Mac Pro 2013 (6,1) worth it for software development?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by vddobrev, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. vddobrev macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #1
    I have a chance to purchase a brand new and unused Mac Pro 2013 (6,1) for US$ 2000. I am in Europe, and the price of the current 6-core, 16GB, D500 MacPro is US$ 4350.

    The specs of the Mac Pro I can get for 2000 are:
    CPU: Intel Xeon E5 3.7GHz 4-Core
    RAM: 24GB DDR3 1866MHz
    HDD: 256GB SSD
    Video: Dual AMD FirePro D300 2GB GDDR5

    The reason I am looking at Mac Pro is because my 5K iMac, for the second time in a row, has developed dust stains at the lower corners of the screen. The screen was replaced once, and now, 4 month before the warranty will end, the dust stains are back. I can and will have the screen replaced in warranty, but what next? If it happens again, I will be on my own.

    So I want to sell the iMac and get a desktop and a 5K monitor. Is the Mac Pro above a good value purchase? My usage is strictly software development and database modelling. If it
     
  2. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #2
    I run DBMS development on a cMP with upgraded CPU and SSD, so sure, from a pure performance standpoint it would be OK. Whether the single 256 Gb SSD will do the job is a question you'll have to answer based on what sort of I/O needs your usage requires. I'd expect the CPU to be a bit slower than the iMac you have now, but probably not enough slower to be a problem.

    The one question I would have is the video. Will the D300 drive a 5K monitor? I dunno.

    To be honest, if the only issue you have with the iMac is the display, I'd keep it. You can always attach an external monitor to the iMac. When you get the display replaced again, see if you can't get a restart on the warranty just for that part, since you've had repeated failures with it.
     
  3. frou macrumors 6502

    frou

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #3
    Depends how much you can sell the iMac for. If you did not have to add too much on top of the proceeds, to get the nMP, I would certainly go for it.
     
  4. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #4
    Go for it.

    If it ever gets too slow, you can upgrade the processor relatively easily. I went from the 3.7 quad-core to the E5-2667 V2 (8 cores, 3.3 GHz).
     
  5. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2016
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    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #5
    Thanks for the replies! How about the D300 - will it manage the 5K display?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 20, 2018 ---
    I also have a Mac mini currently sitting under my TV for media purposes, is it worth exploring eGPU options?
     
  6. Kris Kelvin macrumors regular

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    Dec 28, 2005
    #6
    Please note that the Mac Pro (2013) only supports DisplayPort 1.2, so driving a 5K display in full resolution with a single cable is not possible. Some 5K displays can be connected by multiple cables (e.g. Dell UP2715K and HP Z27q) and can be used with a Mac Pro (2013). See here for details: Using 4K displays, 5K displays, and Ultra HD TVs with your Mac

    The iMac (or iMac Pro) ist still the easiest way to get a good 5K screen.

    Also, many (most?) of the Mac Pro (2013) have serious GPU issues. Mine freezes almost daily (D300). The problem is well documented here.
     
  7. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #7
    Appreciate all inputs. After reading them, I am leaning more towards selling the iMac and getting a cheap 1440p monitor to use it with the Mac mini until Mac Pro 7,1 is out.
     
  8. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I missed the opportunity to buy the above mentioned Mac Pro as it was sold to someone else. I put the iMac up for sale and started using the Mac mini 2014 (it has a 512GB Samsung 850 Pro) with a 4K monitor. It gets the job done, but it is too slow in the sense that I am losing productivity - too much waiting for compiling code, starting/stopping JVM, lag in code editors, etc.

    If I wanted to be more productive, I have to get a full price 2013 Mac Pro; or wait for an updated Mac mini (or Mac Pro); or just continue using the iMac and deal with the display dust problem myself after warranty. As it stands, I would not like to deal with the iMac dust problems myself, as I lost faith in this machine as a durable and lasting computer.

    What would you rather do?
     
  9. Kris Kelvin macrumors regular

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    Dec 28, 2005
    #9
    If you need a solution right now and have the money, I'd go for an iMac Pro. Even the standard model is faster than the high-end Mac Pro models from the past.

    I've never experienced dust problems, but I'd get Apple Care anyway for such an expensive machine after the fiasco with the Mac Pro 2013...
     
  10. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #10
    Thanks for replying. I would not buy another iMac, even Pro, for reasons stated above, i.e. dust in the screen. If dust can get in the iMac, then it also can get in the iMac Pro. In the country I live Apple Care is not available.

    One thing I researched on is laser printers (I have one), and the particles they emit - it was described that a laser printer can contribute very fast to the the clouding/dust of an iMac.

    Edit: Of course I can get rid of the laser printer, but this is equal to babying the iMac, which I am not prepared to do.
     
  11. Kris Kelvin macrumors regular

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    Dec 28, 2005
    #11
    After looking up iMac 5K dust problems, I understand your reluctance. :)
    However, it is still hard to recommend a MacPro6,1. I experience screen freezes almost daily with mine.
    Have you considered getting a MacPro4,1 oder 5,1 until the 7,1 is out (probably end of 2018)? Rock-solid machines and fairly easy to upgrade.
     
  12. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #12
    Yea I read your post about the freezes... but if it is brand new and under 2 year warranty (standard in my country)? What's to lose with the 6,1? Having in mind that I don't need insane graphics. All I need is a fast 4/6 core and fast storage and ability to drive 4K and may be 5K - it seems this is perfectly done by the 6,1...

    I have looked at 4,1/5,1 but I would not buy that's like throwing money in an even older technology. Besides I gave up on tweaking and tinkering with hardware (to upgrade them) - I have done my fair share with windows machines that led me to move to Mac about 2 years ago.

    In any case, all replies are appreciated and are helping me think out loud.

    Edit: in all honesty, I will be perfectly happy with a 4-core Mac mini with a decent i-7 and ability to drive 4K/5K@60Hz... perhaps many people are waiting for it.
     
  13. Kris Kelvin macrumors regular

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    Dec 28, 2005
    #13
    I don't know anyone running 4K with a MacPro6,1 that doesn't have at least intermittent problems.
    The 6,1 is just really expensive for what it's delivering. :(

    I, too, hope for a new Mac Mini. The Intel Core i7-8706G (with integrated Radeon RX Vega M GL) would be perfect for that...
     
  14. kschendel macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #14
    Have you tried using your macbook pro with an external monitor?

    I think your options are:
    1) use your MBP, or buy a newer one which would be slightly faster, and an external monitor;
    2) get a high-spec iMac and if it has dust problems, use an external monitor (which an iMac will drive perfectly well, and you're willing to go with an external monitor anyway);
    3) do nothing and wait for Apple to come up with a new Mac Pro or Mac Mini;
    4) build a Hackintosh.
    5) pay $$$$ for a 6,1 mac pro, pay more to upgrade the CPU, hope that it's enough faster than the mini to make it worthwhile (doubtful, IMO), and hope that you don't have freezing / video issues.

    I suspect that options 2 or 3 are your best bet.
     
  15. dogbait macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #15
    Been through the same scenario. I'm a software dev, had a maxed out 6 core nMP (2013) with lots of monitors hooked up. Bought a Macbook Pro 2015 and a single 34" ultrawide and have something which is 75% as fast and very portable.

    The current Macbook Pros are not particularly good value IMO so I'd recommend buying a 15" 2015 Macbook Pro with a quad core CPU and 16GB of RAM. Keep it on a notebook stand and treat it well and it'll last a very long while and also allow you to keep your display should you ever upgrade to the next Mac Pro/Mac Mini.
     
  16. MarkJames68 macrumors 6502

    MarkJames68

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    Sep 24, 2017
    #16
    Unless you absolutely need more than 16GB of ram I also suggest a 2015 MBP 15”. That’s what I have and I run VMs in Parallels comfortably. I use my nMP for A/V work.
     
  17. jclmavg macrumors regular

    jclmavg

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    Aug 2, 2014
    #17
    And I experience close to none running since Jan 2014 pretty much 24/7. I have no problem recommending a 6,1.
     
  18. filmak macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Fully agree...
    It may be old but if it has no hardware problem (see GPUs...) it works as it should, no problems here with 4k SST displays too.
     
  19. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

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    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #19
    I own 2 nMP, have deployed many. Not a single issue. Most with multiple 4k screens.

    I think a lot of people are waiting for such a mini.
     
  20. liquid stereo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    #20
    I am with you on this - went through 3 iMacs, 2 with dust and one with motherboard issues/failure. I do a lot of development (scientific simulation) and much of it is compute-intensive. No more iMacs....

    I just ordered a 12-core nMP. I have an 8-core that shipped way back when the product was launched and it's been perfect. I now have two offices and get tired of not having what I want/need...

    Good luck!


    --- Post Merged, Feb 5, 2018 ---
    Me as well. It's the most reliable Mac since the PowerMac G4! The thing is dead reliable even when all cores are maxed out on 12+ hour runs.
     
  21. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #21
    I really appreciate the recent positive posts from @liquid stereo, @Flint Ironstag, @filmak, @jclmavg - these kind of posts is what I wanted to hear. I need a productive machine now, so I might as well jump on what is available now (i.e. the 2013), and see how far it will get me. If it happens so that in March or June 2018 Apple introduces a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, so be it. I am so tempted to get an iMac Pro, but as @liquid stereo said no more iMacs, as I can't afford to baby a machine and worry if dust gets in the screen.

    The lesson I learned from this thread is that more often than not people with problems are browsing the forum - initially the majority of posters were bashing the Mac Pro 2013, but that evened out with positive posts later on. From my perspective, it is safe to buy a 2013 Mac Pro, even if it is "such an old tech".

    On the subject of old tech, a few years ago, before I moved to Mac, I had a perfectly working Windows machine based on the X58 chipset - 4 core i7 960, 24GB RAM, all SSD. I then decided that it is time to upgrade to an X99 chipset and a six core 32 GB RAM looking for better performance. It was very expensive upgrade as the X99 platform was just released. I regretted the upgrade - the performance gain was not worth the $, and there were a lot of compatibility issues. So the lesson I learned was that my X58, even though old from 2009 was doing just fine...
     
  22. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I pulled the trigger and bought one, it should arrive soon. I got the 3.5GHz 6-core, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe, D700.
     
  23. kschendel macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #23
    Best of luck with it! and please report back on your perceived performance, I'm interested to hear.
     
  24. filmak macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Very nice I hope that everything will work out for you.:) I wish you success!!!
    Will you frequently stress these D700s?
     
  25. vddobrev thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    No, I will not stress the D700s, as I am not working with video editing. I could do some occasional gaming, but that will be vary rare.
     

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