Mac Pro 2008 questions.

andrei.barbuta

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2009
135
0
Romania
Hey guys, so I climbed down from the clouds and my wishes to get a brand new 6 core mac pro cause I would have waited for a bazillion years to save the many for it and thought about the good ol' Harpertown.
Therefore I have couple of questions:
1. 2 x 2.8 Ghz is it good enough for iOS UDK development and some 3D animation, like game intro maybe more? Is it still viable?
2. What are the best GPU's I can plug in it official and flashed?

Any additional info/opinions about this is welcome.

thank you.

BTW the price with which I can get the Mac Pro is 1000Euros.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,949
291
Canada
1. Yes of course it is they are still powerful machines that can serve you well for years to come.

2. Radeon HD6870 is one of the better ones does not need to be flashed at all only draw back is you have blank screen until you get to desktop as it has no EFI on it.

I believe the euro is at ~1.40 to the USD so $1400 is not too bad, I recently picked up the one in my sig for $1100 Canadian so you may want to continue looking around to see if you can get cheaper though there are bargains to be had out there.
 
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andrei.barbuta

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2009
135
0
Romania
You're talking about the 6870 mac model currently on the 2010 Mac Pro's right? On wikipedia it says that Mac pro 2008 has EFI64. Isn't this to which you are referring to?
I have a question regarding the blank screen with GPU's not directly compatible. If I have Bootcamp, and I press OPTION to see the boot drives, I can't see them? I have to boot blind into OS X the use target disk to boot into windows?
 
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flatfoot

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2009
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3
BTW the price with which I can get the Mac Pro is 1000Euros.
At least in Germany that's a hell of a deal. On July 10th one went for €1.650 on eBay.

@MacUser2525: When it comes to Apple products, the exchange rate from Dollar to Euro usually is about 1:1. :(
 
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MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,949
291
Canada
You're talking about the 6870 mac model currently on the 2010 Mac Pro's right? On wikipedia it says that Mac pro 2008 has EFI64. Isn't this to which you are referring to?
I have a question regarding the blank screen with GPU's not directly compatible. If I have Bootcamp, and I press OPTION to see the boot drives, I can't see them? I have to boot blind into OS X the use target disk to boot into windows?
I m talking PC video card you can put into MacPro they have no EFI firmware on them unless flashed with modified BIOS and yes you are correct with the second part no ability to see a blind boot.

At least in Germany that's a hell of a deal. On July 10th one went for €1.650 on eBay.

@MacUser2525: When it comes to Apple products, the exchange rate from Dollar to Euro usually is about 1:1. :(
Well even better then $1000USD would be damn good deal for that computer.
 
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HawkEye40

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2008
70
0
Go for it (I got my Mac Pro 2.8 Octo - 14GB of ram for £870 on eBay and consider it great value :)). Just remember new official GPU's are sure to come out with new Mac Pros before the end of the year.
 
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bamf

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
413
0
I have a question regarding the blank screen with GPU's not directly compatible. If I have Bootcamp, and I press OPTION to see the boot drives, I can't see them? I have to boot blind into OS X the use target disk to boot into windows?
Yes, but you could leave the GPU that comes with the machine in there and plug into that if you really need to see the boot screen - then simply flip the cable back.

I have a 6870 in my 2008 and it works fine - other than not seeing the screen until the login screen pops up.
 
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goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,064
1,089
1. 2 x 2.8 Ghz is it good enough for iOS UDK development and some 3D animation, like game intro maybe more? Is it still viable?
Yes, it's still a wonderfully viable machine.

For XCode use, it'll use all 8 cores for compiling which makes things go pretty fast. A zippy drive setup will make it go even faster. If you're going to use XCode 4, I'd recommend at least 4 gigs of RAM. I tend to keep my development machines at 8 gigs.

For running in the simulator... well... remember you're targeting a 1 ghz ARM core. I think pretty much any machine made in the last five years can handle that. :p

I recently put an Apple 5870 in my 2008. Certainly speedy.

(I plan on replacing my machine next year for more cores for XCode. But 8 cores is certainly fine.)
 
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andrei.barbuta

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2009
135
0
Romania
I'll put at least 16GB RAM in it. An SSD only if I can get my hands on a OWC one rest are trash over time.
I'll be using UDK for game development, so I'll be in the middleware most of the time.
At this point I'm using a Mac mini late 2009 2.53 Ghz, 4GB RAM so it will be huge upgrade. At the moment I'm doing some character modeling, it's still ok, given the fact that it's for iOS so the polycount is low.
 
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goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
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I'll put at least 16GB RAM in it. An SSD only if I can get my hands on a OWC one rest are trash over time.
I'll be using UDK for game development, so I'll be in the middleware most of the time.
At this point I'm using a Mac mini late 2009 2.53 Ghz, 4GB RAM so it will be huge upgrade. At the moment I'm doing some character modeling, it's still ok, given the fact that it's for iOS so the polycount is low.
Yeah, I use a Mini for development sometimes. While it's definitely slower to compile than my Mac Pro at home (which can sting for larger projects), it's perfectly usable. A 2008 definitely will give you a pickup for compile times, and it's much snappier for Instruments work if you need to do that sort of debugging.

The GPU is very nice for 3D work, but keep in mind the iPhone Simulator always renders in software on CPU.
 
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andrei.barbuta

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2009
135
0
Romania
The GPU need is mostly for diving into 3D animation based on the game characters. The idea actually started as a 3D animation series but it's easier to develop a game for iOS then dive into animation. I'm hoping we will be successful enough from the game so we can invest in our next step. Basically at this point we are enthusiasts with ideas and little experience but we're really into this. So we'll move forward, learn as we go along see what we can achieve.
 
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goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,064
1,089
The GPU need is mostly for diving into 3D animation based on the game characters. The idea actually started as a 3D animation series but it's easier to develop a game for iOS then dive into animation. I'm hoping we will be successful enough from the game so we can invest in our next step. Basically at this point we are enthusiasts with ideas and little experience but we're really into this. So we'll move forward, learn as we go along see what we can achieve.
You may not actually need a high end GPU for that. If your end target is an iPhone GPU, those aren't very powerful. So you probably wouldn't be doing any modeling worthy of a high end GPU.

If you're planning on shipping a Mac version, though, a high end GPU might be a good investment.
 
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