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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > New Mac Pro on the Horizon

New Mac Pro on the Horizon
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Apr 17, 2007, 01:44 AM
 
Hello all!

The wife and I are considering purchasing a Mac Pro in the near future, and I am hoping you all can shed some light on the right direction we should take.

A little background: We have an old Dell, which is on it's last legs. (30 gig HD, making funny noises) The last time I really played on a Mac was in high school about ten years ago, but my limited research and friends suggestions keep leading me to a Mac Pro.

I dabble in photography, we store most/all of our pics and music and my wife manages her website our home computer, so we need a system that is appropiate. I really like the upgradability of the Mac Pro, but the price is a bit staggering (I still have to make a little headway to convince the wife this is a GOOD decision).

Should I wait to get the Mac Pro untill Tiger comes out? Will it be expensive to buy an upgrade? And how do you all see the prices in the near future (stable or falling)?

Thanks in advance!!!!
     
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Apr 17, 2007, 02:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by bigzebra View Post
Hello all!

The wife and I are considering purchasing a Mac Pro in the near future, and I am hoping you all can shed some light on the right direction we should take.

A little background: We have an old Dell, which is on it's last legs. (30 gig HD, making funny noises) The last time I really played on a Mac was in high school about ten years ago, but my limited research and friends suggestions keep leading me to a Mac Pro.

I dabble in photography, we store most/all of our pics and music and my wife manages her website our home computer, so we need a system that is appropiate. I really like the upgradability of the Mac Pro, but the price is a bit staggering (I still have to make a little headway to convince the wife this is a GOOD decision).

Should I wait to get the Mac Pro untill Tiger comes out? Will it be expensive to buy an upgrade? And how do you all see the prices in the near future (stable or falling)?

Thanks in advance!!!!
Tiger is already out, its been out for years. Leopard will come out in October. I don't know about upgrading, upgrading after you buy it should be easy but RAM and HDs can be expensive. I don't see prices dropping (other that the 8-core, which may go down).
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Apr 17, 2007, 03:18 AM
 
wait for october imo. i am. a new os and probably updated hardware by then....i hope
     
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Apr 17, 2007, 03:45 AM
 
They mentioned their Dell is on it's last legs. I highly doubt they can wait 6 months.

Anyway, upgrading to Leopard, which is the new OS due from Apple, should cost no more than $149. Most likely $129.

I see prices as stable. Now is a good a time to buy if any. However, do you really need the power? The machine is a monster. If you're only going to be doing photo editing and webste maintenance, I'd really recommend the 24" iMac. If that's not a choice you're willing to make, I suggest the following config:

Everything stock except for Airport & Bluetooth, and get the X1900XT card.

Buy some more ram from OWC, and grab a nice cheap Dell monitor.

That should do you quite well.
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Apr 17, 2007, 04:23 AM
 
Mac prices are generally quite stable. The prices don't change; the machines to go with the prices do. The Mac Pro probably won't be cheaper in six months — at most, it will just have some upgraded components.
Chuck
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Apr 17, 2007, 08:48 AM
 
There's really no reason to wait till October, especially since your need is fairly immediate. If you wait till octoboer, then in another six months they'll be getting another update to the line ready. No now is a good time to buy more so if your current computer is on its last legs.

I also think you mean Leopard and not tiger The price will not change between now and October when Leopard comes out.

Also have you considered a 24" iMac, while it does not have the expandability options that the macpro has, it is no slouch in its own right. You really didn't mention what type of expansion you want for the future. The iMac's GPU is good and the maximum memory in the iMac is more then sufficient and the price is a little more pocketbook friendly.

Mike
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Apr 17, 2007, 10:56 AM
 
I have a iMac 24 inch and think if your not doing real big photo's and alot of layers, get this as its a great machine. If you think you need a mac pro, watch apples refurb section and grab one there to save some money. I do video editing (not professional) which the iMac handles pretty good with 2gb ram, but always wanted the macpro. I was lucky to see a 2ghz macpro listed for 1899.00 and grabbed it. Plan on upgrading it as time warrents it. Good luck on your decision.
Randy
     
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Apr 17, 2007, 02:10 PM
 
Buy now, there is no sense in waiting. All we got in the latest update was the 8-core Mac Pro and slightly lower Cinema Display prices.
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Apr 17, 2007, 05:29 PM
 
Thank you all for the resopnses so far!

I really an attracted the the Mac Pro due to the expandibility of the system, among other things, which is taking me away from an i-mac.

Sorry about the Tiger/Leopard/Callico mix up, I don't even own a Mac yet, so I'm not up to speed on the operating systems yet.

I prob will buy a Dell monitor, or two.

Does anyone have any recomdations on where is the cheapest/best place to get my Mac (the store at the Mall, apple.com, amozon)? Also, should I get the Apple warranty? I don't typically buy into the extended warranty racket, but if anyone has any insite on it that would be helpfull!

Thanks again!!
     
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Apr 17, 2007, 05:52 PM
 
It sounds like the 20 or 24" iMac may be a better system for you, since your usage isn't too heavy. The memory (3GB max), CPU, GPU (in theory, at least), and hard drive are all upgradeable.

As far as the Mac Pro goes, it's overdue for an upgrade. The 8 core option was added, but nothing else changed. The combined video card/memory/hard drive street price has fallen hundreds of dollars since the Mac Pro release; the CPUs will see a big price drop next week (April 22/23) from Intel. Now that nVidia has their new low-to-midrange out and ATi has theirs coming out next week, I expect we'll see a big update to the stock model and upgrade options in the 1-4 weeks.
     
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Apr 17, 2007, 06:42 PM
 
I took a close look at the iMacs, but I still like the coolness factor of the Mac Pro. I also like the fact that I'm not stuck with one kind or one size of monitor. I would like to start wetting my feet with respect to photography too, and as my colection builds, my storage needs will also expand. Additionally, we plan on having our next computer for atleast six years, hence the desired ease of upgradability. I'm also a little concerned about having my computer permatly attached to a monitor, should the monitor fail.

I'll also be waiting for a few weeks before purchasing, so if what you say is correct, I could possible get more for my money (or cooler stuff, anayway).

Thank you for your advice!
     
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Apr 18, 2007, 11:36 PM
 
As a Mac newbie I enjoy my MBP. So much, in fact, that I'd been looking to buy a new machine for home. Would have got the 24" iMac but the non-upgradeability factor makes this a non-starter. The MacPro is more powerful and too expensive for me. Like you, I've been hoping Apple will come out with something mid-range, upgreadable, and more affordable than the MP. From what I've seen, that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. So, I head to ebay to get me a PC I can afford, and expand as needed. My total switch to Macs will have to wait.
     
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Apr 20, 2007, 12:18 AM
 
Buy now. RAM from OWC OWC: Apple Mac G4 upgrades, Laptop Batteries, Memory, Drives. Add 2x2 GB or (cheaper but uses more slots, limiting future upgrades) 4x1 GB for 5 total GB. Less than 4 GB significantly limits a Mac Pro but you will function on 2-3 GB if necessary.

-Allen Wicks
     
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Apr 20, 2007, 07:31 AM
 
Hi bigzebra,

Regarding the best purchase place, take a look at Apple's refurbs. I bought a mini there and it looks/works like new. And, it has the same warranty. I've had friends buy iMacs and laptops and their experience is the same. Apple does a very nice job on the refurb models.

You mentioned expandability a couple times too. I'd really think hard about what you think you might want to expand and how long you keep the machine. I usually update machines every 3-4 fours years. I've found that generally, upgrades are not worth it. By the time you are ready for an upgrade (say a new killer video card), you may find there are bottlenecks with bus speed, expansion slots etc. That "may" not be true in your case, but if you're thinking you may want more storage and memory, you can always expand both in an iMac. And I believe the iMac will support a second external display. A 20" iMac with 2 GB RAM and 500 GB HD (and upgraded 256 MB video) is still under $2000 (add $500 for the 24"). Add a second 20" dell monitor and you have a sweet machine that should still hold it's own in 4 years.
     
CIA
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Apr 20, 2007, 01:36 PM
 
I second the refurb idea, you can save some money, and with all the refurb machines I have got from Apple not a single one has had an issue. Besides packaging, they are indistinguishable.
Take the money you save and buy some ram or another HD.
You just may need to wait a week or so, as Apple is kinda random about when they update the refurb site, just check every day.
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Apr 20, 2007, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by CIA View Post
I second the refurb idea, you can save some money, and with all the refurb machines I have got from Apple not a single one has had an issue. Besides packaging, they are indistinguishable.
Take the money you save and buy some ram or another HD.
You just may need to wait a week or so, as Apple is kinda random about when they update the refurb site, just check every day.
I have had good luck with refurbs, but it is a good idea to buy AppleCare especially with Mac Pros for the following reasons. You will get 3 full years of phone support. Manufacturer's warranty is just 90 days phone and one year parts and labor. AppleCare also gives you in home service, which is nice since the MP is fifty pounds! The great thing is that your Apple Cinema Display is also covered if purchased at the same time! Well worth the $250 or so dollars. I have read that a bad logic board repair costs over $1000! smalldog.com has had discounted AppleCare for $50 off from time to time.

Better safe than sorry!
     
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Apr 20, 2007, 05:49 PM
 
Applecare only sometimesmakes sense, since hardware improves and prices fall over time. Year one (when most failures occur!) is fully warranted for free without Applecare, and complete motherboard failures in years 2 and 3 are very rare.

Complete MP setups are a case where the complete insured amount may exceed $7k before you add RAM, making $249 Applecare logical for a $7000 MP even though it is illogical for a $1300 Macbook.

-Allen Wicks
     
   
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