Want to buy a Mac Pro and two monitors

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nmaxcom, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. nmaxcom, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015

    nmaxcom macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2014
    Hi everyone!

    I'm switching my desktop PC for an apple machine. I need a bit of power for my usage (from simple development to 3D modeling, After Effects etc). My current machine is an i7 2'7GHz 12Gb RAM and a powerful enough graphics card.

    I feel that there's a big gap between the best Mini and the lower tier Mac Pro, but I guess I'll have to pay up for the lowest version of Mac Pro because the maxed out Mini is too mini. It but be a burden buying another laptop (or just selling the 13" I have and buy the new one like a rMBP 15") but if price/performance is good I could do that.

    I'd love a bit of advice:
    1. I've seen a couple threads saying the current Mac Pro didn't get out good for the price or something and that we should wait etc... Is true in any of that? Cause I can't wait, I need the new machine soon. So am I buying a good quality/price product? I don't need the shiny new black bin, if there's a cheaper (older?) Mac Pro that performs good enough for the price, I'll go for it. I just don't know the market. Is it better buying a new rBP 15" maxed out instead and just plug in two monitors?
    2. What screens should I buy? I want dual monitor no bigger than 24", but I don't know about these "ultra HD" and other names they give'em. Is it worth pay for these super high def screens (worth double)?
    3. If I do the bootcamp thing (never done it) for Win 7, will things like Battlefield run smoothly there?
    4. Do I need to buy something else to plug both screens to the thing? :p
    Thank you guys!
  2. nmaxcom thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2014
  3. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    the gap between the mac mini and the pro is filled by the imac. I wouldn't expect great performance from battlefield 4 on the mac pro. I'm planning on a dual 4k setup with the pro but spending $400 per monitor may not sit well with some people. mac pro can run multiple monitors no problem
  4. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    1) The Mac Pro was a paradigm change that made the whole internet rage. When it was new it wasn't a bad deal now not so much. It's a quality computer it's just aging and Apple still charges what they were charging in 2013. Yes you can buy an older Mac and bump it up to the performance of the new one but that machine is getting pretty old and it's not going to be particularly cheap to do it.
    2) Screens area very personal I have a 30" ACD at home and 2 Dell U2412M's at work I like them both just fine.
    3) Not a gamer nor a Windows user
    4) You witll need MDP to whatever your monitor uses unless it uses MDP or TB.


    lowendlinux would not buy a Mac Pro right now It's to old for an in essence not upgradable computer to pay full retail for. I also wouldn't pay the ~3k price tag for a maxed out rMBP with Apple history of dGPU's I think a 15" Iris would be OK but...
  5. Arron Rouse macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2010
    Chichester, UK
    Unless you spend quite a lot, i.e. on a Mac Pro, you're not going to get anything much better than your current PC.

    You're right to put the bold on "big gap".

    1. Whenever you buy a Mac, you're buying for the moment. You can buy what seems a great machine one day and the next day Apple will release something better. The Mac Pro is no different. If you buy one, just don't read any news about new Apple machines for a year and you'll be happy :)
      Getting a maxed-out rMBP might well be OK if you're a casual gamer rather than hardcore. To me, the processing power is about half-way between the Mac Mini and Mac Pro.
    2. Screens depend on your use. If you want 4k, the Dell P2715Q and P2415Q are probably the best value. To my mind, the extra cost is worth it for work. For games, the current graphics chips don't use that 4k very well.
    3. Boot Camp is OK for games but only OK. See comment below.
    4. Depends on the machine. Worry about that when you've got it.
    From everything you say, I suspect you're trying to fit too much into a single machine. Work is normally much nicer on the Mac. I'm guessing that's why you want to switch. But if you want to play games, you're better off with a PC or console.

    If you can, I'd suggest you do as I've done and keep them separate. I've got a PC for games and a Mac Pro 4,1 for work. The PC is hooked up to a big screen because games are more fun that way. And because the Mac doesn't have to play games, it has lasted for 6 years now. It's still fine for work and there's no pressure to update it for the latest games. You could get yourself a used 6 or 12 core Mac Pro for a reasonable price that will probably last you 4-5 years. There are loads of threads here about upgrading 4 or 8 cores if you want to save money and get inside the case.

    To me, your best options are:
    • Get a PC for games and a (maybe used) Mac Pro 4,1/5,1/6,1 for work -- that way you'll get the fastest games and work
    • Or, get a PC for games and a Retina MacBook Pro for work -- that way you'll get the fastest games and can take your work with you
    Either way you can use the monitors for both.
  6. nfable macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2007
    I'm a big fan of Apple refurbished to take some sting out... Just saw a 3.7GHz Xeon E5 with 12gb ram for $2550. That's a sting still, but if you're pursuing demanding creative applications for professional use (I.e. Your job / source of income) then it could be justified in the long run.

    Also a fan of discounts in general... I got a color calibrated Dell U2413 from BH Video's used dept that's been great.

    And for video games: get a console.

  7. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
  8. Raddock macrumors member


    Jul 7, 2008
    Here's my experience...
    1. Yep, it's pretty expensive. It's a few years old now (approaching 2). I got the 6 core with D700's. The only way to future proof your machine is to buy the most that you can afford. The more maxed it is for RAM, video, CPU, etc. the longer it will last. Honestly you need to buy what makes sense for your use. This computer is used for my home business and gaming. I boot into windows for games. It can run Battlefield 4 no sweat, but I have the most expensive cards in it. In windows, the dual cards work in Crossfire mode, meaning the GPUs split the rendering onto each card giving you better gaming performance.
    2. Entirely up to you. If you do video work, or design in any way, you'll want a larger monitor. I had two Apple 27" monitors, but one died recently, and swapped them for two Dell 4k P2715q monitors. I run them in scaled hi-dpi retina mode. They look fantastic, but aren't native Mac displays and have a few minor issues.
    3. Answered in #1.
    4. Most screens come with cables to hook them up. Just be aware that you have mini displayports on the Mac Pro, not every monitor has those connections, but most new ones do. The Dell monitors I got came with cables that work out of the box, and of course the Apple monitors work out of the box.
  9. orph macrumors 65816

    Dec 12, 2005
    Benq make good displays for the price, http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/ has lots of display info

    benq non flicker VA or IPS displays look good, dont think 10bit displays are a thing yet on osx without a balckmagic card thing so get a true 8bit if you can,

    dell make relay well priced IPS displays that calibrate well and are always on sale on amazon

    but you may already have a display from your old computer?

    4k is no good for games at full rezz

    http://macperformanceguide.com/ has a wealth of info on performance and benchmarks.

    depends what tasks your doing, im on CS6 so i need nvidia GPU's but if you on CC then ATI is cool (tho not much i do is accelerated much :( ) check the apps your using and see what they need speck wise.
    the imac with i7 + upgraded GPU might be a better option than the base mac pro.
    the mac pro pull's ahead once you hit the 6 core which is always held as the sweat spot (even on the mac pro4.1/5.1)

    4K video wants 4GB Vram + if thats what your working on

    with a new mac pro you'll have to get some kind of storage going as the SSD's wont hold much :p
  10. nmaxcom thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2014
    Hi guys,

    To bring closure to this topic, so to speak, I'll tell you I finally bowed and bought the Mac Pro 3,5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5, 16 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC, AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB (dual) and two DELL U2414H Display.

    I was charged a whopping 4600€ for the machine itself. I'm temporarily in a good money situation so I was "what the heck let's have it". :oops:
    Do you think I should increase its RAM? I think I could use the upgrade. Would it be very expensive?

    About the displays, I can't find the bill but you can find it online, it was about 200€ each I guess.

    Thank you for your suggestions, it's always a pleasure here.
  11. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    NO, IT IS NOT!!!!!!! Why does everyone insist on saying the iMac fills this gap. It's an all in one, buyers of the mini or the mac pro do NOT want an all in one!! Anyone who thinks an iMac fills this space (especially if you work for Apple) go punch yourself in the face really hard. Please!
  12. Raddock macrumors member


    Jul 7, 2008

    Great to hear you picked one! It's been a great machine for me. RAM is really up to you and what you do. 16 should suffice for most everyday tasks. If you plan on doing anything memory intensive (video editing, or working with high resolution files) you might want more. But honestly with the speed of SSD's these days, RAM seems to be less of an issue as things seem to cache quickly.

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