Indecisive Mac Desktop Owner Needs Help

ndriver182

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2007
552
1
A brief history:
Summer 2011 - Purchased 2011 2.5ghz Mac Mini
January 2012 - Purchased 2011 27" 2.8ghz iMac to replace Mini
January 2012 - Returning iMac

The Mac Mini was serving my purposes for the most part, but I was in the market for a 27" display instead of the 21" I had. I figured instead of just buying a Dell U2711 display to use with the Mini, I could sell the Mini and end up with an iMac that has the 27" display and also end up with a faster processor, etc at the same time. So that's what I did.

I bought the iMac through Amazon since I'm a Prime member, pay no sales tax in CA, and it was cheaper from Apple directly. Unfortunately I discovered how much of a pain it is to open the Mac to install the SSD, OWC Mercury Electra Pro 6G 120gb, I had in my Mini (I didn't end up doing it) and realized how I wasn't a big fan of how the iMac makes it tough to make any changes to the system with the exception of upgrading the RAM.

So here I am weighing my options on a Mac Pro. I have no interest in going back to the Mac Mini. I really don't have any interest in going back to a 27" iMac (despite the processor specs being up-to-date and thunderbolt). I know the current Mac Pro systems are lagging behind in terms of updates, but considering that there aren't any other desktop Mac options to consider (other than a hackintosh), I'm trying to figure out where to go in terms of the Mac Pro line.

I do not currently use my Mac as a means for creating income. I do not do excessive amounts of audio, video, or compiling work. I do like the expandability of the Mac Pro - specifically CPU, RAM, and possibly video card. I was considering the single 2.8ghz quad core considering that down the road it leaves me open to swapping out the CPU to the 3.33ghz 6-core later if I need it. I also know that there may or may not be a refresh of the MP line, but if there is, it will probably be sometime in the next few months. The "problem" is that I don't know if I can hold out until then using my MBA connected to my monitor to act as a desktop replacement. I don't really care about USB 3.0, doubt I'll make use of Thunderbolt, and am not totally sure if SATA 3 or PCI 3 would be of use to me.

Anyway, sorry for such a long post. I'm just trying to figure out if I should wait it out or not. I'm more inclined to think waiting is probably not worth it in my case, but I'm not a Mac Pro guru so what do I know?? :confused:
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Anyway, sorry for such a long post. I'm just trying to figure out if I should wait it out or not. I'm more inclined to think waiting is probably not worth it in my case, but I'm not a Mac Pro guru so what do I know??
You do not have to be a Mac "guru" to realize that if you need a computer now you should buy it now.
 

ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
1,164
1,062
I wouldn't worry too much about thunderbolt until it becomes cost-effective. So far, it is a lot of hype, hope, and expense. Based on what you have told us, I would look into a refurbed quad core (2.8) from Apple. It will run you about as much as a top-of-the line iMac, but memory maxes out at 48 gigs and you can be more selective on your monitor(s), GPUs and hard drives.
 

DustinT

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2011
1,556
0
Honestly? I'd by a Mac Mini.... You really don't need to do all the upgrades, as you've already admitted. Just enjoy it...
 

MacinJosh

macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2006
676
55
Finland
I wouldn't worry too much about thunderbolt until it becomes cost-effective. So far, it is a lot of hype, hope, and expense. Based on what you have told us, I would look into a refurbed quad core (2.8) from Apple. It will run you about as much as a top-of-the line iMac, but memory maxes out at 48 gigs and you can be more selective on your monitor(s), GPUs and hard drives.
Seconded. If I were you, I'd buy a late gen MP used or refurbed for a good price and build on it. No point buying new now.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,032
1,055
Sure, the iMac is a pain to open up.

But honestly, how often do you see yourself replacing the drive?
 

foodog

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
906
38
Atlanta, GA
Sure, the iMac is a pain to open up.

But honestly, how often do you see yourself replacing the drive?
Totally agree.... If you are not comfortable with opening it yourself pay someone to do it for you. It is a one time deal. I own a Mac Pro, a Mac mini, and an iMac. My kids use the mini, (games web surfing etc...) my wife uses the iMac (photos, email etc...) and I use the Pro (video editing) and it pays for itself as an income generator. I upgraded the other machines hard drives, RAM etc... It is a PITA for an iMac hard drive replacement, but isn't that hard to do with a few simple tools.... plenty of videos on youtube to show you how.