Mac Pro vs. Hack Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CheeseGrater, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. CheeseGrater, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    CheeseGrater macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    So my poor little computer is in great need of upgrade! My upgrade budget is $3000. My main two options I'm considering for my budget range are:

    Mac Pro: 3.2GHz Quad | 5870 | 3GB RAM | 7200 HDD
    Hack Pro: 3.33Ghz Hex i7 | GTX 580 | 16GB RAM | 256GB SSD

    Usage: I do editing and composting with FCP and After Effects on OS X so CPU power is very important. I also do a lot of serious gaming under Windows 7 so GPU power is likewise very important.

    Do you think it is worth paying the Apple tax for a real Mac or would the better value be worth going the Hack route? (I run a hack mac so I'm already familiar with that process for what it's worth)

    Anyway, what are your opinions?
  2. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    I think it really depends on what your PRIMARY usage will be. While the Xeon is very powerful in a workstation, you really want to go beyond a quad core (maybe dual quads or single hexacore) if you plan on going Mac Pro. This is going to cost quite a bit more...

    On the other hand, for gaming, an i7 will be superior. Also the GTX 580 beats the 5870 doesn't it? For the same price, you'd be getting an SSD and much more RAM as well.

    Ultimately, it comes down to your priorities. Getting the Mac Pro also gives you the benefit of Apple stability, without worrying about updates breaking your system.
  3. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I'd REALLY try to get an 8 core if I were you.

    Does the GTX 580 even work under OS X right now?
  4. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    If you need your Mac for professional purposes then get a Mac Pro.

    If you aren't using it to make money and are a risk-taker then you could build a Hackintosh, but if breaks down Apple won't help you fix it.
  5. CyberCat macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Definitely the Mac Pro.

    More beautiful and powerful.
  6. McBeats macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2007
    It is somewhat worth paying apple's 'tax' if you want it to just "WORK" and not have to mess around with it for a day or two to get it fully functioning, possibly pulling your hair from time to time (and not always getting it to fully function).

    But, If it was me... I would do hackintosh, all the way. I owned several macs in the past, and now (after getting burned from Apple for denying a repair, losing 2000 dollars) I run on a "hack pro" today...

    Just make sure you are keeping track of the components you may want to purchase to make this computer; run it by InsanelyMac and see if others have tried those components, and what methods they took. Your chipset and graphics drivers are one of the more important ones to look for.


    ...and I use it for professional purposes.
  7. CheeseGrater thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    Thanks, I would love an 8-core but after checking it out it would be well over $4000 with tax, way over a realistic budget for me I'm afraid. I think you're right about the GTX 580, I may want to change that to a GTX 285, thanks for the tip.

    Ah yeah, normally I would definitely agree with this, and while I do use my editing and After Effects work to make money, it isn't really a 'job' for me, more a paid hobby. I definitely agree that it's nice to have something that is officially supported if I need help, but on the other hand this isn't a situation where if it breaks I'm going to lose my job or anything. On the other hand I find the Mac Pro and the Mac OS both truly a work of art and I have yet to find any hardware like it on the PC side so I think there is a lot to be said for that as well. I am very torn at the moment. :(
  8. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    You can save a little on a Mac Pro by buying a refurb.
  9. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    Another thing to concider is the resale value of the Mac Pro will be a lot higher than that of the Hack Pro.
  10. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    I think that Apple have done a really good job of pricing professionals from small businesses for example out of the market. I am in the process of building my own hack pro:D
  11. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2010
    Agree 100% with this! I would love a Mac Pro but the numbers just don't add up so I settled for the i7 iMac.
  12. donw35 macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2010
    Los Angeles
    hack it

    everyones experience is different but my hackintosh is stable and powerful, the downside is you will have to do some research and learn about setting up hackintosh but you will gain allot of knowledge about the OS that will give you confidence with it.

    Building a Hack can be very simple and almost as easy to install as Windows as long as you design it around supported hardware.

    My Hack
    Gigabyte EX58-USB3 MB
    Intel i7 - 950
    12GB 1600 DDR3 memory (3 X 4GB)
    Radeon 5870 1GB Video card out to dual 24" Monitors both DVI
    64GB SSD boot drive for OS and Apps.
    Dlink BT120 BlueTooth adaptor

    everything works, even the USB 3.0 ports

    I use my hack for work, run VM's to control external hardware and edit audio and video files for development of high end communications devices.
  13. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    The extra Apple tax means that system stability is their problem. You are paying for peace of mind. You will definitely get a cheaper system building your own but whether that system you build is a better value is really up to you :)
  14. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I considered making a Hackintosh a few months back. My personal conclusion was that if I wanted to to spend timing configuring, troubleshooting, and pulling my hair out now and then I might as well just make it a Windows machine.

    If you like Apple stuff and OSX for what most swear by them for, a Hackintosh kind of throws all that out the window.

    I'd pay up for the real Mac unless you're a hobbyist and tinkerer by nature who enjoys puzzling out computer hardware/software compatibility issues. Then go for it.
  15. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    So true. I just sold a PC tower. Q6600 quad core. Tailored for audio with dedicated FireWire, two 7200rpm drives. Everything. I got $350 for it.
  16. CheeseGrater thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    Thanks, that's actually a pretty good point. I've been looking on ebay and I have noticed that Mac Pros do seem to retain their value quite well with 2006 models still selling for 2/3 of their original price.
  17. jdsmoooth, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011

    jdsmoooth macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I don't agree with this... even a little. Especially in this context. I'm a real estate agent. I understand the challenge and "fun" in building a hackintosh. However, I would not jeopardize what I need to do to help people, close transactions, make money etc... on something like a hacked machine that can stop my daily process and grind itself to halt. With no real solution other than... there are some real smart people working on this in their free time and we hope to have a fix soon. Meaning what if the software you use for work updates itself and now it doesn't play well with the combination of OS X/Hardware you have?

    I think because of the OS and high quality of the product that Apple puts out...( I have had warranty repairs, hardware does fail) You can't go wrong buying the "Real McCoy" Especially of you are using it to make your living.

    I'm my families sole support of income and I need my computers to work. And of they don't I need to know there's a reasonably quick solution to remedying the situation.

    If you have the time and are willing to learn what it takes to build a hackintosh. It can work... I do believe that supporting the machine takes more time and research as software changes though.
  18. iPhoneCollector macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2010
    The mac pro is so much better. No stability issues no worry aboit updates no drivers. Its just better
  19. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    It doesn't. My hackintosh requires the same amount of support my Mac Pro did: none at all.

    Also, there are full builds for different budgets readily available, so you don't even have to look for good parts.

    iPhoneCollector: my hackintosh is just as stable as my Mac Pro. I don't worry about driver updates or anything at all.
  20. linuxcooldude, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011

    linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    If the MacPro is really priced above the professional small business owner, its use was probably not justified in the first place.

    If that small business owner is just using a MacPro for invoice's, records & accounting software they are better off with an imac or MacBook Pro.

    If that small buisness uses the MacPro to its fullest potential ( Video rendering, 3D animation ect ) the cost of the MacPro would be reflected in what he charges to the customer for the work he does.
  21. jdsmoooth macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    OK... I'm assuming this means that you are running 10.6.6 no problems?
  22. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004

    Mac Pros are designed for people who run software that likely costs more than the machine anyway.

    If you don't need that software, you probably don't need a Mac Pro.
  23. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Yeah, did not take in account the cost of the software itself. Add up all the professional software that person uses would likely cost more then the machine itself, especially if he upgrades it as well. Thanks for the input in that regard.
  24. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Yeah, not that I agree that stuff like CS suite is worth a few thousand dollars, but if you're paying for software like that over the life of the machine, spending $3k on a Mac Pro is probably not your biggest concern. :)
  25. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    It would kind of be ironic, that the Mac Pro might actually be the cheapest part of that deal. Not discounting people who might want to do things like this as a hobby or part time money for fun who are on a budget of course.

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