Is buying a mac pro smarter in the long run?

wasaki101

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2010
1
0
Does it make more sense to buy a Mac Pro and upgrade it every few years or to buy a new iMac/MacBook every few years?

I want to be able to have the latest processor technology and w/e, but more importantly to have the latest video cards.

People are starting to develop more games for the Mac like Starcraft 2 and games through Steam, and I was hugely disappointed when my iMac could only run Starcraft 2 on low settings :(.
 

rajbonham

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2010
315
0
Well, honestly, if you're just playing games on your machine, you really don't need a Mac Pro. Actually, if you're a hardcore gamer, I wouldn't really recommend a Mac computer at all...
 

snouter

macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2009
767
0
iMacs never have anything near the latest video cards, so even buying the most current one every time will never satisfy.

The Mac Pro also has fairly limited upgrade potential and the drivers will never be as good as on Windows.

If the PRIMARY goal is to build a gaming computer... it really makes a lot of cents [sic] to build a Windows PC.
 

linuxcooldude

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2010
2,477
7,228
Keeping with his original question...most of the games that natively play within MacOSX should be able to play with the current video cards. As he references specifically games made for Mac & Steam for Mac.

I may take exception with maybe with some older imac's. Most Mac games are not the latest and greatest and often ported years after the original release date.

Even with with the Steam game engine for Mac is mostly older valve games right now. It seems it will take quite a while before they even port the newer games as they can't keep to their promise of new games for Mac weekly.

We still have new video cards on the horizon for the Mac Pro's coming out next month. And at the rate at which games that eventually come out for that platform the current development for Apple computers should be able to catch up.

If I had the choice and had the money I would stay with the Mac Pro, as the upgrade-ability is better then with iMacs. Even the processors can possibly be upgraded.
 

Bubba Satori

Suspended
Feb 15, 2008
4,726
3,753
B'ham
No. The video card in the latest MP are only mid-range.
And you can't go out and buy the latest and greatest GPU
and slap it in like you can on a proper gaming computer.
 

linuxcooldude

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2010
2,477
7,228
If you are referencing the GT120 stock video card you can get faster cards as a BTO option or as an upgrade kit. My ATI Radeon HD 4870 can play all the native Mac games some at the highest settings. The way Apple has done before, I expect a possible ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB coming up next month as well.
 

Kpjoslee

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
294
187
Get a base iMac 27 and build your own gaming PC, then connect your gaming PC to your imac..
It will still be cheaper than getting a Mac Pro with 5870.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,177
1,231
NYC
No. The video card in the latest MP are only mid-range.
And you can't go out and buy the latest and greatest GPU
and slap it in like you can on a proper gaming computer.
To be fair, you can go out buy the latest and greatest CPU and put it in, but just don't expect it to work in OS X; it will certainly work in Windows (but then why the heck didn't you build your own machine I would ask).

Get a base iMac 27 and build your own gaming PC, then connect your gaming PC to your imac..
It will still be cheaper than getting a Mac Pro with 5870.
You'd still need a GPU with a mini DP output to connect to the iMac; also the use of the iMac as a video monitor is a bit laggy as all the signal are routed through the iMac's motherboard.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
For the past 16 years or so I've always bought Mac towers b/c they were the easiest to upgrade and offered the most "bang for the buck." I'm still on my original '06 2.66 Quad Core, though I will be selling it soon, but only because I can still get decent money for it, and in a year, not so much. It still has plenty of life.

The new low end Mac Pro doesn't thrill me. $2500 is a lot of $ for what it offers compared to the high end i7 iMac for $2200. For a few days I was set on switch to the iMac, but then I read this and realized why I never owned an iMac. It's just not for me for all the reasons stated in the piece. Give it a read. It might help you sort things out too. I'll probably either try and find a '09 low end on clearance when they are officially discontinued or spring for a new single 6-core.

To be honest, I'm not a serial upgrader. I do it once when my machine is new -- install more RAM, extra HDs, 2nd optical drive, and I'm done. That lasts me for 4-5 years. You can't do that w/ an iMac because upgrading the HDs is ridiculous. I'm not shy about opening up a box, but when you pop off the iMac's screen you better do it in a "clean room" or get use to dust on the inside of the glass. My thinking is if I'm going to spend hundreds on an upgrade it's cheaper to sell the machine and buy a new one.
 
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