Mac Pro Desktop or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dominick_7, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Dominick_7 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi I'm a newbie to this site as a whole (though I have periodically checked out just the rumor section for Mac Pros for years) and this is the very first post I am making so please keep that in mind:) In saying that I must mention that I have wanted..no..dreamed of having an Apple for years since the G4 came out, but it seems I may actually be able to do that soon. Before that time may come I had some questions before I seriously looked into which I should get.

    As far as my background to let you know what I would use the Mac for, I have always been an artist, drawing, painting, music, etc so in light of that I do 3D/2D animation using Maya for 3D, but for 2D I haven't yet crossed over to digital so I would want to do both on the Mac. I am also wanting to compose music and with my film background I would also like to do video/film/video editing. Gaming is something I have also always been involved in. With all of those interests, and wanting to use a Mac to do them all (besides being able to have Windows on it is fantastic), I was wondering which would be better to get a Mac Pro Desktop or a Mac Book Notebook/Laptop?

    I realize that the GHZ processing power on the laptop will be a bit less than what is on the Desktop, besides the extra room you can get with the desktop but with one it seems you get a super computer with virtually no portability where as on the other hand you get a very good laptop with all the portability you would want (btw I would MUCH rather have performance that it being SUPER think like with the Air..cool concept but no optical drive?? Cmon..).

    I figure for what I would use it for I would need to get at least 3GHZ of processing power, 3-4GBs of memory, but as far as hard drive space and graphics cards what is good? I heard that if you do video editing it creates holes in your hard drive which makes it so that you have to replace it..so if thats true is it good to keep maybe like a 350-500GB hard drive in the device and just use an external hard drive to do video editing on or not? Also I heard that NVIDIA has taken over ATI so would it be best to go with the 512 Graphics card thats available or several ATI cards? Furthermore I was wondering what exactly you really need the RAID Card for?

    Also is it better to get it at the store in Cherry Hill for example or order online and have it shipped? Thank you.
     
  2. CanadianDonkey macrumors member

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    #2
    Well, it all depends on wither you want to spend a ton of money on a great portable notebook, or spend a crapload ton of money on a super great desktop, really.

    I'd say for your needs, the macbook pro will more than suit your needs. Unless you're an extremely proffessional something or another, and you need that video/3D project rendered in 5 seconds, you probably don't really need that mac pro (But I admit, I would be fricken' sweet)

    And to top it off, you can take your macbook pro outside, and do your work in the park (or some other inspiring scenario)... taking the mac pro would require some back strain (and maybe a car battery or two)




    I believe the term you are thinking of is disk fragmentation? It's when files keep getting edited and little parts of the files get split up throughout your hard drive. I'm sure another, much more sophisticated person here can put it in more scientific terms, but I think you catch my drift.

    Anyways, I don't believe that Mac's suffer this problem (at least not as much as windows) because of their hard drive architecture. Again, a more sophisticated person can explain this better.

    Eitherway, it's always good to keep a portion of your hard drive empty (at least 10% for moving files around)
     
  3. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    The reason I brought up the holes in the hard drive was a friend of mine who does professional video editing had a G4 and I believe also a G5 (though I could be wrong about this happening to the G5) but he said his computer was shot because he did so much editing it created holes in his hard drive and messed his computer up so bad he had to replace it completely with I think a G5..don't know if that became a problem in the G5 as well but MAYBE it has to do with him not defragmenting the drive I'm not sure. So you've never heard of anyone with a Mac Pro or Mac Book Pro who does a lot of video editing have that problem? I hear Apples insurance isn't that great..I would hate to make such a huge investment and watch it go down the drain over something as stupid as that if you know what I mean. I want to take care of that thing..man I wonder what would happen in a fire if I had a Mac Pro though..decisions decisions..


    See thats the thing with rendering it seems theres a big difference with the 8 cores and higher ghz power..If its price I don't really care about that as I can wait and save..I've been waiting this long already..but I guess I'm looking for answers on ways each would limit me..portability is a tough but obvious issue..besides giving me a backache I'll look like an idiot trying to bring a Mac Pro outside with me on a picnic:) I guess where will the practical limits come with the Mac Book Pro in that while I realize I can't get 3 or 3+ GHZ in a processor, or past 4GBs in memory, what else is there besides the rendering speed being slower? Like how MUCH slower would it be to render 3D animation in terms of real life time? Is overheating an issue? What are the pitfalls to having the Mac Book?

    What I'm thinking is that I'd sell my HP Laptop, use my tax money, my Gift Reward money from my Samsung i730 offer (as a check) that I'm just 4 offers short on and can probably finish it this week, buy a DV9700T Laptop see how that works in terms of performance and rendering (as its cheaper) and then if thats not what I'm looking for I could sell that use my other tax money to get the Mac Pro or Mac Book..The DV9700 seems to have better specs than the Mac Book Pro but it may at least give me a point of comparison at least..though neither can get 8 cores..arg.

    I LOVE that desktop as I have been wanting one for SO long..but those desktop replacements look really cool too as well..I would love it if they had a super computer Mac Pro powered laptop (8 core 3+GHZ same specs as the Mac Pro Desktop) as a desktop replacement say 17-20 inch screen? Not TOO big to be only a laptop in name but not too small to not want to watch movies on it rather than something else. This is what I was maybe hoping I could get from the Mac Book Pro..but maybe you and/or someone else can enlighten me more on this? Thanks.
     
  4. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #4
    lol you cant make holes in HD just by using it :D Kick your friend for misinforming you

    The most important question you should ask yourself is "Do I need portability or not?" Yes, simple as that :)
     
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #5
    WOW your friend completely lied to you. Nothing in the world creates "holes in your harddrive". The closes thing to "holes" would be a fragmented hard drive but fragmented in simple terms just means your files are scattered about. Mac OS uses file indexing to keep that from happening.

    Imagine this, you have a rolodex with hundreds of thousands of names and addresses, a fragmented drive means some of them are not in alphabetical order, with file indexing, they're always in alphabetical order and ready for you to find.

    Also if your friends hard drive died he could just buy another one not replace the entire computer...
     
  6. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

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    #6
    The HD Did not have "Holes" Although it may have gotten a few Bad Blocks. These happen when not shut down properly due to ignorance (Hitting the power button, Pulling the plug) or by power going out due to storms, or damaged transmission lines. The bad blocks damage the info on the blocks that are effected & is cured by backing up useful info, then wiping the drive & re-zeroing the drive. It will actually quarantine or rope off the damaged portion or Block & make the continuity of the drive as good as new. Once you lose so many blocks it makes the HD useless & unreliable, then all that's needed is a new HD installed.
     
  7. Yves Creebs macrumors newbie

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    Feb 5, 2008
    #7
    from someone who has both... go Macbook Pro.

    The Mac Pro is soooo fast and wonderful, but my Macbook Pro can handle serious compositing on the fly and I'm not stuck working at my desk. I can work on jobs in the park if I want and the MBP sails through even heavy stuff like butter. I just use the Mac Pro for rendering and when I'm stuck at my desk.

    MBP fo sho!
     
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #8
    I just ordered a MBP around march 24, got to my house the 27th, and shipped the same day to the APO address I live at. The wait is KILLING me :) Its my first mac ever.
     
  9. CanadianDonkey macrumors member

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    #9
    Honestly, I've heard the exact opposite, and their Apple Care is the greatest thing in the world. One story, I remember, a guy bought a Powerbook, and two years later, a line appeared on his screen. Apple couldn't get the parts to fix his computer in a timely manner, so they replaced his two year old powerbook with a brand new macbook pro.

    Now that's customer service!


    Well, if you have no problem waiting to save up for a Mac Pro, just to get the extra power, there's a great chance that by the time you have that money, Apple could have updated the Macbook pro lines to have better processors and more than 4GB ram. I mean, technology pretty much doubles every 18 months. It's a fact, really.


    Well, I have a Macbook (Not a pro) and it gets fairly hot when I have it sitting on my lap, not too hot, but warm enough to make it unconfortable, easy solution to that is to put it on a hard surface, and it'll cool off.

    Like I said above, if you can wait, this will eventually become a reality.

    But again, like I, and others, have said before, it all really comes down to how big of a issue portability is too you. The Macbook Pro, while it doesn't have 8 cores, or 32GB of ram, is still powerful enough to suit your needs.
     
  10. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10

    I didn't say what he said made any sense as I was immediately thinking then why not just replace the hard drive..but he works at Best Buy and I was getting a discount on something so I wasn't going to argue with him haha. The difference would be like having a scattered disorganized brain vs having a hole in ones brain I guess:) Just wanted to see what anyone said about it. Thanks makes sense. SO then I can get a huge Hard Drive capacity without worrying about anything.
     
  11. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I hears what chur sayin..I wasn't going to kick a guy able to give me a discount but I'll keep that in mind:)
     
  12. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Bad blocks sound more reasonable. I don't think he got it via Apple so he may not have had any good support for it. Just curious but do you zero it in the BIOS or do you need a software?
     
  13. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13

    What would you say the difference is between a Mac Book Pro with Bootcamp and OS X vs say a DV9700t w 17 inch screen and higher specs using a Mac OS and or XP or Vista (I don't care for Vista).
     
  14. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    What specs do you have on each if I may ask?
     
  15. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Yea I saw one post in here that said something to that effect..I wonder how others report it in general. Is there a better way to buy it? Like maybe through a reseller, Musicians Friend or some other store to maybe get even better warranty or support?


    Good point..I just hope they don't keep only the Air at that with no basics like an Optical, 5 in 1 Memory Card Reader and such..

    Does it have a Core 2 Duo in it?

    We'll I'm doing one of those get a free Mac offers so it may take me a bit anyways..hmm. I wonder if they can cram so much in a think laptop like the air if they could shove Mac Pro Desktop power into a Mac Book Pro size. I think the size of the DV9700T seems reasonable..its not as big as the Dell XPS M2010 and not as small as say an HP 15 inch Pavillion or what not. Isn't it true that the Mac Pro comes with Blue Ray DVD-RW where as the Mac Book Pro only has a standard DVD RW burner?
     
  16. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #16
    Man, reading the official product description page helps sometimes ;)

    No current Mac has BlueRay or HDDVD drive.
     
  17. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I actually did check, and have been checking configuration options periodically but I thought I heard an announcement that they either were getting Blue Ray or already had them but may not have specified that on their page. Hmm that kinda sucks.
     
  18. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    #18
    there you go, i fixed up your original message a bit :)

    if you want to do all those things mentioned, you will simply not be satisfied with only one laptop.

    i would recommend for you to get a Mac Pro.

    check the new machines, check the refurbs, but get the Mac Pro.

    If you find the standard config MP doesn't quite suit your needs, you can expand the hard drives up to 4000 gigs, and the ram up to 32 gigs.

    You can also upgrade/add video cards.

    If you have been waiting since the g4's to buy a mac, AND you do all of those applications, plz, do yourself a favor, pick a MP and just get started!

    edit:
    if you are getting a 4 or 8 core machine, I personally wouldn't be hung up and getting a minimum of 3ghz. Also, if it were me getting a pro, I would be satisfied for the time being with 2 gigs of ram that is currently offered and would look to make ram my first upgrade to the machine then hard drive(s) as needed.
     
  19. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Thanks for the input. Do you have a Mac Pro? Like are you basing this just on theory, reviews, or personal experience or other peoples experience you trust?

    How would you guys say the Mac Pro rates against say the HP Blackbird (almost all of the negative comments/criticisms I see people leaving at Cnet for example are dead wrong..Many of the problems they mentioned were things I saw across the board as being a Windows Ultimate issue..which I am staying FAR AWAY FROM..it's also not actually not based on any Voodoo engineering and is not made by Voodoo so it won't catch on fire:) or even the top of the line Alienware?

    I think I'm not only trying to get input on whether a Mac Pro or Mac Book pro but also in helping me get over my fear of the transition..In art school I only used Macs at school (PC at home) but Macs changed a LOT since then, and after 2000-2001 I have only been using windows. I wonder if the intuative nature of apple will really help me overcome the learning curve/adjustment easily enough.. I dunno..the Mac Books single button and/or one button mouse might really through me for a loop especially with 3D modeling and all. You need all 3 buttons for it or an equivalent. I realize I can get Windows XP on a Mac (though I don't know if I can do that on a Blackbird for sure) but I guess I didn't realize all the things I would have to consider as far as SERIOUSLY considering the crossover. Scary:eek: :)

    About the specifications I generally agree. I don't want to spend much on Ram as I can easily just buy it cheaper on Ebay later if I really need to so 2GB would suit me fine to begin with. I am more concerned with the processing power/fbs as I don't want to have to change that later as well as having a really good graphics card(s) and enough Hard Drive space. Would you guys recommend RAID to backup stuff? If so which is the best configuration for that in relationship to the hard drives?

    About the cores if JUST for rendering speeds being faster I think 8 core would be the best way to go, where as they become more and more optimized it will be better overall...and it won't bottleneck as much..maybe?

    Didn't they announce new processors coming up for all the Mac Pros or am I wrong? Is it Penryn or Xeon possibly? Technology man..If they change them then I'm going to have to wait at least a few months to see how they work if theyre better or have problems.

    Did you mean to say I could expand the hard drive up to 400GBs or 4000GBs?? How come you say I don't need to get a 3GHz processor? Also does ANYONE need 32GBs of ram?? I mean does a 64 bit OS really use all of that? Seems like I would only need that much if I wanted to use it to levitate my car or something.

    BTW while I have implied I have been set on a Mac Pro Desktop I am open to being persuaded otherwise..but man that desktop...AAAAALL that power in one place. I think getting it would make me want to life my sword and say by the Power of Greyskull. Just kidding:) I think though at very least I'd lift my hand and slap my forehead when I'd get the electric bill.
     
  20. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I bought the Mac Pro equivalent in 2001 and since have owned or worked with at school on many of the different flavors in between.

    I ordered a MacBook Pro for myself last Friday and ordered a Mac Pro for my girlfriend this morning.

    I am currently studying graphic comm and have a degree in film studies.

    I have a MacBook with Final Cut Suite 2 as well as Flash, Dreamweaver and Photoshop CS3.

    I play World of Warcraft everyday.

    My dual 800 mhz G4 tower has had max ram (1.5gigs) and the best non-hacked video card available(so I'm told), the Radeon 9800 pro. I don't have maximum hard drive space, but I do have 3 hard drives in my machine. I run two monitors- spanned.

    For my girlfriends ocho, I ordered it refurb and saved $400. But I figure that over time, it will be fun to upgrade the RAM as it becomes less expensive and upgrade her hard drives up to 4,000 GB, that's 4x1Terabyte drives.

    Over time we can upgrade her to two monitors, upgrade those with bigger/better products, and even upgrade or simply add extra video cards. Again, over time the prices will go down.

    In this case, she is going from a 1.9ghz 17inch iMac with 2.5gigs of ram to an 8core 2.8ghz Mac Pro with 2 gigs of RAM.

    I could go on and on (I love this stuff!) but i will move on to your other topics. :)








    I don't know HP or Dell products, but for me personally, I've found that the creative people I prefer to work with are 99.9% of the time on a Mac.






    if you are curious and persistent, you can figure out how to do anything on a Mac, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I use the internet to help and the people here at macrumors have been a TREMENDOUS resource for helping me along.

    As far as mice go, it is my understanding that the selection for mac is almost no different than the choices available for windows.



    I don't do much with RAID's, but have you seen time capsule from Apple?



    It is my opinion that 8 cores at 2.8ghz, with the ability to expand RAM up to 32 gigs, this machine will be valuable and perform acceptably for 5 years or more, in my opinion.



    4,000 GB aka 4 terabytes.

    In my situation the cost to increase in performance ratio just wasn't worth it. With 8 cores, it is my opinion that yes, an extra 200mhz per core will make a difference, but not big enough difference for me. Certainly purchase the fastest you can find.

    To use 32 GBs of ram, you would certainly be doing some high end computer work. But to your question as to whether or not a 64 bit OS can use all of that, let me explain it to you like this:

    (My accuracy is probably off, but this is a fun story)

    32 bit processing- the bit means the 0 or 1, if you know the movie Tron, bit was a helper that could only say yes or no, same as 0 or 1, it's how computer languages work at their cores.

    32 bit refers to the 0 and the 1, 2 options... 32 refers to the power of 32, as in 2 to the 32nd power- which if you do the math comes out to 4,294,967,296

    So what this means is that a 32 bit processor can handle 2 to the 32nd power 0's and 1's or 4.2 billion bits which incidentally is why a 32 bit processor can not utilize more than 4 gigs of RAM

    for 64 bit processing, you guessed it ... 2 to the 64th power.

    How many gigs of RAM do you think this is? it's alot ...

    16 exabytes of RAM which is equal to 16.8 million Terabytes which is equivalent to 17.2 BILLION GB's of RAM is what a 64 bit processor could address.

    so yes, 32 gigs could be used, it's just a matter of whether or not the software and the user are ready for it :p
     
  21. Dominick_7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Wow your girlfriend must be loving you a lot right now. So you have personal experience on all this stuff, cool. So you'd definitely do the work I was talking about on the Mac Pro then. How come you got HER the Mac Pro but you got the Mac Book Pro..? Because you have access to the desktops elsewhere, like at school?


    Sweet. So would you say Final Cut Suite is the best way to go with video? Which graphics card would you suggest out of the different options available on the website for the Mac Pro for gaming and creativity? I would think the 512 NVDIA would be best but they charge more for the 4 ATI Raedeons. While I'm kinda afraid of the PC to MAC transition I think I would be even more scared of even trying to get it Warcrack as its called. Besides Halo3 I play LOTR BFME2 on the Xbox 360 almost everyday and I love that game..I don't think Id ever leave my place or shower if I added something like another RTS MMORPG game:) Halo Wars is looking pretty sweet though I think..



    Nice. I don't see how I missed 4000GBs being 4 Terabytes. I need sleep..2.8 GHZ w 2 gigs of ram sounds good enough.



    That's cool I'm soaking it all in. Trying to learn as much as I can about all this from you and the rest in this great forum.








    Is that because the school you go to or workplace have Macs or just because they fit the usual trend of creative folks going with Macs?





    Ok cool. Thank God for the internet! Wow so there are 3 buttoned Mice/meece for Macs?

    Oh I completely forgot about that! I guess I could just get an external hard drive around $100 and use Time Capsule with it huh! That thing looks SWEET. The only problem I see with RAID is I think youre using the entire other drive as a mirror backup and if its 1 RAID it will copy errors as well. What's your take on Time Capsule if I may ask? Like if you re format, or dual boot with XP via Bootcamp is it easy to write ALL the files/setup/everything the way it was before the format back to either OS and/or just trickier with XP/Bootcamp?

    Yea 2.8ghz isnt that far from 3.0. 3.2 though is way too expensive currently.






    Yea I don't want to have to deal with changing it later if I feel I need to. I'm planning on going as powerful/fast as I can with the processor.


    What other than servers would need that? I wonder though how fast rendering 3D animation would be though with 32GBs of ram. Craziness.


    Makes perfect sense!:) Thanks! I used to watch and love Tron as a kid:) Cool flick weird but cool. That's the thing I'm wondering about with 64 bit. I have seen complaints not JUST about Vista across the board, but especially with regards to Vista Ultimate with the blue error screens, problems recognizing things like devices, problems with graphics cards and video games..etc. BTW man thanks so much for all the detailed help! Thanks to everyone for your input!:)
     
  22. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    #22
    I think the problems with recognizing devices, etc. are not related to 64 bit as much as they related to Vista - in other words, Vista is the source of the problem, not 64 bit, if that is what you were wondering... Or are you just responding to the previous post? ...I'm a bit confused but w/e.

    Also, you don't seem to be wondering about it anymore, but I have a HP dv9500t which isn't maxed out or anything, but is fast for my needs generally, although I don't do any sort of editing if you were wondering. But it can get very expensive quickly, although since you don't seem to be thinking about buying it, it shouldn't be a problem. Now that I have my computer I actually wish I had gotten a Macbook Pro, so I think it is the better choice over a dv9700t.
     
  23. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    #23
    She has her own video business where she shoots edits and makes dvd for her clients. My focus at school is on things like dreamweaver, flash, photoshop... where I typically don't need to do any big time crunching

    Final Cut Suite is, in my opinion, awesome! Elegant, integrated and familiar, I wouldn't be able to recommend anything else :)

    For the video card, if you can afford and really want to upgrade to the 8800 GT, I would say go for it. However, for me personally, I wouldn't hesitate to stick with the 2600 XT and simply upgrade later on as the prices of the video cards should go down over time, as well as there should be offerings in the future that are better than what is currently available, but that's just my opinion.



    My understanding is that when Adobe was getting started, all of their products were made for Macs. Apple itself has an immense amount of energy and resources that they put into the design aspect of their company and their brand. I believe that because of these reasons (and others) the creative community centers around Apple products more often than other companies.




    I haven't used one myself, but here is a link to Apple's mice/accessories page, I think they have something that might interest you!
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APP...=home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/mice_keyboards



    I haven't used it, but if you look at Apple products on the average, you could maybe think of Time Capsule as being in it's first generation, and that over time, it will be enhanced to meet the common customer requests and innovate in areas that have yet to be explored.

    Certainly go for as much as you are comfortable spending, what I did with the 8-core purchase was compare the 8 cores at 2.8ghz to the single processor g5 1.9 ghz machine my gf was currently on. The gap between a signle 1.9ghz processor and a machine with 8cores at 2.8ghz is huge, an extra .2ghz is nice but the biggest improvement for us was to simply be on a machine with 8 cores!

    I could see a huge huge huge huge huge huge huge photoshop file being happy with 32 gigs of ram(once photoshop on the mac is 64bit). Rendering video/3d and I hear but don't know the facts that it is very helpful for DVD authoring, I think probably converting the movie files down to files for the dvd, similar function for 3d rendering I'm assuming.

    and of course, with that kind of RAM available you could open every application at once lol


    np! I am happy to help!
     
  24. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #24
    4 Radeons are there just to drive 8 displays. They cant output to 1 monitor.

    Mice are platform-independant. BTW, Apple mice have 4 buttons and trackpads have "right-click" ability and 360 degree scrolling.


    3.0 and 3.2 are terrible value for the money. Most people cant use more than 30% of each core on octo-2.8 anyway... Seriously, quad-core is very fast and is a lot cheaper
     
  25. Xenious macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    It really depends on mobility requirements

    I'm late to the party here, but I recently went through this same debate. It is important to note that I have a work laptop already so that was a partial influence.

    Bottom line is that MBP and Mac Pro will both handle things well. Naturally the higher end video cards in the Mac Pro can and will outrun the MBP, but at that point it is a question of do you want 60fps or 180fps (I'll tip my hat to the first poster that commented on super great or insanely super great) on your first person shooter game.

    What I did was seriously sit down and observed just how mobile did I need my Mac to be. Even when using my work laptop I almost always treat it like a desktop and work best with multiple displays. About the best reason I have for portability is to have the same computer at work and at home. For my Mac I decided that while I would love it to always be with me, I didn't really need that functionality and would use it like a desktop more often. I expected the built in display would get in my way as I was used to a desktop already with my old PowerMac G5. It pained me a little because the MBP is so sleek and was cheaper than a Mac Pro, but in the end the desktop was the right choice for me. It wasn't about super giga-flops l33t-ness, but solely around mobility requirements.
    -Xen
     

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