Mac Pro & Display - Buy now or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by More, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. More macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi Everyone.

    I've been an avid lurker for years and finally registered to post and get some advice. I've just sold my beloved G5 Quad (8GB Ram, 1TB etc.) about a week ago and am struggling to make a decision on my leap to an Intel Mac. I'm aware that the Macworld keynote by Mr Schiller is just over a week away but reading the forums here it looks as if we'll need to wait longer to find out about the new Mac Pros. My main problem is that until I make a new purchase I'm having to work on my old Titanium G4 PowerBook 867 DVI... yes! SLOW!

    I'd be looking to get a top of the line mac pro with a cinema display. The first problem is that the 23" cinema display has just been discontinued and replaced by the 24" LED display that's not really designed for the Mac Pro and is GLOSSY... bad bad bad! (I'm a designer). The traditional 20" and 30" are still available in my local Apple store but will probably be replaced with the new design/glass/glossy in about 9 days at Macworld. The down-side to this is that the technology in the older displays is getting very old these days in comparison to the new LED displays.

    Should I quickly get along and buy the older 30" matte display for my future Mac Pro or will the new Mac Pros have a different display port that's possibly only compatible with the newer LED/glass displays? Another consideration is that the new Mac Pros might see a slight re-design and not match the older cinema display design...

    Or should I just go and buy the current top of the line 3.2GHz Mac Pro (Jan 2008). It'll work great with the existing 30" display but the tech is obviously getting close to a year old. My head is saying wait for the newer Mac Pro (2009) but something is niggling at me to go and just get the current model considering there might not be a new Mac Pro until WWDC at the latest.

    What's the most sensible thing to do considering the situation with the new glossy/glass displays?
     
  2. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #2
    At least wait until the keynote to see if anything is released. Even if you go with a current model, the price will get pushed down if a newer model is released.

    Last year the Mac Pro was released a week before the keynote. I have the green light from my wife and can't wait until the new ones come out.
     
  3. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Yeah I think I'll wait until the keynote to find out what's happening with the displays at least. I'm absolutely itching to get a new machine and the possibility of having to wait months on a new Mac Pro is really niggling away at me. I'm not sure how long I can realistically work on this awful little 15" PowerBook G4. Argh!

    Some might argue that I should have held onto my G5 Quad until the new Mac Pros were announced but unfortunately I had a fantastic offer for my current machine from an enthusiast. I couldn't say no as I've been considering the switch to Intel for about a year.
     
  4. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #4
    I'm with you there. I have resolved that if nothing comes out at MW, I will get a refurb Mac Pro or purchase a good used system. I just don't want to burn myself knowing that something is likely to at least be announced at MW. I have been looking since the end of September and originally waited because rumors indicated a possible November release. Then Apple came out saying nothing new before Christmas. By then I was too close to MW to justify a purchase without a "Doh!" factor.
     
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #5
    The most sensible thing to do is buy a refurb 2.8GHz 8 core, more memory and hard drives from OWC and a non-Apple display. My reccomendations for high quality screens are the NEC LCD2490WUXi or Hazro (HP isn't as good, but is as good as the 23" ACD if not better). Or if you want 30" the ACD is a good price, the NEC LCD3090WQXi is better quality though.

    If you can wait six months then sure wait for the new Mac Pros. Maybe the 30" LED ACD will even be good. Buying a 3.2GHz Mac Pro in my opinion is a bad move. I expect the new Mac Pros to be here in June and be $3,000 for an 8 core 2.66GHz system and should out perform a 3.2GHz system.

    You could buy a 2.8GHz refurb now and sell it when the new ones come and end up paying less and end up with a better system in the long term. The processor upgrades are only worth it (direct from Apple) if your time is very valuble anyway as they give only small time savings, and I would expect you'd have moved to an 8 core Mac Pro before now if that were the case.

    edit: I didn't see you were in the UK when I made my post. So you can get a refurb 3.2GHz for £2,475 right now with the 8800GT which isn't a terrible price, however you could still buy a used, refurb or new system and sell it then get a new one for less overall. If you get thr right deal you won't might not even lose any cash and effectivley have a current Mac Pro for 6 months and a new 2.66GHz for £2,000. Certainly don't buy a new 3.2GHz from Apple.

    You also have another display option in the UK in Hazro. The Hazro HZ24Wi is a fantastic 24" display for the price, and should certainly be bought over an ACD. The 30" Hazro is a no frills display (much like the ACD anyway), but has a high quality panel (better than everyone bar Eizo and NEC I think) and is only £600 on overclockers.co.uk this week.
     
  6. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Thanks for the comments Umbongo. I was actually just looking at the refurbished 3.2GHz on the Apple Store and it seems a pretty decent price for the specs. My only concern is that I'm a bit of a perfectionist and would hate to splash £2475 for a unit that may have a few scratches or imperfections from the first user through refurbishment. My friend bought a refurbished iPod from Apple about 3 years ago and it was certainly far from perfect with scratches all over the mirrored back.

    I'm aware that there are better quality displays out there than Apple's stuff but I don't think I could bring myself to get a non-matching display to go with the Mac Pro. Sounds crazy - I know ;)

    I'm trying to get used to the idea of a 24" or 30" LED glass/glossy display from Apple. I think their recent design decisions have been shocking, not least this new glass thing on professional displays. Nuts.

    I may consider the refurbished Mac Pro. Can you return these things for a refund if you're not entirely happy with the condition of the unit?

    Thanks again for all your responses so far.
     
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #7
    You can get the Hazro displays in silver aluminium by the way. Also I'm not sure if you are aware but the LED displays aren't going to work with a current Mac Pro.

    Also yes you can return any product in the UK for a full refund under the distance selleing regulations.
     
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #8
    Except they won't be out in January at all.

    And bingo was his name-o.
     
  9. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Yeah I know the LED displays won't work with the current Mac pros. If I was to get a current Mac Pro I'd jump on a 30" cinema display (matte) before they're discontinued. This is my dilemma. I'm worried they're replaced in 9 days time - mind you if they don't introduce new Mac Pros I can't imagine them phasing out the only displays that work with their current shipping units. Hmm... Apple don't make it easy these days :(
     
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #10
    Yes they seem to only have interest in providing the best purchasing process for new customers right now. :(
     
  11. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #11
    I can... you can't use them with the iMac or Mac Mini, even though those will be updated at MacWorld. People wanting new Mac Pros in the six months between MacWorld and the next update will just have to buy third-party displays.
     
  12. pprior macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Just one data point, but I bought a refurb mac pro 2 years ago, and when it came I would never had known it was not brand new except for the sticker on it, it was perfect.
     
  13. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #13
    Definitely wait until Feb/March. The Mac Pros are traditionally refreshed at that time.
     
  14. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    I'm a few hours away from going into my local Apple Store and buying the current (Jan 2008) top of the line 3.2GHz Mac Pro (8800 etc.) with a current 30" cinema display.

    I just don't think I can honestly wait another 4-6 months on the new models as I actually NEED a machine at the moment. I'm trying to justify my decision by factoring-in the resale value of this. I plan to sell it as soon as the new Mac Pros are announced. I just need something extrememly powerful in the meantime as 4-6 months is a still a long way off... and I'm also driving myself a little nuts obsessing about it.

    What would you do given my situation (see my first post)?
     
  15. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

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    #15
    Given your situation that you actually NEED the machine and not simply want it. My advice is yes, BUY it! It'll keep its resale value very well and honestly, you won't be the slightest disappointed with the current mac pro and ACD. :)
     
  16. tompon1923 macrumors 6502

    tompon1923

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    #16
  17. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Thanks for the reply. I've almost convinced myself to stop thinking about it and just go and get it over with. Love it for 4-6 months and then sell it and enjoy the new one even more once it's released. I'm going to wait until the Apple Store (online) pops back up today before going into the actual retail store. I'm curious to see what the updates will be. It's been down for a few hours now ;)
     
  18. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    I'm actually moving from a G5 Quad (Late 2005) to a current Mac Pro. I sold my G5 Quad in December and have been stuck with my dusty old G4 PowerBook since. Yeah I think I'll go and get it today. Such a huge decision. £4050 is a LOT of money but I badly need a new machine.
     
  19. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #19
    If you are going to sell it when the new ones come out do NOT buy the 3.2GHz new as you will lose more when you sell. There is no way you need that extra power (over a 2.8GHz) for 6 months if you have waited this long (not being rude, just seems logical). People aren't going to be paying the preimum on used 3.2Ghz systems when the new base Mac Pros will likely out perform them.

    £988 for upto 14% extra processing speed? How much time over the next 6 months are you going to spend waiting for the processors on your computer? Because you get 14% of that time back, that's all really they don't do anything else for you.
     
  20. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #20
    No... they're not. The first Mac Pro came out in August. The second Mac Pro came out in January. The next Mac Pro will probably come out at WWDC in June.
     
  21. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Thanks for the replies. Myself and the missus decided to go a drive today instead of going into the apple store. I'm going to commit to a purchase in the next 2 days and am seriously considering the 2.8 instead on the back of umbongo's sensibe suggestion. Phew. I could use the extra horsepower for 3d work but the extra premium is costly. Possibly a 2.8 with a 8800 would do the trick. Thanks again!
     
  22. More thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Just a little thanks to everyone for their input on this thread.

    I finally purchased my Mac Pro today and have just finished setting it up. I eventually settled on a default 2.8GHz Mac Pro (thanks to Umbongo for his sensible advice) with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Graphics Upgrade Kit. Also purchased the 30" Apple Cinema Display - WOAH! I used to think the 23" was big. Beautiful... no dead pixels - my heart was racing at the thought.

    In a word... I'm delighted. I'm going to buy 8GB of Crucial RAM tomorrow and possibly invest in two WD Velociraptors to work as a striped RAID 0 set. I may even push the big red button on two Intel X-25M SSDs with the MaxConnect sleds with the money I've saved going for the 2.8GHz over the 3.2GHz model. I imagine they'll be a good investment for up-and-coming Mac Pros.

    What do you guys/girls think about RAM? Since I'll be re-selling this in about 6 months I suppose it only makes sense to buy 8GB for my current needs. Should I go for 4x2GB boards or 2x4GB boards. What's more attractive for a future sale?

    Thanks again to you all. I can finally relax, get on with work and enjoy my new machine until the new Mac Pros are announced :D

    [EDIT]. I decided to return the 2.8 model a week later and get the 3.2Ghz model instead. I'm going to pop the 8800 GT kit on eBay shortly. I Initially bought 4x2GB (8GB) from Crucial. I returned this and plonked down the extra cash for 2x4GB (8GB) boards. Got my dual Intel X25-M drives in a RAID-0 config from MaxUpgrades and everything is running beautifully. The speed is insane so I don't think I'll be rushing to buy one of the new Mac Pros after all. Love my current setup.
     
  23. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #23
    I'd prefer a system with 4GBx2 over one with 2GBx4, but I wouldn't pay extra for it. Go with the 4x2GB and save yourself £100.

    And you're welcome :)
     
  24. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #24
    It would be more attractive with only two RAM slots filled, and more available by just buying two RAM sticks. If you buy four of them, someone will have to remove those to add new bigger sticks. So, you will be leaving expansion options open without someone having to replace the 2 GB sticks with bigger ones to upgrade to 16 GB. So nice when just have to throw in two more sticks to double the RAM.

    Good luck with it, what a nice Mac!
     

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