To Mac Pro... or Not to Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ryan0751, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Ryan0751, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    Ryan0751 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    I am currently a 3 Mac household. I have a Mac Mini that acts as a little server, and then I have two Macbook Pro's.

    One of my Macbook Pro's is currently a late-2011 13", and I reserve it for DJ'ing (a hobby of mine).

    My other Macbook Pro is a late-2011 15". It's my main machine, and I have it connected up on my desk in clamshell mode with two Thunderbolt displays, keyboard, etc.

    Recently I've really tired of the 13"'s lack of screen real estate. I run Traktor Pro, with 4-decks, and constantly have to switch screen modes to see all the software components.

    I'm thinking of taking my existing 15" (which has the high-res non-retina display), and using that for my DJ laptop. It's still really quite powerful (I had maxed it out when I bought it), it geek benches just around 11500.

    Now for my desktop replacement... the Mac mini is a little underpowered I think... I do a lot of Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, music production work (Ableton Live, etc.), and some gigapixel panoramic renders (AutoPano Giga). I feel like the Intel GPU just won't be good enough for that, and would be a step down from my existing MBP.

    iMacs are great, but I don't want to sell my TB displays and deal with all of that (and take the loss).

    I'm also thinking of another Macbook Pro, which would keep the setup portable, and the new Retina's are even faster than what I am used to now, of course.

    Or... I could splurge (really, really splurge) and get the Mac Pro. Is it really overkill? Someone talk me out of it!

    I am a little bit torn. Really a 15" retina would solve my issue in the $3k-ish price range, minus the proceeds from selling my 13" ($1200-ish I think). But then I don't know if I NEED two laptops, but the flexibility is nice. For the Mac Pro, it'd be a bit more money (configured up the way I'd probably get it)... but it wouldn't be portable.

    I can't really consolidate to one machine... one thing I do is broadcast my DJ'ing live with video, which really needs a separate machine to do the encoding... and I need at least one laptop for the DJ part.
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    This really depends on how much you value portability in your next system. And I suspect only you can answer that.

    The differences between the rMBP and nMP really boil down to a nice 15" retina display vs. a pair of workstation GPUs. The prices aren't even that far apart - a maxed-out 15" rMBP is in the same ball-park as an entry level Mac Pro. The stuff you're doing isn't going to benefit hugely from the workstation GPUs but if you value portability, that beautiful 15" retina display and laptop form factor are unmatched. And, you've already proven that this years primary computer can be your DJ machine in a couple of years. That's getting added value out of your investment that would probably end if you switched your primary computer to a Mac Pro.
  3. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    This is because AutoPano Giga's spec page is completely awful. It's unlikely that they push it very hard, and I highly doubt you'll see a difference. As for everything else in your list, it will make 0 difference. This includes lightroom and elements. They do nothing that chokes the gpu any more than refreshing your desktop. I've come to the conclusion that most users simply have no clue about computing hardware. Autopano apparently recommends dedicated graphics memory, but they don't require it. With large pano stitches, spherical or otherwise, your issue is going to be ram. If you want to view it as a texture map in whatever 3d program, possibly vram. The second most important thing is cpu. GPU is way down the list and not always on it.

  4. Ryan0751 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    Hmm... I'm thinking that a lot of the new Mac Pro would probably sit unused and make little difference to my everyday use. I kind of like the idea of cycling in a new mac book every 2-3 years and repurposing the other one.
  5. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    In this case the laptop conveyor belt from desktop, to DJ, to eBay is the right answer I think.

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