Macbook Pro 2012 or Mac Pro 2008?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by citizencraig, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. citizencraig macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    I am feeling REALLY indecisive lately and could use some expert opinions and advice. I do a lot of photography, video, and music, but mostly use it for Lightroom at the moment. Even as I've tried to keep upgrading my computer over the years I feel that it's often sluggish. Maybe it's the processor or maybe I'm just getting old and impatient...

    2x2.8 Quad Intel Xeon Mac Pro from Early 2008
    16 GB 800 MHz DDR2 Ram
    OWC Mercury Extreme 6G SSD
    5 Bay SATA external enclosure (
    30" 2006 Cinema Display with matte screen
    Saffire LE - (firewire interface for studio speakers)

    I'm considering getting rid of everything and switching to a 2012 Retina Macbook Pro and a new Cinema Display and mostly using the laptop in a clamshell state as my main processor. I would of course benefit from being mobile over my desktop which would be nice but not a deal breaker.

    Am I crazy to do this? A few of my concerns are the cost and flexibility. If I'm really going this route I don't want a bunch of peripherals laying around and I'm concerned about the speed of the MBP over time. I'm also concerned about the cost of external Thunderbolt solutions right now.

    Am I missing anything here? I'd like to here the "logical bang for your buck" AND/OR the "more costly but awesome" options.
  2. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    well you're certainly not going to gain any noticeable speed by going from that mac pro to pretty much any of the 2012 macbooks. the only real gain you're going to get is mobility. if thats worth it to you, then go for it.

    plus, the retina macbook doesn't have firewire so you'll have to find some firewire adapter etc etc.
  3. citizencraig thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    Thanks for that. I guess I'm not really concerned about "gaining" speed but I don't want to sacrifice speed for mobility.

    I sometimes struggle with the fact that I don't get out of the house much even though I already own an older laptop and an iPhone. My hope is that these new Retina MBP's would encourage me to be more mobile in my day to day heavy lifting. I just don't have a concept of how fast they REALLY are in the grand scheme of computers

    If I'm dropping this much money though would it make more sense to UPGRADE my Mac Pro. Is that even possible? I sometimes feel a little limited in my tech abilities in the more advanced stuff.
  4. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Very fast look here

    Mac Pro (Early 2008) Intel Xeon E5462 2800 MHz (8 cores) 9429
    MacBook Pro (Retina) Intel Core i7-3615QM 2300 MHz (4 cores) 10814
    MacBook Pro (Retina) Intel Core i7-3720QM 2600 MHz (4 cores) 11634
    MacBook Pro (Retina) Intel Core i7-3820QM 2700 MHz (4 cores) 12005

    Any of the Retina`s will offer the performance and portability you are looking for
  5. citizencraig thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    Thanks for that. After some consideration I think I'm going in the direction of a laptop. The biggest hurdle seems to be the cost and variety of thunderbolt drives.

    SO... I'm wondering... if I am archiving most of my current data is there any reason I wouldn't just want to buy a eSATA to thunderbolt converter? Are there any major issues with going that route?
  6. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    disagree...the new laptops are much faster. Faster processors, faster RAM, etc
  7. whitetrashanth macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2005
    dont usually comment on these sort of things, but i feel a duty as i actually just sold my 8 core macpro .. same model as yours and spec, to buy the new rmbp.

    i was very very happy with the macpro and had a quadcore back in 2004, i never went for any of the laptops because of the power and speed, but with the new rmbp, i had been waiting for this for years.

    25kg v 2kg .....pritty much gona get the same performance over all so i went for it straight away.

    my rmbp is coming in a couple of days, so will know for sure then but im sure il be very happy with it, even though il be designing on a smaller screen the annoying thing i had with the 27 inch hd cinema display i had was i had to lean into it to see what i wanted, with the 2800 display and real estaste possible id much rather have the smaller screen, i like small type and have always minimized my screens to get more on my pages...

    but yeh i did up to you really
  8. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have nearly the same setup Mac Pro and I am upgrading to the rMBP. Based on all the research I've is faster and actually portable! It can still power 2 external displays and be used as a desktop with a keyboard and mouse. You can still get a thunderbolt to ethernet...or firewire adapter. I think this will be perfect for me...since it has all the power and its portable.
  9. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I think that your reasoning is sound but I would skip the Thunderbolt and Apple display options.

    Thunderbolt has minimal options that cost an arm and a leg. Firewire 800 and USB 3.0 are plenty fast for me...

    The Apple display has a glassy LCD and no significant ergonomic adjustments. I went with a high-end 24" NEC that is very adjustable, has an anti-glare panel and a four year warranty that didn't cost me additional $$$.

    Keep in mind that using the Mac as a portable will require messing around with myriad cables, so a dock may be worth considering. I think that Hengedocks are the best but they are also the most expensive.

    Frankly, I think that the Retina MBP is much ado about nothing. Plus there are the usual early adopter issues; I would get a non-Retina MBP.
  10. clumeng, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012

    clumeng macrumors member

    May 14, 2010
    I'll respectfully disagree as recent rMBP+Thunderbolt display convert. I upgraded from a 2008 iMac.

    The thing about the TB display is that is a display + a lot more. I have a FW drobo, Ethernet, wired keyboard, and USB HD plugged into the display. Bringing my laptop from home in the AM - with one connector and about 15s waiting I have all these connected and ready to go. Bigger is not always better but I'd argue that for photographers there is advantage of 27" vs 24". The Dell 27" is the closest competitor - similarly priced but lacks all the connectivity that is really what is thrown into the cost (not that it is cheap). No need for an extra dock.

    The OP already has a SATA drive array so he would have to buy some sort of converter anyway - why not go for the highest data rate and go TB. Only thing that I don't know is the stability and options of SATA-TB connections. My FW800 drobo is fine for me but it's what I had before.

    I considered the non-Retina MBP but was spoiled by my MBA SSD - when you add a SSD to a standard MBP (BTO - not self install) the cost is essentially the same as Retina so to me was no brainer.

    Will post video later but to the OP it's a shame to close up the retina screen. I have an old iCurve stand that I use to elevate it and it's a wonderful secondary screen.

    Oh - and my TB display came with a magsafe-magsafe 2 adaptor so you can save $10.

    Video here of setup and connection workflow
  11. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I'll grant you that the TB display connectivity is a plus. Unfortunately, the glassy panel and iMac form-factor are deal-killers for me.

    Dell? Wouldn't touch 'em with a ten foot pole. But they are less expensive than a 27" NEC. I also prefer CCFL backlit to LED and NEC has 28 CCFL displays.

    I don't find 24" to be constraining when working with images; it seems like when I go larger I have to move my head around more and I don't care for it.

    I also got my $899 MSRP 24" NEC for $550 which was a great deal. I'm not at all inclined to spend at least another $450 for just three inches of screen real estate.

    It's really a pity about Apple's hardware designs in recent years: More flash, less substance. Consumers sure seem to go for all that aluminum and glass! But when I am working at a computer all day long I prefer to avoid eyestrain and neck/back issues caused by hardware that I suspect isn't actually used by its designers or they would put more effort into creating products that work with the human body rather than against it.

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