1st Non-Handmade computer ever - MAC Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by viking396, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. viking396 macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #1
    Well, after 30 years of building my own computers I have entered the dark side and purchased a MAC Pro with dual 2.8ghz Quad Core's.

    I wrote a long winded 1st post and it refused to post, all I had written was gone and now I don't have the energy to re-create it. Don't laugh, I was using my MacBook Air and Leopard for that post. ;) Now I'm using my HDX.

    Anyway, the machine should be here by 3pm CST and I look forward to using both Vista and Leopard like I do on my MacBook Air.

    I ordered 4 gigs of Apple approved memory as well, so we'll see how it does with that installed next week. After that I'm going to look for a RAID card so I can use my Raptor's. :D
     
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #2
    I'm sure you will be very happy. You don't need a raid card to use the Raptors though?
     
  3. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #3
    True, but to use them in RAID0 I do and I don't use software RAID. I can wait though, it just showed up while writing this, woohoo!!! :D :D
     
  4. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #4
    Just called Tiger Direct and told them to cancel my 4gig order and called OWC to order 8gigs of memory. They're in Woodstock, IL so my next order I'll drive to pick stuff up, sweet! So now the system will be 10gigs!

    Next on the agenda is the Cal Digit RAID card!
     
  5. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #5
    Just a quick FYI. Do you have the business or ultimate version of Vista? Microsoft being Microsoft restrict the home versions to only use 1 processor (although multiple cores).
     
  6. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

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    Sep 26, 2008
    #6
    I have Ultimate 32bit & Ultimate 64bit (license for each, not just one or the other). I'll be using Ultimate 64 for now, then when I order the RAID card will change things up again.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #7
    You, lucky, lucky bastard.. ;)

    I've been using Macs since the early 90s and have only ever bought one new (an iMac). My next Mac purchase will be a new Mac Pro though...I'm saving my pennies.
     
  8. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #8
    This purchase is going to hurt for the next several months but it will be worth it!
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    There are better alternatives than the CalDigit RAID Card.
    • Not the fastest, if you like speed
    • You must use the HDElement if you need more than 4 drives.

    Take a look at Accusys, as they are the OEM for CalDigit. If you only need 4 ports, you can get one for $280USD. If you want faster, look at the 61100 series.

    Specifics would help point you in the right direction. :D

    Good Luck, and Enjoy! :)
     
  10. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #10
    Thanks for the info! I'm just going RAID0 for two of my Raptors.
    Speaking of which, the useless eject key on the keyboard is pissing me off. Vista is on a constant loop, it refuses to install on one of my Raptors, it claims the system couldn't find a suitable volume for installation, NUTS. It works off of the built in drive of course, anything in port 2 through 4, forget about it. Fudge!
     
  11. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #11
    Sandra 2009, shows this Mac Pro as the slowest of the 2.8ghz systems and is even slower than the 2.67ghz quads in Vista 64.

    Hmmmmm...... memory is soooooo slow! This is looking to be a $2,800 mistake...

    Checking to insure drivers are the best ones to use, this just can't be right.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    Have you already installed a RAID card, or just trying to do software RAID for both OS's until you obtain a card? :confused:

    Boot Camp can make life a bit difficult. :rolleyes: :p
     
  13. grue macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere.
    #13
    Only a minor thing, but "Mac" isn't in all caps unless you're talking about Media Access Controllers.
     
  14. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #14
    I find the nicest bootcamp solution is to get a SFF MiniSAS 8087 - SATA cable (about $20) and put the bootcamp disk into the spare optical bay. (as I only use Vista for games this works well for me) - leaves the Raided Mac side all nice and no hassles with drivers (as the onboard Mini-SAS is picked up by windows anyways)

    :)
     
  15. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #15
    Sorry, should be more specific. I installed 2 Raptors into bay 2 and bay 3, I wanted to install Vista 64 onto the drive in Bay 2. It did not like this idea one bit. Right now this system is going to be used as a secondary one until I order a RAID card.

    Agreed on Boot Camp but I have to give them credit, when it works it's nice!
     
  16. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #16
    Yeah yeah I know, my stupid fingers don't seem to be connected to my brain half the time. If you knew how often I write MAC instead of Mac you laugh big time. I see the mistake but rarely fix it. :)
     
  17. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #17
    I'm keeping options open, right now and people are going to laugh, but Vista 64 and Office 2007 are MUCH snappier than Leopard and Office 2008. Apps open instantly in Vista, but take a few seconds in Leopard.

    2gigs on this system is too little but it's Vista that "feels" faster, how strange is that. My 8gigs of memory should be here Monday.
     
  18. TheFuel macrumors newbie

    TheFuel

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Location:
    Bothell, WA (USA)
    #18
    Congrats on the new Mac Pro. Like you my '08 Mac Pro is the first pre-built machine I've owned (besides laptops). I went all out, picked up the 3.2ghz and loaded it with 16gig ram (from OWC), 2x Raptors RAID0 (software), and the 8800gt. I use the 320g HD for Timemachine.

    With regard to memory slowness recall this system is similar to an Intel Skulltrail system. FB-Dimms have a higher latency than standard DDR2/DDR3 dimms. The performance profile will be different. My Vista64 machine (3ghz quad core w/ 8gig, non-raid 2x raptors, 8800gts 512) actually annoys me with how slow it can be for similar work. I agree on the Office apps, MS could do a better job on their Mac releases.

    Checkout SharpKeys for keyboard mapping if not using boot camp drivers; I use a KVM between my dev machines and SharpKeys allows me to utilize the extended F16-F19 along with swapping CMD & Option. It's a great app and free.

    Enjoy!
     
  19. DarthTreydor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #19
    nice purchase! i'm a tinge jealous. out of curiosity: what will you be using the machine for?
     
  20. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #20
    I expected the FB dimms to be slower but Apple of course brags how awesome the memory performance is. My 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo with 2gigs DDR2 800 smokes this thing in memory performance. I'm sure for what I'm going to be doing 10gigs will suffice, so quantity over overall speed I guess.

    Anyway I am looking at using my 2 150gig Raptors in bay 3 and 4 and buying 2 VelociRaptor's to use in bay 1 and 2 with the CalDigit RAID card.

    Right now it's set up with the standard 320gig western digital in bay 1 and 2 75gig Raptors in bay 2 and 3. I am buying the Dinovo Edge Mac edition this week, until then my regular Dinovo Edge is doing fine. I have the Mac keyboard plugged in and hidden if I need it for now.
     
  21. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #21
    I purchased it to take care of all the home movies I have to convert from VHS to DVD. And to help me run my business so I run Leopard and Vista 64.

    My Core 2 Duo system was fast and while Vista itself is fine for me, the video editing software made for Vista I have found to have issues, software that worked fine in XP gets strange errors in Vista (their Vista version of course).

    People blame Vista and perhaps it is partially to blame but Microsoft gave developers a long long time to get ready. Many wait until the software is released so they don't waste development dollars on software that isn't out there yet. Then they rush, the amount of software updates to the software I had purchased from Sony, Pinnacle and a few others was driving me crazy.

    I would get 90% of the work done and half the time forget to save at an important step and then an error would happen and bye bye project. So, I bought better memory and ran safer BIOS settings, same problems, talk to Sony they just throw Microsoft under the bus, call Microsoft and they blame Sony.

    So, when the MacBook Air came out I bought one, installed Vista on it and loved being able to run both OS's on one machine. When the Mac Pro '08 came out I was hooked! All in one goodness, all the connection goodness (they lied about that one, I digress) how could I go wrong?

    So far, I like the machine, I'm a little put off by Apple sales people superior attitude when I called and told him I wanted to use my own RAID card and why wasn't one on board already? His response didn't make me warm and fuzzy, it was more like, how dare I. Living in the PC world I was always able to run to the store and buy whatever I needed to get my PC to do what I needed it to do and not spend 800 bucks to do it!

    The most stable computer I have ever had is my HP HDX Dragon with Vista Ultimate. Almost a year and it runs perfectly, never an issue. I can't say the same thing about my MacBook Air, but it has been a very good computer as well in its own right.

    To digress again I like the machine, when the memory comes in tomorrow and I rebuild this week with hardware RAID and the VelociRaptor's I'll be much happier I'm sure. At some point when Apple uses actual power house video cards I'll upgrade that as well.
     
  22. Trip.Tucker Guest

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    Mar 13, 2008
    #22
    Why don't you want to use software raid?
     
  23. viking396 thread starter macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #23
    Why buy a $2,900.00 computer to use a software solution when hardware is faster and better? To me it makes no sense to go this far and then hold back in an area I consider critical to helping me get a task done sooner.

    It's like built in audio, why let the CPU do something that a dedicated card can do better? I let this one slip when buying this machine, I prefer dedicated parts over cheaper solutions and I want the best bang for my buck. I'm just wired that way. I'm a hardware geek, what can I say. :D

    EDIT: People also ask me if I'm crazy when they see me unpack a 16lb 20" monster laptop, my response is yep!
     
  24. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #24
    Because hardware is NOT faster. Hardware RAID will allow you to abstract the OS and provide BB caching, as well as some proprietary RAID variants, but don't be fooled into thinking it's about speed gains. If you are serious about speed you would be looking at a pair of QLogic cards and a small SAN.

    If you want to continue and buy a RAID card thats your choice. Just be clear in your understanding of what you are gaining.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #25
    I recently made a post somewhere, and apologize if it was to you.

    If you're considering the CalDigit, consider the Accusys line. They are the OEM supplier for CalDigit, and offer more choices in ports and speed (61100 series). ;) Unlike the CalDigit where you must use the HDElement, you can use other enclosures. :)

    Currently, they can be found at newegg.
    If you only plan to use 4 internal drives, look at this model, as it's only $280USD for the same performance and design. For a savings of $220 to $240USD, it would be worth it. :D

    Hope this helps. :D
     

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