Info About Mac Pro's


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 24, 2009
Man, I haven't been on these forums in a long while:rolleyes:. Anyway, I'll be going off to college next fall and I'll need a computer. My goal is to get a Mac Pro that will suit my needs as best possible. Besides some general gaming, photo processing, and lots of web browsing, I do a fair amount of film-production and expect to be doing some large data processing and 3D/2D modeling for college(Don't know exactly what applications yet). Right now I do my film production on my parent's 2009 2.4Ghz Duo iMac and it will fair ok with 720p but cannot handle 1080p(I'm using Final Cut Express BTW). I would like to be able to edit in 1080p and I plan on upgrading to either FCX or FCP as well.

Rather than ask a bunch of questions, I'll list what I think I know about Mac Pro's and tell me if I have something wrong.
-You can add a second optical disk drive yourself
-You cannot upgrade from one to two processors or change the processors very easily or cheaply
-Having memory cards in multiples of three is best for performance
-More cores at a slower speed will be better for video processing and 3D/2D rendering than fewer cores at higher speeds
-Not all applications can take advantage of more cores; FCP can use 4 cores, and FCX can use 12
-Having more cores can be better for running multiple applications at once, for example Photoshop, FCX, Quicktime(converting something)

Thanks, and I'm planning on waiting for a big Mac Pro update next year but prospects of it not being until the fall are making me start to consider finding one sooner, since it will probably be too late then


macrumors 65816
Nov 15, 2010
Edinburgh, UK
If you have done PC processor swaps and do your background reading properly, a Mac Pro processor swap is technically straightforward.

Depending on which model you buy, some upgrades are not financially advantageous but some older second-hand machines can be significantly upgraded. Each Mac Pro family has a very specific set of possible CPU upgrades and id you Search, that info is readily available.

While memory in sets of three is the mathematically perfect solution, in real world rendering and crunching situations, more memory usually always trumps sets of three. Under certain circumstances, some Mac pros down-clock their memory when it is in 4s (say 1333 to 1066) but if you are actually *using* a lot of your memory, more is better.


macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
Changing the CPU on a single CPU machine is a piece of cake.

Buy a 2009 2.66Ghz or 2010 2.8Ghz MP with a W3680 and you have a 6 core 3.33Ghz machine for cheap!

Also 3 sticks is faster than 4, but if you fill up >13GB rather than 12GB then 4 sticks is faster!

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