Is base Quad Core sufficient for 4 monitors?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by linux2mac, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. linux2mac macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #1
    I am going to be purchasing my first Mac soon. I am looking at getting the base level Quad-Core Mac Pro (2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor) with 2 video cards for adding a third or possibly fourth display.

    I settled on Quad-Core because I am not doing any video editing/rendering, intensive graphics (3D or animations) or digital photo work. I am converting from an OpenSuse Linux desktop environment and plan on using the Mac Pro as my work station for PHP coding/development and also for maintaining virtual servers via VNC. I do not plan on hosting virtual machines on the Mac Pro. I have a separate server where I keep my virtual machines.

    The reason for the 4 displays is because I plan on using one or two displays for VNC administration of virtual machines, another display for a text editor for coding (i.e. Dream Weaver), and another for e-mail and browsing. On the recreation side I would like the ability to watch movies or videos too (but this would be kept to a minimum). Essentially I want to have the ability for some serious multitasking without freeze ups.

    Is the 3GB Ram and 2.66Ghz clock speed sufficient to run up to 4 displays? Is there a need to spend the extra $500 for the 2.93Ghz processor?

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #2
    dont worry about the procesor and do not spend 500 more for that if you dont need it

    driving 4 dsiplays is a limitation of the gpu, not really the cpu

    with that said, you will need two graphics cards to drive 4 displays as each gpu has 2 outputs
     
  3. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #3
    Yep, thats true. Quads and Octads have the same PCIe system for graphic cards. So its really only an issue of what cards you fit. Two 120 will do nicely for basic requirements unless you are a gamer.

    If you are concerned with RAM you can allways fit more at better price when you really need it.
     
  4. linux2mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #4
    Thanks for both of your replies!! This helps out a lot since there are so many options. It looks like I will go with the base Mac Pro (2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 3GB RAM) and 2 video cards (NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512M).

    I have one more question. Is it worth $250 to buy the Apple Protection?

    Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #5
    i dont get applecare. though if i did, id more likey get it with a laptop ves a desktop. besides you have a year to buy it so if you dont want to right now, you can do it anytime during the first year
     
  6. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #6
    Just a couple thoughts: I have AppleCare for my Mac Pro - but I got it for like $100 on eBay. Haven't used it yet but of course it's like an insurance policy. For me and my wallet, it's not worth $250.

    As someone who uses all 4 monitor ports on 2 GPUs, I really think 3 is the max that's efficient to use in an active desktop environment. I already have to swivel my head to go from the far right to far left. In fairness, my center monitor is a huge 30", but I have the 2x 22" monitors that flank it in portrait (rotated 90 degrees) so all together it's around 4 feet of desktop.

    My 4th is a HD projector that I use either-or with the screens - basically for movie time.

    Do bear in mind that, unless you like having access to all 3-4 screens at once, OS X has virtual desktops that are very easy to access - called Spaces. I use it on rare occasion when I have 2, non-connected projects that each require a ton of desktop real estate.

    Enjoy your Mac Pro! Maybe double-check the refurb prices before you finalize your purchases - seem a lot of people prefer the 8-core refurbs.
     
  7. linux2mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #7
    Are Mac Pro refurbs trust worthy? Where are the best and reputable places (besides Apple Store) to look for Mac Pro refurbs?
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #8
    yes, and apple.com
     

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