Mac Pro Buying Questions/Opinions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Magaman, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Magaman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #1
    Alright, well I've been a long time lurker, and I am a happy owner of a Macbook Pro for a few years now. And now I have a situation that might lead to me buying a Mac Pro but I have a few questions.
    Heres the situation, I bought a Black Magic Intensity Pro capture card for a website project I'm working on to capture Xbox 360 footage. My plan was to use my Windows machine that I thought had enough power but it doesn't. That machine is quite a few years old and I've upgraded the video card, ram and processor already once, and would rather replace it with a Mac then upgrade it some more.

    So I'm debating between which model to go with the the Quad or the 8-core? Will I notice a difference? I would be buying the base models.

    Next I plan on upping the ram to at least 8 gigs, I haven't decided get it right off the bat or after market as I know its cheaper? (However if I go 8 core the 8 gig ram upgrade is fairly do-able)

    Hard Drives, Obviously I would buy these from someone other then Apple. The plan is to start with 2 1tb drives and use the software raid 0 on them. I was looking at either the WD Caviar Green or Seagate Barracuda(#2 and #3 on MAc Mall right now) Good idea?

    Will I see any performance gains with the ATI video card over the Nvidia?

    I wasn't really planning on making this purchase till next year, as I was going to hold out till Blu-Ray made it into the machines but I kinda need to start capturing. I'm trying to keep the cost to under $3,500
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Is X360 capturing only thing you need a new Mac for? If you don't do anything heavy with it, quad is more than fine for you, but if you're suspicious about RAM, go for 8-core. I would get the ATI card too
     
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #3
    Which nVidia card are you comparing to the 4870?

    Goes like this:

    GTX 285
    Radeon 4870
    GT 120
     
  4. Magaman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #4
    Besides capturing I will also be using FCP for editing and there might be some audio recording going on, more then likely logic. I do this stuff now on my MBP. I'm not exactly suspicious with ram, but if I would benefit from the 8 core, then I would just get the 8gig ram upgrade right from Apple. Otherwise I would just buy the base Quad, ditch the RAM and buy 8 gigs from newegg or where ever I can get a good deal.

    Yeah the ones I can get through Apple. Would the upgrade $180 bucks be worth it for the 4870 over the GT 120?
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    I would get quad but if you like to have a lot RAM, then 8-core

    IMO, yes. GTX 280 is over 400$ and it's not available as an option (sold separately)
     
  6. Magaman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #6
    I'm not a crazy RAM guy I mean heck 8 gigs is crazy in my view. I mean as of now I edit fine on m MBP with 4gigs, and I'm editing 720p video, which is what I'll be doing on the Mac Pro. Unless someone would suggest going over 8gigs. Blackmagic suggests 4gigs for HD capturing.
     
  7. Magaman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #7
    So I stopped by the Apple store to get some better ideas. After talking to a genius I'm gonna go with the Quad Core. Most times sales people want you to spend as much as possible, but this guy uses the BM card as well on an older Mac Pro with 4 gigs of Ram and says it run flawlessly and that I'll be in good shape with a quad core and 8gigs of RAM.
    So the planned config is this, feel free to give me any other advice, I don't plan on purchasing till Snow Leapord drops in a few weeks, as I'm not in a super rush.

    2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    8 gigs RAM (any good sites that will be less the the 225 for it through Apple)
    640 gig HD for OS and project files
    2 x 1t HD for raid 0 stripe (still debating between WD Greens and Seagates)
    ATI 4870
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8

    I think you have made a wise decision. I think that will be quite the nice Mac.

    I would definitely recommend you just get the RAM from Apple preinstalled UNLESS you save a lot of money. It's nice to just not have to deal with it, and if I remember right, that option doesn't cost too much more than doing it yourself. Just nice to have all warranty coverage.

    Best wishes with it and congratulations.
     
  9. Magaman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #9
    Thanks, yeah as I said the 8gb ram update will only cost me 225 through Apple and I have yet to see it drastically cheaper elsewhere.
    The biggest saving elsewhere is the extra HDs, MacMall has them for under 90 bucks each. Still on the fence on which to go with, I hear the WD Greens aren't best for performance.
     

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