Build/Recommend A MacPro Set Up

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Carl S., Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Carl S. macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    I am a native mbp user who wants to make the step to the mac pro. I am looking for a setup that is good with handbrake ripping and alot of storage for HD/Blu Ray movies and music. I will also be trying my hand at editing so they system should support Final Cut & Photoshop. I am told used macpros are just as good as brand new ones so they are not out the realm of possibilities.

    I currently have my content spread out on about 8 external drives so a good storage setup would be appreciated.

    PS....this mac pro forum is like porn for me.......
  2. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    Well. I personally use my pro for 3D art creation/rendering, a little video editing, some vector graphics. Now that Final Cut Pro X is coming out in June taking advantage of GCD making use of up to 8 cores getting the 8core or 12 core would make sense. The thing is photoshop escalates poorly among many CPU cores using most of the times 2 cores and rarely 3 cores. So it really depends on what you would be using more. For my 3D rendering jobs my 09 Mac Pro is a beauty. But when sandy or ivy bridge Pro is out I'm upgrading to that.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    From the listed usage, I gather this is for personal use (presume ATM you're not going to be earning a living with it).

    Even with FCP's next release apparently going to be n core multi-threaded, is it worth spending that much money on an Octad or Dodeca?

    The SP Hex might be a nice compromise if the Octad is reasonable for you, as it's similar in price ($200USD more). Granted, it's 2x fewer cores than the base Octad, but they're running at a faster clock which makes up for it for multi-threaded applications, and runs faster for single core software.

    Take a look at Geekbench (granted this is a synthetic benchmark, but it can show you what they're potentially capable of).
    32 bit Benchmarks:
    • Mac Pro (Mid 2010) Intel Xeon W3680 3.33 GHz (6 cores) = 14049
    • Mac Pro (Mid 2010) Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz (8 cores) = 12722
    64 bit Benchmarks:
    • Mac Pro (Mid 2010) Intel Xeon W3680 3.33 GHz (6 cores) = 15781
    • Mac Pro (Mid 2010) Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz (8 cores) = 14083
    Please note that this doesn't take disk I/O or GPU into consideration (CPU and memory only).

    For particular applications, there are benchmarks out there if you search (not aware of performance data for FCP's next release yet).

    So it might be wise to carefully consider your needs as well as budget in order to avoid over-buying. Particularly as the economy still hasn't really turned around for individuals yet).

    Just a thought, not a condemnation (prefer to get users matched up with the right system; sometimes this means they can save money, others spend more, particularly for upgrades).

    As per storage, if you're looking to do this on the cheap, you'll want to take a look at using an eSATA card with a Port Multiplier enclosure (kit example, and the card does work in the MP via driver support). There are different ways to configure the drives, so you'd have options (single disk, JBOD <concatenation>, or software based RAID <OS X is capable of 0/1/10>).

    • RAID 0: I'd recommend avoiding this configuration, as it's less reliable than a single disk, and if one disk goes, all the data is lost (means re-ripping your movie collection).
    • JBOD <concatenation>: This one can allow you to recover the data on the drives that aren't damaged (requires software recovery tools, such as Disk Warrior). Until such a recovery is performed, the data will not be accessible until you do). It has the advantage of reducing the amount of effort involved on your part.
    • RAID 10: This offers redundancy (allows you to loose 2x disks without data loss). The down side is, usable capacity, as you'll only have access to half of the total capacity due to duplication. So you end up spending 2x the money on disks, and may need an additional enclosure to obtain enough usable capacity).

    There are other solutions as well, but they're more costly (i.e. hardware RAID).
  4. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    If you are moving from a laptop to a Mac Pro just choose what you like that is within your budget, you can't go far wrong tbh.

    This is prøn? In that case, now please wash your hands. :D
  5. Carl S. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    Thanks guys. I am really loving the storage solution due to the fact I can take my 2TB western digital drives out the enclosure and still use them. Not sure for the 2.5 drives. What is ur opinion on the refurbs listed on Apple.Com and ebay?
  6. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Refurbs are good value and warranty covered, I bought a new 2008 Mac Pro on eBay 3 years ago and had no problems at all, saved £300 too.
    Provided the vendor is honest I see no reason not to buy from them. Apple kit is robust and well made so 2nd hand isn't a bad choice.
  7. philipma1957, Apr 17, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    this refurb is a good buy

    if you have the discover card you will get 5% off. Down the road you can do this upgrade.

    ram can be had at good prices 4gb sticks for 50 bucks 8gb sticks for 128 bucks

    there are also some very good deals on ebay for the mac pro 3.33ghz

    this one is used but the starting price is good

    I don't know the seller but he claims to be the only owner and if he has paperwork you can add applecare to it.
  8. Garamond macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2004
    I just love my 12-core. If you can afford one, get it - with as much RAM you can. Geekbench score of 24929 with twenty or so apps still running :cool: this rig will give me years of joy.
  9. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    For someone who is not using the Mac Pro professionally and merely needs the storage options it gives I'd recommend the 2.8 ghz quad core. You'll get the benefits of the higher speed for lesser threaded applications. It also has the advantage of being the least expensive.
  10. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Since I own the 2.8 Quad, Id have to agree. It easily does everything I need it too, except Render in Motion at full-speed (And thats my fault for not getting it the 12GB RAM it needs) - and this is for prosumer (moving to Pro-Level as I get experience) video editing and audio production. As well as hardcore software development (Im a CS Major). - It would do any home-computer tasks with aplomb, and can be upgraded to 6-Cores easily, and 12 with a little effort later on.

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