Mid 2010 Mac Pro - $2000 - good deal?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zeypher, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. zeypher macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Hi all,

    I use an iMac on a daily basis, but the Mac Pro world is completely new to me. I've come across an opportunity to pick up a Mid 2010 Mac Pro and need to know if $2000 is a good/great/okay deal for it. It was $3500 new I believe.

    I was originally saving for a customized MBP, but knowing I would get a Mac Pro at some point (good thing to have?) I thought this might be a good opportunity to save. I'll be using this mainly for film/video and graphic design, using premiere, after effects, photoshop, cinema 4d (maybe).

    Info I was given:
    2 quad cores
    6 gbs of ram
    2 tb space
    $3500 new. Year and a half old
    Mid 2010 model

    Based on that I found the following specs:
    8 core 2.4Ghz Westmere processor
    6GB PC3-8500 DDR3 ECC 1066 MHz
    Radeon HD 5770 1GB


    So does this seem like an amazing, good, or just okay deal? On a separate thought, do I even need both MBP and Mac Pro? Would a customized MBP be enough?

    Thanks a ton!
  2. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    Does it have any Apple care on it? Have you compared the price to Apple refurbs? Is this a Craigslist thing or from someone you know and trust? Price sounds ok.
  3. zeypher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Similar refurb for $3000

    I found this on the Apple refurb page:


    The only difference is probably the 2TB harddrive. However, I'm not sure if it comes with Apple Care or not. I'll hopefully find that out today.

    It's from a trusted source and not craigslist.
  4. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    Does it come with a display such as the 27" Apple Cinema Display? Is it boxed? Keyboard and mouse? Do you have to pay to have it insured shipped to you?
  5. Molecule macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    The price sounds very reasonable, but not so reasonable that you shouldn't explore other options first.

    It depends - do you need the portability? If so, do you need power and portability in the same machine, or do you just need portability? In the latter case I'd probably suggest a MacBook Air instead.

    It depends on the level of work you're doing. A Mac Pro is also a lot more future-proof, because it's a lot more upgradable than a MacBook Pro. If you bought a Mac Pro it would last you a lot longer than any laptop could ever hope to.

    I agree with Ashman70, you should look into Apple refurbs; you might be able to get a good deal there. Bear in mind that refurbs come with a 1 year warranty.

    Hope this helps.
  6. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    It seems like a fantastic price to me. Nearly $1000 less than the refurb store, and from a seller you trust? Yes.

    But I ask the obvious question, why does he want to get rid of it?
  7. zeypher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Thanks all for joining the discussion!

    It's not boxed, just the tower and no peripherals, I'm asking about essential cables though. It's a local sale, so I'll be picking it up.

    Yea, the more I dig, the more I see that this may be a good deal. He's downsizing his company so has no need for it anymore.

    @Molecule, I'm thinking I'll need both power and portability in the MBP. I will be working a lot in Photoshop and editing video and doing some post production work as well.

    Another question, am I able to get apple care if it's already 1.5 years old?

  8. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    no you can't get applecare if its already over a year old and the original buyer didn't get it
  9. zeypher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Makes sense. Is it crucial to have Apple Care? I've heard horror stories, but not sure if those are special cases.
  10. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    Some would say its absolutely necessary, others might say its a nice to have but not a need to have, while others still might say its not worth the money. Its like insurance, personally I wouldn't think twice about getting AC on a laptop, but a dekstop workhorse like the MP, probably not. You just have to realize that if you don't have AC, you are on your own after the first year, sure you can take it to an Apple store but they'll charge you, and it might not be cheap.
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    you are 1000 lower then buying from apple. it will take a while before 1000 in repairs are made. another option is exploring square trade warranty. a used machine must be under 1999 to buy a warranty.


    if the sale is done with ebay you may be able to get a legal warranty. it may cost 200 and the seller would want his fees covered so a grand total of 350 or so may get you a warranty.
  12. mfarris2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    Not so fast!

    I just purchased a new 2010 Mac Pro. And though the deal you are considering may seem like a good deal. I would be a little cautious.
    First you have no keyboard or mouse. A good mouse and keyboard will set you back about $150.00. But the biggest concern I have is that you have no warranty from Apple and no option to purchase Apple Care.
    And then I have to ask myself,...why is the owner really trying to sell this computer.
    You are saving roughly $1000.00 from a new 2010 Mac Pro with 2 quad cores. Subtract the keyboard and mouse costs. You are now saving about $850.00. Keep in mind that all of the parts in that computer are a used 1.5 yrs old. Do you know about the condition of the electric that was supplied to the computer. Did he leave the computer running 24/7.
    Most parts can be replaced for less than $850.00. But if you loose the main board, or if you loose a couple of parts,.....then your savings can quickly disappear. Perhaps if it was about $1500.00. But if I took the costs of the computer, added the keyboard and mouse and was only another $850.00 away from brand new,......I think I would just go new,.....knowing I would have a warranty.
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Applecare is insurance. You can't say if it is necessary or not. Until it is, you know? If you pay for it and 3 years go by, nothing happens, you feel ripped off. If you don't get it and the logic board tanks in 2 years you feel ripped off too but in a "holy crap these parts are expensive!" kind of way. I have not needed Applecare personally, ever. I have had to use it for others Mac's. Do you feel lucky?
  14. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    When a year went by on my Mac Pro and I hadn't had a single issue, I decided not to get AppleCare. If I had, it would expire in December of this year, but I feel lucky. Well, I do... punk. Haha! (Knocks on wood anyway.)
  15. zeypher, Feb 17, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012

    zeypher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Some great wisdom here, thanks for all the help.

    I hear you guys on the Apple Care issue, and definitely will throw your advice into the mix.

    I think it's clear to me now that assuming it was well kept that it's a pretty good deal. Though I know it's a huge assumption.

    The other big question in this scenario is about whether or not a Mac Pro is necessary at all. Can any of you speak to how powerful a customized MBP (for media work) compared to a Mac Pro is? I know you can upgrade the heck out of a Mac Pro, but on a beefed up MBP, working in photoshop, editing film, and post production will I notice a difference?

    Apologies if some of this is super obvious, I've just never really owned either so I thought I'd ask the collective experience/knowledge of macrumors.
  16. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I can tell you that my roommate runs his photography business on a 2010 MacBook Pro, and he has decided he needs a Mac Pro. He keeps fighting his Drobo, system lags/hangs, and needs more connections than the laptop can offer, so he shuffles his peripherals and gets annoyed all day, every day.

    I have my Mac Pro with fast RAID, eSata/USB 3.0 card, LG Blu-ray burner, Voyager Q and everything else, and still have spare ports to plug things in, and he sees how everything works flawlessly... and he gets pissed that his doesn't do that. I produce HD video and all kinds of stuff with ease.

    Maybe if you got a new MBP with Thunderbolt, you'd have an ok time, but with a proper desktop, you don't have to wonder if you'll be ok... you *will* be ok. That's my opinion on the matter, based on the struggles of the guy sitting to my left. :)
  17. mfarris2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    MBP VS Mac Pro

    Fully decked out MBP does not have the processing power, graphics or available memory of a middle of the line Mac Pro. Logic dictates, that a Mac Pro is a superior machine when it comes to crunching the data. However a Mac Pro will always need a good clean supply of electricity. And a Mac Pro will take up a good amount of seat space when traveling. So the real question is,.....do you want a brute to crunch data or do you want a traveling companion that will do, albeit sometimes barely?
  18. zeypher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Thanks guys, really appreciate the insight. In terms of longevity, if I pick up this Mac Pro, how long do you think it would last me? Assuming I do a few upgrades along the way.
  19. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I usually buy AppleCare on laptops because their parts are more prone to failure. Just about every Apple laptop I've owned since around 2001 has needed an optical drive replacement so in that regard, it practically paid for itself every time.

    Essential for Mac Pros though? Hard to say. My 2008 Mac Pro has had ZERO problems since the day I bought it new in 2009 (picked it up as an EOL right as the 2009 models were introduced) and its AppleCare expires in 3 weeks. But on the other hand, if major parts DO fail, they're not exactly cheap.

    I think you'd get pretty decent mileage out of it. I do video editing and compositing professionally on a 2008 8-core and it's still great machine, even today. As long as that 2010 is in good condition, it's a bargain, IMHO.
  20. firedownunder macrumors regular


    May 5, 2011
  21. zeypher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    Incredibly helpful comments, thanks!

    I'm leaning more towards picking it up. This thread has answered a lot of my questions, and corrected a few of my assumptions. Here's my reasoning:

    - I don't necessarily need the portability of an MBP. Unless those of you involved in film/video could speak to why it would be better for this particular area of work.

    - Mac Pro wins out for power, upgradeability, and longevity.

    - It's a rare chance to pick up a relatively new MP for $1000 less.

    I feel like I'm missing something, but the power, upgradeability, and how long it will last me is a huge plus.

    Any other comments feel free to chime in, I want to make the most educated decision I can. Otherwise I'll let ya'll know how it goes.

  22. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have both a Mac Pro and MBP (similar vintage). I will say that up until more recently with the newer quad-core MBPs, MBPs were limited in terms of raw power for professional content creation (especially when rendering). The MBPs of today are far more usable in that regard, although as an editor, I still wouldn't consider them to be desktop replacements if I was faced with choosing one or the other.

    The only real con with picking that used machine up versus an Apple refurb of the same spec would be warranty. If the owner didn't buy AppleCare, you would inherit the machine as-is. While Mac Pros are generally reliable machines (mine hasn't given me any problems), there's always a risk involved when buying out of warranty.
  23. zeypher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    So is there no hope of maintaining a MP outside of AppleCare without it costing an arm and a leg? I guess I'm back to making a decision since the AppleCare issue is a big one.

    This has me also thinking about the timing and product cycle for the Mac Pro. Would a refurb cost $2000 when a new MP is released? I'm reading a refresh drops in March, others are saying July/August. I guess we're going into a grey area though.
  24. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Well do ya.... punk:confused: Clint Eastwood should have marketed life insurance after those stupid films. Also I'm not old enough to have seen them when they initially came out. I just know the references.

    I haven't used it either. It would have been helpful on a G4 I owned, but that was a really long time ago (2003 maybe, display problems, dead charger, hard drive, optical drive, *facedesk*). I think its value depends on the machine it's applied to. The parts are exceptionally expensive though, which is why I tend to be picky on what I'll spend for a used machine.

    I don't buy CL computers much, because I'd want to see it stress tested given the lack of any kind of warranty. People post some remarkably stupid things trying to sell computers. I browse it in case I'm interested in anything. I see people offering G5s for over $1000 at times while labeling them as mac pros:rolleyes:. I see people asking over $2k for 2008 models. Again :rolleyes:. Another amusing thing is when people try to define the condition of a mac pro by its cosmetic appearance.

    If I was selling a computer there, I'd stress test it first. I can do without angry phone calls or emails if something just happens to go out right after they purchase it. Something like a combination of Prime 95, the apple hardware test, and a few cycles of memtest can pretty much identify problems. The whole point of that kind of testing is to reveal flaws by hammering whatever piece of hardware is being tested.

    If we see a refresh, it'll be Sandy Bridge E which could come anytime March or after. July/August is Ivy Bridge for the other computers. It means nothing to you. It's important how you want to use this machine. Don't buy an 8 core unless you can make use of 8 cores. The 6 core worked out a little better either way simply because it's clocked quite high.
  25. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    My mac pro has had NO problems whatsoever for the entire life of its warranty. It is a Mac Pro 3,1 2008 model. Applecare will expire in 5 days. It started shutting down after a few minutes of use today! I took it in and they are going to run tests and possibly replace the power supply and the graphics card. Would have been about $800 if I didn't buy applecare. Damn good thing to have!!

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