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New Mac Pro: Buy Now or Wait?

by JMBonn / January 31, 2009 2:52 AM PST

Should I persevere until the next generation Mac Pro turns up (+/- Snow Leopard) or buy now?

Anyone know/guess when it will appear? Will the improvements be dramatic?

Can wait (G5 plugging along with a few glitches - ie kernel panics) but would like to move on.

Sage advice would be appreciated.



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Just what I've learned.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2009 3:46 AM PST

If you can wait, wait.

But the moment the new design shows up you have people asking "Is it ok to buy now? I hear there is a new model showing up soon."

Waiting always pays off.

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Buy now or wait?
by dbennett48 / January 31, 2009 10:05 PM PST

Mac world is past and there probably won't be any great new announcements for a while. I don't know anything that Mr Profit doesn't know. I say f you need it, get it.

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by tipoo_ / February 4, 2009 7:00 AM PST

the new Nehalem based Xeons are due at the end of this month (i think) so apple will likely update the Pro soon after that.

i used to have a website that approximated how far any apple product was from an update, does anyone know it? apple really should have freaking roadmaps!

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Website for Apple releases
by steve19150 / February 14, 2009 3:00 AM PST
In reply to: Wait
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mac buyers guide
by tipoo_ / February 15, 2009 5:41 AM PST

thanks for the link, its not the one i had in mind but its just as useful!

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Mac Pro Buy now or Wait
by NeilFiertel / February 14, 2009 3:29 AM PST

I have two Mac Pro units, one the top of the line 8 core and the other the bottom of the 8 core series. They are exemplary in every respect. They are essentially silent, have no gliches and for a change, they sleep and wake up unlike many a machine heretofore. The fastest unit does discharge some heat but it is not obtrusive though I would not place anything behind it as it is warm..not hot. Nonetheless it makes no noticeable noise unless one listen closely to it. The lower end is as if it were not and silent. In terms of functionality, I suggest getting at a minimum 4 gigs of RAM but from a third party for the additional RAM since Apple charges hugely for the privilege of installing it...which is a no brainer. Installing Hard Drives is a five minute job and removing them...ten seconds as one puts drives onto a carrier that locks in and unlocks just like click...done. It is elegantly clean inside and lots of room for cards. I have an eSATA card for an example. I suggest that you go for the middle cost graphics card but not the top of the line unless you do 3D design work. I do not. The machines are unlikely to be upgraded for a while until Intel supplies 35 u chipsets in 8 or more chore configurations. Frankly, the machines are so damn fast now that I do not see the necessity for an upgrade unless the software changes radically in this regard. Write to disk on the internal disks is extremely speedy and number crunching is just a second or so for most activities and even the Finder is a lot faster than anything I previously used. The G5 is MUCH slower, noisier, energy consuming and in my case the worst machine I ever owned to the point that Apple replaced it with the bottom end Mac Pro which is why I have that one when they were unable to repair it at all. I would suggest getting rid of it before it dies and you cannot unload it to be frank. It is a dog but the Pro is anything but. Go for it...

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by JMBonn / February 14, 2009 9:41 PM PST

Thanks for the thorough response...very helpful & the kind of 'front-line' advice I was looking for!

Is your 'bottom of the line' Mac Pro a Two 2.8GHz Quad or Single?

I do general office correspondence & basic spreadsheet work (no graphs, complex equations - mostly add & subtract) & was going to leave the MS Office world for iWork. Also use Filemaker Pro, iPhoto, Acrobat Pro & Quicken 2007.

My research indicates the Single would fill my needs unless you have a reason to suggest the Two Quad version.

Again, thanks for taking the time to send along your helpful info!


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by fbbbb / February 21, 2009 8:26 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks!

A similarly configured Crud Pro discharges almost the same heat between a 2.8 and a 3.2. Certainly it's not something you can tell without an IR thermometer. The cooling profiles are also similar. So I'm doubting what the other guy said a little. Perhaps he's getting confused about the video cards vs the unit itself - but you really don't want the 2600 at this point in time. The other comment about the HDD caddies makes me wonder if the guy actually has a Pro. The design is elegant, but functionally it borders on the moronic as I have to reach around to the back of the drive and yank it out from there to get enough leverage without bending my fingernails.

The Pro is however one of the quietest dual-Xeons you can get and is acoustically inconspicuous in the quietest homes for the most part. This is mainly by dint of it being the worst cooled in the business. The mixing of the airflow between the GPU and the HDD is yet another bad idea - but Apple have different obsessions and people to cater for than people who actually expect genuinely reliable workstations. That would be me by the way. Which is why I spend far more time with my slightly noisier, but far better engineered for a world of real work, Dell Precisions.

If you're confident that you can track down the heatsink a couple of years down the line, then I'd say go Quad. Certainly you won't be using the power of the Octo most of the time.

But you know, the octo comes in handy for a variety of situations - say in something as simple as transcoding video. It can drastically cut times taken for that to happen. I'd say that if you're considering buying a Quad now and not waiting for a Nehalem-based Xeon, go for Octo, because the cost of that Xeon upgrade likely won't decrease in the future - it may even increase.

But personally, I would advise that if your G5 can stagger on for a couple more months, you're better off waiting for a Nehalem. It's not just the processor that gets an overhaul - the current Pro's 'regular joe' affordable GPU's are totally obsolete in the general marketplace for a start, and Apple's track record for offering upgrades in that respect is not good - so you're best off buying at the peak of a refresh. That, and subsystem upgrades on a dual-i7 Xeon board such as higher speed RAM, etc and the machine as a whole will be noticeably faster, for not a significant price increase over buying a Pro now.

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