What I think I want?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Martyimac, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Martyimac macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2009
    S. AZ.
    Every since the release of the new Mac Pro's, I've been against the pricing structure but have decided that I want one since I do not want the all in one iMac. The iMac is just to closed for my taste.
    I have decided on the base model, 2.8GHZ quad with the 5770 graphics card. More RAM will come from OWC. This from perusing a number of sites and their testing results.

    Considering I don't do anything that really stresses a system, is there any reason to go for the next speed bumped chip?
    All I will do is light word processing, internet surfing, e-mail, scanning a bunch of old family photos into the computer, some very light video conversions, etc. I plan on using the iLife programs but any recommendations would be welcome.

    And at some point, say a couple years down the road, do you think I will be able to upgrade the CPU?

    Anything different you would do?
  2. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    for what you are doing I would say it will be fine and while you might be able to update depending on things it might not be worth it ?
    if you are thinking that way just get the 3.2 now ? but again I would say it wont make much difference ?

    the video stuff to play with the faster chips will be better but if its just playing around with light video save the coin !!!!

    I would say throw 12 gigs in it ? 3 4 gig chips for memory

    I would get another HDD from newegg and put inside and use that to store stuff on keeping your main boot drive free as you can :) meaning you store all your documents and files on the other HDD
    depending on size ? something like the 2TB WD black are really nice and fast for storage

    for backing up not sure if you have any externals now ?

    also I think its nice to have two sets of BU ! so this is going with that theory :)
    now I would also get one more HDD for backing up your data

    I would also say get a larger external setup and use for TIme Mchine ? you could use a internal but the externals can be nice if you have to move the data to read it off another machine ? but you could always use another internal ? for this purpose ?

    so depending on if you have any other externals now ?
    and how much data you have now ?
    any thoughts on how much you might have over the next year ?

    might change the size of HDD to get :)
    if you dont have much 1 extra 1TB might be just fine for data ?
  3. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    For what you do its not really worth the upgrade. You might be better off putting the money towards RAM/SSD/HDD. I went for the 2.93 over the 2.66 because i do a lot of Photoshop, Maya and Logic. I would have gone for the dual CPU Mac Pro but just couldn't afford it.

    Regarding the CPU, i have read a few threads on here about people who have done this but its not cheap.

    In 5 years or so i might if it is cheap enough, or i'll just buy a newer Mac Pro and sell the current one. Or use it for storage or rendering.

    I nearly bought an iMac instead of the Mac Pro, and i'm so glad i didn't. Even the new iMacs are not as powerful as my 2009 Mac Pro. Plus i need the expandability.
  4. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    >All I will do is light word processing, internet surfing, e-mail, scanning a bunch of old family photos into the computer, some very light video conversions, etc. I plan on using the iLife programs but any recommendations would be welcome.

    Really, save yourself $2 grand and get a Mac Mini. For what you are doing here you do NOT need the power of a Mac Pro.

    As much as I love my Mac Pro, you have to realize that I also am a heavy Aperture user, I use Second Life a lot (which really drags down even the newest computers), play games and tend to push it hard often. But for what you mention a Mac Mini will do fine and you can put the rest of the money into a VERY nice monitor, external storage, the works.
  5. loungecorps macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2010
    I agree and if you want more than 1 hdd go for the server version:)
  6. Martyimac thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2009
    S. AZ.
    The monitor I have already, external drive for backups also. Aftermarket keyboard and mouse, speakers.
    Mac mini, in my mind, is not much different than the notebooks and the iMacs. They basically are a closed system with essentially no upgradeability. Am I that far off base on the mini?
  7. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    JMO, but I think the 3.2 Quad offers better value when compared to both the base 2.8 and the Hex. Again, JMO ~~~~~~~~~ :p

    Now, IF/WHEN the SW world changes and supports multi-core processors then the hex/octos will demonstrate better value.

  8. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    No you're not, you're right about them not being expandable. But the list of uses that you gave doesn't really suggest you need anything more than the Mini.

    Of course your needs can change and if you think you're going to be doing heavy things in the future, by all means get the Pro. :)
  9. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    You are right that the mini is essentially the low end MacBook without a screen but possibly wrong about upgradability.

    Let's say you buy an $800 mini instead of a $2500 Mac Pro. The memory, disk drive & screen are upgradable (but you have them and don't want to upgrade). In two revisions (say 2.5 years) you buy another one and attach the old one to your TV or sell it. In another 2 revisions you buy another new mini and sell the old one. In 5 years you will have spent no more than you plan to spend now on the Pro (less if you sell the old minis) and will likely have a better machine than a 5 year old Pro.

    Five years ago the top of the line Mac Pro was a G4 PPC with 512 MB of RAM, a 160 GB HD and Radeon 9600 graphics with 128 MB of video RAM. It cost $3000. Do you know anyone who upgraded that into the current MacPro?

    Maybe you just need to redefine your notion of upgradability? Just a thought.
  10. seek3r macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    I was entirely with you and agreeing till I got to this part. 5 years ago the Mac Pro (Powermac) was at base ($2k) a 2.0 ghz dual-core G5, which is still perfectly usable as a general purpose computer today. The $3k option was a dual-dual 2.5Ghz G5 (4 cores) that would definitely still be useful for general use today.

    Moreover, 4 years ago was the '06 Mac Pros, which plenty of people are still using for work and upgrading these days and will almost certainly be using next year, and the year after (I'd bet Apple will drop them in 10.8, no way they do in 10.7, so at *least* sometime in 2012 or 2013, though that's my speculation - and people will still be able to use them beyond then without Apple including them in future updates of OSX). The G5s lost support earlier than they really should have because of the arch shift, something not likely to happen again anytime soon.

    I do agree, Martyimac, that you're probably best off with a mini though. If you do get a Pro, Hex seems to be the sweet spot for value right now and quad is there if your budget doesn't stretch that far. With your needs the machine will serve you well for a long time probably :)
  11. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    if ya want a tower get a tower :)

    refurb ? 2.66 is about $2199 not a bad deal for how much more you get over a mini ? you might find doing video and such a lot more fun on something like this ?

    no idea if its a stretch finance wise ? but if its not get a mac pro and enjoy :)
  12. philipma1957, Sep 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  13. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    I found the description of the old Mac Pro at some Mac history site. Just from memory, you seem to be right. Certainly the machine you describe would be serviceable today. I am still using a single processor G5. The question was not about serviceability but upgradability. Could the machine you describe be upgraded into today's Mac Pro? How much would it cost?

    The argument still stands. $2000 for a 2005 G5 Mac Pro vs $1800 ($500 + $600 + $700) for three Mac minis over the last 5 years. That does not count the cost of upgrading the Mac Pro or money recovered by selling the minis.

    I think it is an interesting argument which redefines the concept of upgradability. It hinges on the current mini being adequate for your needs now and how often one normally buys a new computer.

    We agree that a mini would be adequate for the OP's needs and I agree with those who say the OP should buy what he wants. This was a thought experiment. Thanks for correcting my data.
  14. Martyimac thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2009
    S. AZ.
    Good stuff and thanks to ALL that have posted.
    I looked into the mini's a little. To me, they are no different, basically, than a notebook or the iMac. No basic expandability and a little bit difficult to upgrade.
    So a little more of my background. Have been a mac and pc user since the Apple IIe days. Went into PC's when I left the service and went to work and they were using PC's so figured I better learn Windows. Started with Windows 3 and have been through all the iterations up to the Windows 7 machine I now have. 7, BTW, is a pretty good OS, none of the issues that I had with Vista may Vista rest in peace and good riddance. Also, all of my PC's have been home built by me so I am used to the concept of a tower I can upgrade/fix whenever it needs it.
    That being said, OSX has an elegance that cannot be matched by Windows. Take OSX and mix in my preference for a tower, that I can "fiddle" with, that also leads me to the MacPro.
    So, no iMac, a 13" Al. Macbook for traveling, and a MacPro seems to be where I am headed. But for those that mentioned the mini, thank you, it did cause me to stop and think a little but I know me, it wouldn't fulfill all I want from my main use computer.
    So my goal is to wean myself from the PC (the wife won't learn OSX so I will still have my fingers in Windows). But having a tower will fulfill the need to be able to "fiddle".
    Also, my sister is pushing me to go with Lightroom for picture editing and I figure the more power the better. As to buying a mini every couple of years, for some reason that just doesn't do it for me.
    And again, I really appreciate everybodies input, it has given me a LOT to work with. (And yes a refurb is definitely a possibility)
  15. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    I sold my 2008 Mac pro and bought a mini. The mini is ok but it's kind of dead ended. Miss the pro but apple has jacked the price of the Mac pros to much and decided to build me another tower. Haven't been on a pc since jaguar came out. IF you can afford it, get either a hex or a 2009 refurb. Apple should have dropped a i5 in the mini. I needed the mini to stream my videos and photos to my apple tv. But will process the videos and photos on my new build (when it get done). Less than half the price too of a Mac pro. If you don't want external drives laying around, get a pro. If you don't mind externals, get the mini and stick a ssd drive in it (replace the cd drive).

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