Mac Pro refresh - how soon after Macworld?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sonic, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Sonic macrumors regular

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    #1
    I know this is a common question, but the most recent thread asking this hasn't been updated in a while...

    With the recent Core i7 announcements and the end-of-line FB-DIMM announcements, when can we realistically expect the refresh to come?

    I've heard mention of 'at Macworld', but also 'March-May'. I think February would be the latest I could hold out.

    I'm primarily using OSX for Logic (with a lot of CPU-intensive synths), and Windows for game development / 3ds Max.

    Also, are the benefits even worth waiting for? I have a PS3 for Bluray... I doubt I'd max out a current MP - although a scarcity / high price of FB-DIMM's in future concerns me.

    Any help you could provide would me much appreciated. I have one on order (with Employee F&F discount), and I'm not sure whether to pull the trigger!
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    You should wait. It will be between one and two months after the appropriate processors come out, but you should wait.

    Unless you have work to do. Then buy now. Don't put off work.
     
  3. Sonic thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    The thing is I have a MBP 2.4 SR which has died twice this year and is currently dead and out of warranty. As there's no doubt it's another 8600 faliure, it should get replaced... but still, I've lost all faith in Apple laptops... :( Actually it was the Geforce that went on my old PB Titanium too!

    Anyway, if they agree to fix it, I'll be happy until Feb / March maybe, but I won't feel totally safe with my data until I have the MP.
     
  4. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #4
    1. Back up your data
    2. Don't worry when you drop the laptop off a cliff
    3. ???
    4. Profit
     
  5. Sonic thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    My data is backed up, thank god Target Mode still worked and my Win partition was FAT32.

    I didn't really mean the safety of my data - I'm more concerned about any further downtime... I program 3d graphics that can push the 8600 to its limits, frequently over-heating and crashing because of it. If indeed it gets fixed when I take it in this weekend, there's no real guarantee it won't do it again in three months.

    Either way, when do you see the new MP coming out based on recent rumours?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #6
    There are two things we know for certain:
    1. Intel said Nehalem Xeon production would begin in January.
    2. Apple released the 2006 and 2008 Mac Pros 6 and 8 weeks respectively after Intel's Xeon release dates.

    Anything else seems to be rumour or wishful thinking. Also bare in mind that release date and the beginning of production probably aren't the same thing. Personally I'd expect to see them shipping by the middle of April and wouldn't be suprised to see them a few weeks before or after that. I would be shocked to see them before mid-March based on everything I have read.
     
  7. Sonic thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Are you also waiting, Umbongo? Do you think the upgrade is worth it (based on speculated specs of course)?

    I imagine we'll see DDR3 SDRAM, and I wonder how it compares, speed-wise, to FB-DIMM. It's almost a given that they'll use the Core i7 Xeons, but if that's the main benefit, I'm not sure it's worth waiting (tests indicating 20% SpecFP difference...) As for GPU, I've no idea... This could be a nice gain compared to the 8800GT I'm thinking of ordering.

    I hope the case doesn't change much, and no loss of FW / DVI...

    I guess I'm most worried about FB-DIMM being vastly outclassed by DDR3 SDRAM... That's the main bottleneck right now, isn't it? Besides hard drives, which aren't so much of an issue with synth-based music or game compilation time or 3D rendering...
     
  8. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #8
    You have nothing to worry about as far as losing FW.

    As far as buffered memory vs ECC DDR3, the DDR3 should be a bit faster. Yes, HDDs and optical drives are still the slowest thing in any computer.

    Definitely worth the wait unless you have something that needs to get done by next monday. The current Mac Pro isn't that slow :p
     
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #9
    I'm not waiting no.

    I'm guessing if you bought a 2009 Mac Pro over the current model you'd probably see an overall 10%-15% saving on processor intensive tasks (i.e waiting for the computer so you can work) and a slight viewport improvement in 3DS Max from the mid range card they replace the 8800GT with (likely GTX 260 or 4870). The benefits are really just time when it comes down to it (and less frustration perhaps), it's not like the 2009 Mac Pro will do something the 2008 won't.

    For those with Power Macs or 1st gen Mac Pros the 2009 Mac Pro will be a big upgrade, for those with 2007 or 2008 Mac Pros, not so much. For those waiting, well it's the same as always, buy now if you need it (and forget about what is available or comming until 16 core Mac Pros are out ;))
     
  10. ascender macrumors 68000

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    #10
    I'm in the market for a desktop replacement for my iMac and am so close to buying a current Mac Pro. The current machines are more than powerful enough for what I'll use it for, so by waiting for the new ones, I don't think I'll gain anything tangible as such. The new ones will be even faster, but that's always the case with new tech.

    Are there any bargains to be had with Mac Pros at the moment apart from the refurb store?

    Looking at the specs, the base machine would do me just fine, although the upgrade to two CPUs looks worth the money.
     
  11. Sonic thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    I'm definitely leaning towards buying. I don't think I'd notice a performance increase either really.

    My main concern is price. This is quite an investment for me. Obviously the replacement GPU will be equal to or better than the 8800GT I'm going to BTO, but that 90 quid would be worth the extra time (anything from 2-6 months from people's opinions here.) Also, I've been bitten by Apple before by a major price drop: TiBook -> AlBook lost 400 quid in the UK, and I got mine two weeks before the switchover. If there was a big price drop in line with the recession and the fact that i7 is not going to bring the performance gains first thought, I'd be pretty disappointed. I'd also be really disappointed if I had to wait till May, all the while in fear of my ticking time-bomb, aka the MBP + NVidia 8600, going off.

    Also, which ram do you think will be cheaper when the new system launches - the (presumed) DDR3 SDRAM or the current generation's FB-DIMMs which have shot up in price recently? (90 pounds / 2x1GB on Crucial at time of posting.)
    [Sorry for any typos - I'm using my PS3 to post due to the dead MBP, with Apple mouse and keyboard of course! But there's no spell-checker, haha.]
     
  12. ascender macrumors 68000

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    #12
    I think with the pricing of the new laptops, they've shown that they're not going to drop prices because of the state of the global economy, so I'd assume that the new models will be in line with the current ones.

    Not sure about RAM. Checking Crucial just now, you can add an extra 4Gb to the current Mac Pro for £122 which is pretty cheap, so I'm not sure if they'd get much cheaper?

    I guess the other thing to bear in mind with the Mac Pro is that you are buying an upgradable computer, so its not like you're going to be stuck with the graphics card for example. I think the bottom line for me is that any of the current Mac Pros will be more than powerful for what I plan on doing with it for many years to come.
     
  13. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #13
    DDR3 pricing in general has come down a lot. I see mid range performance memory (XMS3) going for about $250 for 3 x 2GB sticks. Still not quite as cheap as DDR2 though ;p
     
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #14
    The new Mac Pros will likely be more expensive than they are now due to the increase in processor prices. I'm expecting $2,999 in the US and £1,999 in the UK (or 1956.46 depending on how they deal with VAT on new products).

    DDR3 ECC 1333MHz DIMMs are currently £146.04 for 3x1GB on crucial, which is probably what you'd want assuming the Mac Pros come with 3x1GB. Prices may come down by the time the Mac Pros come out.

    I'd check the refurb page for Mac Pros every day and see if you can get yourself a bargain.
     
  15. ceres macrumors regular

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    #15
    I´d wait for some workstation benchmarks as right now both fsb and high latency fbdimms are a bottleneck in such environments. In the desktop arena core i7 has been shown to be 5-35% faster clock for clock than the latest penryn. In current dual socket systems slow ram performance probably costs a few % points on top so you might see a 40-45% increase in latest x264 builds.
    However, stuff like lame mp3 encoding will likely remain at +5% compared to penryn.

    Let´s wait some more. What Apple really needs to work on is support for RAID Hardware in both OSX and especially Windows including boot support.
    Otherwise the system will be much slower in certain scenarios than desktop i7 systems with a 250 USD RAID card.
     
  16. Sonic thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    As my performane is always RAM/CPU/GPU-bound I'm not really hearing ay compelling arguments to wait. I think the most I could hold on for an announcement would be 'till MW... But my gut is telling me I'll regret waiting if there's only a 20% real-world change in spec.

    Hmmm, I'm so on the fence here. I know I should probably wait until the results of my Genius appointment for my MBP this Saturday (will find out if they can fix it), but the other half of me's saying 'just get it now!'

    I need to make up my mind, haha! :confused:

    [edit: typos]
     
  17. ascender macrumors 68000

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    #17
    That's pretty much my feeling at the moment too. I've even emailed the local reseller to see if they have any in stock :)

    I know I could wait and get a faster machine, but that's always the case on here. I saw a post on here yesterday asking if someone should buy the current MBP or wait for the inevitable refresh, but if you start becoming like that, you'll never buy anything.

    That faster machine isn't going to make things quicker for what I'm doing, to the point where its a deal breaker. Any current Mac will be good enough for what I need for many years to come. And the Mac Pro will at least give me a dual CPU, lots of RAM slots for expansion and also the 4 drive bays i'm looking for.

    As things stand I'm very tempted to get a current model and actually get on with setting it up and using it.
     
  18. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #18
    A three thousand dollar base model? No one would buy it.
     
  19. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #19
    I think you have to ask who is not going to buy a Mac Pro because it's $2,999 rather than $2,799? Obviously it becomes less appealing, but unless Apple are willing to lower their margins I don't see any way around it. I mean two 2.66GHz Xeons and a Tylersburg-36D board are likely to cost $2,500 from somewhere like newegg at launch. Even if you could find somewhere offering the processors at cost and there are $400 boards you're still looking at $2,300.

    Maybe they will offer a quad core Mac Pro as an additional standard config. I'd expect the price on such a system to be $2,499, but maybe they could lower that price and keep it at the current $2,299.
     
  20. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #20
    You forget that because Apple is a manufacturer and a bulk purchaser, they get these for far cheaper than the man on the street at Newegg.
     
  21. Sonic thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Hmmm, I've decided to go for it. Will be making my order at lunch. There's no major reason to wait from the looks of it.

    Wish me luck with my new MP!

    Thanks for all your advice,

    Jasper.
     
  22. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #22
    But I remembered Apple charge a price for the Mac Pro similar to the price it would cost to build a similar system at retail pricing ;). They could of course lower margins and keep prices the same, but well it's :apple:
     
  23. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #23
    Truth, sadly. :p:(
     
  24. chromatronic macrumors member

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    #24
    Iam gonna do same in some days, and dont think i will be disepointed.
    At least the current mac pro is not a Rev A... wich is important too.
    Also here in japan strangely the 2.8 octo is on apple store at something lilke 3500$ . . . and i can get it from some other store for less than 2500$ because its out since one year...
    so i bet when new one come out it will be at least 3500$ everywhere in japan... saddly...

    Really i dont understand.. those price. really on APPLE STORE the 2.8 octo is 349 000 yen and 1$ now is 93 yen but usually 100 yen so its really 3500$...
    Why . . . . . . . . . .
     
  25. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #25
    I'm waiting for the new Mac Pro. From what I have read the speed difference is more than the difference between the 2007 8 core mini revision and the early 2008 revision.

    Hopefully from what I have seen and read it will be released sooner rather than later but I'm in no great rush. As long as it comes out by the end of Feb I should be okay.
     

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