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Author Topic: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?  (Read 12399 times)

Justice C. Bigler

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Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« on: October 19, 2016, 02:34:34 pm »

I have money to spend on a new audio workstation for our large concert hall. Intended primary uses are Protools recording and QLab playback (including up to 3 video screens), though not at at the same time.

4 years ago when I requested this money, I was going to buy an Apple Mac Pro. Today, there is no sign that Apple has any intention of ever updating their horrible Trash Can that they call a Mac Pro.

Is it worth buying a Mac Pro at this point? QLab is the only piece of software that I use that requires the Macintosh operating system. Otherwise I would be running Windows.

So, my options are: 1) buy the Mac Pro as intended and cry when Apple either replaces it with a better design in 6 months or a year or 2) cry when they EOL it in 6 months.

Or 3) Buy a Windows system, like a Protools PC and switch to SFX as our primary audio playback system. (God knows I wish that Figure 53 would port QLab to Windows).

Other pieces of this system which will not change are a Protools HDX Core package with the HDX card and HD software, a Focusrite Red 4Pre and HD32R, and a Sonnet XMac Pro Server rack mount chassis for the Mac Pro if I go that direction. The Protools PC would not need the Sonnet chassis since it will contain the HDX card and internal hard drives, obviously.

I have serious doubts about using a Mac Mini (which seem the be the most popular systems for QLab) for Protools since they lack the quad core processors that Protools seems to run best on, especially since I want it to record up to 64 channels at a time. And either an iMac or Mac Mini would still require a Sonnet or similar expansion chassis for the HDX card and other storage media.

What do you guys think?

I can't buy any used or refurbished equipment, and I can't install a hacked operating system like a Hackintosh (Plus Figure53 doesn't support QLab on Hackintoshes anyway).
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Justice C. Bigler
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Jon Fu

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2016, 03:26:35 pm »

4 years ago when I requested this money, I was going to buy an Apple Mac Pro. Today, there is no sign that Apple has any intention of ever updating their horrible Trash Can that they call a Mac Pro.

You might want to wait until October 27: http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/18/apple-to-introduce-new-macs-at-october-27-event/

It might be easier then to make an informed purchasing decision, considering how outdated Apple's current lineup is.
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 03:50:43 pm »

You might want to wait until October 27: http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/18/apple-to-introduce-new-macs-at-october-27-event/

It might be easier then to make an informed purchasing decision, considering how outdated Apple's current lineup is.
Not hearing any rumors about the Mac Pro getting any upgrades, updates, refreshes, or replacements. Sounds like it's going to be laptops and the 5K display only.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 03:52:25 pm »

My friends who have been using Macs professionally are currently unhappy (and getting more unhappy) with Apple.
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 03:58:06 pm »

My friends who have been using Macs professionally are currently unhappy (and getting more unhappy) with Apple.
Seriously, do you know what I would give to have Figure 53 port QLab to Windows?


That is the ONLY piece of software that I need that requires Mac OS only. And SOME of my software like RF Guru will ONLY run on Windows.   :-\



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Brian Jojade

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 05:04:13 pm »

While the Mac Pro hasn't been updated in some time, it's still a pretty awesome machine.  No current rumors of an imminent update happening.  If an update does come, I doubt that it would be able to do your audio editing that much better than the current hardware anyway.

I doubt Apple will EOL the Mac Pro.  As far as support goes, Apple maintains support for hardware for 5 years from the date the product is discontinued.  Even if you bought it and they discontinued it tomorrow, you will have at least 5 years of support. 
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 05:58:03 pm »

I use a 2012 Mac Pro tower.  With a good aftermarket video card, it has no problem driving an operator display and 2 1080p qlab displays.  I'm sure it would be fine with more with a better video card....

I know you can't buy used but if you have a 2012 pro already, upgrading it with cards, a new processor, and an ssd might do more to prolong the life of the investment...


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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 06:50:33 pm »

...but if you have a 2012 pro already, upgrading it with cards, a new processor, and an ssd might do more to prolong the life of the investment...
I have a 2006 Mac Pro 1.0, the first, first gen Intel Mac Pro. It's done. And I've decided that I don't want to try hacking the boot loader to get a more modern OS (Than 10.6.8 )to run on it.


I've got the money, I'm just going to get a new system, whatever that ends up being.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 06:54:21 pm by Justice C. Bigler »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 08:06:15 pm »

No comment on the Mac Pro debate (not an Apple user beyond my iPad), but if you decide to use a Windows machine I've had good luck running Show Cue System as a substitute for QLab.  There are certainly differences between the two, but SCS has always managed to suit my needs and is reasonably priced. 
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 08:06:44 pm »

I have a 2006 Mac Pro 1.0, the first, first gen Intel Mac Pro. It's done. And I've decided that I don't want to try hacking the boot loader to get a more modern OS (Than 10.6.8 )to run on it.


I've got the money, I'm just going to get a new system, whatever that ends up being.
Every ten years whether you need it or not?


Yeah - then get the most maxed out graphics you can....

Fwiw - we have a bunch of laptops we use for a video camp.  We got tech services to put them on a 3 year lease like staff laptops.  Now they get replaced every 3 years whether they need it or not...I know that's not always a municipal option....




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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 08:06:44 pm »


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