PDA

View Full Version : Pulled the trigger




bkpr
Feb 1, 2012, 10:44 PM
Since my 1,1 turned five last August, I've been waiting for an Mac Pro update. Last night I had a beer, and just took the plunge. I ordered the 3.33 Hex machine with a few customisations (http://bartkowalski.com/2012/02/mac-pro-mac-pro/).

My original fear of buyer’s remorse if a new Pro is released in the next three to six months has disappeared completely, replaced by the excitement of a new machine to spec out and actually use for a long time to come. It feels as though a weight has been lifted!

Unless the new Mac Pro uses quantum tech, I think the remorse will be held at bay :)



Apple Corps
Feb 1, 2012, 10:48 PM
Many of us have been there at one time or another - feel kind of stupid buying at the end of a life cycle BUT circumstances sometimes dictate getting on with it.

On a positive note, you won't have to stress over the yet to be found bugs in whatever the new MP brings to the table :-)

Congrats & enjoy years of power computing.

bkpr
Feb 1, 2012, 11:00 PM
I had a pretty extensive pros vs cons list, and one of the more recent realisations was exactly that — the uncertainty of new machine architecture.

However my 1,1 has been going pretty strong, so at least that gamble paid off :)

akadmon
Feb 1, 2012, 11:30 PM
Since my 1,1 turned five last August, I've been waiting for an Mac Pro update. Last night I had a beer, and just took the plunge. I ordered the 3.33 Hex machine with a few customisations (http://bartkowalski.com/2012/02/mac-pro-mac-pro/).

My original fear of buyer’s remorse if a new Pro is released in the next three to six months has disappeared completely, replaced by the excitement of a new machine to spec out and actually use for a long time to come. It feels as though a weight has been lifted!

Unless the new Mac Pro uses quantum tech, I think the remorse will be held at bay :)

Let us know your impressions relative to 1,1. I've had a 1,1 just about as long as you (got it in November 2006) and I'm itching for a new MP! I wish Apple would decide one way or the other. I'm going to wait for the next upgrade for as long as it takes, (my "old faithful" is working just fine, actually better than when I first got it, thanks to SSD) , but if Apple announces that MP is no more, I won't hesitate to get the 2010 model the day they make the announcement.

Zwhaler
Feb 1, 2012, 11:52 PM
Congrats on your purchase let us know how it is!

bkpr
Feb 2, 2012, 12:01 AM
I had/have also installed an SSD for a boot drive in the 1,1, and did the CPU upgrade as well, so my upgrade isn't as big as it may seem. I'll report back with an anecdotal comparison once I have everything set up and running for a little while. I'm sure I'll be happy.

…but if Apple announces that MP is no more, I won't hesitate to get the 2010 model the day they make the announcement.

I had the same thought. My concern with this option was that Apple'd pull it from the online store, and living in Malaysia I'd not be able to find one anywhere. One of the cons :P

Thanks for all the well wishes, heh.

initialsBB
Feb 2, 2012, 01:26 AM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Hex core kicks @$$ :)

JesterJJZ
Feb 2, 2012, 02:26 AM
Let us know your impressions relative to 1,1. I've had a 1,1 just about as long as you (got it in November 2006) and I'm itching for a new MP! I wish Apple would decide one way or the other. I'm going to wait for the next upgrade for as long as it takes, (my "old faithful" is working just fine, actually better than when I first got it, thanks to SSD) , but if Apple announces that MP is no more, I won't hesitate to get the 2010 model the day they make the announcement.

I feel the same way. I'm temped by a processor upgrade in the meantime if I can find a good deal for the 3ghz quads. But I'm worried about the downtime and possible issues of an upgrade. Can't afford to be down a machine.

slughead
Feb 2, 2012, 12:26 PM
Funny coincidence, I upgraded from/to nearly the same machine--bought my 1,1 in Aug 2006 and replaced it 2 weeks ago with a 3.33 Hexcore w/5870. Not as much SSD HD space or RAM as yours but I'm still loving it so far.

Glad to see I'm not the only one whose run out of patience waiting LOL.


I had the same thought. My concern with this option was that Apple'd pull it from the online store, and living in Malaysia I'd not be able to find one anywhere. One of the cons :P

I had the same reasoning too. Yes it's expensive but this is the model I want.. I'd hate to lose out because I'm waiting.

bkpr
Feb 3, 2012, 09:13 AM
Shipped today
:D

saberahul
Feb 3, 2012, 09:23 AM
Out of curiosity, why do you need 48GB of RAM?

bkpr
Feb 3, 2012, 10:45 PM
I probably don't in real world use, but I wanted at least 32GB. I use Photoshop heavily with large files. Getting the extra 16GB module was about $200 more, a small percentage of the overall cost of the machine. So I thought, why not?

rw3
Feb 4, 2012, 11:02 AM
I always love the fact that we always question others for the need of excess. It's like when people ask me why I have a truck that makes close to 600hp and is street legal. My response is normal "Because I can...."

Thanks for the icons as well. I stayed on your website for a good hour last night and was highly impressed. I did have one question though: what font are you using?

bkpr
Feb 4, 2012, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the compliment. I'm using Arvo (http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Arvo) for the headings, and Open Sans (http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Open+Sans) for most of the text.

There's a weird bug that anecdotally occurs sometimes on some Google chrome installations (Mac only so far as I know) that makes text look like this :( (http://bartkowalski.com/2011/10/d-d-d/) I haven't been able to track it down yet.

If you're using Safari or Chrome check out the WhatFont? extension (http://chengyinliu.com/whatfont.html) which let's you see the details of fonts on the web. It's great!

Bubba Satori
Feb 5, 2012, 10:37 AM
That's a great, well thought out set up you put together.The only thing I
can see you needing to be upgrading in the next couple of years is the video card.
But only if you use Premiere and AE and get an Nvidia GPU to take
advantage of the speedup that the Mercury engine provides.
Good luck.

bkpr
Feb 5, 2012, 08:57 PM
The only thing I can see you needing to be upgrading in the next couple of years is the video card.

That's what I'm hoping :)

bkpr
Feb 11, 2012, 06:28 PM
Well, it arrived, and I've set it up per my specs with one change: The 3x 3TB drives are dissected like this:

- 2TB Data volume RAID0 stripe
- ~6.6TB Spare volume RAID0 stripe
- 120GB OS backup 1 (on a single drive, not-striped)
- 120GB OS backup 2 (ditto)
- 120GB OS backup 3 (ditto)

It's pretty snappy. Have been using it for some moderate Photoshop work so far and I haven't seen a save progress bar yet :) This week will see some heavy Lightroom and PShop (photos and web design) work.

Will report back in a week or so.

jsolares
Feb 11, 2012, 06:36 PM
Well, it arrived, and I've set it up per my specs with one change: The 3x 3TB drives are dissected like this:

- 2TB Data volume RAID0 stripe
- ~6.6TB Spare volume RAID0 stripe
- 120GB OS backup 1 (on a single drive, not-striped)
- 120GB OS backup 2 (ditto)
- 120GB OS backup 3 (ditto)

It's pretty snappy. Have been using it for some moderate Photoshop work so far and I haven't seen a save progress bar yet :) This week will see some heavy Lightroom and PShop (photos and web design) work.

Will report back in a week or so.

Nice, i'm still unsure what my next machine will be, probably when ivy bridge hits or even haswell, a Mini, a Mac Pro if they still make those, or another iMac.

wonderspark
Feb 11, 2012, 06:48 PM
So, do you have three copies of OS X on three SSDs, or are two of the SSDs in a stripe? It looks like you have two backups on SSD, which seems like a waste of SSD, since I'd presume the two backups are not in use. You could be using them for something else, and clone the OS onto HDDs instead.

It sounds like you're cooking with gas, though, so congrats!

jsolares
Feb 11, 2012, 11:04 PM
So, do you have three copies of OS X on three SSDs, or are two of the SSDs in a stripe? It looks like you have two backups on SSD, which seems like a waste of SSD, since I'd presume the two backups are not in use. You could be using them for something else, and clone the OS onto HDDs instead.

It sounds like you're cooking with gas, though, so congrats!

I believe he has 2 120GB SSDs stripped to give 120GB for OS and 120GB for Scratch disk, and since they're stripped it'll give more performance than just using one SSD for OS and the other for a scratch disk, and he has a 120GB partition on each of his 3TB HD's so each of the platter disks has a backup of the OS partition.

bkpr
Feb 12, 2012, 03:20 AM
I believe he has 2 120GB SSDs stripped to give 120GB for OS and 120GB for Scratch disk, and since they're stripped it'll give more performance than just using one SSD for OS and the other for a scratch disk, and he has a 120GB partition on each of his 3TB HD's so each of the platter disks has a backup of the OS partition.

This is correct.

I have three backups of my OS, one on each 3TB HD. Originally I was going to have a single backup copied to the "spare" volume, but there would be a chance this would be destroyed if one of the three drives died. Since I have the space, I'll just section of a small volume on each 3TB HD (to keep everything nice and even) and make three backups, two of which would be safe if one of the HDs dies.

As a pleasant side effect, I have them set up as a rolling backup, one on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If notice something funny in my OS after a few days, I can go back almost a week.

I know it's probably overkill — much of the machine probably is — but I like to tinker.

bkpr
Feb 20, 2012, 10:10 PM
I'm back to report on how it's going.

In short, it's awesome! My setup works very well indeed. Using Photoshop (most of my time) is fantastic. I've worked on both 200+ layered website mockups and multi-GB photograph stitches and haven't seen the beach ball yet. Saving files is also pretty fast due to the RAID0 stripe data drive.

I run the Diglloyd RAM warmup script when PShop fires up, so I always have 24GB RAM at the ready for this app alone. Not sure how much of a real-world difference this makes, but it makes me feel good :)

The machine is much quieter than the 1,1. The old Mac Pro always span the fans at full speed for a few seconds when started up, and sometimes when it woke from sleep. Generally the fans were audible during work, but not loud enough to be distracting (besides, I listen to headphones while I work, but they are open so I can hear most things (http://bartkowalski.com/2010/10/things-audio-technica-ath-ad900-headphones/)). The 5,1 is flippin' silent in comparison!

My old Pro took around 23 seconds (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=14244072&postcount=978) to run the Speed Test (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=200558). The 5,1 clocking in at around 12.4 seconds. I haven't run a geekbench score.

The system is lightning fast running from a two striped SSDs. Everything is instant. PShop launches in around 3–4 seconds, and other Adobe apps are the same. All systems stuff like preferences, Disk Utility etc are very close to instant. The 1,1 ran off one SSD and I think I can tell the difference, but it is negligible — you wont save hours of time running a striped array of SSDs, but the snappiness can be felt I believe.

Would I recommend upgrading from a 1,1? Absolutely! But if you're in the 'new Mac Pro is around the corner' camp, I'd probably wait a couple months. I don't have any regrets at all, but if you've waited this long a couple more months probably won't kill you.

If I'm 100% honest, the just under $6K I spent on my 5,1 probably does not equate to the performance increase over my swapped-CPU 1,1 (http://bartkowalski.com/2010/11/octocore/) (which is now for sale in Kuala Lumpur (http://bartkowalski.com/2012/02/for-sale-8-core-mac-pro/)). However the increase is definitely noticeable and welcome, as is the snappiness and lack of audible running noise.

If you in the 'Mac Pro is dead' camp, don't hesitate to pick one up (if you haven't already).