New Mac Pro, buy or wait?

Feek

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
154
80
Firstly, I apologise for this thread in advance. I mod another forum and I know what my response would be if someone asked the same question.

I have an early 2008 eight core Mac Pro with an 8800 graphics card, SSD and 10Gb RAM. Just under three weeks ago my house suffered a near lightning strike and all the computer equipment was destroyed along with all my amateur radio gear.

My insurance claim has gone through and the bottom line is that later this week I will have the cash to go and buy a new 12 core Mac Pro along with a couple of 27" ACDs.

But with all the rumours about new models and new screens, is now a wise time to buy or should I wait? I appreciate that a definitive reply is impossible to give and if I were answering this question for someone else I'd say "If the current Mac Pro spec meets your requirements then you should buy now or you could be in a perpetual state of waiting".

Of course that's easy to say to someone else but now I'm in that situation, I really don't know what to do.

The current spec will suit my needs perfectly but I don't like the idea that I could buy an expensive system only to find it effectively a year out of date in a very short time.

The reason for buying a Mac Pro as opposed to an iMac is simple - the expandability and longevity. I don't 'need' all that processing power but I'll be buying a system that's going to last me a good number of years so I'll be getting the best I can afford.

What would you do in my situation?
 

johnnymg

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2008
1,316
6
snip...................
What would you do in my situation?
Do you need a powerhouse right now? i.e. for biz use.

If so, then you may not have much choice but to purchase either a temporary used MP, a new (current) MP, or even a temporary imac.

JMO: The chance of a really new MP (with new SB processors) is pretty slim for the near future. Best guess (mine) is >Jan 2012.

Edit: There is a small chance of an interim update with TB. This only makes sense if Apple does release a new Cinema Display. I'd put this option as unlikely.

good luck with whatever you get
JohnG
 
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Macsonic

macrumors 68000
Sep 6, 2009
1,525
43
Currently you have a Macbook Pro and Mac Mini? Maybe temporarily just make use of what you have for now and just wait for the new Mac Pros to come out. My guess is also around early 2012 or maybe last quarter of 2011 for the new pros. Time flies fast.
 
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nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
The next suitable parts for the MP are on the LGA2011 socket, and it will be awhile yet before they release it seems (see here).

IF they can rush it to maintain their existing schedule, then they're due to release Q4 2011. IF the article is right and Intel can't meet the existing deadline, then it will be pushed to Q1 2012 (could be as late as last weekday of March 2012, and still make the quarter).

So we're talking about 5 months + time to get MP manufactured and shipping minimum (typically = 13 week lead time = 1Q), which would put shipping systems in March 2012. June 2012 if the parts don't release until then end of Q1 2012 (11 months out). This is based on Apple not getting parts early, but given the current indications and 2010 models (Apple didn't get parts early for the 2010's), then early parts access for Apple doesn't seem likely IMO.

IF you can hold out with an existing system, then it would be in your interest to do so IMO (performance gain could be worth it, and if not <i.e. too expensive>, any remaining 2010's would be sold at a discount). But if you can't wait that long, then go ahead and buy now.

At least you have a little more information to base a decision on anyway... ;)
 
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sbb155

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2005
495
5
Wait for sure
There are plenty of new processors available right now (3.2 hex for example) that have dropped in price
MR buyer's guide suggests not to buy
no doubt. wait, all the evidence says wait
 
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macpro2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2005
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Wait...i think a lot of us are seeing Mac pros resale drop significantly lately...hard for me to fault my 06 since I put an SSD in there. Never will go back to a boot HDD.
 
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jwire4

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2010
232
2
I made the decision in 2010 to wait until after WWDC to get the new Mac Pro. What a stupid mistake that was! The problem with buying a computer is that there will ALWAYS be something new. We'll see a new Mac Pro, but we don't know when. If you want to wait, wait until the end of Summer. If Sept 1 comes and there is no new Mac Pro, I would say you're good to buy one ;)
 
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CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
Here's how I see it... Buy now if you need the machine now and can't wait several months for new Mac Pros to ship. Inevitably, there will always be bigger, better and faster.

If you don't mind waiting, by all means, hold out for Sandy Bridge. But that's months away...
 
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Feek

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
154
80
Thanks for the replies.

I should add that my sig is a little out of date, I no longer have the MacBook Pro and the Mini was also taken out by the lightning strike.

It's not a business tool, my work life doesn't depend on it but I have no working Macs in the house right now, I'm making do with my iPad.
 
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Amethyst

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
528
20
Same situation here. I have 2k8 8core 2.8 and recently sale it (at 2200). Now i'm looking a new mac pro. Although iMac performance meets my requirement. I choose to wait, when consider a new mac pro may come with new case redesign, thunderbolt, and sandy bridge-e. And all these new feature is un-upgradeable.

Now I choose to bought a very cheap sandy-bridge i5 pc install Lion. And use it as my temp mac. (cost me around 300, quad i5 2300, h61 mb, 4gb ddr3)

And then when a new mac pro come out. I have a plan to install lion server (50 buck from app store) on this pc to serve my home.

Very happy to wait my next mp.
 
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MythicFrost

macrumors 68040
Mar 11, 2009
3,929
38
Australia
Is it possible for you to buy a 27" iMac and two 27" ACDs and use the iMac until the new Mac Pro's come out and then sell the iMac for a loss of a few hundred, and then buy the Mac Pro? You'd have the screens, and a decent system for the time being.

Or, just waiting works too :p
 
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THX1139

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2006
1,928
0
Normally, I would say buy now. But since you don't absolutely need one now and you can get by for awhile on the iPad... then wait. The reason is because I believe that new releases are eminent and I think there is a strong possibility that they will be adding/changing a lot. Probably a newer form factor and definitely Thunderbolt. If none of that is important, then go for what's currently selling. Those are some nice machines, even though they are a bit outdated for the prices. But still, if it were me, I'd wait and get new TB LED displays and a next generation MacPro to run them. :D
 
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johnnymg

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2008
1,316
6
Thanks for the replies.

I should add that my sig is a little out of date, I no longer have the MacBook Pro and the Mini was also taken out by the lightning strike.

It's not a business tool, my work life doesn't depend on it but I have no working Macs in the house right now, I'm making do with my iPad.
OK, then how about a 'temporary' MBA ............ new Sandy Bridge Airs will be released later this week or early next week. That might hold you over until the new MP's are released next year. ???
 
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Feek

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
154
80
I think I'm going to pick up a base 27" iMac and use that until the new Mac Pros are released. Then I can either sell it or pass it onto the family to replace the currently broken Mac Mini. It'll also give me the opportunity to see how I get on with the glossy large screen as I've not used one for an extended period of time yet and have no idea how well it'll work in my environment.
 
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pitt1717

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2007
287
15
this is killing me too. due to my birthday i have a rain check for a mac pro. but want to wait till thunderbolt, sandy bridge etc is in it. just dont know how long this rain check (or me) will last. really hoping for a Aug release
 
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zephonic

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2011
1,173
537
greater L.A. area
I think I'm going to pick up a base 27" iMac and use that until the new Mac Pros are released. Then I can either sell it or pass it onto the family to replace the currently broken Mac Mini. It'll also give me the opportunity to see how I get on with the glossy large screen as I've not used one for an extended period of time yet and have no idea how well it'll work in my environment.
Or you could use the iMac as a display for the new MacPro.
 
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Inconsequential

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
1,977
1
Your looking at Q4 Feek for the SB-E MPs.

Number of delays on both the chipset and CPU front.

Although the roadmap has always said Q4 so not so much delays more than 'it's coming when they said it would'.

If you really need one now buy one.

Otherwise wait with me until Q4 2011, I'll let you order one as the guinea pig before I upgrade mine :p
 
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Feek

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
154
80
Or you could use the iMac as a display for the new MacPro.
I could but I won't for a couple of reasons - It'd be a waste of an iMac and the two monitors aren't the same height so they'd look a little odd sitting next to each other.

Otherwise wait with me until Q4 2011, I'll let you order one as the guinea pig before I upgrade mine :p
You've only had yours for five minutes, why are you changing already? :p
 
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Inconsequential

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
1,977
1
I could but I won't for a couple of reasons - It'd be a waste of an iMac and the two monitors aren't the same height so they'd look a little odd sitting next to each other.



You've only had yours for five minutes, why are you changing already? :p

If by 5 minutes you mean 1,207,303 minutes (27.5 months), then yes :p

When MacBook Pro's can do what I do quicker than my 125W+ sucking Mac Pro, it's time for an upgrade.

Besides, the 4870 fan is doing my nut in. The 6870 (suspected standard card - with the 6970 being BTO option) uses less power, emits less heat, makes less noise whilst being far faster than my 4870!).

Besides, when Q4 comes around the warranty will expire in 4-5 months by that time, so perfect IMO time to get shot of it.
 
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Feek

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
154
80
My word doesn't time fly. I didn't realise you'd had it so long.
 
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Feek

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
154
80
I've just guaranteed that the new Mac Pros will be released next week because I've ordered an iMac!
 
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johnnymg

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2008
1,316
6
I've just guaranteed that the new Mac Pros will be released next week because I've ordered an iMac!
Very funny................ :)

I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised at the power of the new imac. Let us know what think of it.

cheers
JohnG
 
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deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,635
1,554
The next suitable parts for the MP are on the LGA2011 socket, and it will be awhile yet before they release it seems (see here).
Why is the doom in the article relevant? The article itself points out that the X79 is similar, but different than the Platsburg -A,-B,-D,-T options. Apple isn't likely to use the "i7 Extreme" version of LGA2011 offerings. So unless they are saying all the Plastburg chips are also screwed, it looses lots of relevance to the previous "slide to 2012" rumors. Also, Apple isn't likely to use the -D and -T either.

There are 4 drive sled slots in a Mac Pro. The -A model with just 4 6Gbps lanes is an extremely good match to that and it controls cost ( which Apple is going to do to keep margins up. ). On the -A model there are still 8 SATA ports just only 4 at the 6Gbps speed. The allusion to Comptex boards with 14 SATA sockets is a problem for other vendors...... seriously, the Apple's design would likely only use 1/2 that number maximum ( 4 sleds , two external drives slots , 1 "extra". Maybe 2 extra if there in the reference design and it is harder to take out than leave in. ).

Previously, Apple has also dropped SAS drives in the build to order options in the Mac Store so the -B option would be on shaky grounds also for inclusion. ( SSD drives deliver better bang-for-the-buck in many workstation situations. ). There are PCI-e v3 slots so folks can add a RAID card if really need SAS connections to an external SAS/SATA box. Apple doesn't "need" it in the store BTO configs.

If the -D and -T versions have problems like the x79, it is likely a non issue for a Mac Pro.

I can see the -D and -T sliding till 2012 but Apple isn't likely to use them. They also don't need the "scaled back" X79 because they weren't using it in the first place.

A 'C' stepping for the CPU isn't particularly surprising either since PCI-e v3 controller is part of at least the package if not the die. v3 testing finalization has slid till Summer-Fall 2011, so adjustments along the way are not necessarily a big problem. Those can be fixes which everyone doing v3 stuff are adjusting to also. PCI-v 3 went final back in November.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/...Group_Publishes_PCI_Express_3_0_Standard.html


and there are number designs in the queue ( Cadence quotes 50 using their IP ).

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/..._Cadence_Demos_PCI_Express_3_0_in_Action.html
 
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