New 6-core or stick with MBP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by aloshka, May 29, 2012.

  1. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    This isn't another "should I buy now or wait" post. If it makes sense, I will buy now. But your experiences will be greatly appreciated!

    I currently have a macbook pro 15 2.5 with a 480GB SSD and 16GB of RAM. I also have 2 daisy changed Thunderbolt displays. A dual-monitor solution is a must. I work primarily in Windows, but love the MAC OS mostly for the availability of simple software like OmniGraffle (visio sucks), OmniPlan, etc. Also, I have everything in virtual machines anyway, so it really doesn't matter what the host OS is. The virtuals can be complex, like for instance for one of my clients I am running a full SAP server to develop on.

    I've asked this in other threads, but I figured asking in the MP category would be better as you all probably own Mac Pros.

    I am finding the MBP lacking. Having 2-3 VMs open at a time (somewhat typical in my workflow) the fans rev up and stay revved until I'm done working. Average CPU temp is around 84 C. I'm thinking I need a tower instead as I'm starting to need more VMs and more space. I'm wanting the 6-core 3.33 mac pro, will put in 24gb of mem as well as the current SSDs I have and a 480GB PCI ex from OWC. IO is a must as slow IO = time and time for me is money (I get bonuses for finishing things faster).

    I'm also wondering if Ivy Bridge MBP's will be cooler and faster and maybe upgrading to MP would be a mistake.

    But at the same time, I rarely work at the couch, but when I do it's usually non-VM related (responding to emails, etc). Sometimes I will work on simple projects, so portability isn't too big of a deal.

    Would you guys recommend a MP or am I just being overly sensitive to fan noise and can squeeze out more from the laptop when Ivy Bridge comes out. if everything is moving to notebooks and portable devices, maybe I just need to suck it in and just keep working through it.

    For those that have more than one computer (MP + laptop), how do you handle working on two computers (I work one day a week at an office and the rest from my home office)? Obviously I cannot sync virtual machines between locations (they average about 100GB in size), but I can set up a different dev environment at the office w/o issues and code sync is no problem. Or possibly use a laptop at the office but use mac pro at home.

    Money really isn't an issue, although savings will always help. A brand new mac pro 6-core with OWC memory + the PCIEx SSD will run me about 5k. I can settle for dual 24's instead of 27's since I will have to replace monitors (from what i understand the TB monitors won't work with a MP).

    Keeping the current MP, of course, will be much cheaper.
  2. Bill.the.Cat macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2011
    If your main horsepower needs are for VMs and the host OS doesn't matter, here's a suggestion:

    Buy or build whatever machine you want to run your VMs on, run your favorite flavor of Linux on it and your VMs on top. Also set up a VNC server on this machine (most Linux distros include one, you just need to enable it) and then work from your MBP VNCing in whenever you need to work with the VMs.

    This way all of the "heavy lifting" is done on your beefy desktop (really doesn't need to be a Mac Pro) but you have the convenience of virtually "sitting" in front of it via VNC from your MBP client. Whether you're on the couch or at the office you have the same access to your beefy desktop.

    For syncing I use a product called GoodSync. I converted a 1st-gen Apple TV to an SFTP server (running Leopard) which serves as my centralized storage hub and runs 24/7. I installed GoodSync clients on my home desktop, work desktop, and MacBook Air. Whenever a file changes on any of these three machines, it checks with the SFTP server location and then updates if there's a change. That way I have both the most recent versions of each file as well as a Time Machine backup (external HDD on the SFTP server). You could do something similar just using your hypothetical beefy desktop on at home as the centralized storage location, or go with something like a PogoPlug if you don't want to leave your desktop on 24/7. You are only limited by physical storage space and network speeds.

    Just some ideas, hope they give you some interesting options.
  3. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I was in the same situation, working with 3-4 VMs at a time. Nothing is terribly demanding by itself but the sum total of the work was pushing the MBP pretty hard and running the fans a good bit.

    I downsized the MBP to a 13" with 8GB RAM and a 300GB SSD, purely for when I have to be away from the office.

    I moved the bulk of my work to a 6 core MP with 16GB RAM and a smaller boot SSD. I keep the VMs on a WD velociraptor drive. I absolutely love this. It's cool, quiet, and I can encode video or whatever I want to do while I work.
  4. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    So you completely know what I'm talking about. And it sounds like the new setup is pretty good. I think I will do the same exact thing. Thanks!!


    I put the order in for a new mac pro 6-core 3.33. Didn't find any on refurb stores.

    Also, 24gb of mem from owc. Thanks again for all your advice!
  5. lewdvig macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    South Pole
    You are going to love it, the difference in real world heavy load perfromance is staggering (I had a MP 1,1 8 core with SSD vs a 2011 i7 15" MBP - so the gap in your case will be much bigger).

    Come back and report your findings. :D
  6. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Definitely will. It's cto but I did overnight shipping. Its saying it will ship Thursday or Friday. I'm excited. Just wondering what monitor(s) are you using?


    Also do you use e iPad at all?
  7. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    I think you made a good decision as well - so much flexibility compared to the other Macintosh products. You could still run Snow Leopard if wanted with not problem, obvious ease of serviceability, dual GbE, etc. It will take enough RAM to do you for the foreseeable future, and the internal hard disk bays are nice.

    I guess the only drawback is that you can't used your TBD and would have to get two ACDs instead.
  8. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Thanks. The PCIex SSD is a must as well. It even outperforms SATA III (6).

    As for the TBD, yeah that really sucks. Although, quite honestly, the pixel pitch is starting to bug me sometimes. I do mostly coding/web development and enterprise level apps. Things are small, especially in windows. Upping the DPI is not an option because that screws up the designs for people with normal DPIs.

    I am definitely excited, I think this is a good decision as well.
  9. elvetio macrumors member

    May 29, 2012
  10. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    I can't wait to get the 6 core processor. I am waiting to see if the price will go down. You could also go my route and buy the base pro and install a 6 core processor for a lot less.
  11. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    I really wanted to save some money, but I also really want apple care and better resale value.
  12. woody777 macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2012
  13. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    I bought apple care with mine. If there was something that happened I would just stick in the old processor and take it in to the apple store. If it was the processor that took a dump then I would buy a new one which is still less expensive then paying the "apple Tax".. Nothing wrong with what you did. Just what I thought about before buying my MP.

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