Photo Classroom: What to do without Mac Pro? Need ideas!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wvanbeckum, May 14, 2012.

  1. wvanbeckum macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2011
    So I manage a photography lab at a high end photographic education center.

    We currently have 2008 Mac Pro's in our lab, but they're getting a little pokey, especially when we're running Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc... at the same time.

    We've been thinking about upgrading for about a year now, but we've been waiting for the new Mac Pro which may or may not be happening. So I've been thinking about other options in case apple kills the Mac Pro.

    We've talked about iMacs, however I can't imagine using iMac screens for high quality photo editing. We use NEC MultiSync LCD monitors which are incredible. And there is no room on the desks for both the iMac and the LCD.

    So here is my (half baked) solution that I need advice on... Buy iMacs and put them under the desks... run a mirrored display up to the NEC monitors on the desk's and disable the iMac's monitor with some kind of third party software or code... I would build a cage of some kind around the iMac so that it didn't get kicked, but the ports and fans were accessible.

    What I need to know is... am I crazy? I hate having to come up with "ghetto" fixes like this, but apple leaves us no choice if they kill the Mac Pro. Does anyone have a better idea? I'm all ears!
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    What about adding more RAM to the current Mac Pros? What GPUs do you use in them?

    As for your idea, it might work, but you could also look into the Mac mini, unless the lack of a good GPU is limiting.
  3. wvanbeckum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2011
    We have 6gb of Ram currently, 2 x 2.8 Quad Core Intel Xeon... We're just getting to the point where there are enough aspects of the computers that is out of date (graphics card, lack of thunderbolt, etc...)

    I've thought about just updating the graphics cards, but there are going to be other things that will become obsolete (mainly the processor) and I don't want to keep pumping money into these machines as they age...

    Also, the new i7 processors are blazing fast, and since we have the reputation of being "cutting edge", older processors and computers hurt our image.
  4. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    See what happens with the Mac Mini. If those go quad with discrete GPU, they would work as replacements probably (especially with SSD.)

    But honestly, you could buy the Mac Pros out today and you'd be just fine.
  5. simsaladimbamba, May 14, 2012
    Last edited: May 14, 2012


    Nov 28, 2010
    But 6 GB RAM is quite low for running those applications at the same time. I know it is only DDR2 RAM and will probably be a bit expensive, but you could give one of your MPs a try? Your model ranks in the same GeekBench score area as a current i7 iMac:

    Anyway, I guess refurbished 2010 MPs are out of line too?
  6. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    6GB RAM is definitely too little to run all those apps at once. Max out RAM, still cheaper than changing the machine for a top end iMac that will just about go toe to toe on the Mac Pros without the added benefits (more storage, better screens, etc)
  7. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    the imac gpu is still mediocre especially compared to the newest ones that are hitting the market.

    Thunderbolt is 100% meaningless there, and the new mac pros don't have it anyway. That imac idea sounds kind of bad. Here's something that I don't understand. Why are you trying to run all of that at once? That would have sucked back in 2008 almost as much as it would today. I understand ram is cost prohibitive on those models. The graphics cards of today are a bit faster, but not as much as you think. You're comparing imacs. They use mobile gpus putting them a generation or more behind the mac pro level ones. This means your gap isn't as wide as you seem to think. I have a feeling the main issue is ram, considering that properly outfitted, those machines are not actually slow.

    Now regarding the mac pro rumors, they're not worth your attention until Apple does something.

    It sounds like you'd spend quite a lot for a poor return. I'd wait for the 2012 models. The 2012 minis with 16GB of ram might suffice depending on the resolution of the footage and what they are actually doing. I wouldn't ever suggest this prior to seeing them tested. The way you're considering it, it's going to be expensive, and you won't get much in return over what you have today. In fact it's one of the worst ideas I've ever seen:p, and I think it's just driven by desperation. As a temporary solution, I would suggest that they not try to run application at once. 6GB was terrible 4 years ago.

    Anyway Apple didn't treat us very well on mac pros the last couple cycles. Wait and see what they do this time.
  8. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Or just put PS on a windows box under the desk an move on...
  9. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm not a fan of your 'put the iMac under the desk' idea.
    It seems really wasteful.

    I'd at least upgrade the ram in 1 of the MP and see if that improves things.

    Or look for refurbished Mac Pros.

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