Mac Pro Questions/Hesitations

tbmx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2006
28
0
I've done alot of reading and decided that the Mac Pro is the way to go over the 24inch iMac (don't want to be underwhelmed and will keep the machine for awhile). In the course of researching the decision though I'm a bit concerned about the Windows performance as well as the FBDIMM latency speeds.

Since I'm fine with tweaking I'm certain I could slipstream the drivers during the bootcamp install and get the SATA speeds back up to speed installing a working copy shouldn't be an issue. What bothers is me that the majority of time in windows will be spent playing games... I'm assuming once the SATA issues are mostly cleared up this won't be an issue and it should fly?

Secondly, is it safe to make the assumption that while the RAM is expensive and is "server" ram vs DDR2 that it will still perform fine and that because the bus is faster than the iMac it should even out any difference one might tell?

Lastly I'm torn between keeping the stock 7300 gt for a bit and upgrading the RAM to 2 gigs or if 1 gig is enough for general use and games, which would allow for the x1900? I'm leaning towards 1 gig initially and gettin the x1900 and upgrading the ram as needed and hope for a slight price break. I don't do much PS work and certainly no video editing so it would mostly be the gaming performance that would drive the decision. Thoughts?

Since these machines are faily new finding hard benchmarks are still challenging although Barefeats is tip the hat towards the x1900. Any answers would be appreciated. Thanks
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
tbmx said:
Secondly, is it safe to make the assumption that while the RAM is expensive and is "server" ram vs DDR2 that it will still perform fine and that because the bus is faster than the iMac it should even out any difference one might tell?
The RAM in the Mac Pro should perform fine- especially if you run it in quad channel mode.

tbmx said:
Lastly I'm torn between keeping the stock 7300 gt for a bit and upgrading the RAM to 2 gigs or if 1 gig is enough for general use and games, which would allow for the x1900? I'm leaning towards 1 gig initially and gettin the x1900 and upgrading the ram as needed and hope for a slight price break. I don't do much PS work and certainly no video editing so it would mostly be the gaming performance that would drive the decision. Thoughts?

Since these machines are faily new finding hard benchmarks are still challenging although Barefeats is tip the hat towards the x1900. Any answers would be appreciated. Thanks
Go for the ATI Radeon X1900XT, it is well worth the extra money in my opinion. :)


As far as the RAM goes, more is always better. 1GB of RAM is the minimum in my opinion to run Mac OS X smoothly, 2GB would be highly recommended (but this will be pricey for the Mac Pro :eek: ). :)
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Apple and most of those who have tested the Mac Pro's recommend installing RAM in matched sets of 4 DIMMS to take full advantage of the architecture.

Right now at education pricing, Apple is charging pretty close to street price ($270.00) to add that important extra 2 X 512MB's of correct RAM filling all 4 primary slots with matched DIMMS.

The X1900XT GPU card will delay your shipment by 3-5 weeks.

You could upgrade later for $359.00 (edu) $399.00 retail buying
the X1900XT direct from the Apple Online Store.

If you plan to use BT/AP options, it's best to have the BT/AP card factory installed. Otherwise you end up with a BT dongle.

You'll have to ask others about Windows and XP gaming, I'm not up to date on
the latest BootCamp build.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
FFTT said:
The X1900XT GPU card will delay your shipment by 3-5 weeks.

You could upgrade later for $359.00 (edu) $399.00 retail buying
the X1900XT direct from the Apple Online Store.

Are you sure about this FFTT? I just checked the shipping time on a Mac Pro with the ATI Radeon X1900XT and it was only 2-4 business days. :)
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Last I saw as of last week it was taking 3-5 weeks.

Maybe they got a shipment in now due to the high demand for that upgrade.

I would definitely call Apple to confirm if you're ordering BTO.

Yeah something has changed, I just looked at the stand alone listing at the online store
and it's been moved up from 3-5 weeks to 5-7 days. Go ATI Dudes!
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
FFTT said:
Last I saw as of last week it was taking 3-5 weeks.

Maybe they got a shipment in now due to the high demand for that upgrade.

I would definitely call Apple to confirm if you're ordering BTO.

FFTT, you are correct that initially BTO Mac Pros with the Radeon video card took 3-5 weeks to ship. But I think (hope) that this is no longer the case. :)
 

tbmx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2006
28
0
So if I'm hearing FFTT correct and partially 007, using 4 dimms is best on this machine? It makes sense w/ the 4 cores but I just want to make sure I'm hearing that right before making a move. My current setup I run 1.75 gigs of ram in my G5. I think for what I do I'd be fine with 2gigs with the MP. This being the case, which would you all do? I don't necessarily want to drop the additional cash out the door (might add it later). Its either 2 gigs of ram out the door or the x1900...I will be adding the other component later however.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Well you're paying double the pre installed price to buy the X1900XT stand alone, so given your limitation, I guess I'd opt for the ATI card and try to match the RAM DIMMS later.

If you're going wireless though, you should still at the BT/AP card pre-installed.

All the reports do say that you should run 4 matched DIMMS for best results, so
if possible, I would hang in there until you can afford to order everything together.

The other headache is that no one seems to have the " Correct " 2 X 512 MB Mac Pro
FBDIMMS in stock.
 

Silentwave

macrumors 68000
May 26, 2006
1,584
0
Gainesville, FL
It seems that no matter what I do to it the Mac Pro is shipping in 2-4 days according to the apple store, and that includes AE/BT, X1900, changed RAM, HD, and even processors.
 

THX1139

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2006
1,928
0
FFTT said:
...The X1900XT GPU card will delay your shipment by 3-5 weeks....

I ordered my Macpro yesterday evening (Saturday 09/16). I got a 2.66 with downgraded Hard Drive, extra gig of ram, X1900 and Bluetooth/Airport. My estimated ship date is Sept 22 with delivery on the 29th. That is one week to build and one week to ship estimated. Of course that is give or take a few days and Apple might change the date... but it's a far cry from the original 6 to 8 week BTO fiasco the early adopters had to endure.

peace
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Yeah it looks like ATI had to ramp up production to fill Apple's back orders.

Ram suppliers were in the same boat scrambling to find the correct DIMMS with
the required oversized heat spreaders.

I'm not sure what's going on with OWC, not having the 512 MB Mac Pro DIMMS in stock.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
FFTT said:
Well you're paying double the pre installed price to buy the X1900XT stand alone, so given your limitation, I guess I'd opt for the ATI card and try to match the RAM DIMMS later.

This would be my advice as well. :)
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
If it makes our OP feel any better at all, I paid over $2700.00 back in 1998
for my Beige G3 300MHz Tower with a whopping 8.5 GB SCSI HD, CD Player Only,
64 MB RAM, and the A/V personality card.
Then, thinking I was all ready to attempt digital recording, I found out what it cost to
buy ProTools and an 8 channel interface was going to run me about $10,000.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
FFTT said:
If it makes our OP feel any better at all, I paid over $2700.00 back in 1998
for my Beige G3 300MHz Tower with a whopping 8.5 GB SCSI HD, CD Player Only,
64 MB RAM, and the A/V personality card.
Then, thinking I was all ready to attempt digital recording, I found out what it cost to
buy ProTools and an 8 channel interface was going to run me about $10,000.

The $10,000 is a bit salty for my tastes. :eek:


Although, $2,700 for the 300MHz Power Mac G3 sounds like a good deal. :)
 

tbmx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2006
28
0
Ha you guys crack me up. I also remember those days and am well aware of the price. I'm recently out of college, good job etc its just alot to stomach (I hate dropping that much cash at once although I love the results). I guess the last question I would have, will it noticeably hurt performance to run the 2 DIMMS initially?
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
FFTT said:
Funny how everything went down except those ProTools HD Accell cards.

Still at a store near you for ONLY $7995.00 :eek:
Are they at the exact same price as 5 years ago?! With zero improvements? :eek:
 

tbmx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2006
28
0
Well I did it. Pulled the trigger today, so now I play the waiting game and get all my ducks in a line with bootcamp before it gets here. Thanks for the tips:)

I went with the 1 gig ram for now, x1900. I'm sure I'll slap more ram in within the year. Just hurts less this way;)
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
tbmx said:
Well I did it. Pulled the trigger today, so now I play the waiting game and get all my ducks in a line with bootcamp before it gets here. Thanks for the tips:)

I went with the 1 gig ram for now, x1900. I'm sure I'll slap more ram in within the year. Just hurts less this way;)

Very nice purchase tbmx, enjoy your new Mac Pro when it arrives! :)
 

killr_b

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2005
813
325
Suckerfornia
tbmx said:
Secondly, is it safe to make the assumption that while the RAM is expensive and is "server" ram vs DDR2 that it will still perform fine and that because the bus is faster than the iMac it should even out any difference one might tell?

Lastly I'm torn between keeping the stock 7300 gt for a bit and upgrading the RAM to 2 gigs or if 1 gig is enough for general use and games, which would allow for the x1900? I'm leaning towards 1 gig initially and gettin the x1900 and upgrading the ram as needed and hope for a slight price break. I don't do much PS work and certainly no video editing so it would mostly be the gaming performance that would drive the decision. Thoughts?

Since these machines are faily new finding hard benchmarks are still challenging although Barefeats is tip the hat towards the x1900. Any answers would be appreciated. Thanks

Well, they aren't going to upgrade the ram as soon as the graphics, so I'd recommend the extra stick.

You can get a better card later.

Edit: Drat. Too late. :D