Mac Pro newbie questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ptit, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Ptit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
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    moon
    #1
    Im new to mac pros, been out of th tower loop for 5 years now, im very confused about threads refering to the speeds, funny processor names and dead end flairs over benchmark results, especially comparing a tower to a iMac, which also sounds tempting.

    I do music and audio for hours on, i wanted to ask the mac pro PROS, whats the story behind the mac pro, if its so upgradable then why would anyone recommend a newer machine, i just want to know what the most affordable and reasonable choice for a mac pro should be,

    I have run into a person who wants to sell me a mac pro 2008 for 1500 bucks, a friend of a friend, but im skeptical ill get one i will regret, i need at least 8GB ram and 1GB video card so ill add that regardless, so whats the best MAC PRO deal used or refurbished under $2000, what year model is worth the cash?

    Is a 2008 a cool machine, will i be able to upgrade cores etc

    thanks
     
  2. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #2
    the 2008 8core MP's are still very good machines. The only downside of that computer is the type of RAM it uses. (price-wise compared to the 2009/2010 models)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    $1500 isn't a bad deal for 2008 8-core, depending on how it's configured. But like mentioned before, RAM for 2006-08 models is expensive versus the more recent models because they use fully-buffered DDR2 modules.

    Ask the seller what the specs of the machine are. 2008 machines are generally equipped with either a Radeon 2600 XT 256MB or GeForce 8800 GT 512MB card. Neither are 1GB cards, obviously, but you can upgrade to something like a Radeon 5770 (which does have 1GB of VRAM) pretty easily. But seeing that you do mostly audio, do you really need a 1GB card?

    As far as processor upgrades go for 2008 machines, there's really not a lot of options. You'd be limited to Harpertown core CPUs and AFAIK, only the 2.8GHz (SLANT), 3GHz (SLANR) and 3.2GHz (SLANZ) actually work. And the cost of upgrading slower CPUs to faster ones isn't always economical versus buying a newer Mac Pro in the first place.
     
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #4
    I have a 2008 Mac Pro, the 8 core version. It is still running strong, and has lots of room for more storage, or peripherals, etc. I run Photoshop, and work on large files. It just crunches through them.

    That said, without knowing the specs of the machine on offer, it's hard to offer an opinion on whether $1500 is a good deal.

    Personally, unless it was fully kitted out - I would hesitate to spend $1500 on machine that is fully 3 years old, and perhaps pushing 4 years.

    Currently on the Canadian Apple refurbished web store, there are 2 2009 Mac Pros (quad cores) for $2200. So for $700 more (about - depending on the options the 2008 has, etc etc) you can get a brand new machine that you can add AppleCare to. I will say that Mac Pros are reliable, but when they go bad - they do so expensively. AppleCare will take care of you for 3 years.

    I suspect that there will be more Mac Pro deals in the next month. If you don't need the very latest technologies, the refurbished units are not a bad deal.

    More RAM is the most important thing to add to improve performance.

    Multiple cores don't do much (yet) to help any one program faster (with some exceptions, but most programs are not yet optimized for taking advantage of multiple cores). However, multiple cores allow you to run multiple programs simultaneously without much impact on performance (but you will need RAM of course.)

    Hope this helps.

    For people most CPU clock cycles are wasted. Any modern computer (including the 2008s) spend more time waiting for you, rather than actually doing anything. There are some uses where this isn't true, but I would suspect that you don't do these.
     
  5. Ptit, Jul 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011

    Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    ok what you think i can get for $2200 bucks?

    its tops i can spend, and you guys think i should go for a 2010 and newer models?
     
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #6
    Keep in mind this is the Canadian store. And that stock moves in and out quickly in the refurbished section.

    For $2,199 you can get:
    It's not nearly enough memory, but you can add 3rd party easily enough. Keep looking and you may see cheaper ones come up as well.

    There's a slightly cheaper 2009 MP as well.

    I'm not saying that these are great deals, just that your $1500 2008 (used with no warranty) offer may not be great deal either. Refurbished systems sold by Apple are sold "as good as new". They come with the 1 year warranty, and are eligible for the extended AppleCare warranty.

    And it also points out that if you buy one of these newer systems, you will almost certainly be able to sell it later to recoup some of the cost. Though, bear in mind that the 2008 8 core machines were highly regarded when released, and obviously still are even 3+ years later.
     
  7. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    They still do the job well and to the OP I got the one in my sig for $1100 Canadian used with Apple Care still left on it so keep looking there are better bargains to be had..
     
  8. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #8
    I would recommend the 2010 2.8GHz Quad out of the refurb store.
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC560LL/A?mco=MTkyMTM2MDM

    You get the latest EFI and video and you can upgrade the processor (pretty inexpensively to the Hex) if you need more speed at a later time.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  9. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #9
    And when you do get the Mac Pro, consider a Mercury Extreme SSD drive from OWC. They are the best upgrade for any Mac Pro.
     
  10. Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2011
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    #10
    Thank you john, i think you nailed the answer, the only reason i would hold back now is because apple is about to release the new mac pros soon
     
  11. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #11
    That's a 'valid' issue IF you think the MP will be updated "soon".

    FWIW, I'm betting that the next gen MP won't be released until sometime after Feb 2012.

    JohnG
     
  12. Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    have you compared your 8 core to the new imac i7s using final cut pro and logic at the same time (by any chance) :)
     

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