mac pro

If I was a betting man…

…then I would have made a lot of money today. No new FCP X announcement. And you know, I’m ok with that. I’ll be spending a couple days just getting my systems updated to Mavericks.

I’m very glad we got the scoop on the new Mac Pro. I’m also ok with it being available in December.

It’s curious that Apple didn’t announce a new display to go along with it. Maybe that will get announced closer to the December release?

As with “everything Apple” these days, time will tell.

*UPDATE*

From the the Mac Pro Performance page:

Final Cut Pro X. Now optimized for Mac Pro.

The new version of Final Cut Pro X (coming in December) has been engineered to take advantage of the 4K capabilities of the Mac Pro. The dual workstation-class GPUs in Mac Pro accelerate effects, optical flow analysis, video export — and virtually everything else you do in Final Cut Pro. Ultrafast PCIe-based flash storage means fast project loading and multi-stream 4K playback. And Final Cut Pro X has been so perfectly tuned to take advantage of the new Mac Pro, you can work in 4K — in real time — without rendering. (Take a minute to let that slowly sink in.)

And now we wait…

I hate waiting. Admittedly, in many instances, I’m the one telling someone else to wait (to render, to upload, to let me find that shot). Because of my own impatience, I work my tail off to provide results faster than others. It’s not always humanly possible and it’s a very high bar to set, but I strive for it. And I usually come through.

So when I am in a position of waiting on others for things I really want, I get very fidgety (to put it mildly). In this case, I am waiting on three things, all Apple-related.

First item of business is my new iMac. I sold the old one in order to upgrade. I did this almost immediately within the launch of the new iMacs. I upgraded to it because of the 4GB graphics card. I ordered it eight business days ago. It still hasn’t shipped. There’s no way it’ll get to me by the latest expected date of Wednesday unless it overnights tomorrow. Here’s hopin’.

Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 3.45.22 PM

I feel a little silly to have made the upgrade now that the benchmarks came out and they are not as exciting as I had expected. The good news is my upgrade cost was only a few hundred dollars and the resale value will be higher than my last one if I had waited another year.

This leads me to the second item of business: the new Mac Pro. I am desperately awaiting its release into the wild. I have very high hopes for this beast. I hope it’s going to energize a lot of people to start up projects which will have a trickle-down effect to me. As has happened in the past, my hope is that a new Mac Pro on the market equals new work for me.

The final item of business is FCP X. I have no idea when it’s coming out. I have no idea what the new features will be. And I am dying to know. I’ve maxed out what I can do with FCP 10.0.x. Here’s hoping the next version is as great as the hype out there. I truly hope it is because… (please return to the first line of this post).

Hackintosh vs High-End iMac: Is It Worth It?

Hackintosh_logo_by_kossnocorp

This is a re-post from a response I recently added to a Creative Cow thread about the value of Hackintoshes. I built one late last year and I’m happy with it. But I know that happiness comes with a cost. The system does not have a high resale value and has many potential troubleshooting issues down the line.

I came to terms with the reason why I wanted to build one: because I wanted to know IF I could build one. It was a challenge which was frustrating but fun. I love learning about all the tech we use in our daily lives. It was a satisfying DIY project.

I ultimately feel that buying Apple provides a better value over building a Hackintosh. But you don’t necessarily gain knowledge about your system and it’s components if you purchase a Mac. It’s like buying a refrigerator. If it breaks, you call a repair man. You’re most likely not going to open it up and fix the compressor (unless you’re a repair man!). So you might never understand how a refrigerator, a very important piece of tech in your life, works.

—–

Hackintosh part prices below are current and possibly not reflective of what I paid. But it’s very close. This gets you mostly in parity with a top of the line iMac (minus Bluetooth and WiFi, which cost about $46 total for the components). Here are my specs:

Intel Core i7-3770K $320
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5-TH (has 2 thunderbolt ports) $245
32GB 1600Mhz DDR3 $217
Corsair Carbide 500R $158
Corsair 650 Watt Modular $90
GeForce GTX 680 $497
480GB SSD Drive $363
Syba SATA III 6Gbps PCI-e Card $17
StarTech.com 3 Port 2b 1a 1394 PCI Express FireWire Card Adapter PEX1394B3 $63
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO: $33
I owned a Kona 3, which I installed and is working fine.

TOTAL: $2003

iMac System Specs:
3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM-2X4GB
1TB Fusion Drive
NVIDIAGeFrc GTX 680MX 2G GDDR5: $2600
AppleCare: $170
RAM from OWC: $270

TOTAL: $3040 (before tax)

Now, here’s the kicker. While Geekbench isn’t the be-all end-all, I think it’s a nice cross-reference for the technologically-barely-informed (such as myself ;-)).

My iMac 27″ top o’ the line gets a healthy 14268
The Hack Pro gets a substantial 14124

For all intents and purposes, they are equal systems. One costs $3014 and comes with a warranty. The other costs $2003, works great, and is expandable, but has risks. Again, if you need to purchase a monitor, keyboard and mouse for the Hackintosh, that will add an additional amount and bring them much more in line price-wise.

Let’s look at the percentage difference if we take out AppleCare to get the systems more in line.

iMac: 2845
Hack Pro: 2003
Percent Difference: %30

Now, let’s look at potential resale value and upgrade costs. This is assuming a new iMac will cost about the same amount in 2 years:

iMac late 2012 resale value in 2 years (conservative): $1250 
iMac 2014 (high end) potential cost: $ 2900
Out of pocket difference: -$1650
Time needed to reinstall software and test new system: 1 day (based on purchase of iMac)

Hackintosh upgrade option 1, resale and build from scratch:
Hackintosh Late 2012 Cost: $2003
Hackintosh Resale Value in 2 years: $400 
Hackintosh Late 2014 potential cost: $2000
Out of pocket difference: -$1600
Time needed to research new system and find best prices on parts: countless nights on Hackintosh boards
Time spent building system: 1 day
Time spent testing parts and debugging: 2 days (conservative)

Hackintosh upgrade option 2, upgrade CPU, Mobo, and RAM
New Motherboard, Processor, RAM (assuming all current PCI Cards work properly and base prices stay the same): $782
Time spent researching whether all parts will work with new system and what CPU/Mobo to get: 2-3 evenings on hack boards
Time spent installing new parts: 2 hrs
Time spent reinstalling OS, debugging: 1 day (conservative)

So there you have it. At most, there’s an $870 difference (not including time spent) in favor of an equally spec’d Hack Pro and a top-end iMac over a 2-year period. Divide that out by 2 years and that’s $37 per month.

The ultimate question I propose (which I’ve already answered for myself): Is it worth it for you to build one?

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