New to workstations, have some questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hkhermansen, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. hkhermansen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #1
    Hello! I just registered here after some time reading the forums, and have a few questions about workstations in general and also the Mac Pro.

    Status:
    I'm starting a 5-year mechanical engineering study this fall, and will soon be needing a new computer to be able to run the software i need (Solidworks etc). I'm currently on an early 2011 MacBook Pro 15" running both OSX and Windows 7 (via Bootcamp). A laptop like the Pro though, won't serve my needs when working with solid models and simulation software.

    There is then no doubt in my mind that I want a workstation. And since I already have the MacBook as a PC/Mac to carry with me to school and use at home when I'm not working, a stationary workstation will be the right way to go.

    My options:
    I've always been an Apple person and the Mac Pro has always been the computer i've wanted the day i would need to upgrade to a more powerful one. Having used Macs for the last 5 1/2 years i have encountered quite a few problems though, and i'm not really sure if i would have encountered more or less using PC's. Hard drive on a 17" MacbookPro was ruined, battery grew big like a balloon, i got that "sudden black screen problem" on a 2010 13" MacBook, and half a year after i got this 15" the Logic board was ruined. These are not really huge problems, but still worth noticing.

    The other option would be something like the Thinkstation from Lenovo. It also looks pretty cool in my opinion, meaning that i think the Mac Pro looks the best, but the Lenovo is a good 2nd choice in that department. The important thing for me though, is to get a good machine at a reasonable price. I'm also not that much into all that computer technical stuff, but i know about Intel sandy bridge and ivy bridge. And if i'm not mistaken, the Thinkstation E31 (entry level workstation) is delivered with Xeon E3 V2 processors which is the new ivy bridge(?). I would also welcome any other workstation suggestions as i know very little, and the E31 is one of the first i found.

    Here is a video of the E31 if you haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfXagSAFswg

    The Mac Pro also has not been updated in awhile, but i am willing to wait a few months if thats what i got do do to know if they are updating it in the near future (early 2013 or something like that). Another problem with the Mac Pro is that it's probably a bit pricey. I know you get what you pay for when you buy from Apple, but yeah, i'm a student.

    I think i'll leave it at that, and hope to get some valuable advice!
     
  2. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    I would go with a Dell Precision

    HP Workstation

    Lenovo Thinkstation

    Mac Pro

    Everything Else

    In that order.

    I can't speak for the Lenovo as far as support goes, but the HP and Dell have U.S based support comparable and in some cases superior to Apple's. And they have great warranties. All are solid machines.
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    Talk to your adviser, and see what they're using at your university.

    Making sure you're compatible with it is in your best interest (i.e. they can open your assignments in order to grade it).

    As per which OS is better, they're pretty close overall in terms of stability (neither Kernel Panics/BSOD's considerably more than the other between Windows and OSX). Linux is good too, but doesn't have the support or professional application suite availability that a paid OS does.

    Another note, is the PC will have additional hardware choices not available for a MacPro, and said hardware can usually be had cheaper.

    Now given you're a student, this would be important IMHO, as student loans are like vampires (they suck your wallet dry and keep doing so for years :eek: :p).
     

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