MP is finally here..I'm ready...now what?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ProCreator, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. ProCreator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #1
    Okay, I am a professional graphic artist and a 3D modeler. I use CS3, Painter, Zbrush, Maya, Modo on a daily basis. I have been using my 2x2.66 w/5gb ram at work for the last year and my powerbook g4 for the last 3 years at home. My work system can slow down and my PB is way too slow for large files or high poly counts.

    I want the new MP to last me for the next 5 years. I have learned from this board and from personal experience that I should buy 3rd party ram, but from there I cannot decide other factors. The questions I have are:
    Should I go with 3.2 or will 3.0 be fine?
    I'll have 16gb of memory, but is the extra processing speed worth it?
    Will the 8800gt be good enough or should I be thinking about getting the Quadro?
    I am getting conflicting advice on the apple HD's v. 3rd party HD's?
    RAID or no RAID?

    Thanks all, anything to help my spinning head will be much appreciated!
     
  2. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #2
    You want it to last 5 years? Get the fastest model now.


    16 gigs of ram goes for about $800 at OWC (www.macsales.com)

    The 8800 GT should be fine...I'm not sure if you'd need a Quadro..

    Don't buy Hard Drives from Apple either, they gouge you on that as well, purchase it from a third party as wwell.
     
  3. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #3
    1 and 2: this depends on your budget, fir me, it seems like 3.2 is wey over priced, and while 3.0 is better, 2.8 is definitely the sweet spot. Obviously more will be more future proof, but the money spent on the 3.2 for example could be much better spent elsewhere

    3. this depends on where you live, if you're in the US, then it seems that you have quite a lot of options, whereas in the UK, as far as i can tell, apple's prices are pretty reasonable when you consider that they will sort it if anything goes wrong (assuming you get applecare). Please someone tell me if this is wrong...I myself would love it if there were examples that were a lot cheaper in the UK!:)
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #4
    Alright, I'm going to guess here that cost, while not completely irrelevant, may not be the biggest determining factor if you're already looking to upgrade the video card and the processor. Given that, here are my thoughts:

    You want this to last 5 years, so you'll want to buy the best possible system that allows you to upgrade it for optimization in the future, given the professional nature of its use. To that end, if you can afford to, go with the 3.2 GHz processor. It may seem like you don't need it now, but wait 2 years and you might, and you won't be able to (easily, if at all) upgrade that.

    I don't know enough about the limits of the video card, but from I understand, you should probably be fine with the 8800GT. The video card can be upgraded if you find it necessary later on. But I'd wait to hear from others on that one.

    The thing about RAID is that it can provide a level of protection for your data, but unless you really need that kind of online data protection (vs. regular backups), you may want to consider not getting it. If, on the other hand, the nature of your work requires that you operate with as little chance of data loss as possible, the RAID setup would be necessary.

    Also, if you're doing a lot of video editing, you may want to consider the 15000rpm drives since they're built for IO-intensive work. Of course, they're also lower capacity. But if you go with those, the RAID card is required.
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #5
    Usually the response for the Quadro is, "If you don't use Maya, you don't need it."

    So checking into the Maya/Leopard/Mac Pro combo reviews might tell you if it is worth it.

    But it will likely depend on how often you spend doing stuff that the card is actually needed for, and how you value your time.

    Edit: when it will add the cost of a Mac Pro to the purchase price, it better be a business purchase so it can be written off. ;)
     
  6. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #6
    If you're going to be using Maya and Zbrush for high poly count work, then doesn't that pretty much guarantee you're going to need the Quadro?
     
  7. ProCreator thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #7
    MacRumors ROCKS!

    So far I am getting great feedback:
    Thanks FF_P*: (BTW your Visit Here" link is broken)
    Student and EMW: I have set aside 7k for this purchase and have opened a new CC offering 12 months 0% so I can continue earning interest on my cash. I'll pay the bill next year while earning about $450 in the process. I live in the US.
    I think I am leaning toward the 3.2 if the upgrade is really a pain later on. I do not do video editing but I do 3D modeling with models that utilize upward of 10 million polygons. Zbrush relies more on RAM over processing speed and graphic card performance. I primarily use Maya for rendering and base mesh modeling--not animation. Would it be safe to assume that updating the graphics card later will not be an issue? My work only requires only basic backup so does this take RAID option out of the mix?
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #8
    Probably a few more hoops to jump through compared to the Nvidia 8800, ATI 2600, and Nvidian 7300 which Apple has as an individual Apple Store items.
     
  9. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #9
    if you can afford the upgrade, and in particular have budgeted for it, then go for it: it will definitely offer you more future-proofing. i suppose that its just that in terms of value, its a bad move (again this is not to say that one shouldn't purchase the upgrade), as you are paying for the best of the best so to speak.

    As for the RAID, I don't really feel qualified to comment and wouldn't want to lead you astray, but will say that if you don't get it, then it would leave you more room within your budget to upgrade the processor.
     
  10. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #10
    Hmm, it'll be interesting to see the results Bare Feats posted when they get the Mac Pro, I'm assuming they'll test the different video cards as well.


    p.s.
    (I fixed the link just now...)
     

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