Asking for help buying new Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Nazwisko, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Nazwisko macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012

    I’m planning on getting Macpro within the next month or so. I do know that current models of Macpro are outdated but waiting is not an option at this point.
    Usage is mainly photoshop and no video or gaming. I also want to be able to expend my HDD space easily as I have plenty of photos and also plenty of pdf documents and I know this collection will grow exponentially.
    I plan on getting Mac Pro 3.33 6-core, 6GB RAM @1333MHz, 5870, standard 1 Tb HDD and expend with 3-rd party components as below.

    I did a lot of research on the components and I think I know what I want but as far as details go I often came up with different answers/recommendations so I’m a bit confused and I hope to confirm couple things before I go ahead, order and play with my new toy. Any help/suggestions/comments much appreciated!

    So here are my questions for all gurus here:

    1. Is Samsung SSD 840 pro 258 OK for booting up and apps

    2. Is it correct that getting this converter is enough to simply place SSD into converter and then both into empty bay and start using it without worrying about additional tweaks?

    3. Is this HDD a compatible option for Mac Pro?

    4. The Macpro will ship with ML pre-installed on its 1 tb drive. I would rather keep my good old Snow Leopard, just didn’t find ML attractive. ;) Despite some research on google I cannot find reliable info on how to proceed with

    a. SL installation on SSD (I do have SL on DVD) – this would be clean install, I plan on moving only some crap from my current machine and doing it manually (i.e. not via migration assistant); I know I need to format SSD first but it seems that doing this using ML is not an option as it would prevent SL from installing? Any alternatives? I do have SL installed on MBP and iMac if that could help…

    b. Formatting original 1 tb HDD (some suggest just doing it using Disc utility of OS X installed on SSD, some say it will not be then recognized?)

    c. Are there any problems with SSD or HD drivers above when running SL?

    5. Is this memory combo compatible? It say so first: and then 6-core is not listed on the second page: World Computing/1333D3W8M24K/

    6. I’m assuming that for manual file transfer I can connect 2009 iMac and MacPro via firewire and start T mode, correct?

    Thank you all in advance!
  2. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    For photoshop, heavily invest in RAM and scratch disk.
    I think a Mini 2.6 i7 will win if it is equiped with 16Gb and SSD for scratchdisk (booting is irrelevant, it always is faster than your first cup of coffee).
  3. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Spending large coin on a current mac pro for primarily photoshop is a waste. Photoshop is minimally GPU accelerated (although moving that way) and also piss poor at using multiple cores.

    Video and audio editing are much more productive on a mac pro, but honestly I'd think twice for a photoshop machine. Not trying to threadcrap, but it's pissed me off for YEARS having all this power on a mac pro and Adobe programs photoshop like CRAP when it comes to using multiple cores.
  4. heved, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012

    heved macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Last week when I was considering buying a new iMac or a Mac Pro. (I do film, photo, and music work; Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X and Pro Tools 9 on Snow Leopard 10.6.8) I opted for this and it cost me $3,000 after finding deals and configuring my own upgrades. I'm going to stick with Snow Leopard on it because everything is running smoothly on MacBook Pro 2007 now:

    Mac Pro 8 core 2.66GHz (2009) $1,400
    24GB RAM $145
    ATI 5870 Graphics $330
    (2) OCZ Deneva 400GB SSD's bay 1 and 2 $325 each
    (2) WD Caviar Black 2TB HDD's bay 3 and 4 $125 each
    (1) Hitachi Deskstar 4TB HDD $250 optical drive bay
    (2) 2.5" to 3.5" sleds for SSD's $26 each
    (1) 5.25" to 3.5" bracket for HDD in Optical bay $30

    So I've got 9TB of storage and 800GB of it is on SSDs for boot volume and working project files volume. I'll set up the 2TB HDDs in RAID 0 to get 215MB/sec reads and writes. And use the 4TB HDD in optical bay for backups.
  5. Nazwisko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012
    I must admit I haven't even look into Mini but you're right that the newest Mini is not some mini as far as hardware goes. However, after very short research on the topic I'm afraid that getting SL on newest Mini may prove difficult.


    Thanks, but what are alternatives? I cannot stand iMac display and somehow I'm doubtful the new one will be any better (after all is directed to average consumer that likes the glossy, shiny display).
    I also hoped that managing/using my +10,000 pdf library would be smoother with better hardware?
  6. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    IMHO - if you're planning to buy a new machine and intending to run snow leopard for the life of it ... you're leaving yourself open to getting owned via malware.

    I guestimate about 12-18 months before Apple stop providing snow leopard security updates if they haven't already decided on it.

    Which means if you're planning to keep your machine for the typical 3 years or more - you'll be running with no security updates for 50-70 percent of its life.

    Which means its basically time to get used to Lion or Mountain Lion - or start looking to find another platform.

    (essentially the same issue the Windows XP die-hards are facing right now).
  7. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Well the alternative would be to update and live with what you have now for another year. That's what I've done. I agree with the monitor assessment, one of the main reasons I buy a mac pro myself. I abhor glossy displays. The other alternative would be a mini, use it for a year and then make it into a server with an attached file array for backup of your network.
  8. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003
    If you're willing, buy a used 2009 and the hexcore CPU separately and install them yourself: you'll save lots of money. Get a lot more than 6GB of RAM, but don't buy it from Apple. How much will depend on your PS use: if you work on very wide (lots of megapixels) and/or deep (lots of layers) images, aim for 24GB+. Otherwise, 12-16GB will be enough.

    Good drive, but keep an eye on rebates from other brands, as recent SSDs from most brands are good quality now.

    Yep. You could also by a cheaper plastic rack and install the SSD in the empty optical bay.

    All SATA drives will work, regardless of speed. Actually, don't bother with sata 2 or sata 3 speeds for regular HD, it doesn't really mattter.

    First: why SL? 10.7 and 10.8 are only extensions of 10.5 in any case: they're all pretty much the same system with add-ons that you can disable if you choose. Except for iCloud, my 10.8 system pretty looks like and feels like 10.6...

    Also, you need 10.6.4 to install on 2010 Mac Pros. 10.6.3 and lower (check your DVD) won't install. If you want to do a clean install, what is on the drive already doesn't matter. Format it, install 10.6.4+, upgrade to 10.6.8 and migrate your data.

    Why not? No reason why it shouldn't work.

    Not that I know of.

    As far as I know, Apple didn't release 2009 MP with 3.33 hexcore CPUs... You need to do a firmware update for this CPU. So search in the 2010 section. Don't worry too much about RAM speed: it's not really relevant in real life.


    With enough RAM, you don't really need scratch, unless you work with huge files. Investing in more RAM, especially since it'S cheap these days for recent Mac Pros, is a lot better.

    Newest iMac has a different screen, Apple says it's 75% less glossy. And in any case, glossiness shouldn't matter much for a photoshop machine: your lighting environment should be controlled for color and reflections.

    I call FUD on this: I still use a Powerbook G3 with Tiger at work, day in and day out, for web and email, as well as a 10.5 cube (mostly for fun). No issues whatsoever. There are vulnerabilities, but having vulnerabilities doesn't mean you're going to get hacked...

  9. Nazwisko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012
    I did look into Mini and I agree that it seems like a reasonable option for the next year. I still need to check if I can use a good size display with it. Going through mini forum it seems that some people experienced problems so I'm going to post a question there. Do you have any experience you could share?
  10. Nazwisko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012
    Thanks a lot for answering my questions. Much appreciated!

    Just very personal preference, I recognize that.. I disliked almost any change made, from Mail to Launchpad and missing control. Perhaps you're right that it's a matter of turning things off. Also, call me traditional, but I don't like an idea of not having Installation DVD!

    Thanks. I will definitively check before attempting install.
    So I assume that the LM I download from AppleStore should install without problems?

    I will certainly look into it. Can you recommend any reliable source? There is no 2009 Mac Pros in apple refurbished section and I'm a bit wary of buying off ebay.

    I tried really hard to get this display to work for me but I'm still frustrated. I know many people use this display without a problem, I'm just not one of them.

    I couldn't say it better!

    Thanks again for all your help!
  11. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    I'm looking at a similar build ie 3.33 hex core 16 gig of 1333 RAM the 5870 graphics car with 1 gig of RAM on the card. A single optical drive and three hard drives
    Drive one will be the 512 meg solid state drive(OS and applications), the number two will be a 2 Tb 7200 RPM Hard drive for data and the third drive will be a 1tb @ 7200 RPM for time machine back up. I will use two 27" LED ACDs . Primary uses will be Photoshop, Illustrator, Aperture and InDesign with a light dusting of Final Cut Pro plus the normal email word processing and web research. That is a machine that should last me for some time. More and more it appears that this may be the final MacPro as many have said it is becoming more evident that Apple is moving away from the professional built machines. Oh well they are successful in their business model... at least for now.
  12. zhandri Suspended

    Sep 4, 2012
    i'd wait.... new mac pro next year! heard it here first
  13. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    Hope you are right, but I don't think I would hold my breath. New is always good BUT what is available now is still very good and can produce workflow now.
    By the way when and if a new one comes out next year, the rumors will start at once that the next on on the drawing board is even better and you should wait for it. That is the nature of the beast.
  14. zhandri Suspended

    Sep 4, 2012
    you are absolutely right but imo the price for the current mac pro is just too high for the hardware you get. yeah it's still very good but so much has changed since they last updated it and they never reduced the price.
  15. gpzjock, Oct 29, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    A couple of suggestions for your planned hardware choice:
    Make the back up drive much bigger so you can partition it and back up both the SSD and the Data drive, or add a 4th one to do the same.
    Buy non Apple displays, other manufacturers sell the same quality IPS panels at a fraction of the price.
    The common replacement of choice: for less than £500.
    Samsung make a pretty one too
    Why pay through the nose for an Apple symbol when the screens often come from the same factory?
    Good luck with your new Pro.
  16. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003
    If you mean ML, then yes.

    Nope, I only buy refurb from Apple...

    You have tried and know a lot of people who have the new iMac just released last week?

  17. darkcoupon macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    The 3.33 hex core with a 5870 is the best machine you can find for photoshop work. Despite the fact that the new mini has higher geekbench scores than some lower end Mac Pros, the fact that there hasn't been a lot of photoshop benchmarks on it and it's still not even half as expandable as the Pro makes it viable as only a temporary solution. I'm assuming you need quite a bit of storage for your work and I, personally, wouldn't trust keeping that all on just one drive in a Mini.

    Take some time to search around this site: He runs a lot of benchmarks designed for for photographers and photoshop retouchers and the Six core 3.33 Mac Pro blows them all out of the water. Even the 12 core models.

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