About to Buy a Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rph105, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. rph105 macrumors 6502

    rph105

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #1
    Going on to my 2nd Mac from my late 2005 Power Mac G5 and I just wanted to know a few things.

    I want this computer to run FAST (like seriously)

    How could I get the most out it with the internal harddrives? I'm hearing some people have multiple harddrives in their machine, one for JUST the OSX and then other HDD's for other things.

    Would I be right to say that it would work faster by having a SSD with the OSX on it and then have 1 or 2 more HDD's in the machine for storage space etc?

    Can anyone give me some advice on this?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    Yeah, don't buy now. Unless you don't care that the next CPU update will bring a minimum of 20% better performance at a lower clock speed without Snow Leopard.
     
  3. Battlefield Fan macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #3
    Yeah like skill said wait till they are updated. They SHOULD be updated at macworld. Also SL will help increase performance.

    As for hard drives. I would suggest getting the raid card and two 300gb 15,000rpm drives. The intel or new samsung ssd drives are fast but cost a whole lot
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #4
    No, they won't be. It will be sometime in the months after.
     
  5. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Wait till MW keynotes on the 6th and if no mention than hurry up and wait till the summer or when ever Intel's latest and greatest makes it to Apple.

    Seems like there's going to be allot of people waiting for the new chip :D
     
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #6
    It won't happen. Just wait until it does. March or April.
     
  7. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    Jul 20, 2008
    #7
    Don't forget the higher price, although Nehalem is still better price-for-price.

    Or even WWDC in June.
     
  8. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

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    #8
    More money, hmmmm will it be worth it in the long run? :rolleyes: We're all different and different needs.
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #9
    Isn't it always?
     
  10. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #10
    As a Mac Pro owner, I'd agree that the basic machine is seriously held back by disk speed. Mine spends most of its time with the CPUs doing nothing.

    With that in mind, the new CPUs might not be worth waiting for, especially if they increase the cost of the machine. If there's no announcement on the 6th (and it's doubtful there will be) then it might be worthwhile buying anyway and investing in faster drives.

    I have the 10000rpm Raptor as my boot disk, which gave me a good speed improvement. I think I'd consider SSD at some point later in the year - since there are some cheaper fast drives emerging.

    It all depends on the type of software you run. General productivity / photo processing apps are very much disk-limited. Video compression is something that may be boosted a worthwhile amount by the new machine.

    Bear in mind that SnowLeopard will also offload work to the video card - so this may be another way to speed-boost an existing Harpertown Mac Pro, and minimise the speed improvement provided by the new machine.
     
  11. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #11
    Except... Snow Leopard will be doing the same thing with the Nehalem Mac Pro and the even newer graphics cards there... :D
     
  12. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #12
    True. But I can buy the new graphics card too. And if Snow Leopard put 80% of the processing in the GPU and 20% in the CPU, then a 50% increase in CPU speed would lead to a 50%*20%=10% increase in overall speed.

    This doesn't detract from the original point which is:
    • Most Mac Pros will spend 95% of their time having 7 cpus completely idle.
    • Most app mixes will remain hard drive IO limited
     
  13. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #13
    Sadly, that's still debatable.
     
  14. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #14
    Well, if Apple manages to screw their user base again like they did when they released Harpertown you'll be right.
     
  15. emt377 macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #15
    It would help if you knew WHAT you want to do fast.
    I have four 500GB 7200.11 drives in mine. One for boot and apps, one is a clone of the boot, and two are striped for working storage. I have a Drobo for long-term storage. (Also with four 500GB/32MB 7200.11 drives in it.) The two striped working storage drives get just over 200MB/s sustained for large files; a 900MB film scan (617 at 3200dpi) loads in about 4.5 seconds; a 1600MB composite pano loads into PS CS4 about 8 seconds. AVCHD video imports into FCE4 at the SDHC card speed with all eight cores running close to full tilt. Video rendering is respectable and totally pegs all 8 cores. And this is only a 2.8 with 12GB RAM. For still photography, PhaseOne CaptureOne Pro 4.5.2 cranks fast enough that there's virtually no wait anymore for my typical use (i.e. the processing queue clears out faster than I put things into it). By comparison I consider my MBP completely unusable for video and large image files, while tolerable for more generic still photography - it'll eventually get it done.

    I also use it for software development, and an XCode project I work on with ~250 files, 200k lines of c++ with some obj-c builds in about 18 seconds. I can have multiple VMs up to test builds and run unit and smoke tests on WinXP and Linux (RHE64) before checking in. I usually have 3 or 4 VMs running at any time since I also do some dev work for embedded systems where the toolchains expect specifically configured 32-bit Linux build systems

    Depends on what you're doing with it. SSDs can presumably help with boot times, but I only reboot mine every few weeks when a software update requires it; the rest of the time I put it to sleep. Wake from sleep is basically the drive spin-up time, so I think boot time is more relevant if you keep rebooting into Windows, which I personally never do. (I don't even have bootcamp installed on mine.)

    YMMV.
     
  16. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #16
    It's difficult to analyse how an SSD would help. Sure - you would get good data throughput (but you already have that with a RAID 0). The big improvement with SSD drives would be in latency.

    Potentially SSD would really help in compilation, where you're accessing lots of small files spread across the drive, and the seek speed/latency is more important than throughput.
     
  17. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I do not own a MP, currently shopping eBay and other sites and have found some good deals in my opinion. But I have to say based on the economy and Apple's new machines and prices going up more than likely , that if I found a machine that was more or right at what I needed than I'd lean towards buying now.

    Based on whats availble now, most people I have talked to, have said that a system today will get you 5 years down the road maybe more.

    This is just my observation, there are others on here more qualified to talk about the mac pro than I . With me its the need + budget = what flavor MP I end up getting or NOT end up getting.

    BOL to the OP
     
  18. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    Sep 4, 2006
    #18
    Wait for the new update which shouldnt be too long.
     
  19. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #19
    I would venture to guess early February...
     
  20. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #20
    It is very unlikely that the new MacPro will ship before March. The processors are not even available yet. They are supposed to be available in the first quarter of 2009, which means some time by the end of March. Recent history indicates the MacPro will probably be released about eight weeks after the processors are available. Therefore, it looks like the new MacPro will be available some time in the March through May time frame.

    If you need it now, buy one. The current models are great machines. If you can afford to wait, wait. But anyone suggesting that it will be available prior to March is being unrealistically optimistic.
     
  21. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

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    Alaska
    #21
    I can echo EMT's comments.

    I work on my Pro solely in FCP/PS/AE for video and graphic production. DVD Studio Pro for burns. Mine is a 3.0x8 with 14g RAM and I can't make it stumble yet:) I have a Power Mac in the office as well that we use for editing in the CS2 suite and FCP. The 8 core is So much faster, it's blinding.

    In some of the older computers, as you see percentages in rendering moving at a % point at a time, the 8 cores are 33, 66, Done! Magic. Flat Freaking Fast. Will Nahelm be speedier? For sure, in Benchmarks....But there hasn't been software developed that can tax these current Pros! Hopefully, Snow Leopard will change that....but the software writers have to acknowledge and take advantage of multiple cores first!

    You're safe with a current Mac Pro for many years to come. If you will benefit by owning one now, buy one now. If there is no (or little) benefit, you may wait it out. Surely something will happen in 2009 with the platform, but as others have said....the chips aren't ready yet:)

    J
     

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