Buying Mac Pro, upgradability and other questions?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Pakaku, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm planning on buying a Mac Pro sometime soon, mostly for digital art like Photoshop and video editing, and some gaming, like TF2. Some stuff I don't understand, and would like some clarifications:

    I'm planning on buying the 8-core with 2.26 GHz processors, can they be upgraded to faster processors later?

    And what's the difference between ATI and Nvidia graphics cards? I was planning on going with Nvidia since I hear they're better for rendering on the fly. And if I plan on using Windows for graphics, can I plug in any other card (even though it won't work in OS X) and use it in Bootcamp?

    I'd also like to hear about PCIe and RAID cards, and any other useful tips about the Mac Pro.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #2
    The 8-core model will only give better performance in applications which are multi-threaded. Photoshop is not multi-threaded on OS X, so the 4-core Mac Pro will actually give better performance than the 2.26GHz 8-core.

    I am not confident on this, but I believe that nVidia's cards give better video rendering performance under OS X but if you are considering doing any gaming at all you really, really want to be buying the Radeon 4870 card - it's miles ahead of the GeForce one Apple supplies with their machines.

    If you do choose to upgrade the GPU in the future then it has to be a Mac-specific card. Off the shelf Windows cards are not compatible with Mac Pro (if you put one in it simply would not boot). Expect to pay a premium for these.
     
  3. Pakaku thread starter macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #3
    How is the performance of the 8-core Mac itself when it comes to single-threaded apps? And could I install both Nvidia and ATI in the same Mac, and switch between them when switching between both OSes? If you can install more than one Nvidia card, surely one of them could be ATI instead.
     
  4. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #4
    If you're getting the 2.26 GHz, save you're money and get the quad 2.66 GHz. IMO, there's no difference other than the price and a few other details.

    The processors are easily upgradable. Apple doesn't want you to do that, of course.

    nVidia vs. ATi is a tossup. Pick the one you think sounds better. :D

    You'll need Mac-specific GPUs. You can flash Windows ones, however.
     
  5. snakesqzns macrumors regular

    snakesqzns

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    #5
    You may want to wait and see how the next revision is priced. Right now Mac Pros aren't the best value.
     
  6. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #6
    That's why you look in the refurb store for either a Nehalem octo 2.66 GHz or previous (was it Clovertown?) gen octo 3.2 GHz.
     
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Harpertown and agreed on the refurb store.
     
  8. parakiet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    #8
    i'm in the same situation

    after a few months reading stuff and very short nights i'm probably going to buy an 2,93 quad filled up with 12gig ram (prolly ocw)

    refurb looks nice but the applestore system is just screwed up. in europe there is a store for each country.. and as far i know i can't let em ship crosscountry.. sadly:(
     

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