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SpontaneousOrder
20th December 2013, 22:56
Anyone know about this stuff reckon it's with it for general dev purposes? Looks a bit like overkill, but then is my only Mac alternative another more powerful MacBook pro? Seems daft to have 2 laptops.

Are the iMacs any good for developer work? I know nothing about them - only got my mbp for its size and build quality, and discovered that it's brilliant.

NickFitz
20th December 2013, 23:07
An iMac is excellent for development work. I'd get one myself, but I'm happy doing everything on my MacBook Air 13".

If you've got a spare monitor, keyboard, and mouse or trackpad, then another alternative would be the Mac Mini.

CheeseSlice
20th December 2013, 23:13
only got my mbp for its size and build quality, and discovered that it's brilliant.

Build quality? Have you not seen El Reg try to take one apart? They're held together with glue and they have to use guitar plectrums and a heat gun to slowly prise them apart just to replace parts.

stek
20th December 2013, 23:15
Anyone know about this stuff reckon it's with it for general dev purposes? Looks a bit like overkill, but then is my only Mac alternative another more powerful MacBook pro? Seems daft to have 2 laptops.

Are the iMacs any good for developer work? I know nothing about them - only got my mbp for its size and build quality, and discovered that it's brilliant.

It's perfect for invoices and expense spreadsheets, but make sure you order 128gb ram and three 4k screens...

NickFitz
20th December 2013, 23:21
Build quality? Have you not seen El Reg try to take one apart? They're held together with glue and they have to use guitar plectrums and a heat gun to slowly prise them apart just to replace parts.

Good job they don't have to replace parts then :rolleyes:

It's not some piece of junk from Dell that needs fixing all the time. You get what you pay for.

craig1
20th December 2013, 23:24
Depends what type of dev work you're doing. The Mac Pro is quite seriously outspecced for most dev work but looks fantastic for others. A graphic designer friend who got a trial run of two said that the faster clock 6 core with the dual 700 graphics cards was much faster for him than the 12 core with dual 500 cards. If you're willing to spend that sort of money then you fit into one of these categories:

1. You know exactly what combination of clock speed, cores, memory and graphics cards you'll need to do your job and you're happy to pay knowing that you're actually getting good value for money.
2. You're a poser who'll do nothing more complex than removing red-eye from family holiday photos. You'll still tell everyone how fantastic it is when in reality you'd probably get the same speeds for general desktop/office work from a decent iMac. Your Mac Pro will secretly hate you and will wait until you're one day away from remembering to back up the hard drive before wiping it clean and going up in a puff of smoke caused by the dust bunnies in the unused pro-grade graphics cards.

The Macbook Pro is more than good enough for most users. I had 4 VMs running simultaneously on mine back in 2011 just after I got it, 2x Win7 and 2x WinXP all running automated test scripts, while I got on with my normal work on the MacOS. It did sound like it was about to take off from a carrier deck though...
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i258/cknpics/CPU-1.png

CheeseSlice
20th December 2013, 23:53
Good job they don't have to replace parts then :rolleyes:

It's not some piece of junk from Dell that needs fixing all the time. You get what you pay for.

But seriously.... GLUE ???

AtW
20th December 2013, 23:59
FFS, get a PC!!! :mad

NickFitz
21st December 2013, 00:34
But seriously.... GLUE ???

The only bit that's glued in is the battery. If the battery needs replacing, which requires disassembling every other part of the machine, it's more cost-effective for them to transfer your data to a working machine (which can be done straight away in-store) and ship the broken one back to be reconditioned, or probably recycled if it's an older model.

NickFitz
21st December 2013, 00:40
FFS, get a PC!!! :mad

Marco Arment was checking out the equivalent to a Mac Pro in PC form yesterday. When he used HP's website to configure a roughly equivalent machine, their price was around $2000 more than Apple's. Similar result on Dell's site. And, of course, the PCs were more the size, shape, and weight of a wheely bin than a wastepaper basket :D

scooterscot
21st December 2013, 09:26
But seriously.... GLUE ???

You'll probably should avoid flying on the Dreamliner... rumour has it you can still smell it curing upon boarding.

minestrone
21st December 2013, 09:48
Marco Arment was checking out the equivalent to a Mac Pro in PC form yesterday. When he used HP's website to configure a roughly equivalent machine, their price was around $2000 more than Apple's. Similar result on Dell's site. And, of course, the PCs were more the size, shape, and weight of a wheely bin than a wastepaper basket :D


Buying PCs online from these manufacturers and adding extras to get an exact spec is always a ridiculous cost
and that type of purchasing is always he same whether it be kitchens, cars etc etc.

At the time of purchasing my off the shelf Samsung ultra 9 last year it was thinner than anything mac produced, it was higher spec than what mac produced and it had the same build technology as what mac produced for lower cost.

I'm not saying that macs are bad, I'm saying that the way you gather information to back up your very public proclamations of loyalty is deeply flawed.

And on a personal note I think the mac front end looks fookin tulipe these days, daft sqeeezy window minimisations and those little dots and stuff. It's like listening to music from years ago and thinking "did people really like that stuff back then"

doodab
21st December 2013, 10:25
I like it. As a physical device, it looks pretty cool and seems to have some clever ideas in it, especially the way the cooling works. It certainly makes a change from the rectangular box form factor.

I expect we'll see some attempts at doing similar things in the conventional PC space soon enough. The HP Z800 was a bit different too, so perhaps expect something from them.

We could be looking at a renaissance of the super powerful desktop workstation, especially with the power these things can pack in now.

Zero Liability
21st December 2013, 10:27
When I next buy a computer it'll be from PCSpecialist, but then again I am after gaming PCs.

d000hg
21st December 2013, 10:37
The new Pro is clearly WAY overspecced for development work unless you are wanting to test an entire system in VMs with some chunky DBs going on... but in that scenario a Mac wouldn't be the obvious choice anyway; Windows or Linux desktop would be.

For music, well I'm sure things have moved on in terms of computational resources needed but even so this looks like utter overkill.

For video editing... I can see a professional making a good case for it but even so the top end models are a bit of an extravagance in my eyes.

This leaves us with:

3D modeling and animation. This stuff can bring any consumer hardware to its knees so those working in 3DS/Maya/ZBrush or doing CAD will doubtless be able to justify such a beast of a machine

Computational stuff, i.e. leaving the thing to run on tasks which take minutes or hours to complete. Whether that's render-farm stuff for animated movies or crunching data. However this use-case again doesn't quite fit with a typical Mac to me, you don't want to spend £3k on your main desktop and then not be able to use it because it's locked up for 2 hours at a time.

MasterBlaster
21st December 2013, 11:01
My dev computer (visual studio, SQL, vm's) is a custom built machine from clevo.
Super high performance and half the price of a Mac.


http://mysn.co.uk/xmg-p503

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=LT-021-OE

SpontaneousOrder
21st December 2013, 11:49
I'd only consider a pc for playing games. Otherwise I'm used to using my mbp, and I really like the OS and using all of the different finger gestures on the track pad. There are the odd annoyances where apple have decided to make it difficult or impossible to change something that should be changeable.

IMac might be a good option. I was planning on getting a thunderbolt screen so that I can 'dock' my mbp though, and I'm guessing i can't hijack the screen from the IMac.

doodab
21st December 2013, 12:14
The new Pro is clearly WAY overspecced for development work unless you are wanting to test an entire system in VMs with some chunky DBs going on... but in that scenario a Mac wouldn't be the obvious choice anyway; Windows or Linux desktop would be.

For music, well I'm sure things have moved on in terms of computational resources needed but even so this looks like utter overkill.

For video editing... I can see a professional making a good case for it but even so the top end models are a bit of an extravagance in my eyes.

This leaves us with:

3D modeling and animation. This stuff can bring any consumer hardware to its knees so those working in 3DS/Maya/ZBrush or doing CAD will doubtless be able to justify such a beast of a machine

Computational stuff, i.e. leaving the thing to run on tasks which take minutes or hours to complete. Whether that's render-farm stuff for animated movies or crunching data. However this use-case again doesn't quite fit with a typical Mac to me, you don't want to spend £3k on your main desktop and then not be able to use it because it's locked up for 2 hours at a time.

Music I can see people liking it, it's overkill for basic recording and playback and most other things but for full on sample based simulation of an entire orchestra plus other stuff and effects it's not too far wide of the mark, though the graphics are probably overkill. It's always nice to have headroom as well, it'll get used eventually.

I ca see 'creatives' with a few of them wired up in clusters for rendering and stuff as well. Compared to other gpu based 'desktop supercomputers' or small clusters they might be quite cost effective, esp if thunderbolt can be used as the interconnect, and you can imagine that software packages enhanced to support that natively would provide a big ease of use boost considering what's involves in say a Linux cluster.

I have to say it's the first Mac that's tempted me since they went x86. I probably won't indulge though, too much invested in Windows software, although a lot is dual OS licensed.

craig1
21st December 2013, 12:43
I'd only consider a pc for playing games. Otherwise I'm used to using my mbp, and I really like the OS and using all of the different finger gestures on the track pad. There are the odd annoyances where apple have decided to make it difficult or impossible to change something that should be changeable.

IMac might be a good option. I was planning on getting a thunderbolt screen so that I can 'dock' my mbp though, and I'm guessing i can't hijack the screen from the IMac.

You don't need a PC for games if you've got any modern Macbook Pro or iMac, many games have Mac versions available and you can easily bootcamp the thing for other games. You could use VMs but only really for older games.

darmstadt
21st December 2013, 15:47
They're quite nice and I even contemplated one when buying a new work system but...they only have 16gb of memory which is just not enough for some of the software I have, so no go...

Zero Liability
21st December 2013, 15:59
You don't need a PC for games if you've got any modern Macbook Pro or iMac, many games have Mac versions available and you can easily bootcamp the thing for other games. You could use VMs but only really for older games.

The iMac looks pretty good, and it's a plus that you can get a Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 on it. I guess its chief advantage is its portability and slimness. You could still get better value for a desktop if you are aiming at gaming (GeForce GTX780ti and SSD hard drive for OS), but not from the likes of Dell, and it'd have a much bigger office footprint.

How upgradeable are iMacs, though? Are they like laptops where it's pretty difficult to upgrade the CPU/GPU?

AtW
21st December 2013, 16:02
they only have 16gb of memory which is just not enough for some of the software I have, so no go...

640kb of RAM ought to be be enough for everybody :eyes

d000hg
21st December 2013, 16:49
They're quite nice and I even contemplated one when buying a new work system but...they only have 16gb of memory which is just not enough for some of the software I have, so no go...It supports up to 64Gb. Apple - Mac Pro - Technical Specifications (http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/specs/)

darmstadt
21st December 2013, 17:16
Anyone know about this stuff reckon it's with it for general dev purposes? Looks a bit like overkill, but then is my only Mac alternative another more powerful MacBook pro? Seems daft to have 2 laptops.

Are the iMacs any good for developer work? I know nothing about them - only got my mbp for its size and build quality, and discovered that it's brilliant.


It supports up to 64Gb. Apple - Mac Pro - Technical Specifications (http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/specs/)

Although the title of the thread is Mac Pro I think the OP and the majority of responses were primarily about the Macbook Pro which is a laptop versus the Mac Pro which you're not really going to lug around:

MacBook Pro - Buy MacBook Pro with Retina display - Apple Store (U.S.) (http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/macbook-pro)

SpontaneousOrder
21st December 2013, 18:01
Although the title of the thread is Mac Pro I think the OP and the majority of responses were primarily about the Macbook Pro which is a laptop versus the Mac Pro which you're not really going to lug around:

MacBook Pro - Buy MacBook Pro with Retina display - Apple Store (U.S.) (http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/macbook-pro)

I already have he 13inch retina MBP which is awesome for portability and is decently powered too. I want something else a little meatier, but a bigger MBP seems like a waste (having 2 laptops), and the Mac pro also seems like a waste (overkill).

An i7 iMac might be a good call. I need to find out if you can hijack the screen - i've an MBP and I got my other half a macbook air for her birthday so it would be good if we can attach the to a screen/keyboard/mouse.


Thanks for the responses guys, btw.

NickFitz
21st December 2013, 18:17
They're quite nice and I even contemplated one when buying a new work system but...they only have 16gb of memory which is just not enough for some of the software I have, so no go...

They can take up to 64GB, user-upgradable: Mac Pro (Late 2013): Installing or replacing memory (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6054)

NickFitz
21st December 2013, 18:20
Although the title of the thread is Mac Pro I think the OP and the majority of responses were primarily about the Macbook Pro which is a laptop versus the Mac Pro which you're not really going to lug around:

MacBook Pro - Buy MacBook Pro with Retina display - Apple Store (U.S.) (http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/macbook-pro)

The OP was very clearly asking about the Mac Pro, and explicitly stated that they didn't think buying a second MacBook Pro was a suitable alternative for their requirements.

darmstadt
21st December 2013, 18:35
The OP was very clearly asking about the Mac Pro, and explicitly stated that they didn't think buying a second MacBook Pro was a suitable alternative for their requirements.

But does it run OS/2? :smile Actually some of the software I use isn't available for Mac OS or isn't particularly good running on Macs which is also one of the reasons, plus the price, otherwise I would have bought one. Instead I bought a Lenovo which is a damn good workstation laptop and having used them for years I know of their toughness and reliability. I do have an original iPod but the battery is ****ed and I can't replace it so I now have an iPod touch which is reasonably good. Many years ago I had one of these and was quite impressed at the time:

http://www.applemacparts.co.uk/store/images/menuitems/classicII.jpg

darmstadt
21st December 2013, 18:39
what would be really nice is to be able to get a copy of the Mac OS, maybe with a 30 day license and install it either in a VM or other system so that I could see if I liked using it. Having used Windows and Linux (even OS/2, BeOS and Geoworks) for many years, the learning curve of another OS and UI might just be too much...:o

NickFitz
21st December 2013, 19:01
what would be really nice is to be able to get a copy of the Mac OS, maybe with a 30 day license and install it either in a VM or other system so that I could see if I liked using it. Having used Windows and Linux (even OS/2, BeOS and Geoworks) for many years, the learning curve of another OS and UI might just be too much...:o

Because Apple make both hardware and software, they can tailor the latter to the former, greatly increasing both reliability and performance, but meaning you can't just throw it on anything and expect it to run.

Yes, they still screw up now and again, but nobody ever said systems engineering was easy :)

That said, there's the Hackintosh stuff, which would let you run OS X on a VM if you borrowed the installer off somebody. Remember, there's never been an Apple Genuine Advantage programme for any version of Mac OS ;)

darmstadt
21st December 2013, 19:40
Because Apple make both hardware and software, they can tailor the latter to the former, greatly increasing both reliability and performance, but meaning you can't just throw it on anything and expect it to run.

Yes, they still screw up now and again, but nobody ever said systems engineering was easy :)

That said, there's the Hackintosh stuff, which would let you run OS X on a VM if you borrowed the installer off somebody. Remember, there's never been an Apple Genuine Advantage programme for any version of Mac OS ;)

Not too dissimilar to the OS'es (http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/) I use, they only run on the hardware that is made by the same manufacturer although some years ago there were PCMs. There is also emulation...

Sysman
21st December 2013, 20:43
IMac might be a good option. I was planning on getting a thunderbolt screen so that I can 'dock' my mbp though, and I'm guessing i can't hijack the screen from the IMac.

Not sure what you mean by "hijack the screen" here. Would the following do what you want?

Preferences -> Sharing -> Screen Sharing - "Allows users of other computers to remotely view and control this computer"

i.e. control an iMac from an mbp or control the mbp from an iMac. Not quite the same as docking but close.

stek
21st December 2013, 20:55
Not sure what you mean by "hijack the screen" here. Would the following do what you want?

Preferences -> Sharing -> Screen Sharing - "Allows users of other computers to remotely view and control this computer"

i.e. control an iMac from an mbp or control the mbp from an iMac. Not quite the same as docking but close.

Think he means use the iMac screen as an external for a MBP lappy...

SpontaneousOrder
21st December 2013, 21:19
Not sure what you mean by "hijack the screen" here. Would the following do what you want?

Preferences -> Sharing -> Screen Sharing - "Allows users of other computers to remotely view and control this computer"

i.e. control an iMac from an mbp or control the mbp from an iMac. Not quite the same as docking but close.

That sounds about right. By docking i mean i'll get one of those stands which holds the mbp up on its side, and presumably tidies any cables, etc. Wasn;t sure if i can use the screen built into the iMac, or whether id have to buy another.

DaveB
21st December 2013, 21:24
That sounds about right. By docking i mean i'll get one of those stands which holds the mbp up on its side, and presumably tidies any cables, etc. Wasn;t sure if i can use the screen built into the iMac, or whether id have to buy another.

I have a mbp in a dock but you can't use the iMac as an external screen. I have a thunder bolt screen instead.

You can control the iMac remotely as has been said, but you can't use it as an external monitor for the mac book.

SpontaneousOrder
21st December 2013, 23:13
I have a mbp in a dock but you can't use the iMac as an external screen. I have a thunder bolt screen instead.

You can control the iMac remotely as has been said, but you can't use it as an external monitor for the mac book.

Is this not what I want?

Target Display Mode: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924?viewlocale=en_US)

SpontaneousOrder
16th January 2014, 11:43
I collected an iMac this morning.
27inch, i7 16gb ram (ill buy the other 16 separately from crucial) 1TB fusion drive.
Plenty enough for me - about £1900 after deducting VAT and CT.

SpontaneousOrder
25th January 2014, 01:00
Is this not what I want?

Target Display Mode: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924?viewlocale=en_US)


As an update to this - it works great with a caveat. Because the iMac remains running while the other computer uses it;s screen and you switch between targeted display mode and normal mode using the keyboard, you either need to use the laptop open as usual but with 2 screens now or or you need an extra keyboard and ideally an extra mouse too.

d000hg
25th January 2014, 13:02
Get a KVM-type switch?

minestrone
25th January 2014, 13:06
I collected an iMac this morning.
27inch, i7 16gb ram (ill buy the other 16 separately from crucial) 1TB fusion drive.
Plenty enough for me - about £1900 after deducting VAT and CT.

Waaaay too much money for what you get.