What desktop mac would you buy now?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by anthonys, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. anthonys macrumors member

    anthonys

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    I need to buy another computer within the next 1-2 weeks to replace my 15month old Macbook Pro that I just sold to a friend. It was a great computer but with new ones around the corner, it struggling a bit with some recent games and the good price he offered, I couldn't refuse.

    I had in my mind that I'd get a new 3.06ghz 8800 iMac or dual 2.8ghz (maybe single 2.8) mac pro to replace it as it never really left my desk, so no need for a portable. I've been researching the past few days and still confused about what the best option would be though..

    The iMac seems to keep up with the Mac Pro for what I'd be using it for; that is CS3, iLife apps, general email/web and games (under Vista). I never use any rendering software at home and very little video (After effects/iMovie) work.

    My concerns are:

    The iMac still has issues with the display; like the uneven illumination (my PB had that and I don't want to revisit that problem), though it's hard to find any recent information on this - most reported problems seem to be dated before August this year? Has anyone bought an iMac recently that exhibits this issue? I'm not sure I'm in to the whole glossy screen either. All the macs I've owned (six) in the last 5 years have had matte screens.

    The Mac Pro is overpriced for what it is now given that it hasn't been updated for so long and Nehalem might be around the corner, which will offer a significant performance improvement. Obviously the Mac Pro has a lot more room for upgrades but the extra I'd need to spend on it, a decent screen and it's upgrades would cover buying another iMac in a years time, and that new iMac would probably be faster.

    It just seems like a bad time in the Apple cycle to buy a desktop? I'm toying with the idea of picking up a new notebook if they do end up releasing them next Tuesday... seems like it might just be the right time for notebooks. :confused:
     
  2. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #2
    Why not get a refurb iMac to get you through the next couple of months and then sell it off to buy whichever looks the best to you at the end of the year?
     
  3. anthonys thread starter macrumors member

    anthonys

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Looked at that option but it's much harder to find refurbs in the UK (especially as I want the 8800 card), plus cost isn't really a concern cause I'm funding the purchase with the sale of my notebook, so quite happy to just go with a new one.

    The problem I guess is that I want to get a Mac Pro but at the moment the iMacs are so competitive on cost and performance for what I'd be doing that it almost seems silly to buy a Mac Pro now?

    The iMac is £1450 with 4GB RAM while a Mac Pro with 23" ACD and extras like webcam, microphone etc is going to be closer to £2400. If I just went with the single 2.8 quad Pro it comes down to around £2000 but is this going to offer any real performance advantage over the iMac?

    I can see the Mac Pro overtaking it when more apps and snow leopard use more cores but by then I could put the money I saved not getting the Pro and buy a newer iMac. If the 24" iMacs still have screen issues it might make sense to go for the Mac Pro now.. aah *can't decide* :rolleyes:
     
  4. jdwingnut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Location:
    In the Redwoods, California
    #4
    This should help sort out any performance questions you may have in regards to the different machines.

    http://browse.geekbench.ca/
     
  5. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    I've never heard of the mac pro being over priced. At least the dual 2.8 version at least. I think it's a great value, especially when you go refurb. After I had an old iMac's screen die after 2 years, I've never touched an iMac again because once the screen goes, the computer is more or less not an iMac anymore. Sure you can hook it up to an external, but it completely misses the point in that case.
     
  6. anthonys thread starter macrumors member

    anthonys

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Ah, you're right, the Mac Pro isn't really that much more expensive than buying all those components separately - if at all! I think I'm leaning towards a dual 2.8.

    We just got two brand new 24" iMacs in the studio this week and I've just been around to inspect their screens. They both feature a very subtle gradient from the left to right hand side of the screen. These are September builds. Apple seems to constantly have issues with uneven screens as I've experienced it on Powerbooks and iMacs previously and this time I'm going to avoid. It's a shame they can't put a decent screen in the iMac.. :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  7. byocrysis macrumors regular

    byocrysis

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #7
    Why not go with the 2.8ghz single core Mac Pro. As far as I know, games do not utilize multiple cores in the first place at this time. In addition, it will save you some much needed cash and will be user upgradeable (graphics card, ram, and hard drives) in the future which will extend the longevity of your purchase. If the lack of 8-cores will be a problem in the foreseeable long-run, there are plenty of macintosh certified retailers that will be able to install the additional processor if that becomes a necessity or required commodity.
     
  8. anthonys thread starter macrumors member

    anthonys

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Yes, you're right, I don't think any apps I will be using on it will take advantage of 8 cores. Will the next version of OSX use it though? I've read that it's quite expensive to add another CPU in the future but I guess if it's at least possible prices will probably come down.. hmm..
     
  9. The Hammer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada

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