Need help deciding? NMP w/ current displays or iMac with Dual thunderbolt?

macpro2000

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Apr 20, 2005
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Trying to decide what to do here...have 4x30" ACD hooked up to my 1,1 that I was planning on attaching to a nMP, but wondering if I should just get a maxed out iMac and buy 2 extra thunderbolts for it and sell the ACDs. Performance isn't a big deal as all models will do what I need but forcthd sake of having a nice setup I'll get a 1tb ssd in either. Also heat is an issue, as I was hoping that the new Mac Pro wouldn't heat up my office like my 1,1. Or are the ACDs adding to that problem and will an iMac setup relieve that problem? Any ideas? Thanks!
 

macpro2000

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Original poster
Apr 20, 2005
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Another thing is the height difference on the iMac vs the Thunderbolt...makes me want to stay with nMP and 30"s, but would I be happier with iMacs?
 
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xraydoc

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Oct 9, 2005
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Happier? You haven't told us what you do with those 4 30" displays. If that's what you need, I think only a Mac Pro will do. You can get two additional displays on an iMac, but not a total of 4.
 
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macpro2000

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Sorry for lack of info but I really just have 4 30"s attached just for a cool setup. Normally I use just the 3 in front of me and not the one on the side so I realize I would lose that display. I guess prob what it comes down to if the thunderbolt displays would be nicer than the old 30"s.
 
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deconstruct60

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Mar 10, 2009
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Trying to decide what to do here...have 4x30" ACD hooked up to my 1,1 that I was planning on attaching to a nMP,
Quirky if Mac Pro support document literally true....

"... Can I connect DVI displays?

You can use two DVI displays with your Mac Pro. If you connect a third display via HDMI, it will cause one of the three displays to become inactive.

..."
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5918

It can drive 4 DispalyPort monitors, but not 4 of the legacy DVI connector standard monitors.


but wondering if I should just get a maxed out iMac and buy 2 extra thunderbolts for it and sell the ACDs.
The TB Display/docking stations with match each other but not the iMac. If put them on either side it will be symmetric but different. However, at this point with the still glossy screen, may pick up more gloss at those side angles.


Also heat is an issue, as I was hoping that the new Mac Pro wouldn't heat up my office like my 1,1. Or are the ACDs adding to that problem and will an iMac setup relieve that problem? Any ideas? Thanks!
Yes. the ACDs are contributing. Probably not as much as the 1,1 though.
An iMac and two LED backlight displays would be substantially lower than current set up.
 
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demars

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Jul 9, 2002
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Quirky if Mac Pro support document literally true....

"... Can I connect DVI displays?

You can use two DVI displays with your Mac Pro. If you connect a third display via HDMI, it will cause one of the three displays to become inactive.

..."
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5918

It can drive 4 DispalyPort monitors, but not 4 of the legacy DVI connector standard monitors.
That can be worked around by using active DVI->DP adapters. Then the monitors will look just like DisplayPort monitors to the Mac Pro.
 
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macpro2000

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Original poster
Apr 20, 2005
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Quirky if Mac Pro support document literally true....

"... Can I connect DVI displays?

You can use two DVI displays with your Mac Pro. If you connect a third display via HDMI, it will cause one of the three displays to become inactive.

..."
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5918

It can drive 4 DispalyPort monitors, but not 4 of the legacy DVI connector standard monitors.




The TB Display/docking stations with match each other but not the iMac. If put them on either side it will be symmetric but different. However, at this point with the still glossy screen, may pick up more gloss at those side angles.




Yes. the ACDs are contributing. Probably not as much as the 1,1 though.
An iMac and two LED backlight displays would be substantially lower than current set up.
Wow, thanks for the thorough post. I have 4 dual link dvi display port adapters if I was to get a new Mac Pro to use with them. I'm really wondering how the heat output on the nMP would compare to the 1,1. I think I would prob just get a loaded iMac with 2 thunderbolts if they had the same laminated screen and same height, but being type A, that would drive me nuts. Everyone says the nMP puts out some heat at the top, the question is just how does it compare to the oMP.
 
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deconstruct60

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Mar 10, 2009
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. I'm really wondering how the heat output on the nMP would compare to the 1,1. I.... Everyone says the nMP puts out some heat at the top, the question is just how does it compare to the oMP.
For normal workloads it most likely it is not even close.

What is powering you 4 monitors in the 1,1. Multiple GPU cards or just one of the newer generation cards?

Modern CPU and GPUs can idle at radically lower power levels to the hardware from going on 7 years ago. Get up to do something else for a couple minutes, talk on the phone , etc. and when not pushing the machine as hard it throttles back. All of that "hurry up and wait" wasted energy in older products made for great part time space heaters but not particularly efficient.
 
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lemonade-maker

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Jun 20, 2009
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I have 4 crossover q27 2560X1440 displays hooked to my late 2013 Mac Pro using apple mini display port adapters. Works great.
 
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deconstruct60

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That can be worked around by using active DVI->DP adapters. Then the monitors will look just like DisplayPort monitors to the Mac Pro.
Active means they would need a power source or pull it off the displaport connector ? Dual link seems like it would be tricky to pull off is highly limited active converter inside a small adapter.
 
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macpro2000

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Original poster
Apr 20, 2005
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I have 2 cards in the 1,1, a ATi 4870 and a ATi 2600XT. Probably best to try a nMP and see how it goes. I bet in a month or so the wait will be nil.
 
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ytoyoda

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Dec 14, 2013
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Tokyo
I'm really wondering how the heat output on the nMP would compare to the 1,1.
I think I would prob just get a loaded iMac with 2 thunderbolts if they had the same laminated screen and same height, but being type A, that would drive me nuts. Everyone says the nMP puts out some heat at the top, the question is just how does it compare to the oMP.
Here's the document from Apple.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2836
The heat output from the new Mac Pro is about same of oMP at max CPU load, and the heat is definitely lower than oMP when it is idle.
 
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deconstruct60

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Mar 10, 2009
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Nope. You can't connect 3 displays to thunderbolt ports 5, 6, (lower 2 ports) and hdmi at once, one will cut out of those three. the rest continue to work in the rest of the thunderbolt ports.
Who says you have to connect them all to the same TB bus? In fact, this very same article advises do not do this. There are three TB buses ( controller and DisplayPort bundles feeding into the respective controllers ). Each one can take two TB/DisplayPort displays. Mac Pro can drive a total of 6 regular (non 4K) displays that are based on DisplayPort (either immediate or transported over TB ).

More than two monitors simply have to be spread over more than one TB bus.

----------

I have 2 cards in the 1,1, a ATi 4870 and a ATi 2600XT.
You are going to be higher than the support article that was linked in above. The rates there are for standard configs. The more 3rd parth PCIe cards throw in just raises the power levels even higher. If have more PCIe cards for eSATA/USB 3.0 / etc that's incrementally more also.

Probably best to try a nMP and see how it goes. I bet in a month or so the wait will be nil.
2-3 months. While in USA they are starting to catch up, they are still behind the curve outside the USA. Until they do, BTO will be slower, but standard configs should get better by next month in most places.
 
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