Tight call on Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Xeocon, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Xeocon macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Hey all,

    So I've searched long and hard and purchased 2 23" Aluminum ACDs 2nd hand. I've worked and sold my PS3 and HD TV to finally afford a Mac Pro 2009 quad-core 2.66, 6GB RAM, 1TB drive, 4870, Airport WiFi and 3 years Applecare. The only thing stopping me is the looming 2010 Mac Pro update.

    I can purchase the above Mac Pro for NZ$5,242 (USD$3,700). I will be doing alot of Photoshop (digital painting) and HD video importing and editing (work described here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=838812&highlight=drawing?).

    Basically if I wait for an update and the 6-core machines cost more, I wont be able to afford it. There is the chance though that I could get more features for less if I wait, assuming the 2010 base model is cheaper than my built-to-order options on a 2009.

    Will the extra two cores benefit me? I've been researching like crazy and to be honest I just want to stop pulling my hair out over specs. Its time to put that mental energy into what I actualy need the comp for: a productive final year of University. I start back up on the 22nd of February. Should I at least wait till the 27th of Jan?

    Any help appreciated. Cheers!
  2. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    It's not as if waiting a few days will be a bad thing, especially considering that the main thing to look forward to is the raise of spec and lowering of profit margin on the base model you will be buying.
  3. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Definitely wait. Chances are good that there will cheaper 09 Mac Pros in local stores or Apples refurb section. You could get a better computer for the same money or the 09 Mac Pro for cheaper than you would have to pay now.
  4. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Personally, I'd wait, as Apple has a tendency to release new models at the same sort of price of the previous ones.

    Even if they do end up being too expensive, then all the 4-Cores which didn't get sold will pop up in the refurb section most likely.

    I'd just wait, as it's around now that they'll be releasing a new one, especially on such an expensive machine.

    If you are only looking at Quad Cores, why don't you take a look at the i7 27" iMac? You can get it with 8GB RAM direct from Apple (I wouldn't recommend Apples' RAM, but it's an example), and a 2TB HDD, with the 512mb 4850, and Applecare for under $5000 brand new. You even get the Magic mouse and wireless keyboard included in this for free, and the i7 does have a faster clock speed than the Mac Pro, which will help dramatically for single-core applications.

    I'd recommend going for the iMac for quad core, saves money, and you can hook up one of your ACDs and use another for... something else. Lol

    EDIT: There is also that device which retails for about $300, which allows you to connect displays via USB, so it may be worth getting that to connect both your ACDs, meaning it's still cheaper than the Mac Pro, more displays, more storage, and better performance for less!
  5. nullx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2009
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    Wait till the refresh. Once the refresh hits, there will be refurbs of both the current and previous gens for a whole lot less then what a new one would cost.
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Dunno how much they are in NZ, but $100 in USA and limited to 1600 x 1200.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/VIDU2DVIA/

    Giving advice would be a lot easier if you were in the USA.
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I would wait. Mac Pros are overpriced at the moment as quad-core iMac is 1999$ and Mac Pro is 2499$. Gulftowns starts from 999$ so it's unlikely that Mac Pro will only use them as the default because current 2.66GHz Bloomfield costs 284$, so 6-core will likely be ~3000$. I think that Apple is going to release quad, 6-core and 12-core configs so that the quad would be 1999$, 6-core 2999$ and 12-core 3999$.

    If my above guess isn't right, it's still worth waiting as previous gen Mac Pros (the one you looking atm) will be a lot cheaper.
  8. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    No need to say that... As he's not even in USA, he's in NZ so what the hell does it matter?

    It may be limited to 1600 x 1200, but having 3 displays on there, two at full res, one at a lower res, what difference does it make, you can just use the lower res one for things that always sit there, such as Mail, and iTunes.
  9. Xeocon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Thanks everyone for the responses! I guess finally getting the money together had me on an edge to just buy buy buy. Just the sort of rational responses I needed :)

    I shall wait for the update and hopefully it'll happen before Feb 22nd.
  10. Pigumon macrumors 6502


    Aug 4, 2004

    Glad you're waiting for a refresh.

    I'd really suggest you get Corel Painter XI for digital painting seeing as Photoshop is really a photo editing app, and Painter is a Digital Painting app.

    As a user of both for close to 18 years, Painter is the way to go for realistic painting.

    You'll probably end up pulling your finished piece into PS for some touch ups, but for the over all look and feel, Painter is the way to go.

    Some people are turned off by Painter since it's not Adobe, but that's silly. It's more intuitive as far as real art goes. Also, Painter used to suck way back in the day, but it doesn't now. It's amazing. Painter has made me a good chunk of money.
  11. Xeocon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Hey there,

    Yeah it's hard waiting thats for sure! Feel like if I spend any longer nutting out the specs, I'll get the computer, sit down and not have a creative thought in my head!

    I guess I have been a little scared to take the plunge with Painter. I see alot of fabulous work being created with Photoshop and it raises the question, why bother switching?

    There are ways to imitate traditional techniques with Photoshop, but I guess Painter is designed to be as authentic as possible?

    Did you learn Painter first then Photoshop? If not, did you find it hard to switch?

  12. simplymuzik3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2009
    Actually to those discussing the USB graphics adapter, you can get them for $80 USD. And they can go up to Full HD resolutions. I have one, and mine is the "Diamond BVU 195". There's still only beta drivers for snow leopard though...
  13. MitchLewis macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Xeocon, I'm in the same boat. We need a new Mac Pro for the main computer at our new company. I'd much rather buy at the beginning of a product cycle than the end, so I've been waiting. Problem is, I've got video projects that need editing. I'm planning do them on my MacBook Pro laptop, but that's kind of unprofessional when a client is looking over your shoulder while you're editing. I'm hoping they will understand. :)

    So the plan was to wait for the big announcement on the 27th. Now that that's over with (darn iPad!), we're planning to wait until the end of MacWorld. Feb 13th. So if nothing is announced, we're going to buy a 2.66 Ghz MacPro on February 15th.

    Crossing my fingers! :)
  14. Xeocon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Hey Mitch,

    Ha! I can understand the client pressure - need a pretty aluminum tower next to your monitor to let them know your in the big leagues ;)

    I envy your patience. The only thing holding me back from getting an 09 is the audio issue (which may or may not be resolved soon.) If I order nowish, I could get the comp before Uni starts. I'm currently on a first gen Intel iMac, and I can't wait to get the grunt I need to work efficiently.
    As silly as it sounds, I've kind of worked my way into the realm of obsessiveness (holidays, too much time on my hands :rolleyes:). I'm worried all this waiting and predicting will distract me fom my studies.

    I'm so day-to-day on this subject that I wont even bother to act like I've made a decision. Either way I'm sure we will both love the upgrade!
  15. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    Apple have nothing to do with MacWorld anymore. If you wait until then you will be very disappointed. Your best bet is the end of march - mid april.

    Hell hammer is pretty much spot on, although I would remove the quad core option and price bracket. Apple are not going to offer a quad-core machine with the added upgradability for the same price of an iMac, just wont happen.
  16. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    You have nothing to lose waiting, especially since you have about 23 more days before class starts.

    OTOH, you could be enjoying that new computer now. Does it really matter? I dunno man.

    You could wait a couple more weeks, and then know you waited long enough! OR.. you could get stuck with a machine thinking "if only I had waited another week!"

    Who knows.
  17. MitchLewis macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Apple does have a 14-day exchange policy. I asked about it and they confirmed it. But it's 14-days from the date the product was SHIPPED. But still, it's better than nothing.

    I agree, Apple probably won't hold an official product announcement for the new MacPro's, but I'm still hoping that announcing it while MacWorld is happening wouldn't be a bad thing. They would get a little more press with the release coinciding with the event don't you think?

    Hang in their Xeocon! I'm obsessing right their with ya! :)
  18. Xeocon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    JoeG4 - Thanks, yeah that makes a lot of sense. If you wait till the last possible moment, you'll have a lesser chance of regret.

    Its awesome to be around people who care about where you throw your money. Thanks Mitch for the encouragement!
  19. Xeocon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Yeah, first bit of news in a while. Promising!

    I'm currently bidding on a 08 Octo 2.8ghz. Auction ends tommorrow night. Money is an issue for me so if I win, I'll save a lot (assuming a bidding war doesn't happen.) Fingers crossed!
  20. MitchLewis macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    WHAT?!! You're bailing out!! Great. Just when I thought I had a buddy to play "the waiting game" with. hehehehehehehehe

    Oh well. I totally understand. Good luck with the auction.
  21. Robellyn macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Edmonton CA
    Myself, I did the whole Photoshop thing for 8 years and then found Painter.

    Photoshop is generally a more straightforward program but it takes a lot of skill to emulate 'real media'. Photoshop is also generally quicker.

    Painter does some simply astonishing things easily (I especially like the digital watercolour tools (very sharp looking!) and the camel brush (which allows you to paint and spread several colours at once)).

    That being said, it took some doing to change my 'Photoshop pre-conceptions' to work with Painter. I would suggest if you have any interest in 'real media' emulation to either work with both as soon as you can or wait and see if the the supposed 'real media' effects are in Photoshop CS5!

    Good luck with your Auction!
  22. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    I love my '08. The best Mac Pro thus far (IMO). You can't go wrong.

    I will probably be moving to the 2010 model since my warranty will be expiring next year, but my '08 has been great these last two years.
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    That's the best MP Apple's ever made so far.

    They can be had for the same price (2.8GHz Octads slightly less actually if you look hard enough), have EFI64 (no problems upgrading graphics cards or OS X once it goes K64 exclusively), and don't have the technical issues plaguing the '09's (and will follow the '10's if OS X isn't fixed prior to their release).

    I'd advise you keep the '08, as the '10 won't be anything special. Same boards as the '09's with an update to the firmware (perhaps they could drop in a USB 3.0 chip, but that's about it, as it must be the same component package to fit the board).
  24. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    I really don't like keeping machines past their warranty period. We will see though :D I just added a GT120 and a couple more monitors. Finally went Snow Leopard on it as well (I hold back on my production machines).

    USB 3.0 is a possibly. I am waiting for drivers to start popping up. That is the only thing holding me back from buying a card.

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