'd miss the eSATA.

    I'm really hoping that one day Apple will base their low-end Mac Pro model on a regular old Core i7 instead of the Xeon. The current low-end model might as well be for the limitations it has and the comparatively high price tag Apple puts on it. It's just a poor bang-for-the-buck system, especially when compared to that 27" iMac.
  23. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I don't regret it and I am a casual user at home, some aperture 3 and light video messing around. Game on it and store a lot of movies as well.

    Got it for the end of life price of 1799 from apple. Couldn't say no, as I already had the monitors, hard drives and extras for a windows desktop.

    I also like the expandability and 8 cores seem to be future proof for a long time now. Software hasn't caught up to core processing. I am hoping to get another 5 years or so out of this machine, it is a beast.

    My reasoning was that I could get rid of my other windows and power pc desktops and just have my MP and MBP. Plus 8 cores is going to last a long time. I also liked the expandability of this machine, both peripheral, ram and HD wise. Gaming as well. With my other option, an imac, I am locked into a video card. Here I can swap it out. Price wise it was a great deal.
  24. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    I'm also a casual user at home, bought and used 2 Mac Pros since 2007, my only regret is my disappointments over Apple's lack of support on GPUs and the stagnation of OpenCL, and other software developers' reluctance to support GPGPU on Mac OS X, which forced me to run crappy Windows on a Mac Pro unattended.
  25. Strobe macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
    I just wanted to add my 2 cents. I was an owner of a 2009 Mac Pro, 6GB ram, raptor drive, GTX285 etc etc loaded. It was only the quad since I am only 20 years old and its all I could afford. I have a 23" cinema display and a MBP as well, and now and iPad to match my iPhone. I loved all the Apple experience and how it all worked together.

    Also, the mac pro's resale value is huge. I just sold my 09 Mac Pro for 2700 dollars and built a new PC for 1900 that matches and exceeds my Mac Pro. I know people always say, "I could build that mac pro in PC land for 800 or less" but not with quality. The mac pro is a piece of artwork, engineering, and overall great user experience. My 1900 dollar PC has faster CPU, same RAM with faster clock rate, better GPU, a 128GB sata 3 SSD and all. I even spent 300 dollars on heat sinks, fans, controllers, etc to make it quiet and quality system. It is quieter, cooler, and faster than my Mac Pro. Windows 7 isn't so bad after all. I don't regret selling my Mac Pro, but I am happy with my new PC. I will miss apple care phone support to help me through struggles and the great warranty they provide. It's really a tough choice, but for me, I chose to go back to PC for my main desktop and use a cinema display and another NEC IPS panel monitor to ensure a great experience. I couldn't be happier.

    I know this was a lengthy post and I don't know if it helps or worsens your issues or not, but I feel it was the best way I could describe what I went through on my Mac Pro purchase. I still will stay apple on my laptop though. You just can't beat battery life and how snappy OSX is on an aging system compared to windows on an old computer. Thanks for reading my huge post and I wish you luck.

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