New to Pro machines....a couple of quick questions..

arcsbite

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Jan 14, 2006
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So I ditched the idea of a mbp and decided to get a MacPro, I could use the extra power vs portability...

I've only ever had consumer machines in the past so I'm new to this..

1. Which is the better value graphics card for the Mac Pro? I will be using Final Cut Studio and Aperture, but I would also like to play some games via bootcamp,

2. Where is the best place to find RAM (UK or US) it seems the Mac Pro RAM is different to all consumer and mbp RAM and it's got me confused.

3. Is it possible to mod the machine yourself without ruining the warranty? I mean, if I decide I want a second superdrive after all, or I want to add internal bluetooth in the future?

4. how easy is it to upgrade these things? I've seen the HDD sleds, but I'm unsure about BT and wireless and extra DVD drives.

thanks :)
 

twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
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i would go with the ATI card. it will help with the things you just mentioned, quite a bit.

i ordered with the ATI card myself, but it's not here yet.

it's my first pro machine like this too, so i can't really comment on the other questions yet
 

arcsbite

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Jan 14, 2006
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twoodcc said:
i would go with the ATI card. it will help with the things you just mentioned, quite a bit.

i ordered with the ATI card myself, but it's not here yet.

it's my first pro machine like this too, so i can't really comment on the other questions yet
you ordered the ATI seperately?
did you save any money?

I hadn't thought of buying the card seperately.
 

kered22

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2006
354
1
Torrance, CA
1. If you were just using FCP and Aperture, the 7300 would probably be okay. But if you're going to play some games (either OS X or Windows), the X1900 is your best bet.

2. For RAM... you can just config it via the Apple Store online. Or if you'd prefer to other places, I believe Crucial, OWC and Kingston work pretty good. Just be sure to look for FB-DIMMs and see if they are MacPro compatible.

3. Adding a second Superdrive (or Blu ray or HD-DVD) is fine and won't void your warranty. Adding bluetooth or airport, I believe you can take it in to an Apple Store and have them do it afterwards. Not sure if the components will be for sale by themselves.

4. The BT is pretty easy, I've seen the slot it plugs into and the wire is right behind the 2nd hard drive bay. You just need to screw it in and plug it in. Here's a thread here regarding the wireless:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=237916
 

kered22

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2006
354
1
Torrance, CA
arcsbite said:
you ordered the ATI seperately?
did you save any money?

I hadn't thought of buying the card seperately.
It's more expensive if you buy the card seperately. $250 if you get the MacPro configured with the X1900. $400 if you get the card by itself.
 

Transeau

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
869
12
Alta Loma, CA
Lemme try and help a little...

1) Go with the ATI - It's a lot more money, but you will NOT be disappointed with it. I use FCS myself, and I love my ATI.

2) RAM is an odd issue right now. The "Apple Certified" memory is REALLY expensive. I went generic and it's been great! Whatever you get, just make sure it's lifetime warranty.

3) Warranties are enforced on a state by state basis. For example, here in California it's the manufacturer's responsibility to prove that the "modified" part was responsible for the part that failed. I.E. They can not void your SuperDrive's warranty if you have aftermarket Memory in the system.
I've swapped out my hard drives, memory and processors already. So I don't have many parts left that apple will cover, but then again, I'm not really worried about it.

4) Most of the upgrades are simple, with a little experience. A second DVD-RW is about 5 minutes of work, very simple. hard drives are also very simple. Memory is simple.. Video is a little tricky for someone that has never seen a PCIe slot before, I've seen many people break the slots because they didn't release clip first. CPU's are about the most difficult to do. It takes an experienced tech about 2 hours with the correct tools. WiFi and BT arent that bad, the antennas are a bit of a pain, but no big deal.
 

arcsbite

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Jan 14, 2006
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Fantastic
thanks for the help guys.

One of my main reasons for asking is that I saw that as of yesterday Refurb Mac Pro's are available in the UK, only they come with the standard video card and no BT/Wireless.
I was checking to see if it was worth saving the 30% on the refurb or just buying a custom one via the HE Edu store.

thanks again :D
 

twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
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arcsbite said:
Fantastic
thanks for the help guys.

One of my main reasons for asking is that I saw that as of yesterday Refurb Mac Pro's are available in the UK, only they come with the standard video card and no BT/Wireless.
I was checking to see if it was worth saving the 30% on the refurb or just buying a custom one via the HE Edu store.

thanks again :D
well i guess that depends on how much money you have, or how much you can spend.
 

arcsbite

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Jan 14, 2006
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twoodcc said:
well i guess that depends on how much money you have, or how much you can spend.
Completely.
I'm a sucker for a bargain and don't want to spend more than I have to (then I have more for RAM upgrades)
but I think it's more a case of buying what I need this time, and I think the ATI may be the smarter choice.
 

kered22

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2006
354
1
Torrance, CA
arcsbite said:
Completely.
I'm a sucker for a bargain and don't want to spend more than I have to (then I have more for RAM upgrades)
but I think it's more a case of buying what I need this time, and I think the ATI may be the smarter choice.
Let us know how it goes. :) So far the MacPros have been very problem free, so hopefully the refurbs will be good if you go that patch.
 

twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
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arcsbite said:
Completely.
I'm a sucker for a bargain and don't want to spend more than I have to (then I have more for RAM upgrades)
but I think it's more a case of buying what I need this time, and I think the ATI may be the smarter choice.
i agree. i was in the same situation, and i chose the ATI card
 

SMM

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2006
1,334
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Tiger Mountain - WA State
I am now on my 3rd generation PowerMac/Mac Pro. I still have and use all three of them. I upgraded my original 2.0 x 2 G5 with an ATI 9800 Pro, I purchased my G5 Quad with the 7800 GT and have the 1900 in my MP. I have never regretted spending the extra for the superior graphics. I mainly use FCS, Adobe and Macromedia.
 

ljones

macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2006
232
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Atlanta, GA
I got the Bluetooth and Airport Express installed with my Mac pro at the Apple Store when i bought it. The boxes for the Blue 2.0 says $25, and the Airport says $43.

Although i paid less thanks to a corporate discount which was applied to the entire total. They installed it for free, bought during lunch on a Friday, picked it up after work.

inside the box does mention authorized apple professionals are to install those items or the warranty would be voided.
 

Mookamoo

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2006
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arcsbite said:
Fantastic
thanks for the help guys.

One of my main reasons for asking is that I saw that as of yesterday Refurb Mac Pro's are available in the UK, only they come with the standard video card and no BT/Wireless.
I was checking to see if it was worth saving the 30% on the refurb or just buying a custom one via the HE Edu store.

thanks again :D
Where are the refurb available from - I might do the same as you.

I bought a refurbed ex demo 17" laptop 3 years ago and RAMed it up myself and had no problems at all.

It was an ex demo from the MacExpo in London which Jigsaw were selling off at about 30% off. Expo is end of October so it might be worth giving Jigsaw a call to see if they are doing the same.
 

arcsbite

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Jan 14, 2006
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Mookamoo said:
Where are the refurb available from - I might do the same as you.

I bought a refurbed ex demo 17" laptop 3 years ago and RAMed it up myself and had no problems at all.

It was an ex demo from the MacExpo in London which Jigsaw were selling off at about 30% off. Expo is end of October so it might be worth giving Jigsaw a call to see if they are doing the same.
it's on apple's online store.