Mac Pro for "Non Professionals"

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by monokitty, May 16, 2014.

  1. monokitty macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    Just out of curiosity - I didn't see a thread earlier touching on this subject, but perhaps I missed one - how many of you have, or are considering, purchasing the new (Late 2013 only) Mac Pro even though you aren't a demanding video/audio editing professional? Essentially, instead of an iMac, MacBook Pro or Mac mini? And if so, what were your reasons?
  2. Philip D macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2014
    I am in a similar position.

    It will be used for "professional" work, i.e. not recreational, but this work is very light on hardware usage, nothing like video editing or sound recording that will tax the machine at all - stock trading and writing.

    People may or may not agree with me but my opinion is that the consumer devices are made with "FaceBook users" in mind and that when building them, they know that for the type of people using them, if the components go wrong for a day it is inconvenient but not the end of the world. The average user would sacrifice 1% reliability for a nice shiny new feature. With the Mac Pro it is the other way around.

    My (bad) analogy which I think explains it quite well: the consumer devices are like a brand new, untested, car, but the "professional" devices are like a second hand car that has been serviced by a Formula 1 motoring team to be as flawless as possible.
  3. BayouTiger macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2008
    New Orleans
    I bought the 6 core as I tend to keep a Mac Pro much longer than an iMac. It isn't like my old 2006, but I am confident I will be able to upgrade the SSD and even video cards if choose to later. While it may not be hugely faster than a TOTL iMac, it does scream with handbrake encodes (as an example I just encoded a 2 hours DVD for AppleTV faster than I can transfer one from DVD via RipIt.

    I do some pro level things and it's amazing, but so is an iMac. Basically when I need the power it's there. Had it not come along, I would have been fine with the iMac.

    I do love the form factor. I will never be in the big box computer game again. I have moved all my servers at the office to Mac Minis and even my PC nodes are now Lenovo M93 Tiny's. No reason to have a big empty box any more.
  4. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'm not sure which direction I'll head in next.

    Honestly, if I could use an iMac in target display mode for a PC, I'd probably consider a new iMac and a DIY PC. With the addition of Thunderbolt to the iMac, I understand that's not a real option any longer.

    This weekend I'm adding a USB3 card to my 2010 Mac Pro though, and I'm guessing that's the last upgrade she'll get before something new moves in. That being said, I'm still pretty well served by this machine. I'd like to consider the new Mac Pro, but that means I'll either need to move the current machine to the storage room and temporarily use it for storage.. or I'll have to spring for a storage solution in conjunction with the nMP.
  5. jdblas69 macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    I use handbrake a lot and my mid 2011 mini gets the job done but am looking to get something with a bit more power. I know the iMac is a great computer and probably your best bang for the $$ consider you get a great display. But for me I just am not a big fan of the all in one type computer, plus I have a pretty decent monitor right now.

    So I am considering a nMP but I think I will wait until the mini gets updated and then my decision will become a lot more clearer. I considered picking up a 2012 refurb mini but think I will ride it out a bit longer.
  6. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    I would love to have one for several reasons, but wouldn't even consider it at it's current price point unless I happened to stub my toe on a three-pound gold nugget whilst going to work one morning.
  7. RoastingPig, May 16, 2014
    Last edited: May 16, 2014

    RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    if your a person that is cautious about overpaying and overbuying for your needs just get an base imac. If your a person that lives on the apple bleeding edge or professional then get a mac pro.

    I got a new mac pro because i have it running 4 screens at any given time "two which are thunderbolt displays" and i utilize the new gpus in my editing and rendering jobs in final cut pro. I had an old 12 core but that thing was so freaking loud when the fans kicked in. Plus the early usb 3.0 pcie card adoption bugs drove me crazy. The usb 3.0 bugs have kind of been ironed out but are still not great. It also no longer had apple care and for minute there in December-January the prices were slightly inflated and i got a cool 3g's for that beast in stock mode.

    I was hoping for thunderbolt to fail quickly but apple and intel have put the house on it becoming the future. Thats something were going to have to accept if we ever want to use the new products like the TB Display or anythign else they come out with. But Some of the T2 devices that have come out have been pretty solid "Pegasus2 R4". Way better than my old owc 3.0 array.

    I also kind of felt like i was in some type of anti apple militia owning the old mac pro. It was everything apple never stood for and never will again if at some point they did.

    I'll say this i would of a thousand times prefered a re-designed full tower with all the latest bells and whistles
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Don't feel pushed out of the nMP as a buying choice because you "aren't a pro"

    There are still quite a few people who have long purchase cycles, don't like all in ones, etc. that will be perfectly happy with their choice of the nMP even though it costs a bit more.

    Can even be a sensible choice for non-Pros if you have a reason like the Mac Pro more than your alternative choices.

    I won't complain and try to talk somebody out of the Mac Pro even if they say, it'll look better on my desk than a Dell.
  9. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    If you're primarily doing single pass encodes with handbrake, then the nMP probably isn't the best idea. For an explanation, look up Quicksync for Intel's consumer chips.
  10. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    I am a professional software developer (so, not a "pro" in the sense of the target market), and I bought the stock 4-core unit.

    What I do benefits a lot from the fast CPU and the fast SSD. Shaving a few seconds off build times and server start times really adds up in my workday. Coming from my 2010 MacBook Pro, it has been a game changer.

    A loaded 27" iMac would have been a few hundred cheaper and would have had a slight edge over this machine in a couple places, but I'm picky about my monitor setups and don't want a machine with an integrated screen. I'm looking at a possible multiple 4K setup eventually and this Mac Pro will be ready for that out of the box.

    I also run several servers in virtual machines and the RAM upgrade options will really help me out in the future.

    The only other option for a headless Mac is a mini, but those are lethargic in comparison.

    I really appreciate the compact, silent enclosure. It takes up very little desk space.

    Also, I haven't had a PC that could play games in a long time, and the stock D300s perform well in Mac games and doubly so with Crossfire in Windows. I would not suggest this as a gaming rig, but it's a nice side benefit.

    The only real bummer, if there is one, is the lack of QuickSync in the Xeons. If you're a big YouTube uploader, you'll miss the quick transcodes - it's a real step back from the consumer Mac line.

    Overall, I'm very happy with my decision.
  11. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    The most taxing thing I do these days on my Mac is gaming, so a new Mac Pro makes no sense, even if they chose to keep the old case. Its just not good enough value for that.

    My current Mac Pro has been a workhorse through my PhD, allowing me to (sometimes) do simulations at home but I try not to work from home anymore so a Xeon/ECC build doesn't make much sense.

    I am considering a 4790k (4 Ghz) i7 socket 1150 gaming PC build at the moment but I am still undecided. I have been very pleased with my Mac Pros gaming performance.
  12. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I'm not an audio or video professional. I do audio/video/photography as a hobby but I'm a programmer at heart. I run lots of VMs, Matlab, IDEs as part of my work. The main reason I chose the nMP is because I don't want to keep upgrading every year or two like I did with laptops. Mac Pros last a very long time. One of my friends who works in professional video had the 2006 Mac Pro. He just got the nMP recently to replace it. A 2006 iMac? Very few people still using those. I just wanted to experience the best Apple offers. And starting at $3,000 I'd say that this is the best computer Apple offers.
  13. Riwam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2014
    Basel, Switzerland
    I wanted a good quality allround computer

    I am a private person and like the OSX system and Apple's quality.
    No computer is perfect but I consider that my nMP is as near to it as possible.
    The cost factor is the only point which in my case spoke against buying a nMP.
    Once paid, I am pleased with a relatively small, silent and pretty computer.
    It can be seen as a very good allrounder and not only a special machine for high tec pros...but also for private users.
    You are free in your monitor choice compared to a iMac and have more than enough power compared to a Mac Mini or to a MacBook.
    If you can afford a nMP you will not regret having it.
    However make your choice from the begining of the right size for your future needs regarding the only built in HD, avoiding the (in my opinion too) small stock drive and do not count on later being able to "change this into that".
    The only change I made to my nMP was replacing the 3 x 4 GB RAM, which MUST be bought from Apple and cannot be avoided, by a larger quantity of RAM bought from a third party at a much lower price.
    This is in my opinion the only reasonable modification which can be made by any owner without risking the very important coverage of a very expensive machine.
  14. Martyimac macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2009
    S. AZ.
    I am one of those folks that has absolutely NO professional need for a nMP. I was just in awe of the engineering that went into the machine. I have a mac mini mid 2011 that does everything I need and does it just fine. But I WANTED the nMP and I had the financial wherewithal to buy one. There is no other justification other than, I wanted it.

    And it is one awesome, fast, amazing machine. Did I mention it is an engineering marvel? I had an 08 or 09 MP, a cheese grater. My trash can is 50 times faster and 1/8 as large.
  15. michaeljk macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2013
    This pretty much sums it up for me. I am definitely not a pro user. I just didn't want to deal with yet another iMac. The other night, I was making all kinds of adjustments to a bunch of large landscape files in Aperture. I was deciding which ones to print and comparing them after making lots of tweaks. On my, not all that old, iMac, it would have been painful (to me) to wait several seconds for each tweak to be processed. With the Mac Pro, I was able to change adjustments on the fly nearly instantaneously (e.g. viewing sharpening adjustments at 100% view). I wasn't in a hurry. There is no contract here for me, no job at stake. But, I can afford a Mac Pro, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    It also allows me to have effectively two different setups with one computer. My desk is my photo editing station with a large, expensive NEC monitor, and then if you go 90 degrees to the right, I have an 88 key keyboard, with a light, inexpensive monitor for Logic Pro because I am also a hobbyist music maker.
  16. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    Because I'm a professional user who isn't in video or audio, but can still appreciate large amounts of RAM (big data sets in memory), fast processors (simulate all the diseases!) and hard drive bays (bigger data sets not in memory).
  17. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    As someone that likes power machines and doesn't do video editing, I find it refreshing to see the new crowd coming in that isn't snappy video editors with overinflated egos going on about how time is money and their machine needs to work. *insert finger snapping here*

    There are plenty of reasons to buy a Mac Pro, and there are no illegitimate reasons. Apple does not have an order review committee that chooses to sell you a machine based on what you'll do with it. For all they care, you could buy a Mac Pro to emulate Pong on and that'd be perfectly fine.

    So if you are on the fence and have the money, and want the machine, stop worrying about what other people think and buy it. :)
  18. monokitty thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    Are all of you buying AppleCare before the one-year is up, too? I think $279 for APP is almost a no brainer for a machine that is costing a lot of buyers over $4K. Especially considering how expensive any failed part could end up costing.
  19. Philip D macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2014
    I am personally.

    I upgrade my other Mac/"i" devices yearly but cannot do the same with a Mac Pro purchase! Due to my poor technical knowledge and reliance on Apple support, I will probably gauge the upgrade timeframe by those 3 years instead. This works out at a similar cost:time as a yearly notebook upgrade.

    Even if you are technically minded (and don't plan major hardware tweaks for the first three years) I agree that $279 is a "no brainer" as like you said buying in replacement parts alone would probably exceed this.
  20. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I just built my preferred config again. The fact that it's nearly $5000 doesn't help.

    I work from home and could use a lot of the functionality, but the D700's would simply be for fun in my case. That and the storage upgrade pushes the 6 core (which I do need) a bit too high.
  21. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    I'm sure I am echoing a lot of people here, but here is my opinion. If you have the money, and love the design of the nMP, then absolutely go for it. It will work great. Just understand that "professional product" doesn't always mean "ultimate consumer product". The machine is made with accurate parts, not necessarily the fastest parts. If you want to play a videogame, it will render every pixel perfectly, but it won't be the fastest at it. It is a hell of a lot of money, so it is hard to recommend it unless you need it for accurately producing large data sets, photos, or movies. It will be beautiful and fast, but depending on your needs, it may not be any more useful to you than a fast consumer product.

  22. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    Me, I do some composing and music editing and some amateur video editing every now and then but as hobbies only. I bought the new Mac Pro because of its noise rating and the ability to use a 4K display when they become cheaper. iMacs are loud when pushed and you can't upgrade the display.
  23. Philip D macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2014
    How loud actually is it when under a reasonable load?

    I have been wondering for a while, but whenever I use Google to search I am only presented with people having issues with their Mac Pro fans.

    I have never used an iMac - would someone used to the hum of a MBP fan find it quiet?
  24. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I buy AppleCare for everything except my iPad I think. Or upgrade them before the year ends.


    The MP is extremely quiet. I can't recall the exact numbers but it's extremely quiet for the amount of computing power it holds.
  25. mobiousblack macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    Mac Pro for "Non Professionals"

    I don't edit music or video, I do light photoshop, and I mostly game. Bought this as an alternative to a gaming laptop since I can move it around and generally whether I go there is a screen I can plug into.

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