Is a 2013 nMac Pro still worth buying

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
278
45
Stamford, CT
My present Mac Pro and CAD/graphics set up from 2010 is starting to show it’s age. It Runs fine but when building 3Ds it’s not hard to stress the system. This results in long screen redraws which stress the user. The question is wait for probley another year for the promised modular MP or buy a trash can mac which is 5 years old and still costs 5-6 K. Does it make sense to buy 5 year old tech to replace 10 year old tech at like new dollars? Would you expect to pay full retail for a 5 year old car.

I have 2 perfectly good Apple 27 in LED displays which I can’t afford to ditch. I am not even sure if they can be adapted to a IMac Pro or not.
 

jeyf

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2009
1,187
540
your considering all the right options. Do what you want but i would struggle and wait out till the new hardware comes out. Than buy an older unit. Its a business decision.

-dont know what your threshold of pain is but likely the new hardware will be EXTREMELY expen$ive.
-you will be able to control your options on the 27" LED displays, likely the new macPro will require several adapters at best. may never work and you will have to upgrade the displays.
-a moderate increase in processing power likely will not effect your daily professional product.
-see how the new hardware plays out in the reviews. Dont be the early adapter that gets burnt, hold back
-can you get an inexpensive SSD to speed up the current machine? When you buy whatever remove the ssd into a portable USB case?

i got hurt on the early release of the 2017 15" MBP, bad can happen.
 

rpmurray

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2017
196
436
Back End of Beyond
Simple answer: No.

You'd be better off building a Hacintosh while waiting for the modular Mac Pro that's coming. You'll get more power for less bucks. Then when the mMP is released you can see if it's really as limited and closed as most of us are expecting it will be.
 

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
278
45
Stamford, CT
Simple answer: No.

You'd be better off building a Hacintosh while waiting for the modular Mac Pro that's coming. You'll get more power for less bucks. Then when the mMP is released you can see if it's really as limited and closed as most of us are expecting it will be.
One could argue the my 2010, 5,1 cMP is a Hacintosh. Every time a OS update comes out I always take the bait and UPDATE. Then I search the mac forums for help fixing the issues. Many thanks to macrumors.com and my fellow users who help when Apple won't or can't.

You can be sure the modular Mac will be expensive, late arriving and unnecessary fashionable when functional would be perfect under my desk.

It's like having a $15,000 watch under the desk in the dust. At least you can dress with your watch and go out.
 

saulinpa

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2008
865
323
A 5 year old car analogy is not the same unless it had 0 miles on the odometer. In that case some will pay over sticker. Even with today's models most people don't pay full retail for a new car.

Anyway, if you are CPU limited then what about upgrading to a dual CPU card? Several companies offer a trade-in program.

Other option is to buy a used nMP.
 

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
278
45
Stamford, CT
A 5 year old car analogy is not the same unless it had 0 miles on the odometer. In that case some will pay over sticker. Even with today's models most people don't pay full retail for a new car.

Anyway, if you are CPU limited then what about upgrading to a dual CPU card? Several companies offer a trade-in program.

Other option is to buy a used nMP.
Thanks I have been thinking of a refurb from apple since I have they warranty protection. An Ebay or craig's list nMac is a $4K gamble that could be great or a very bad oops. My present cMP was a refurb from apple in 2010. However the savings is not that great for a 2013, 5 year old refurb.
 

Silencio

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,354
226
NYC
Those 27" displays are the older Apple LED Cinema Displays, not the newer Apple Thunderbolt Displays, correct? If so, those displays are getting to be at least 5 years old, so I personally wouldn't say they're a make or break thing to hold on to. That said, presumably you would simply need a Mini DisplayPort to Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C adapter to be able to connect it to an iMac Pro.

For bank for the buck, the iMac Pro is the only way to go right now. A refurbished 8-core Xeon/32GB/1TB 2013 nMP goes for $4,200 at the Apple Store, whereas the low end iMac Pro config with far newer 8-core Xeon/32GB/1TB is $4,999, with a much newer GPU, a modern set of ports, and a high quality 5K display.
 

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,603
While it can be hard to swallow paying full price for five year old technology you have to ignore that and focus on whether it will increase your productivity enough to offset the purchase. I don't know what software you use but the technology in the nMP is several generations newer than that of the cMP.

If Apple still offers a 14-day return perhaps you can purchase one to try out. If you're unhappy you can send it back. Are there any software specific forums which you can ask about? Possibly any user groups where you can try one out?

iMac Pro may be a good alternative. Much newer technology than the nMP. Unfortunately there is next to no information available about the mMP so holding out for one, if it ever ships, may not be an option.
 

AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
817
231
A400M Base
My present Mac Pro and CAD/graphics set up from 2010 is starting to show it’s age. It Runs fine but when building 3Ds it’s not hard to stress the system. This results in long screen redraws which stress the user. The question is wait for probley another year for the promised modular MP or buy a trash can mac which is 5 years old and still costs 5-6 K. Does it make sense to buy 5 year old tech to replace 10 year old tech at like new dollars? Would you expect to pay full retail for a 5 year old car.

I have 2 perfectly good Apple 27 in LED displays which I can’t afford to ditch. I am not even sure if they can be adapted to a IMac Pro or not.

I think you have a great machine. In my opinion, you would absolutely not have to Chance horses.
However, what you absolutely Need is a video Card that Performs. Your 680 is ancient. Go for a NVIDIA 1080Ti with a Modified Mac Rom or for the Quadro 5000K Mac Edition. That Solution would be Bettler than any 6.1 MP on the GPU end.
 
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Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
1,996
My present Mac Pro and CAD/graphics set up from 2010 is starting to show it’s age. It Runs fine but when building 3Ds it’s not hard to stress the system. This results in long screen redraws which stress the user. The question is wait for probley another year for the promised modular MP or buy a trash can mac which is 5 years old and still costs 5-6 K. Does it make sense to buy 5 year old tech to replace 10 year old tech at like new dollars? Would you expect to pay full retail for a 5 year old car.

I have 2 perfectly good Apple 27 in LED displays which I can’t afford to ditch. I am not even sure if they can be adapted to a IMac Pro or not.
I think you would be better served by upgrading to a dual-processor tray and a modern graphics card, per the suggestion above. I would think, without understanding your exact workflow, that those upgrades would hold you until the new MP comes out, at which point you'll be able to make a much more informed decision.

I've had a couple MP 6,1 macines, and it was superior on CPU functions but embarrassed on GPU work by something as (relatively) pedestrian as a GTX 1060 or RX-580, to say nothing of the expense and PITA factor of adding storage (unless you already have extensive external storage).
 

jclmavg

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2014
167
80
The 6.1 is still a great machine, it doesn't deserve all the hate it sometimes gets. Just bought a second basic model for 1500 bucks new. That said, for intensive 3D graphics work the 6,1 won't cut it. It is too bad Apple seems to have disabled eGPU for TB2 systems because the 6.1 worked just fine with an external 1080GTI. Damn you Apple.
 

now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
4,003
8,003
Avoid the trash can.
This is what I did:

I had a 3D animation project I needed to hit a deadline on and my current computer wasn't cutting it.

So...

I spent a lot of time on eBay looking for a very clean Mac Pro that had the horsepower I needed - and bid on it, won, and bought it. I lost a few earlier auctions.

After my 3D project was completed, I regretfully sold the computer back on eBay and actually made $300 over what I bought it for.

That's what I'd do in your case- get a clean cheese grater MacPro (not trash can) on eBay and use that until the next modular Mac Pro comes out (and then discover that there's no way you'll be able to afford it).
 

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
278
45
Stamford, CT
A new GPU for my cMP is not a good fit for my needs. My cad software uses the processor and it requires OpenGL 2 or better for rendering not CUDA. Any new GPU would have to be a flashed PC GPU which after reading the this web page is problematic and could stop working on any OS update,. So I am leaning toward a iMac Or iMac Pro. Having sticker shock since the low end iMac Pro still hits $6K with out trying. However it just a little more than a 5 year old 6,1 which may as well be a closed box since there are not a lot of upgrades for it either.
 
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AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
817
231
A400M Base
A new GPU for my cMP is not a good fit for my needs. My cad software uses the processor and it requires OpenGL 2 or better for rendering not CUDA. Any new GPU would have to be a flashed PC GPU which after reading the this web page is problematic and could stop working on any OS update,. So I am leaning toward a iMac Or iMac Pro. Having sticker shock since the low end iMac Pro still hits $6K with out trying. However it just a little more than a 5 year old 6,1 which may as well be a closed box since there are not a lot of upgrades for it either.
Since you are in the US, this is your best bet:

http://www.microcenter.com/product/502167/imac_pro_mq2y2ll-a_27_all-in-one_desktop_computer

Sell everything on eBay, including your two Displays, save 1000 Bucks and have a great road trip to your next Microcenter location.

Thats what I would do, - plain and simple.
 

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
278
45
Stamford, CT
Thanks. You are correct. It's about 1 hour away. I just have to get over the complete closed box. It's time to get over the fun puzzle “the classic mac pro” and get back to work. This imac pro basic is about 30% faster than a 12c-6,1 selling used for about the same.

saw this a little unfair comparison on youtube .
but I am impressed.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,071
4,138
The Peninsula
My present Mac Pro and CAD/graphics set up from 2010 is starting to show it’s age. It Runs fine but when building 3Ds it’s not hard to stress the system. This results in long screen redraws which stress the user. The question is wait for probley another year for the promised modular MP or buy a trash can mac which is 5 years old and still costs 5-6 K. Does it make sense to buy 5 year old tech to replace 10 year old tech at like new dollars? Would you expect to pay full retail for a 5 year old car.

I have 2 perfectly good Apple 27 in LED displays which I can’t afford to ditch. I am not even sure if they can be adapted to a IMac Pro or not.
"nMac Pro still worth buying"

The answer is the same as it was in December 2013 (since the current trash can is the same expensive system).

If your main criteria are:
  • very quiet
  • around 400 watts
  • pretty
  • don't worry about spending a lot on external peripherals on limited bandwidth non-locking cables
  • don't worry about spending a lot
  • don't worry about performance
then the MP6,1 is good for you.
 
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rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
278
45
Stamford, CT
i missed the special pricing at B&H for the iMac Pro 8C/64GB/Vega64 for $500 off. I Will wait until next special sale. My cMP is working fine. I have been reading the iMac forum. The iMac Pro is getting mixed reviews.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,249
One option is to do an upgrade to tide you over until the mMP hits.
  • Does 3Ds rendering made good use of lots of cores? If so you could go 12-core.
  • Does it make good use of OpenCL? If so, you could switch to a much faster AMD card.
  • Does it make good use of CUDA? If so, you could switch to a much faster Nvidia card.
  • Are you pegging your memory use? If so, you can add a lot more.
cMP is very old architecture at this point, but that doesn't mean that there is no room for noticeable improvement. There might be a cheap solution to get rid of an existing bottleneck.
 

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
278
45
Stamford, CT
One option is to do an upgrade to tide you over until the mMP hits.
  • Does 3Ds rendering made good use of lots of cores? If so you could go 12-core.
  • Does it make good use of OpenCL? If so, you could switch to a much faster AMD card.
  • Does it make good use of CUDA? If so, you could switch to a much faster Nvidia card.
  • Are you pegging your memory use? If so, you can add a lot more.
cMP is very old architecture at this point, but that doesn't mean that there is no room for noticeable improvement. There might be a cheap solution to get rid of an existing bottleneck.

Right now my cMP works really well. Its stable and dependable as long as I don't mess with it,
1. 12 core processor is about $800 would help.
2. Cad software uses OPEN CL so a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB $500 forget the boot
3. then add 64 GB of memory?
This would be a cool fun project but may as well buy a IMac Retina and up grade the memory for about the same price.
Smart money waits until the time is right. When the big project comes I can go the apple store (we have 3 close by) and get an ImacP and be up and running in a couple hours. The mMP is way, way off and work needs will take precedent.

I really have liked my cMP. It' very reassuring to be able to pop the top and replace hard drive, add a pci card and add memory as need on my schedule. Going to the mall and waiting hours for the apple tech it not a fun experience when you really need to be finishing a project. It was the same with my Mac SE. It was a closed box also, Some things just keep coming back.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,071
4,138
The Peninsula
When the big project comes I can go the apple store (we have 3 close by) and get an ImacP and be up and running in a couple hours. The mMP is way, way off
Yes, it sounds like an iMP may be a good choice for you.

And the mMP is not only way, way off - it's also a complete unknown. If it appears (and that's a big "IF") it will be something between CheeseGrater2.0 and Cube3.0. The opportunities for disappointment are very high - especially if you'd like to see CheeseGrater2.0.
 
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apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
12,223
7,671
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
My present Mac Pro and CAD/graphics set up from 2010 is starting to show it’s age. It Runs fine but when building 3Ds it’s not hard to stress the system. This results in long screen redraws which stress the user. The question is wait for probley another year for the promised modular MP or buy a trash can mac which is 5 years old and still costs 5-6 K. Does it make sense to buy 5 year old tech to replace 10 year old tech at like new dollars? Would you expect to pay full retail for a 5 year old car.

I have 2 perfectly good Apple 27 in LED displays which I can’t afford to ditch. I am not even sure if they can be adapted to a IMac Pro or not.
I’d have to say, if your looking at spending that much, and I’m no expert here, I would definitely be more inclined to look at an iMac Pro if you never plan on upgrading the internals, as it’s not easy to do, but Apple do seem to have thrown a lot into the machine. Plus USB C will give options for external GPUs and deices.

I would look into an adapter to connect the old displays to the iMac Pro. Oh and be careful with eBay pricing as looking around on there, a lot of people are inflating Mac Pro prices when compared to new from Apple.

I mean let’s be honest here, the new modular Mac Pro will most likely require adapters for your displays anyway and I dread to think how much it’ll cost...

No having seen the iMac Pro in the flesh it changed my mind on it, it’s still expensive yes but it is that sleek all in one form, which looks stunning in that charcoal black, and all the power in it and the fact it seems to run cool and quiet that makes it a good machine. And it runs a lot faster then the 2013 model, obviously being much newer tech.