Just ordered a Mac Pro... Not quite sure!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ryan0751, May 25, 2014.

  1. Ryan0751 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    I just put in an order for a Mac Pro. I've always wanted one, and pulled the trigger finally with the new design. I've decided to sell a few of my Canon L lenses that I don't use much, and will be selling a MBP as well to offset the cost.

    But still, what a HUGE amount of money ($6200 with corporate discount). I'm excited, but I feel guilty. I've never spent that amount of money on a computer!

    I ordered the 8-core, D500's, 32GB of RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD.

    I'm a little concerned about whether the decisions for 6 vs 8 core and 500 vs 700 GPU will impact me much later.

    Largely I do a lot of routine stuff, Lightroom and photo work, rendering panoramas. I also do some music production work. And professionally, I'm a software developer (largely C++, cloud computing).

    The heaviest thing I will be doing is a live DJ broadcast that I do online. I will need to run VMWare with Windows 7 for some special lighting software, Arkaos Grand VJ on the Mac side for visuals, Wirecast encoding 1080p live, and a few other apps.

    I went with the 8-core because I figured the extra cores will come into play with running VM's and the encoding and the visualization software all at once. I'm not sure the D700 would help me much, I don't have really much OpenCL software (I've dabbled with Final Cut, but it's not my primary use).

    Does this make sense? I thought about going iMac too, but I don't think I can really run all of that at once. Wireshark uses quite a bit of CPU, and my Macbook Pro Retina (which I'm keeping) is already about as fast as the loaded iMac.
  2. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    You will, at a minimum, appreciate the extra cores and RAM for your VMs, and your C++ project build times will become ridiculously fast on the PCIe SSD.

    I don't do any of that fancy creative stuff with mine so I can't speak to that, but I'm sure you're going to be very happy with it.
  3. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    You buy a six grand computer, and then ask questions afterwards and not beforehand? Interesting approach.

    Sounds like you have a photography focus, you might find this guy helpful to understand optimising for your work, as well as choosing the ideal configuration for buying a mac pro :)

  4. Ryan0751 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    I did plenty of research.

    It just feels... weird to spend that much cash on a machine. I need reassurance :D
  5. Riwam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2014
    Basel, Switzerland
    Enjoy the nMP and forget about the money


    I allowed to treat myself with a nMP and I cannot even say I do some work with it which brings money, as you do.
    I am just 69 y.o. and wanted a truly good computer as an all round machine.
    Life is short and regrets do not help in any way.
    You will have a wonderful tool in your hand.
    Once paid, the money spent will be behind you and the nMP in front of you.
    So enjoy it without any bad feelings.
    It is in my opinion a wonderful thing.
    Congratulations for your decision.
    You did the right thing!
  6. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    It's called buyer's remorse and is quite common, especially with large-ticket purchases. The OP will get over it when he receives his new beauty and is blown away by its performance. :D
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    It's $3.40 a day for the next 5 years and you can probably recoup $1,000 if you want to sell it in 5 years. It's a bargain!

    You've chosen the right system for you to stay with OS X and do all you do. Looks like the CPU choice may have been the hardest part, and that premium to step up from the 6-core isn't nice, but the extra power isn't something to ignore if you put your system under regular load.

  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Assuming you bought it direct from Apple, you know there is a no questions asked 14 day full refund policy? So let's say you receive it and use it for a few days and you don't like X aspect of it. You can just go to any Apple store and return it for a full refund. I don't suggest you abuse this policy but it is there if you need it.

    I was in the same boat you were. I spent weeks deciding if I should pull the trigger. I've never spent this much money in one purchase/item before. But in the end, I decided it's a tool and if I do go through with it, I should treat it as such. Tools can be expensive. And also, I wanted to experience the very best computing experience that Apple has to offer.
  9. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The CPU makes a much bigger difference than the speed of the storage. Source code files are perfect for caching and hence they get cached into memory very aggressively. There are plenty of benchmarks out there that prove that even compiling off a RAM drive makes little difference. The CPU is the key and any decent compiler will make use of all available cores.

    OP, you have chosen a solid machine that will serve you well for years. I wouldn't think twice about it.
  10. ZombiePhysicist, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014

    ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2014
    I would have gone for the D700's simply because it's not an upgradable part. Unlike in the old Mac Pro. Well, at least for now it is not upgradeable.

    You could probably cut down the SSD and and definitely cut out the RAM and get that 3rd party. If 512 or even 256GB SSD will keep you for a while, 3rd party SSDs should be out soon, in larger capacities and much cheaper than apple charges. Especially the RAM. With the SSD, you just don't need as much ram as you used to, and you can get by with 16gb for a while and get a cheaper (and larger) 3rd party ram upgrade later. I'd use that money you save pairing down the RAM (or SSD) towards the D700s. I'd go as far and say, cancel your order, and reorder with the D700s.

    That said, do NOT feel guilty. Here's why. People are still using and HAPPY with the 2006 Mac Pro. If it wasn't for an EFI issue, it would be very easy to run Mavericks on the machine and run it well. Those that bother doing the hack report it running incredibly well. So that is an 8 year old machine that is still running great.

    Barring some amazing advances in software, there is a fair chance that machine will be with you for a long long while, and the crazy part is, you'll likely still be happy with it.

    So, despite the price being nuts, what it saves you is upgrading say every 2-3 years, which would probably cost you 2k per clip. So it's a bit of 6 or half a dozen of the other, just for next few years you get to be in a ferrari class machine. Then the next 2-3 years you get to be in a honda accord class car. And then you're in a honda civic class car.

    If you need to flip/upgrade machines more regularly, then buying at the civic level makes a lot of sense (e.g., getting a medium juiced mac mini every 2-3 years).

    Enjoy the heck out of it. It's super sweet! And congrats!
  11. Ryan0751 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    I actually did that the other day... upgraded to the D700's for the extra $550 or so (with company discount). If you're spending THAT much cash, what's an extra $550? LOL.
  12. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    I got the base model nMP and it powers through 4.5k RED footage all day long. Your machine will be more than fine for your purposes. :)
  13. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    I hear ya ....

    In my own situation, I actually used part of a loan I primarily took out to pay for our move and some repairs on a home we purchased.

    It's, by far, the most money I've ever spent on a computer too.

    But here's my thinking, if it's of any help? I have a career in computers and I.T. that I've been involved in for about 25 years now. Basically, I live and breathe this stuff and can't really fathom anything else I'd do to earn a paycheck that strays too far outside the realm of computing.

    I've owned a PowerMac G5 tower, a 2006 Mac Pro, and a 2008 Mac Pro, as well as briefly owning a dual 1.44Ghz G4 tower before them. All of these were very expensive purchases when I bought them, and I had to take out a personal loan to afford the 2006 Mac Pro, at the time.

    I can't say I regretted any of those decisions, though. (The G4 tower wasn't the most stellar - but it did help me migrate over from the Windows world to the world of Mac OS X, so at least it deserves credit as my starting point.)

    Especially with the last 2 Mac Pro towers I owned, I got a full 6-7 years of use out of each of them, leaving them running pretty much 24/7, and never having a repair (other than upgrading a dying video card in one, when it was at the point where I wanted to upgrade its video regardless).

    All of this made me confident that all the money I sunk into the new Mac Pro won't be a waste either. If it gives me even 4 or 5 solid years of use, it's probable it will aid me in making enough money to fully cover its cost, if not more. (Even if some of that is as simple as editing photos of items for sale and posting auction listings and such, it's still a case of using my primary computer to get it done and therefore, it bringing me in some income.)

    Especially with higher end Apple purchases, you actually have some residual resale value too. The people who sunk $3,000 or so into a PC Windows workstation probably will have a tough time getting even $200 back out of it, 5-6 years later. I got $800-900 each out of both Mac Pro towers I resold when I was done with them.

  14. wesk702 macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2007
    The hood
    My 2008 base MP was used heavily for pretty mod to heavy audio production and that monster lasted me 6 years. In sure ur machine will last plenty long. The processing power, SSD speed, and connectivity are gonna stand up for some time. D700's might be a little overkill for what you describe, but if you can afford it then it's all good.
  15. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    Why not buy a used last gen 12 core mac pro. They are going for half that cost and are faster.
  16. Mactrunk macrumors regular

    May 12, 2005
    If money is no object, then this was a great decision.

    If bang for the buck is a consideration.....


    Maybe not
  17. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    And needs time and effort spent on upgrading to do so, which not everyone will feel comfortable doing. This also then raises the matter of who will support this for the user.

    Remember that not everyone wants to do there own IT support, and this way he is running a machine will full Apple Support.
  18. matty1551 macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2009
    IMO, Apple & third party companies will be supporting the classic Mac Pro for a long time. There is only a year difference between the two. When the 2012 Pro is put to pasture by Apple, the 2013 nMP won't have much official support left either.

    If he were buying an older used Mac Pro, I'd agree with your point more.
  19. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    So if I have a problem with my flashed GPU in an OSX update then Apple are going to fix the issue?
    I replaced the CPU in my system as was bought with a 2.8GHz, would the 3rd Party I bought from warranty the system still as have messed about with it.

    Whilst I am quite happy to do my own IT Support, rely on forums etc, not everyone is. Having said that I am not using my Mac Pro for work, if I relied on it for work then I would have bought an nMP instead.

    This is what I meant by support, not as in that there will continue to be OSX updates for the hardware, or that there will be flashed GPU's coming out. With the 290 seeming to have proper support in 10.10 then I am pretty sure that there will be people working on getting that EFI sorted out.

    As I understand then typically Apple have historically released Software Updates for 5 years, so I would expect the 5,1 to be getting updates till 2017/18 at least.
  20. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    Well he could get a refurb for a lot less and that comes with support and applecare.
  21. MacProCard macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2014
    Should have got it from B&H. No waiting and no taxes.
  22. Killerbob macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2008
    I use about the same software packages, and except for the software developing, we may have identical usage patterns:)

    For a long time I was asking the same question as you, the 6 or the 8-core, and eventually I went for the 6-core. I upgraded to 1TB SSD and the D700s. As for RAM I got 64GB from OWC.

    The money I saved I spent on an external TB2/PCIe solution, the Sonnet Echo Express III-D box, and added my existing 1TB Accelsior card, and a Sonnet Tempo Pro with 2 Samsung SSDs. In the long run the Echo box allows me the option to add PCIe cards, and so it is future-protecting my solution.

    My Mac Pro 3,1 (2008) has served me very well, but it was time. That's 6 years of usage, and I have "only" added RAM, a GTX680 card, an Accelsior SSD solution and a USB3 card. All-in-all a USD6-7K investment amortised over 2'100 days... Come on, that's less than I spend on drinks:)
  23. Stephent macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2012
    If it isn't too late to change your order. I got 64Gb of RAM aftermarket and just got the minimal 12GB when I ordered. Still cost me less than ordering 32GB from apple direct. Here is what I got

  24. MacProCard macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2014
    I got the same system. I love it. No buyers remorse so far. I use mine for the same reasons. --Software development, Final cut, light photography work.

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