Should I wait for the new Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by reidgc, May 20, 2013.

  1. reidgc macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
    Hello all,

    I am torn between waiting for the new Mac Pro that could be announced at this year's WWDC or buying a maxed out 27in iMac that is available now.

    My situation: I am an iOS developer that relies on Xcode as well as Eclipse. I develop on a 2009 MacBook Pro that is showing its age. I also own a 2006 iMac, from which I am posting, but anything CPU intensive is out of the question for this ole gal.

    I have come up with this analysis:

    27in iMac with max specifications
    • Available for purchase now
    • Virtually impossible to upgrade hardware in the future

    The next Mac Pro
    • No telling when it will be released
    • Possible to upgrade hardware in the future
    • More powerful than iMac

    Anything I'm failing to take account for?

    I'd certainly appreciate any insight you could give me!

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I would wait until WWDC but after that, I would buy an iMac if the MP isn't announced. It is a shame that Apple can't feel the strain from being a bunch of bastards about updating the MP line.
  3. zarzonis macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    If you need CPU power and want hardware upgrade potentials then buy a hackintosh. Mac Pro machines are good but too overpriced.
    Hackintosh nowadays are reliable, cheap and most important faster than anything from Apple side right now and probably the next generation of Apple products. Hackintosh is what I use now for my projects for 3 years and I had no problem at all. But my hardware is very old now...

    I am also and iOS developer, I and I'll buy an iMac for my projects in the next 2 months. What you need is an iMac 27" with i7 and 680mx. Buy the standard HDD and upgrade to an SSD by yourself which will be faster, cheaper and very easy to change in the future that the one Apple offers. Also upgrade for yourself the Ram to 16 or 32Gb. This machine will definitely meet your needs.
    In case you need more power(which I don't thing so) buy a hackintosh and not a Mac Pro.
    An ideal hackintosh would be
    Intel Core i7 3770K
    32GB Ram
    256 SSD
    2TB HDD
    GTX 680 2Gb or GTX 670 2GB
    650 Watt PSU
    Gigabyte Z77x UP5-TH
    Case of your choice
    Monitor of your Choice
    This build will cost about 1800-2000$ including monitor and case...
  4. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    You think Mac Pro sales are about even right now with last year's even after Apple invoked the Osborne Effect about 12 months ago? And that the EU Markets ban is helping with Mac Pro sales?

    It is extremely likely that Apple knows full well that some customers are leaving (e.g., need to buy now and very limited options to buy in EU; just refurbs in a subset of countries) and that many more a sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to happen.
  5. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Maybe wait what comes up at WWDC if there's a new Mac Pro. If no release of the new Mac Pro comes and your work needs a Mac Pro just get a refurb or used Mac Pro. You can resell your MPro if the new MPro comes out late this year.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    No, I do not think they're the same, not even close. But in lieu of buying a MP people are likely buying iMacs. I know when my 2008 MP goes away it will likely be replaced by an iMac since the pricing has pushed me out of the MP line quite quickly. Even the OP is asking, iMac or MP? So the question is asked, answered, and purchases are made. Apple is not feeling it as much as they should because people are still buying Apple even without the aged MP line being updated.
  7. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands

    The market of pro-users who need all the power of a latest and greatest huge Mac Pro is so small.

    I have a Mac Pro 2008 too and I would like to upgrade. I also am trying to figure out if a current maxxed out iMac will do. Am I a pro-user? Nope, not really. I'm just a huge Mac-fanatic who also loves to fly X-Plane. I just want one computer on my desk: best of all worlds: a Mac Pro.

    I am waiting for WWDC. Do I really expect a new Mac Pro @ the conference? 50-50.
    Maybe we will get informed, somehow. Maybe Tim will talk.
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Are you trying to consolidate down to just one Mac (i.e., retire both MBP and iMac ) or this is just "half" of your overall system set-up that is being upgraded (i.e., you'll strongly desired and/or be required to do development in a mobile settings going forward into the future. )

    In the case of the second, it doesn't make alot of sense to blow significant money on 'future proofing' your desktop set up. A process were offset the laptop and desktop by 2-3 years and steadily swap them for latest tech means can spread out the hardware budget so don't have large bubbles in close proximity. For example 2013 iMac 2015 MBP 2017 iMac 2019 iMac.
    You buy what you need in the future when you need it as opposed to extra spending money now for what you may or may not need in the future.

    In the case of the first, be sure that is what you want to do. If sink all of hardware budget for next couple of years into a stationary Mac, if later need a mobile one you'll have some very significant limitations.

    That the iMac is extensible. Soldered CPU and GPU are a limited subset of what is involved in compiling code. Disk througput is major contributing factor and that isn't impossible to change on an iMac. Impossible isn't as absolute as you make it out to be.

    If Apple "skips" Xeon E5 and goes directly to Xeon E5 v2 there aren't going to be very many CPU 'upgrades' to get for most of the standard configs. Usually a workstation logic board is good for a full tick-tock cycle. If Apple jumps in half way through there aren't going to be any shrink ('tick') improvements coming later. When the "tock" hits the socket is going to change. ( while Haswell E5 is reported to have physical socket 2011 number of pins, it is extremely doubtful that electrically it will be compatible given the switch to DDR4 ).

    For iOS development I wonder what the "maxed out GPU" on an iMac is really buying? (as opposed to a Fusion drive). Going to online Apple store and hitting "max" on every single BTO options is highly dubious. There are some companies that are forced by their internal standards to buy everything on a single purchase order. Those folks pay through the nose for their rigidity.
  9. zarzonis macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    The CPU on iMac is not soldered. So you can change it. I suggested to buy a maxed out GPU because it's soldered and you never know what your needs will be in the near future. On the other hand I think fusion drive is also overpriced for what offers on speed parameter. It's a 128 Flash SSD combined with a 1TB HDD and it's very difficult to change it. With it oh can reach about 350mb write. With the almost same price
    You can buy another 3rd party SSD and archive much better results. Also the 3rd party SSD is very easy to replace it in case that something happens to it or you just want to upgrade to a better one.
  10. karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    For what it's worth, my brother has had problems with his Hackintosh. He went through the careful bit... researching which components to buy.

    And still now: updating is a hassle, he had some HDMI issues, etc.

    Overall it WORKS, but it's kind of a hassle for upkeep with the various OS upgrades and such.

    But that's just one data-point. Perhaps others have hassle-free experiences.
  11. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Folks buying iMacs likely needed the iMac's level of performance. Those aren't the 'core' Mac Pro customers and no Apple isn't going to loose much sleep, if any, with customers rightsizing to the product Apple targeted at them in the first place.

    The iMac and MP are adjacent to one another on the Mac desktop pricing spectrum. Of course there are going to be a subset of folks who are in the overlapping price range. Those folks have tradeoffs to make. That issue won't disappear with an updated Mac Pro. If Apple actually filled in the $2000-2500 range with a Mac Pro variant it actually expand the number of those in that intersection a bit more.

    There is no "question" here being driving by that price proximity, so no 'asked and answered" either.

    There is a huge gap between people moving to computers on the next more affordable classification ( a constant pretense in the computer market ) and folks not buying the product they are actually being targeted with. If can't stand the first, then the company really shouldn't be in the computer business at all. That is just life in the business.

    The second is a real issue of becomes a long term expectation mismatch issue between the company and the targeted customers.
  12. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I would be very surprised if they don't at least mention the Mac Pro at WWDC. After all, it is not even being sold in the EU at the moment.
  13. zarzonis macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    If you use Gigabyte motherboards and Nvidia Kepler GPU you'll almost never have any kind of problems. The chipsets on the mobo and the Kepler GPUs are officially supported by Apple and Nvidia on Mac OS. Radeon GPUs and other Mobos like Asus has very often problems with sound and onboard HDMI although it's on the list with supported hardware. The mobo I mentioned on my previous post is the best hackintosh mobo ever. Until last year you should install DSDTs (drivers) after almost every OS update(ex 10.8.2 to 10.8.3). This is where most users had problems. Now that uefi motherboards released, all problems solved. No DSDTs needed. You just install the OS and you are good to go. You update the software via software update. No special instructions.
    You follow a different process only on major OS updates like 10.8 to 10.9...
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    That is an extremely poor reason to spend money on something; because you do not know if you will need it. You may spend money because you highly confident that you will need it on an expected schedule. That is a grounded motivation to spend money on equipment.

    If have tracked workload growth needs over time, it isn't hard to project a highly likely future track. If cluessless about what current workload trends are then probably should not be buying for what do not know. If want to buy for crotch grabbing "future proof" bragging rights then fine, but that isn't a business needs based buying criteria.

    Fusion drive isn't solely about speed. It is about speed and space. If storage needs are entirely restricted to 200GB of space then sure a SSD is better. But for 500+GB storage needs Fusion is far more cost effective if tracking across those two dimensions.
  15. zarzonis macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    I respect your opinion but I think that buying an SSD to get the max speed and also an external 2TB or more combines the best advantages of both sides. The fastest speed and the more storage. And also don't forget that fusion drive has not potentials of upgrade.
  16. reidgc thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
    First of all, thanks to everyone of you who replied. It is quite helpful.

    Some motivating factors are I can spend as much as I want on a purchase now, but whatever I purchase must last me years to come. Even if a theoretical $1000 iMac will outperform whatever I decide to purchase in two years, I will be unable to buy it. So I have an unlimited budget, but the catch is that I can only make one purchase.

    I will not buy the Fusion drive, since I am quite skeptical of something so new. It is a marvelous piece of technology, but I believe it needs some more time to mature. I was planning to buy a 512gb SSD and just use external storage as needed until I read that it is cheaper to upgrade it when it arrives with your own SSD. Does anyone have experience with this?

    A Hackintosh is unfortunately out of the question due to a combination of legal reasons and business mandates.

    In my case it is the latter.

    I will definitely purchase the maxed out GPU, just for flexibility going forward. On my off-time, I'd certainly like to try out all these graphic-intensive games on the App Store (that would cause this 2006 iMac to self immolate).

    Thanks again guys! Looking forward to some more insight!
  17. rotorblade69 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2006
    North West Georgia
    Basically Wait Until WWDC if no MP then iMac.

    If new MacPro's then study your options between both machines and buy accordingly.

    But for iOS development a Full loaded up 27" iMac is your best bet right now and in the future.

  18. karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    Good to know. He did this a couple of years ago (it's still running) but yeh I recall him having to do stuff with drivers and such after many/most minor-point releases. To the point he just gave up and let it sit there unpatched.

    If what you say is true now, then that's cool. I might consider it at some point.

    Though even then... I'm kind of tired of the whole custom-PC-fiddling thing. After 15+ years of messing with insides, building from scratch, replacing motherboards, etc... I'm tired of it. It used to be fun but after a while it became tedious. I'd rather spend the afternoon watching a movie or playing a video game then on the floor attaching those stupid LED / PowerButton / ResetButton wires and things.
  19. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It doesn't matter if the cpu can be upgraded. It's generally not cost effective when looking at the performance distribution within the available mainstream LGA1155 options. The upgrade will almost never be worthwhile. Beyond that maxing gpu only matters if you know you'll use it, and too many people on here spread the FUD that the best gpu is required for certain applications just because corner case processes are faster that way. It's very poor budgeting advice.

    Some of the past popular ones wouldn't translate to a v2 only. The W3680 upgrade was popular due to the combination of higher core count and clock speed compared to both 2009 single package options and a 40% retail price drop in 2011. It seems unlikely that there will be anything compelling this time.
  20. zarzonis macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    Exactly! This is the reason that after so many years of PC builds and hackintosh I'm tired and I'll finally switch to iMac in the next 2 months when the university exams will be finished. An iMac 27"(and almost every other Apple computer) is the best possible solution for reliability and it's ready to use right out of the box. Also is the perfect choice for an iOS developer...
    Everything about hackintosh I mentioned before is true and you can have more informations at the best hackintosh community on the Internet. Although many people won't prefer hackintosh, is still an option if you can't afford the money for an Apple computer or Apple doesn't offer the processing power you want. You can easily built a hackintosh with 2 xeons e5 and about 28000 geek bench score...
  21. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    If the heaviest thing you will be using the Mac for is iOS development, get the iMac.
  22. zarzonis macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    Should I wait for the new Mac Pro?

    Check the thread: rip those macs open
    It's here on macrumors. If you have time read the whole thread. Otherwise check only the last 2 pages. You'll get your answer about SSD upgrade...
    By the way for iOS development and some gaming you don't need a Mac Pro. An iMac is your best bet for now and in the future. I had the luck to lent the iMac(2010 model I think) from my cousin for one month and it's exactly what a developer needs. Also That gorgeous display will make your life easier while programming...
  23. Shaun39 macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
    I have a question. Just what kind of performance increase are you looking for in the new Mac Pro? USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, PCIe 3.0, FSB 1600MHz, or some super duper CPU? I'm only asking because you can save a lot of money by buying a used 2009 Mac Pro and upgrading it yourself. As far as I'm concerned the only thing that will be upgraded on the new MP is the price tag :)
  24. echoout macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    You've added Thunderbolt, PCIe 3.0, FSB 1600MHz, and dual 2687ws to a 2009 MacPro? Ordering a 2009 now!!!
  25. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2013
    I have an older Pro, the upgrade potential is nice. I love the fact that changing or adding a hard drive is a five minute job not a whole afternoon.

    If I needed more than this old Mac could do currently, I would definitely go with a hackintosh.

    Since Intel makes the main board in Pros, and the processors, it would not be hard to compare specs, and get something that would easily and reliably run OSX.

    Hacks have more PCIe card slots, faster PCIe, and many have USB 3.0 onboard, and some even TB. OSX can run just about any PC GFX card, with a hack, you could have both environments.

    I know the next one for me will be a hackintosh.

    Still love my Pro though!

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