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Been offered second-hand Mac Pro, need advice

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Gareth RandallBeen offered second-hand Mac Pro, need advice
by on May 22, 2011 at 8:32:04 am

Since I've been doing more 3D and HD work in Motion I've been wanting to upgrade my 2006 MacBook Pro, but I just haven't had the cash for a brand-new laptop or desktop.

A friend has just upgraded to a 12-core Mac Pro and has offered me his old one - a 2007 quad-core (Woodcrest) 2.66GHz with 7Gb RAM - for $1300. He's a musician rather than an editor, so he only specified the standard graphics card (GeForce 7300GT) when he bought it.

These may be dumb questions, but...

Will I notice a proper "Hey wow, this was totally worth it!" performance improvement over my first-gen 2.16GHz MacBook Pro, especially in 3D and HD?

Would I have the option to upgrade to whatever the current latest-and-greatest Motion-friendly graphics card is, or would that require a newer Mac Pro?

Are all Mac Pros 64-bit compatible, in other words would I be able to run OS X Lion, FCP-X and 64-bit Motion? I've done a bit of Googling and I'm unsure if the Woodcrest-based machines are true 64-bit.

All advice gratefully received ;)



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Noah KadnerRe: Been offered second-hand Mac Pro, need advice
by on May 22, 2011 at 7:01:19 pm

Yes it will be a huge boost over your laptop and Woodcrest is 64-bit.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Gareth RandallRe: Been offered second-hand Mac Pro, need advice
by on May 23, 2011 at 11:24:51 am

Cool, thanks :)



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Noah KadnerRe: Been offered second-hand Mac Pro, need advice
by on May 22, 2011 at 6:58:46 pm

Might be a bit high at that price though. You should be able to get it down to 1100. Depending on what he's offering with it. You'll still need a monitor for example.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Micah McDowellRe: Been offered second-hand Mac Pro, need advice
by on May 23, 2011 at 7:43:53 pm

Nnot that this would be the best option, but keep in mind that you can buy a brand-new quad core iMac for $1199.00.

It'll run circles around your MBP, maybe even benchmarking similarly to the Mac Pro in question. Hardware expandability may be more limited, but it's got the Thunderbolt port for high-speed storage and video i/o devices... the Mac Pro can't boast that. You also get a world-class IPS monitor included. A similar external display would start at $200.

If you're limited to the $1300, consider the base iMac and use the extra $100 to bump up the RAM with a third-party kit or put toward external storage if you don't already own any already. If the budget is flexible, you can get a whole lot of iMac for the $2499 it takes to get into entry-level Mac Pros. All that being said, I'm editing at work with a Mac Pro 8-core and love it dearly. It should last for years. I'm not going to buy one with my own money though.


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Noah KadnerRe: Been offered second-hand Mac Pro, need advice
by on May 23, 2011 at 10:57:25 pm

I wouldn't put an iMac above a recent Mac Pro in terms of expandibility. There are tons of already available PCI peripherals for Mac Pro- pretty much zero actually shipping for Thunderbolt as of right now. And when they do I'm expect there will be PCI to Thunderbolt adapters.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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