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Buying second hand or new Macpro advice please...

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Ado Brett
Buying second hand or new Macpro advice please...
on Oct 4, 2010 at 2:12:44 pm


I'm in the market for a new macpro. My main uses for it will be for Final Cut (HD Editing) Soundtrk pro,Compressor,Livetype,Photoshop,Color.

After some research I decided that my best option would be to buy Macpro 6 core 3.33Ghz Intel Xeon Westmere. 6 gb Ram, ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 Gb graphics card.

Meanwhile an option to buy a second hand macpro has arisen - specs -
- 2 x 3Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon
- 8Gb Ram
- 1 x 750Gb HD System
- 3 x 1Tb Raid
- Apple RAID Card
- 2 x DVD Drive
- Wireless & Bluetooth
- 512VRam

The second hand option(about 3yrs old) is a more powerful machine & can save me a substantial amount of money but my main concern is that from past experience with macs is that they often start to give trouble and die after this amount of time. My MBP just died after (nvidia card dead) almost 3 years, not worth repairing & before that an imac died after about 2 years...

Any opinions on this would be much appreciated. I don't want to save money now only to have to spend a fortune in the near future!


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walter biscardi
Re: Buying second hand or new Macpro advice please...
on Oct 4, 2010 at 2:31:38 pm

[Ado Brett] "The second hand option(about 3yrs old) is a more powerful machine"

Actually, not more powerful. We have that exact machine here in our shop and it's definitely "less powerful" than the new machine. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, it is editing HD video all day everyday and running Apple Color with an ATI 4870 card in it and it works flawlessly. But it is not "more powerful" than the new machines. The newer machines will definitely do all the tasks faster.

If the machine has been well cared for and you know the person you're buying it from, it will be a good purchase. It will be out of any AppleCare agreement as those last for 3 years, but if you're ok with that, then by all means, it sounds like a good machine. Just ensure you have an ATI 4870 in there minimum to use Color.

But with your newer machine I would put in a minimum of 12GB RAM.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Ado Brett
Re: Buying second hand or new Macpro advice please...
on Oct 5, 2010 at 9:34:13 am

Thank you Walter for your time & advice...I presumed 2 3Ghz processors would still be faster than 1 3Ghz... I'm still a little nervous buying a three year old machine from past experiences even though I think it was well taken care of... For what I'm using the machine for as I stated in first post do you still think 12gb of ram is best? I've read that FCP only uses a max of 4 gb...Does Compressor make use of all 12gb and what other areas take advantage of this?

Thanks again....

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