looking to purchase macpro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ggoerl, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. ggoerl macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    Hey, everyone I have been interested and patiently awaiting to get a G5 for quite some time now and finally that day has come. My cousin has graciously decided to loan me the money and I have a few questions which need answering so if anyone could help me out it would be appreciated.

    First off, I was looking at the apple store via .com and I could not find the g5 anywhere except for the Mac Pro so did they just give it a new fancy name?

    Second is it worth spending $800 on a .34 update from 2.66ghz to 3.0? would there be much of a difference?

    Third is it worth to buy the 23 inch cinema display from them? or buying another brand since I have read reviews and it lacks some inputs as well as other things.

    Last but not least, I looked at the buyers guide and it advised not buy yet that there is an update soon so I was wondering if it was worth waiting the new batch if there will be much of a significant difference in the newer units as well as what is being updated in the newer models?

    Oh, and one more thing would I be better off purchasing online or just traveling to my nearest apple retailer?

    Sorry for all the questions, I would just like to get all of this cleared up.
    Thanks and Merry Christmas
  2. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    I think they stopped calling it the G5 when Apple moved to Intel chips. It's just the "Mac Pro."

    The current Mac Pro offering is pretty stale. Unless you need the thing immediately, I suggest waiting for product refresh. Though no one but Jobs knows when that will be. :rolleyes: ;)

    I've got the 23 inch Cinema Display on my 'Pro, and I'm quite satisfied with it.
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Last updated August 2006...

    I think you might be able to hold out until MacWorld :D
  4. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    The G5 chip is no longer a current Apple chip. The MacPros look like the G5s, but they have Intel chips in them now. The benefits are that they're capable of running Windows natively, they use less power (and therefore have fewer fans and make less noise) and they have additional space in them for four hard drives instead of two, plus two optical drives instead of one.

    The MacWorld show is coming up Jan 5 and there's rumored to be new MacPros introduced then, or shortly thereafter. Unless you absolutely must have a MacPro now, I'd wait a bit to see if the rumors are true.

    Buying mail order (from a reseller like MacMall or MacZone) will typically save you sales tax over buying the mac at an apple store. Apple will you charge you sales tax for your state if you buy directly from Apple online.
  5. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    There is no G5 processor anymore. The Mac desktop/work station is called Mac Pro. It uses Intel Xeon processors, two of them each with either 4 or 8 cores, depending on how much you spend. Best bet would be 3.0 ghz and an 8 core machine, with the x1900XT video card and as much RAM as you can afford.

    Rumor is that there is likely to be some sort of upgrade to the Mac Pro lineup announced at MWSF in January. It looks more like some tweaks - maybe Penryn processors, maybe a faster video card (Nvidea 8800). If you buy before MWSF, you run the risk of there being a slightly faster version of your machine out there shortly after you buy. Most people here hate being behind on the technology curve and will tell you to wait until January before deciding what to buy.

    If there ISN'T a Mac Pro upgrade in January, there will be shrieking on this forum like we having seen in, oh...weeks.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    When you do go to buy your mac pro go with the base option, currently the quad 2.66Ghz in future likely an 8 core 2.83GHz or 2.80GHz system. The speed upgrades aren't worth it unless you do alot of processing and your time is valuable, which I'm guessing it isn't from your post. The new mac pro is likely to come with 2GB of memory, but if you decide to go with 4Gb or more, buy elsewhere as it will be alot cheaper and is easy to install. Apple may refresh the monitors at macworld, but really right now you should probably be looking at other brands. I won't reccomend you buy a specific model, but search on here for monitor suggestions and you will find some good buying advice.
  7. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    In my opinion it is not. The difference in performance is minimal when compared to the added cost. So unless you need the absolute fastest (besides the Octo-Core model) performance available I would say to 'settle' for the base model- it will be plenty fast! :)

    I think that the ACDs are fantastic LCDs. Personally, I went with a Dell 2407WFP instead of a 23" ACD. Specs are essentially the same, but the Dell LCD has a built-in memory card reader, can rotate, and cost me a couple hundred less dollars. But if you want a great LCD that matches your Mac Pro and don't mind paying the extra cost, then go for it. :)

    If you need it now, then buy one. That said, I would wait until after MacWorld- there is a good chance that they will receive an update.

    If you want your Mac Pro to be built to order, than you have to buy it online. Otherwise, it is simply a matter of what is most convenient for you.

    No problem, have a very merry Christmas ggoerl! :) :)
  8. ggoerl thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    Thanks to everyone for the replies, I will hold out till January for the expected update and hope that there is good news. One more question
    I plan on upgrading ram so if I just stick with the base option, how much would I be saving buying else where and installing it myself?
    Thanks again
  9. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    Don't get the Apple Cinema displays... They're crap.. DELL FTW!:D
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006

    http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Mac Pro (4-core)&pl=apple&cat=

    You can see how cheap it is compared to Apple's current prices. If apple move to 800MHz FB-DIMMs it might be a little while before 3rd party prices start to save you hundreds of dollars. It will likely always be cheaper to buy memory from a 3rd party, especailly OWC.
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I recommend buying your extra RAM from www.datamem.com

    Here is an example of the savings you get when you purchase third party RAM:

    -4GB of RAM from Apple using the BTO option = $699

    -4GB of RAM from datamem + stock 1GB of RAM from Apple for a total of 5GB = $198.

    So, you end up with 1GB of extra RAM and an extra $501 in your pocket! :)
  12. Paulius macrumors newbie


    Aug 22, 2005
    What are you planning to do with your Mac Pro? If you're doing anything dependant on processing power (if you're buying a Pro, you most probably are) the upgrade is highly worth it. For $800, you get 8 cores running at 3GHz each (versus 4 cores running at 2.66GHz). That's about a double performance increase in processing power.

    No. Read reviews for LCD monitors from other manufacturers. The Apple displays are quite expensive and old. Screens from other manufacturers have better specifications, lower prices and better waranty options (Samsung gives a 5 year warranty for free on their high-end displays).

    If you can, wait. If you were to build a computer which would be equivalent to the Mac Pro yourself, it would cost more than $1000 less than the Pro. The Mac Pro is due for a price drop (not likely) or a spec upgrade (most likely) in the next months.

    I would highly recommend to buy it from either Apple online or from an Apple store. It's way easier to get through to Apple's waranty if you have any trouble with your machine when you're buying from an Apple store or their website.
  13. ggoerl thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    I plan on doing video editing, motion graphics, I'll be editing a lot of my photos, recording music and on the side playing games as well as having windows on it.

    As for the 3.0 upgrade I was speaking of the dual-core thats $800 correct me if I am wrong it sounds like you were talking about the quad-core which is a whopping $700 more making a total of $1500 :eek: If I am to spend this kind of money I want this thing to last for at least the next 7-10 years but who knows how fast computers will be then as well as obsolete my machine will be.
  14. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    The 3GHz processor goes about 12.5% faster than the 2.66. You don't see all of that, even on very processor intensive tasks, because other things that affect performance stay the same (the processor cache, memory bus, RAM, etc.). So let's say a 10% performance boost for processor intensive tasks. Is that worth $800? Only you can decide. It's not a great value (the $800 gets you 10% performance, but increases the cost of the computer by about 30%), but if you need it, you need it.

    By the way, the numbers will change when the new Mac Pros are announced, but you are likely to face a very similar decision.
  15. timestamp macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Remember that even if you don't need eight-cores, Apple could very well offer a quad Wolfdale config. Which would be a lot less than the current quad and a better machine overall.

    In regards to the ACDs. They are quite old, but considering the panel I wouldn't say they are overly expensive. With a Dell you are going to get a PVA panel, they have come a long way but they still aren't where IPS panels are.

    In reality, this only comes into to play if you want accurate color. If you don't care, go with the Dell. If you do, go with the Apple, NEC, Eizo, etc.

    If we see a Mac Pro update in January, which is likely. I imagine we will also see a display update or the every so common price drop. The update could work like this:

    20" --- new panel
    23" --- replaced with 24", H-IPS panel
    30" --- new panel

    Maybe a new design as well.

    Just hold out til January. It should be worth it.
  16. ggoerl thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    This topic hasnt been touched upon a while, so I have noticed that apple has upped the price on the mac pro 300 dollars more. Which now comes standard with 2gb of ram, a 320gb hd ,and 8 cores standard blah blah blah.
    I have also noticed significant rants on the board about the new mac pro
    so what do I expect now? I plan on waiting till next week to see what is in store hopefully a price drop on monitors or something none the less I have a couple of questions now.

    1. I plan on staying with the base option for ram and hd and later buying and external 500gb graid drive as well as upgrading the ram myself. Is this is a smart move as I don't know what to do with the 320 I just plan on keeping that separate just for the o/s but I plan on running boot camp/fusion so should I have that on a separate hd? :confused:

    2. As for graphics cards I am unsure but I wont stick with the base option, I see that people are getting the geforce 8800 should I get this? for $200 extra it seems like a good deal to me especially for what I plan on doing I think I may need it.

    3. Last but not least processor, thinking about sticking with the base option if not thinking about getting the 3.0 if it can benefit me any more than just upgrading ram alone.

    Thanks for all the help in the past
  17. ggoerl thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
  18. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    The Mac Pro's have just been updated (within the last week), and are a very high spec compared to the previous ones.

    One thing to note is that in the 'Customize' options, you can downgrade to a single 4 core 2.8GHz Processor which knocks $500 off the price and takes the price down to $2299. (I think the single CPU will be more than enough for you as you were originally planning on getting a single dual core).

    As for the RAM, it is extremely simple to fit the RAM yourself, and you will end up with more RAM for less money than if you bought it direct from Apple.

    As for the Hard Drive, you mentioned buying an external one. Is there any reason for choosing an external? The Mac Pro has space inside for 4 Hard Drives and it would be very simple to add a second hard drive and use it just for your files/data/etc.

    As for the Graphics Card, I would definately choose the nVidia 8800GT as it is one of the best (if not the best) gaming card on the market at the moment, and is far superior to the ATI card they're offering (and that's coming from an ATI fan :rolleyes:).

    I personally love the aluminiumness of the Apple Cinema Displays but they have been around for a very long time, and although there have been slight revisions such as increased Response Times, there's nothing 'new' about them anymore.

    It is quite possible to see a new line of Apple Displays at MacWorld (only 1 1/2 Days away now) and there are rumours flying around suggesting that the new displays may have iSight...(one thing I'm hoping doesn't happen is that they make the new displays Glossy or at least make a Matte version).

    Hope all this helps :)

    p.s. I too am looking for a Mac Pro but I am torn between the Mac Pro and the 24" iMac.
  19. ggoerl thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    Yea, the only real main reason I needed/wanted an external was for one of two reasons. The main reason being transferring and getting everything of my pc and getting it onto my macpro second possible reason would be to have to take with my for video editing for in the future when I get a laptop.

    But yes aside from that I would also like to as well add on another hardrive
    to have my files/data seperate from the os/bootcamp xp, etc.
  20. ggoerl thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007

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