Returning my Mac Pro.. sadly

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tobyg, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #1
    Yes, I'm returning it. The SATA speed under Windows XP is horrible. I'm not sure if they will ever find a way to fix it. Yes, they probably will... but I can't take that risk. Oh, but I bought a mac... why do I care about Windows XP you ask? Well, I bought a $2500 machine hoping it could replace my PC's also. I NEED to have Windows PC's. It's just a fact. I need it for my work, I need it for games, I will always need a PC more than I 'need' a mac. I have a Kodak i160 scanner that seems to have absolutely no Apple support. It's a firewire device, so even Parallels (when they fix it to run on a Mac Pro) will not work, they only seem to deal with using USB devices inside virtual machines. I love using OSX and I love Macs but unfortunately the Mac Pro, at this time, isn't fitting my need.

    Some other observations..

    I had my 7800 GTX in there so I could play games in Windows XP. While that worked great, the card got REALLY hot. I mean REALLY hot. It's probably because Apple doesn't expect people to use their systems this way. The faster video cards they sell are double wide with the fans on the cards routing air directly out of the case. The 7800 GTX doesn't have this.

    Had problems installing non-windows OS's (Linux specifically). Probably related to EFI/CSM. Not sure I'll ever need a non-windows/Apple OS on the machine, but I want to have that available for me in the future. And in the future, maybe Apple will make the Mac Pro more compatible. For now, and I should have known, it's not.

    All in all, if you just want to run OSX on a Mac Pro, it works great... right now. If you want Windows... it will work, but poorly. If you want another OS, well... either hope the OS decides to support the Mac Pro or hope Apple makes the Mac Pro more compatible and friendly to other OS's.

    The Mac Pro is a wonderful Apple Macintosh product, but it's not a great all around PC. Yes someday maybe this Mac Pro will "do windows too", as the Apple slogan states and they are marketing so strongly, but that day is not today.

    So for all of you who want to use the Mac Pro as your primary desktop to run OSX and Windows, primary machine to do everything on, the Mac Pro it is not the answer right now.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #2
    Did you use the proper boot loader?

    http://elilo.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/blosxom

    Linux has run on Intel based Macs for quote a while (long before anyone got Windows working on those machines...Jan 25th according to this: http://forum.insanelymac.com/lofiversion/index.php/t7705.html).

    As for SATA speeds, I'm sure there will be driver fixes soon, if they aren't out already with Bootcamp 1.1.

    But each to their own.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Bubbasteve

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, IL
    #3
    I'm sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience with your Mac Pro. Instead of returning it why don't you hold out for Leopard since it will have the "real" boot camp included in that software.
     
  4. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    It would make far more sense to return it and then, if Leopard fixes the issues and the OP still wants a Mac, to buy a new one next spring, at least IMHO.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    I don't understand this logic. I installed a pata drive under my superdrive and put xp on it and its plenty fast... fastest I have ever run windows infact.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #6
    I couldn't even get it installed, let alone deal with the boot loader. Suse 10.1 wouldn't find the CD media. It booted, started the install, then crapped out saying it couldn't find my install media. I believe it has to do with the new chipset and drivers not necessarily being available, or actually more likely the way the CSM is presenting the PATA/SATA channels to the OS when running in bios emulation mode.

    Go read this post for more info: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=225349

    Are you sure it's fast? What DMA mode is it in? Go to http://www.hdtune.com and download that. It will tell you. In my experience, if I put the HD as 'master', I could get UDMA 5 speeds. This was fast, but not as fast as it should be or as fast as SATA would be. If I put the HD in as 'slave' I would get UDMA0, which was not fast. If I put the HD on 'master' and the optical drive on 'slave', oSX would no longer eject the tray by hitting the 'eject' key.

    It's little inconsistencies like this that have pushed me towards returning the Mac Pro.

    The Mac Pro is a great computer. I like it a lot. Unfortunately for my needs it just doesn't fit. I'm sharing my experiences just so others who may have thought about doing the same sort of thing will understand the possible issues with going down this path without having to spend the $250 in restocking fees as I will have to.
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I'm sorry to hear that it won't do for now. Its understandable if you need top performance in Windows right now.
    If you bought it from a store, maybe you could say on here when you're taking it back and to which store, maybe someone else will be interested in knowing that a store will be getting one in straight away (I don't know about Mac Pro availability in stores).
     
  8. TBi
    macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    I heard that the drive it comes with is actually slow. Not the mac itself. I remember reading about it on barefeats or xlr8yourmac. You should try a second SATA drive and see what happens.

    I'd say return it because it's probably just as slow in windows.

    Unless of course you didn't turn DMA on, people are reporting that DMA is turned off by default but you can turn it on.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #9
    Do some more research. Check the SATA threads here. I've tried multiple drives. It's fast in OSX, just slow in Windows. DMA can't be turned back on at this point. Like I said, check the other SATA threads here.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #10
    Did you use a distro with official support for EFI, or did you just pick a random one that you used on another PC? Fedora has an official release, but I'm not sure who else.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #11
    I'll be returning it to the Old Orchard Apple store in Skokie, tomorrow probably. They will end up selling it as a 'refresh' item so someone will probably get 10% off. I'm not sure what the turnaround is before they resell a returned item, since they will have to reload it and check it out before reselling it.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #12
    I appreciate this is true for you, but I do not agree that it is true all around. I loaded Windows XP Pro with boot camp 1.1 and while I have not bench marked it with artificial tests, I can say that the feel of it running a wide variety of windows apps and games is very very fast and snappy. Of course, I also have 2 Gb of ram in it.

    Even my sons, who are very picky gamers, say it screams in Windows.

    I won't be returning mine. And it is used to run both Windows and OS X.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #13
    I tried SUSE 10.1. EFI support shouldn't be the issue because the CSM should be doing bios emulation at that point. And like I said, to me it looked more like drivers. Suse couldn't find my optical drive, most likely related to the way the CSM is presenting the PATA/SATA channels to the OS.

    But that does go back to my point... either you wait for Apple to make the Mac Pro more compatible with other OS's or you find other OS's that are more compatible with the Mac Pro. Either way, for me, that's just not a great solution. I don't want to be limited in my choices. As the Apple commercial states, the Mac Pro is a "PC"... but only to a point. It's a very limited "PC".
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #14
    Perhaps you and your sons aren't as picky as I am. But when I copied 30GB of photos from my server to the local HD, it took FOREVER. Try running http://www.hdtune.com and check your results. My notebook HD gets 35MB/s, which is slow. The Mac Pro with a SATA drive gets 3.5MB/s, which is horrible.

    Once the data is spooled from the drive and the machine is just processing, such as with games, the speed is good. But HD performance is pathetic.

    Our perceptions of 'screams' seem to differ.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    IGH, MN
    #15
    Actually, it depends on what model you buy...

    Asus EN7800GTX256 and EN7800TX512 have the double width cooling system on them.. nice copper heatsink and fan.

    I'm running one of mine in windows, and it runs pretty well....

    although... I can't argue on the hard drive speed... thats the major part that suxxors....

    I bought my Mac Pro for the same reason... To have a Mac OS-X machine, and to replace my windows rig. I'm not to worried though, as I can wait for the fix on the SATA drives to come out...
     
  16. macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #16
    You may want to also note that Windows is not supported by Apple on Macs... and that Boot Camp is beta software. So if you were looking to buy a Windows PC, then you bought the wrong system.

    Not sure why you wanted to start a thread about it, but best of luck with your next system (which I'm sure you'll double check to make sure it actually supports Windows).
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #17
    I have an older EVGA 7800GTX. It's a single slot solution.

    For me, I am worried.. and a $2500 investment at this time scares me to not know if things will work. The poster above had a good idea. Wait for Leopard. By that time, Leopard will come with the machine. So while i'm paying $250 to return it, I won't have to spend $129 on a new OS at a later date anyway.
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    #18
    Very true.
     
  19. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #19
    tobyg, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. You have needs and expectations that this system didn't meet. I hope you don't feel the need to defend your decision to return it. Obviously, if there was some simple fix that would solve your issues, I'm sure you'd be glad to hear it and save the 10% restocking fee (unless you can get that waived), but since that seems unlikely, best of luck with your return, and I hope you consider coming back in the future once these problems have been resolved.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #20
    Yep, it's not supported. I'm well aware of that fact. Although the Apple commercials seem to market it as if it is. The success of Bootcamp and Parallels on the other Intel based Macs so far has been very positive from what I've seen and used even myself. And because it's not officially supported yet, I can't guarantee it will ever work as I hope.

    And as far as supporting windows.. Did you watch the latest keynote? Bootcamp will be included with Leopard. Windows will be supported.

    You don't understand why I started a thread about it? I posted that several times. To let people know my experience, to let people who like me may have wanted to consolidate and run one machine for both Windows and Mac know that right now, the Mac Pro is not the answer.
     
  21. TBi
    macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #21
    Actually i just checked the other threads there. I think the people posting there are wrong in a way. Intel has never in the past needed a floppy disk to enable native SATA mode in windows. It only uses a driver you install through windows to increase the functionality of the base driver.

    Now the Mac Pro is a new system with a new chipset so i checked on Dell. They don't have a downloadable floppy SATA disk for their woodcrest computers so i'm guessing it doesn't need one. Hence the Mac shouldn't either.

    You'd be better off downloading all the chipset drivers from Intel and installing them before you send off your lovely new machine.

    EDIT: Well it seems this is a problem all right. I'll say we'll hear something about it soon though. A lot of professionals want XP on their machine.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    eenu

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #22
    From what i see they are WD .9s! They are dam fast disks! I have them in a PC here
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #23
    Thanks jsw... and your solution regarding returning now and waiting for Leopard makes the most sense. Cost wise, I'd only be out about $120, if you factor in the cost of keeping the machine now and buying Leopard at a later date anyway.

    I'm not going to even argue waiving the restocking fee. The apple 'geniuses' at the store won't understand DMA/PIO talk anyway.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 31, 2004
    #24
    Please read the threads again. Chipset drivers were installed. Thanks but guessing isn't needed. Many people have worked on this, many people have had the same issues, nobody has had success yet.
     
  25. macrumors regular

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    Location:
    IGH, MN
    #25
     
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