Time To Buy? (Wait for new MP or iMac 2011)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kylepro88, May 3, 2011.

  1. kylepro88, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 3, 2011

    kylepro88 macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2006
    I've been sitting on my hands (and my checkbook) for a while regarding my main machine. I recently purchased a new MacBook Pro for mobile work and that thing is ridiculously fast...I was shocked. I've never been totally sure when the right time was to buy a new MacPro mostly due to my lack of knowledge on how mine would compare to the new.

    Current Machine:
    2.66 x 2 (4 cores total)
    9GB RAM
    ATI HD4870

    I've never been totally satisfied with my graphics card since it gives me some annoying trouble I've never sorted out even contacting Apple directly like snow in my Final Cut viewer and things of that sort. I think it's just time to get a new one and I can deal with this machine for now as it runs great, but what's my BEST option? It's 4 years old or so and still runs like a champ (one of the Mac benefits), but an upgrade would be nice.

    Should I wait for a new MacPro to release or do you think the new iMacs are worthy of a look? I'm guessing a 27in iMac would blow this old desktop out of the water, likely on all levels? Although, so would a new MacPro when they come out, regardless of the upgrades from current gen so it's a tough choice. With new MBP just released and the recent iMac only a day ago, MacPro's gotta be updated soon.

    Compared to my current machines age, almost anything new would be a huge step up right? I mean my new MBP scores twice as fast as my current machine (5,100 vs. 10,100) on Geekbench and it's a laptop. I'm seeing reports of the new 27in iMac hitting upwards of 13,000 on there. I guess my problem with iMac is it's all in one which would have me worried about things like the screen dying at some point or something. I like the fact that I can literally keep any MacPro I buy for years as long as it runs since the monitor has nothing to do with it.

    A new MacPro would likely cost me upwards of $4000+ for one of the mid-range CPU options and a decent amount of RAM (just guessing) so there's a cost consideration too. Is everyone expecting the new MacPros to be THAT much more powerful than the brand new iMacs? Upgrade options are a consideration, and I can't plug in any cards into them or anything (the iMacs) because of its design so I'll need to build a new workflow around Thunderbolt and such, but is that so bad?

    Just looking for some opinions here. What would you do? My machine is used for absolutely everything under the sun from graphic/web design, editing/coloring, motion graphics, normal everyday uses, etc.
  2. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Well, ask yourself this:

    Are you okay being stuck with the iMac 27'' display and being SOL if the screen dies after the 3 years of Apple care are up (how long have you had your current machine for?).

    If the screen dies during the first 3 years, are you okay sending in your entire workstation to get it fixed?

    Are you okay being unable to upgrade your graphics card?

    Are you okay being limited in HDD expansion to 1 FW800 port and 2 thunderbolt ports? If you use a second display, keep in mind that will occupy one of the thunderbolt ports. There are plenty of USB2 ports but they are slow.

    What do you use your PCI slots for? Are you okay having none with a potential iMac?
  3. kylepro88 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2006
    All things to consider for sure. I'll point out though that Thunderbolt ports because of their power can be daisy chained to at least 6 pieces of equipment in one of them so those two ports are plenty.

    The screen thing is the greatest consideration IMO because I use GRAID's mostly on my current MacPro. I'm guessing the machine will last me a few years and I've had my current for 4 years or so but I think I would buy something new before that amount of time.

    The only card I use in my MacPro using a PCI port is a BlackMagic Intensity card to export my edits to a production monitor but I think I can fix that with external boxes that aren't that expensive.

    Hmm...decisions decisions... :)
  4. freeman727 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2009
    Thunderbolt and 6970m spell trouble for the Mac Pro line. Less people who have a Mac Pro will still need a Mac Pro. Especially for the space challenged.

    I just want to make sure that I can pull out my Blu-ray burner and put it into one of those TB hard drive enclosure devices.
  5. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Wait for the next Mac Pro refresh before deciding, end of 2011 looks likely. Upgrade your GFX card in the meantime if you can't wait.
    Your MBP is a little iMac basically so use it for now and treat your MP as a server for it.
  6. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2004
    If you do not need internal expansion capability, your macbookpro with external monitor might be a viable option, and save a few bucks. Set up your current macpro as a headless server (and use screen sharing when you
    need to interact directly with it). Just a random thought
  7. sbb155 macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    currently, iMac is the computer
    With its release, the MP is really showing its age until it is updated
    they should at least change the base proc to a 3.2 hex to keep the computer competitive for those consumers in that "gray" area where either computer could work for them
  8. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    Sandy Bridge based Quad-Core Xeon-E3 processors have shipped already for the 1P servers.

    The Xeon E5 processors with 4, 6 & 8 cores for 1-2P servers will ship Q4 2011. These are the Xeon processors we can all expect Apple to include in the 2011 models.

    Apple is known to have a head start on any Intel technology so it would not be surprising if they will ship the 2011 Mac Pro by the time OS X Lion has gone gold in September.
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  10. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
  11. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    With the possible processors, can anyone guesstimate what kind of increase in performance we will see? I am just wondering if it will be along the lines of 10%, or something more dramatic?
  12. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Well I decided to wait. I heard it could be 20% increase in performance. And then there is the possibility of a new case. So I am waiting.

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