Considering Mac Pro Quad 2.66GHz

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by neiltc13, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    I've posted my fair share of help on this forum to people looking at MacBooks and iMacs, but I'm now looking for some advice on Mac Pro myself.

    I've got the LED Cinema Display and I'm currently using it with my 2.0GHz MacBook. However, I'm finding I really don't have enough power in this machine to do all that I want to do, and the storage is extremely limited. I'm also eager to get a FireWire 800 port as my external hard drive has one of those.

    I want to use my computer mainly for web design work using Photoshop and Dreamweaver and I'm also a very keen gamer. I'd be going for the Radeon 4870 option on the order and while I have the other specs set in stone, I have a few questions about the machine.

    1) To get WiFi in OS X, do I have to buy the Airport Card? There are plenty of PCI-e WiFi Cards available elswhere for much less money, and there are also USB options too.

    1b) Does that card include Bluetooth too, or does Bluetooth come standard on the machine? The icon on the site indicates it's part of this card.

    2) How noisy is this new machine when in use?

    3) I really need a lot of USB ports for my devices. Is it possible to add an off the shelf USB 2.0 PCI Express card to the machine and have more USB ports that way?

    4) Will it take standard SATAII hard drives? Looking at the prices on the Apple site, they are about two or three times marked up compared to those on I read the manual and it lists dimensions required of the drives but I'm not sure. I really want another couple of 500GB drives.

    5) Can I install Windows using Boot Camp to a separate drive or does it have to be on the same one as OS X?

    6) Can I add an off-the-shelf Blu Ray drive to the machine and get Blu Ray playback (in Windows only of course) and burning in OS X?

    7) The 3GB RAM figure seems a bit odd, there are four RAM slots on this machine, so can you just add another 1GB stick and have that total?

    The spec of the machine I'm looking at going for is:
    2.66GHz Quad Core Xeon
    3GB RAM
    640GB HDD
    ATi Radeon HD 4870 512MB
    Wireless Mighty Mouse (already got a mouse, would use this with my MacBook)
    Wired Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
    AirPort Extreme WiFi card

    Including my education discount, the final price is £1826.20.
  2. cciliberto33 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2009
    Hope this helps
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    I use a spare olde UFO-style airport g. I've decided to consider it "old school" and therefore cutting edge stylish.

    Noise is the fan running - about the same volume as a normal fan on an apple laptop.

    I use a belkin USB freestanding hub and so far, so good!

    It seems odd the ram isn't paired. It's my understanding that it runs in the early 2008 (which I think yours is?) best as pairs.

    On the blu-ray... I saw someone on ebay had a pro tricked out to include it - not sure how they did it, but it was way over my price range :rolleyes:.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Nehalem uses triple-channel memory, so if you use all 4 slots, you lose that. That's also why it's 3GB, as in 3x1GB.

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