Opinions needed & welcome

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MikieMikie, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #1
    I have a PowerMac MDD dual 867 with 1.5GB RAM.
    It's currently running 10.39
    My DVD drive is not operational, though it will read/write CDs.
    I have no monitor.

    I used to use the machine to write music (Sibelius scoring program), and the mix with Reason. It did okay producing avi files, but not great, especially when effects were added. It was a combination of lack of processor power and RAM is my guess.

    So, I am looking to buy a new mac pro when/if the new ones come out (Penryn), along with a decent 22" monitor. I want to be able to run Visual Studio to develop windows software in either VMWare or Parallels. I liked the look of Logic Pro, and will probably run it on this machine. (If I find no other inexpensive solution, I'll have it doing the encoding mentioned below, too.)

    I have a real need for a machine to convert/encode video from DVD to H.264 using Handbrake. As a result of doing this on my wife's MacBook Pro (Intel Core Duo, which runs H O T), I have melted some of the LCD crystals near the bottom of the screen near the left hinge. Some genius at the Apple store wagged his finger at me, and my wife won't let me near her machine anymore. :eek: I now have no file/iTunes server for my AppleTV.

    I figure if I fix up the PowerMac, it should be good enough to do what I need, but I'll need to:
    1. Update to Tiger/Leopard
    2. Buy a new DVD drive (for ripping)
    3. Get a monitor.

    So, my questions are:
    1. Is it unrealistic to expect the PowerMac to do a good job as an iTunes server, ripping and encoding, too?
    2. Is it worth the money I'm going to have to spend?
    Or
    3. Should I just use it as a doorstop and wait for the new Mac Pro?
    Or
    4. Any ideas?

    -- Mikie
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Mmmm... your post is all over the map... I don't understand at all.

    A. You melted the LCD of the MBP purely by operating the computer? I do not believe this is physically possible. Even in clamshell mode.

    B. When you say you now have no file server, I'm confused. Do you mean you were also trying to use the MBP as a file server?

    Anyway, assuming you're not just trolling....

    1. I think it's unrealistic to expect that upgrades will make the Powermac very fast at doing the rip/encode. Even single processor G5s are not very fast at encoding (based on my experience with my iMac G5/2.0 -- doing H.264s even with 2GB of memory is painfully slow). Nothing like using a 4 or 8 core MP. The only exception I guess is that you can explore getting a dedicated hardware converter like that plugin USB device that... Elgato? sells for converting video. That will be fast. Although you should look at reviews for its quality before you decide.

    2. I don't think it's unrealistic to use it as fileserver, necessarily, although it's a bit of a power hungry beast if that's all its doing.
     
  3. MikieMikie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #3
    Sorry for the disjointed post. It was serious, and not a troll.

    Nonetheless, according to the guy at the genius bar, the original Intel Core Duo MBPs ran quite hot. Running the machine doing a batched four-movie encode with Handbrake (which took over 12 hours) heated the case enough to (yes, really) melt the lower portion of the screen.

    Well, at least as an iTunes server... I have 2 X 500GB External HDDs that hold my media, which the MBP was streaming to the AppleTV.

    Really, I thank you for your opinion. It is as I feared -- that for what I want, it's time to upgrade. Now if only Apple would announce the new Mac Pro so I can plan and budget accordingly. :)

    Thanks again.

    -- Mikie
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    I'm not 100% clear on why, but yeah, DVD re-encode seems to be particularly faster on Intel computers than PPCs. I might be wrong on this, but I believe the Macbook is actually faster than the dual core PMG5s and maybe even close to the quad on this task....

    This is the Elgato product, btw:

    http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetvturbo

    Look at posts starting with #28 in this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=305014

    Regarding the quality issues. In terms of raw speed, though, the Elgato would actually probably make your PM "a contendah." :)

    Good luck! And hopefully you'll see the next gen of processors in a MP soon, also. :) Although looking at an Apple refurb of an existing MP might also be a good option.
     
  5. MikieMikie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #5
    Thanks for the info. I am going to check into refurbs. That may push me over the edge to buy sooner rather than later -- I am not good at waiting, especially for technology. The six iPhone months were the longest tech months I can remember.

    I have heard mixed reviews on the elgato USB unit... and for me, quality is more important than speed. I will, however, read this thread.

    -- Mikie
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    I sympathize! I really want one but I don't want to switch service providers. I should probably pull the trigger before Apple closes too many exploit pathways and no one can unlock the damn thing! :p

    Regarding refurbs, the feedback is generally that they come in excellent condition. Also, if you plan from the outset when you want to sell them, they do generally incur lest TCO than new computers. The one caveat at the moment is that they do not automatically get upgraded to Leopard. At some point it's likely that they'll all be advertised as coming with Leopard, but until the specs page says that, you can't assume it....
     
  7. MikieMikie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #7
    Thanks. I bought Leopard for the wife's MBP, so I'll get to try it out at least. 15% off is a considerable savings when you get up in the higher figures. I just looked and the Quad 3.0 Ghz version was:

    Original price: $3,849.00
    Your price: $3,299.00

    About $550, which would pay for the airport card and a monitor, at least.

    I hate like hell waiting for the Penryn upgrade, which people seem to think is inevitable and close-at-hand, but I guess it won't hurt to wait a few more weeks to see what appears, if anything. :D

    -- Mikie
     

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