Mac Pro Purchase?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by emac901, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. emac901 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2006
    #1
    I am getting ready to purchase a mac pro and I needed some advice on how to configure it. Should I have everything added at the time of purchase through Apple or could I find everything cheaper and of the same quality outside of Apple?

    This is what I am looking at:

    Mac Pro 2.66 Dual Xeon
    2 GB RAM (Should I only get minimal RAM through Apple and then buy it cheaper elsewhere?)
    500 GB Hard Drive
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT Graphics Card
    23" ACD or 24" Dell (I still haven't decided on this one because the cheaper Dell will allow me to get a Wacom tablet as well.)
    Bluetooth and Airport Extreme
    Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mighty Mouse (Is the Logitech version keyboard and mouse that everyone recommends on here Bluetooth or just wireless? Is there a difference?)
    Final Cut Express
    Apple Care - I am going to wait to get this added later.

    Also, does anyone have any recommendations for a wireless router? Would it be possible to get a router that is wireless, but also has ports to connect to as well? I currently have 3mbps cable internet access.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2006
    #2
    I would suggest in the case of all upgrades, consider three things:
    1. Do you feel comfortable making the upgrade?
    2. Can you get it *that* much cheaper?
    3. Will you keep the original and have it ready to put back in if the computer needs to go in for service? This isn't necessary in all cases, but for things like RAM it is.

    If it were me, I would get minimum RAM and HD. Buy my own RAM and large HD to add on. Get the video card installed by Apple. This way I don't have to take out anything just add on.

    You can buy routers that are wireless and have wired ports. Most are like this (except Airport Express). I have a D-Link WBR 1310 and it works great wirelessly with my MBP and wired to a desktop PC.
     
  3. HugMnster macrumors member

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    #3
    Can not comment on the mac pro configuration but will on the router.

    All wireless routers come with at least 4 wired ports to plug cables into. I like netgear an have also used linksys in the past.

    jack
     
  4. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #4
    Mac Pro 2.66 Dual Xeon - Sure

    2 GB RAM (Should I only get minimal RAM through Apple and then buy it cheaper elsewhere?) - you save around $70 or more by doing it after, but if you get it from Apple, you won't have trouble later on if you end up having issues with the machine (Apple does not warranty 3rd party RAM)

    500 GB Hard Drive - Sure. May be cheaper to go with another 250 from www.macsales.com, though.

    ATI Radeon X1900 XT Graphics Card - Sure

    23" ACD or 24" Dell (I still haven't decided on this one because the cheaper Dell will allow me to get a Wacom tablet as well.)--I won't even go there.

    Bluetooth and Airport Extreme - Get it configured with this if you need it.

    Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mighty Mouse (Is the Logitech version keyboard and mouse that everyone recommends on here Bluetooth or just wireless? Is there a difference?) I love my wireless MM and keyboard.

    Final Cut Express - Sure, if you need it, which you obviously do.

    Apple Care - I am going to wait to get this added later - Smart choice. Get it when you near the year mark.
     
  5. emac901 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2006
    #5
    Thanks everyone. I just want to make sure that I do this right in the beginning so that I get the best buy for my $. 2GB of RAM should be enough for right now and I will get at least 2 more added a little later. As for the display...iGary I have seen on some other threads how heated this issue can get. It is going to be a tough decision for me. It depends on how much I want that tablet at the time of purchase. I get a student discount through Apple so maybe I can make it all work out with the ACD. As for memory... do any of you have any recommendations for where to buy to get the best price and what are the best brands for after market memory?

    iGary how cheap do you think I could get a 250GB hard drive or a 500GB?
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
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    Andover, MA
    #6
    Agreed. 2GB will be a good start but will seem limiting at some point.
    I have had Dell and Apple monitors. My two cents is that the Dell is as good as the Apple for most people and costs less, and it's not like it's horribly ugly, so I'd personally go for the Dell. But... if the aesthetics will bother you, better to go with the ACD to begin with.
    DMS and OWC are frequently recommended as relatively inexpensive sources of RAM that's guaranteed Mac-compatible.
    250GB and 320GB drives can be found for under $100 - often well under $100. See newegg.com and other places and make sure you get a SATA drive. 500GB is a lot more - you usually can get two 320GB drives for less than one 500GB, and it depends on whether you need to maximize your use of drive slots or want the cheapest GB/price ratio.
     
  7. emac901 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thank you so much jsw. Your help is greatly appreciated.
     
  8. emac901 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2006
    #8
    Thanks everyone for the help. My Mac is ordered and it is scheduled to ship betweeen Nov. 17 and Nov. 27. Also, I only ordered 1GB of RAM with the Mac Pro, but I am ordering 3GB from DMS and getting an educational discount. I will end up saving about $70 with the educational discount alone. I am saving about $400 by getting the 3GB through DMS instead of Apple. Just a tip...but the guy at DMS didn't ask for any type of school transcript so even if you aren't a student you could still get the discount if you called them.
     
  9. falcon1 macrumors regular

    falcon1

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  10. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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  11. falcon1 macrumors regular

    falcon1

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  12. emac901 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2006
    #12
    I ended up getting the Dell. I almost cringe when I write that. Even though the ACD has more eye appeal it made more sense to me to save some money and get the Dell. From what I have read on the message board the only main differences are the price and the style. In the end the price won out.
     
  13. falcon1 macrumors regular

    falcon1

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  14. rob5 macrumors regular

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    #14
    Why would you cringe? Dell is a better monitor than Apple.
     
  15. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #15
    True dat my friend.
     
  16. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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    #16
    yes it is true
     
  17. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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    #17
    yeah me too...and most everyone else
     
  18. emac901 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2006
    #18
    I got the 24" on eBay.

    I cringe because it is hard to veer away from apple when that is all that you are familiar with. Like I said in the end the Dell made the most sense, but if I end up having a bad experience with this monitor then I may be scarred for life.
     
  19. falcon1 macrumors regular

    falcon1

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    #19
    I've had two Dell, ones a desktop and the current a laptop. Dell seems to have pretty good LCD monitors but from my experience if you get their basic system stock it isn't that great. I think you'll like your monitor but with all they don't last forever so just go back and forth over the years if you need a new one.
     
  20. mograph187 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2006
    #20
    Now I'm Confused....

    Hello All!

    I am a long-time reader first-time poster....

    I work professionally as an Editor and Motionographer and use programs such as AE, FCP, PS and others constantly. At home I am currently running a G4 single 450mhz with 2GB RAM with 10.3.9, which is unbearably slow and makes it hard for me to get any work done. I am about to finally upgrade to the MAC PRO, but am waiting for the 8-core version (possibly even waiting til after MACWORLD SF 2007 to see if anything changes.)

    I have two questions.

    First, should I pick it up when it is released this month or wait until mid-January?

    And Second, based on the dual 24" Dell vs. dual 23" ACD discussion where you have said...

    Is the Dell HD? My understanding is that ACD is HD... but how does this affect my use as a comp monitor anyway? Isn't the resolution of the screens as high or higer than HD anyway?

    Thanks for any info!!!
     
  21. aneks macrumors regular

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #21
    Hey,

    A few things you might want to take into account. AE and PS suck under Rosetta. I am running bootcamp 80% for these two apps. I mean my Mac pro is a beast but, ae is too heavy to be emulated properly on rosetta, I bought this to run Shake, and Adobe stuff when the universals come out .......don't even consider parallels. Under bootcamp AE on this box is blazingly fast, but has always been faster under windows IMO

    8 core will not give the performance hit everyone imagines under most applications. NOTHING is written to take advantage of it yet, except for a few benchmarks. But hey its four extra logical cores so doesn't it sound cool !

    Dell 24" and ACD 23" run the same res 1920x1200. I slightly prefer the look of the ACD but MUCH prefer the price, size and connectability of DELL. Get a 2405 rather than a 2407 if you can !

    As for running 2xLCD. I work with HD and 2k film a lot and have never really had the desire for that much real-estate. Save your money and buy a decent card like the quadro !
     
  22. mograph187 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2006
    #22
    I will be using Cinema 4D which is able to use all 8 cores plus I am always running at least two and sometimes four processor intensive programs at the same time. (well at work anyway, my poor old G4 can't do that...)

    What is the differance between the 2405 and the 2407 and why is the older one better?
     
  23. thats nice macrumors member

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    Nov 9, 2006
    #23
    apparently the 2407 is having problems with the hd or something, im not too sure but someone who had a 2405 and was trying to sell it kept telling me how much 'better' it was compared to the 2407. Personally i prefer the stand on the 2407, but apart from that maybe the 2405 is a bit more solid...
     
  24. emac901 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2006
    #24
    I have been tracking my Mac Pro and it should arrive on Monday. I can't wait to unleash the power. I already have my monitor, my additional memory, and the Wacom tablet that I bought the other day on eBay should arrive on Monday as well. I just wanted to thank everybody for all of the great advice. Hopefully I will be able to find a really good deal on an internal HD on Black Friday so that I can add an additional 320GB to 500GB of storage.

    THANK YOU!
     
  25. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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