Which Mac Pro for the 50/50 (bus/art type)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by frownsarefun, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. frownsarefun macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2010
    I'm currently on a MacBook Pro 17" / 2.66 Core 2 Duo / 4 Gb (blah, blah - standard set-up). It works great and I can't complain. But as I don't travel for work as much as I use to, I want to forego the laptop and switch back to a desktop (and bigger screen).

    As with most people, if price were no object...you know the drill.

    A friend of mine is going to purchase my MBP for $2600 (don't know why, and not talking him out of it - it was his offer price).

    I want to stay at about $4000 total budget (coming soon 27" LED included) / maybe a tad higher, but not much...So my direction can go one of two ways:

    - I can just get a souped-up iMac, but as the price starts climbing, I feel like it would make sense to just switch to a Mac Pro.

    - Go the Mac Pro route. Want a solid system that can be upgraded down the road. Just want to start with something that gets the job done easily, can be modified down the line (i can do it myself, too). I don't need the 12 core. I'm guessing even the slowest quad core would work fine for me. I don't want to start at the lowest point, and can't afford Mt. Everest.

    So I was thinking about the Westmere processor. Do I go the quad core route and upgrade to the single or 8 core and get slowest double? Is 6gb of ram ok or should I order more? I could ask questions all day and night, but....

    Just looking for some insight into getting a solid system at that pricing.

    What would you suggest?

    I work as booking agent in music industry. So we're talking a ton of email (Mail/Entourage/Outlook). MS Office apps (Word/Excel/Power/Entour). Chat stuff (MSN, Skype). Calendars. I do some amateur photo/video of both personal and work (concerts, touring, etc) when I need something - but not professional photo/video editing or web design or anything like that. The iLife suite suits my needs fine or I could bump up to Photoshop Elements or even a torrent of Photoshop, or InDesign.

    While it's easier to just check mark boxes and place the order, it seems like the opinion hear is to buy memory elsewhere, possibly same with hard drives, disk drives, etc.

    I do have 3 external HD's - all Western Digitals. A 500gb portable, and two 1 gb desktops. Is it possible to crack them open from inside the casings and install them into the Mac Pro or bad idea? I'd love to do that.

    I can't build a computer from scratch - not that kind of skill or money. But would like to know the basis to order from Apple and then what I should order elsewhere to upgrade at better price point - or just spend the full $4000-$4500 at Apple?
  2. SatyMahajan macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2009
    Cambridge, MA
    Get an iMac 27 (i5 refurb will be fine for these purposes, i7 refurb would be a steal).

    Get a Drobo (as long as you external drives are SATA, you can pop them in and be up and running).
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I agree, for what you listed, a Pro is overkill, you will save a lot of money going the iMac route, and still be able to do basic to moderate video editing (which would be the most intense thing you would have to do)
  4. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006

    None of that stuff has changed in over a decade.

    Sounds like you need a 1997 Pentium2.

    Pick how much you want to spend, and get the iMac and accessories. Buy 3 of these: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEFW924AL1K/ and put your drives in them and daisy chain them over FW800.
  5. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Agreed, for what you need a Mac Pro is overkill. If you've enjoyed your Macbook Pro, you'll find the iMac to be just as fast. But, the only difference is it comes in desktop form with a larger screen.

    Oh, and for the whole "building your own PC" and not having enough money . . . building a fast i7 PC is cheaper than the high end iMac, you just don't get OSX but it's much cheaper to build a PC.
  6. skiffx macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008
    not a fan of iMacs, Id rather either keep your MBPro and hook up a 30" monitor (dell, hp) to it or if you consider that 2600$ a good deal to sell your 17" then perhaps get another MBPro in 15", it will be just as fast as the stationary iMac, except you can lay on the couch with it ;) With an external monitor you have more screen real estate, you have mobility and approximately equal performance.

    As for MacPro, if you are not in the rush, wait for those cost analysis articles to come out to see which one is the most bang for your buck, at least among the single socket systems, as I also am of an opinion that the dual socket system might be an overkill for you. But again iMac is something you get and your upgrade choices are limited so basically you are pretty much stuck with it as is the day you purchase it. So why go iMac if you can get same package in a laptop ... or get something that will be a proper desktop that you will be able to use for years to come (might be an overkill now, but in 3 years it will be just right :))

    Edit: Just in case you do decide to go with MP, probably the real choice performance/$ lies between the 3.2 Quad and the 3.33 Hexa among the single sockets.
  7. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    Arrrghhhhhh you people frustrate me. Do you really not know how computers work?

    Look at the attached photo. It's the CPU meters for each core of my Mac Pro, courtesy http://www.ragingmenace.com/software/menumeters/

    Do you know how often I see all 4 of those meters maxed out? Almost never. Hardly any software (especially the stuff you mentioned) uses multiple cores at once.

    Oh, but it gets better. You know how often I see more than ONE of those meters maxed out? Maybe once or twice a day. And I'm in a full blown graphic/print production environment as a full time, professional developer.

    You are asking "Which cannonball should I use to kill this butterfly? The 10 pound cannonball, or the 9 pound cannonball. I really want to make sure the butterfly is dead, but I am wary of spending too much money!!! A 50 cent flyswatter? But I love power, I really think the cannonball is more my speed!!!!!!11lolelevelty"

    You don't need a cannonball to kill a butterfly. If you want to waste money on a Mac Pro or an i7 iMac, be my guest. But realized that a 4 year old White MacBook would serve your purpose just as well and you could get one off craigslist for probably 400 dollars.

    Attached Files:

  8. sochet macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2006
    What he said.

Share This Page