MacPro build-up "looking fo help"

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Check 6, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    To set the stage, I'm considering a MacPro. I currently have a Macbook pro with a matte screen and a 24 inch IMac. I like the IMac EXCEPT for the gloss screen. it is fatiguing on my eyes with the glare. I use both machines for word processing, e-mail, web research and some spreadsheets. Main use is for digital photo post processing. There are random other uses.

    Main reason for the upgrade is to get a non-glare better monitor that I can calibrate to match the output of my photo printer (Canon Pro 9000)

    Being retired I do spend a considerable time on the computer and with an eye issue (yes, if you live long enough the body breaks down) Eye fatigue is an real issue. So the question; I'm looking for suggestions ( not real overkill) on configuring a MacPro as well as suggestions on monitors. Right now I'm considering the NEC 2690 but open to others. Remember I'm 67 and want to save something for my kids. Thanks, now let the "how do we spend his money begin".
  2. isaaclimdc macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I think NEC monitors are great for your demographic. You don't want to spend too much money, but want to get a decent looking monitor that is anti-glare., yet not have it be made out of some cheap eye-killing material. I had an NEC 17" display once, and quite liked it!
  3. Mac Husky macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2009
    Bavaria, Germany
    The Mac Pro might be overkill at least, but I think it is a good decision.
    Especially as you want to be free with your monitor choice.
    Due to some more reasons as well of course ;)

    The mentioned NEC monitor is great. You just have to decide whether you
    want it calibrated by hardware (SpectraView) or software "only" (MultiSync).
    I do have the MultiSync since a couple of months and its fantastic.
    Pimped it to use hardware calibration - worked out with the older models :rolleyes:
    As far as I know it doesn´t work with newer firmware :mad:

    Concerning to that, you could choose the graphic card you want to add.
    The ATI won´t work right with older versions of the NEC 2690.
    Search for that here in the forum. A new(er) one should work well with both cards.

    Back to the Mac Pro: if you are looking for a new generation one,
    I guess a Quad 2.66 with 3 or maybe 6 GB of RAM should do fine.
    Just bought one myself for photoshop and stuff using a Nikon D300.
  4. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    I appreciate the replies, yes I know the Macpro is overkill and if the Imac had a matte finish screen it would be a keeper as when i got it I loaded it. The other issue is that I leave the unit on most of the time and cooling is a concern. the Imac does get warm and a laptop with an external monitor is not a consideration.

    Another subject is when I set the Imac up for my wife I will have to install Windows as a second operating system ( I have an un-opened copy of Windows XP for that purpose) as one of her sewing and quilting programs only is formatted for Windows. Any comments on which is the better software to allow dual operating systems as there are several on the market.

    Again thanks for the comments and keep them coming.
  5. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    It's a personal preference thing, I'm sure, but the concept of a single-computer household just doesn't work around here. I have a Mac Pro with a couple of ACD 30s. It's been a great setup which has met or exceeded my every need, but I don't want my wife or kids on that computer any more than I want them in my workshop rearranging my tools.

    My wife loves her MacBook Pro, my daughter loves her MacBook, and my son loves his Dell laptop. I love that they stay off my computer.
  6. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    As far as windows goes take a look at Virtual Box. It is free and works pretty well. I think it is a shame that Apple is forcing glossy screens on everyone. Have you tried to change the environment of the room to eliminate glare. I have set up many work stations for photography work in a pro la and the one thing we have always done was to dim the lighting in the room and try not to have lights behind the screen. When we first started the CRT screens were very reflective. But if you must spend your money you can't go wrong with a ma pro, just get at least 6GB of ram and ezio monitors are the "industry standard" right now in the prepress/photography world.
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Definitely the quad or if you can find an older 2008 quad or octo under warranty is a good bet.

    Dell has their 2408 monitors on sale lately for less than 400 US. People seem happy with it for photo work.

    If you really wanted to save money, just get an external for your macbook pro. You could sell the imac and come out ahead after buying a new monitor, or just keep the imac for the wife and to have a second computer.
  8. Check 6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    I agree with the concept of each having their own computer. My wife and I each have a MacbookPro and she has a windows based laptop that is on it's last legs. So the Imac will fill a usefull need for her but she needs Windows for several sewing/quilting programs.

    Yes I could get an outboard monitor for the macbook pro but I leave my primary computer on most of the time and a laptop would get rather warm. I think it will be a new Mac Pro I'm just not finalized on the configuration and thus the thread to read other's thoughts that I will then put in the equation for what I end up with. I'm also not set on the NEC monitor and I'm looking at others The Eizo is more than I need. The Apple is also very nice. I want at least 24 inch etc. Again thanks to all that have offered ideas
  9. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    The newer 24" ACD is glossy AFAIK - correct me if I am wrong.

    The 30", 23", and 20" are all matte - the 23" and 20" are exclusively used now, however :(

    Personally, the NEC 2690 IS the way to go for a monitor, as long as the graphics accelerator isn't the 4870. If not, the HP LP2475W might fit your bill.
  10. mongorama macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
    A few suggestions to add:

    1. The cheapest solution may be to try an antiglare film on your iMac. I haven't tried one (I just got my MacPro, so removing the glare from my MBP is a lower priority), but read about them in a TUAW post. They make them for Macbooks, Macbook Pros, iMacs, and even the Apple Cinema Displays. Playing with those films can be a bit tedious, but if you can solve your problem for <$25 then it's worth it.

    2. If a MacPro is the way you want to go (and who doesn't complain a little more about the glare on a screen in order to justify something as cool as a MacPro?), I'd bookmark the MacPro refurb page, and check it every day or two. They'll have refurb MacPros at significant discounts, while still coming with a one year warrenty (not sure if you can get AppleCare for them. Maybe someone here knows).

    I would think any current generation 4 core setup would do nicely, as would any previous generation 8 core. Just look for either with the minimum specs. Upgrading anything yourself will save you a lot of money. You would not believe how easy it is to add RAM and/or hard drives to a MacPro. If you can make toast in a toaster, you're in fine shape for the upgrades.

    Oh yes. In my opinion, it is important to get the full, wired keyboard with your MacPro. As fun as a wireless keyboard may sound, it has no number pad... Being without a number pad is far less fun than having no wire.

    3. For a monitor, you may also want to consider a HP LP2475w (ah. just as our good Dr. Pants has also suggested). I just finished my leap into the MacPro realm, and was torn on what display to purchase. I wanted a really nice Eizo, or Lacie, but couldn't quite afford one. My hunt led me to the HP. It is a reasonably priced H-IPS monitor that, once calibrated, has an excellent picture (out of the box, the colors are oversaturated).

    I hope that helps a little. Please post any comments or questions you have. I spent a couple of months sifting through articles before I decided on the right setup for me. I'm happy to help (or at least point you toward the information I read so you can decide what's right for you).

    [edit]P.S. If you can find a good solution for your problems that doesn't break the bank, I'd highly recommend investing in a tablet. Something along the lines of the WACOM Intuos4 (medium) would go a long way toward making your computing life better. Aside from being insanely great for working with photo/design software, it makes life so much nicer on your body. I'm only 37, and I already can't use mice for extended periods of time. My wrists start to hurt, and will continue to hurt for days after long sessions. Holding a pen though is entirely different. I can do real work for hours and hours without fatigue to my wrists (my back and rear end are a different matter, but I suppose I'll have to invest in a good chair next).
  11. JPamplin macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    Nashville, TN
    Another option...

    How about a matte-finish secondary monitor for the iMac? You could make it the primary with the iMac being to the side as a secondary screen. You'd do most of your work on the primary (external) screen, and it would cost a fraction of buying a Mac Pro.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Pro. But it's OVERkill for what you're doing. Save some money and use your existing iMac with an external 24" screen. The film coating might also work well - I would do both!

  12. Zdob macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2008
    Some people say anti-glare film for imac doesn't work as it should.
    "The film blocks reflection ok, but screen under the film looks grainy, this colored speckle pattern tires eyes and hides fine details. Colors are distorted significantly."
    If you're looking for long term benefits for your health then probably it's not for you. I recommend to get a good non-apple display.
  13. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    Technically, this happens with a matte display too, though probably to a much lower degree. There's some disagreement with how much a matte coating distorts a display's output, but the graphics people don't like glossy yet. That said, if you're working photo, with the likely far more muted colors, this is appropriate.

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