What To Do If Not Buying New Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Velin, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Currently running a couple 2008 Mac Pros. Great boxes.

    Haven't looked too closely at the new Mac Pro. But on the limited research I have done, I don't know if the Mac Pro line is for me any longer.

    First, is it me, or are these new Mac Pros pricier than in the past? Or about the same as prior models? I can't remember what I paid for my 3,1 aluminum boxes, maybe it was the same.

    Bigger issue, lack of options, expandability and tinkering. Seems to me the new Mac Pro is even more geared towards pros in the editing and compiling businesses. I have no problem with that.

    But looking back, it seems to me the older Mac Pros had optionality for home-based pros who know their way around boxes and could set them up as servers, gaming machines, hubs, etc. We could swap out video cards, keeping the machine updated and relevant. Easily replace stock drives with aftermarket SSDs, and slap in three more SSDs via the sleds. Memory, easily upgradeable. It was great.

    Doesn't seem that way with the new Mac Pro. Not looking to rehash that large thread about upgrading. But looking at the FirePro cards, for example, seriously, I just don't need them, nor do I need or want to drive three 4k displays. Can I outfit this thing with a high-end prosumer card? It doesn't look easy. Minimum 12GB RAM? Why can't I buy it like before, just a couple of sticks (4 GB) and let me buy some aftermarket RAM, as I see fit? Hard drives, I'd need SSDs, and would prefer to be able to swap them out. Doesn't seem like I can do that with this machine, or at least not easily. And that is some damn expensive storage. Do I really need SSS? Don't know.

    So, I'm unsure if this machine is for me. Assume it isn't. What now? What Apple machine do we go to now, one that gives us a powerful desktop that we can mold to our needs, without spending superfluously on stuff we definitely don't need? Really am not interested in iMac, can't upgrade it and I've already got Apple LED displays. Macmini, that thing is way underpowered for what we do.

    So where do we turn? What's in the lineup for us?
  2. ybz90, Dec 19, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013

    ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    They upgradeability is much worse, but whether that's important to you, only you know. As for pricing, it's actually a bit cheaper.

    I don't mean to be condescending but things like "set[ting] them up as servers, gaming machines, hubs, etc." don't really constitute being a "pro" imho, or at least don't require pro-level gear; I'd argue that these tasks are just as well suited with either a Mac Mini or a homebuilt (Linux) PC. For the use cases you list, you really don't need a Mac Pro, and if your issue with the new one is that some components are superfluous, the argument can be made the old Mac Pro was probably superfluous as well.

    So to answer your question -- build a PC (or several with the money you save). Since your use cases are generally home-based as opposed to enterprise, if you really need OS X, Hackintosh is even an option. (I always shake my head when people recommend Hackintoshing for corporate settings, where stability, uptime, and reliability is paramount.)
  3. Velin thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Not condescending, these were some of my home uses. Our office is outfitted with Mac Pros and iMacs, we are document and data heavy, and use the Pros for data analysis and forensic searching, and editing very large materials, sometimes tens of thousands of pages. We also had been running OSX Server and a network on a Mac Pro, it worked great.

    Not only did standard PCs choke on our data and docs, Windows just sucked badly, so many damn crashes. OSX was vastly more robust for our tasks, with almost no downtime. Best move we made, techwise. We also saved a fortune on outside vendor help. I simply didn't want to run through that littany, and I also am interested in a home Apple machine I can make a powerful jack of all trades. But not new Mac Pro powerful, you are absolutely right about that.

    I'm just unsure what to do.
  4. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    The obvious good news about your two 2008 boxes is they can run 10.9 in needed. Software updates should be within the parameter of your cMP!:)
  5. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    I will hang on till the 3,1 is obsolete next year at least unless a cheap 5,1 crosses my path.

    The only other option that will really tempt me is if Quo release an LGA2011 motherboard. I built two hackintoshes using their haswell board a few weeks ago and they are spooky for a hack, strangely genuine Mac like - no calls with any problems at all whatsoever. I have been calling them instead for sit reps!

    Review here:

  6. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    I plan to find an old 30 inch Apple Cinema Display. Over the next four years, I'll incrementally upgrade my 5,1.
  7. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    I think the new ones are more expensive than the 2008 but cheaper than the 2009s or 2010s.

    The 2008s were unusually inexpensive.
  8. riggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2013
  9. Donar macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2008
    a)Hold on to your 3.1
    b)Buy a 4.1 or 5.1 (New or used).
    c)Wait and see if Apple releases a Big box in the near future.
    d)Buy the nMP or a refreshed version maybe next year.

    Choose wisely. :)
  10. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    Bold, IF you can get a good deal, but most of those may be gone...
  11. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Take the mony and bring your significant other on vacation. You'll get plenty of bonus point and save yourself the screaming fest that you would get for spending that much $$$ on a computer...
  12. sn1p3r845 macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm keeping my 5,1 for another 2 years at least.

    2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    64GB 1066 MHz DDR3 RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB
    Samsung EVO 1TB SSD
    Areca 1223X Raid Controller Mini-SAS
    SansDigital 8 Bay TowerRaid w/ WD RE4 2TB HDDs

    I equipped up to bypass this rush and keep me going cutting and compositing epic 5k footage on a daily basis. So far it's crushing everything I throw at it.
  13. bpd115 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2003
    My 1,1 will be moving to the side....
    I've put in an SSD, a 4870 and upgraded it to an 8 core 2.66 with 10 gig of Ram. It's running 10.9 via Hackentosh methods, but still can rip a blu ray in under 2 hours.

    I was going to get a new Pro...but for my needs/cost and the performance, I may just see what the new Mac Minis bring to the table with a fusion drive.

    My old pro will still be there to slap standard drives in and use as a network'ed box/workhorse.

    I will say by far this 1,1 was the best computer I've purchased as far as usability and longevity is concerned.
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Not particularly likely with the new one back-ordered months back. Some systems are going to be retired over the next year. Apple is going to have 2010-2012 systems coming off lease to that they can fold back into the refurb market.

    It isn't like retirement of 2009-2012 systems has exhaustively completed in the last couple of months. People throwin up examples of 2006-2008 systems they are actively using is all the more indicative of that.

    Finally now that there something to buy other than refurb/used that demand pressure will also leave the refurb/used market also.
  15. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    Well, at least on my local Craigslist, I'm not seeing any 5,1 systems that are at a price that would make it worth it over just going for a nMP.
  16. Spinland, Dec 19, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013

    Spinland macrumors 6502


    Jul 16, 2011
    Utica, NY, USA
    What to do if?

    My advice to you (YouTube)


    To get serious, have you considered just getting the old school MP? I looked at them closely, and my main beef was the USB2, but you can apparently add USB3 cards so there's that. I saw several 12 core refurbs on Apple's site over the past couple of days, and some were priced nicely.
  17. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    Your lame attempt to be funny does not help the OP at all, who is asking that question not as a general inquiry but rather in context to his specific situation. It's clear you didn't read the OP in detail at all or if you did, your response is not helpful.
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    These were largely single CPU Mac Pros with sub 32GB of memory in them? If your documents are not growing fast over time, the steadily progressing iMac and Mini will catch up to your workload demands over time.

    As for the tinkering aspect, if there is a big enough demand eventually someone may come out with a Thunderbolt tinker box. A box that folks can do various projects inside of over time in. I wouldn't expect that for several years though as it is going to be cheaper just to buy used Mac Pros for experiment in the basement projects.


    Temporary bubbles aren't particularly indicative of long term trends. Defacto Apple isn't selling Mac Pros right now. They are "selling" places in line to the vast majority folks right now. Most folks don't retire critical machines before they get a new one. When the both new and used market gets back to normal it is unlikely that current criaglist state is going to match that normal.
  19. propower, Dec 19, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013

    propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    IMO this is where apple is going and there will be no big box in the future.

    Now - what are the issues
    Storage: In this new MAC future all will need external storage - NAS, DAS, USB3, TB, Ethernet - all are already available and the cost will just go up depending on the speed and amount you need. Once you do it though - your done. Every new machine for the next "while" will use this external array...

    RAM: with this you get what you need with the machine and for the most part can do some expansion in the future (at least on imacs and nMPs). For MANY 16G is enough - Next tier 32G is a lot and covers most of the rest. For those who NEED more they will have to pay the 64G premium.

    PCIe: its all in external boxes now. Fast graphics have to be done internal...

    Hopefully there will start to be more combo TB boxes that have storage and some PCIe expansion in them (Sonnet is already there).

    SO.... with the exception of a bit more $$ and the need for external storage not much has really changed to me. Sure the oMP will be great for at least a few years to come. After that one either embrace the new paradigm or go PC. I personally like external storage - using Blackmagic Mutidock. Can easily slip a new disk in whenever I need - and it is fast, bootable, raidable - and silent. For backups I use Ethernet NAS.
  20. MattDSLR macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2011
    I'm with you :)
  21. Mac Moof macrumors member

    Mac Moof

    Aug 5, 2013
    Well I still have my trusty 2009 Mac Pro, which was a Quad 2.93GHz. After Apple released the details of the new Mac Pro i realised that firstly it would be out of my price range and not really geared to what i want to achieve.

    Therefore i started to undertake an upgrade programme for the old Mac Pro. It firstly started by upgrading the firmware to 5.1 Mac Pro, then i installed six core 3.33GHz Processor and finally a EVGA nVidia 680 GTX. I am still looking to install an SSD and faster mass storage hard drive.

    But when i look at that, all this work will cost me £1200 (approx) which is much cheaper than a new Mac Pro (closer to £4000 on my spec). From that my Geek Bench score have gone from 8800 to 14200 (approx) which is huge boost and i think the new Mac Pro is only 16000 or so. Plus the performance on my GTX 680 is helping drag the system forward too.

    Hopefully my Mac Pro will hold together for another 2-3 years and then i will see what Apple has to offer. Realistically though I start to buy things that will be compatible with the new Mac Pro as far as i can, and modifying my workflow so it will be an easier transition in the future, such as storing more information to a central NAS.
  22. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    The cylinder Mac Pro is clearly aimed at creative professionals, so it does reduce the target market for the Mac Pro line even more. I do not create content, I do not render, I do not have a "workflow," nor do I work in photos and/or videos every day. I work in Information Technology, and the Mac Pro was a wonderful option for me based off of the power it had and the expandability. I love being able to fire up (legally) any OS I desire such as OS X, Windows, Linux, Solaris, or anything in between. The dual processors are nice, and the 128GB of RAM is nice. All slots but one are loaded down with large spindles in RAID0 for excellent performance, and one slot has an Apple 512SSD.

    I have owned many computers over the years from a dual 500MHz Pentium III that I assembled when Windows NT was the only OS that would support dual processors besides *nix.

    With the new cylinder design, they are doing away with dual processor capability. Less RAM expansion so far (unless larger modules are released), no room for inexpensive bulk spindle drives except on a desk, etc. I proudly have my Mac Pro on my desk with two 27" Apple Cinema Displays. I don't like the idea of only having Flash Storage on a desktop computer. It is okay for an Ultrabook, but I like a combination of spindles and flash on a desktop. Hard to beat the capacity and performance of a large RAID0 array for disposable data usage.

    I expect to use this machine for a long time to come. Will probably upgrade the spindles to 4TB/128MB cache in a little while, but right now I have 6TB of online local storage so I am good.

    I have no doubt the cylinder Mac Pro is an excellent machine and I would love to have one, but it does not meet my needs like the big iron model does.
  23. avemestr macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012

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