Why I haven't been able to switch to Mac even though I want to.

Oracle1729

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 4, 2009
634
0
I really do like Apple. I have a 2011 MBP, a couple of minis (one as a media computer one on my desktop), an iPhone 4S, which replaced a 4, and an iPad.

My main computer I spend 90% of my time on is a Window 7 PC. I hate windows as much as I love Apple, and it drives me crazy that Apple doesn't sell a computer remotely useful to my purpose. I'm hoping for either some useful advice (that doesn't amount to suck it up and suffer) or reassurance that at least some others feel the same way.

Am I really the only person who needs a desktop computer more powerful than a mac mini but doesn't want to spend the $$$$ on a mac pro?

I need a midrange desktop computer, with fairly powerful CPU performance (currently using an i7-3820 - only cost me $360 and better than anything I can get in a mac today at any price), a middling dedicated GPU, around 12TB of internal storage, 16 gig of memory. The all-in-one iMac design doesn't work for me because I use multiple screens connected to multiple computers through a KVM switch, the sort of sharing the iMac offers is a bad joke. There's also no way to get 12TB of storage without a pile of external drives and I don't want to clutter my desk. The mac pro is overkill performance-wise and way out of my budget.

This is what's been keeping me from cutting the windows cord. What do other people with similar needs do?

Thanks.
 

DockMac

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
184
1
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An older Mac Pro might be your solution. Or a hackintosh.
 

Aaron from KY

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2010
91
1
Northern Kentucky
I really do like Apple. I have a 2011 MBP, a couple of minis (one as a media computer one on my desktop), an iPhone 4S, which replaced a 4, and an iPad.

doesn't want to spend the $$$$ on a mac pro?

Sounds like you've already spent a lot of money on other things, that aren't a Mac Pro.

I need a midrange desktop computer, with fairly powerful CPU performance (currently using an i7-3820 - only cost me $360 and better than anything I can get in a mac today at any price), . The mac pro is overkill performance-wise and way out of my budget.

These two statements don't make any sense, how can you say that the processor you have is better than what you can get in any Mac at any price, then say that the Mac Pro is overkill for your needs?
This really just sounds like buyers remorse, maybe having a plan for purchases would keep you from spending all this money unnecessarily, and allow you to get the Mac Pro you seem to want. You could after all get the base model and upgrade it to your liking, I don't think they've updated the page for it recently so I'm pretty sure it can handle way more than 8TB internally. If you're citing processor prices, I'm thinking you put together your machine yourself, so upgrading a Mac Pro shouldn't be that much more trouble, and you'd save a lt not buying the upgrades from Apple. Or try Refurbished and upgrade fom there. I personally use a 15" 2011 MBP 2.2 although I'm just a student and I don't really push it so your mileage may vary.
 

Oracle1729

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 4, 2009
634
0
Thanks for your replies.

The problem with the older mac pro is that macs do have an amazing resale value. If I could get the current model for 15-20% cheaper when the next model came out, I'd rather buy the next model.

Hackintosh is probably the best solution. I've been considering that route, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see you suggest it here; I thought most users here would push for real apples. I also do find it strange that Apple would rather force this market segment to use hackintoshes rather than offer a mac to fit it. I would love to see an apple ATX motherboard in the $500 price range with an OS license :).

I've never built a hackintosh, but my understanding is it's not too hard as long as I pick my hardware very carefully, so worst case for me is I have to buy a new motherboard. And a Lion license since all my mac's just have the copy of snow leopard or lion they came with :).
 

tootall

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2011
212
3
Quebec, Canada
Your computing needs may be greater than mine, but my first Mac performed much better than my previous similarly configured Windows Machine; Mac OS seems more efficient in managing memory (and processor?) so you might be able to get the same "bang" with a Mac with less impressive specifications!?!
 

Oracle1729

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 4, 2009
634
0
This really just sounds like buyers remorse, maybe having a plan for purchases would keep you from spending all this money unnecessarily, and allow you to get the Mac Pro you seem to want. You could after all get the base model and upgrade it to your liking, I don't think they've updated the page for it recently so I'm pretty sure it can handle way more than 8TB internally. If you're citing processor prices, I'm thinking you put together your machine yourself, so upgrading a Mac Pro shouldn't be that much more trouble, and you'd save a lt not buying the upgrades from Apple. Or try Refurbished and upgrade fom there. I personally use a 15" 2011 MBP 2.2 although I'm just a student and I don't really push it so your mileage may vary.
It's not really buyer's remorse; I need the notebook anyway, and the media mini is a c2d model I've had for a couple of years. I'm not going to regret spending $600 on a current mini instead of $2600 on a pro. The pros they have now are very outdated, so if I were going the pro route I'd have waited for a refresh anyway and probably still bought the second mini. The thing is I really don't want to spend the $2600 on a pro. Xeon processors are insanely expensive and I'd rather not pay for that just to get some hard drive bays, a decent GPU and a better CPU than my notebook.

The upgrades would be no trouble for me; I upgraded the memory and HD in both minis and the notebook; the pro is nothing by comparison. The MBP with a sata 3 SSD is fantastic :).

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Mac OS seems more efficient in managing memory (and processor?) so you might be able to get the same "bang" with a Mac with less impressive specifications!?!
That's true you may get better performance on the mac though I'm not sure it's as much of a difference as it once was. I'm sure the iMac performance would be fine for me, but the integrated screen and no drive bays kills it for me (as does having to pull the screen out to get inside and the non-standard SATA drive inside). The current mini doesn't come close for performance.
 

xkalibur

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2003
13
0
Houston, Texas
Hackintosh

Hackintosh is your best choice. Legitimacy aside, it really is. I don't think Apple cares all that much either since they're just not going for that part of the market. Sure they'll go after Psystar for trying to make money off of it, but I don't think they really care that much about individuals installing OSX on plain PC hardware. And it really isn't that hard. I've done many linux installations that were more difficult. There are Intel-based motherboards that are close enough to be natively supported by OSX.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,268
190
Howell, New Jersey
It's not really buyer's remorse; I need the notebook anyway, and the media mini is a c2d model I've had for a couple of years. I'm not going to regret spending $600 on a current mini instead of $2600 on a pro. The pros they have now are very outdated, so if I were going the pro route I'd have waited for a refresh anyway and probably still bought the second mini. The thing is I really don't want to spend the $2600 on a pro. Xeon processors are insanely expensive and I'd rather not pay for that just to get some hard drive bays, a decent GPU and a better CPU than my notebook.

The upgrades would be no trouble for me; I upgraded the memory and HD in both minis and the notebook; the pro is nothing by comparison. The MBP with a sata 3 SSD is fantastic :).

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That's true you may get better performance on the mac though I'm not sure it's as much of a difference as it once was. I'm sure the iMac performance would be fine for me, but the integrated screen and no drive bays kills it for me (as does having to pull the screen out to get inside and the non-standard SATA drive inside). The current mini doesn't come close for performance.
YOU can do What I did in the opposite direction. I am bringing in a pc to my home after using only mac for 15 years.

I sold a mac pro and an iMac then I added a custom built pc and a 2011 mac mini server.

my mini server has vmWare fusion and windows 7 my pc only has windows 7.

benefits are cost. the server and the pc cost about 2k. really 3k counting 46 inch sony tv and drives.

the mac pro and the iMac cost about 4.5k. more like 4.9k counting ssd addons


I find I am using the pc unit as much as the server.

I built a pc for quiet first maybe I will hackintosh it maybe not. it is better then the mac pro quad core 2.8 in every way except the gpu.
the gpu is a 7.1 windows experience score.
the pro had a 5870 which was a 7.6 on windows experience score.

it is unreal for quiet. I am lazy but I may hackintosh it.
 

s.horsfield

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2011
141
0
New Zealand
Hackintosh

I'd never thought about hackintoshing until yesterday when I found out more about it! I found a YouTube channel that walks you through every step in great detail. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCED7EB31338F57A9&feature=plcp. Watch the video's I found them very interesting. Also check out the Tony Mac Blog. It has all the downloads needed and a great forum if you want to ask any questions. The recommended build page is great personally i'm doing the pro build #1 I linked to in August.
 

harcosparky

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,055
0
Am I really the only person who needs a desktop computer more powerful than a mac mini but doesn't want to spend the $$$$ on a mac pro?
A mac-mini was in no way near what I needed power wise.

A mac-pro was over kill and a budget stretcher.


I found the 3.4 Ghz i7 2011 27" iMac to be ideal - especially when a second display is added.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,336
2,317
Perth, Western Australia
Do you need the power for some particular app, or you just "need" it to have better spec than some PC you can build for similar price, or some other psychological reason?


Unless you have some specific hard core workload, even a 13" MBA is fine for most people.

Unless you're playing high end games... but the mac isn't really the right platform for high end gaming at the moment. Get a console or keep your PC for that.

If it is the storage requirement, stick PC-BSD on the PC and just fill it up with disk, and run it as a ZFS NAS.
 

robbie12345

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2011
400
0
United States
you do need a mac pro

so your saying you have a quad core sandy bridge e processor at 3.6ghz and a geekbench around 13k, you need 12tb of storage and you don't need a mac pro?

the mac pro base is at around 8500 but is running 3 year old tech ( before you bash me hear remember the 2010 xeons were just minor clock bumps to the 09's)

the new mac pro will be around 15k or more so wait for that and maybe it will fit your needs
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,187
4,715
Your computing needs may be greater than mine, but my first Mac performed much better than my previous similarly configured Windows Machine; Mac OS seems more efficient in managing memory (and processor?) so you might be able to get the same "bang" with a Mac with less impressive specifications!?!
Not if you are talking about "pure" processign power. OS X may be somehow faster in starting/switching programs and overall more responsible, but when you don soem computation-heavy work, the system with faster CPU will always win. And memory allocator in Windows 7 is about on par with the one in OS X.

----------

I also want a mid range Mac that doesn't have a built in screen.
I too, I too :( Give me a new Mac Cube!
 

Oracle1729

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 4, 2009
634
0
If I go the hackintosh route, will I have problems with updates?

Do you need the power for some particular app, or you just "need" it to have better spec than some PC you can build for similar price, or some other psychological reason?
I do a lot of photoshop work with 14-bit raw files and my multilayer images get into the 300 meg+ range. The mini and MBP choke on those files; a simple filter takes forever to run. This is also why I need the large storage array.

And games :) But the biggest problem I have with those is finding ones for the mac so it's not much of an issue.

so your saying you have a quad core sandy bridge e processor at 3.6ghz and a geekbench around 13k, you need 12tb of storage and you don't need a mac pro?
iirc, the current 27" $1700 iMac gets pretty close to that 13k figure, so the thought of spending $1k more and losing the $1k screen to get 15k (or even a bit more) doesn't make much sense to me even if it did fit my budget.

I've actually never really thought of getting a mac pro because my first association is always "over kill, too expensive". Even thinking about it now, I'm probably better off buying the 21.5" iMac and sticking it under my desk with the screen facing the wall. There has to be something wrong with that picture.

Have you considered a TB storage solution and useing your laptop?
Yes, but the pro with the drives inside would be cheaper :)

I'm also considering getting external boxes for the drives attaching them to my c2d mini, hiding them at the back of my TV cabinet, and using sharing on the network, it will be slow but probably not slow enough to be a problem most of the time.
 

aliensporebomb

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2005
1,830
206
Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
Geekbench

As far as geekbench scores go, my i7 iMac is getting over 10,000 but it's almost 3 years old now.

I've thought about a Hackintosh as well but I don't want to worry about some software update scuttling my setup.

Cost is definetely a consideration for most everything these days but being a Mac user I just want it to work.

And I want to stay the heck away from the Windows machines I deal with for my day gig, pretty much all day long.