Pay a few more dollars for the MacPro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Hankcah, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. Hankcah macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    Need help weighing pros/cons and just venting my overthinking.

    I use my current MacBook Pro every single day, since 2010, for work. It's pretty solid except for the mini-dvi connection is weak and makes the screen flicker. Anyways...I'd want to hook up an extra screen but the USB to video doesn't cut it.

    New MBP is $1999 for the bottom end (15 inch) or $1900 with Student Discount.
    However, I could get a refurbished Mac Pro for $2600. Or a new one for $2800 with student discount. (And these prices will drop when the new MP or MBP come out too.)

    So for a few hundred dollars ($600ish) more I could have the infamous Mac Pro, instead of the MacBook Pro. My current laptop has lasted me 5 years, so I'd think the MacPro would last be at least 8+. (with RAM and SSD upgrades.) Also, from what I see, many people are selling the MacPros for a few hundred under what retail is at. Seems to hold it's value a bit more. But then again $2800 for a 2013 computer makes me snicker.

    I'm on my machine 10-12 hours a day. I could use more real estate. However, I'm not a developer, nor do graphic arts on it. I do some photography but it's just for fun. If I do need to work at a different location I can keep either my old MacBook Air or current MacBook Pro.

    I wish Apple would update the MacBook Pro to black or space gray. Or even make an update to the MacPro. I feel one of those may be my deciding factor.

    Would you make the jump to the MacPro? Is it crazy to have a powerhouse like the MP when the MBP will do just fine? Are there any other factors I should consider?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    To be honest it sounds like you don't need portability and you don't neeed a mac pro by any stretch of the imagination, so it seems the 5K iMac was made with you in mind, make sure you get a 2TB Fusion or an SSD option and you'll be good to go.
  3. a7thton macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2015
    One: This just sounds like a portability issue. If you aren't using the MBP as a portable device, then go Mac Pro. Otherwise...

    Two: I have heard anecdotal evidence that the new Mac Pros aren't well made. Please note I have zero experience with them, but, again, I have heard many Apple/tech people state on podcasts that they are disappointed with their Mac Pros.
  4. Hankcah thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    For some reason, I've never wanted an iMac. Seems it dates the soonest, and I'm just waiting for them to design a completely different system. And being stuck with that one display, while amazing, limits me even more. And I couldn't just pick it up and go like a laptop, and heck, even the MacPro if needed. The 1TB Fusion is a good deal for only $90 more and $180 for 16GB of RAM is good. But for the same price, it could be a MacBook Pro.

    I already have a 27inch monitor which I could hook up to the thunderbolt video and be where I want to be, and speed is decent.....I don't think I'll be happy with the iMac. I'm in a 2.4 i5 processor now. And just for 2.8 i5 doesn't seem like a big step up. I already have a nice screen, even though you have to get the cable just right, it seems I already have an iMac. Fusion 1TB drive would be cool, but I could also get a fancy SSD and call it a day. iMacs don't tickle my fancy. But it did get me thinking more about it.

    Why can't apple just make the perfect computer for me? lol
  5. Hankcah thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    It's rare that I'd use the MBP for what it is. But if my internet goes out, then yes I'd go to the coffee shop. If I go with the MacPro I'd sell either my MBA or MBP. If I went with the nMBP then I can sell both and it would be slightly cheaper overall.

    What podcasts did you hear this on? I'm interested.
  6. Samuelsan2001, Oct 21, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015

    Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Most iMacs are in use for between 5 and 8 years from what I can tell on here, better than I see on the macbook pro forums, you get desktop class processors (and between 2010 and now the processors have changed a lot clock speed means very little, yours is a dual core i5 from 2010 benchmarking on geekbench at around 4000 last years quadcore i5 imac got around 10,000 in the same benchmark its 2.5 x as fastand thsi years models aren't benched yet...and the i7 BTO imacs beat the nMP in benchmarks) and better mobile graphics options than the macbooks (not that you need them) and as you say the best built in computer screen available, you can add another screen or another 2 no issues at all.

    RAM is user upgradeable to 64GB on the latest models at much less than the apple upgrades, the 1TB fusion only has a 24GB SSD portion on the new models I can only reccomend the 2TB or 3TB for the 128Gb SSD, I would go with full SSD (512GB) and external storage myself anyway.

    As you say the only issue I can see would be portability but thats why you keep a laptop.
  7. mdindestin macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Northwest Florida
    It sounds to me like youd be happier with a new MBP. You can ebay your old one. Use the 27" monitor you already have for imac like computing at your desk.
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Well, a new MBP will have 2x thunderbolt/MiniDP ports and can drive 2 external screens.

    I think 5 years is a reasonable aspiration - but longer than that and you'll hit question marks over whether OS X 10.17 "Worlds largest ball of twine (just off I87 in Power Cable, Nebraska)" will even run on it, or whether anybody makes a Thunderbolt 2 to USB 5.2 connector etc. Also, its anybody's guess but I don't see RAM requirements skyrocketing any time soon, so I suspect 16GB will be enough for a while.

    Would you make the jump to the MacPro? Is it crazy to have a powerhouse like the MP when the MBP will do just fine? Are there any other factors I should consider?[/QUOTE]

    Well, its your money... Just bear in mind that the Mac Pro's strengths are the (supposed) stability of Xeon processors and ECC RAM when doing 4-day-long renders, and for pro software that makes full use of multi-cores, hyperthreading and offloads processing to the the twin GPUs. It's not gonna blow your socks off for your everyday workload.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy a MP right at the moment unless it was a really good refurb deal, because it is due for an update. If it got a bump I might consider it.

    The iMac appeal at the moment is that nothing else has a 5k display - but I wouldn't join that club unless I could afford an all-SSD version.

    There's a lot to be said for the rMBP: you can always put it on a stand and use an external keyboard and (on the current model) 2 external displays, and its still nice to have all your apps, settings and regularly-used files already on your laptop, rather than having to sync everything before a trip. Also, your 2010 MBP is going to start feeling the lack of things like USB3 soon.

    Performance wise: there haven't been night-and-day improvements in CPU power since 2010, but you can fit more in a laptop without melting it. The biggest impact you'll see in general use is the speed of having a SSD as a system disc (if you haven't already slapped one in your Macbook Pro).

    Yup - a nice little Mac mini-tower with an i7, a domestic desktop GPU would keep a lot of us happy for the next 10 years, provided Apple didn't mind turning the Mac into a loss-making hobby.
  9. a7thton macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2015
    One that comes to mind is Leo over at This Week in Tech. He had a terrible experience with his Mac Pro.

    The guys on the Accidental Tech Podcast have been critical about the design of the case...
  10. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    Check out the benchmarks. The latest rev of 5k iMacs outperforms low end Mac Pros for just about everything you're doing. There would be no advantage for you buying a Mac Pro, over an iMac, unless you needed to drive more than three 4k/5k displays at once, and then you'd want to start bumping the specs of the Mac Pro a bit.

    The low-end Mac Pro is worth the price of admission, especially with the edu discount, for the gorgeous screen alone.

    Option 1 - Buy a Mac Pro that will be slower than an iMac, for what you do, and then spend as much as you just spent on the Mac Pro to buy a screen that won't be as good as the iMac.
    Option 2 - Just buy an iMac.

    Option 1 is twice the cost, for about the same performance. Is that where you're headed?
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    If I were you I would get a nice cheap 2012 Mac Pro which gives you options expandability wise. The nmp is a great little machine but it wasn't really what most were expecting from Apple for the price.
  12. El_Kritiko macrumors newbie


    Oct 19, 2015
    In my opinion, a Mac Pro has the better heat handling. Under heavy duty the iMac would throttle the CPU to reduce the heat.
  13. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    But that's a pretty rare event, for most of us. My 2012 3.4 i7 handles most of what I throw at it with ease, with minimal fan noise or throttling. Back when I was downloading and converting bulk videos from various online sources, I'd get a bit of this when Handbrake had 20 or so movies converting in the background in the queue, while I was working on pretty intense stuff in the foreground, I would notice quite a bit of fan noise as well as high utilization across the board. That's about the only time it's been an issue with me. And there's an easy fix for the, don't have your massive handbrake queue churning while you;re doing important stuff. But again, that's about the only time I really noticed throttling or excessive fan noise. It's nothing to worry about. YMMV.


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