Mac Pro: About to purchase and switch from PC!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by FMINUS, May 18, 2008.

  1. FMINUS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    #1
    Hi guys, I have been a PC user for over 15 years and I am finally going to make the switch!

    Here is what I have ready to buy, can any Mac expert chime in and see if I missed anything or if I should replace a component with another?

    I will be using the Mac for photo/video editing (nothing special, just home movies)

    I also have these questions:

    1. Is the 3.0 Ghz upgrade worth the $500?
    2. Are there any advantages of going to ONE 512 graphics card rather than 2 x256 ATI?
    3. Is ATI or Nvidia better?
    4. Should I got for the 15K RPM HD instead of the 7K?
    5. Does the 15K RPM require anything else to run?
    6. Being a first time Mac user should I get the Applecare? (im not a fan of these programs, but the one for the Mac sounds really good)
    7. How is iwork compared to MS Office?

    thank you so much for your time, I learn pretty fast so hopefully I can help out a newbie in the near future.

    Here's the cart:

    mac pro
    Part Number: Z0EM
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
    Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) + User's Guide
    Final Cut Express preinstalled
    Aperture preinstalled
    4GB (4 x 1GB)
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    Accessory kit
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (Two dual-link DVI)

    Apple Cinema HD Display (30" flat panel)
    Part Number: M9179LL/A

    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro (w/or w/o Display) - Auto-enroll
     
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #2
    1. The upgrade would not be worth it for your needs.
    2. Multiple graphics cards on mac's are only beneficial when you have multiple monitors. To drive just a 30 inch, the nvidia would be best.
    3.Brand preference mainly
    4. I don't know about the 15k, it's very expensive. If you want, get a 10k raptor.
    5.I think it needs a special card
    6.AppleCare is suggested, not as important on desktop as on laptop, but still good to have. I have it for my MP.
    7.Don't know, I've heard it works as a replacement. NeoOffice and OpenOffice are free though.
     
  3. remmy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #3
    If you want two super drives you may want to install the second yourself, bit cheaper.

    The computer comes with 2gb ram, I would suggest by the extra two gb else where for a lot less money

    You will either love or hate the apple mouse so its up to you if you want to pay extra for the wireless version.

    The difference between the cards is generally thought of as the nvidia for games.


    That is a hell of a set-up you are ordering.
     
  4. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Covington, WA, USA
    #4
    All new Macs come with 30-day trials of Office & iWork, so give them a try before deciding.

    Don't buy Aperature & Final Cut pre-installed, buy them separately. You can still buy them on the same online order.
     
  5. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    #5
    3 Ghz is not worth the upgrade. A single 512 is "better" (depends on what you're doing with said graphics card, in most cases the ATI 256 will win in Pro apps while the Nvidea will win at games I think), but you might as well go with the Nvidea if you will game on it. Don't bother with the 15k drive, you won't see too much gain from it for what I think you're going to be doing. At that, for photos and home movies, I don't know if it's worth it for you to buy a Mac Pro unless you're going to be using Final Cut Pro or something of the sort, Final Cut Express won't be able to utilize all 8 of your processors (from my findings, it will only use two), so you really won't see much of an upgrade from the performance of an iMac (I had to fork out the $1300 for Final Cut Pro to be able to get my Mac Pro really processing videos). Anyway, AppleCare isn't really worth it for desktops. I would recommend you upgrade your RAM later via someone like Other World Computing, but the second superdrive is worth it in my opinion (I went through a lot trying to get my 3rd party one to work with my Mac Pro).

    So basically, buy the stock Mac Pro with the upgraded graphics, 500 Gb hard drive, second optical drive, and 30" display, but don't get the extra RAM from Apple. If you want to actually utilize all of your Mac Pro's processing power, buy Final Cut Pro, not Express... lack of support for all that power. You might actually want to consider an iMac instead of a Mac Pro, but if you really want that 30" ACD, the Mac Pro is really your only desktop option. In the end, only you can decide what you want to buy, so get what you think is best.
     
  6. FMINUS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    #6
    Why is it so better for the laptop? I was mainly getting it because I know I will have so many questions on the machine since the last time I used a MAC was one of these:

    [​IMG]

    How much less if the RAM aftermarket? Will it affect the performance? Are all Mac parts proprietary?

    HOw much cheaper is the second super drive?

    How difficult is it to install the parts yourself? Is it plug and play?

    What are the downsides to the wireless mouse/keyboard?

    Good idea about the free trial!
    Whats the difference between pre-installed? I wont get the software boxes? Is it cheaper pre-installed?

    I may get the 2x256 card then, I will not be playing games on here, I have the PC for that!

    The people at the store was telling me to get an iMac also, but I just really dont like AIOs and I like the options of expansion.

    Thank you guys so much for the suggestions!
     
  7. FMINUS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    #7
  8. FMINUS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    #8
    Heres my edited MP after taking your suggestions:

    Mac Pro
    Part Number: Z0EM
    One 16x SuperDrive
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    2GB (2 x 1GB)
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) + User's Guide
    Accessory kit
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
    Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
    2 x ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB

    You guys are saving me tons of $$
    If any of you live in SOCAL let me know, Ill spend the money you guys saved me on a free dinner!

    The FCE4 and A2 were $20 cheaper each from Amazon!
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #9
    Standard Intel 5400 chipset, with some alternative choices for FW, ethernet, bluetooth, and wireless.

    About the only thing really differs in Apple's memory requirement for their workstation is basically finned heatsinks for the FB-DIMMs instead of the more common heatspreaders (which Apple uses on the XServe).
     
  10. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #10
    I cant comment inteligently about most of the items here, but I can tell you do NOT get the mighty mouse

    its crap
    most serious mac users use logitech anyway.
    Mightymouse is an example of design taking priority over function.

    Don
     
  11. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #11
    fminus,
    one more thing.

    I'm a recent switcher. I'm writing this on a 17" mbp now. I've got about 16 yrs as a windows user (plus novel netware and NT Server) and am enjoying the switch. There are however some web apps that are a bit flakey on a mac. (first 2 that come to mind are hotmail (obviously) and Google Docs spreadsheet) To solve this I'm using VMWare fusion. I'n a pinch, I open IE in a virtual machine.

    2 gb if ram is more than enough for normal stuff. However, if you see yourself using vmware or parallels much then you may want to consider starting with 4 gb

    I'm only at 2 gb and vmware works works fine, But you originaly spec'd such a beast I thought I'd give you an in to up grade your memory. If you are doing anything serious in both machines, it would be nice to be able to allocate a gig of ram to the XP vm or even more if you put vista on the VM.

    One thing. I dont know how many ram slots the pro has. if it has 4 slots, then just do 2 gb, you can add more later. If its only got 2 slots, then you may want to go 4gb from the start.

    Don
     
  12. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Covington, WA, USA
    #12
    You would not get the boxes & I've seen several users have problems locating the serial number cards when it's pre-installed. It costs the same pre-installed or getting it separately.
     
  13. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #13
  14. FMINUS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    #14
    but does the Logitech mouse have the 2 side buttons that do that "windows view" when pressed together?
    Im hoping to not run Windows!!
    Im going to non installed way!
    Wow, so this covers SERVICE also? How in the world does this work? How can you buy the coverage after you purchase the machine?
     
  15. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #15
    AppleCare extends the 1 year warranty for 2 additional years. It can be purchased and activated anytime before the original warranty expires.
     
  16. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #16
    I'm also a recent switcher (January '08), after starting with DOS 3.3 up through XP (I couldn't bear to get Vista, that's what finally made me switch...)

    I'm also primarily using my Mac for Photoshop and Lightroom (I really didn't like Aperture's layout...much prefer Lightroom.)

    I bought the Mac Pro with the default config, but added the wireless networking option (the router's in another room) and the wireless Mighty Mouse. -- Do NOT buy it! The MM is crap for detailed work in Photoshop. Its tracking is ridiculously slow and is not precise at all.

    I bought the Microsoft Laser 6000 Desktop keyboard/Mouse combo online for about $50'ish, and it's perfect for the kind of work I'm doing. (retouching/color correction mostly.)

    I bought an extra 8 gigs of memory (10 total) from OWC for about $400...I think it's slightly cheaper than that now, and they ship fast and have great service. True, Photoshop can only use about 3 gigs of that now (until it goes 64 bit for the Mac...not until at least CS5....), but I use the extra memory mainly to have a lot of apps open at once.

    Something else, if you're a member of the NAPP (National Assoc. of Photoshop Professionals - www.photoshopuser.com), you can get a pretty significant discount. I think I saved around $300-350, something in that range.

    And no, you don't need that 3.0 Ghz upgrade, 2.8 is *more* than sufficient for what you'll be doing :)

    Enjoy the power! :)

    -Bryan
     
  17. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #17
    What aaronw1986 said. You actually just purchase a registration number from the seller and then bind the registration number to your computer's serial number on the Apple web site. Amazon and LAComputing are other great places to get AppleCare cheap. Just make sure you buy from a reseller that has a high positive rating.
     
  18. Siron macrumors 6502

    Siron

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #18
    I agree with the other posters comments about the Mighty Mouse. I use it for general OSX computing but switch to my Microsoft Laser Mouse when gaming. Also you may want to rethink the wireless keyboard. It does not have the number and arrow pads that the wired keyboard does. It may not matter to you but you may not have been aware of it so I thought I would mention it.
    Alan
     
  19. FMINUS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    #19
    I ended up going with this! I got a killer discount because I found out a buddy of mine worked for Apple! I will however go and get my 2 GB ram myself and save 300 bucks. I opted OUT of the wireless mouse (he said logitech was better and the keyboard because it had no number pad)

    Thank you so much for all your help!

    Mac Pro
    Part Number: Z0EM
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
    Final Cut Express (not preinstalled)
    Aperture (not preinstalled)
    2GB (2 x 1GB)
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    Accessory kit
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (Two dual-link DVI)

    2- Apple Cinema HD Display (30" flat panel)
    Part Number: M9179LL/A

    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro (w/or w/o Display) - Auto-enroll
     
  20. mashny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #20
    I'm definitely not a fan of the mighty mouse. I started using a Wacom graphics tablet a couple of years ago for Photoshop. I liked it so much, I now use it for all my applications. I use a mouse at work and decided to try the might mouse when I got my Mac Pro a few months ago. It didn't suck or anything, but for my needs, it doesn't add anything the Wacom doesn't already have.
     
  21. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #21
    Wow that should certainly keep you going for a few years! Congrats!
    *why don't we have a symbol for envy!*:)
     
  22. skd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    carmel, ca
  23. FMINUS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
  24. skd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    carmel, ca
    #24
    I ask that because I can tell you don't use the computer for income......

    you're looking for a deal - as a small architectural company - I make @ $1000 / day with my apple computers -

    I buy whatever I need.....and don't question the cost - because every minute I'm not working - (instead of looking for a deal) - I'm not making money.

    but I hope the best for you........just remember that the computer is just a tool - and it's not as much about the hardware as much as the user....
     
  25. skd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    carmel, ca
    #25
    BTW.....

    just buy a iMac, it will suit your needs......
     

Share This Page