Finally - now is the time for me to get a Mac Pro -

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by stimpycat, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. stimpycat macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    I am a switcher who has been ready to switch for 6 months - I have waited and waited to see what the new iMacs offered before deciding what to do and now - after much excitement I must admit to being left a little flat by the new iMacs casing and the lack of updates to the 12 month old Mac Pro.

    However, onwards and upwards I say and I still want to make the switch.

    So now I will be on the lookout for either a 2.0 or 2.66 Refurbished Mac Pro - that way, with a small discount - I won't feel so bad shelling out on "last years technology at this years prices" (I am as fed up typing that as I am reading it).

    I want to get one quick as I fear Apple will ruin the Mac Pro or ACD's in the next update with more black borders and the obsession with 'thin' - ala the new keyboard.

    So, a few questions - if anyone has the time to offer their advice I would be most welcome.

    1) Will I notice much difference between the 2.0 and 2.66 MPs? I won't be running any 3D or Video apps - purely CS3. I am thinking if 2.0 does me fine today I can always upgrade a few years down the line to something faster - I assume a 2.0 is as upgradeable as the 2.66?

    2) I would like the old style white keyboard - if I buy refurb will I be able to specify this?

    3) I need to run windows unfortunately just to support a few old clients - what's the difference between parallels and bootcamp? Which is generally regarded as the best?

    4) 1GB RAM won't cut it I am sure - I would like 2GB or even 4GB - should I buy this in a certain make and throw away the 1GB that comes with the computer? I am in the UK - where is good to buy?

    5) Likewise with the hard disc - I need to either buy a big one or add a another and have 2 - is there any benefit to having 2 drives?

    6) or should I just wait until September for another 'potential' MP update? :) ( I am half joking)

    Sorry for what must be silly questions - been using a PC for too long and haven't had to think about these things!
  2. Chubby Cox macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    I can help you with some of the questions...if nothing else, offer some emotional support since I, too, am going to be buying a Pro- Friday, in fact:D

    I spoke with someone at my local Apple store earlier today and, for the time being, all Mac Pros will be sold with the old style keyboards.

    And as far as hard drives...I have no hard evidence to back it up, but I have several friends who do a lot of audio production work and they always say it's better to have the system + programs on one drive and data on another, so multiple drives would offer better performance. They may be full of crap, though:cool:
  3. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    If you want value for your money. I would wait until the update.

    To answer your questions:

    1) Will you notice the difference between 2.0 and 2.66? Yes and no. You won't notice it because you will have never used a 2.66 to know. Yes, because the 2.66 is much faster than the 2.0. We are talking a 660Mhz per core, so effectively a 2.4Ghz between the 4 cores in CPU speed lost. I would call that rather significant.

    2) No one knows if the all Macs are now shippign with the new keyboard. Someone said they called and was told only iMacs have it. I imagine everything but the new iMacs will be shipping with the old (so, the Mac Pro basically). I doubt you will be able to specify if this is not the case.

    3) Parallels and VMWare are virtualization. Meaning they run inside OS X. This is a good solution of you need to do some quick work. And with 2GB+ RAM and the 4(or 8 cores) it should run near native. BootCamp is a dual boot solution that allows you to run Windows XP/Vista native just as on a PC. So XP/Vista gets all the resources. I would prefer this, as it is free with Leopard.

    4) I will be going with 5GB plus, 2x2GB is a nice way to go. Keep the 1GB you have in there just move them to the second riser card.

    5) The benefit for two drives... hmm. You would two. One for OS and apps, the other for storage. You can get 4 drives natively in the Mac Pro. So I don't see why you shouldn't have at least 2.

    6) Of course, I say wait. It depends on whether or not you can. I am in a situation where I can get by. You may not be. Think about it for awhile. Some will try to downplay the updates, but I don't think that is fair. The current Mac Pro is not a superb value for the money. And with some much happening this year with Intel. It doesn't make much sense to buy at this point.

    Keep the questions coming. We all want you to be comfortable with your purchase.
  4. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
    i agree with the advice to go with 2.66 over the 2.0 processor. and add as much ram as your budget will allow as this is how you make photoshop faster.

    i waited for updates to the mac pro in april (and i REALLY needed to get a new computer). when the stupid octo cores were announced, i laughed and went to the apple store that day and got a 4 core. i have been really happy since!

    i agree also that they are not a great value at the moment (aside from their upgradability - it rocks), so if you can hold out it might actually be worth it by now.

    i added to 500GB drives in a software RAID array (mirrored) and this seems to work out just fine. the performance difference in photoshop is that you want the ps scratch disk on a physically separate drive from the OS so that they disk heads don't have to fight it out to access the data. in all that i have read about striped arrays, the speed increase seems to be negligible.
  5. MacTO macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2007
    I do not remember exactly what the difference was, but the general consensus while I was asking the same question was go with 2.66GHz, which I did. 2.66GHz is certainly faster than 2.0. Suneohair's explanation is good to take as well.

    I haven't paid attention too much about that, can't you just go on eBay and buy one of the old ones if you really want?

    I do not use Windows on my Mac Pro, so I wouldn't know. But so far Suneohair's answer suits me. And maybe when Leopard comes out, I would consider it.

    Like Suneohair mentioned, order 2 x 2GB RAM and put the default 1 GB RAM in the second riser.

    If you're not sure, refer to this Memory Configuration chart. You'll never be confused when you install extra RAM.

    BTW, for the record, I have 5GB RAM in my Mac Pro and that's how I've installed them.

    Where you can buy them is out of my range. I do not live in the UK. But I've seen many members from the UK, so why don't you put up another question specifically for members from the UK? Like... 'Attn: UK Members...' :D

    I'd agree with Sunehair's point. In particular, if you're going to use an app such as Final Cut Pro (FCP), which I use on my Mac Pro, it is a MUST to have separate HDs.

    Update: You may not use FCP, still it'd fill up the default HD with huge chunks of, let's say, Photoshop files.

    Also, since there are 3 more slots where you can put extra HDs anyway, why not add a couple. Someone not too long ago pointed out too that he needed an extra HD because of (I assume, many) songs he downloaded on iTunes. So, that could be another factor to consider another HD.

    Or another option is, if you carry data from one point to another frequently (for meetings or clients or what not), get yourself an external HD.

    In my case, I have an extra 250GB HD but no other internal HDs, except for the default for OS and apps, because I have an enclosure of 1.5TB RAIDed HDs, not only for Final Cut Pro related files but also other images files.

    That was one of my main questions back in mid-May. At that time I already waited till the NAB and nothing significant happened in terms of Mac Pro, except 8-core. That had nothing to do with me. I needed a Mac Pro and simply 2.66GHz was it.

    Now I say it, another general consensus was that there isn't much difference between 2.66GHz and 3.0GHz. I mean, there is, but not much, so I decided to invest in extra RAM.

    But once again, most people I spoke with or the posts on the relevant threads suggested that I buy one if I needed one NOW. In other words, if you CAN wait, you do not need it now. You just want it, not need it. As simple as that.

    Cheers. :apple:
  6. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    I need it, i just don't need it terribly. So I can push my purchase back awhile. But yeah. If the OP needs it right now. Buy away. Go refurb though. I don't think the Mac Pro is worth it at $2499.
  7. Toknee macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2007
    NYC-The Big Apple
    Go For It!!!

    Since most of your questions have been answered, I just want to chime in an say DO IT!

    I am a long time PC user, had a fling with OSX a few years ago with a G4 Silver, and that was about it.

    When the Intel Macs came out, I got more interested in them, I had to buy a Mac Book Pro for a conversion project I am working on for a client, and that lead to purchasing a Mac Pro for home/office use. Even with the high $$$ I shelled out for the MBP and MP, I do not regret it one bit. It is a worthwhile investment to me.

    I don't know what hardware prices are like in England, but when a good friend of mine wanted to buy her MBP, she planned a short vacation to NYC, and purchased it here.
  8. stimpycat thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Many thanks for the very helpful replies - I don't need it now by any means so maybe I will join the waiters, one last time...

    I just hope the price doesn't go up!

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