New Mac Pro with Questions

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
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So my girlfriend just got a Mac Pro 2.8GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon 5400, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, GeForce 8800 GT 512MB with wired keyboard, mouse and install discs.

Now she got this all for only $300...

She is a graphic design major and does a lot of freelance work and I would like to get this thing set for her.

I am thinking I will put an additional 8GB RAM in it for now, looks like it takes DDR2 PC2-6400. Any suggestions on some for a good price?

I'm also thinking 200GB SSD with a 1TB drive for all of her media.

What else would be a good upgrade for this?

Pretty sure I know the answer already, but did she get a good deal?

Any input is appreciated!
 

deconstruct60

macrumors 604
Mar 10, 2009
7,979
1,172
What else would be a good upgrade for this?
Not so much an upgrade but what is missing: back-up.

Can marginally back up the SSD to the 1TB drive (still at 'single point of failure' of the whole box ), but presumably the bulky media is on the 1TB. Where is its back up? If handling customer data and it "disappears" then they are likely not going to be happy.


Sure can through gobs of money at GPUs and other issues but likely there is a fixed budget here. If freelance work was generation a substantial free flowing stream of cash she wouldn't have but a $300 computer bargain with legacy CPU , GPU, and RAM issues.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,533
2,302
Delaware
...
I am thinking I will put an additional 8GB RAM in it for now, looks like it takes DDR2 PC2-6400. Any suggestions on some for a good price?
...
What else would be a good upgrade for this?

Pretty sure I know the answer already, but did she get a good deal?
...
You missed one important part of the RAM requirements.
DDR2 PC2-6400 ECC fully-buffered FB-DIMM. pricey stuff, unfortunately, and not easy to find. Here's an example.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory#800-memory
and:
http://www.datamemorysystems.com/apple-mac-pro-quad-core-intel-xeon-2-8ghz-ma970ll/a-early-2008-memory-upgrades/
 

deconstruct60

macrumors 604
Mar 10, 2009
7,979
1,172
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DDR2 PC2-6400 ECC fully-buffered FB-DIMM. pricey stuff, ...
yeah. between the RAM , SSD, and 1TB HDD probably have blown past what paid for the box in the first place.

If you are throwing in your $300+ to match her $300 then yeah she is getting a very good deal. :)
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
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Thanks for the input guys, HOLY CRAP I just looked at RAM prices haha

Either way, she'll need a small upgrade to 8GB total at least.

How do you guys feel that machine will handle modern programs like inDesign or other CS6 programs? I feel that the Quad core is plenty capable personally.

I think the SSD will speed up the program load speeds and such as well. I also think I'll get her a decent sized External drive so she can backup her work there and show it to clients using her laptop.
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
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This is already sold, but would this be the correct stuff for this machine?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321350106282

I should be able to get the SSD and HDD for another $120-150 probably without buying new.
If you want memory, the best (quality and price) is at transintl:

http://www.transintl.com/

By the way, welcome to the forums. Which year (2008, 2010, 2012) Mac Pro?
Thank you! The ebay link, is that correct since it is the RAM that came in the Mac Pro?

It's a 2008. The body is extremely clean, I just went and cleaned the interior. The 4 hard drive bay for her will be a huge positive. Along with two drives for writing projects to discs for customers.
 

sigmadog

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
761
588
just west of Idaho
I'm a graphic designer as well still using my 2008 2.8 (8-core).

One of the best upgrades I've done recently was to add a Sonnet Tempo Pro PCIe card with 2 SSD's (a RAID0 setup) which I use for my boot drive and applications. The start time is impressively fast, and the programs are quite snappy as a result. It's pricey and may be beyond your budget, but it is without a doubt, one of the best ways to speed up this model.

Aside from that, I have all my HD bays full, and I back-up the boot disk every other night (I'm old and grumpy and don't yet fully trust SSD's), and back up my project files weekly to external disks.

I think she will benefit from increased RAM as well. I've got 14 GB and have never felt lacking. I think if you can afford bumping up to 8GB it should be sufficient for most situations. Be aware that Photoshop is reported to benefit from more RAM, so the more you get, the better. IMPORTANT: Make sure it's the right kind for this model (I usually check at OtherWorldComputing.com for the spec's - the site is full of information).

I don't worry too much about showing work on my computer to clients. I mostly send them PDF proofs which they can mark up. If they see me with the computer, they tend to think they can start making changes right then, which transforms me from a graphic designer to an organ-grinder's monkey. Just my experience, but to each their own.

Anyway, hope this helps. It's a good computer, and at the price she got it, the upgrades may not hurt as much.

So my girlfriend just got a Mac Pro 2.8GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon 5400, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, GeForce 8800 GT 512MB with wired keyboard, mouse and install discs.

Now she got this all for only $300...

She is a graphic design major and does a lot of freelance work and I would like to get this thing set for her.

I am thinking I will put an additional 8GB RAM in it for now, looks like it takes DDR2 PC2-6400. Any suggestions on some for a good price?

I'm also thinking 200GB SSD with a 1TB drive for all of her media.

What else would be a good upgrade for this?

Pretty sure I know the answer already, but did she get a good deal?

Any input is appreciated!
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
391
0
I'm a graphic designer as well still using my 2008 2.8 (8-core).

One of the best upgrades I've done recently was to add a Sonnet Tempo Pro PCIe card with 2 SSD's (a RAID0 setup) which I use for my boot drive and applications. The start time is impressively fast, and the programs are quite snappy as a result. It's pricey and may be beyond your budget, but it is without a doubt, one of the best ways to speed up this model.

Aside from that, I have all my HD bays full, and I back-up the boot disk every other night (I'm old and grumpy and don't yet fully trust SSD's), and back up my project files weekly to external disks.

I think she will benefit from increased RAM as well. I've got 14 GB and have never felt lacking. I think if you can afford bumping up to 8GB it should be sufficient for most situations. Be aware that Photoshop is reported to benefit from more RAM, so the more you get, the better. IMPORTANT: Make sure it's the right kind for this model (I usually check at OtherWorldComputing.com for the spec's - the site is full of information).

I don't worry too much about showing work on my computer to clients. I mostly send them PDF proofs which they can mark up. If they see me with the computer, they tend to think they can start making changes right then, which transforms me from a graphic designer to an organ-grinder's monkey. Just my experience, but to each their own.

Anyway, hope this helps. It's a good computer, and at the price she got it, the upgrades may not hurt as much.
Cool to see another Graphic Designer using a similar machine! I think the Quad core, although not the 8 core, will be a good amount for what she will use it for!

I actually just got 4x2GB sticks.

For now I'll get here a 120GB SSD for the programs which should be a good start and a 1TB HDD. I'll just have to tell her to keep all of her important stuff backed up in the cloud or on an external.
 
Last edited:

xcodeSyn

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2012
548
4
I actually just got 4x2GB sticks, the right stuff, for $50 which I think is as absolute steal.
Yes, if they are dual-rank FB-DIMMs, then you really got yourself a great deal. On the other hand, if they won't boot because they are quad-rank modules, then I hope you could return them because they would be useless to your MP3,1.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,852
380
UK
hay one big thing is what apps are you using?
some apps like photoshop will see no major speed up from being on an SDD but will see a major speed up from a SDD scratch disc, so at most a small SDD boot disc and a SDD scratch disc may be what you want.

id never use internal drives for backup, i use external drives for backup and storage in sets of two (ie 2 mirrored external drives for data storage) and internal drives only for live projects. (not in raid, raid is not a backup)

also the GeForce 8800 GT can get replaced by something silent or at least quiet.

but i also want to second a macmin it's got faster CPU's USB3 and thunderbolt makes almost no sound and uses less power + a warranty and super cheep ram. unless you need a beefy GPU a macpro is a bit silly now for most users.

edit- iv got a 3.1 and it's not silent .. just saying sometimes i wish i had a macmin.
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
391
0
Yes, if they are dual-rank FB-DIMMs, then you really got yourself a great deal. On the other hand, if they won't boot because they are quad-rank modules, then I hope you could return them because they would be useless to your MP3,1.
Here is what it said:

4GB Kit 2x2GB DDR2 PC2-6400 ECC FULLY BUFFERED

Is that correct?

Hopefully you answer before they ship so I can cancel if needed lol

hay one big thing is what apps are you using?
some apps like photoshop will see no major speed up from being on an SDD but will see a major speed up from a SDD scratch disc, so at most a small SDD boot disc and a SDD scratch disc may be what you want.

id never use internal drives for backup, i use external drives for backup and storage in sets of two (ie 2 mirrored external drives for data storage) and internal drives only for live projects. (not in raid, raid is not a backup)

also the GeForce 8800 GT can get replaced by something silent or at least quiet.

but i also want to second a macmin it's got faster CPU's USB3 and thunderbolt makes almost no sound and uses less power + a warranty and super cheep ram. unless you need a beefy GPU a macpro is a bit silly now for most users.

edit- iv got a 3.1 and it's not silent .. just saying sometimes i wish i had a macmin.
She runs a lot of Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign and I'd be lying if I said I knew what else lol

She will be backing up on an external drive because she wants to be able to show the work to customers as well via her laptop.

Noise, probably won't be a big deal for her, if it is that's just a minor upgrade and change so that shouldn't be an issue.

We'll see how this one goes, I think she'll be able to get her money out of it if she doesn't like it either way so we should be safe.
 

xcodeSyn

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2012
548
4
Here is what it said:

4GB Kit 2x2GB DDR2 PC2-6400 ECC FULLY BUFFERED

Is that correct?
I am afraid I could not tell with the above information. You should contact the seller directly for the info. Mac Pro 1,1 to 3,1 can only run dual-rank (2R) FB-DIMMs, and that's one of the reasons why they are still expensive even when buying used. The good news though is that there are more dual-rank PC2-5300 FB-DIMMs available with cheaper prices on eBay. They are a bit slower, but you probably won't tell the difference most of the time.

Edit: Here's an example of 2R FB-DIMMs if you want to load up to 32GB. This one is more reasonable for 2x4GB.
 
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trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
391
0
I am afraid I could not tell with the above information. You should contact the seller directly for the info. Mac Pro 1,1 to 3,1 can only run dual-rank (2R) FB-DIMMs, and that's one of the reasons why they are still expensive even when buying used. The good news though is that there are more dual-rank PC2-5300 FB-DIMMs available with cheaper prices on eBay. They are a bit slower, but you probably won't tell the difference most of the time.
I kind of figured that after I did some thinking :D

It says 'old school Mac Pros'. I guess we'll just wait and find out. Either way if I have to, at that price I think I can flip them around and make some off of them if needed or at least break even.
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
391
0
So guys, I have a couple more questions, but first here is what I have coming for her Mac Pro:

Sandisk 128GB SSD - Delivered
Western Digital 1TB 7200RPM HDD - Delivered
2.5 Sled adapter - Delivered
8 GB RAM - Shipping

Should be a fun little build and I'll start and finish tomorrow night if all goes as planned. With that being said I have a couple of questions.

Since I am running dual drives, I would like to keep OS X and all the applications on the SSD and all of the media files and such on the HDD.

How can I do this when running a fresh install? I would like the default locations of Documents, Photos, Videos, etc to all be on the HDD while the Programs and program files will stay on the SSD.

I have done this on PC's but this is my first actual upgrade through a Mac Pro.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

I planned on installing directly to the SSD, then moving those other files to the HDD, but not sure if this will work exactly how I'd like with the HDD staying as the default as I move the locations over.
 

westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
How can I do this when running a fresh install? I would like the default locations of Documents, Photos, Videos, etc to all be on the HDD while the Programs and program files will stay on the SSD.

I have done this on PC's but this is my first actual upgrade through a Mac Pro.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

I planned on installing directly to the SSD, then moving those other files to the HDD, but not sure if this will work exactly how I'd like with the HDD staying as the default as I move the locations over.
When you first install you will select the SSD. Then once it's setup, go in and move your "user library" to another volume.

http://macs.about.com/od/diyguidesprojects/qt/Move-Your-Home-Folder-To-A-New-Location.htm

Concerning the memory. Mac Pro 1 & 2's only supported 667Mhz memory, which is also known as PC2-5300. The PC2-6400 stuff is capable of running at 800Mhz. It will just auto clock down to 667Mhz to accommodate the Mac.

If the memory you bought does not have the big fat Apple heatsinks, you can swap them off the your original memory if you are replacing it. Or you can buy knock off heatsinks off of eBay for $10.
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
391
0
When you first install you will select the SSD. Then once it's setup, go in and move your "user library" to another volume.

http://macs.about.com/od/diyguidesprojects/qt/Move-Your-Home-Folder-To-A-New-Location.htm

Concerning the memory. Mac Pro 1 & 2's only supported 667Mhz memory, which is also known as PC2-5300. The PC2-6400 stuff is capable of running at 800Mhz. It will just auto clock down to 667Mhz to accommodate the Mac.

If the memory you bought does not have the big fat Apple heatsinks, you can swap them off the your original memory if you are replacing it. Or you can buy knock off heatsinks off of eBay for $10.
Thanks for the input!

I'm thinking it will be a little easier than I'm thinking, just haven't worked with Mac stuff as much as I wished I would have.

As for the RAM, I'm not all that worried about that. It's not actually even here yet lol so hopefully it gets here today before I head home :D

I'll update the post if I have any issues. I'm interested to see how quickly the machine boots with the solid state.
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
391
0
A couple of questions. We are trying to get the library 'Jessica' on the 'Media' drive (1TB Drive) and off of the 'Programs' drive (128GB SSD).

I would like to have the 'Media' drive as the native drive for all files that are included in the 'Jessica' library and would like to keep things such as applications on the Programs drive.

I tried to just copy the library from the programs drive to the media drive, but they stayed on both and when I clicked on 'Jessica' it just took me to the files that were on the Programs drive.

Can't screen capture because I need a wireless card yet, but here's what I'm talking about:


Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr

Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr

Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr

In short, 'Jessica', the whole library, I would like on the other drive. Applications should stay where it is.

Also, it appears I have the wrong RAM. I'll have to figure this out where I can get the new stuff, until then, it will be for sale in the classifieds.


Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr

Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr

Other than that, things went smoothly. It's currently running Snow Leopard and needs to be updated when it's on Wifi. I would like to find 4GB extra of RAM at least so it's enough for her programs.


Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr

Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr

Untitled by trewyn15, on Flickr
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,533
2,302
Delaware
If one of your pictures showed your RAM installed in a riser card, then I can see that you don't have the memory installed in the proper slots.

If you have the original memory - one RAM stick in each riser - then when you add more pairs, you have to move the original sticks to a proper pair of slots.
Example: Move the Crucial stick from the lower riser to slot 2 on the upper riser, so the Crucial pair is in slots 1 & 2. Put one pair of the Lifetime memory in slots 1 & 2 of the lower riser, and the second pair would go in slots 3 & 4 of the upper riser.
So - you should have matched pairs in 1 & 2 on each riser, and third matched pair in 3 & 4 of the upper riser.
That's the recommended correct arrangement. Other than that, the RAM sticks that you purchased appear to be the correct memory. I expect it will work after you move the pairs to proper slots.
(just for info, Lifetime memory is from a third party, and even though it probably had been installed in someone else's Mac - it is not an Apple brand. It's good memory (Lifetime warranty and all that!), but didn't ship from Apple. )
 

westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
Other than that, things went smoothly. It's currently running Snow Leopard and needs to be updated when it's on Wifi. I would like to find 4GB extra of RAM at least so it's enough for her programs.
If you want to buy Lion, you will have to call Apple directly. It's not a big deal, they will ask you a couple questions to make sure your model can run it, just answer the questions. But what is a little unexpected is they will put in a ticket for you to get a download code. It will take a couple days for you to get the code. At which point you will be able to download it. It's 4.74GB. But to stress, you will not get it that day.

As far as I can tell that memory should work. Placement is important. When I first got my memory it was not recognized because of how I installed it.
 

Macsonic

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2009
1,473
17
Earth
So guys, I have a couple more questions, but first here is what I have coming for her Mac Pro:

Sandisk 128GB SSD - Delivered
Western Digital 1TB 7200RPM HDD - Delivered
2.5 Sled adapter - Delivered
8 GB RAM - Shipping

Should be a fun little build and I'll start and finish tomorrow night if all goes as planned. With that being said I have a couple of questions.

Since I am running dual drives, I would like to keep OS X and all the applications on the SSD and all of the media files and such on the HDD.

How can I do this when running a fresh install? I would like the default locations of Documents, Photos, Videos, etc to all be on the HDD while the Programs and program files will stay on the SSD.

I have done this on PC's but this is my first actual upgrade through a Mac Pro.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

I planned on installing directly to the SSD, then moving those other files to the HDD, but not sure if this will work exactly how I'd like with the HDD staying as the default as I move the locations over.
The 8 gig of ram would be adequate for graphic design and the Adobe apps your girlfriend will be using. It's a good machine as I have used a 2008 Mac Pro for graphic design. Later on with the income earned and saved, you can upgrade the video card to a Radeon 5770. A flashed PC card will work as its price is cheaper.

My 2008 Mac Pro is now with my nephew as he has been nagging me for almost a year to sell it to him. I had a hard time letting it go as the machine was "good luck" as it brought in good income and new clients. And never had any kind of hardware issues or breakdowns and still in mint condition. I am sure your girlfriend will enjoy the machine. :)
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 13, 2013
391
0
If one of your pictures showed your RAM installed in a riser card, then I can see that you don't have the memory installed in the proper slots.

If you have the original memory - one RAM stick in each riser - then when you add more pairs, you have to move the original sticks to a proper pair of slots.
Example: Move the Crucial stick from the lower riser to slot 2 on the upper riser, so the Crucial pair is in slots 1 & 2. Put one pair of the Lifetime memory in slots 1 & 2 of the lower riser, and the second pair would go in slots 3 & 4 of the upper riser.
So - you should have matched pairs in 1 & 2 on each riser, and third matched pair in 3 & 4 of the upper riser.
That's the recommended correct arrangement. Other than that, the RAM sticks that you purchased appear to be the correct memory. I expect it will work after you move the pairs to proper slots.
(just for info, Lifetime memory is from a third party, and even though it probably had been installed in someone else's Mac - it is not an Apple brand. It's good memory (Lifetime warranty and all that!), but didn't ship from Apple. )
Ahh yeah, I didn't think they put Lifetime in, I forget what they use but I have a couple of Hynix sticks around, I think that's what they normally put in?

Thanks for the input on the correct arrangement, hopefully this will work, I'll definitely stop back in and touch base on this, hopefully it works well so I can get her set up.

If you want to buy Lion, you will have to call Apple directly. It's not a big deal, they will ask you a couple questions to make sure your model can run it, just answer the questions. But what is a little unexpected is they will put in a ticket for you to get a download code. It will take a couple days for you to get the code. At which point you will be able to download it. It's 4.74GB. But to stress, you will not get it that day.

As far as I can tell that memory should work. Placement is important. When I first got my memory it was not recognized because of how I installed it.
Ahh okay, we'll have to look into that, if I recall correctly you can't skip any right? We have to do Leopard -> Snow Leopard -> Lion etc...

I'll try to move the placement of the RAM and check back in!

The 8 gig of ram would be adequate for graphic design and the Adobe apps your girlfriend will be using. It's a good machine as I have used a 2008 Mac Pro for graphic design. Later on with the income earned and saved, you can upgrade the video card to a Radeon 5770. A flashed PC card will work as its price is cheaper.

My 2008 Mac Pro is now with my nephew as he has been nagging me for almost a year to sell it to him. I had a hard time letting it go as the machine was "good luck" as it brought in good income and new clients. And never had any kind of hardware issues or breakdowns and still in mint condition. I am sure your girlfriend will enjoy the machine. :)
Excellent, I look forward to getting this thing to run well. I'll look into the video card as well!

Thanks everyone for your input! I'll check in soon and let you all know how it goes!

----------

Anyone know how I can put her Documents and such on the Media drive (HDD) and keep the Applications on the Applications drive (SSD)?