Should I go all out and get the $3300 8 core Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rich2k4, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. rich2k4 macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Ok let me explain my situation to you guys.

    I currently use a complete POS HP Pavillion computer, that is seriously on it's last legs.

    The specs are......wait for it......

    Pentinum 3 800 Mhz
    320 mb ram
    2 hardrives, one iks a 60 GB and the other is a 30 GB
    some crap graphics card, etc

    it used to have Windows Me on it, until i upgraded to windows xp. It also used to only have 128mb ram, and a 30 gb hardrive, but sometime around 4-5 years ago i added more memory and another hardrive.

    This computer has lasted me around 8-9 years, it was the first and only computer i have ever bought. I have used it everyday since i got it. I have mostly used it for internet, music, videos, occasional graphic design, etc. nothing heavy.

    Well now it's to the point where every little thing i do causes the pc to hang for a few minutes before it does what i want it to do. I am in need of a new computer.

    I have wanted to get a mac for many years now, always reading about how great they are, trying it for myself a few times, and liking it. So i am now ready to purchase a brand new Mac.

    I am not like many of you here, i do not purchase a new computer every few years. I try to milk a pc for as long as i possibly can, and want it to last for at least 8-9 years again.

    so, i am thinking of getting the best possible mac i can afford which happens to be $3300 model Mac Pro, with the 8 cores. I want something that will last me that 8-9 years so i think it is a good idea to get the "best" right now, and people i have asked have said that this computer would probably last even longer.

    should i go all out?
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    While you will have people stop by and say, the Quad core would be enough, the doubling of RAM in the Octo will keep the machine around much longer.
  3. macjram macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2008
    I think its fairly unneccessary for you to have all that power if all you're gonna do is "internet, music, videos, occasional graphic design, etc. nothing heavy."

    but I honestly wouldn't know what to recommend haha. I mean if that verrrrrry outdated computer could almost suffice your needs, then you don't need to go ALL OUT yanno?
  4. rich2k4 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    i mean i don't have to, but i could.

    another thing i forgot to mention. I am not interested in the Imac. I want a tower, for the reason of upgrading memory and adding hardrives in the future. I am not a fan of the all in one thing.
  5. zorahk macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2008
    North Korea
    Well 8 cores certainly is more future-proof than 4. Also get like 12GB of ram to start.
  6. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I just recently moved my G4 Quicksilver to a different location/use. That baby lasted almost 8 years for me. Its still being used for Photoshop. Were still running older G5's at work. Its safe to say that any decent MacPro will last for your needs :)
  7. 11800506 macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area
    If you must get a tower (even though the iMac will more than meet your needs) then go for the Quad core. You'll save a ton of money and will be very quick. However, even the previous gen Quad core (refurb here) will be PLENTY for anything you do. If you must have a Mac Pro, I think you should get the refurb as it'll be even cheaper than just a quad core current gen.
  8. robindahlia789 macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2008
    get the old gen quad core and a nice apple display =)
    and save alot more
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Don't waste your money on the Mac Pro. You'll be further ahead by buying the linked refurb Mac, putting the savings in a savings account, and replacing the iMac every three years.

    You figure that by spending $3300 you can buy a new Mac Pro and have it last 8-9 years. If you instead buy an iMac today, and put the remaining money in the bank at 5% interest, and buy a new iMac every three years, that same amount of money will last you 12 years. That's a 33-50% increase in the life of your computer, for the same amount of money. And that doesn't even include the money you could make back by selling the old iMacs as you replace them. If you factor that in, I'll wager you could make that $3300 last you more like 15 years!

    And you get newer technology, newer software, etc. each time you upgrade. If you decided to upgrade the OS and iLife to match, you'd be spending more than $1000 extra just for software than you would by buying a new computer more frequently, which would include that software.

    Poor financial decision any way you cut it, imo.
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I could not agree more but frankly I don't tell people how to spend their money and if I do, I give them painfully bad advice. So OP, yes, spend $3300 on the MP.
  11. The Red Wolf macrumors regular

    The Red Wolf

    Apr 13, 2004
    Occi Dens Pacifica

    I just purchased the 2.26 GHz MacPro. I love it. 16 logical cores. My productivity went through the roof. 1.2 T of HD space by raiding two 640s together for space. 6 GB RAM, Airport installed. 3X GT120 - 1X 4870. I have a 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro... This is like having 8 of them in terms of processing power. Have I maxed it out? No. Can I? Sometimes. But it is the difference between 3 hours for 1 audio unit vs. 3 hours for 16 audio units... Simple math. You may not be using a MacPro for all it can do all the time, but when you need to grind through video encoding, HD rendering or Audio units, you can in record time. If you are not hurting after spending the funds, go for it and future proof yourself a Mac. Can't wait for Snow Leopard to see my video cards sing.
  12. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I wish I had the dicipline to get a computer every 8 or 9 years. I get several new a year ( ! ).

    I would recommend getting the best you can afford right now because they do tend to last longer in the terms of useability.
  13. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    What about a used older 2008 8 core or 4 core. Should be able to get an older 8 core for close to 2000 and it will be under warranty, probably.

    If you get the quad, it is possible to add another cpu to make it an octo for the earlier ones. Plus you could do it to keep your system current in a couple years.

    I understand your wanting of a tower, I have a mac pro for professional home use, not making money for the most part. I have the monitors and HD's from a pc and didn't want an all in one.
  14. rich2k4 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    thanks guys.

    i'm thinking now that the regular quad core is probably enough for me.
  15. duky macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Carolina
    Personally, if you have the money to go all out and buy that computer and not regret it (financially) I think you should do it. I'd say don't worry about upgrading the RAM just yet. The stock amount of RAM is perfectly fine for what you do and if you're keeping it for years and years then you'll be ok because those components will only get cheaper. I think the 8-cores will be more future-proof than the quad-core obviously but if a P3 has suited you fine until now, then an quad-core will suit you just fine in 8 years. The Mac Pro is the mot future-proof computer you can get as you can constantly upgrade the monitor, internal specs etc without having to buy a new computer so I think you're spot on. Having said that, describing what you do the quad would probably be just fine as well.

    But if you have the money, why not be even more ready to take on the future?
  16. waiwai macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    i think it would be a mistake to spend money on something you do not need. Judging from your previous computer u don't do anything hardware intensive. with that being said. spending all that money on a "pro" machine just because u can is the dumbest way to spend your money especially on something you do not need. with your hp... i dont see what u could be doing that would need a Mac Pro... word processing? mp3s? instant messaging? leisure gaming? you dont need a mac pro for any of that. They're not all of a sudden going to make checking email, running word, or doing msn or listening to itunes require a beast machine to accomplish in the future...

    regardless, buying a computer to last 8-9 year is unheard of these days. intel is currently working on 8 cores on a single chip, and judging from news reports they're coming very soon (we're talking in the next year or 2 - feel free to look it up). So buying the most "expensive" mac out there isn't going to accomplish much as far as getting something to last you 8-9 years. there's absolutely no use in buying such a machine in your situation. heck even a dual core will be enuff for you! come on you survived on a p3 for how long now??? save the money for something u really need...
  17. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    I'm in a similar situation... starting graduate school in bioinformatics, so I'll be doing quite a bit of programming in addition to the more mundane uses. I was originally going to go all out and get the 8-core (like you, mostly because of future-proofing), but now I'm leaning against it. I'll tell you why...

    Just the price difference alone between the stock 8-core and 4-core machines could almost pay for a new (non-aluminum) Macbook. Another way to put that into perspective is that you are essentially trading 4-cores (and some RAM expandability) for enough money to buy a new 24" LED cinema display to go along with that quad core. :)

    Another consideration for me is that most of the heavy-lifting will probably be done in whatever lab(s) I end up in... so I wouldn't see the full benefit of all 8-cores often, if at all, while at home. Plus, like others have said... if you save a little money now, that can go towards savings and helping buy a newer computer more often.

    I have to be honest, I really want the 8-cores mostly because of the "cutting-edge" factor... and it's funny, because I build my own PC systems and I never go for cutting edge with them. I always choose components a few steps below the top-end, knowing that 1) there's always something bigger and better coming out in a month, and 2) I feel like I'm getting more than adequate bang for my buck. But with the Mac Pro, for some reason I can't help lusting after the the biggest and the brightest. :)

    I know it's hard going against your heart, but sometimes listening to your head (and other knowledgeable Apple people) is not only the right thing to do, but the best thing to do too.

    That said, it's your money... you saved/earned it. Do it with it however you like. Your fellow MR members aren't your parents, so do what you want. Just feel good knowing that you really have gotten good advice and can at least make a more informed decision now. :)
  18. intel macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2005
    go all out.. not because i did too but to help the economy. the quad core is only the if you dont have the money or credit to get the full 8 cores..

    or, if you think u can wait a little, wait for a dual 6 core amd puter..
  19. chameleon81 macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2006
    Why would you pay top money right now and try to justify it in 9 years. Get something mid range. Put the rest of the money on savings. It will help you to buy new computers every 3-4 years. ( If you sell the old ones of course )

    By doing so

    You will save money at the beginning

    You will have machines with warranties
  20. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Considering Apple's policy of screwing their customers, I would not recommend buying any Apple product and expecting to use it for 8 to 9 years.
  21. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    This is such great advice, OP. Your plan as it stands is totally illogical - it'll cost you money.
  22. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    You're basing this off of phasing out legacy support for hardware right? This guy is using XP, so it obviously doesn't bother him to use an 8 year old OS.

    OP, get the quad core and save the leftovers. By the time 8 cores really catches up to help you, the technology out there is going to be such that it's because your computer simply wasn't made for some of the demands in the current time. For instance, crappy integrated graphics vs. HD video. You can have all the processor power you want, but what it really needs is graphics power. Any problem for a quad core in the future will also likely be a problem for an 8-core monster.
  23. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    The difference is XP will be supported until 2014, while newer software from Apple is dropped after two years.

    On top of that, apparently hardware sold 3 years ago is considered 'legacy,' deserving of nothing but sneers.
  24. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    Apple changed between two entirely different processor architectures. It's understandable they won't have the same type of legacy support that x86 faithful Windows will have.

    And who sneers at old hardware? Lot's of people still lovingly hold on to old imacs, powerbooks, and G_'s.

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