Time for an upgrade - Mac pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Danekero, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Danekero macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2011
    My current computer is a 2006 macbook with 1 gb of RAM, 80gb hard drive, and a 2ghz core 2 duo. It's been running slow lately, probably because of the slow, full hard drive and the lack of RAM.

    Regardless of upgrades that could be done to my laptop, I really want something more powerful. There's a lot of stuff I want to do with my computer that I can't do with my macbook, and to do it I'll need a complete spec overhaul.

    I want to be able to

    Run photoshop/illustrator alongside other apps. (Xcode, safari, keynote, etc.)

    Run final cut express and eventually the pro suite smoothly. I deal with 1080p video. (I'm working on becoming an editor, but my current setup obviously doesn't warrant that kind of work)

    Run all of my iOS app tools in different spaces without too much or any lag. (Interface builder, Xcode, Photoshop/illustrator, safari/chrome, textedit and calculator. Obviously I won't have it all open all the time, but to be able to have that kind of workflow would be extremely helpful.)

    A solid state drive would be extremely helpful to all of this. I've used the new 13" air, and the speed difference is crazy.

    A 17 inch macbook pro would be awesome, but even if the next generation has quad core processors I don't know how the lack of expandability, ports, and even less speed would affect me. The iMac looks nice, but whatever I end up getting will be a huge investment and I do want to be able to upgrade all of the specs (without worrying about the screen) as tech advances.

    That leaves me with the obvious mac pro. What would be overkill here as far as specs and price go? My macbook obviously isn't good enough for my uses (haha) and I do have a budget. I don't know exactly what resources you need to run all of this, which is where you come in.

    Sorry if that was long winded and confusing, if you have questions or misunderstood something just say.
  2. hoosker macrumors member


    Jun 17, 2003
    I pondered this after the new iMacs came out looking so good but just like you, I do such a variety of things and in the end I went with a Mac Pro. I am very glad I did now. I already had a monitor so that helped. The main reason: Heat and multiple hard drives. Especially for video. One firewire port does not cut it. It is pricey and big but you can't beat it for a work horse. I've never thought to myself, "Wish I had gotten a cheaper computer". Everyone has different needs though. Nice to have so many choices. Only thing I miss it the iSight camera. Everything else is just grand.
  3. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    1. If you need to ask whether you need a Mac Pro, you probably dont need one, you just want one.
    2. Id still recommend getting a Mac Pro (Even the 2.8 Quad, when paired with a 27" Cinema is brilliant - its what I use day in day out for Final Cut Studio, XCode, Creative Suite, Logic Studio, Safari, iTunes, Mail etc. Normally all at once.
    3. All Editors have Mac Pros if their serious, and if you want to run Final Cut there isnt any other choice, not really/
    4. Whatever you get, boost the RAM to 12/16GB, and then work on filling up the HDs (I have 1TB boot, 1TB Scratch and mirrored 2TB drives for archiving my work), as well as backup copies of the lot... movie editing drinks space almost as fast as well... just about nothing else.
  4. Danekero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2011
    1. I wasn't really asking if I needed a mac pro, more how much would be overkill for me I sort of went through the possibilities in my rambling post. My apoligies, haha.

    2. That reassures me. Having everything I need open at once is important to my workflow.

    3. I've heard that motion doesn't run well on anything but Mac pros.

    4. Yeah, I know what you mean. Thanks for the advice, sorry about my rambling in the first post. When I said something would be nice, I mean the form factor or price. Not that I'd care about the price after a few months of work with the machine, anyway.
  5. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    MBP if you want to be portable and don't care so much for expandability.
    The 17'' still has the ExpressCard/34 slot, which gives you the possibility to use an eSATA card as a decent connector for a fast external disk (i.e. scratch disk).

    But if you really serious and want to look long-term, get a MP. I still use my fully stuffed 2006 model, incl. GPUs upgraded over the years, and it is handily breaking any modern MBP's neck. That said, if you are tight on money, MPs are also a great deal to obtain 2nd-hand and outfit yourself.
  6. Danekero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Yeah, I'm going with a MP for sure at this point - MBPs aren't fast enough and iMac's aren't an upgradable enough desktop for me. (don't want to be removing and dusting up the screen :p, especially when I can't upgrade the CPU or the graphics card.) Doing research on MPs at the moment to see which one is best. After all, it's a big investment.
  7. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008

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