I already shared my thoughts on last week’s Mac Pro peek. The intervening week has caused a lot of research into what my alternative is going to be.
On the low end, I might snag a Haswell Mac Mini, if/when that refresh is made, and pick up either one nice 27” display, or a pair of 24” displays, most likely Ultrasharps.
Or, depending on the outlook and the announced specs of the Haswell iMacs, I may end up with a 27” iMac mated with a 27” Thunderbolt display. This could serve double duties; in addition to giving me a solid home machine with plenty of screen real estate, it also gives me a pair of 27” monitors that I can drive from my work Macbook Pro (or future Macbook Air).
The likelihood of the latter is pretty slim; that’s a lot of cash to drop on a desktop, and its a stretch to justify having such a potent machine at home now that it is no longer my primary machine. But I’m not sure the Mini would have enough balls to really handle what I tend to throw at things, then again, I worry at how poorly the iMac will fair at virtualization and video encoding. Speccing the Mini all the way out, which I would do if I took that leap, gets me over $1500, which is deep in 21” iMac territory, and not far enough from 27” iMac ranges. And the added memory capabilities of the 27” are of particular interest, as is the 7200rpm main drive and high powered graphics options.
Then again, I still haven’t ruled out picking up a clearance or refurb last-gen true-Pro before they disappear. Right now I’m in a holding pattern until Haswell reaches everything else.