Dual 3GHz Mac Pro - Options?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by andym172, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. andym172 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    My parents company are buying a mac pro for a designer who is starting work in a couple of weeks. They've asked me to spec up a decent system which will allow video editing, photo editing, and design work to be done primarily in CS2.

    I've not paid a huge amount of attention to the new Intel Mac's (aside from purchasing my own black MacBook), and so am not sure what is worth purchasing, and what isn't. I was hoping those of you more knowledgeable than I could have given me some pointers.

    I know Apple's RAM to be wildly expensive, can anybody recommend where is the best place to go for Mac Pro RAM?

    Aside from that, the budget is circa £2,500 so I have chosen:

    Part Name Part Number Qty

    Mac Pro Custom 1
    -Mac OS X 065-6245
    -Country kit 065-6244

    -2xNVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB SDRAM 065-6452
    -Apple Keyboard & Mighty Mouse 065-6287
    -AirPort Extreme + Bluetooth 2.0+EDR 065-6725
    -3.00 GHz Quad Xeon 065-6508

    -500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s drive @ 7200 rpm 065-6367
    -1GB 667 DDR2 FB DIMM ECC - 2x512MB 065-6357
    -2x 16x SuperDrive DL (DVD+R DL/DVDRW/CD-RW) 065-6507

    Anybody have thoughts on the above? :)
     
  2. vendettabass macrumors 6502a

    vendettabass

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    Seoul, South Korea
    #2
    I assume you got a decent size monitor right?
     
  3. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Yes, a current version 21" Apple monitor :)
     
  4. Fredou51 macrumors regular

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    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    #4
    The Mac Pro is definetly one of your best bet. One of the thing to remember though is CS2 is not Universal. Many reviews show that the Mac Pro is not as good in CS2 as the Powermac but it is not far behind the Quad G5 even under Rosetta. But the perfomance in Final Cut, Aperture and the other Universal application are gonna be much better on the other hand. Depends what applications are the most important.

    Now, looking at these specs, I personally would rather spend the extra money on ram rather then the 3GHz which most test show is a negligible performance boost anyway. Regarding the graphic card, are you gonna be using more than two displays? Because if not you'd be better off with the x1900XT which would actually give you a performance boost in Motion and Aperture.

    Last thing is ram, I chose to buy Apple ram as I bought early and there wasn't many suppliers who had the super heatsinks the Apple one has. The prices were similar as well. I am not sure what resellers in your area would offer good quality at a better price than apple especially since Crucial prices are now higher then last month.

    Good luck,
    Fred

    EDIT: There is currently no 21" Apple Cinema Display. There is only 20, 23 and 30 inches.
     
  5. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #5
    one suggestion I'd make is to buy your HD from somewhere else. Just like Apple RAM, HDs, too, are much cheaper elsewhere. I'd probably even drop it down to the lowest (160gb) and buy an extra 500gb somewhere else.. You'd end up with more space for less money. At least, this is how it is in the US.. I imagine it to be the same in the UK, looking at Apple's price for the upgrade to 500gb.

    edit: I also agree that the 3.0 upgrade is not nearly worth its price, and that money would be better spent on RAM.
     
  6. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #6
    Apologies, a case of brain fade ;)

    Thanks for the advice so far, duly noted :)
     
  7. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #7
    Why two graphics cards? Unless you have two big monitors and you're going to be doing 3D work on BOTH at the same time, then one 7300 should be good enough for 2D work, even on 2 monitors.

    A Radeon 1900XT will only be useful for games or LOADS of 3D rendering.

    Also remember that you can buy graphics cards later from Apple.
     
  8. bearbo macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #8
    also are you sure you are gonna need 2 superdrive and AP+BT? i'd imagine in a working environment ethernet is more widespread than wireless ... let along bluetooth?
     
  9. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I'd heard that the Radeon X1900 XT is quite loud, and so thought the two 7300's would have been the way to go.

    Would a single X1900 XT be quieter than two 7300's, and, for extensive Photoshop work (while using Aperture) would a single 7300 be efficient?
     
  10. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #10
    We use wireless in our office :eek: :D

    I selected bluetooth because it wasn't hugely more expensive.

     
  11. lowfi macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Geneva, Suisse
    #11
    Do you really think a second graphics card will speed up photoshop?

    It is only usefull is you want more than 2 monitors.
     
  12. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #12
    On the retail box it mentions this card screams but they don't post any benchmarks. So that is what they meant. :D
     
  13. Transeau macrumors 6502a

    Transeau

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    #13
    Dual video will not speed up Photoshop. Dual 7300's is intended for 3 to 4 monitors.

    An X1900 isn't that loud to start with, replace it with the Accelero X2 and it's completely silent. (Newegg has it for $22)

    Also, the 7300's are silent, because they have no fans. No need for them as the 7300's are quite slow, when compaired to an X1900.

    I don't think an X1900 is going to speed up Photoshop at all. PS doesn't have any animation or video, which is where the X1900 shines.
     
  14. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Thanks guys :)

    I specced the two video cards due to the video editing which will be done at one time or another.

    I would guesstimate the standard Photoshop work, to video editing at a 50:1 ratio, so maybe two cards is OTT.
     
  15. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #15
    i still think the ATI card is the way to go. i just don't see how you'll gain from 2 7300's.

    i also agree that the 3.0 upgrade isnt worth the $800 (don't know UK).

    i'd spend that money on more RAM (2GB from apple, but if you buy more, get it from someone else)

    also, i'd just get the 250GB hard drive, and buy another from elsewhere. you can get hard drives much cheaper from other sellers
     
  16. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #16
    i too would recommend the ati card over the two nvidias since you dont need dual displays. Also, i would not get the quad 3ghz and get quad 2.66 and up the ram to 4 gig, and id drop the hd to 160 and geta 500from somewhere else. so around $4000 so approximately £2150 and than get another hard drive later. all in all the machine will be significantly faster.
     
  17. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Thanks for the advice guys :)

    In the end we specced:

    Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    2GB (4 x 512MB)
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI)
    250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme

    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro

    :)
     
  18. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #18
    A fine choice, which has nothing to do with the fact that, apart from the second superdrive, it's what I'll be getting sometime this week.:rolleyes:

    On the topic of the superdrives, you might want to just get one. This is because, frankly, there are few reasons why you need to use two at one time, and even if you do, you could order a drive from eBuyer that would write to things like DVD-RAM, which the designer might be in the habit of using, as it can be written to freely and non-linearly unlike CD and DVD-R.

    David
     
  19. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    I specced the two Superdrives, as last year on one occasion we had to burn just under 100 CD's to send out to clients. Guess who was given that job? Yep, me! :eek:

    On that occasion I had a Power Mac, an iMac, and two Powerbook's doing the burning, and quite frankly it was a pain in the a...

    For the extra, it just seemed to be worth it :)

    Let us know what yours is like. The Mac Pro will be mine for a few days before the new designer starts work.
     
  20. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 24, 2003
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    UK
    #20
    Incidentally, is anybody able to recommend the best 250GB HDs to stick in these?
     
  21. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #21
    250 GB Seagate 7200.10

    Searching for ST3250620AS will find you them, you can get them for under £60.
     
  22. excetara2 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2006
  23. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
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    #24
    congrats on the purchase! too bad it's for your worker and not you. but nice system either way
     
  24. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England

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