Advice on a Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Check 6, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    New member, first post.

    I'm back to Mac's after a 30 plus year stint with Pc's . bought my wife and I a macbook pro this fall and now I want a Mac pro. So you experts tell me what I need. I do digital photo work as a hobby, have switched my Photoshop CS 3 from PC to Apple along with Lightroom. some mild video of kids and grandkids. Standard word processing and speadsheets etc.

    My initial idea was a dual core MacPro with 4 gig of ram, two optical drives a 250 or 500 gig hard drive and the 30 inch monitor (big screens are good for old eyes) Would appreciate any suggestions etc.
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Not too sure what you want to hear really, you're not going to be wanting for power on a Mac pro Quad with 4GB of RAM attached to a 30" display :cool: Get it ordered and enjoy.
  3. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    Welcome .. :)

    The Mac pro is a great choice and 4 Gb of ram will keep everything running fast. I recently bought a 30" Dell monitor, absolutely delighted. It's extremely sharp and a few hundred pounds cheaper than the 30"ACD. One thing for sure, once you have experienced a 30" screen, you definitely wouldn't want to go back to something smaller.

  4. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    In case you haven't noticed, a lot of people are waiting on an update for the Mac Pro on Tuesdy or Wednesday (in 2 days). If you can hold off a bit, great.

    If not by Wednesday, some are predicting January. I would suggest waiting until Wednesday to see if anything happens. If not, then you decide how quickly you need what. January really isn't that far away and the current lineup is pretty long in the tooth for the price you're paying. Be patient and wait if you can.

    Don't skimp on the graphics card. even if you don't max out it's potential now, it'll leave you better options in the future. With the processing power of a MP and 4BGs of RAM, don't cripple it with a crappy GPU.
  5. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    I appreciate all the comments. I have a heavy duty (2 years old) windows based desktop that I have been using for photo editing but I have gotten so fed up with windows and its crashes that I bought a macbook pro this fall and have really enjoyed its efficiency thus the interest in the Mac Pro. I agree that a good graphics card is vital. Since I'm 65 I looking at this as a long term retirement investment. The current windows desktop will go to my wifes sewing room as her graphics program for her sewing machine is only available windows based.

    Again thanks for all the ideas and please keep them coming. Jack
  6. weblogik macrumors regular

    May 7, 2007

    wow you are pretty old school... So you havent used a mac since 1967???
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    and you've been in a coma since 1997? check your math.

    To the OP, I wouldn't get two superdrives. There is very little chance that you will actually use both at the same time. I'd just stick with the 250GB drive for the operating system and buy one or two 500GB drives, from a 3rd party retailer (like Newegg) for your media storage. The Mac Pro has four hard drive bays and installing new drives is very simple.
  8. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    Well, as you are a..hmmm..more mature gent with more purchase power I am gonna skip on that "I could recommend the 24" iMac" part.

    So,that leaves you with mp.

    I personally would wait untill the next rev of MPs come out,be it tomorrow or january. As stated before,the are a bit long in the tooth atm.
    For the same amount of money you will get about 50-400% faster machine when the new one comes out. A better investment,to say.

    Then, get a barebone MP from apple.
    Maybe the cheapest one, as that one will be able to run LR and photoshop for the next decade with no problems,as you propalby wont be using the high-mp camerabodies anyway.And it will run your video editing even in HD.

    Then,get the extra 3 or 2GB of memory from third party resellers.
    You will get them soo-ooo-oo much cheaper than from apple.Apple has about a 400% extra on them. They work as well,you have lifetime warranties etc.

    Same with the HDDs. Apple charges about 100-300% premium on them as well, and if you buy them from wherever, you will have the HDD manufacturers longer warranty (3-5years) instead of apples 1yr warranty.
    And as with memory,the installation is super easy.
    Well,unless you have a fistfull of cocks. Even then it is easy. About 1 minute per hard drive. Memory install might take about 2 minutes.

    And about the displays.
    Unless apple revisions the current displays,get a 30" HP or Eizo.
    The current panels on apples displays are sub-par for their price at the moment. They are good panels still,but you easily pay 500$ extra for a panel that has a narrower rgb gamut AND lack in inputs.
    With eizo you can input 2 different signals to the display at the same time.
    So you can surf some adult entertainement while your wife has the pc box connected to it with the knitting program...
    And that for about 500$ cheaper than apples ACD.

    Honestly,with the new MP you can get a superb setup for the next 5-8 years.
    Hell, I did professional photography with my old G4 for 6 years untill it became a burden. And the power overheads on present MPs are even greater due to poor optimaziation of the programs at the moment.
    So your future MP will get faster and faster as the optimization of the photoshop and LR evolves.

    Wait and enjoy.

    My .02€s.

  9. GregPacker macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2007
    Wherever there is a queue
    I hear that George Michael always struggles with RAM installation...
  10. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Math 101 son. Live it. Learn it. Love it. :p
  11. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    Well would 1978 satisfy you more and yes I did go to school when math was taught and even had to learn a slide rule ..... for those under 40 that was a computer that did not need electrical power
  12. trancepriest macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2007
    South Florida
    LOL. 2007 - 30 = 1977

    You are 10 years off with your very bad math. For future reference you can use the calculator on your mac (in the applications older) or if you have leopard just plug the calculation into spotlight.
  13. art4med macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2007
    "Math" must extend to calendar

    I, too, used a sliderule (only the rich kids in the front row at GaTech had calculators)----- but I got my first Mac (512) in 1985.
    The Lisa was available in 82, I think.
    1978 would even be pre-WordStar PC. ;)
  14. art4med macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2007
    BTW, wait.

    Yeah, wait for Penryn for your MP.

    If you cannot wait, get a used box..... there are LOTS of used ones out there, and cheap..... just make certain an authorized tech looks it over first.
  15. weblogik macrumors regular

    May 7, 2007
    funny thing is i was born 30 years ago in 1977

    However, so he hasnt used a mac since 1977.
    Im still impressed!
  16. zdobson macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    A lot of people will tell you to buy 3rd party memory and HDDs, but I'm guessing since you're a self-proclaimed hobbyist and looking to drop over 5K on a computer, that money isn't an issue. You might as well just have Apple do all that for you. Also, you might as well spend as much as you're willing to spend because the better system you buy now, the longer it will be until you need to upgrade.

    If it were me, I'd buy the 24" iMac maxed out and put the extra $2500 towards a professional DSLR like the Canon 5D or, even better, the 1Ds Mark III. That's going to have a much bigger impact on the quality of your photos. I'm a bit biased, though. I'm a professional photographer.

    Oh, and be sure to wait until they update the Mac Pro with Penryn. That will be sometime between tomorrow and January. There's no point in paying for 1+ year old technology when the latest is about ready to come out, most likely at the same price point.
  17. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestion, money is always a consideration for anyone. I do have a Canon 5D and throughly enjoy it. Wanted a full frame so as to use the 17-40 Canon lens to its max. I take sports car and aircraft pictures as well as trying to capture my five grandkids who are constantly in motion. I guess I must add that I have other lens as the 17-40 is a little short for action photos of race cars and aircraft. I'm quickly learning that this forum cuts no slack but is very informative and enjoyable.
  18. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    I just want to say that it would be a terrible economic decision to pay Apple prices for RAM and Hard drives. Lets take the upgrade to 4GBs of RAM.

    Apple: $699
    OWC: $265.99 or $235.99

    That is if you want to stick with 4x1GB. If you go 2x2GB (which Apple doesn't offer) it is only $217.99.

    Big difference. Huge difference! Plus you would stick have the 2x512MB in addition to the 4GB, so you now have 5GB for much over 3 times less than 4GBs from Apple.

    Hard drives? Same thing. Apple charges just about 3 times as much as the same drive from or any other retailer really. I really just have to say that is terrible advice zdobson. I don't care if the sky is the limit, that doesn't exempt someone from spending money wisely and that is not a wise use of money.
  19. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    As someone who uses a Mac Pro for similar purposes (read: Aperture, a little iMovie, word, pages, firefox, iTunes) I'll tell you that it's gross overkill. I might push the processors above 45% when I'm rendering with iMovie... but never go above 25% in Aperture (NEVER, even with spikes). RAM is more important.

    That said, I'm very happy. I like the flexibility in a separate box and, let's face it, the bragging rights of four 2.66ghz cores.

    IF you intend to upgrade in 2-3 years, go with an iMac–that way you get the joy of upgrading. Otherwise, a "low"-spec MP is a good choice.

    Originally I thought I'd actually use all that power (I was coming from a juiced XPS)... but I don't. Oh, and always buy build to order options 3rd party.
  20. whistler222 macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2007
    How do games perform on the Mac Pro?

    Especially since we can run Windows on a mac now, we can run virtually any game no?
  21. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006

    Well, that comes as suprise.
    I knew that aperture had it´s problems,but never have I heard that it has such a poor multicore utilization?

    Lightroom has a relatively good one. All four cores in use,peaks at 400% and average around 300%.
    Not to mention the interface/useability beats aperture 10-2.
  22. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Oh no, it uses all 4 cores. When I say 25% I mean overall...

    The only lagginess I get in Aperture is a result of my low RAM, not a lack of processing power. I'd think that more (i.e. unnecessary) processor usage is a bad thing, not a benefit.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2006
    The current Apple displays are NOT subpar in terms of SWOP (Standard Web Offset Press Color Accuracy) when compared to the HP. The HP uses a wide gamut LCD which is not as well suited to Photo and Print work as the ACD: that's because the Lookup Table on this HP is not a true 12bit lookup. Therefore, it "expands" the standard 8 bit gamut coming from the OS to fill it's screen gamut. The Eizo is a fantastic panel however but is costly at $2500. Visit this thread for an explanation and further links that explain why wide gamut monitors are not well suited to Photo and Print based work at present. The Eizo does have a "reduced gamut" mode which is very useful for both web color and print based work.

    Here is a URL from the "God of Monitors" Karl Lang, who developed many very high end displays explaining why wide gamut RGB are not well suited for photo and print editing:

    Also, in terms of new Macs, here is my take:

    Personally, I see a speed bump using the same case coming sometime between now and MacWorld with a redesign and new case and new monitors coming in the spring, probably at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) April 11-17.

    Apple has often released major upgrades at this time. Newly designed monitors and cases fit well with this crowd. Plus, this gives Apple time to gauge the christmas buying season and the "state of the economy."

    My 2 cents.
  24. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2005
    Thats actually not a half bad idea!

    I'm actually looking at a new MacPro to replace my aging G5 dually 2.5 that I shoved 4.5GB of ram and over a 1.2TB of space into and I definitely need the power since I tend to run Lightroom, CS3, iTunes, Firefox, Mail, and sometimes WoW at the same time (30" ACD). I was checking out the high end 8 core machine, figured I'd upgrade the ram later and up the hd from 250-500 immediately since its a paltry amount. I think a decked out iMac with the 2.8 Extreme or thereabouts and a 5D would be awesome. I actually have a 1D Mark II N and a couple of lenses and I'd love to have the 5D as a second body + the extra resolution and maybe a wide angle since I shoot a lot of concerts but that gives me something to think about now.

    I am still waiting for the Penryn's to come out.
  25. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    Yes, you can run any Windows game in Windows.

    Games run just okay on the Mac Pro if you use lower resolutions.
    The video cards in the Mac Pro are not suitable for playing the newest games at high resolutions.
    You can run games with Windows but you are still stuck with gawdawful Mac video cards.
    You can put a high-end PC card in the Mac Pro for playing games in Windows but it has to come out before you can start or re-start the computer.
    I doubt you want to go through that every time.

    The next Mac Pro hopefully will have better video cards.
    If it has a nVidia 8800GT or an ATI HD3870 card, then there should be some tremendous improvement in playing games with the Mac Pro.
    If nVidia's 8800GTX is offered, then the Mac Pro will be an impressive gaming machine.

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