Mac Pro config question

ipoddin

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
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Los Angeles
I've been wanting to buy a Mac desktop and have some questions about the Mac Pro. I'm not entirely sure if it's overkill for my needs but there's no indication if a midrange tower is coming soon. I don't want an imac or laptop and the mini might be underpowered and isn't as upgradable.

I do some DV editing of family videos only. But I do alot of photography and work in RAW alot. I understand the Mac Pro will really shine with PS CS3.

Configuring the Mac Pro - would you recommend going with a 2ghz and 2gb of RAM or 2.66ghz and 1gb of RAM? Both configurations end up costing about the same (with all other configs being the same). I guess the 2.66ghz is better because it's cheaper to upgrade RAM down the line rather than a processor. So is that the best route to go, or is there such an insignificant difference between a 2ghz and 2.66ghz processor that it doesn't justify the price? I can always add even more RAM to the 2ghz with 2gb RAM upping it to maybe 3 or 4gb later.

But is what is essentially a workstation really overkill for my needs? Can I take advantage of two dual core processors? I'm going to keep my PC separate for gaming purposes to save on upgrading the graphics card too.

Thanks for any help.
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
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For what you are doing 2GHz+2GB will be faster than 2.66GHz+1GB. But, like you said, it is much easier to upgrade RAM down the line than the CPU. That and Apple doesn't give you much back for going to 2.0GHz CPU's.
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2005
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Vancouver, BC
If you can afford it, I would get a 2.66GHz w/ 2GB RAM. Otherwise, get the 2.0Ghz w/ 2GB RAM.

1GB really is the bare minimum for funning OSX without frustration.
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2003
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Boston, MA
I don't think the Mac Pro is overkill for your needs. Sure you could get by with less, but why wait around for your computer to finish stuff? I too got the MP for photography and editing family video. The 2.66 GHz model is a way better deal for the money, so buy the RAM later if you need to do so.
 

milozauckerman

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2005
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Arstechnica users are reporting no issues using the Kingston FB-DIMMs from newegg - so you get 2x1GB (a total of 3GB, with the stock 2x512MB) for about what Apple charges for the upgrade to 2GB (4x512MB).
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
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Definitely get the 2.66 GHz with 1 GB of ram.

First of all, Apple computers are completely usable with 1 GB of ram...it drives me crazy when people argue otherwise, as both my sister's edit photos and work in iMovie with their Mac Mini G4 and iBook Computers (both with 512 MB of ram).

Secondly, you can upgrade it down the road - in fact, if you wanted 2 GB of ram and the 2.0 GHz computer, I would recommend to buy the 2.0 GHz standard configuration and buy ram from a seperate, third-party source.

But definitely go with the 2.66 GHz - it's a huge performance jump over the 2.0 GHz for the money!
 

ipoddin

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Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
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Los Angeles
Well I think it'll be a 2.66ghz with 1gb of ram and the default video card. RAM and card can eventually be upgraded. I went to an Apple store at lunch to play around with one and was very impressed. VERY tempted to put down the plastic right then and there! Other questions:

-I have a 500gb SATA drive in my PC. Can I just pop that in to the MP and reformat?

-Is Applecare worth the price for a MP?
 

Mammoth

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2005
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Canada
ipoddin said:
Well I think it'll be a 2.66ghz with 1gb of ram and the default video card. RAM and card can eventually be upgraded. I went to an Apple store at lunch to play around with one and was very impressed. VERY tempted to put down the plastic right then and there! Other questions:

-I have a 500gb SATA drive in my PC. Can I just pop that in to the MP and reformat?

-Is Applecare worth the price for a MP?
-Most likely as all hard drives are the same (I think)
-I'm not sure there are any problems with the MP like the MB is having. Otherwise, ask yourself if you're gonna have this for 3 years.
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
The SATA drive should work fine.

Personally, I would get AppleCare for the Mac Pro. It only costs $249 and considering how expensive the machine is, you'll probably want to have it at least 3 years, if not longer. For me, $249 isn't much for the piece of mind that if something goes wrong, I'll be covered for 3 years.
 

ipoddin

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Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
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Los Angeles
I read in another thread that you can buy applecare within one year of purchasing the Mac and it still extends to the full 3 years. That you don't have to purchase at the same time as you purchase the computer.

Is that true? If so, I'll just put a reminder in ical 11 months from purchase to buy applecare.
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
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ipoddin said:
I read in another thread that you can buy applecare within one year of purchasing the Mac and it still extends to the full 3 years. That you don't have to purchase at the same time as you purchase the computer.

Is that true? If so, I'll just put a reminder in ical 11 months from purchase to buy applecare.
That is absolutely true - plus, if nothing goes wrong in the first year, you might not need to buy AppleCare (it's not as big a deal on desktops as it is on laptops!) :)
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
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A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
I agree with everyone else.
Get into the fastest machine you can afford and worry about RAM
and video cards later.

Datamem.com is selling Apple guaranteed FB ECC RAM DIMMS for
the MacPro @ about $168.00 per single GB stick.

Just buy the 2.66 GHz stock and you'll have years before you outgrow this machine.