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Fair price for Mac Pro? (in £)
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:04 am    Post subject: Fair price for Mac Pro? (in £) Reply with quote

I've always kept one eye open for a bargain Mac Pro; I dream of the day when my OS X desktop will be spread across a couple of 27 or 30 inch screens... Cool



A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon a company selling refurbished Mac Pros (two dual-core 2.66GHz CPUs) for £1,000 plus sales tax: http://www.macking.co.uk/apple-quad-266ghz-intel-xeon-250gb-superdrive-p-1121.html

They're also selling them thru eBay: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Apple-Mac-Pro-Quad-2-66-GHz-3GB-RAM-250GB-HDD-Super-/330457256818

Price-wise, is this pretty much the going rate? Or does anyone think that they can be found even more cheaply than that? Confused
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For comparison's sake, I had my eye on a Mac Pro that was being sold by a guy 35 miles up the road from me -- 2.66GHz, 9GB ram and 1.25TB of HD storage.

It went for £950 w/o P&P charges.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120606863196

[Edit: I've just spotted a Mac Pro in a BIN auction for £900 + £60 P&P. However, I'm always a little suspicious when the supplied photos are out-of-focus... http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Apple-Mac-Pro-Quad-2-66-GHz-2-GB-500-GB_W0QQitemZ130421749086 ]
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trustory
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the sellers feedback checks out there shouldn't be too much to be suspicious about. Ask them to email you a couple of detailed pictures.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers, Tru. Buying the Mac Pro isn't the really big decision; if I sold the Mini and bought a Mac Pro, I'd have to find about £600-£750 to make up the difference. I'd be willing to pay that for the big processing speed bump, the Pro's connectivity and for the ease with which I could upgrade HDDs and memory.

The real decision is: If I bought the Mac Pro, would I be willing to see the plan thru and buy a couple of 27" inch displays (at £900 each) or a couple of 30" displays (at £1150 each)?

(Gulp)
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'd approach it the other way. Buy the displays as you can afford them one at a time and use them on the mini. When you have both displays then you can look to buy a fancy Mac Pro.

Lets say you buy one display now and another in a year followed by the Mac Pro at a later date. Now the Mac Pro that you buy in two years time is bound to knock the socks off the one your looking at now but the displays will probably be identical especially if your looking at the new Apple Cinema displays.
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trustory
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any specific reason you need Apple displays?
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:
I think I'd approach it the other way. Buy the displays as you can afford them one at a time and use them on the mini. When you have both displays then you can look to buy a fancy Mac Pro.

Lets say you buy one display now and another in a year followed by the Mac Pro at a later date. Now the Mac Pro that you buy in two years time is bound to knock the socks off the one your looking at now but the displays will probably be identical especially if your looking at the new Apple Cinema displays.

Cheers Cypher, that's a different way of approaching the problem.

The Mini allows me to connect a 30 inch display to its Mini-DisplayPort using the dual link DVI adapter -- but I'm not sure whether the Mini's internal graphics card could support the connection of a second display to the mini-DVI port while this is happening, and the Apple support article about the dual-link DVI adapter doesn't say one way or the other....

Even if it isn't possible, I could always connect one of my HP 20 inchers using the USB-to-DVI adapter that I've still got.

However, I don't think that there would be much point in buying two 30 inchers before buying the Mac Pro, as I couldn't use them with my Mini.

[Edit: I've found the support article for the 2009 Mini's External Ports and Connectors and it doesn't preclude using the mini-DisplayPort up to a resolution of 2560x1600 while using the mini-DVI port at the same time. I had assumed that running one 30 inch monitor at native res was as much as the Mini's graphics card could handle, but I can find no documentation to support that assumption. So yeah, serves me right for underestimating the Mini! Rolling Eyes ]
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Last edited by JohnnyBoy on Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trustory wrote:
Is there any specific reason you need Apple displays?

No, I don't need Apple displays. In fact, the prices that I quoted before (£900 & £1150) were Novatech's prices for Dell displays with VAT included.
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swordsandtequila
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey JohnnyBoy, this link is a little more specific than the Apple site concerning displays; scroll down and click display support for details. Hope this helps.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/stats/mac-mini-core-2-duo-2.0-early-2009-nvidia-specs.html
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Cheers Cypher, that's a different way of approaching the problem.

However, I don't think that there would be much point in buying two 30 inchers before buying the Mac Pro, as I couldn't use them with my Mini.

So yeah, serves me right for underestimating the Mini! Rolling Eyes ]


I would approach it the same way.

It will breath new life into you existing mini. If you're still not totally happy, then you can pick up the Mac Pro. What I would hate to see, is you buying a Mac Pro, not having a lot of extra cash and then settling on your current displays. That would be like wearing Reebok runners with an Armani suit.

I always suggest putting the money into the display first. It doesn't depreciate as quickly and you really get good use out of them. Likely you'll retire the Mac Pro some day and still use the displays.

I would love to have dual displays. Now that I'm running a home based business, I really wish I had the luxury (poor choice of words, I should have said tools or appropriate equipment).
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swordsandtequila wrote:
Hey JohnnyBoy, this link is a little more specific than the Apple site concerning displays; scroll down and click display support for details. Hope this helps.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/stats/mac-mini-core-2-duo-2.0-early-2009-nvidia-specs.html

Thank you, S&T!!! That link nails it once and for all! Cool

Quote:
This model simultaneously supports 1920x1200 on a DVI or VGA display using the Mini-DVI port and 2560x1600 on a dual-link DVI display using the Mini DisplayPort (with an optional Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter).

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
What I would hate to see, is you buying a Mac Pro, not having a lot of extra cash and then settling on your current displays. That would be like wearing Reebok runners with an Armani suit.

I like the analogy, Bill! Very Happy But yeah, I see your point; buying a Mac Pro doesn't get me a bigger computer desktop -- and that's ultimately what I'm striving for here...

Bandit Bill wrote:
I always suggest putting the money into the display first. It doesn't depreciate as quickly and you really get good use out of them. Likely you'll retire the Mac Pro some day and still use the displays.

Yes, very good point. In fact, the posts from yourself and Cypher have made me re-think the whole situation...

If I want a bigger desktop without buying a Mac Pro and two 30 inchers, there's another way -- and it doesn't cost £3,500....

Four displays could be mounted on a quad-monitor bracket and connected to two Mac Minis...



...and the desktops of the two Minis could be linked using ScreenRecycler.



This would make use of my existing Mini and displays, and require another Mini and two more HP LP2065 monitors. The HP screens aren't cheap when they're new, but second-hand, they're not too bad. It's a pity that they don't have thinner bezels -- that would make life much easier when creating a multi-monitor setup.

And the quad monitor brackets/stands aren't too expensive either...
£90 for a rig with a desk-clamp: http://www.allcam.biz/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=695
£140 for a free-standing arrangement: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/Monitors/MonitorAccessories/Novatech/TS744.html

If I see a couple of LP2065s going cheap, I might very well take the plunge...
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Last edited by JohnnyBoy on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can never have enough monitors Razz
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Cypher: I just need more space! Shocked

The width that I have (3,200 pixels) is good. A 30" screen and a 20" screen would give me a width of 4,160 pixels -- which would be better -- but I'd still be restricted by the height of the 20-incher: 1,200 pixels.

I have to do a lot of scrolling within Curio at the moment, so what I want is desktop height. I've tried spinning these displays thru 90 degrees, but the picture quality becomes rather crap and hard on the eyes, as reported here.

Well, I'll just have to keep my eyes open for a couple more screens...
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we both need Terry Pratchetts setup, but with bigger monitors Razz


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