Sweet Deal - Mac Pro + Great Monitor for $210 more than an i7?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hoya87eagle91, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. hoya87eagle91 macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    I’m tryng to decide between two set ups that differ by about $210 net of tax. What would you do?

    If net of taxes the final cost to you of a

    Refurb 2009 MP 2.66 quad
    + excellent monitor
    + calibration software/ hardware package
    is $150 more than
    a new i7
    + calibration solution…

    which would you buy to use today?

    Put another way, the Refurb base MP is currently $50 less than the i7, (yes i realize i7 is faster but read on). You will spend another $700 or so on a well-reviewed color accurate NEC 22" Monitor , calibration device, and calibration software for the MP


    You will buy the i7 plus another $400 on the coloreyes/ spyder bundle.

    The gross difference is about $375 and the net difference after a tax writeoff is about $ 210 more for the MP set up.

    Also factor a few things into your decision:

    1) You already own a 1Tb caviar black internal drive half filled w/ data (2nd drive in a G5).

    2) You own a 1TB Gdrive Q FW external back up, half filled.

    3) You will buy a calibration bundle

    4) You have a 2009 MBP that you might also like to calibrate with a hardware /software bundle

    4) You will use it 10 hours a week for a business that requires, documents, browsing, billing, and some iPhoto, hence the write off from taxable income.

    5) You will use it a few hours a week for recreation - CS4, maybe Aperature, RAW and medium format film scan manipulation , HD footage made into to iMovies, perhaps FCE, some Garageband, perhaps Logic.

    6) You like but don't need a 27" screen and dislike glossy displays

    7) You are a stickler for accurate color prints more than anything and feel pretty confident that either set up will give you satisfactory prints after calibration.

    8) You value expandability, redundancy, flexibility of ram , monitors, drives but aren't married to the idea of internal drives only...

    9) You dislike spending more than you have to but at this point are sick of doing research and losing sleep over $210!

    What would you do? Thanks!!!
  2. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    You have already said in previous posts that you would never buy a glossy screen, so why change now?

    Define "expandability".

    Nothing you listed as the things you will use it for would even stress the Core2Duo chip.

    22" @ 1680 X 1050 vs 27" 2560 x 1440 is more than just a little bit bigger... $700 for a 22" screen no matter what the reviews is pretty dame expensive -- especially with 24" Dell U2410s running $300 less than that.

    Are you a stickler for paying tax? There are several places you can order the i7 tax free.

    Id buy an i5/i7 today and start saving for 2-3 years from now when I go to sell it and replace it with the 29" i14 iMac.
  3. hoya87eagle91 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Yes you're correct that I've said I hate the glossy screens..but after more reviews of the quad iMacs I'm not so stubborn that I can't be talked into them with a good enough argument despite the gloss. The machine will be in a dark basement for at least the next two years...

    And the $700 ($678 including tax) includes the hardware/ software bundle with the monitor - the NEC P221W plus the Spectraview II bundle. Otherwise its $370 monitor only. Great printed results from a guy who has printed from dozens of monitors - David Brooks at Shutterbug mag.

    Expandability to me means the potential for a future RAID set up , possible SSD drive (s), mabe a second monitor of my choice at some point, RAM bump... oh decisions decisions...
  4. hwhalers macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2009
    Which would I buy to use today? If I didn't need a PCI-E slot for a Decklink card, iMac i7. No question about it. But that's me. For you to make the right decision you have to figure out what you absolutely cannot live without, and buy on that. If you can live with a slower machine but cannot live without 4 internal HDs, then you'll need to get the Mac Pro. Etc. Just don't buy the Mac Pro thinking you'll be able to keep it up to date for 6 years.

    Have you seen the 27" iMacs in person? If not, check one out if at all possible. The display is quite nice and may shift your decision.
  5. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    Mac Pro all the way. Internal hard drive bays, more ports and the ability to choose your own monitor. Done.
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Dark basement really negates the whole glossy thing. Im in a dark room with a small lamp behind my 24" iMac and the gloss of the screen is invisible.

    Yeah, sorry, Im just not seeing expandability as an issue for you.

    27" iMacs can run any second screen, so you could even add that 22" NEC. Or that nice Dell. http://www.flatpanelshd.com/review.php?subaction=showfull&id=1259151406

    FWIW, changing a drive in a 27" iMac looks no harder than the 24" iMac -- which I could do in about 15 minutes. Its about a 3 on a scale of 10.
  7. hoya87eagle91 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Good advice - I guess there's nothing I can't live without, but what I can't live with is reprinting every photo a half dozen times because it's not what you see or getting a stack of prints back from an outsource job that are just off.

    I've seen the 27" at the store and my dad's 21" , and that's why I waffle - the gloss is a hurdle..

    Another thing I can't live with is multiple trips lugging something in to the apple store or to the post office. That I definitely don't want to make the time for , even with applecare. The i7s have what seem like more than their share of issues. (i5's more reliable?). I just want something that works even if i don't use it 24/7
  8. hwhalers macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2009
    If calibration is your top concern, then the Mac Pro is probably the way to go, because you'll have your choice of accurate, high end displays. And without having to spend money on a monitor that, while nice and big, is not useful to you.

    It's quite unfortunate, stores that sell computers (and displays, even professional outfits!) usually have the worst possible environment to assess the viewing quality of the devices, let alone the calibration. That kind of harshly lit, super bright madhouse is hopefully not where you have to work :).

    The reliability problems with the 27" iMacs are disconcerting, and it's probably wise to wait for another revision if you decide to go that direction. If the decision's time sensitive, then that kind of kills that.


    Depends. How much storage do you need? Do you dislike external HD enclosures? If so, how much? The amount of RAM you can put in a single-socket Mac Pro is not any higher than that of an i7 iMac. Think you'll use multiple graphics cards or high-end audio/video gear? What would you be using the RAID for, speed or hardware redundancy? If speed, why do you think you'll need higher performance? If you need very high performance, can an SSD as your internal boot drive suffice?

    You could do that, or buy an external enclosure.
  9. hoya87eagle91 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    I'm on your side on the monitor being less of a deal breaker now that I have the dark basement set up and based on recent results I've read about satisfactory calibration accuracy after using coloureyes

    Do you think my usage is making me overanalyse the expandability issue and that I won't need multiple drives, Raid, etc, with my expected use ? Do i even need to partition the i7 for CS4 / HD video?

    What do I do w/ My caviar internal drive full of photos, movies, music? Swap that one into the i7 / i5? Or pay op for that desktop device that accepts internal drives?
  10. hoya87eagle91 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Are you talking Amazon? Hadn't thought of it but good way to save $200. Thanks.
  11. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    No. AFAIK Amazon doesnt sell BTO Macs.

    Powermax does, they are in Oregon. Smalldog too, they are in Vermont. As well as others.

    The iMac already *has* a high-end display.

    Partitioning wouldnt be beneficial. 8 gigs of ram would be. Or 12.

    Sure, drop your caviar into a FW800 case.

    Yeah, I just dont see you needing he multiple drives, RAIDs, etc.

    Sounds like all of your music, movies and photos fit into 500 gigs?

    A new iMac would add another 1TB drive to the mix. Run a $100 1TB USB drive off the back for backup -- and all the sudden you have 3TB of storage for your 500 gigs of stuff...

    EDIT: saw that article over at shutterbug, its not a 221, its a L227WTG -- which is a TN panel -- ugh.
  12. hoya87eagle91 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Thanks for the advice on resellers. externals, etc.

    Just FYI, the Shutterbug review I am referring to IS definitely the NEC P221W bundle - there's a multi- page article in the Jan 2010 print issue of the mag that arrived in the mail last weekend.

    Unfortunately , in the same issue's "digital Help" section, he discusses again for the nth time his difficulty getting a good print from an iMac :confused: :(
  13. vaderhater245 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
    What place has the U2410 for $400? I must be missing something...
  14. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    nah, bad math., sorry/

    there was a sale on the U2410 about 2 weeks ago for $479... $220 less
  15. hoya87eagle91 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Badger - to be clear, it's a $370 monitor. It rises to nearly 700, 678 actually, when bundled with calibration software and a spyder 3 colorimeter.

    If I buy the i7, I'll be forkin' over $300 for the coloreyes calibration bundle.

    Where I stand corrected is that the price difference once AppleCare is added to either the i7 or the MP rises to $282.

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