About to buy first Mac [few questions]

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Vejita-sama, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Vejita-sama macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    Hello, I've been lurking for a while now. About to buy first mac pro after 20+ years of PC use. First, let me say this group is great and I've learned a ton reading the old posts. If someone can help me with a few questions that would be great.
    I plan to buy a Mac Pro octo 2.26 or 2.66 (not decided yet) with a GTX 285 (for games / boot camp). [actually was going to get 27" i7 imac, but can't upgrade video card and I still plan to play PC games and the 4850 is an old card today, and will be useless in the not to distant future):

    1) I want to run Raid (software). I know I can't run boot camp off a mac raid drive. So can I install boot camp on HD #3 and still boot to win7? I assume yes, but can't seem to confirm this.

    2) When are the 'new 2010' macs coming out. Per review of apples normal ~18mo upgrades they are due soon and I can wait 2-6mo if need be (but not past that)?

    3) Can I install any sata/3 device (eg BluRay drive or HD)? I plan to take the std 640gb drive and move it to bay three, and place two 1-1.5TB drives in bays 1 and 2 for raid 0 as my primary mac drive (assuming boot camp will work on HD #3)

    4) ANY other advise for a PC -> MAC transition? Typical mistakes, things to keep in mind, etc?

    sorry for the long post, just trying to figure everything out.

    Thanks in Advance
  2. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008

    I'm not too familiar with RAID setups but I can take a stab at 2, 3, and 4.

    That's one of the issues with Apple, if you want to call it that. No one really knows when a new product is coming out until it actually does. That being said, yeah, they're pretty much due for an upgrade any day now.

    Absolutely. But for Blu-ray, I believe you need 3rd party software (Roxio Toast, etc.) for disc burning. And there's no OS X Blu-ray movie playback software, if that is your intention.

    Apple has a bunch of articles related to just that.


    EDIT: Actually, I can answer part of question 1. Yeah, you can install Windows on any internal drive. Boot Camp Assistant will let you choose a different drive, or partition your OS X drive.
  3. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    It's likely to be in the next 10 weeks.
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Bootcamp is a partitioning tool that allows you to boot OSX and Windows from different partitions on the same drive.

    Of course, you can install Windows on a separate drive from OSX... you don't need Bootcamp for that (although you will probably want to use the Windows drivers supplied by Apple as part of the Bootcamp package).

    So, yes, you can run an OSX SW RAID0 array with a couple of drives and boot to Windows on a separate drive. It doesn't matter what drives are in what bays although Bays 1 and 2 for RAID0 and bay 3 for Windows makes sense. That leaves you with an available bay (4) and the unused optical bay which also has a SATA connector available.
  5. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    If you're not looking to do hardcore Windows games, virtualization (VMWare, Parallels) is a better option than boot camp. No driver issues, easier to backup, and you can keep using your Mac whenever Windows requires a reboot. But virtualization has limitations for video, making it an imperfect alternative for heavy gaming.
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Unfortunately, this is NOT the case. When you create the array in Disk Utility, it seems that it's making a change to the firmware settings for the SATA controller (ICH10R on the Southbridge). So when you restart it to Windows (separate disk as you understand), it WON'T boot.

    You'd need a PCIe SATA card to be able to do that, and there is such a thing (2 port, though it may look like 4x, as you can configure it for external, internal, or one of each). Here, and it's cheap. There's even OS X drivers for it, but you won't be able to boot OS X (Card = BIOS). Drivers here.

    Just attach the drive for the Windows installation to the card, and skip BC's partition tool (unless you want to use Winclone or CCC). Then run the driver installation on the BC disk. Setting AHCI (if you wish), can be a challenge. There's a thread on this IIRC (certainly posts).

    Hope this helps, good luck, and welcome to the forum. :)

    EDIT: VirtualRain, you've managed it on an '09?
    IIRC, there were problems before.
  7. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    Typical mistake:
    Don't call it a "MAC" (all upper-case letters) - that's a totally different product. Apple makes "Mac" or "Macintosh" computers which run "Mac OS". :)
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    When I see MAC, I think of networking (Media Access Control = unique id for network devices). :p
  9. bcrguy macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2009
    Burlington Ontario Canada
    i could be wrong but i believe it has to be the startup disc to run bootcamp.. and it also has to be partitioned as 1 drive in order to work
    (im using a uMBP so it might be slightly different, but everytime i run bootcamp assistant to install xp or 7 it says it must be the startup disc)
  10. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    If you have multiple internal drives Boot Camp Assistant will show you each eligible drive and allow you to choose one for a Windows installation.

    Not sure if that's a Mac Pro specific thing though, being the only Mac that (officially) support multiple internal hard drives.

    EDIT: Oops, Mac Mini server version has 2 internal hard drives also. I wonder if Boot Camp Assistant behaves the same way with one of these (assuming they're not RAID'ed)?
  11. bcrguy macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2009
    Burlington Ontario Canada
    lol i would think that (being its a server) you wouldnt be running bootcamp on it anyways...
  12. bcrguy macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2009
    Burlington Ontario Canada
    agreed dont call it MAC.. when i see that i think of a MAC address..
  13. BillB50 macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Bucks County, Pennsylvania
    Good luck with your new Mac, when you decide to take the plunge. I converted last fall, after using PCs since 1984.

    I would suggest that whatever model you choose, take some time to familiarize yourself with the OS before you start changing hardware. I would also suggest that after you become more familiar with OS X, you then try an SSD rather than a raid setup - you won't believe the performance.

    Good luck - it will be fun and addictive if you are not careful...

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