To Buy A MacPro or Not To Buy A MacPro, That is the Question ?

Anto38x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2006
163
27
Cork, Ireland
Hi there....

Like a lot of fellow MacPro users I was totally devastated to see that Apple decided to pass over a refresh of the current, three-year old MacPro for a Touch Bar MacBook Pro.

They even dropped it from the Mac Line Up Official Marketing photos... showing an iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air instead.

I want a new machine and I need a new machine. My current configuration is the following:

– MacPro (Mid 2010)
– Processor (2 x 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon)
– Memory (64 GB 1333 MHz DDR3)
– Startup Disk (512GB SSD)
– Graphics (ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB)
– QTY 3 x 3TB Internal SATA Drives
– 15TB DroboS
– 27" Apple Cinema Display (Not Thunderbolt)

Today.... feel deflated about the new MacPro... I decided to revisit the current version and I build my dream machine.

Below are the specs that I selected:-
– New MacPro (Late 2013)
– Processor (2.7GHz 12 Core with 30MB of L3 Cache)
– Memory (16GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC but I will get 64GB after delivery from Crucial Memory Uk)
– Startup Disk (512GB PCIe Flash Storage SSD)
– Graphics (Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM)

The total of the new system would be €7,257 + €1,669 VAT. TOTAL = €8,926
I can get a discounted on this making it €5,495 + €1,264 VAT. TOTAL = €6,759


I can claim back the VAT as I'm a VAT registered company.

Would you, based on the specifications of both computers think that this purchase would be justifiable.

Any comments of suggests most welcome.


Regards,
Anthony
 
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Anto38x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2006
163
27
Cork, Ireland
For 3 year old tech? Not worth it.
Thanks Jav..... you have a strong point.... and one I have already said to myself over and over again already, but I'm not for switching to PC... and I'm just worried what my options will be if they drop the MacPro altogether. I am getting a great discount, but even with that discount and my ow6 year old computer you still feel it's a bad buy...?
 

Flint Ironstag

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2013
1,155
640
Houston, TX USA
Don't forget to add the cost of an enclosure for your 3 x 3 TB internal drives.

I don't know what you use your machine for, but if it were me I would keep it and do the following:

- CPU upgrade to the 3.xxGHz models
- upgrade to a Titan or 980Ti
- PCIE SSD for the hell of it.

I would not switch to the nMP.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,883
1,549
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
The only reason anyone should be buying a new Mac Pro at the moment is if their machine has just died.
Exactly. This Macs have outdated specs. While yes, granted you can spend quite the penny to have them a bit "upgraded" it isn't worth it.

Thanks Jav..... you have a strong point.... and one I have already said to myself over and over again already, but I'm not for switching to PC... and I'm just worried what my options will be if they drop the MacPro altogether. I am getting a great discount, but even with that discount and my ow6 year old computer you still feel it's a bad buy...?
I am not saying you should switch to a PC. No. I am also on your same boat, as I have a late 2008 MacBook (Aluminum) that needs replacement. Although Apple updated their offerings, they removed key features (read: MagSafe and dGPU) from the 13" line that would have made me jump immediately.
 
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Anto38x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2006
163
27
Cork, Ireland
Don't forget to add the cost of an enclosure for your 3 x 3 TB internal drives.

I don't know what you use your machine for, but if it were me I would keep it and do the following:

- CPU upgrade to the 3.xxGHz models
- upgrade to a Titan or 980Ti
- PCIE SSD for the hell of it.

I would not switch to the nMP.
Hi Flint...

Can you send me links to these proposed new updates.... and could someone with basic hardware installation knowledge (I can update my RAM) do these installs or would I need to give to a professional...?

If I installed these updates like you suggested... what sort of performance increase could I expect.... would I be 30% faster...?

Thanks again for your suggestions and input... they are very much appreciated.


Regards,
Anthony
 

filmak

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2012
1,308
722
between earth and heaven
Below are the specs that I selected:-
– New MacPro (Mid 2010)
If you want please edit this just for clarity to (Late 2013), for a moment I couldn't understand how you're going to fit D700 cards in 2010 MP.:)
[doublepost=1477669466][/doublepost]At the present point it is better to wait, unless your current system is broken and you desperately need a new one...

You 're going to spend too much money, are you sure it's worth it right now? Timing is a little bit weird...

Imho, if you can, wait a little longer and in the mean time update your very nice 2010 MP to maximum.
What apps are you using?
 

Anto38x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2006
163
27
Cork, Ireland
If you want please edit this just for clarity to (Late 2013), for a moment I couldn't understand how you're going to fit D700 cards in 2010 MP.:)
[doublepost=1477669466][/doublepost]At the present point it is better to wait, unless your current system is broken and you desperately need a new one...

You 're going to spend too much money, are you sure it's worth it right now? Timing is a little bit weird...

Imho, if you can, wait a little longer and in the mean time update your very nice 2010 MP to maximum.
What apps are you using?
Thanks for your comments filmak,

I'm an old skool graphic designer.... I have my one one man design studio for the past 25 years. I use QuarkXpress 2016, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro X (personal home movies only), Handbrake (only sometimes as I now use PLEX for all my media, I have moved away from AppleTV)... and that's about it.... I do large format design work in Photoshop... 8ft x 6ft display graphics... but I set them up as 1:4 Ratio... so Photoshop currently handles very well.

What would you recommend to take my system to the MAX...?

Anthony
[doublepost=1477672026][/doublepost]
There are write-ups here for doing it yourself. Here's an outfit on eBay that will do it for you:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-CORE-3-3...4-1-5-1-2009-2010-2012-WARRANTY-/231503138441

So, what are you using the machine for? This will help us offer more informed recommendations.
Thanks again Flint...

I'm an old skool graphic designer.... I have my one one man design studio for the past 25 years. I use QuarkXpress 2016, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro X (personal home movies only), Handbrake (only sometimes as I now use PLEX for all my media, I have moved away from AppleTV)... and that's about it.... I do large format design work in Photoshop... 8ft x 6ft display graphics... but I set them up as 1:4 Ratio... so Photoshop currently handles very well.
 

kennyisalive

macrumors regular
Feb 29, 2016
117
352
Thanks for your comments filmak,

I'm an old skool graphic designer.... I have my one one man design studio for the past 25 years. I use QuarkXpress 2016, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro X (personal home movies only), Handbrake (only sometimes as I now use PLEX for all my media, I have moved away from AppleTV)... and that's about it.... I do large format design work in Photoshop... 8ft x 6ft display graphics... but I set them up as 1:4 Ratio... so Photoshop currently handles very well.

What would you recommend to take my system to the MAX...?

Anthony
[doublepost=1477672026][/doublepost]
Thanks again Flint...

I'm an old skool graphic designer.... I have my one one man design studio for the past 25 years. I use QuarkXpress 2016, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro X (personal home movies only), Handbrake (only sometimes as I now use PLEX for all my media, I have moved away from AppleTV)... and that's about it.... I do large format design work in Photoshop... 8ft x 6ft display graphics... but I set them up as 1:4 Ratio... so Photoshop currently handles very well.
I know you don't want to switch to windows, but your work isn't 100% dependent on mac, especially for a graphic designer.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,883
1,549
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Do you have a source that proves that?
This sounds purely anecdotal...

Design skills and talent aren't dependent on hardware...
But on software, and although the most software (poductivity) is the same or almost the same on both platforms, Pro software tends to be better suited for graphics on a Mac. Do I have a source? Not an online one.
 

phairphan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2005
600
216
Reject Beach
Thanks for your comments filmak,

I'm an old skool graphic designer.... I have my one one man design studio for the past 25 years. I use QuarkXpress 2016, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro X (personal home movies only), Handbrake (only sometimes as I now use PLEX for all my media, I have moved away from AppleTV)... and that's about it.... I do large format design work in Photoshop... 8ft x 6ft display graphics... but I set them up as 1:4 Ratio... so Photoshop currently handles very well.

What would you recommend to take my system to the MAX...?
For the programs you are using, it appears you would be better served by fewer, but faster cores. If you're intent on getting a MP 2013 (and many would agree that choice is ill-advised at this point), the six-core is probably the sweet spot for you.

As for your current machine, there aren't many improvements to make. You could max out the processors with 3.46 MHz versions (X5690) and drop in a better video card (that one is a bit long in the tooth). To be honest, you'd probably be better served by a high-spec'd iMac—especially since you are not using a better display.
 

thefredelement

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2012
1,142
559
New York
My 2013 still works today, just like it did yesterday morning. I bought it about a year ago, it's paid for itself many times over by this point.

At this point though I would wait until any possible November update, I'd think if November comes and goes with no news then the next possible release of a new Mac Pro would be March, then after that June, then October, then November... you get the idea... or it may never come at all.

If it works for what you want to do it's still fast, you can also checkout a refurb which may save you some money on top of what you're already getting. There's also the value of warranty/AppleCare that as pro user I really like.
 
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kennyisalive

macrumors regular
Feb 29, 2016
117
352
But on software, and although the most software (poductivity) is the same or almost the same on both platforms, Pro software tends to be better suited for graphics on a Mac. Do I have a source? Not an online one.
Your point is moot.

Software on both platforms run fine. Hell, I'd even say Adobe apps run even faster than they do if you have a Quadro GFX card as Illustrator, Premiere, and PS are optimized for nVidia cards.

"Pro software tends to be better suited for graphics on a Mac"—This statement would've been true in the past... not so much anymore.
 

Barry Bishop

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2015
80
175
Just buy a MacBook Pro. I see no reason why you would benefit from a MacPro anyways. Plus, Adobe products don't even fully utilize all the cores....so really why wouldn't you just get a MacBook Pro. If you really need a new machine then get the MacBook Pro I did to replace my MacPro and I do heavy visual effects. If you can wait till the new mac pro...then you don't really need it, it's just a want.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,130
662
United States
Hi Anthony,

My advice is to be really honest with yourself about what you want to get out of the computer. It's really easy to get a skewed perspective spending too much time in this subforum (or really any of the forums here). Most of the folks that hang out here approach this from a hardware enthusiast-perspective. They're more interested in the hardware specs than what they're using the computer for moment to moment. They also tend speak as though they are the majority when in reality they represent a very small minority of professional users. That's not to say their gripes are not valid (and I share some of them myself), but only that if your perspective is that the value of the computer is tied to what year the GPU was released, then you're going to be consistently disappointed by where Apple is headed, and this would be a good time to jump ship.

It's very obvious Apple's hardware design direction - smaller, thinner, lighter, glued together and not internally upgradeable. Apple sees the computer as an appliance that can be extended in certain areas via external devices. There are costs and compromises associated with this design direction - that's not going to change, so if that does not suit you, this would be a good time to jump ship.

There are clearly usages where the Mac as a platform isn't currently ideal, i.e. servers, video encoding/rendering boxes, VR, CUDA, and a few other niche uses (I think Apple will eventually address some aspects of VR as a platform, but feel like they've still got time on that).

For your usage, the best bets are either iMac, nMP, or the new MBP 15". Any of those are going to be great computers for your usage - you're actually the type of user that is in Apple's target market.

The writing is on the wall for the Mac Pro - I don't know if they'll ever bother to update it again or it's just going to sit neglected for another year or two before being quietly discontinued (appearing probable at this point). However, I have the 4c D300 model, and even that "old" hardware will serve you well as a computer for accomplishing your work. (I also use a Windows i7-4790K-based workstation daily for design work, so I know what I'm comparing it to). Is it frustrating on principle to pay top dollar for older hardware? Of course it is. But ultimately it's about the work and your workflow and enjoying what you do, and not worrying so much about whether after spending a few work days editing together that youtube/advertising/tv episode/indie movie/vacation video, it took an extra 15 minutes to render because you're stuck on an old nMP when you could have been using an HP zWhatever.

Good luck!
 
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buster84

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2013
396
134
Hi there....

Like a lot of fellow MacPro users I was totally devastated to see that Apple decided to pass over a refresh of the current, three-year old MacPro for a Touch Bar MacBook Pro.

They even dropped it from the Mac Line Up Official Marketing photos... showing an iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air instead.

I want a new machine and I need a new machine. My current configuration is the following:

– MacPro (Mid 2010)
– Processor (2 x 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon)
– Memory (64 GB 1333 MHz DDR3)
– Startup Disk (512GB SSD)
– Graphics (ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB)
– QTY 3 x 3TB Internal SATA Drives
– 15TB DroboS
– 27" Apple Cinema Display (Not Thunderbolt)

Today.... feel deflated about the new MacPro... I decided to revisit the current version and I build my dream machine.

Below are the specs that I selected:-
– New MacPro (Late 2013)
– Processor (2.7GHz 12 Core with 30MB of L3 Cache)
– Memory (16GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC but I will get 64GB after delivery from Crucial Memory Uk)
– Startup Disk (512GB PCIe Flash Storage SSD)
– Graphics (Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM)

The total of the new system would be €7,257 + €1,669 VAT. TOTAL = €8,926
I can get a discounted on this making it €5,495 + €1,264 VAT. TOTAL = €6,759


I can claim back the VAT as I'm a VAT registered company.

Would you, based on the specifications of both computers think that this purchase would be justifiable.

Any comments of suggests most welcome.


Regards,
Anthony
Your better off building a hackintosh with an I7 6950 extreme and water cool it and overclock it. It'll faster/Newer and ALOT cheaper!
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,472
Netherlands
Your better off building a hackintosh with an I7 6950 extreme and water cool it and overclock it. It'll faster/Newer and ALOT cheaper!
But not a drag and drop solution for most, it requires tinkering, and upgrading your OS as new stuff comes out is an issue as well. Unless you have the perfect combination of hardware and don't screw around with it, it's not such a nice solution for most.
 
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Anto38x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2006
163
27
Cork, Ireland
Hi Anthony,

My advice is to be really honest with yourself about what you want to get out of the computer. It's really easy to get a skewed perspective spending too much time in this subforum (or really any of the forums here). Most of the folks that hang out here approach this from a hardware enthusiast-perspective. They're more interested in the hardware specs than what they're using the computer for moment to moment. They also tend speak as though they are the majority when in reality they represent a very small minority of professional users. That's not to say their gripes are not valid (and I share some of them myself), but only that if your perspective is that the value of the computer is tied to what year the GPU was released, then you're going to be consistently disappointed by where Apple is headed, and this would be a good time to jump ship.

It's very obvious Apple's hardware design direction - smaller, thinner, lighter, glued together and not internally upgradeable. Apple sees the computer as an appliance that can be extended in certain areas via external devices. There are costs and compromises associated with this design direction - that's not going to change, so if that does not suit you, this would be a good time to jump ship.

There are clearly usages where the Mac as a platform isn't currently ideal, i.e. servers, video encoding/rendering boxes, VR, CUDA, and a few other niche uses (I think Apple will eventually address some aspects of VR as a platform, but feel like they've still got time on that).

For your usage, the best bets are either iMac, nMP, or the new MBP 15". Any of those are going to be great computers for your usage - you're actually the type of user that is in Apple's target market.

The writing is on the wall for the Mac Pro - I don't know if they'll ever bother to update it again or it's just going to sit neglected for another year or two before being quietly discontinued (appearing probable at this point). However, I have the 4c D300 model, and even that "old" hardware will serve you well as a computer for accomplishing your work. (I also use a Windows i7-4790K-based workstation daily for design work, so I know what I'm comparing it to). Is it frustrating on principle to pay top dollar for older hardware? Of course it is. But ultimately it's about the work and your workflow and enjoying what you do, and not worrying so much about whether after spending a few work days editing together that youtube/advertising/tv episode/indie movie/vacation video, it took an extra 15 minutes to render because you're stuck on an old nMP when you could have been using an HP zWhatever.

Good luck!
Cheers ixxx69.... a beautifully written and elegantly composed reply.... and I hear you 100%. It's true the tech side can be a little overwhelming and confusing..... and my current MacPro is still going a great job... I suppose before I loved knowing Apple was always there catering to my Pro needs as software and design demand and trends changed.... but now I just feel they have forgotten about me... the very people I used to rely on to show me the way with new tech and new innovations... so now I just feel left isolated and forgotten about... and because I have been using the Apple Mac for over 24 years, and always at the higher tier of machine... I just dunno what to do if they drop the MacPro... to me, it represented the pinnacle of what Apple was capable of doing... and when I had one... it made e feel like I could create ANYTHING!! With a 6 year old machine... I feel I'm falling behind and missing out on the little tweaks to the OS like Continuity and iCloud Copy 'n' Paste... etc..... things my current machine can't handle.

Just a pity really.... I dunno why the lack of even some public comment about the MacPro.... they even dropped it from the event in their main marketing imagery... maybe I'm over thinking all this... first world problems. I think I will leave all as is for now... get on with my work... and cherishing the things in my life that matter like my wife and child and if something gets announced next year... well and good... if not... I will think what to do then.... :)

Thanks for your excellent reply and to everyone else also... your comments and suggestions have been most helpful.


Anthony
 
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buster84

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2013
396
134
But not a drag and drop solution for most, it requires tinkering, and upgrading your OS as new stuff comes out is an issue as well. Unless you have the perfect combination of hardware and don't screw around with it, it's not such a nice solution for most.
Its not difficult at all. If you can handle an iphone you can follow a guide.

Just follow guides for 6800k 6850k processors since these are the common processors and use the same hardware (just a different processor); they are all on the same x99 platform.

A simple google search finds success stories with the 6950x
 
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