Need advice building a new Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ajs15822, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. ajs15822 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2010
    Hey guys,

    I work on several large software projects and need a new rig to handle some heavy compilation.

    Here's my criteria for this new system:

    • Great at compilation/debugging (heavy CPU, RAM, HDD utilization)
    • Needs to triple-boot (Mac OSX, Windows, Ubuntu)
    • Needs to support dual monitors
    • Needs only moderate storage
    • Fit a US$8000 budget

    Here's the components I have selected so far in my BTO Mac Pro:

    • 6 Core 3.33 GHz Xeon Westmere
    • 3GB RAM (will replace with 12GB, see below)
    • 2 TB HDD
    • ATI Radeon 5870
    • Dual 27'' Cinema Displays
    • -- TOTAL: $6100

    Here's what I'll be ordering separately, in addition to the above:

    SSD Boot Drive: (is this compatible with Mac Pro?)
    OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX360G 3.5" 360GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive
    -- $1000

    12 GB RAM
    : (I read 3 slots is best for triple-channel)
    12GB RAM OWC Memory Kit: 3 x 4.0GB PC10600 DDR3 ECC 1333MHz
    -- $330

    I've never built nor owned a Mac Pro before so I'd really appreciate any advice or feedback you can give about my build.

  2. bakacornelius macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    I use a OCZ Vertex 2 120GB in my MBP 13 with no problems so I'd imagine you'd be fine in a Mac Pro.
  3. ajs15822 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2010
    Cool, I hope that's the case-- I was asking because the model I selected is a 3.5'' drive and has practically no reviews. I see most guys are purchasing 2.5'' SSD models with a sled adapter to fit the Mac Pro drive bay.
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    a 5870 is pointless. just get a 5770, or two of them if you want to power your displays separately.

    I'd grab a second hard drive to keep a backup.
  5. hoopster macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Have you looked into the OWC SSDs? There speed apparently doesn't degrade over time, which will happen with most other SSDs.
  6. neckarb macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    I beg to differ, go for a 5870 particularly if you do any gaming or 3D stuff.
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    and how is that related to the OP's compiling or debugging?
  8. Goldfinger, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

    Goldfinger macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2006
    I have a 120GB 3,5" Vertex 2 as a boot drive. Works perfectly fine. And it's a little bit cheaper than the 2,5" version (€210 vs €250). It's installed in the lower optical bay in my machine.

    The RAM you chose is perfectly fine as well. Good price/amount/performance ratio. The triple channel RAM will barely be noticeable, if at all (vs dual channel). More memory > triple channel. But if you don't need more than 12GB then that kit will be perfect for you.

    Uncheck the 2TB hard drive option from the Apple store and get it from them with the stock 1TB hard drive. Then go out and buy a 2TB drive yourself. Instant savings AND more hard drive space!

    Oh and unless you really want the shiny Apple monitors I'd suggest looking at something like the Dell U2711. Same panel as the Apple 27" but without the annoying reflections. And cheaper as well.
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    yeah, I forgot to mention that...I don't see why everyone thinks the Apple monitors are so great, there are much better ones made by Dell, HP, and NEC...for those who want something that looks nearly as nice, I think Hazro does that (they resemble the old Cinemas, just in black).
  10. lucaspkm macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2010
    agree the new apple display sux you don't get what you see the color is not what you see what you get.
  11. sepu macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2006
    Cheaper where?
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Big no-no. Scalability of the 5770s isn't 100%. The 5870 is the better choice and you can feed to monitors with it.

    Also, since you need moderate storage, I would suggest one of these or a lesser kind. Bare in mind these are "green" drives, slower, but you can get a faster black for a few dollars more.
  13. ajs15822 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2010
    Thanks for all the advice guys, I really appreciate it!

    I have heard of the OWC SSDs and, while I really like their wear-leveling and native TRIM support, I'm a little off-put by the lack of a 360 GB option (and I'm simply more familiar with the OCZ brand).

    Plus, I figure once the speed degradation gets too much to bear, I'll just do a secure-erase/wipe on the drive (I periodically reformat my drives anyway).

    Thanks for the tip about the monitors, I took a look at the Dell U2711 and they look really slick (6ms response time, 1.07 billion colors, and tons of connections/ports). I originally wanted to go for the ACD because of their design (the bezel is gorgeous) but think I might go with the U2711 for functionality instead.

    Indeed-- I do occasional work in 3D and video-editing and I need the extra power for both monitors. I don't really like the idea of the VRAM being split between each display but am worried that going down the dual-5770 route would add some unneeded complexity (especially since I'll be booting into Ubuntu and Windows).
  14. Goldfinger macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2006
    Depends, Dell does rebates once in a while. I got mine for €865. The Apple 27" is €1099.

    It seems that at the moment they are both $999 in the US.

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