Thinking of a mp from apple reconditioned store

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by johnh57, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. johnh57 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    Montana
    #1
    I need to upgrade my mbp to a desktop workstation. I've been waiting for the skylake iMacs to make an appearance, but I'm intrigued by the mp. For rougly the same $ as a upper end imac a refurbished late 2013 6 core can be had. The retina display would be nice, but not necessary. I have a 32" wqhd monitor for cad that is adequate. I may add a second monitor at some point.

    Primarily my uses are autocad (lite for now), office applications, spreadsheets, limited 3d work ( sketchup). I run a vm with parallels 10 to use a couple windows based analysis programs. No gaming, video work, or music.

    I get a lot of beachballing now if I have a large pdf open at the same time I'm working in autocad. This is usually working on a dwg file while viewing a related pdf file containing architectural dwgs. I also run into issues if the windows vm is running while I'm running autocad. I have the vm set up to use 1/2 of the mbp's resources.

    Currently running a 2010 mbp w/ 8 gb ram, i5, 500gb ssd, os/x 10.10.5.

    I'd like to figure on a 5 yr life for the new machine. I do like the format of the mp and that you can separate the horsepower from the monitor.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. pat500000 macrumors 604

    pat500000

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #2
    get refurbished and d700 with 1 tb. at 6 core.
     
  3. johnh57 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 6, 2011
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    #3
    That's probably stretching the budget. There is a 6 core, 512 gb pcie flash, d500 in the store though.
     
  4. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #4
    I think most neutral people here...would say no. You can build a Skylake PC with twice the performance at less than half the price. The Mac OS and case design will never be worth the kind of premium that Apple is charging for that nearly two years old machine.
     
  5. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #5
    Don't count out building almost from base 2009-2012 Mac Pro can kick major butt too. Lick the nMP can down the road.
     
  6. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #6
    This. It will be a little more work if you want to maximize the components (processor, USB 3, 6GB sata, etc) but you could likely get similar performance for half the cost.

    The nMP is a beautiful piece of engineering, but I'd be hard pressed to spend my own $ on one.
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    Typically when a PC is first sold, it is the latest and greatest model so it commands a high price. As those components start to fall behind over time compared to newer PCs, the price of the PC is lowered appropriately until such time as the model is obsolete and reaches end of life.

    Apple's pricing is very different. Apple holds the price of a Mac steady over time, to the dollar and cent, all the way until end of life. This means any particular Mac model is the best deal it is ever going to be on day 1, and the worst deal it will ever be on its last day.

    Why am I mentioning all this? The current Mac Pro is over a year and a half old now, but costs just as much as Day 1. If you can wait, you can get a new model Mac Pro with updated components for the exact same price.

    According to the Mac Pro Buyer's Guide, the average wait between model updates is 449 days. The longest wait was 685 days. Right now we are at 614 days. If the Mac Pro isn't updated by the end of the year with at least a spec bump, then it will be a record-breaking wait between updates.

    So I would say, if you can, wait for the next model. Nobody can promise when that will happen, but I think there are two likely scenarios. (1) A spec-bump update at the iPad/ElCapitan event in October, or (2) a full Skylake/TB3 update in the first half of next year, assuming no more delays from Intel. I think #2 is more likely, but I include #1 just because it's been sooooo long, and Apple has done spec-bump updates before.
     
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
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    United States
    #8
    The 2013 6 core with the D500's is plenty for what you do. You could definitely get by with a 4 core (unless you spend a LOT of time with the VM open), and I would even say the D300's are fine (certainly plenty good for your current work), but the D500's might be a safer bet for future performance a few years from now.

    Having a Windows VM open almost always results in the occasional beachballs and slightly diminished system performance. Sounds like you're running something like a structural or energy analytics software or similar - keep the VM hardware resources to the very minimum - you don't need much for that. If you're nMP has 12 or 16GB, I'd stick with 4GB for the VM, and 8+GB free for OS X should make things a little smoother.

    I went from a cMP 2010 to the nMP and it's a nice upgrade. Pretty much every time someone comes here looking for nMP advice, the same group of folks every time suggest getting a cMP and tricking it out with upgrades, or building a hackintosh. They're stuck in their bubble.

    I do agree with A-Mango that if you don't really need a new computer right away, it might be worth waiting until an updated MP is released, though no one knows if it will be this year or next (or never for that matter). Getting a refurbished will take some of the sting out of the price though - you can always turn around and ebay it for a good chunk of change and buy whatever the latest and greatest is when it's released.

    OTTH, forget about Skylake, even the current Haswell iMac will beat out the nMP for your needs. So if you like the iMac form factor, that would be a great computer as well.
     
  9. johnh57 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 6, 2011
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    Montana
    #9
    Thanks all - I appreciate the insight. Not sure what I'm going to do - but I do like the nMP form factor more than imac.
     
  10. johnh57 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    Montana
    #10
    Currently thinking quad-core, 12gb (then order 2 16s from crucial), d500 gpu, 1tb ssd, would be plenty to meet my needs for the foreseeable future. Only real hesitation is life of a unit based on ivy bridge architecture with low probability of changing out cpus.

    Probably just wait a few weeks and see if anything develops.
     
  11. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Yeah, it's an awkward time to have to decide what to buy. In late 2011, I wanted a Mac Pro, which at the time, the 2010 hadn't been updated in 15 months, and I figured a new one might be just around the corner. I just decided to buy one anyway, and in that case, it worked out really well for me because it didn't get updated until late 2013 (the 2012 bump doesn't count). I don't expect 3+ years between updates this time around, but who knows where Apple's head is at with the MP.

    Along those same lines, you could forget about the d500s and 1tb ssd and get basically the base unit (or with the 500gb ssd if you find that config as a refurb) - it will suit your needs just fine for now, and when something better comes along, you can ebay it and put the extra money you would have spent now, on the next computer. It's probably a few hundred bucks difference in the long run. There's no reason you need to stick with "future-proofing" it for some arbitrary 5 year plan. I only suggest that because I know it kind of feels a little sucky if you invest a large amount in a computer that's already a couple of years old that you want to last 5 years.

    At the very least, I would suggest holding off on the RAM upgrade until you're really sure you need it.

    Good luck!
     
  12. johnh57, Aug 31, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015

    johnh57 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Location:
    Montana
    #12
    That makes sense. I have no clue if I need d500 gpu's. I suspect not. It's just one more thing that can't be changed without just replacing the entire unit. I don't foresee needing more than a dual display - possibly 3.

    I was thinking Ram upgrade merely because of the way apple provides ram. They seem to insure that you have to scrap what you have to upgrade. 12 gb = 3 - 4's to do anything other than 16, you throw out the 4's and buy all new. But you're correct, get the 12, upgrade to 32 from Crucial if the need arises (thinking 2 -16's for 32 makes more sense than 3 or 4 8's, since it could be increased again to 48 or 64 without replacing everything)

    If I could, I'd get dual CPU's and a single good GPU rather than vice-versa.

    Of course the 6core/16gb/d500/512 gb ssd unit just popped back up on the refurb list.
     

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