Best value for HDD? RAM? On a $200 each budget?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fs454, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. fs454 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #1
    I have a 2.8 octo mac pro, stock, and I'm looking for some RAM and HDD space.

    I have about $200 for each, and I'm looking for basically the most space that will buy me(performance in mind as well), and $200 for the best RAM config

    I do a lot of Final Cut Studio 2 work as well as Photoshop CS3 and some recording.

    What are people buying? I can't do 4x2GB, I don't have that much money, but is there a compromise in between somewhere?

    I'm familiar with newegg and stuff, but I'm also not sure of the best value in HDDs today...Any recommendations?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Random Chaos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #2
    Well, everyone has their most favorite and most hated drive. I've heard people hate maxtor and swear by western digital. And I've heard other people the exact opposite. It all has to do with which company's drive they had (or their friends had) when the there was a major crash with data loss.

    From what I researched about 2 months ago:
    - Seagate tend to run hot and noisy
    - WD and Maxtor are decent drives, but tend to be a little slugish in data transfer
    - Samsung is up and coming - recently overtaken WD and Maxtor in data transfer rate, and lack the "I hate this brand" crowd still as they are new to the market (this is only the 2nd gen desktop-scale drive).
    - Hitachi makes mostly notebook drives nowdays; they inherited the IBM drive division after the Death Star fiasco (technically Desk Star, but due to all the crash and burns, became known as Death Star...IBM never did recover so they sold the drive division to Hitachi). But it's a good line with a good technology base. Every brand has bumps in their reliability.

    I have purchased, in the past 1-2 years (for myself and at work) WD, Maxtor, Samsung, and Hitachi (Hitachi was a laptop-size drive). I've not had problems with any of them.

    If I had one to recommend, I'd say take a good hard look at Samsung. Their latest drives have been winning all the speed tests and lack the noise of other brands (I'm not saying they are quiet...just that they are quieter).

    You can pick up a good 750GB drive for decently under $200 at Newegg from any of the major brands. Or you can get two 500GB's for just over $200.
     
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #3
    RAM, get 2x2gb over at OWC for $199

    HDDs get a pair of 500gb hard drives from WD or Samsung at Newegg. Should be just over $200.

    Another way to go is to grab a 250gb Seagate ST3250410AS (very quick drive, good for OS) and then a 750gb Western Digital WD7500AAKS (another quick drive, good for media) and that would be about $225. You would then use the stock drive for general media storage (documents, iTunes, photos, etc). I know it's $25 over your budget, but it would be well worth it.
     
  4. FastMan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #4
    I was just over at OWC, looking for RAM and Drives for my just ordered 2.8 octo. They have a special going on the WD 500 drives for $99 each.
     
  5. fs454 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #5
    With the 2x2GB, should I remove the 2x1GB stock RAM, or will that not decrease speed?

    It'd be really nice to have six gigs, but for some reason I've been hearing this isn't practical for some reason.
     
  6. LostSunrise macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #6
    not bad not bad...

    I tend to agree with the responses already here. two 500's will give you the most bang for you buck. Go to Newegg or ZipZoomFly. I'm giving the samsungs a try they've been making some really solid products lately across the board. Usually I'm a Seagate 1st WD second loyalist and a long time maxtor hater. However I've heard that WD external drives have been failing and that maxtor and seagate are the same company now. So looks like it was time to try samsung or hitachi.

    OWC seems to be the place for RAM but just read the big ram thread about where everyone is getting there's and you'll get an idea of where to get it. But 200 should get you 4 gigs. The question you need to ask is do you get 1 gig or 2 gig dims. the more slots filled the better it'll run suposedly so if you don't plan to expand later 4 more 1 gig dimms might be the way to go.
     
  7. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    For exactly that reason, I would order 2x1GB from OWC. I have had to put my stock RAM on the market after buying 4x2GB sticks. Better to just stock it evenly and keep 4 slots open for later.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    There's nothing at all wrong with a 2 x 2 + 2 x 1 configuration. Whatever gave you the idea that removing the 2 x 1 would improve performance??
     
  9. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #9
    an extra 2gb will give you a bigger boost than having a quad-channel configuration.
     
  10. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #10
    I know that you know far more about RAM than I do, but from the benchmarks I've seen, there is a lot to be said for not mixing across 4 slots.
     
  11. Emerson macrumors member

    Emerson

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    #11
    Taken from this article

    "CAN I KEEP THE TWO FACTORY 1GB FB-DIMMs INSTALLED?
    Some of you ordered your Mac Pro with the basic two factory 1GB FB-DIMMs. You are asking if you order four 2GB FB-DIMMs if you can install them along with the factory memory (for a total of 6 FB-DIMMs or 10GB of RAM).

    I tested the 10GB scenario. I put four 2GB FB-DIMMs -- two on each riser in slots 1 and 2. Then I put the two 1GB FB-DIMMs in slots 3 and 4 on the top riser. With that config I get the same fast memory fill rates in Xbench as I did with just the four 2GB FB-DIMMs (two on each riser, slots 1+2). But I'm told by those who l know that the four matched FB-DIMMs will perform better when you get into a heavy duty multi-threaded app that uses a signficant amount of memory. Eight matched is even better.

    You wil note that the two 1GB factory FB-DIMMs come installed one on each riser. If you are going to keep them installed along with the four matched FB-DIMMs, you'll want to move them to the same riser. If you don't, for some reason, the Mac Pro won't see them and report just 8GB total.

    In summary, I installed the four 2GB FB-DIMMs in slots 1+2 on each riser. Then I put the two factory 1GB FB-DIMMs in slots 3+4 on the top riser. That reported 10GB and produced the same fill rates as the four or eight stick configs in our brief testing.

    Some of you just want to buy two 2GB FB-DIMMs to add to the two factory 1GB FB-DIMMs for a total of 6GB. That configuration will slow you down. Don't do it. Again, the BEST performance setup is eight matched FB-DIMMs. The second best is four matched FB-DIMMs."
     
  12. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    bleep
    #12
    Oh man............ :( That's exactly what I was going to do. :(
     
  13. fs454 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #13
    Will the 4gb be worth $200 to upgrade from 2gb though?
     
  14. Jonny427 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #14
    Do you actually have the computer right now? If so, if you feel like the 2GB of RAM is okay for now, i'd save up and purchase the 4x2GB later when prices inevitebly drop. Same deal with the hard drive, if you aren't using all the space right away then just wait a bit for prices to drop.

    With your $400 budget total, I would probably recommend purchasing the 4x2GB and be done with it. You can rest assured that all 4 sticks are matching and that you are getting the maximum memory bandwith. I'd be a little weary of buying a 2x2GB now for $200, then another 2x2GB later on (something about mismatched pairs is causing a red flag to go up in my head).

    In any event, if you can spend $400.. why not $500 and get 4x2GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive? :p
     
  15. fs454 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #15
    I can almost do $500, but it feels like I'll be limited by 500+300GB space. I do a lot of FCS2 work as well as have lots and lots and lots of music and movies.
     

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