why should i get a mac pro ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by skitzodancer, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. skitzodancer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #1
    hi peeps,

    firstly im fully aware there may be a mac pro at next weeks WWDC but i doubt it will have any change on price so my question still stands.

    why should i buy a mac over a windows workstation ?

    when i first started my music production i was using a crappy little pc running FL studio and reason, it did me proud and when id won a few remix competitions and saved some cash i used the money to buy a macbook pro (mainly due to the amount of producers ive seen using apple products) anyway my productions are going from strength to strength and i require a more powerful machine.

    naturally i want to keep along the lines of having a mac and due to expandability the mac pro is my first choice, i want this to last me a long, long time so ive looked at getting 2 x 2.66gh six core cpu's and the base price of this from apple is more than a entire windows based machine.

    so ive been trying to think why i should stay with mac, all i can come up with is that they have expose and spaces (i think these features are fantastic) but other than that i cant come up with anything.

    can anyone suggest any reason i should stick with mac rather than windows ?
     
  2. Wardenski macrumors 6502

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    Jan 22, 2012
    #2
    IMO you have answered your own question in the second to last paragraph.
     
  3. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #3
    Are you comparing the cost to an actual workstation running another operating system or just a PC that you cobbled together with consumer grade parts? Real workstations are not cheap, regardless of what operating system they are running, although a workstation from the likes of HP and Dell will be slightly cheaper than a Mac Pro.

    In general though, if you need to ask, then you don't need a Mac Pro.
     
  4. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    #4
    It all depends on what platform you are better. In my office there is an IT guy for the PCs, I have 2 Macs and they run smoothly and I do video and audio.

    I use macs because they are stable and they last for at least 5 years. I have one Mac pro and 2 iMacs, I work with video editing and 3D. When doing 3D renders I have them networked as a render farm. So I do not need a very fast machine, I have 3 (one in my house and 2 in my office) to work with.

    I had an Alienware 2 years ago and I sold it after 4 months, it was slower than the Mac I had that was already 3 years older. The Mac was able to run a 3D software on PC mode better than the Alienware.

    For sure, if you get the Mac it will last you just fine for 5 years. Audio is not an issue for computers anymore, as long the plugins and software are using all the cores you are all set.

    Even... you can get the top of the line Mac Pro for cheap once is discontinued and that will be a great deal.
     
  5. skitzodancer thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #5
    im looking at a customer built pc by a local professional audio store, the spec of the pc is below;

    2x intel xeon cpu at 2.66ghz
    48gb ram
    240gb ssd for the os
    3x 1tb hdd
    2x 1gb gpu
    windows 7 ultimate

    so its a very good spec pc, and will be a massive upgrade from what im using at the moment (well a quad core would be a big upgrade lol)
     
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #6
    The answer may be that you shouldn't upgrade to a MacPro. If you are happy with a Windows PC, and it meets your needs, and you are happy with the cost then that may be the best tool for what you do.

    It's not just Expose and Spaces that make owning a Mac worthwhile, it's the entire philosophy of trying to integrate the HW and the SW, and making the computer as much like an appliance as possible.

    A Mac is not a magical thing that will suddenly make you taller and thinner. It is simply a tool for getting things done. I happen to really like the integration, and I find it makes me more productive to have tool that tries to stay out of they way, and allows me to focus on my work. If that appeals to you, then get OS X on a Mac Pro... If you don't find it appealing, then OS X may not be the right tool for you.

    I don't mean this to sound quite as blunt as it may seem. But I sometimes see people buying into the whole Mac thing for the wrong reasons. If you aren't convinced it's the right tool, then do some more research, eh?
     
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    Location:
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    #7
    I have my Mac Pro for stability. Its simply more stable with large data sets than Windows. Thats not a slam on Windows, its just that stability isn't Windows strength. Their strength is compatibility.

    In computers there is a trade off. If you want to be compatible with everything you will sacrifice some stability and vice versa.
     
  8. skitzodancer thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #8
    i love using my macbook pro for working on... it doubles up as my work machine and my personal machine.

    ive been looking into this for the past few weeks, i was thinking of getting an imac instead but a glossy screen would really annoy me plus there is no expandability... i would love to stick with mac it by far intergrates into my setup better and works with all my ios devices.
     
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #9
    It is also using outdated processors.
     
  10. RedCroissant Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #10
    Expose and Spaces

    Doesn't Windows have some form of Expose that usually comes with the mouse software from third parties? I know it's not the same as Expose, but it's similar.

    I don't know for sure about a version of Spaces for Windows, but maybe there's a separate program for it?
     
  11. skitzodancer thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #11
    so is the mac pro... at the moment anyway.
     
  12. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #12
    Right, but there is no reason to buy a custom PC with older processors.
     
  13. skitzodancer thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #13
    the reason id be looking at that cpu is it more than powerfull enough for me, especially with there being six cores and two cpu's.

    plus i cant afford a newer one, they are out of my budget.

    ----------

    saying that getting a 12 core machine would be over the top for what i need but id like it.
     
  14. a-bob macrumors newbie

    a-bob

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #14
    This is true. My 1,1 has been going since '06 with no problems. Currently, 6 years later, it's running the latest software 10.7.4 and Pro Tools 10 HD2. It will be done soon with Mountain Lion and will not run Pro Tools HDX cards. So next year it's upgrade time and the MP will be 7 years old. That's amazing to me, and a testament to this hardware.
     
  15. theSeb, Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #15
    What support and warranty are you being offered from this place that is going to build your computer? If you're running a business / making money using the computer, then that is always an important consideration. What's cheap now may turn out to be expensive later.

    Edit: By the way, you can get virtual desktops power toy for Windows, which is similar to Mission Control, but a bit more basic.

    Desktops:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx

    I think this is the same thing, but the MS web eco system is such a mess that I am not sure. I use the first one, but haven't tried the second one

    Virtual Desktop Manager:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/windows-xp?T1=PT
     
  16. skitzodancer, Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012

    skitzodancer thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #16
    the warranty that comes with the machine is a two year warranty, first year is onsite second is return to base, but i can spend a extra £200 and get this upgraded to a four year warranty, also the pc comes with sound proofing so it will be near silent in operation.

    but at the end of the day its not a mac.

    the other reason i want to use windows is i still use FL studio, due to some of the effects and instruments bundled with the software so it would be beneficial to have it all on one OS... i guess i could dual boot or get vm ware running windows.

    saying that is it even worth getting a dual cpu system, can all programs utilise dual cpus or not ?
     
  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #17
    See.... you do have a good reason... :) ... the workflow integration. That was what I trying to say, it's not any particular feature set that makes a Mac work well, it's a philosophy that makes the entire workflow smoother (for some people).

    I don't know enough about your business to know the specs you need. But I'll take a stab at some educated guesses. Do you need more but slower CPU cores, or fewer and faster cores? One thing about the PC you specced out above was a massive amount of GPU memory. If you are doing audio, why do you need two video cards with a Gb of memory each? A current basic Mac Pro can already run two monitors out of the box. If you are doing music videos as well?? ... that would be different.

    My prediction is that if a new MacPro is announced this week then the current MacPros sold by Apple on the refurbished store (2009 and 2010 models) will drop in price. If the "fastest" machine is not actually a requirement for you, then these - especially the 2010 - may be a fantastic deal. They are sold "as good as new" and are eligible for AppleCare - a requirement in my opinion for anybody using a them professionally. You will certainly be using it effectively for 3 years at least. Plus in a couple of years, if you take care of it, you will be able to sell it on the secondary market to help defray the cost of new machine if you need one.

    I'm using an 8 core still, for my photography. The one thing I may add is an SSD, but I'm otherwise content with the performance. If I sold it now, I might be able to still get close to $1000 for it (with the RAM upgrade I added).

    One thing to keep in mind is that best upgrade is RAM (I was impressed that your PC had 48Gb specced) and that current MacPros provide more RAM slots with if you get more CPU cores. Also, check with OWC for their RAM specs. They are saying that in fact you can often add more RAM than Apple specifies, and they will warranty their RAM at the larger limits that OWC has certified.

    Luck.
     
  18. skitzodancer, Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012

    skitzodancer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #18
    monitor wise i was thinking of having four monitors, two to work from a third for watching the occasional episode of south park or family guy whilst im working and the fourth just to make the place look like the matrix... but realistically i only need two monitors.


    as for ram i would like 48gb because it sounds great 'i have 48gb ram in my pc, muwhahahaha' i doubt id need that much but im going of a simple rule of 4gb per core.

    i have looked at OWC to get the memory along side a sleigh to fit a SSD into the mac pro, but i live in the uk so i think there may be import tax on the order... im not upto scratch on importing goods and stuff. it would still be cheaper than apples price though.

    i think it may be best to wait until the dust settles after WWDC and see what is available then and for how much...

    have you ever had a problem with your mac pro ?
     
  19. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #19
    The 2010 MacPros can handle 3 displays off of one card. Add a 2nd card and really go for the matrix look with 6 displays!

    Why not go for 48Gb of RAM - you'll need it eventually,eh? I'd put more in my 2008 (currently at 12Gb) but the memory for this model is horrendously expensive. At this point I'm not going to spend gobs of money on it. I'll save it and spend it on a new MacPro later.

    I think waiting for WWDC is a good idea. Just know this, however.... if there is no new MacPro announced, or if it's a major disappointment, then you will see - imho - all the 2010s and probably 2009s as well disappear off the refurbished site. I think there are a lot of people with 2008s and older who are waiting to see what happens this summer. Just saying.

    I don't know how it works with OWC and the UK.... why don't you just drop them a line and ask? I'm sure they've done it before. Even if you don't use OWC memory, at least their guides will inform you what can be done. There is nothing special about OWC memory. The trick is to get memory sticks that are certified for a MacPro... I'm sure the UK has resellers for that....

    Had one problem with my MacPro... the video card went bad, and it took the logic board with it. Covered by AppleCare so I just had to drive it to an Apple authorized shop, and they took care of it. Got a chance to test my backup strategy...which worked well, I am happy to say.

    I'm out of the AppleCare period now, and really - that is the only reason I want to sell the machine. It's still working fine, but if I sell it now I can some money for it. It's the warranty on a new machine I want... not the new hardware.
     
  20. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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  21. kirkbross macrumors 6502a

    kirkbross

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    Los Angeles
    #21
    I sometimes feel like if all of us simultaneously moved to Windows workstations, Apple would actually sigh a sigh of relief and thank us.

    Workstations are a niche niche niche market for Apple (and all the behemoth computer makers for that matter).
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #22
    It's a bit different for Apple though. The other companies need to make their profit on the hardware. On the other hand Apple could, in my view, sell MacPros at a break-even price and still make money. People who need MacPros need software, and if they can afford a MacPro then they are likely also buying pro level SW. And pro level software is not cheap. (I'm thinking Photoshop (not yet on MAS), Lightroom (now on the MAS), sound and video editing suites. As more pro level SW moves to the App store, Apple will increase the money it earns on its cut selling the software.

    Also, MacPros are commonly owned for 3+ years, imo. So, consider how much SW (and content - movies, music, books, etc) a MacPro owner is going to purchase over a MacPro's lifetime. Apple gets 30% of all of that. I just checked my system. I would probably buy $300 worth of SW alone if I was starting from a clean slate (most of what I have I bought before the MAS was an option, but they are now also for sale there). I don't know how typical I am, of course... but I'll bet I'm pretty close to the average.

    I doubt that Apple would sell a MacPro at a break-even price of course, but they do have an advantage that HP and Dell don't have because they can leverage the HW to sell content.

    ... imho of course ....
     
  23. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #23
    Great point, considering Apple makes some nice a/v software itself also that probably a lot of MP owners purchase at one point or another. Plus OS updates, new additions to the app store, the brand by itself leading to other purchases (iPhones, iPads, MacBooks,etc.)

     
  24. macuser453787 macrumors 6502

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    #24
    And there you have it. Workflow integration, expandability, a solid OS, stability (and I would add to chrono1081's comment that compatibility is also a Mac strength due to it's ability to run Windows also as you're already aware), productivity, OSX-specific features that you like, and because, well, it sounds like you just wanna. And there's nothing wrong with that! :)

    I would also add that there's just something about the Mac experience IMO! :) If the only thing holding you back is the price, then consider:

     
  25. TennisandMusic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #25
    I always see this from a certain part of the Apple contingent and never get it, the whole "the hardware and software are integrated!" schtick. It's just another falsehood Apple spreads really. They don't do anything other than get the cheapest components they can, and write drivers for them.

    Do you really think that on other platforms that the hardware and software is not "integrated"? Can any of the people who say this explain exactly what they mean by this in real terms? I bet not.

    Also, one more thing, there is less GUI in your face on Windows than on Mac. Not sure how the OS X operating system qualifies as "getting out of your way" when it is far more clunky than Windows or Linux for moving around in and operating apps.

    I am looking forward to the Mac Pro as much as anyone but I find the stuff people believe to be very odd indeed.
     

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