Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I know this is probably posted a bazillion times, but I'm having trouble figuring out what I want to do so I figure I would ask anyways.
I am looking to upgrade my current Mac in the near future. I am currently running an iMac (the older white ones... I think 16"?!) and although it has done me well, and still works quite fine, I am frothing at the mouth for an upgrade.

I am looking at either a newer iMac, or what I think Im leaning more towards is the Mac Pro. In your opinion, which is better? I would be using it for web design/ coding so I would also be looking at running Windows XP on it, video editing/ motion graphics and illustration/ digital painting.

Other question, I am looking into running Windows XP on my current Mac using Parallel. Has anyone done this and is it working for them? Any advice? ...I would only be using it for browser testing, which would make life a heck of a lot easier for me.

Thanks! :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Sindy, sounds like you do a lot of the same things I do (the only thing I don't do on your list is video editing).

While the iMacs will certainly do much of what you want very capably, I always lean to the Mac Pro line because:

1. I hate glossy screens - they're not good for color work at all and the reflections would drive me nuts.
2. I like the flexibility of being able to choose my own monitor
3. I like to have multiple internal drives for backup etc. I have 4 in my Mac Pro - two 1TB and two 750GB. (daily and weekly Superduper backups, and one Time Machine backup)
4. I like being able to add on things - I have an eSATA card in my MacPro at the moment. Changing the video card is also an option.
5. Lots of RAM without having to use the very expensive 4GB modules (8 slots instead of 4)
6. Lots of ports - 4 FW800 and 5 USB 2.0

Downsides to the Mac Pro:

1. Cost (have to add the cost of a monitor too)
2. Space it takes up

Important - I would NOT buy a new Mac Pro right now. They're definitely due for an update. Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone If you can wait a bit, until they're updated, then it may make the decision easier, as there may be more significant speed differences etc. than there are currently.

As to your other question about running Parallels, I had Parallels 3 and Windows XP on my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz) and it was fine - it will run on any Intel Mac with 10.4.11 or better. I then installed a new hard drive (old one died) and Snow Leopard and I didn't upgrade Parallels, choosing instead to install VMWare Fusion and Windows 7 on my MacPro, since that's where I do almost all of my web development work. Works fine. I too use it primarily to check web designs in the Windows browsers. (IE, Chrome & FF). From everything I've read, VMWare Fusion is more stable than Parallels, but perhaps a bit slower. For my uses, stability was more important. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the great info, Paddy. I will keep that in mind. I would probably wait anyways and do a bit more research, or maybe see if someone could build a machine for me... dont know if its cheaper that way like the PC. Plus I dont have the money right now to put down on a new machine...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Sindy, you can't really "build" Macs like you can PCs. You can't just buy all the parts and assemble them yourself - unless you cobbled together something from a lot of broken Macs, I suppose.

(unless you're talking about a "Hackintosh*", which I wouldn't recommend as anything more than an idle experiment, though there are a few here who would disagree with me on that.)

*A PC running OS X - which violates the Apple EULA. And you get no support from anyone - Apple or third party software producers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
You can customize

While you can't "build" a Mac in the same manner as a PC you can still save a little money. Apple often over-charges for things like RAM or HDDs so you could get a Mac Pro with minimal RAM/HDD and upgrade them yourself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
While usually upgrading RAM yourself rather than through Apple IS cheaper, for some RAM modules in some models at the moment it actually isn't. You need to check prices first before making that decision. On the Mac Pros at the moment, Apple's prices on the 2GB modules of RAM is actually LOWER than you'll find elsewhere; 8GB (4X2GB) from Apple adds $300 to the cost of the Mac Pro, at Canada Computers you'd pay $428. At CanadaRAM, $350 or $442. One caveat is that the RAM doesn't get added to the base amount when you order from Apple, but in fact substituted. So doing it yourself, if you don't need to use the 3 RAM slots occupied by the 1GB modules Apple provides for larger modules can give you 3GB more RAM. If however, you want to put 16GB in there, using the 2GB modules, then you're better to order it through Apple.

The 4GB modules are waaay cheaper through 3rd parties though - $744 for 4X4GB at CanadaRAM vs Apple's jaw-dropping $2220.

I think the reason for the price discrepancies here is that Apple set those prices over a year ago when this batch of Mac Pros was introduced. Since then, RAM prices have risen generally (and the 3rd parties have raised their prices) except on the 4GB modules, which have gotten cheaper since they first appeared not too long ago.

Maybe....

Then again, if you check the pricing on the iMac upgrades (a much more recently updated line) there are a few oddities there too.

8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB [Add $420.00]
16GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x4GB [Add $1,050.00]

Would someone please explain to me why 4X4G isn't just double what 2X4GB is? $210 for a couple of minutes labour???? C'mon Apple - that's just nuts. Anyway, the upgrades through Apple are about on par with CanadaRAM's prices.

Hard drives - you'd have to be completely insane to buy them through Apple. They want $360 to add a 1TB drive to Drive Bay 2 on a Mac Pro. You can get a Western Digital Caviar Black with a 5 year warranty for $95.99 from Canada Computers. (the warranties on drives preinstalled by Apple are tied to the machine - so either only 1 year or, if you buy AppleCare, 3 years) They want $600 for a 2TB drive - the WD Caviar Blacks are $249 at Canada Computers and the Hitachi 2TB drives with a 3 year warranty are $152.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top