Is it worth to upgrade my current machine to this mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by crimsonangel, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. crimsonangel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #1
    I do not currently own a mac but am in love with the OS and really want to buy one. Im not really strapped with cash at the moment and I dont want the mini or an imac. I did some searching on ebay and found a mac pro priced at $1100.

    A1186
    2x 2.0GHz Dual-Core Xeon (4-core)
    1GB RAM
    160GB HARD DRIVE
    DVDRW - SUPERDRIVE
    NVIDIA 7300GT

    My current computer is one I built a few years back and its specs are.
    AMD athlon 3800+x2
    2 gigs ram
    Nvidia 9800GT


    My other question is in the future would I be able to upgrade the processors that are currently in this mac pro I might buy with quad core ones so I could have 8 cores.

    Im more interested in the cpu and the processing power it can provide compared to the cpu im currently running (I would think that these two dual core xenon's would be significantly faster and better for multitasking than my current cpu is. It would be more of a Xeon 5130 vs athlon 3800X2, I would think that a single xenon based on the core2 architecture would easily perform some deal better than the AMD counterpart I have currently. Not to mention this mac would have two 5130's.)

    So what would you guys recommend should I buy it (not considering the upgrades) or not?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
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    FL
    #3
    1) It's considered poor form to ask the same question repeatedly
    2) When one buy a computer, processing power is not the only factor. Bus speeds, amount/type of RAM, video capabilities, and hard drive speed all affect performance.
    3) While oodles of cores are nice, few applications can, as of 2009, effectively take advantage of multithreading. So often clock speed is more important.
    4) A better question you should ask is: "I want to do _______ with a computer. Which mac is the right one for me?"
    5) I wouldn't typically think to buy a mac with the idea of upgrading the processor.
    6) Being "strapped for cash" and buying a Mac Pro are usually mutually exclusive.
    7) If you are currently running a system with 1 GB of RAM and 160 GB HD, I doubt you need a Mac Pro. You'd do better with a Mini.
     
  4. crimsonangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #4
    I'm real sorry for double post. After searching around the forum for a while I figured this one would have been the better one to ask the question in. Well for one I NEED hard drive space. My current computer has 5 separate hard drives in it. I have a TB a 500 gig two 60 gigs and a 160 gig. The sizes are weird cause I have just been putting in whatever hdd is lying around. Also Im running two 22 inch screens and was hoping to get a third. The 2 gigs of ram I currently have are seriously not enough. For the most part I listen to music and have at normal two internet browser windows opened at a time with around 14 tabs in each. I also transcode allot of videos. Im going to be some 3d modeling rendering and animation later this year as well and perhaps some video editing as well along with allot of photoshop. My current computer just drags at most things. Its around 4 years old and runs practically 24/7 (i usually don't turn it off because im downloading almost all the time or it will be busy doing something while im away and as a result I burnt the ran out on my mobo several times and allot of its features just arent work correctly anymore). I also sometimes transport it between two locations. I rarely play any games on it and the games that I do play arent really that graphically demanding (mostly RTS's) So what would you guys recommend
    Again I apologize for the double post.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    Always a day away
    #5
    No chance in hell I'd pay $1100 for that Mac Pro. With a tiny hard drive, 1 Gb of RAM (check prices on MP RAM before you buy), and an old tech video card, it doesn't seem worth it to me. I know you're not looking for a Mini or an iMac, but you could drop $1100 or less on either of those machines - brand new - and get one that will outperform that MP across the board.
     
  6. crimsonangel thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2010
    #6
    The hard drive it has wouldn't be much of an issue. I was planing on putting the current hard drives I have in it. Ram however could be a problem now that I think about it. I could always build a new computer but I was hoping for a mac.
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #7
    If you're looking for a Mac Pro that's going to give you a significant performance boost above a current iMac or Mac Mini, I suspect you'll have to spend quite a bit more than $1100.

    With the most recent updates, the gap in performance between the iMac and Mac Pro got even smaller, and the price gap got wider.
     
  8. crimsonangel thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2010
    #8
    Id say some of the main problems Id have with an iMac is that It wouldn't be able to support all the hard drives I have also I don't feel much like dropping around 2 grand for a computer right now (i feel so cheap) and i'm not all that interested in a core 2 duo for a desktop cpu (maybe i'm just being stupid). I did find another sale of that same mac but with 6 gigs of ram and an ATI X1900 for the same price. The main thing i'm trying to figure out is how much more performance can this computer give me over my current set up.

    my setup
    AMD Athlon 3800+
    Dual core
    2.0 Ghz
    1MB L2 cache
    90nm
    supports up to DDR400

    the mac
    two Xeon 5130
    Dual core
    2.0 Ghz
    4MB L2 cache
    65nm
    the mac supports 667 MHz DDR2 ECC

    If I decide not to get one of these mac pros I might be interested in a macbook pro to take with me when im at school. I was looking at the 15 inch mainly because it had a 9600M GT, however after thinking about it perhaps if I got a macbook I should get the cheaper 13 inch or even go with a macbook air. How much more powerful is the 9600M GT to the 9400M?
     
  9. Qusus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    #9
    Hey man, not to be rude but do you seriously need to ask questions like "how much better is the 9600GT compared to the 9400" when a simple Google search will show roughly 420984902384 articles that benchmark and discuss the performance differences ad nauseum? Do you just enjoy seeing your own posts or something? Ha.
     
  10. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

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    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, WI
    #10
    You're all over the board. You want to go to three monitors, reuse you hard drives, and now yo mention a Macbook Air as being a possibility??

    Based on your original stated needs/wants, I'd say go ahead and build a new PC. If you are set on a Mac, either go with a quad core iMac or a MBP if you want something mobile. Both will let you span you desktop to a second monitor.

    An Air would be ridiculous considering your requirements and price concerns.
     
  11. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #11
    Doesn't sound that bad, but be aware of the limitations on the firmware being 32 bit and future hardware/software ramifications. Also you will probably have to put some ram in there, as well as a new graphics card for os x if you find it lacking.

    Whats good is you can upgrade the cpu's to quad cores later, giving you a 8 core should your needs demand it.

    In short you may have to spend another 200-300 on top of the purchase price.
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #12
    What are you doing with a 1 Tb, a 500 Gb, a 160 Gb, and two 60 Gb's that you can't do with a 1 Tb internal and a 1 Tb external? :confused: Besides take up space and power, I mean?

    Maybe you are, maybe not - but my iMac is a C2D and seems to be holding up just fine, as is my 3-year-old MacBook. Do you have a compelling reason to dislike C2D's, or do you just not want one for the sake of it? If it's the latter, then perhaps your supposition is correct - but mind you, you pointed that out, I did not.

    My guess is that a benchmarking program might show a noticeable difference, but everyday use by sitting at the machine and using it probably won't. Again, the MP is crippled with only 1 Gb of RAM, a tiny hard disk, and an outdated video card.
     
  13. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    Location:
    Germany.
    #13
    Ha. Hahaha. Hahahahahaha.

    Okay, now that we've had a laugh over that statement, can we come back to reality?

    Your little Mini and iMac toys use NOTEBOOK hardware. The Xeon Mac Pro uses server hardware which is optimized for high throughput and does not have any real bottlenecks - except for the graphics card in this specific 1100$ configuration.

    To put it simple: Even with these low specs, that Mac Pro will shred your Mini and your iMac to pieces. I've had them all on my desk and there is a reason why the Mac Pro is the only Apple box that's still standing on it.

    Just launch Aperture and begin with RAW processing or simply hold that right-arrow button pressed and flip through your RAW library. An easy "benchmark". And one that neither the Mini nor the iMac will survive when compared with the Mac Pro. Or rip a DVD with Handbrake and see how those four server Xeon cores are running circles around your two notebook CPU cores.

    Where the Mini and the iMac are better is when you need a "green" PC with low power consumption. Or when you want something really quiet.

    But when you need computing power, even that 2006 Mac Pro will be a much better option than current Minis and iMacs. Especially for that money.
     
  14. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

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    Jul 21, 2009
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    United Kingdom
    #14
    If you've been surviving for all this time with a pitiful computer which you built
    Then I'm sure you can survive with a 3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo 4GB 1066Mhz DDR3 RAM.

    Get over it, buy the base iMac for $1199, and buy an external hard-drive and stop wasting our time.
     
  15. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #15
    And that puny little 1 Gb of RAM.

    I've used a dual Xeon PC in a desktop configuration, and it wasn't any faster than a high-end P4 at the time. A server CPU isn't necessarily optimized for desktop operation, and it's certainly not the only critical component.

    Yes, the processing power will certainly be noticeable when rendering an image, or encoding audio or video - but not when doing everyday tasks like web use and word processing. And the video card won't keep up with recent 3D games; a new iMac will.

    Again, I clearly said "across the board" the Mac Pro wouldn't keep up with a new machine.
     

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