Mac Pro equivalent PC?? Hmm

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by brobins, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. brobins macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Hi there,

    I am soon to be in the market for a new computer...

    I work as a Digital Artist and use Dell Xeon based PC's to run high end 3D Animation and compositing packages such as 3ds Max and After Effects etc, however I have owned a G4 PowerMac MDD at home for the last 5 years or so and it has been wonderful! I really like Apples OS and applications and I dont know if I really want to go PC 'full time'.

    The problem really is price, I would love a Mac Pro but they start getting outrageously expensive when you bump up the Ram.

    I am interested in building an i7 based PC full of Ram and HDD space, really high spec and running both Windows and OS X on it! I have read that you can now run OS X on Intel based PC's..

    What I am basically asking is, Will this work? Are there any things I should be aware of if doing this?

    Should I just save up and buy a Mac Pro? lol

    Many Thanks
  2. iamcheerful macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    get a good enough PC to work on enough jobs to earn yourself a desired Mac Pro.

    this way, you have best of both worlds.
  3. brobins thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Hi, thanks for your reply!

    That doesn't make much sense to me as a 'good enough PC' would cost me around £800? Which I would only have to use for a one two/three week 'job' to earn enough for a Mac Pro, then Id be stuck with 2 computers and effectively wasted £800!

    The problem isn't not being able to afford a Mac Pro its being slightly disgruntled that I could build a PC with faster components and more Ram for roughly £300 cheaper than a Mac Pro with 8GB Ram.. I am trying really hard to justify the extra cost. It was easier back in the G days but now they are Intel, it is easier to compare them to PC workstations for cost and performance.

    I guess I am here to see if anyone has successfully ran OS X on a PC and if so did they come across any problems at all?

    Many Thanks
  4. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...there are lists for hackintosh'ing you're own machine but why not get the Mac Pro and upgrade the RAM and HDD's yourself...
  5. brobins thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2008
    That could be an option!!

    Is it significantly cheaper to upgrade the Ram, HDD, Graphics Card yourself?
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Than from Apple? Heck yes.

    Hard drives don't cost multiple hundreds of dollars. RAM is about half of what Apple charges.
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Apple are offering a decent deal at the moment.

    Don't be put off by the "refurbished". Macs on the refurb store are often just display models or clearance models, or models someone bought but decided to return immediately. They then get a full hardware test and clean so they look absolutely immaculate and brand new.

    For more memory, go to I've always found Crucial to be the best, especially as if you need to return any bad components, the returns office is in Scotland. Unlike Corsair who are somewhere in Europe. Crucial also have a memory advisor so you're certain you are buying the correct RAM.

    For hard drives: Samsung are offering their 1tb drive for just £59.99 Apple charges £240 for a similar drive.

    Both the memory and hard drives take minutes to add to your Mac Pro. Apple has detailed instructions on how to do so on the Apple website. It doesn't void your warranty in the slightest.
  8. iamcheerful macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    i won't view it as wasted money if you go down this route. however, if you feel that way, then try the diy. some feel it is worth the trouble, some feel it isn't any trouble at all. some simply adore this option as they love hands-on.

    essentially, it boils down to how comfortable you are working on such a system. u have to stay up-to-date with things, i.e. follow certain threads to see what others have done etc, how things turned out etc

    if u feel that it is well-worth your time, go ahead. for some, they/we would rather just get the whole package cause we enjoy this experience.

    p.s. even official apple systems have problems, thus those diy certainly will run into challenges. ask urself if u have the time or willingness to deal with such issues when they arise.
  9. brobins thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2008
    A fair point well made.

    I used to build my own PCs before I bought my last Mac, I used to get caught up in what is the best component to use etc etc To be honest I dont have the interest or time to do that all over again, I just want a machine that is going to offer me the same service I have got out of my current G4 (4 years +).

    I think I may keep my eye on the refurbish zone on their website for an 8-core spec.

    Thanks all
  10. iamcheerful macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    i believe i speak for all --- it has been our pleasure to discuss this with you!

    +1 on the same service ...
    before my 8-core, i was on a TiPB G4 400. i was too lazy and felt no need to change (more the lazy part). i just did what i could do with the TiPB. when she finally passed away last year, end March. i tried chugging on with my parents' G3 Pismo (500Mhz). i transferred the hdd from my TiPB over. my parents' upgraded to a macbook thus they had that machine left on the table ... hahaa

    however, i realised that couldn't make it (i.e. the pismo) thus i bit the bullet and bought a mac pro ...

    lol i didn't really need a portable anymore.

    bottomline, weigh your needs and wants. budget etc. get moving and u'll realise u made an excellent choice :D

    keep us posted on your purchase.
  11. thegeek96 macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2009
    Why can't you just buy a Psystar Computer? Their computers are cheaper and they will preinstall Mac OS X for you. You can also customize the computer to your needs for your work or what ever.
  12. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    :rolleyes: Where to start.

    I guess I could just say, Prystar won't be around in a few weeks to support said computer...that's reason enough right there.
  13. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I have a quad 2.66 hackintosh i7 that I use now and it's fine. Getting everything working wasn't trivial... and it's not 100% perfect (very close). It was something to do more or less. I have a legit new Mini and MBP as well and mostly wanted to see if I could do it.

    I still want an 8 core Xeon Pro and will eventually get one. I would hate to move to the 2.26 since I've been using the 2.66 quad (in Vista and Ubuntu mostly), since it would be a step back in non-threaded apps. And I don't feel good about the price jump from the 2.26 to the 2.66 Pro.

    I'll probably hold off until the next speed bump and/or price adjustment.
  14. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Because he wants to buy from a company that will exist in a month.

    "That's good."

    "That's bad." It's illegal.

    Never been to have you?
  15. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    If you're looking for a Mac Pro equivalent PC, the i7 isn't it. The Mac Pro is a Xeon, which is a step above an i7...

    To compare, you'd want to look at something like the Dell Precision 5500 line...
  16. munkees macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    for memory I recommend they sell apple memory, and it cost less than every one else. The difference between Apple memory, and other brands is that the memory apple buys, 100% of the memory is tested where other brands test a few from each batch.
  17. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    That is simply not true.
  18. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    OWC tests everything. I don't know about Crucial. Please stop spreading lies to push your commissioned advertising.
  19. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    I've been buying Crucial memory for years, for building Windows machines and for upgrading my Macs. I had one problem with a stick a few years ago and they replaced it with no trouble. That's where I go to get RAM, not saying there's nothing better, just saying I'm a satisfied customer.

    Yes, Macs are expensive, but just look at that Mac Pro case;) I'm half-joking here, but that case really is a marvel, inside and out. I've bought several Lian-Li cases that were gorgeous, and pricey, but just weren't on the level of the Mac Pro case. You pay a premium for design, I consider it a feature and it's well worth it most of the time.

    I'd definitely suggest upgrading the RAM yourself, it's easy and much cheaper than buying directly from Uncle Steve.

    And I'd also add that the Mac Pro isn't really considered a home desktop, it's more in the line of a workstation, so of course it's going to be expensive. Our Avid qualified stations are expensive and they run Windows...though we like to sneak over to one of the Mac Pros once in a while...
  20. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Build it yourself or bet your local computer nerd to build one. Something like this would do great although not cheap at just over $1300. It would definitely not be a slouch of a computer.

    Specs would be as follows:

    i7 920 on a decent motherboard with triple channel and tri-crossfire capability
    12GB DDR3 RAM
    Radeon 4870 with 1GB memory
    500GB boot drive
    1000GB data drive
    Decent, quiet case thats not too flashy with a good PSU in it
    DVD burner
    Vista64 business edition

    -i7 920 series $308 - D0/Intel/

    -i7 motherboard (gigabyte) with up to 24GB RAM capacity, triple channel DDR3, triple crossfire $228

    -12GB RAM (2x6GB) $176

    -Case (antec sonata III) with 500W PSU $110 III 500&manufacture=Antec&promoid=1078

    -Hard drive (boot - hitachi 500GB) $52

    -Hard drives (data - hitachi 1TB) $82

    -Video card (ATI 4870 1GB) $162

    -DVD burner $28 Electronics/

    -Vista64 Business $158
  21. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
  22. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Ah yes you're right. I totally miscalculated. I was thinking triple channel and I guess I somehow came up with 3 sets of 3 instead of the 6 dims. Ok gotta change that :)

  23. risingforce macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2009

    I am no one to give advice that led to the mac world relatively recently. Until about 3 months had a powerful pc Hackintosh, in the end decided to buy a Mac Pro 2009 quad core and I do not regret at all. Now the applications run faster and more fluid than in my Hackintosh and if I need windows for something, I just reboot and start windows with boot camp. Now I have the best of the OS 2 and 100% functional.

    The Mac Pro is expensive, yes, but it is a common computer, it must be taken into account. The pace of life's normal pc is very short, in contrast with the Mac Pro you ensure that you have vastantes computer for years and not be short of power.

    Of course, the ram memory for mac is not that expensive, especially considering that it is ECC and we know the benefits of the ECC.
  24. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    If you buy a mac pro, it will last you 5+ years, almost saving you money in the end. Plus it will keep more of its retail value than a PC.

    Treat yourself
  25. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    near Cambridge
    Mac Pros are well built but no more so than better quality pcs (if you look at workstations rather than throw-away desktops built down to price). What tends to lead to a computer needing replacing is reliance on propriety parts which are very expensive to replace. This is probably mainly true of laptops. I had to dump my Dell M70 after 3.5 years because the graphics chip went and to replace it would cost two or three times the second hand value of the computer. But I've heard that Apple logic boards are very expensive so the same thing could happen to a Mac Pro if the logic board went outside the warranty period. With a pc, a new motherboard is generally a reasonable price.

    I think Mac Pros last well because OS X doesn't demand new and faster hardware all the time as Windows tends to (then neither does Linux). Also, because Apple charges a large premium (with the exception of the '06 to '08 pros) and have a monopoly the second hand market prices are also higher and people tend to hang onto their machines because it costs so much to replace them! Also, as pcs are so easy to upgrade they tend to evolve whilst Apple computers are specifically desgined to discourage any upgrades (Apple wants to sell new models).

    The maintenance of the retail value is dependent on Apple maintaining their pricing policy and continuing to support the Pro model and also third party software producers such as Adobe doing the same. Given that Apple gets most of its money from iphones and ipods and to a lesser extent from lap tops the future of the desktop pro line is not guaranteed to be the same as its previous history.

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