3.2GHz QUAD Mac Pro + ATI 5870 owners, how happy are you?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jjahshik32, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I'm still contemplating over here.. Close to hitting the order button. I was thinking about Sandy Bridge but I dont see any other benefits besides just a bit higher clock as to the current lineup. I figured a more worthy wait for an upgrade would be the one after sandy bridge.
  2. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    I have the 3.2 + 5770 and have been totally pleased with it. Installed a 3.5" OCZ SSD last night.

    Computer is fairly quiet with a low steady hum just barely noticeable.
    Wakes from sleep OK even with the SSD.

    The consensus is that the xeon SB chips won't be delivered until the second half of 2011 so it's likely to be another ~12+ months before Apple releases the SB MP's. SB should include native support for USB3.

    FWIW, I went the 3.2 quad route due to the stinking SW support of multi-cores. No point (for me) to go hex or higher when FCS is so poorly designed. That said, I would expect by the time the SB MP's are released (fall 2011 to spring 2012) FCS will have been updated................... at which point I'll upgrade to a SB MP.

    best to you and whatever you get
  3. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
  4. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    Sandy Bridge is last quarter 2011, or Q3 earliest next year.

    If you need it, buy it now. It's as simple as that.
  5. jjahshik32 thread starter macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    My main machine right now is the 17" i7 macbook pro and while it is adequate for all my usages, I think a desktop would fit more of my needs.

    If I opt for the 3.2ghz mac pro with the ati 5870, I will sell my 17" (man I sure love it though..) and use the mac pro as my main computer. I have a netbook that I carry around back and to from campus, work, home. I found the netbook to be the more comfortable solution where it runs excel, microsoft project, word and everything I need more than adequately, plus I dont have to baby it around as well. Just pull the netbook out of my bag and type and do what I have to do and just throwing it in the bag when I leave is very nice but once I'm home the netbook is never touched, lol.

    I also have the habit of leaving my 17" hooked up to my nec monitor and 95% of the time used in desktop mode. I feel as if it is a waste using a laptop as a desktop when I can get something so much more powerful for a little bit more in the cost.

    But one of the main contributing factor for aiming towards a Mac Pro is storage. I need a lot of storage. I keep having to erase all my contents to make room and I'm already daisy chaining 3 external hdd and its getting very cluttered as well as the 2nd and 3rd drive being slow when extracting or moving files around.

    I would love to just stick 2tb hdds in the mac pro and just be done with it. I was thinking about the 2.8GHz model but might as well get the 3.2GHz as its default clock would be very nice and turbo boosting up to 3.4GHz would just give me that wow factor!

    Only gripe is that I'm in love with the 17" macbook pro as I got a near perfect one. The screen has no stuck/dead pixels or any type of backlight bleeding. The speakers are very uniform and loud and clear without any static either...

    But those shouldnt be the only reasons for me to keep the 17", another thing is that since it is a laptop, I just like the idea of packing it up and just taking it with me on rare occasions (but I could live without it).
  6. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I ordered a 3.2 Quad as an alternative to an unaffordable hexacore. Anything with a clock speed under 3GHz is just too low-powered for me as clock speed still rules for a lot of operations. The $400.00 needed to upgrade the 2.8 up to 3.2 was both reasonable and doable.

    For an additional bit of future-proofing I ordered the HD 5870. I'm glad I did. I haven't read anything but great reviews of its performance. Hopefully 3.2 and 5870 will provide a few years' use.

    When not using Mail and iCal I Primarily work in Photoshop CS5 and Aperture 3. I do my primary photographic work in PS. A3 provides a way of keeping track of my entire 1.5TB of material that I can carry and view on my MBP. Additionally A3 provides a different look to raw files than Adobe offers.

    I had four 1TB WD Caviar Black drives in external OWC FW800 boxes that I used with my mini. The 1TB HD that came with the MP is exactly the same model as my four which I mounted in the MP. An OWC adapter was used to mount one of them in the lower bay.

    I also installed 12GB RAM in the form of 3 x 4GB OWC RAM. The price was reasonable and has become even more reasonable since I made the purchase a month or so ago. In fact, every few days it becomes even more reasonable!

    The machine has been flawless with four exceptions. It had a kernal panic one time after I fiddled with a firewire cable. About three weeks ago it had two instances of the dark monitor after startup. After disconnecting and reconnecting the DVI plug the monitor lit up. About a week ago I had the snowy, video noise display on start up and had to restart.

    The monitor issues seem to be well documented online and hasn't affected my opinion of the MP. It's really nice working in Photoshop with Aperture and iPhoto open and seeing swaps on the Activity Monitor and 100% efficiency in Photoshop.

    Would I do it again? Yes, other than catching a hexacore with 5870 in the Apple Refub Store I would order the same thing again.
  7. GoogleFish macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2010

    Can those with the 5870 comment on the noise? Is it quiet enough when idling to sleep near the machine?
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  9. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    Yes, I'd say so. YMMV but I can barely hear the machine at all from across the room. Perhaps it'd be a little obnoxious if you curled right up next to it :p

    I haven't had any other MPs though so I can't really compare to other video cards. But I think the fans are pretty quiet.
  10. GoogleFish macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2010
    Thanks. Now debating whether to go with the refurbed 2.8 with 5770 or get a new custom config. Refurb price is tempting.
  11. stix666 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2005
    I was in the same boat as you jjahshik32. Getting a Mac pro for bragging rights and internal hdd storage. I nearly bought last year, and ended up getting a mini which is now a HTPC and PC for dad.

    I ended up getting the 2.8 Ghz model with the cheaper graphics card. It's not powerful enough to edit AVCHD natively (I'm not sure if higher spec machines are either - AVCHD is more a format for capturing rather than editing), but flies at everything else

    I also got the 2.8 because the marginal improvement if I choose to upgrade to 3.33 later (for more bragging rights :D) is greater than with the 3.2. And I don't think I'd see any real difference between the two.
  12. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Sorry, I love my new Mac Pro but I ain't sleepin' with it :)
  13. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    Sign up for instant messaging on refurb.me

    The only problem with the 2.8 is that you'd have to eat 2.93 imac crow. ;)

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