Mac Pro Specs

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nolook, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. nolook macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #1
    I currently have a Mac Book Pro (17", 1st Gen). However, I've been told the notebooks aren't good for photo optimization (ie. Color correction, etc). So I was playing with the idea of getting a iMac ... or a mac pro!

    The price is a big difference but wanted to see what everyone's opinion is. I'm predominantly going to be using it for Aperture, Lightroom, Final Cut Express, Motion, Photoshop ... and the simple apps (ie. iTunes, web-surfing). I may even break into Soundtrack one day but not now.

    That being said, can anyone recommend specs I should consider for the Mac Pro? I hear the ATI Radeon 3870 is a good video card. Or should I just get an iMac?

    Small note - I'm most likely going to store info to an external drive (ie. WD MyBook).
     
  2. Zig macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #2
    Im at a simillar point.

    I currently have a Macbook (2 ghz intel) and a couple of MacMinis (1.42ghz g4)

    Was thinking of getting either a new macmini or biting the bullet and getting an imac..

    I have a fairly decent 23" hp tft decent (cost more than both mac minis) which has multiple inputs meaning i can use the screen for other things.

    If i upgarded to an imac i could sell the minis and possibly the screen to recoup a big chunk of the cost.

    Ill probably wait until the macworld keynote in Jan and order then ...:rolleyes:
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    From the software you've listed, the Mac Pro seems the way to go. ;)

    Just get a base model, and add the upgrades you want with 3rd party sources. Much less expensive than buying everything through Apple. :eek: :)
     
  4. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #4
    All those apps you want to run are pretty RAM intensive, at least Aperture has been for me. 4GB is a lot of RAM in an iMac, but when you have a current 32GB cap in the MacPro it's hands down the better way to go at it.

    Even though you mention using a MyBook, I've discovered that it's so much less of a hassle to utilize the cheaper internal drive options of the MacPro.
     
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Macbook Pros are no different than a Mac Pro for this as you can use the same displays on both unless you want two colour accurate displays. Your other uses definatly indicate you can use a Mac Pro if you want to sacrifice portability. You'll probably be fine with a single quad core Mac pro rather than needing eight cores.
     
  6. nolook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #6
    Good ideas ...

    Good idea all ... didnt think of buying a base model Mac Pro and just upgrading with 3rd party equipment. Wouldnt even mind getting a refurbished one either.

    Regarding the hard drive, I might get 1 TB worth of space in the internal drive. Then just back it all up to a MyBook. One other thing I'm worried about, a potential new design coming out soon.

    It seems everyone has a Mac Pro. There's a used 30" display for sale from someone in my company. Bought in 2006 and selling for $1100. What do you guys think?
     
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #7
    It's a good price. You also get the opportunity to check out any issues with it. You might want to consider getting a calibration device too if colour accuracy is important.
     
  8. OneHump macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #8
    It's likely that a Mac Pro refresh will come out either toward the end of the year or early January. They'll most likely have Intel's Nehalem CPU, which is going to be 6 cores and come with some significant architecture changes. I doubt that there will be much in terms of a design change with the rest of the box apart from some possibly different connector options and maybe an appearance change. I think it's very unlikely that you're going to get a Nehalem Mac Pro for anywhere near the price of the early 2008 Mac Pro.

    I also doubt you'll see a significant video change. Better cards shouldn't be supported until Snow Leopard, which releases in about 8 months. It's possible that Apple could update the 30" ACD with some of the features they dropped into the 24", including display port. Who knows?

    Ultimately, a Mac Pro isnt going to be as sensitive to updates as a laptop. It's possible that it's going to look different, but it's unlikely that anything but the mobo and CPUs will be different and, even then, do you NEED 12 cores? I'm not sure DDR3 is a great option yet.

    If you can wait, I'd probably do it just to see what comes out. I personally don't want to wait so I have about $7,500 worth of '08 Mac Pro goodness in the mail for arrival this Friday.
     
  9. Slimdude22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #9
    So you think there will be a significant price increase? that apple will dare cross the $3000 base model boundary?

    And why dont you trust DDR3 if i may ask? :) Trying to get as much info as i can in deciding to buy a mac pro now or hold off until january. (if it comes in january)
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #10
    They won't release with 6 cores/CPU.
    Only 4, but the differing architecture will be what really improves performance. ;)
     
  11. OneHump macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #11
    I would tend to listen to nanofrog over me, but I'll throw in what little I know. My first Mac Pro will arrive this Friday.

    The first thing to understand is that speculation about what Apple is going to do is just that until Mr. Jobs says otherwise. As for a Mac Pro refresh, I think the consensus is that it's due in the next 2-3 months. What that will look like depends on a lot of things, but I think most agree that it would have to include Nehalem.

    I have no idea how many cores would be offered. Nanofrog says they won't go past 4, and he is probably right, but then I'm thinking they might continue to offer Harpertown as an option with Nehalem as a premium option? Either way, I would be suprised if you could pick one up a Nehalem Mac Pro for the same price. I really don't know though.

    As for DDR3, it suffers from increased latency but offers more bandwidth. It has not been widely adopted in PC circles, though momentum is gaining. In no way is DDR3 going to be a bad thing on a Mac Pro.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    From info Apple's released (reduced margins), alludes to keeping the next Mac Pro at a similar price as the current model. My personal, conclusion is the base wouldn't exceed the $3000 mark, but might be right at it.

    Intel has already released the official price list, and the Nehalem parts are more expensive than their current counterparts (using clock speed). The 2.66GHz (E5550), is shown at $958, and the current unit (E5462 @ 2.8GHz) was listed at $851.

    Apple doesn't pay this, but it stands to reason they would still pay more for it than the current CPU in the base model.

    The next Mac Pro will use DDR3-1333 ECC. Yes it does have slower latency, but some testing has already been performed, and demonstrated a 20-30% increase in speed. Nothing to complain about, IMO. ;) :p

    As per the cores. The Dunnington has a 6 core part and uses Socket 604. So it isn't compatible with either the current model (LGA 771) or next Mac Pro (LGA 1366). The E5500 series chips are 4 core, LGA 1366.
     
  13. Slimdude22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #13
    So lets say i do bite the bullet and get a mac pro now, maybe even a refurbished one to save some cash. If these new processors come out would it be a simple fix to just swap out the harpertown and put in a Nehalem or does it not work that way? I have an old ppc and i know i cant just put in a new harpertown processor because nothing is very compatible.

    Sorry I am somewhat computer illiterate but I am trying to learn :D (and learning from you guys seems smarter than from Wikipedia)
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    No. :(

    Harpertown's use an LGA 771 socket, while the Gainestown-EP/Xeon 5500 series use an LGA 1366. Totally different board due to socket, memory, and chipset.
     
  15. Slimdude22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #15
    Thanks for getting back to me quickly :)

    So i think that just solidified the fact that i should wait until the new pros come out so i wont have that problem. Thanks nanofrog you know your macstuff well. are you a mac genius or something?
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    Systems Engineer. :) And No, I don't work for Apple. :p
     

Share This Page