Mac Pro Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hidea, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. hidea macrumors regular

    May 10, 2006
    Hello there,

    I'm planning to get a mac pro with the following configuration, I'm just looking for advice and suggestion.

    I'll be using it for graphic design job.

    2 x 2.66GHz (I don't think 3.0GHz is worth the price bump, unless an 8 core comes out, and maybe with a price cut on the 3.0GHz, maybe I'll get the 3.0 GHz instead).

    4GB RAM (I think this is a sweet spot, there's also no point in getting more than 4GB since PS CS3 isn't gonna be a 64-bit app.)

    1) 500GB Drive (stock)

    2) 3x 750s OR 1x 500GB + 2x 750 (which I'll get elsewhere, I'm not sure if I should get another 500GB and RAID it, and 2x 750GB and RAID it as well what do you think? if I were to RAID the 500s, I'd have to get two drives from apple, but we all know apple's prices on these drives are waaayy jacked up)

    1) 20" Display (I'm not sure about displays yet, I have to do my homework on this one, but I've heard the display by ViewSonic is outstanding. As a designer, I need to be able to get that perfect colours and contrasts, any pointers?) But I'll be dualing this one. I'd like to have dual display, if I do proceed with a larger display, the 20" will be a secondary)

    1) 7300GS
    2) X1900XT

    Either options won't matter to me. I don't really game anymore, but to be able to game under Bootcamp/Parallels isn't something that's compltly off the picture for me. It's just a matter of the Dual-Link DVI-I. Is it worth it to pay that extra to keep the option for 2 30"? I'm pretty sure I have the table space, otherwise, I could just hang it on the wall.

    I think I'll be getting the Bluetooth + Airport Extreme option. Although I'll be wiring the MacPro directly to the router. Wireless blows :p.

    and of course, this isn' teven an option; Apple Care :p

    What do you think MacRumours? Any suggestions?
  2. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan
    For hard disks, if you can afford it, go with the 3x after-market 750GB drives - or find a 500GB (same model that Apple uses, you'd have to check the exact number) for less than Apple sells them for.

    GPU, get the X1900 - it's better to keep your options open if you plan on gaming. Or, if you're only gaming in Boot Camp, get two 7300s and SLI them.
  3. madyaks macrumors member


    Dec 3, 2006
    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (4 x 512MB) memory (667MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)
    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics with 512MB memory

    $3,299 from apple.....
    I'm not sure there is a sweeter deal....
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Everything sounds good except the 20" monitor, in my view. Although I've purchased one recently for home use, our work ones are currently 23" where you've got a better prospect of seeing an A4/letter page in portrait at 100%. That's if page layout is important to you.

    We didn't have the money for 30" displays but we would have got them if we could have afforded them and new graphic cards for the G5s... probably ACDs.
  5. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan
    I agree - 20" is a little small. Go for a Dell 24" if you can afford it.
  6. hidea thread starter macrumors regular

    May 10, 2006
    I've asked around aout the displays. I heard the 24" on Dell's isn't that good? Has anyone used this for graphic work?
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    I'll tell you something. No-one on this forum can agree on this; it's caused many a heated debate and although judging by some of the reported problems I'd be inclined to say no, I'd suggest you look for external reviews rather than relying on someone here to provide a definite and unchallenged answer.

    My answer is to say that we will not be buying Dells for the studio come mid-2007, probably ACDs because I've negotiated hardware discounts from Apple before because of the nature of our business.
  8. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003

    Quite simpley no it's not.

    The 20" ones are alright, it uses the same panel as the 20" ACD but a different backlight.* The new 24" (2407WFP) is acctually a 6 bit panel (acd's are 8 bit) an uses dithering to falcely achieve 8 bit colour, the old model (2405fpw) was a much better display but it was still not a patch on the acd's IPS panel and general excellent colour representation.

    If your on a shoestring buying a second hand 2405FPW would not be a bad investment, however, if your serious get a true 8-bit IPS panel that's well reviewed and certified.
  9. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    For the record, I love my 2405.. but I'm not sure how accurate the colors are.

    It is big, bright, sharp and beautiful... plus I got it for $600.

    How would I check color accuracy?

    I know the first few generations of the 2405 got poor reviews.. with color banding and a few other problems.. but I bought mine 3 months ago and the new revision doesn't have banding problems.
  10. hidea thread starter macrumors regular

    May 10, 2006
    Well, there's no 'benchmark' for it. It's your eyes. If you know photography inside out, do a B/W. Make sure you try to capture the contrast as much as you could, do a high exposure, low exposure, and mid. Can you see what you wanna see on the screen? What can't you see? The more it's closely matched to what you have in mind, the better the display is.
  11. aneks macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2006
    I have a 2405 on my mac pro. Had it running side by side with a 23 ACD a few weeks a ago. The apple has slightly nicer colour fidelity, viewing angle is almost identical. Refresh seems pretty similar. Brightness is not an issue with either monitor as they are both fantastic. Dell has a better (adjustable) stand and more inputs. no Firewire on the dell. But my mac wont boot windows under bootcamp with the ACD firewire plugged in anyway. Card reader is nice on the dell.

    Overall I would say that the 2405 picture is 95% of what the ACD is. The apple is definitely better but in most places cost a LOT more. The 2407 is not worth mentioning. Dell will be releasing a 27" LCD shortly which should be very tasty, will have to see whether they go for the 6bpc or 8bpc tube ?!
  12. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    At the time we got ours we picked up our 23" ACD for £700 and the cheapest the 2405 was was only a little less, you can get the apple displays cheaply if you REALLY shop around allot.
  13. cynerjist macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2006
    and yet another thread morphs into an ACD vs. Dell discussion

    as for op, in my opinion it is wise to stick with 2.66 & put the extra $ into RAM if you are doing graphic design work as stated.
  14. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    I have a 20" ACD and I love it! I had to calibrate it because out of the box, it looks pretty washed out.... but, I think I have it looking nice now. Good luck with all of your choices.

    By the way, I got a refurbished Mac Pro and it runs like new!

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