Help me build a Mac Pro!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cydspal, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. cydspal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #1
    I have been waiting since before Xmas because of expo, now its time! I want your suggestions for what I should do, $3k to spend (for now) and I will outsource RAM and Hard drives (if you so advise!). A part of me still wants an iMac instead....

    I will it for basic internet and video/home movie editing.

    Thanks!:)
     
  2. bluefire75 macrumors member

    bluefire75

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    Shinobi Training Center
    #2
    Given the budget you have set aside and its stated purpose, I would go with the single 2.8 quad core, beef the video up to the 8800gt and add airport extreme (wi-fi).

    you should have a little leftover after taxes that could go towards additional ram and hard drives.
     
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
  4. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #4
    Maybe all you need is an iMac...;) basic video/editing can be handled well and the entry 24" is priced way lower than the standard Mac Pro. Then the extra $$ can go to Ram and external HD.

    If you buy the Mac Pro and the budget is $3k it is tight. The base is $2799 + tax (I will go with 6%) that just about takes care of the bill at $2966 - leaving you with enough left for some DVD's.

    If you went with the single quad that is $2299 - then adding the 8800 card as a $200 option would land you at $2499 then ad in the tax again...$2648 which leaves you with some change in the budget for the needed additional hard drive(s) and Ram. Either case it is much $$$.

    Getting back to the 24" iMac that can be had for $1799 - you can then up the ram to 4GB - it is way cheaper than the Pro ram. You can even add on another spiffy monitor and some other items with the savings.

    Here is another breakout the iMac 24" + macbook is just about equal to the cost of the base Mac Pro...

    BTW - I am running all these scenarios through my head too...:) No decision on my part either.
     
  5. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #5
    I disagree. Get the 8-core stock. You don't need the better GPU for that and the 8-cores will scream for rendering. RAM prices will plummet soon enough. Use any old drive you have for now.
     
  6. bluefire75 macrumors member

    bluefire75

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    Shinobi Training Center
    #6

    If you're looking for immediate expandability within storage, ram, hard drives and etc., I would go with the single quad route. However, if you're willing to expand later when finances allow, then get the stock double quad and wi-fi.
     
  7. Toups macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #7
    I think an iMac would server you better, as mine has done well for the last year, hence it is going up for sale. If your intersted in a slightly used model, you can get a pretty nice setup for around 1k in the marketplace, or shoot me a PM.
     
  8. cydspal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #8
    Ok, a few questions:

    How different are the video card upgrades? When I punch in the suggested 8800, I notice the next upgrades are only $100 and $250 more, is it worth it?

    Get extra RAM and HD elsewhere right? What about all this RAID stuff?

    I assume there is a big difference with the one or two quad cores?

    I do want an Imac, but I just hate the thought of not being able to upgrade!

    Thanks!
     
  9. noi375 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #9
    It's worth it for the 8800GT if:

    1) You don't mind the wait
    2) You do gaming or HD video editing
    3) You want the video card to last a LONG time.

    Yes, hard drive and RAM from third party is so much cheaper, and unless you really, really need a RAID setup, but you don't want to even experiment with it, then I guess you are stuck with asking Apple for it.

    One or two CPU matters if you have applications that support them, but with the recent trends, they favors multicore/CPU, so if you don't mind the $400 or so extra, it's worth it.

    I won't get an iMac because the video card in there is pretty bad, especially if you want to do decent games 2 or so years down the line - don't think it can last that long, at least in acceptable performance... Besides, the price different start to disappear once you get really high end on the iMac.
     
  10. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #10
    First the upgrade prices on the graphics cards are essentially the additional cost of going to the next card. The 8800 GT is where you want to be.

    Extra ram and HD's are far cheaper elsewhere. Don't buy them from apple... just make sure you're getting the right kind of RAM!

    In terms of one or two quad cores I'm not really sure if an average user would notice the difference a lot. But when more multi-threaded apps come along having 8 cores of processing power should make a big impact.

    Have fun with your new MP!
     
  11. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #11
    I bought a MacPro 2.66 last year. Love the machine but in hindsight I sometimes think I would have been better off with an iMac. The video I edit is SD and the iMac can handle that just fine and I don't edit often enough to warrant spending the additional money for the MacPro. When I first bought it, I tried to justify the purchase by thinking I was going to use it a lot for video compositing, 3d rendering and other processor intensive tasks. Truth is, I spend more time surfing the web, watching movies and other menial tasks that the iMac would suffice. Quite often I feel a bit guilty knowing that I spent a lot of money on a professional level computer just to read and post on MacRumors. It's like buying a BMW to drive to the corner grocery store.
     
  12. cydspal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #12
    Wow! Now you really have me debating the pro! I am just an amateur home video Dad, but I just dont want to be "stuck" with something I cant upgrade when I continue to improve my photography over the next few years (e.g. HD video shooting, etc.).
     
  13. MacRoom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #13
    Spend $400 For Four 2GB Sticks To Get 20% to 47% Better Performance

    I agree with this config. If you can find $400 buy four 2GB sticks from OWC and put each pair in the AB slots top and bottom ram cards plus the pair of 1GB sticks that came with it in CD of the top ram card. Barefeats has found that by filling up those AB slots in both cards you gain 20% to 47% faster performance.
     
  14. Roy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    #14

    1..If one buys 6 1GB sticks and then fills all the AB slots for a total of 8GB, then does this arrangement give a 20 percent faster performance over four 2 GB sticks totaling 8GB? (Considering that one removes the 1 GB sticks, for equal comparison, and puts 4 X 2GB in the AB slots on both risers/cards)

    2..Would eight 1GB sticks generate the same or more heat than four 2GB sticks?
     
  15. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    Don't debate whether or not to get the pro, think of it this way. The iMac uses laptop parts, laptop processor, laptop ram, but has a desktop hard drive. With the iMac you are limited to 4GB of RAM, while this may sound like a lot of RAM, it's not really that much relative to image and video editing. I am an avid photographer and I run out of RAM a lot when using Lightroom and Photoshop and I have maxed out my MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM. With the iMac you'll be running out of hard drive space and externals aren't as fast as internal hard drives, and you'll run into the same RAM problem I am running into.

    That's why you shouldn't doubt getting a Mac Pro. Even though I have a very fast laptop, it is still about 2-3 times slower than the Mac pro and you can get 8 times more RAM and 16 times more hard drive space (4 times more with the iMac) than my computer. Think about how long you want to use it for, the 24" iMac will set you back about 2/3 of what a Mac Pro will, but it will be several times slower. 2 cores vs. 8, etc. For just 1/3 more money, you'll be set for several years more, that's saving money in the long run.
     
  16. whistler222 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #16

    DAMN.. i did that a few months ago.
    :)
     
  17. Jonny427 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #17
    1. No, the article said one test showed a 20% gain while the other showed a 47% gain. They were comparing either 8 slots vs 2 slots or 4 slots vs 2 slots. The sweet spot in bandwidth is 4 slots. 8 slots will introduce additional latencey.

    2. From what i know, 8x1GB will generate more heat than 4x2GB.

    The point is that if you want 8GB of RAM, go with 4x2GB and not 1x8GB.
     
  18. MacRoom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #18
    You Can Add The Two 1GB Sticks To Four 2GB sticks With No Loss In Performance

    Yes and the article says you can add the two 1GB sticks it came with to the top CD slots with no performance hit at all. So total 10GB that way which for an 8 core is kind of minimal. READ the entire article.
     
  19. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #19
    I'm in exactly the same boat as you are (although I'm a uni student).

    I really love the design of the iMac's and think they're great machines, but I just hate the thought of them being all laptop components and I hate the idea of having to pay Apple £150 to UPGRADE to a 750GB hard drive, when I can buy 2 750GB hard drives for that from a third party.

    I don't know whether to buy a Mac Pro or an iMac because I don't really want the additional cost of a screen, but then I hear all the stories about faulty screens on the iMacs.

    I don't keep my computers long (I would probably keep a Mac Pro for about 2 years max), but the Mac Pro will have a higher resale value when I come to replace it...and the monitor is only a one off purchase.
     
  20. cydspal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #20
    Any thoughts on display's and external Hard drives? Is the new apple wireless drive going to be fast enough?
     
  21. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #21
    For an external hard drive, I've bought a NAS enclosure which holds 2 drives in RAID configuration, and has a built in Print Server and FTP server so I can access my files anywhere in the world and I can share my printers on my network too.

    As far as displays go, I'm not sure. I'm kinda asking the same questions. Ideally, if I buy a Mac Pro, I'd want an ACD but they are so overpriced at the moment, I couldn't justify buying one at the moment, so I might use my current HP 22" monitor until the ACDs are updated.
     
  22. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Surely thats all it is? "A thought" of the components been laptop equivalents?
    I too think the same and have a 2.8" imac. I read through posts on here daily in the vain hope that I can justify buying a new Mac Pro but I only do the same as the OP, SD video and other menial tasks.
    But moving back to the "laptop components" surely these are only labelled as this due to the fact that they are a lot smaller than their desktop equivalents? They will do the same job as desktop components.

    Totally agree with the Hard drive upgrades.
     
  23. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #23
    Not really. The FSB on a laptop processor is a lot lower than the FSB on an equivelant desktop one. The Mac Pro can take a lot more RAM, and has a superior Graphics Card.

    For me, all these things don't matter too much. My main concern would be the fact that the iMac's are the same spec as my year old Windows PC and therefore I'd be very reluctant to pay £1400 on essentially the same thing I already have.

    My other (kinda) reasoning is that if the display goes in the iMac, yeah you can still use it with an external display but doesn't that kinda defeat the object? Whereas with the Mac Pro, if the display goes, you just buy another one.
     
  24. cydspal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #24
    Ok, just so I got this correct,

    "put each pair in the AB slots top and bottom ram cards plus the pair of 1GB sticks that came with it in CD of the top ram card" (hope I can figure that out). Does this look like the right sticks to buy?

    4.0GB Mac Pro Memory Matched Pair (2GB x 2) PC6400 DDR2 ECC 800MHz 240 Pin FB-DIMM Modules
     
  25. cydspal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #25
    And...any comments on Transitl vs. OWC for the Ram?
     

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