URGENT ADVICE NEEDED: Mac Pro Purchase

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by scottrichardson, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. scottrichardson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #1
    Hi all,

    My employer owns my 8 core 2.8Ghz 2008 Mac Pro. They need it back, next week or so, and I need to purchase myself a new machine.

    I am frustrated by the current mac pro lineup, as I am sure many others are.

    To replace my 2.8Ghz octo core machine, I'd like something as fast, or faster.

    I'm both a designer, and mostly do web design, graphic design and some 3D, and also a DJ/producer, making trance music.

    This 2.8Ghz machine has been amazing to me. I never hit the CPU limits in my audio software, and I churn through the graphics work with ease, only sometimes hitting bottlenecks on super high res PSD files.

    So, what model do I buy?

    My employer is also taking 1 of my two 20" displays. So I need a new display.

    I really dont want to fork out for the 2.66 model, even though I have a feeling this will best suit what I need, and last longer into the future.

    My alternative choices really are the 8 core 2.27Ghz model, or the quad core 2.93Ghz model.

    I am wondering how often I use the full 8 cores on my current machine. I am wondering if the 4 core 2.93Ghz machine would feel faster in every day use, especially compared to the 8 core 2.27Ghz... of am I shooting myself in the foot by not going the 8 core route and having it ready for when software is even better threaded?

    I also know that if I wanted to, I could go the 2.27, then swap out the XEONS (carefully) with faster chips, even 6 core chips, next year $$$ permitting.

    So, I'm after any advice anyone can give me, as I'm really stuck.

    I need a new mac pro, at least one 24" display, a high end graphics card (radeon 4870 no doubt), and at least 6GB RAM...

    HELP!
     
  2. bbadalucco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #2

    Why don't you pickup a refurbished 3.2 Octo (2008)...seems it would meet all your needs.
     
  3. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #3
    Look on your local craigslist for a used 2.8x8. You should be able to get one for about $2100...
     
  4. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #4
    Im in Australia so those prices will be a bit different....

    but yeah.. I did consider getting another 2.8.... tho a 3.2 would be awesome. I wonder if there's any around in Australia..

    I saw one 2.8Ghz on ebay but it seemed too good to be true.. brand new, return stock, with upgrades.
     
  5. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #5
    if you get it through PayPal.. they do insure that you get what is advertised.
     
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #6
    the 2x 2.26 GHz Mac Pro is about the same speed, sometimes faster than the 2x 2.8 GHz Mac Pro because the CPU is the new Nehalem architecture which has 16 threads among other things http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=672596.

    dont always count on clock speed, this is the megahertz myth.
     
  7. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #7
    ^ yeah I totally understand, and get that the nehalem architecture is superior, and clock for clock is more powerful.. but I just had a feeling that 2.26 nehalem wouldn't quite match the 2.8 from last year.

    To be honest I have read mixed benchmarks... some putting the 2.27 as slower, some faster.

    I'd love to hear from someone who has owned both, or used both extensively, so I can get first hand reports on how the 2.27 runs in comparison.
     
  8. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #8
    check your local craigslist and ebay. if that fails, hit Apple refurb site. You an normally get a good octo for around 2100-2900
     
  9. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #9
    The 2.26 can probably match or exceed the 2.8 in single-threaded applications thanks to speedstepping and better memory control, but I would imagine that the 2.8 would be greater then the 2.26 once multiple threads are applied to load the processors.

    One needs to worry if their CPUs have a heatspreader or are "naked", because that would affect which processor one would have to buy. In this case, "naked" processors are much harder to come across then ones with a heatspreader, thus linking the heatsink to the processor may prove difficult.

    Nehalem Mac Pros have had some problems with audio programs like Pro Tools AFAIK. (I assumed Pro Tools was audio). Has to deal with Hyperthreading, methinks....

    Probably the 2.66 model would work best. IDK enough about the processor swap in the new MacPros to really advise it. (Read up on Gugucom's successful attempt. Use MRoogle.) If not, another 2.8, 3.0, or 3.2 from the last generation would probably suit your needs.

    Do you need colour accuracy?

    If so, there are several good choices out there. NEC 2690, 2490 (or any non-TN NEC), HP LP2475W, Dell 2209WA, Planar PX2611W, and Apple's monitor are all good choices. The Dell 2410U I haven't heard much about, save that Rev. A might have uneven-backlighting issues.

    If you don't need accuracy, then those displays you may find overpriced.

    Get parts from places other then Apple. There's an entire thread here on flashing a 4870 from a stock card, no need for Apple's BS. RAM upgrades can be had from places like Newegg and Macsales (DDR3 1066). HDDs are always nice to get other places, too. And with flashing a 4870, methinks one can get two DVI ports nowadays.... Not sure, though. This needs answering before you should consider flashing a 4870.
     
  10. Kace macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    #10
    I would recommend you buy your something that you can work with for the next few months till the upgraded MP is released. Reason I say this--- well the Aussie dollar is gaining against the USD. AUD vs USD has gone up about 20% since the MP was last updated. I expect the new stock MP to reduce in price by around AU$500. This alone would justify buying something that you can get by, for now, and then buy the latest and greatest when it comes out.

    Same goes for a lot of the Apple Products, their prices are bound to be reduced when the latest iterations are introduced (mostly desktops, they were updated the months before the notebooks AUD vs USD increased by 25+% during this period).

    I say wait till you can. If not then buy off ebay and wait for updates...
     
  11. parakiet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    #11
    next few months? that would me may or june, 8 too 9 months from now!
     
  12. Jarman74 macrumors regular

    Jarman74

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #12
    What he said :cool: On a side note:

    Woohoo!!! Have a blast, man! :D
     
  13. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    Fellow Aussie

    To the O.P.

    Yeah, we did get screwed over with the pricing of the new Mac Pros (the exchange rate was at its worst for us). I picked up one of the first Harpertown refrubs that came up.

    If you can, find a second hand Harpertown on eBay or something. They're still the best bang for buck in Australia...
     
  14. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #14
    Hi guys,

    Many thanks for the responses.

    Dr. Pants, yeah I am fairly concerned with color accuracy. I'd prefer to stick to Apple screens, as over priced as they are. I see myself, eventually, owning 2 x 24" LEDs. But will start with one for now.

    Also, I didn't know about the flashing of 4870's. I'm going to read up on that now. So I could save a could hundred there for sure.

    I totally realise that our dollar here in Aus is so much stronger now, and that when the current lineup of MP's were released, our dollar was far weaker. And I have this suspicion that Apple might drop the prices in Australia, even without a product update or refresh. The question is when they will be doing it!?

    Do you guys think that there will be a product refresh before the introduction of the next Xeon's from Intel? Technically there ARE faster Xeon's available now, perhaps Apple might do a minor refresh with a speed bump of ~300Mhz across the board?

    The 2.66Ghz model is really the one I want. I can get a really good price on it because I have a friend who is a reseller, but even then, it's going to cost me over $9,000 AUD! Which is insane considering that this 8 core 2.8Ghz cost around $6500.

    Appreciate all the responses!

    Maybe I can stall my employer, hold them off from taking this machine for a couple more weeks.
     
  15. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #15
    OK guys, an idea popped into my head.

    Is there any way I could buy one from the US? And have it shipped here to Aus directly, or via a friend who lives in the US?

    Couldn't a friend technically 'send it to me as a gift, or loan'? That way I could get around the import duties?

    Also, would I simply need different power cables? Or would the power supplies be completely different?

    Look at the savings:

    - MacPro 2.66Ghz Octocore
    - Radeon 4870
    - 24" LED Display

    buy from US: $6,701 AUD
    buy from Australia: $10,349 AUD

    Like, WHAT THE HELL!

    The price difference is INSANE! Even with import duties and shipping costs, I'd still be saving an amazing amount of money.

    Anyone?
     
  16. scottrichardson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #16
    for any Aussies interested:

    Just calculated the import costs:

    $6701 = cost of computer in AUD
    $335 customs duty
    $150 insurance
    $7186 VoTI = the amount to work the GST from
    $719 GST... so this plus $335 customs duty

    = $,1054 TOTAL import duties

    $6,701 + $1,054 = $7755 TOTAL COST (+ shipping)

    SAVINGS = $2,594

    UMM.. EPIC WIN.
     
  17. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #17
    Hi

    Just a suggestion, can you try to convince or salestalk your boss that you wanted to buy his 2008 MacPro and he can just buy a another one for his his own use? Since you've personally used that machine and you know it works well.

    I also agree on the other members' comment that the 2008 MacPro is the best option. Have you tried checking Apple resellers in Singapore about the 2008 Macpro? It's geographically closer to Australia.

    Thanks.
     
  18. dsiew81 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #18
    Sound advice. One other suggestion, sign up for ADC and your Octo 2.66 + 4870 + 24" LED package will be AUD$8,278.60. Still not as cheap as US, but it's still better than AUD$10K. And the Singapore store is crazy-cheap, a quad can be had for ~AUD$3300. Add in the ADC discount, and it drops to ~AUD$2600. The Octos are still decent @ ~AUD$6100 for the tower itself, which definitely beats AUD$8,449!
     
  19. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    Don't think there is a 4870 or 4890 with a Mini Display port. So you would have to buy a converter from DVI to MDP for nearly $200 US. Might as well buy apples 4870.
     
  20. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #20
    Get something similar.

    Open Activity Monitor

    Swap CPU = Not worth it.
     
  21. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #21
    Indeed. MDP->DVI converters are priced pretty heavily, so Apple's 4870 is the best bang-for-the-buck involved with their ACDs.
     

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