Mac Pro and SSD recomendations

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nanohits, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. nanohits macrumors regular

    nanohits

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #1
    Hi All,

    I have been sitting on the fence for a while and currently have a Core i7 965 Windows machine with SSD and have been flirting with going for a Mac Pro.

    Some of the things I use the Windows machine for is lots of copying of huge files from SSD to my NAS drive, lots of unarchiving RAR files, some video encoding, downloading huge files that come in at around 2 mbytes/sec, and then general stuff like email, browsing but have all kinds of programs open.

    I also like the OSX OS but will generally be using Windows 7 for most of the above functions. So mainly using something like Parallels for dual OS.

    Based on this I was thinking the 12 core 2.93Ghz, a 256GB SSD from OWC and upgrading RAM to say 12GB from OWC. I also have a Dell U3011 30" Monitor which I plan to use.

    Would love to hear your experiences and recommendations. Do you think I will get any speed benefits with the above system? Is the 3.3Ghz significantly faster? And would the speed and performance be similar to my Windows machine?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #2
    Sounds like a good setup. You do realise you can do the stuff you mentioned in Mac OS rather than Windows 7. Of course if you have programs that only run on Windows 7 then you would need to run Parallels.
     
  3. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #3
    If you can, wait for the new controllers from Marvel, Intel, and Sandforce. See what sort of performance they put on the table before deciding. Either the current range will be enough for you, and you'll be able to pick one up for cheaper. Or the new range will have features you like, and you will have that option. We are between generations right now, imo.
     
  4. nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Windows 7 for me is a MUST as I much prefer Office 2011 for Windows than the Mac version as I am much familiar with Windows. Also things like newsgroups downloads etc, the Win counterpart software is much better. I also prefer the Windows system to copy files off to my NAS as I am familair with the file system and how it works more than the Mac OS. Besides I also use a few Windows only programs so all these require Windows 7 use.

    Having said that is Parallels better than VMWare? As I will have ot make a decision on that too. Also I heard in Windows 7 some people were having issues with using the right click of the mouse. Are people having issues with using the keys for Windows 7 like it is on the Mac using these programs?
     
  5. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Don't expect the prices to drop much in the near future. The pricing on the Vertex 3 and Intel 510 are both known now and thay are much more expensive per gig than current drives. http://pcper.com/comments.php?nid=9771 and http://pcper.com/article.php?aid=1078&type=expert&pid=10

    I would suggest getting a Intel G2 drive, the 120gb one is the cheapest per gig on the market or a Vertex 2. Besides the MP only supports SATA 3 not SATA 6 so the new drives big feature of SATA 6 performance is wasted on a MP.
     
  6. nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

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    Aug 13, 2009
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    #6
    Ah.. Good point. So you suggest I buy the Extreme Pro SSD from OWC then and get it now instead of waiting?
     
  7. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    If thats the drive you want go for it, the OWC drives are good.

    I just decided on this one http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-vertex-2-sata-ii-3-5-ssd.html Just confirmed in another thread that it fits perfectly into a MP HDD sled.
     
  8. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #8
    Even using SATA II, SATA III drives should perform well (better than SATA II SSDs), just not as well as they would if you were using SATA III.

    There are different kinds of performance i.e. random and sequential. In some ways SATA III SSDs won't even max out SATA II.
     
  9. Terminal.app macrumors 6502

    Terminal.app

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #9
    That is, until now!

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/17/ocz-vertex-3-pro-hits-the-test-bench-sets-the-new-single-drive/

    This new drive from OCZ has benchmarked at 550 MB/s which far exceeds SATA II's maximum rate of 300 MB/s. If you can afford it (MSRP is over 9,000 trillion dollars) it's definitely one of the best and newest available. :D

    SandForce-based drives are preferable since the controller does a good job of taking the place of TRIM, which OS X currently lacks.
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Although the 12-core certainly is a very good machine, your described usage won't even challenge the smallest Quad core available.

    The 12-core would be a total waste of money.
    If you're a techie, get the hex-core. Definitely faster for single threaded apps.
    You should rather invest your money in RAM and storage.
     
  11. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #11
    Have you had a look at Unison by Panic.com? It is a nice Mac usenet client... http://panic.com/unison/
     
  12. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #12
    If you are saying that random writes exceed 300 MB/s then I don't believe you. Sequential writes yes, random writes no.

    The nice benchmark of 550 MB/s doesn't describe real world usage, but optimum unrealistic conditions.

    I think random writes would describe the other extreme. While some of the benefit of SATA III SSDs would be wasted if you can only use SATA II, it will still lead to a considerable performance gain in practice over older SATA II SSDs.

    Take a look at http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-3-pro-ssd-sandforce,2863-9.html
     
  13. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

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    Jan 21, 2011
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    California
    #13
    The Vertex 3 Pro can exceed 300MB/s random writes at high queue depths. Whether or not this is a real work condition depends on what world you are in. It is damn impressive regardless. SATA III required, obviously.
     
  14. mdgm, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #14
    The link I just gave above indicated random speeds below 300 MB/s. Obviously using a benchmark tool for this benchmark it's likely to describe the worst case scenario and unlikely to be achieved in practice. That's assuming e.g. that the pseudo-randomness of the test tool used was good.

    Sure SATA III is needed to take full advantage of the SSD, but it's still going to beat SATA II SSDs when using SATA II.

    Edit: The other thing is to consider will you move the SSD to a new computer? Surely the next Mac Pro will have SATA III so if you look to upgrade to that (or a newer machine) in the future and move the SSDs across you'd be able to take full advantage of them. Whether the price is too much for these SSDs is up to the individual. You have to way up the pros and cons of the various drives on the market and pick the option that strikes the right balance for you.
     
  15. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #15
    yeah...your bottleneck (if there even is one) is I/O, not processor speed. I doubt memory is even an issue, just because you have a bunch of applications open doesn't mean you need tons of RAM if they're all doing nothing.

    why would you spend all that money for a Mac Pro when any Windows desktop will do just as well?
     
  16. nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #16
    Its because I like to use OSX as I seem to like certain things in it. And you can see I am trying to justify buying one even though a Quad core will be enough. I think with all the advice will be best to wait till the next refresh and wait for SATA III and then get a fast SSD. Money is not an issue here.

    But thanks to some good advice here I can make an informed decision of whether now or later.
     
  17. nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

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    #17
    I tried it, however programs like Newsleecher for Windows is hard to beat which I am quite used to and they keep upping the ante.
     
  18. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #18
    Well it really does depend on what features you need/want and when you need/want it. The Sandy Bridge Xeon CPUs that'll likely be used in the next Mac Pro are months away so don't expect a Mac Pro update anytime soon.

    Personally I'm considering getting a Mac Pro and I want to get one with SATA III ports. I don't need a Mac Pro now and waiting is my personal preference. If the machine's going to last me several years there's certain features I want it to have.
     
  19. nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

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    #19
    I agree, I think I will wait as this Windows machine will last me a while yet. Hopefully before the year is out they will have a refresh.
     
  20. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

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    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #20
    Sabnzbd+ beats them all and it costs nothing. It is available on Pc and Mac.
     
  21. nanohits, Feb 21, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011

    nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #21
    No it doesnt and I have used it and deleted it. Its ok. Why dont you try newsleecher. Its far more intuitive and better to use and has a lot more options. Unfortunately they dont have a Mac version but the whole idea is to use Windows 7 anyway as well as I prefer Microsoft Office Windows version to the Mac version esp when using Outlook which is why I looked at Parallels so I can use Windows 7 when I want.
     
  22. nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #22
    Ok guys,

    I have taken the plunge and bought the 12 core base system and have ordered the Extreme Pro 240GB SSD as well as 24GB of RAM and Parallels 6.0 from OWC.

    One question is I have a 2nd 30" Dell U3011 thats coming. Is it possible to have one 30" monitor using Windows and the other 30" monitor using MacOS on the MacPro? If it can be done then I can definitely keep the other 30".
     
  23. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #23
    Actually I have a Newsleecher license. I have also one for Newsbin Pro. Both programs are good, but the options and the customizations that Sabnzbd+ allows, make it a much better program for me.
     
  24. nanohits thread starter macrumors regular

    nanohits

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #24
    I guess we beg to differ as I also find the GUI a LOT better than Sabnzbd+. The GUI is really crude and I dont like it. Can you tell me what options are more in sab compared to Newsleecher?
     
  25. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #25
    • Sabnzbd+ runs as a service. I can add nzb files to it from remote machines, connected to my network.
    • Sabnzbd+ has RSS feeds functionality. I just create and save my searches and it goes out and finds if there is something new to download and downloads it.
    • I can create categories and depending on them specify where the download will be saved, and what actions after the download will be made.
    • Sabnzbd+ is customizable and open. There are plugins for Firefox, Safari and Chrome.
    • Unpacking, checking for PARs and the whole handling of downloaded content works very well.
    • It is multiplatform. I use it on Mac and if I wanted I could use it on Windows.

    I agree that the GUI isn't good, but really, if you just have a service running in the background like Sabnzbd+ does, you don't need a GUI...
     

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