Mac Pro as an IT professionnal

Panther Al

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2011
62
0
While I don't currently work in the IT field, back when I did I never see any issues with going the mac way. With the use of VM, and understanding the limitations of virtual machines, I can't think of any real reasons why not.

As far as manufacturing enviroment, that last IT job of mine was the instalation of 56 Mac mini's on the shop floors for production use (Reporting, Material Use, etc) and they have proven to be a lot more durable than our old machines. Small size allows them to be tucked away out of the line of fire as far as getting beat on and such - only needed to replace one because of getting bashed.
 

donw35

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2010
169
0
Los Angeles
I use my Mac Pro for IT work, it allows me to run different OS's for testing and configuration, I run VM's for Windows 7 and Linux, also use a VM of Windows XP to program field radios.

OS X works great for this with dual 24" monitors and multiple desktop, the more ram the better
 

nefan65

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2009
1,355
14
Mac, and OS X work great in the IT field. I don't have a Mac Pro [Macbook Pro, 13.3" w/8GB and SSD]. It runs flawlessly, and does all of what you mentioned. I use VirtualBox [Free], and run Windows 7, along with Debian and CentOS VM's daily. No issues at all. I even connect natively to a 2008 AD infrastructure, along with Exchange 2010 [Use built in Mail App].

You won't be sorry, and I can only imagine how well a Mac Pro with 16GB or more will run, along with a couple of nice 24" monitors...or a couple of nice Apple Displays! :eek:
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,259
1,350
I use a Mac mini with 8GB of RAM and an 256GB SSD for work.

I spend 95% of my time in OS X -- email (Lotus Notes), Safari, Microsoft Office, RDP, Things, iChat, Bomgar, etc.

A very small amount of my time is spent in a VM. Usually doing some SQL Server admin stuff, or hitting one of the intranet sites that require IE.
 

michael_aos

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2004
250
0
My UX background is SunOS (late 1980's / early 1990's) and Linux (starting in 1993).

As an IT guy, I've been using a Mac as my UX Workstation since the Rev C. iMac G3/266 running LinuxPPC circa 1999-2000. I switched to MacOS X when the Public Beta was first released.

From there to the iMac G4, PowerMac G4 FW800, PowerMac G5, and currently the 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 since it was released.

No real complaints about the Mac Pro.

With that said though, lately I'm thinking for my purposes an iMac or Mac Mini would really do everything I need.
 

michael_aos

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2004
250
0
I don't know if it has a lot of real-world value, but I've created a "Geekbench per dollar" metric.

Mini Geekbench G/$
$599 6474 10.8
$799 7255 9.1
$899 7807 8.7
$999 9455 9.5

Pro Geekbench G/$
$2,499 9681 3.9
$2,899 10733 3.7
$3,499 14074 4.0
$3,699 15720 4.2
$4,999 22574 4.5
$6,199 24159 3.9

iMac
$2,199 12529 5.7
$1,699 11027 6.5
$1,999 9109 4.6
 

strwrsfrk

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2011
227
7
Arlington, VA, USA
Greetings,

I've been thinking about buying a mac for months now. But I'm not sure if a Mac can do what I want.
I work in IT, mostly on Microsoft techs, I do a lot of labs in virtual machines as personnal work (training, POC's, etc.).
I love the Mac ecosystem. I already have an iPhone which is both my professional and personnal phone and it works perfectly that way.

The Mac Pro seemed like a nice choice : OS X, and power, durability...
VMWare Fusion seems to work really nice too so most of my needs seem to be met.
I could easily add hard drives without buying an expensive Thunderbolt bay, and even use a nice graphics card if I want to play video games on a Windows partition.

But I was wondering if anyone here in the IT engeneering / or production environment had any experience with macs for a mixed job/personnal usage.

So, what do you think ?
My personal Mac Pro handles simultaneous XCode and XNA projects using VMWare and Windows 7. I got a ton of RAM on sale, but 16GB should easily have covered my personal needs.

I wish I could use my Pro at my job (I'm a Systems Admin at a startup), but they really can't afford one.

So yes, I would say that the Ma Pro should easily meet and exceed your needs.
 

blurobot

macrumors member
May 28, 2009
67
2
I'm looking at doing the same thing as the OP. One related question I have is how many core is really needed to run os x + 2 VMs simultaneously (win 7 + linux centOS). Anyone has benchmark links for VMs on Mac Pros? Tried finding some but never did. Most benchmark are for video stuff.

I'm really wondering if going from 4 to 8 core make a difference. Technically it should but technically a 12 core should be twice as fast a 6 core but in real life it just doesn't work out that way.
 

strwrsfrk

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2011
227
7
Arlington, VA, USA
I'm looking at doing the same thing as the OP. One related question I have is how many core is really needed to run os x + 2 VMs simultaneously (win 7 + linux centOS). Anyone has benchmark links for VMs on Mac Pros? Tried finding some but never did. Most benchmark are for video stuff.

I'm really wondering if going from 4 to 8 core make a difference. Technically it should but technically a 12 core should be twice as fast a 6 core but in real life it just doesn't work out that way.
What kind of benchmarks are you looking for? I could shoot over a WEI for Windows 7 on VMWare, but anything more specific that you're looking for?

A quad-core machine should be enough for general VM configurations (especially with hyperthreading), but I have no idea what type of workflow you're trying to do.

And it's a bit of a misconception that 2x cores is the same as 2x speed. In a perfect world, every OS and application would fully and properly utilize each CPU core to its fullest potential at ~0% overhead. In that scenario, a 4-core 3.0GHz CPU would indeed perform twice as efficiently as a 2-core 3.0GHz CPU with the same architecture. However, things like differences in architectures (i.e. Sandy Bridge vs Ivy Bridge), cache sizes, inefficiencies in process scheduling, virtual- vs actual-core efficiency, proper (and improper) threading of applications, and general failure for a lot of software to scale with multiple cores means that the perfect world scenario is unrealistic.

Of course, that being said, all things being equal I would take my 2.26GHz 8-core machine over a 2.93GHz quad-core machine for almost every task (except perhaps gaming).
 

strwrsfrk

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2011
227
7
Arlington, VA, USA
Thanks for all your inputs. I think I'll definitely get a Mac Pro, can't wait till Monday !

I'll probably try to max out the cpu as much as I can accordingly to my bank account lol. The other parts such as RAM ou GPU will wait.

Just one question, do you think my current SSD (Corsair Force GT) will work on a mac pro ?
Yes, it should just fine. However, you will likely require an adapter or special sled (all Mac Pro - 1,1 through 5,1 - have required something like this). Currently, I use these in my 4,1: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MMP35T25/ My assumption is that if a 6,1 is released, you will need something similar.
 

foodog

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
906
38
Atlanta, GA
Thanks for all your inputs. I think I'll definitely get a Mac Pro, can't wait till Monday !

I'll probably try to max out the cpu as much as I can accordingly to my bank account lol. The other parts such as RAM ou GPU will wait.

Just one question, do you think my current SSD (Corsair Force GT) will work on a mac pro ?
It will..... just place it in the empty optical drive slot... that is where mine is. That way I boot off the SSD and still have the 4 drive bays for internal storage.
 

oskin

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2011
22
0
Don't get a mac if you want to run mainly Windows on it because it will be a pain in the ass. Mac is good for MacOsx but you will have a hard time navigating with Windows OS.
 

gabicava83

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2010
235
2
Don't get a mac if you want to run mainly Windows on it because it will be a pain in the ass. Mac is good for MacOsx but you will have a hard time navigating with Windows OS.
What is the issue?

I use fusion and it works well. It's not as seamless, you're right about that.
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,430
2
Pacific Coast, USA
My goal is to switch to OSX, my daily needs beeing fulflilled by VMWare. I just plan on using Windows when gaming.
You will be very happy with a Mac Pro. I work in a high end multinational engineering environment. The work is very resource intensive & demanding. I do a very wide variety of engineering, scientific, design, and modeling work. I set mine up with one large dedicated Samsung 830 SSD for the OS & Apps, I have two additional multi terabyte drives for storage.

Being my third Mac Pro, I knew exactly how I wanted this one, and it's a dream. Maxed out with ram, running VMware for windows, it's a super fast, fun, and very efficient machine. Driving two Apple Thunderbolt Displays I can get a lot of work done quite quickly.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,636
1,732
Isla Nublar
Greetings,

I've been thinking about buying a mac for months now. But I'm not sure if a Mac can do what I want.
I work in IT, mostly on Microsoft techs, I do a lot of labs in virtual machines as personnal work (training, POC's, etc.).
I love the Mac ecosystem. I already have an iPhone which is both my professional and personnal phone and it works perfectly that way.

The Mac Pro seemed like a nice choice : OS X, and power, durability...
VMWare Fusion seems to work really nice too so most of my needs seem to be met.
I could easily add hard drives without buying an expensive Thunderbolt bay, and even use a nice graphics card if I want to play video games on a Windows partition.

But I was wondering if anyone here in the IT engeneering / or production environment had any experience with macs for a mixed job/personnal usage.

So, what do you think ?
I work in the IT field and have used Macs to do work on my past two jobs.

It varies greatly what I do from job to job but if I needed Windows or Linux specific stuff I just launched VMWare. Only a few times did I ever need to boot into Windows to work in OpenGL or DirectX heavy applications. (Although they'll run in VM's, sometimes there are bugs).

This will sound silly, but honestly unless you really know your co-workers well I'd suggest keeping your Mac usage a secret.

Two jobs ago my supervisor called my job into question when he found out I bought a Mac. He went to the department head insisting I must not know my job because I was using an "easy" operating system. (Thankfully my work proved otherwise and I eventually was given my supervisors job as I knew leaps and bounds more than he did but still.)

My current job could care less thankfully and they're more curious about it since most of them have never used one.

All in all though I find it easy to do work on a Mac even if you have to support or develop in Windows environments.

----------

Don't get a mac if you want to run mainly Windows on it because it will be a pain in the ass. Mac is good for MacOsx but you will have a hard time navigating with Windows OS.
? Navigating through Windows is the exact same on a Mac as it is on a native Windows machine, sometimes easier depending on the applications you need if you use VMWare Fusion and have it dock Windows applications on your Mac toolbar.
 

foodog

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
906
38
Atlanta, GA
Don't get a mac if you want to run mainly Windows on it because it will be a pain in the ass. Mac is good for MacOsx but you will have a hard time navigating with Windows OS.
That is an absolute untruth. Windows runs as well on Apple hardware as on any PC hardware

----------

My goal is to switch to OSX, my daily needs beeing fulflilled by VMWare. I just plan on using Windows when gaming.
The good news is software developers are turning out gaming titles for Mac at the same time as for Windows. Unlike the past where it could be years later.

----------

? Navigating through Windows is the exact same on a Mac as it is on a native Windows machine, sometimes easier depending on the applications you need if you use VMWare Fusion and have it dock Windows applications on your Mac toolbar.
Not to mention Bootcamp, which comes with all the drivers Windows needs. I have bootcamp installed and use Parallels to run that virtually 95% of the time. The other 5% where I want all the resources in Windows I have that option of running Windows native.
 

timmy67

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2010
13
0
I work as an sysadmin and I use a MP 2010 along with 3 24" screens and it's the perfect combo for me. When I'm out of the office I've got a 11" Air.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,060
4
The good news is software developers are turning out gaming titles for Mac at the same time as for Windows. Unlike the past where it could be years later.
You're still going to want to be in Windows to play all titles. Sorry OS X. But having frames double in Windows on same HW is just too enticing. Image quality is better on Win games as well. + you can over-clock your GPU and run tons of custom configs.
 

macuser453787

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2012
576
151
Galatians 3:13-14
This will sound silly, but honestly unless you really know your co-workers well I'd suggest keeping your Mac usage a secret.

Two jobs ago my supervisor called my job into question when he found out I bought a Mac. He went to the department head insisting I must not know my job because I was using an "easy" operating system. (Thankfully my work proved otherwise and I eventually was given my supervisors job as I knew leaps and bounds more than he did but still.)

My current job could care less thankfully and they're more curious about it since most of them have never used one.
That's an interesting point of view ! I indeed heard a lot of IT experts / architects expressing hate against the Apple Ecosystem, especially those working in Microsoft IT. Although I work in that field, I have no hate for any system.
I'm not in IT but have seen similar things before, though not to the same level per se. I don't really understand it actually, other than that I guess the bias towards Windows machines and against Apple/Mac/Mac OS can get so extreme that it produces these kinds of situations. People judging others is not a good thing, and that's especially true when someone does so out of ignorance. chrono1081, I have compassion for you and am glad things worked out for you in that situation. :)

It's odd really, because it seems that for many years that Apple has made great strides towards cross-compatibility with Windows (the culmination of all of that being Boot Camp/Parallels), yet it seems (unless I'm mistaken) that Microsoft has not made similar strides towards Mac OS (aside from releasing Mac versions of MS Office etc.).

To me it seems that aside from higher prices for Mac, Apple has positioned the Mac very well in that it can run OSX as well as Windows. So those who may have had some reason (founded or unfounded) to dislike the Mac prior to the Boot Camp/Parallels releases really don't have much reason to continue to dislike it, other than because of the price point, which is understandable.

Truth be told, many years ago I harbored the opposite bias - for Mac, against Windows. Not anymore though. I've used Windows enough to be quite comfortable with it and actually kind of like some of it's features. But, I'm a Mac user through and through and that is just my preference. :)
 

foodog

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
906
38
Atlanta, GA
You're still going to want to be in Windows to play all titles. Sorry OS X. But having frames double in Windows on same HW is just too enticing. Image quality is better on Win games as well. + you can over-clock your GPU and run tons of custom configs.
Now that software companies are releasing games on both platforms there is no need to run Windows... Of course you can run Windows on Apple hardware if you choose.... Sorry PC's you can't run a great stable OS like OSX. :)
 
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