Mac Pro vs MacBook Pro...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by VirtualRain, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. VirtualRain, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    With today's high-end MacBook Pro weighing in with some impressive specs...

    - Up to 2.3GHz Quad core (3.4/3.3GHz 1C/2C Turbo)
    - Up to 8GB of RAM
    - SSD drive options
    - 6750 Graphics
    - 1920x1200 display
    - ThunderBolt port for high-speed mass storage expansion

    All for around $3K... and in a very portable package... this is starting to look very very appealing vs. a Mac Pro.

    If some good Thunderbolt storage solutions appear (Promise Pegasus looks good), I think it's going to be a very tough decision when it comes time to replace my Mac Pro.

    Could this be your next workstation?

  2. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    The 8GB RAM limitation is a major, major problem.

    A new Mac Pro is still going to be way better as a workstation than a MacBook Pro. Currently the 3.33Ghz Hexacore Mac Pro would be the one to get for most if they can't stretch to getting a 12-core.
  3. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I can only imagine the fan noise trying to use that as a serious workstation.
  4. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    I am actually really considering this vs getting a 2010 Mac Pro in the $2500 range which is what I was about to buy.

    Looking at the benchmark test, the new Macbooks Pro is beating out the 2010 Quadcore 3.2GHz Mac Pro and by quite a bit (10942 vs 9968 in Geekbench).

    For $2500 you can get the 15" Macbook Pro w/ 2.2Ghz i7, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD HD which tested out at 10942 on Geekbench.

    A Mac Pro for $2500 will get you a 2.8GHz Quadcore Xeon processor and 3GB RAM which scored 8360.

    The big problem for me before was the internal drive space, I have about 3TB inside the PowerMac now but with the Thunderbolt techonology, running external will no longer be a slower process.
  5. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Geekbench isn't everything. In real world the Mac Pro is going to perform better for a lot of tasks. In any case you could buy the 2.8Ghz quad core Mac Pro, buy a 3.2Ghz hexacore (see another thread in this forum for which one to try) put it in and sell the 2.8Ghz quad core for about the same price as getting a CTO 3.2Ghz quad core machine.
  6. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    Very good point. Thanks for bringing this up. I was sitting here wondering if the new MBP would outperform the refurb iMac i7 I bought a few weeks ago, and I forgot about the MBP fan/noise factor.

    I used to use a 13" MBP and it was way louder than my iMac is. Heck, my external firewire drives that are 5 feet from my ears are louder than my iMac.
  7. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    And it would apparently still perform considerably worse than the MBP. :confused:

    The computer currently being used is a dual core 2.3GHz PowerMac G5 and it does ok so I think the MBP would be more than enough. It's for graphic design...Photoshop, QuarkXpress...some web design, but nothing heavy duty like video editing or the like.
  8. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    That is a good point about the fan noise...I wonder how loud it would be.

    On the other hand, the portability factor would be really nice.
  9. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    If I had to replace my MacPro today, I would consider replacing it for the new MBP. I hoping to get at least two more years out of the MacPro but by then I will my just go with a MBP.
  10. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    I doubt that. Even if you rely on Geekbench, a 3.2Ghz Hexacore (6-Core) Mac Pro would easily outscore the MBP.

    Anything that requires lots of RAM (where only 8GB is a problem) is also going to benefit from the Mac Pro.

    The MacBook Pro is good to have in addition to the Mac Pro (you can't always be behind a desk when you're working), but it is not a replacement for the Mac Pro.
  11. rmitchell248, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    rmitchell248 macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    Liebsthal, Germany
    I think you are confused. He is speaking of a 6 core 3.2 cpu not a 3.2 4 core xeon... the 6 core 3.2 would run circles around any mbp configuration.

    When I fire up my Mac Pro it uses 12 gb ram as an average between CS5 and LR3 usually fluctuating between 6-8GB in each program alone. I use both at the same time then add in many plug ins that increase the ram needs. This is without using other programs such as mail or browser ect. I am only doing basic work in these programs with 5dII raw files. 8gb ram in a MBP would be a huge bottle neck for me. While the 'geekbench' sounds great it does not tell the whole story.

    It would be great if they had a mbp that could offer 16-32bg ram, cpu equivalent of the 6 core and the same heat management but they just do not YET. Even then as the MBP updates so will the Mac Pro keeping this separation of capabilities.

    Also in the Mac Pro I have luxury of having 5 internal drives being an SSD boot drive, an SSD scratch drive and 3 large HDDs all in one box. If you had the MBP you would not be able to do this and be mobile. I could not use a MBP and be mobile as my home folders and data are sitting in 9 TB worth of drives that could not go with a MBP. So I would have a laptop that was stuck on my desk with a cpu that could not be upgraded and limited RAM. If I pulled it off the desk I would only be able to take my OS boot drive that I had in an internal SSD and then go through my home folder and see what I wanted to take with me by adding it to the boot drive.... completely not feasible and defeating the idea of a dedicated boot drive.

    I am actually better off with a second 13" mbp that I can take mobile as a separate system that I have no desire to intermingle anything other than standard documents that are updated off the cloud.

    In the end you need to know if these limitations will slow you down. There are many on here that will far surpass my system needs and would just lock up and melt a mbp while I may just make one hot and slow it up enough to cost me time.
  12. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Anybody who is thinking about replacing a 2008 or newer Mac Pro with a MacBook Pro, as their primary production machine, didn't need a Mac Pro to begin with.
  13. Bithero macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2010
    Actually, when I saw the spwcs and the prices of the new MBP line today I was reminded that the Mac Pro is actually quite "good value" compared to the mobile "pro" line.
    With a current limit of 8GB RAM it is anyway not a serious machine anymore in the days of 64bit applications. The quad CPUs are OK, but certainly no comparison to the Xeons, let alone the Hexcores and the GPU with 1GB is really expensive and far slower than the 5770. The anti glare higher resolurtion display is still limited in size for serious graphical jobs and also costs 150 more, so you still need a second display. The HD could certainly be replaced, but with a 5400 2,5" disc I don´t want to work anymore, which means you HAVE TO use external storage all the time and you have not portability whatsoever. And on it goes.....
    I can´t see myself using a laptop anymore. For my mobile needs the iphone is not ideal but OK and the MBA and MBP are just too expensive and too limited - no alternative for me anymore.
  14. smallnshort247 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2010
    I've always viewed the Mac Pro as the daddy of them all..though I guess that's not exactly true anymore. I already have a 2010 MBP, so I was looking for my next Mac to be a Mac Pro in a year or so. Now I'm not so sure.

    Apple needs to either lower the price of the Mac Pro or make some spec updates to it. I don't think we're suppose to be stacking Mac Pros vs. MacBook Pros IMO.
  15. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Nobody who has an actual use for a Mac Pro is talking Mac Pro vs MacBook Pro. Only the people who don't really need a Mac Pro. I've said this before, the Mac Pro is a workstation class computer. It's not your average home-brew tower, and the new MacBook Pro (as great a machine as it is) has nothing on it. Don't let synthetic benchmarks fool you.
  16. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    I already said it in another thread, but 2.3GHz quad i7 can't possibly be as fast as 2.8GHz quad i7, yet be faster.

    Sure Sandy Bridge is faster clock per clock than Nehalem, but not that much.
    Geekbench is just completely unreliable and doesn't represent real world performance whatsoever.
    Just remember 2008 2.8GHz Mac Pro and 2009 2.26GHz Mac Pro.
  17. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    Exactly. You can't look at speed alone. I have a Mac Pro and an i7 MBP, they serve different purposes. The MBP cpu in a cold room under full load will go over 80 degrees C easily. The Mac Pro doing the same load in a shorter time will usually not go above 60 degrees C. Its a truck vs a sports car. They can both be fast but the truck can tow a big load without overheating :)
  18. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    Based on the new MacBook Pro, I wonder what we might expect from the next Mac Pro.

    It seems reasonable to expect that the internal disks will be Thunderbolt based rather than SATA. Imagine third generation SSDs over this interface. Wow!

    And if the new mobile I5/I7 CPU parts are that much better, what performance gains will we see in the workstation class CPUs?

    IMHO, those who feel they require more and more performance or greater configuration flexibility should stay tuned.
  19. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    As I recall, the gains for desktop/server chips are not as dramatic.
  20. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Not likely. SATA lll will most likely be internal as the chipsets from Intel will be this. Light peak is more about externals. The whole point is a single cable fetish. I could be wrong though as no one knows.
  21. ActionableMango, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    There was a brief period of time where my MBP was my fastest machine from the perspective of the CPU. I tried using it as a desktop replacement with dedicated full size monitor, mouse, and keyboard. I have to say, the experience was underwhelming.

    The memory was too limited for work, the GPU was too limited for gaming, and the hard drive was terribly slow and small.

    The MBP draws in air through the keyboard, so it overheats if you run it closed. If you run it open, it takes up a lot of desktop space. I had many wars with the cats about sitting on the warm laptop, with them triggering "cat typing". Even with the lid open, it runs hot from work and games. Combine this with tiny fans and you have a REALLY loud computer.

    The MBP seemed to have a lot of sleep/wake issues, especially when used as a desktop and in combination with closing/opening the lid.

    There was an absolute rat's nest of cables on the desk going to monitor, keyboard, power, USB hub, and external drives. Because of the lack of a decent dock, any time I wanted to return to portable use, there was a lot of plugging, unplugging, and fishing around for wires that would fall behind the desk. Granted, lightpeak might fix this some day with a single cable to unplug everything at once, but we aren't there yet.

    The MBP is a great portable computer. It is not a MP replacement. The MBP may be moderately tempting for some users in some specific circumstances, but even that is only because it got the refresh first. The next MP refresh, late as it may be, will completely blow the MBP away.
  22. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2010
    New Jersey

    Agreed ^
  23. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    SATA 3? ... possibly, and perhaps likely. But at 6Mbps it's quite a bit slower than even the initial version of Thunderbolt.
  24. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    do you know how people ask should I buy a mac today or should I wait? the t-bolt is a huge boost. anyone that can afford to wait on a purchase should do so just to see what the t-bolt blossoms into.

    forget macbookpro vs mac pro how about iMac vs macpro.

    put 4 16gb sticks of ram in a 27 inch imac a sb cpu and a t-bolt connection. hook a raid0 lacie ssd t-bolt to the imac then hook a promise raid to the lacie. use the imac's internal as a backup for the lacie as an osx. this looks like you will be able to do it in the summer the only question will be if the imac will go to the larger 240 pin sticks that allow 16gb ram each. for power users if you can wait you need to see how t-bolt is allowed to work.
  25. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    The iMac is a decent deal for a mac, provided you like whatever CPU and GPU you're stuck with forever, you don't mind a rat's nest of cables for external hard drives, and you happen to like looking through the reflection of your face and everything behind you in order to see a monitor with no swivel, rotate, or height adjustment. :p

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