Mac Pro: Upgrade or Buy New One?

I’m starting a new job where I’ll be working from home and doing a good amount of video and audio editing. I have two Mac Pros in the closet: a late 2012 cheese grater and a 2013 trashcan.

I’m trying to decide whether I should:

  1. Sell the 2012 and use the proceeds to add memory, storage, and maybe a new processor to the 2013.
  2. Sell the 2013 and use the proceeds to add memory, storage, new processor, and a bunch of other stuff to the 2013.
  3. Sell both the 2012 and the 2013, and use the money to buy a new mac pro. I’d like to get the 8-core, but it’s super expensive!
  4. Wait for the new Mac Pros to ship and then decide.


  • Sell the cheese grater and soup up the trashcan.
  • Sell the trashcan and soup up the cheese grater.
  • Sell both and buy a new Mac Pro now
  • Wait for the new Mac Pro to ship

0 voters




I wouldn’t really recommend any of the options you list (especially not buying the current Mac Pro). I think you ought to consider either buying a new iMac Pro or temporarily using one of your existing machines and waiting until the new Mac Pro ships (hopefully sometime this year). Which of those makes sense really depends on whether the iMac form factor would work for you and how important upgradability is for your use case.

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Thanks @ChrisUpchurch!

I was hesitant to go with the iMac Pro because my current setup uses a couple external monitors, so I didn’t think I needed the Retina display. I also want to be able to upgrade myself. So I guess the best thing is to wait!

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I would go with “use whichever one works best, cross your fingers, sacrifice some chocolate, and hope Apple releases new Mac Pros soon”. Chocolate sacrifices can be deposited with me :wink:

An iMac Pro would work fine with external monitors, but if you really want to be able to upgrade it yourself then waiting is your best bet.


How GPU bound is the work that you’ll be doing?

Waiting for the next machine that “might” come at “some” time in the future makes no sence if you need to do your job.
Starting a new job is stressfull enough while you are slow and ramping up its a great time to setup your new machine and be exited about the new job. Buying and getting everything setup later when you ramped up will only be a distraction.

If we were right before an event with a very strong indication of new Mac Pro’s you could wait a few weeks but no longer then that. Since non of this is reality I would just sell and buy the best you can afford. Keeping in mind that you can later add more memory and external storage.

Apple Business has different 12-36 month leasing programs for Macs. With the fair market value lease you can either return all the equipment to Apple and upgrade to the latest technology, or purchase the equipment outright at its current fair market value, or extend the lease at a negotiated rate. So if you need a faster machine that’s currently available, but expect something better might come along, this could be a useful option.

If your current equipment is sufficient for work then hold off. If not buy now.


Looking at what you’re running now, 8 and 16GB of RAM,and 4 core processors, it looks like (don’t take this the wrong way) upgradability is not that big of a priority. Consider a base model iMac Pro has 8 cores, 32GB of RAM, a 1T SSD, and a lovely 5K display, to me that looks like a large leap from your current machines, and should be pretty future-proof for you. This based on your current machines serving you well for six and seven years.


Not only the processor and the memory but the entire architecture is so much faster.

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Sell both and buy an iMac Pro now…

You haven’t upgraded either Mac Pro to their full potential so upgradability is a moot point. I mean the 2012 Mac Pro is still running 10.10.5! That unit should be on High Sierra or Mojave with at least 16gb of RAM.

At the very least, sell the cheese grater ASAP as its value is only going down.

You will not regret going with an iMac Pro.