Mac Pro Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by KevinRightWing, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. KevinRightWing macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2007
    Houston TX
    I was wondering if someone could educate me on how to get into the Mac pro scene. I have a 27in Thunderbolt Display hooked up to a MacBook Pro right now. Only video editing I do is on Imovie for family stuff. Won't and can't spend 3,000 on something I just want to dip my toes into. So I want something used that is expandable and can tolerate 16gb of ram. Also I am not a heavy gamer. Any help to this rookie would be appreciated.
  2. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

    Jul 12, 2010
    Somewhere between Here and There
    you don't need a mac pro then.
    Buy a mac mini used, upgrade it to 16gb of ram.
  3. lexR macrumors regular


    Dec 12, 2013
    If you HAVE to have a MP then, My advice would be Get a used 2009 4.1 Mac pro that you can afford ( 4 core really I guess for your need plus easier to upgrade CPU to hex core in future), spend a while looking through this wealth of info and you will get an idea on what is/isn't possible.

    4 core to 6 core
    Working GPU's
    Etc etc
  4. MacProFCP macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2007
    I have owned 5 Mac Pro machines over the past 10 years or so and I can tell you that if all you are doing is some iMovie and non-heavy functions, you are better off getting an iMac. Any used Mac Pro from the previous generation will lack Thunderbolt and USB 3 which kills any external expansion. One of the main reasons I upgraded was for Thunderbolt and USB 3.

    I'd get an iMac for $2k and use the thunderbolt for expansion.
  5. DanGoh macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2014
    I'm in the same boat you're in. The idea of having a high end computer excites me too. But it'd just be a waste of money spending +$2000 on something I can do on a Mac Mini.
  6. bxs macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    "I was wondering if someone could educate me on how to get into the Mac pro scene."

    This sounds like you really do want to go the MacPro route.

    Let me say up front... I'm thrilled with the new MacPro6,1 model and have two of them. I've owned every MacPro model since the G3 PPC model.... G3, G4 and G5.

    OK then, treat yourself and scan Apple's MP6,1 4-core refurbed models. At this time the least expensive MP6,1 4-core on Apple's refurbished site is $2549. Or you could try Adorama who has these models for around $3000 with free AppleCare and zero tax if you're not a NY resident. This 4-core can be upgraded to 16GB RAM by adding a 4GB module.

    You already have a 27" TB display so you're set.

    The footprint of the MP6,1 is very small and will not clutter your desktop and for the most part is inconspicuous in its black look vs. white such as the Mac mini.

    Don't even look at the MacPro4,1 or 5,1 models. They are monsters (size and weight wise) and yesterday's technology, eat too much electrical power, lack Thunderbolt and USB3 and use lessor performing Wi-Fi. Moving one of these monsters will likely break your back and hog dust like crazy. They lack AppleCare for the most part as well. Don't get sucked in with people saying the MP6,1 cannot be expanded. The older MP4,1/5,1 models can also get noisy with all 5 fans spinning at times. The D300 in the 4-core will be just fine for your iMovie. SSD and RAM can both be expanded, and even the CPU can also be upgraded to have more cores if you want. You can hang 36 Thunderbolt drives off the MP6,1's 6x Thunderbolt-2 ports if you want. Enough to last you a life-time. HDMI port for your big screen TV if you want also. Buy used LaCie Thunderbolt-1 drives (gives you at least 350 MBytes/sec) to keep cost down.

    The MP6,1 will give you years of use.

    OWC provides upgrades for the MP6,1 so if you want to expand it that's not a problem.

    Enjoy life and get yourself a MP6,1 4-core. You will not be disappointed IMO.

    I have MP6,1 12-core and a MP6,1 6-core. The 12-core has been operating for a year now without a single hiccup using Adobe CC primarily. The 6-core is a recent purchase made late last Dec. These are used for business and they are the best MacPros we've owned since the early G3 models. Mind you, the previous MP5,1 were also awesome to use, but now are really dated and will lack making use of the future technologies.

    As far as I'm concerned, the MP6,1 will take on just about anything you want to throw at it. It will not 'bat an eyelid' and will run all day long at full load.

    You might find your current iMovie use will move up to the more professional FCPX which excels on the MP6,1.

    I say again, treat yourself and enjoy life with the MP6,1.
  7. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    That is the way I felt. My 2010 MP 3.2 quad 24GB did everything that I wanted it to do. My second Mac, a 2012 mini (2.3 quad 16GB SSD) was so simple and the USB 3 and TB were really handy. The mini did not really get much done faster than the MP but its Geekbench score was satisfyingly way higher.

    I got all modern and dumped the MP for a 2012 mini (2.6 quad 16GB SSD) and was in heaven for awhile. After a while I really began to miss the MP so now I am back with a used 2012 MP (3.46 hex 24GB SSD) and I am really in heaven again.

    All my HDDs are back in the same box. I can pop in Snow Leopard to use my outdated screen profiling system. Plus, I can replace the perfectly adequate HD5770 GPU with something really powerful if I need to.

    Right now the mini 2.3 is just running Windows 8.1. For simplicity I have Windows 7 Pro running in the MP. If I get Windows dual booting on the Apricorn Duo that I bought I may decommission the mini 2.3 as well.

    I do not really need a Mac Pro tower but I sure enjoy using (and fiddling) with one. 2010 - 2012 MPs are reasonably priced out there in ebayland. RAM is not near as costly as it was in 2010 and hex processors for single GPU MPs are stupidly inexpensive for guaranteed used units.
  8. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Don't. Instead get a refurb 2012 Mac Mini i7 quad-core for $589 (when available). Add 16 Gb Crucial RAM ($120), a Samsung EVO 500 Gb SSD (approx $200). Done.
  9. Verdenshersker macrumors member


    Oct 17, 2014
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Where do you get a Refurb 2012 i7 Quad for $589?
  10. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    Several people have suggested getting a Mac mini. Having been down exactly the same route as you, and having gotten advice to just get a mini, I did just that. I got a maxed out 2012 i7 mini. The benchmark scores look great, but when I tried to use it for relatively simple 1080 home video editing, the thing completely choked. I would definitely NOT advise going the mini route for video editing.

    My own 2c worth...

    If part of the fun is fiddling with your computer doing incremental upgrades, get a 4,1, 4 core, and upgrade from there over time. Otherwise, get a current iMac or MP 6,1 (low end as mentioned above) and you'll be great.
  11. blacka4 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2009
    see i did the complete opposite. I bought a used 2010 Mac Pro 12 Core machine and plan on using it for a while. I am only doing light video editing in FCX and its my itunes server. I got rid of 2 computers for this one and i couldn't be happier. although i would like to have thunderbolt, i don't feel i need thunderbolt, and i wasn't buying a new trashcan Pro.
  12. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Just to clarify, the G3, G4, and G5 are Power Macintosh computers and not Mac Pros.
  13. blacka4 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2009
    nevermind the G5 was considered a Power Mac's
  14. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    You are correct, I guess I didn't do a good job of clarifying. The G4 was a Power Macintosh while the G4 and G5 models were Power Macs.
  15. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    If your budget is limited and you prefer an expandable Mac as a side hobby at home, you could consider a classic tower Mac Pro for your iMovie editing for family use. A 2009 4.1 Mac Pro with upgraded CPUs will do and there are sometimes bargains like this 2009 Mac Pro with 3.46ghz 6 core upgraded CPUs that was sold for $1400 last year HERE. Just be cautious on some sellers that would sell a 2009 Mac Pro but would pass it on as a 2010 Mac Pro at a higher price. Verify with seller before making the purchase.

    With the classic Mac Pro you can add PCIe SSD to give you SATA 3 speeds or USB 3.0 card. Or upgrade the Graphic card to either Nvidia or Radeon. You can have up to 6 HDs installed internally with 2 HDs at the optical bay. You get to spend less than your $3000 budget. About 3 years ago I was using iMovie for a client and large storage space was a necessity. If you have a business and your income justifies getting a new Mac Pro then maybe the this is a reasonable choice. You'll need to have extra funds aside from the $3K budget on upgrading the 256gig internal storage and external storage.

    My cousin, who is an accountant and not a hard core pro user, does video editing as a hobby and for his kid's school projects, went with a used classic Mac Pro. He figured that spending less with enough extra funds to upgrade was a good option without much burden financially.

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