Is it dumb to buy a used 2013 Mac Pro in 2019?

jonnybutter

Active Member
Depends on the price its still a great computer.
Exactly! Otherwise it's a 'how long is a piece of string?' sort of question. I have a 6 core w/64gb of RAM and it works very well for me. I don't do massive live VI templates with multiple libraries w/ multiple mic setups etc. I'm on LPX and typically run a combination of, at most, 50-70 audio tracks, along with maybe 15-20 live VIs, and lots of plugs. It handles all that reasonably well, so I'm good. I will worry about what's next in 3-5 years.

If you want to do massive live (VI) templates without a slave, get a new Mac I guess. Otherwise, I think a refurb vader for around USD$2500 is totally worth it. I can't justify spending $10k+ for an audio computer (video is a different story). But that's me.
 

Damarus

Active Member
The iMac and mac mini are better in almost every way. Please someone explain this madness to me.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
not true. iMac and Mini both suffer from thermal problems. The older macPros also have more expandability.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
I don’t have one to give you an accurate answer any more then you could get by looking it up. No soldered in parts for one thing. Don’t forget the thermal issues. And of course price for a loaded up one vs the other.
 

Damarus

Active Member
No worries I get it, but here's my thing - if you want expandability, build a PC. If you live in Apple's world then you gotta play by their rules. The most logical option is to use that money for the newest technology you can afford. (better I/O, software updates, warranty, technology improvements, ect)
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Different strokes for different folks but I love OS X mojave on my 2012 cheesgraters. I absolutely do NOT need to have the latest and “greatest” hardware from Apple. I’m one of those people that think trashcan was a step down from the cheese grater aside from a few obvious slightly upgraded things like faster cpu with AVX, and TB3 which I don’t use. I do use pci heavily so for me every single Mac since 2012 has been a step down, not up. The new Mac Pro coming out will finally be a step up but alas I can’t afford it! Hehehe lucky for me the 2012 cheese grater I s still running great and strong with no compelling reason to stop using it. By the way you can get one of those loaded up today for $2k.

Also there are lots of ways to avoid playing by apple’s rules as you put it. I think a lot of people like me have been running their cheese graters forever and that’s why Apple finally pulled their head out and designed another true power computer in the new one coming out. Seems like they are bending to our rules.

now the trashcan doesn’t have pci and I do truly think it was a step down but trashcan owners that love their Mac will probably have an emotional reaction to my statement but that is how I see it. And the reason Apple still sells the trashcan as is, even today, is because it’s still relevant despite iMacs and minis coming out that I can’t even keep track of all the weird little issues I have heard about them all such as thermal throttling problems or fan noise or can’t upgrade the ssd or ram because it’s soldered in or not enough ports, etc etc etc. Those were never intended to replace the trashcan as a true power machine with the possible exception of the imacpro which i personally still would not touch because of some of the reasons mentioned but for me mainly the lack of PCI.
 

Saigen

Member
When push comes to shove, I'm getting more and more happier with my mouth more and more open now that I've gotten myself a Mac Pro 2010 5,1 dual CPU.

While there's still upgrading to be done on your setup, I'd recommend you find one of them instead :)

 

jonnybutter

Active Member
No worries I get it, but here's my thing - if you want expandability, build a PC. If you live in Apple's world then you gotta play by their rules. The most logical option is to use that money for the newest technology you can afford. (better I/O, software updates, warranty, technology improvements, ect)
I think buying newest Apple tech you can afford used to be the case - it's what I did for years - but not necessarily now. To each their own. I know some people are happy with their iMacs, but I don't need a screen and like to have more pro hardware inside (and it's a pain to service an imac). The cost is comparable, so it's a matter of taste. The minis might be a possibility, but - eh - not convinced they are as physically robust as the vader. If you can get a vader for under $2500, it's worth considering I think.
 

Damarus

Active Member
I think buying newest Apple tech you can afford used to be the case - it's what I did for years - but not necessarily now. To each their own. I know some people are happy with their iMacs, but I don't need a screen and like to have more pro hardware inside (and it's a pain to service an imac). The cost is comparable, so it's a matter of taste. The minis might be a possibility, but - eh - not convinced they are as physically robust as the vader. If you can get a vader for under $2500, it's worth considering I think.
Well its only because they haven't made anything worth upgrading in years, which is why we are talking about buying a 6 year computer. Once the new Mac Pro is finally being sold, this 2013 one will go to 'Vintage' status for apples support.

I assume I don't have to mention the kind of power you can get with a $2500 PC.
 

jonnybutter

Active Member
Well its only because they haven't made anything worth upgrading in years, which is why we are talking about buying a 6 year computer. Once the new Mac Pro is finally being sold, this 2013 one will go to 'Vintage' status for apples support.

I assume I don't have to mention the kind of power you can get with a $2500 PC.
All true. In fact, I think the best solution is to build a super powerful hackintosh, which you could do for less than $2500. But that's not for everyone.
 

Damarus

Active Member
All true. In fact, I think the best solution is to build a super powerful hackintosh, which you could do for less than $2500. But that's not for everyone.
Totally. That would be nice, but sadly it exactly as it sounds. A hacked together computer. It's never going to be stable. Its a cool quick and dirty solution. If you're the kind of person that doesn't mind messing with it every so often, more power to you.
 

jonnybutter

Active Member
Totally. That would be nice, but sadly it exactly as it sounds. A hacked together computer. It's never going to be stable. Its a cool quick and dirty solution. If you're the kind of person that doesn't mind messing with it every so often, more power to you.
We had a whole thread about this recently. Those of us who have built a hack, especially recently, can tell you it's not so hard. Not for everyone, but really not so scary. Mine was quite stable most of the time (built in 2013) and faster for audio than any mac you could buy at the time (and it cost $900). Isn't that dumb? I think so.

Apple is so rich and so diffuse that I don't hold out high hopes for them sorting all this stuff out. They are, admirably, still improving LPX (for free!), which is an outstanding DAW by any measure, and an incredible value in terms of the software itself. Unfortunately, the true price is higher, since you have to use an Apple computer (absent a Hack). And Apple, as is their wont these days, wants to force you onto their paths in that regard, even though they don't really care about this part of the market anymore.

If it's not a major part of their business, why not just give (semi-)pros what they want? There have been rumors about 'modularizing' mac minis, but that doesn't seems to be happening. The consumer iMac is a kludge (IMO, YMMV), and the iMac pro is too expensive, as is the new MacPro, which is really designed for video.

I'm glad they don't neglect LXP - it's a great DAW. But there seems to be an absent-mindedness about machines to run it on for 'the rest of us'.
 

mat1

New Member
I think a used 8 core 2019 iMac or iMac Pro is the best value mac right now.

8 cores under full load at 3.7(imac) or 3.9(imac Pro). Beautiful screen, TB3, current processors and depreciation-wise you will probably be able to upgrade to it's equivalent for $1000 in about 4 years.
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
Mine was quite stable most of the time (built in 2013) and faster for audio than any mac you could buy at the time (and it cost $900). Isn't that dumb? I think so.
Well, most of the time wouldn't cut it for me. With deadlines always looming, that $900 wouldn't do me any good, I need 100% reliability (which is what my genuine Mac has given me for the past 7 years, it owes me nothing). For the extra money, I have peace of mind.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Hackintoshes are completely just as stable and reliable as any Apple branded mac. Whatever myths being spread that they are not reliable or stable, are false. A hackintosh will run just as smooth, just as good, just as stable...as any mac. Plenty of actual Apple branded computers have issues too by the way.

Where hacks are a gamble is in terms of the future. You might run it for years without issue and after maybe 3-4 years, I would argue you saved so much money, you can just get another computer, money well spent. But its likely to be good longer then that. But still...there is no guarantee, its a gamble. Myself personally, if I were a working pro I would absolutely not make that gamble, I would either buy a real Apple mac or I'd run Windows.

As a hobby, its not really that much of a gamble. Mainly I feel I could potentially build a better machine than ANYTHING built by Apple, including the new MacPro coming out soon! If Apple pulls the rug out from under me in the future and breaks all hackintoshes with something they do in a future version of OSX...then I can always flip to MS windows, or figure something out...but I have time to mess with it and no income is depending on it. So there is that. there is also always hte possibility to just running Mojave for many years to come on a hackintosh build...and it will work perfectly fine for as many years as I feel like using it. That isn't so bad really...

In general though if you're afraid of building a hackintosh, then don't do it. Its not for everyone. And there is no garanutee whatsoever that Apple won't break it in a couple years. Hell, my 2012 5,1 MacPro is officially depecrated and broken by apple now at the end of 2019. So Apple only supported that for 7 years, if you think about it. My 5,1 MacPro is actually officially becoming a hackintosh itself as of 2020.

If you pick the right motherboard and components for a hackintosh, then it will likely run fully functionally for at least 5 years, and certainly you can leave it on the last functional OSX version for at least a few years after that. With the right components, its not that difficult to build these days. Is it a gamble? Perhaps so. But you're saving a lot of money too.

One thing, I kind of expect Apple to break a lot of Hackintosh builds in the next version of OSX after Catalina because of the way they are changing the KEXT handling. That is a very big deal. Its going to be very secure, but its also going to make it possible for Apple to control the hardware much more tightly...and quite possible that hackintoshes will break everywhere. But we shall see..
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
Hackintoshes are completely just as stable and reliable as any Apple branded mac. Whatever myths being spread that they are not reliable or stable, are false. A hackintosh will run just as smooth, just as good, just as stable...as any mac. Plenty of actual Apple branded computers have issues too by the way.

Where hacks are a gamble is in terms of the future. You might run it for years without issue and after maybe 3-4 years, I would argue you saved so much money, you can just get another computer, money well spent. But its likely to be good longer then that. But still...there is no guarantee, its a gamble. Myself personally, if I were a working pro I would absolutely not make that gamble, I would either buy a real Apple mac or I'd run Windows.

As a hobby, its not really that much of a gamble. Mainly I feel I could potentially build a better machine than ANYTHING built by Apple, including the new MacPro coming out soon! If Apple pulls the rug out from under me in the future and breaks all hackintoshes with something they do in a future version of OSX...then I can always flip to MS windows, or figure something out...but I have time to mess with it and no income is depending on it. So there is that. there is also always hte possibility to just running Mojave for many years to come on a hackintosh build...and it will work perfectly fine for as many years as I feel like using it. That isn't so bad really...

In general though if you're afraid of building a hackintosh, then don't do it. Its not for everyone. And there is no garanutee whatsoever that Apple won't break it in a couple years. Hell, my 2012 5,1 MacPro is officially depecrated and broken by apple now at the end of 2019. So Apple only supported that for 7 years, if you think about it. My 5,1 MacPro is actually officially becoming a hackintosh itself as of 2020.

If you pick the right motherboard and components for a hackintosh, then it will likely run fully functionally for at least 5 years, and certainly you can leave it on the last functional OSX version for at least a few years after that. With the right components, its not that difficult to build these days. Is it a gamble? Perhaps so. But you're saving a lot of money too.

One thing, I kind of expect Apple to break a lot of Hackintosh builds in the next version of OSX after Catalina because of the way they are changing the KEXT handling. That is a very big deal. Its going to be very secure, but its also going to make it possible for Apple to control the hardware much more tightly...and quite possible that hackintoshes will break everywhere. But we shall see..
So in other words....buy a real Mac :thumbsup:
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
for you yes. For some others maybe not. I want to buy a new mac, but Apple is still not providing what I want for a price I can afford. So in a couple years, when my 5,1 is truly getting too long in the tooth to use anymore stuck on Mojave, I personally will have to wait and see if Apple either provides something I can afford that meets my needs, (or perhaps the now-new MacPro will be available on the used market for a price I can accept). If they do, I will personally choose that, but if not, I will probably try building a hackintosh again. I personally don't think Apple has made a good enough mac since my 2012 5,1. I'd rather have a hackintosh then everything they have released since then. Now they have the possibility of making me happy again with the new one, we shall see, but the price still has to come back to planet earth, because I'm not a working pro and I simply cannot justify the price they demand. For me the choice is either build a hackintosh or switch to windows. Either way, I will buy hardware that seems best suited for a hackintosh and I'll give it a shot. If I end up on windows in the end anyway, then so be it. Or maybe things will go my way with the new MacPro line and I'll have more options in 3 years from now, we shall see