Heavy User - What Should I get

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wkalexand, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. wkalexand macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2010
    iPhoto with 53,000 photos or vid clips
    iTunes with 1,456 TV Shows, 662 Movies, 33,478 songs
    iMovie with about 1TB of family movies
    6 AppleTV's (2nd gen) at each TV in the house

    I've been running on this platform that now gives me regular "beach-balls"... I think it's getting a bit long in the tooth.
    - 2006 Mac Pro
    - 2x 3Ghz Dual Core Intel Xeon
    - 6GB 667 MHz DDR2 RAM
    - 4 2TB internal drives
    - 4 2TB external drives for backup (using SuperDuper!)

    1. Should I just beef up the RAM on my current machine? iPhoto uses about 1GB to simply run with that large a pic database. iTunes uses about 800MB to run its extensive library.
    2. What should I get?
    3. Should I get a new Mac Pro? (If I get a new MacPro now, it doesn't have Thunderbolt.)
    4. What about an iMac with a stack of external drives?

    Thanks in advance for your help... I've been racking my brain on this decision.
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Since you are on a Mac Pro, you have some upgrade options without resorting to a new machine. How about adding a small SSD internal drive for OS and apps? That is the single most dramatic upgrade you can make to banish the beachball on an older Mac. Another thing you can do is stop letting iPhoto copy files to iPhoto Library. On my 2008 Macbook, the fastest way to beachball land was iPhoto with 60+ gig of files crammed in iPhoto Library. Once I created a new iPhoto Library and imported everything (without letting it create copies of my photos and videos), I stopped seeing the beachball. This was expecially true when we had family movies in iPhoto. I never let iPhoto import pictures. I use eyefi and let it copy them to a 1TB firewire drive. I then add them to iPhoto without letting it make its own copies.

    Another beachball generator is Firefox. Close FF. Make sure it's dead. The beachball will be gone. Use xmarks to carry your history/bookmarks from browser to browser or platform to platform then try Chrome or even Safari. They don't beachball like FF does! I think Mozilla must be using garbage collection or not keeping track of retain counts, which is something they don't need to worry about on other platforms. Somebody needs to clean up firefox for it to work properly on OS X rather than leak memory like a stuck pig. For now if you find out it was part of your beachball problem, just avoid it.
  3. wkalexand thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2010
    Thanks guys! Have ordered 8GB of RAM for starters... wait a month then will order the SSD.
  4. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    I'd say upgrade the RAM and get a SSD for the apps/OS.

    I would also just buy a new Mac Pro later (provided you're rolling in dough like that), and take the SSD and RAM out of the old Pro, put it in the new Pro, and then sell your old Pro or give it to a family member.

    Also, although I pretty much only use Safari now. Firefox isn't the problem or causing your computer to "beach ball". That doesn't even make sense. Especially considering you're having this problem without even loading Firefox. The truth is that you just have a s*** load of files and it takes time to load all of that stuff.

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