When to Buy Mac Pro - August or Wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by astrostu, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. astrostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    My desktop was bought in May 2001 and is the beige digital audio model. It was bought literally 2 weeks before Apple released the mirrored drive doors model ... which is why I started to read rumor sites. 733 MHz that was upgraded to 1.6 GHz last year, no-longer-functioning CD-RW drive, 896 MB RAM, and I think 16 or 32 MB graphics card. I'm a graduate student in astronomy, and so I'm really a power-user (not just because of that, but it gives a setting for this).

    I've been really wanting a new desktop for about 2 years, but I don't really have the cash, so last summer I started to save $50/week into a virtual account. The plan was that by August 2007 (2 months!) I would have around $3000 saved and could get a pretty good machine: Middle processor; minimum RAM from Apple and 2 GB from OWC; minimum HD from Apple, second from OWC, and third one that I have lying around; lower to middle graphics card; and a 30" cinema display (combined birthday/Christams present from my parents).

    So it's getting down to the point where I'm trying to really figure out when to buy this machine and to really decide on the specs. However, assuming Apple DOESN'T release new Mac Pros at WWDC next week, do you guys think I should wait past August and just buy the desktop at the next update? I mean, I've survived this long with the current one (though I've had to tape a fan to the outside of the case to suck the hot air out of the PSU when that fan short circuited), and so I'm starting to wonder if I should just stick it out maybe a few more months to see if they update the desktops or the displays (built-in iSight, anyone?). I REALLY REALLY want a new computer, but I also don't want to - in 5 years - be wondering why I didn't wait that extra 2 weeks.

    Ideas, advice, and words of wisdom?
  2. dex22 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Round Rock, TX
    I'm in a similar position to you, in that I have funds coming together to get a Mac Pro in the next couple of months.

    Personally, I'd wait for the next revision, just because it's due any month now. I like the idea of buying at the start of a product cycle, and being able to sell in a year for 90%+ of my purchase price. For a mere $300/yr investment, I can always have a current machine.

    Can you hang on another month or so after you have the funds, or will they burn a hole in your pocket?
  3. brandon6684 Guest

    Dec 30, 2002
    No matter when you buy, it'll be "outdated" within a year. If you need(or want) one right now, just go on ahead and buy it. Sure my first gen Core Duo MacBook and iMac aren't top of the line, but they'll still do me for a few years to come in addition to the year I've had them.
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    If you feel that you can wait then wait if not buy as soon as possible.
  5. Lord Nerdos macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2007
    What do you use it for?

    I was in a similar position... My four year old powerbook 12" 867MHz was getting long in the tooth and wouldn't work with a new ipod (no usb 2.0 but also hard drive errors that disk utility couldn't fix). It had been fine for me up until I started making DVDs from iMovie. The 8+ hours that it took to encode 20 minutes home movies was irritating to say the least but I figured I would grit my teeth and wait for the second mac pro model that was expected since January 2007.
    I was sure that NAB 2007 would see updated mac pros but with the release of the 8-core option I realised that the refresh would not be coming. I now have a stock mac pro quad 2.66. I could not be happier. The difference is night and day. I no longer swear in frustration as the beach ball comes up for the smallest task.
    Ironically, even though I bought the mac pro for video encoding, I have yet to do it on this machine.
    Do I regret not waiting? No! I regret waiting too long perhaps, but now that I have it my needs will be met for years to come.
    If a powerbook g4 could last for four years, then this will last even longer (assuming my needs don't change).

    If you can keep going until a date that nobody really knows, then wait. If you are pulling your hair out in frustration with your present machine then buy one today.

    August may see an all 8-core line up due to the intel price cuts, a new GPU is also well overdue. But even so, the leap from your present set-up to the current mac pro will be huge enough.:D
  6. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    With the WWDC next week (the 11th), I'd wait until at least then. The Mac Pro is long overdue for some updating, namely in the graphics card arena. Their last update was nothing more than a speed bump, offering the octo-core configuration which, to me, doesn't count.

    Perhaps Steve will surprise us with a nice Mac Pro update.......... on the other hand, he may just run his suck about the iPhone the whole time like he did at MacWorld :apple:
  7. dex22 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Round Rock, TX
    I point out that the OP said they'd hit their milestone in August. Hopefully, a revision will come by August or September - it does seem more likely than not. It's possible it could be a major revision. So we're not talking about OP waiting from now, but from August.

    By then, WWDC will be hindsight.
  8. eddx macrumors regular


    May 12, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    If you can wait wait. Wait till next week. Hope they tell us when Leopard will be out. Wait till then. Wait till the next update.

    Or do you need it today, because if you need it now go and get it. You say you a student, I'm a student too and believe me you can wait and trust me when I say it will be worth you wait.

    It's painful now but it just means a better and better machine for each day you wait. Enjoy the machine when you get it, dam a 30inch display...I'd love one.
  9. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    I am going to wait a little bit, the MBP update gives me the idea that the base RAM will be bumped to 2GB and new GPUs are on the way.
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I'd expect an update well before august, this will likely be current components at better prices. Then the next update whenever Intel start shipping Penryn Xeon processors. I see this mostly being hinted at being in early 2008.
  11. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    If past trends are indicative, what will happen is Apple will happily "absorb" the price cuts and continue to sell the same Mac Pros for as long as they can. Because we all know Apple signs a deal that disfavors them and makes them exempt from such price cuts.
  12. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    I'm hoping for an update, but what could they update?

    Apple decided to update all of its portables before bothering with the desktops. We'll have to see what this "re-investment" in desktops means.
  13. astrostu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    It sounds like the general concensus is to wait since I don't *need* it immediately, I just *want* it now.

    In response to a few specifics:

    - I agree that any new desktop at this point will seem to be an incredible improvement over my current one in terms of, well, everything (except physical size and weight). But if they give 'em a speed boost, it'll seem even faster (e.g., in raw speed, 4x2.66 GHz / 1.6 GHz = 665% faster vs., say, 4x3..0 GHz / 1.6 GHz = 750% faster). Plus there's the whole pipeline difference, the faster RAM, faster GPU, and faster hard drives.

    - One question is, does Apple consider the addition of the 8x3.0 GHz core as a complete product update? If so, then we have to wait ~8 months for an update, if not, it's due any day.

    - Another thing to consider is that they may be delaying Mac Pros until they release 10.5 because of some specific archetectural advantage new ones would have in running 10.5. In which case I'd have to wait 'til October.

    - What I'm hoping for in an update is a speed bump across the board on its processors so thatI could get the 4x3.0 GHz for what the 4x2.66 GHz goes for today (or better). I'm also hoping for faster default GPUs and more RAM by default (which actually is likely considering what happened yesterday with the MBP).

    So now I'm thinking I'll wait until September 14 before buying, and then go for it, pay an extra $50, and get a video iPod. Maybe. Though I told myself I wouldn't buy another iPod until they come out with the long-rumored "true" video iPod.
  14. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    I don't really have advice, I just wanted to compliment you. It's always nice to hear about someone thinking ahead, being responsible, and saving for the big purchases, rather than just going to debt because they can't wait. Well done! :)
  15. astrostu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    Thanks. I hope never to go into debt ... except maybe when buying a house. ;)
  16. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I am waiting for the rev 2 machine, that's when I expect the money & I am awaiting upgraded video cards & Blueray, (Hopefully) S.S., 4x1tb HS's
    who knows maybe even faster processors.
  17. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    Apple got first dibs on the unannounced 3.0Ghz Quad Xeon chips, I don't think it is out of the question for them to get an unannounced motherboard.

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