Good Mac Pro Configuration for Dad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FF_productions, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #1
    I don't believe it. I convinced my Dad to get a Mac Pro over a 24 inch iMac.

    I need help making a configuration for my Dad with a price limit around $3000 (ALSO CONSIDER EDU DISCOUNT) MINUS $279 for a 22 inch Dell Display (If anyone has good deals on displays please tell me).

    I want awesome performance but I need space. I'm willing to order outside Apple if that's what it takes.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #2
    I'm assuming your dad is going to do something on the computer? Can you enlighten us? Is he going to be checking his e-mail and browsing the web or is he going to be editing HD videos every chance he gets?

    Why does your dad need a Mac Pro? Once we know that we can help spec one out.
     
  3. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #3
    Well he has LOTS of Music and encodes lots of videos. He wants a machine that will last him for a few years, and I told him the Mac Pro is very expandable unlike the iMac.
     
  4. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #4
    Does he edit video or just encode video? Having lots of music is irrelevant except for HD space. Unless you mean that he creates his own music.

    If he's just encoding video are the clips 5 minutes or 2 hours? Basically are they something he'll probably let sit over night or something he could feasibly encode while he waits?
     
  5. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #5
    He encodes (doesn't edit) videos so they can be burned to DVD, which would be divx videos and all that (I don't know where he gets them), he transfers old cassettes/records and turns them into MP3's, and he has a HUGE iTunes Library.

    I'd rather let him have an expandable machine than being stuck with an all-in-one.
     
  6. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #6
    2 hour clips, it takes about 4 hours to encode on a 2.2 ghz Pentium 4 machine, I figure it will go much faster on a machine with 4 processors.
     
  7. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Atlantis
    #7
    This is a good deal but save another $300:
    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (4 x 512MB) memory (667MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)
    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics with 512MB memory
    • Save 15% off the original price
    Original price: $3,849.00
    Your price: $3,299.00
     
  8. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    The Bamboo Forest
    #8
    Here ya go:

    Two 2.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    2GB (4 x 512MB)
    250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB (single-link DVI/dual-link DVI)
    One 16x SuperDrive
    Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme

    Go with the slower proc since it sounds like these are rather long movies. A faster processor will encode them faster of course but at the length of video he's encoding it's something that will take a significant amount of time either way. Using that cost savings you should upgrade the RAM to 2GB (probably not through Apple but I'm sure you know that). No real reason to get a more pricey video card since he won't be doing anything that uses it particularly.

    Of course bluetooth and airport are optional but go with whichever you need.

    That should do 'em!

    This is actually pretty much the machine I have (I have the better video card is all). It can encode a 2 hour movie in pretty decent time (definitely less than 4 hours). It sounds like his video encoding isn't urgent anyway so shaving 10-20 minutes off the time with the faster proc doesn't seem worth it.

    Also check out VisualHub for his video conversion needs.
     
  9. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #9
    Looks like a good configuration, I've been thinking about that 2.0 ghz model. I would go refurbed but my Pops wants a brand new computer. I'll probably get ram from another company because Apple is just ridiculous.

    The reason I'm picking that Mac Pro over the iMac is simply because the 24 inch iMac is 2500, it is in the exact same price range as a Mac Pro, a machine that has so much expandability..

    Here's a simple question, let's just say in a few years my dad needs another boost of speed, could I drop an 8-core in there?
     
  10. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    Orange County, CA
    #10
    I'm with Silent Panda...the slower config with the stock setup...add more RAM. He'll eventually probably want to add another HD, but that's something for him to worry about once he runs out of space.
     
  11. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #11
    That's exactly the reason I got the Mac Pro instead of the 24" iMac. :) Plus I already had the 20" dell screen (now I have two 20" dell screens).

    I would doubt you'll be able to go 8-core later. You may be about to go up to quad-core 3.0ghz though later.

    Yeah. I'm just adding HD's as I run out of space. I just wish I could do raid 5... raid 0 and raid 1 serve me no purpose really (raid 1 is the better option I guess but...)
     
  12. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #12
    I would go with the 2.66 mac pro. I think the .66ghz extra (vs. 2.0 MP) will justify itself for encoding videos. The price isn't enough of a difference to justify going down to the 2.0. What does he use to encode though? Supposedly Toast 8 takes advantage of all the cores while encoding so if that is the case and you did need to save some money, the 2.0 would work.

    So, my conclusion would still be to go with the 2.66 Mac Pro.
     
  13. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #13
    I've been thinking about a 2.66 Mac Pro because it's not that expensive, but when I figure in all the upgrades, it really adds up.

    My dad uses some PC program with his HP 2.2 P4 so I don't know. I have Toast 8 for my MacBook Pro so we'll see how the performance is with the Mac Pro.
     
  14. akadmon macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    New England
    #14
    I'm with Diamond -- the 33% boost in processor speed is worth the extra couple hundred bucks. I was going to suggest you save some money by going with a 160 GB hd from Apple (then get a 500 GB OEM drive from Newegg), but the bastards just eliminated this option :eek:
     
  15. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I noticed that too the day the 8 core came out. I loved this option because you could save over 70 dollars and the 160gb hd is big enough to store the os and applications just fine. Then you could use this $70 to put it towards a 500gb hd like you said. I was disappointed to see that. I can't see the reason why they would pull it. It would be one thing if they changed the price lower for the 250.
     
  16. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #16
    I'm in a dilemma right now, I'm trying to find a display over 20 inches and I'm stuck between getting the 2.66 ghz model and 2 ghz model.

    I don't want to go overboard on the price guys, $3000 is more than enough for a computer.
     
  17. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #17
    Definitely go for the 2.66GHz if the budget allows it :)
     
  18. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #18
    Well, if you can get the eduacation discount, then get the 2.66 MP for 2299+ tax. Or, go to Amazon and they give a good deal after a mail in rebate on the mac pro (2349 after 150 mail in rebate no tax and free shipping). After that, you can pick up the Dell monitor for 279 for a 22" widescreen. So you are around 2700 which give you room to spend the rest to upgrade as needed.

    If the price is a huge issue immediatly and you need more ram/hardrive. Then I guess the only option is to go with the 2.0ghz and then use that money to add an extra HD (~$125) and then the rest on memory as needed.
     
  19. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #19
    I'm going to upgrade that ram, hard drive and I need to be able to afford a display.

    I just realized I can't donate my 320 gig drive because it is a plain ATA drive made for the G4's, I can still use it as a firewire drive but that ruins the whole point of expandability.

    With a 2 Ghz model and applecare standard, it's 2289, after figuring in the display and the ram, the price bumps up to 2800, this is with the education discount. So with the rest of the price limit, I'm going to need some hard drives.

    I need a really good deal on a display.

    My dad will pull the trigger as soon as Leopard gets released. I want to spec this out and make this as affordable as possible.
     
  20. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #20
    It sounds like then you are going to need the 2.0 for you price and the memory you need etc. Also, i have heard that you can get applecare over ebay and it saves you a lot of money there. Look at the dell outlet for monitors also. What size do you need?
    Maybe you could go with the 2.66, no extra hd (add later if needed-say because his music takes up too much and that if you had the imac you would be in trouble), add 2 gig of ram which should be enough for you. then the monitor and maybe applecare on ebay and you should be well under 3000
     
  21. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #21
    There is currently a 2.00Ghz Mac Pro refurb available for $1900.
     
  22. maxlew macrumors newbie

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    What if, and this is just a completely random option, but im assuming that his old pc has a fairly large hard drive and assuming he no longer needs it. You could use its hard drives in the mac pro if they are SATA, or you could set it up as a file sever (networked drive what ever you call it). although if your power concerned having a computer on all day this isnt really a good idea.

    there are refurbished monitors avaliable but you said your dad isnt to hot on refurbs and just checking dells site they dont seem to have anything avaliable.

    also if you wating till leopard then im sure between now and then someone will have one of those crazy deals where you get a huge hard drive for cheap.

    also is the $279 for a 22 inch Dell Display using a dell education discount. i know they give one but it might not apply for monitors.
     
  23. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #23
    The price I found on the Dell is not including an education discount. I don't know if they give discounts on displays...

    The hard drive in the PC is ATA, and he has just one extra hard drive (300 gigs and an 80 gig for boot).

    1900 for the Mac Pro sounds like a good deal, but again it's not brand new and I'll have to see what my Dad says about that.
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    Surely even a MacMini would be acceptable performance wise? especially when it goes Core-2 it'll be a lot faster than a 2.2Ghz P4, you can always use external enclosures for HD's and there are Mini Specific ones, it should allow you to spend about $1500 rather than $3000.

    See http://www.newertech.com/products/externalhd.php

    iTunes works fine from my Macbook from an external HD.
     
  25. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #25
    This is true, but if my Dad can afford a Mac Pro, why would he not get one? Expandability is a big +.

    We want this machine to last him for a long time, and ways to extend it's longevity would be by adding numerous parts, it makes the Mac Pro a clear choice in the upper $2000 range.
     

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