Mac Pro Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by airwalke, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. airwalke macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2004
    I'm considering purchasing a Mac Pro in a month or two, and I apologize if these are frequent questions (no idea how to phrase my search! :D)... but I'd appreciate the feedback.

    First off, what's turning me away from the iMacs and Macbooks of the world is the lack of expandability... but can the processor and such be replaced with newer Intel processors/motherboards if things get to be a bit outdated? I'm well aware about Macs and their lack of upgradability as it is, but I was wondering with the switch to Intel if this had changed any?

    Secondly, what's everyone's experiences with refurbished Mac Pros? Getting one would save me a great deal of money, and would allow myself to get an even faster desktop for less. Can I buy Applecare for it, in case it fails somewhere along the line, and I have to take it in?
  2. rockinrocker macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    most people consider swapping the proc's to be a waste of money when the whole system will have good resale value.
    in theory though, it can be done as long as stuff is pin compatible and whatnot.

    haven't bought refurb myself, but yes you can (and probably should) get applecare for it if you do. just don't buy applecare from apple, you can get it way cheaper on ebay and stuff. (i got mine for '08 MP for a hundy)
  3. MikeL macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2003
    Bloomington, MN
    "Upgradeable" is sort of a nebulous concept when it comes to modern computers when you're dealing with very high-end hardware. Are the processors upgradeable? In a sense. They're socketed, and you could perhaps place faster processors in the sockets at some later date.

    That is dependent upon faster processors becoming available. The faster processors will come, but they'll likely take a different socket. It'll never be economically viable to replace 2.8ghz processors with 3.2ghz (or slightly faster) processors. The gain in speed for the cost just isn't worthwhile, and won't be. By the time there is a significantly faster processor, there will be new chipsets and sockets.

    So you're talking motherboard replacement. On the high-end that's usually not a very viable approach either. It costs less to sell the computer for whatever residual value you can get and replace it with a completely new machine.

    We're very unlikely to ever see machines like the G4s again. You can upgrade a single-processor 400mhz G4 to dual 2ghz processors. For some people, that has proven to be a wise choice because of OS limitations on their applications.

    We'll be fortunate to never see machines with as long of useful life as the G4s had. They had such a long period of viability not because of inherently great design and expandability, but rather because of how stagnant the technology was from 1999 to 2004 or so.

    The way in which MPs really are upgradeable is in the slots that they offer, the amount of RAM they can hold, and the ease drive replacement and the number of drives available. I expect to get five, perhaps six years of satisfactory performance out of my MP. After that there will be new technologies and software that will require considerably different machines.
  4. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Oct 24, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    No kidding. It was painful waiting for Apple to pass that 500mhz wall.

    The G5 was just as bad, if not worse. Slow evolution, socketed but non-upgradeable CPUs, never hit the promised 3.0GHz mark and somewhat poor support for modern software.
  5. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    I've never understood the argument for expandability. I have a 12" PowerBoook from 2003 (1GHz G4) and its still running well with Leopard. I've only ever upgraded the stock 256MB RAM to 768.

    Unless your business depends on getting as much power as you can (in which case, you have no choice but to get the Mac Pro), why not save the money and get an iMac? You are considering it, so it must be a viable option for you at this point in time. (It's only a couple of years down the line that you're worried about).

    An iMac is in the region of half the price of the cheapest Mac Pro. And that's before you've factored in getting a screen for the latter, plus any more you will spend on upgrades now or later.

    And yet you could buy another, more up-to-date iMac in 2 years' time that will crush the power of your current Mac Pro. Sure, you could spend lots of money on upgrades but what is really the point? And you only end up with one computer, meaning you can't even sell the old one (if you don't want to keep it as a second computer yourself, mind).

Share This Page