Pick my mac pro!

malcolm233391

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 20, 2009
43
0
So I need to max out my credit cards before I file for bankruptcy again. No, in all seriousness, I need a new workstation. Which one would you suggest from the pic below, or should I wait till Black Friday?


The refurb mac pro come with the standard ram and video card so I'll have to upgrade those on my own. Which would be of better value?
 

Genghis Khan

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2007
1,202
0
Melbourne, Australia
lol...as i'm still in uni, i have no idea how bankruptcy works, so i don't know wether to be proud or disappointed in you :p

the only advice i can give is to determine how much you have to spend and then spec up a mac pro as close to that as possible...
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
If you are willing to wait until Black Friday I don't see the issue with waiting until early 2010 for the Gulftown MP with much more value and features.
 

Dr.Pants

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,181
2
Are you on the US refurb site?
Personally I think the couple of 2008 refurbished models that are hanging around have better performance/dollar then the 2009 ones and have less limitations. Minus that you would have to buy expensive FB-DIMMs. Other then that...
 

malcolm233391

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 20, 2009
43
0
Yes, thats the US refurb site and I think I should stay away from the older models simply because of future graphic card incompatibilities right? I hope I can wait until Black Friday its just I don't know if I have the willpower to stay off the Apple Store Web-page. Anyways, I don't think I can hold off until Q1'10 for Gulftown because the update could happen anytime between January and April and the latter to long of a wait.
 

Dr.Pants

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,181
2
The graphics card incompatibilities was Apple updating to EFI64 from EFI32. 2008 MacPros are EFI64, so technically any graphics card that works in a 2009 model will work in a 2008. If Apple updates their firmware again, the 2009 users will be just as SOL as the 2008 users.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,929
54
England
Are you waiting for black friday to get a discount on the Mac Pro? I'm pretty sure it has jsut been discounts on specific consumer products since the Mac Pro came out, but you could look up previous news articles on here to check. I doubt you will get a better discount than a refurb and no discount on a refurb.
 

smacman

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2006
451
2
the couple of 2008 refurbished models that are hanging around have better performance/dollar then the 2009 ones and have less limitations.
Other than expensive RAM (which is not really a limitation), what limitations do the 2009 models have that the 2008 don't?
 

Dr.Pants

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,181
2
Other than expensive RAM (which is not really a limitation), what limitations do the 2009 models have that the 2008 don't?
  • SATA interface speeds of around 65 MB/s, for one. (370-ish MB/s on the 2008 model.)
  • Quad cannot hold as much RAM as a 2008 model until 8GB DIMMs are introduced.
  • 2.8*8 core from 2008 will perform better then the 2.26 octo, 2.66 quad, or 2.93 quad from this generation during multithreaded tasks (when all cores are used).

Those are the large ones worth mentioning. The 2009 models have their advantages; the lowest quad core can get ahead of the 2008 model due to turboboost in single-threaded performance, and 2009 MacPros have hyperthreading which may make the 2.26 octo perform better when it has to access large-large volumes of RAM.

There have been many compare/contrast statements. Search around. But when it comes dollar-to-dollar, the 2008 is better as a workstation.
 

smacman

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2006
451
2
Pardon my ignorance but can you explain why the SATA interface is crippled on the 2009 Mac Pro?
 

J the Ninja

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2008
1,824
0
Post #8

Tesselator's explanation would probably be better then mine.
Wait, it's 65MB/s per port? I thought there was a total of ~650MB/s available to go between the NB and SB, so the drives could all go as fast as they wanted, provided the total throughput stayed under 650MB/s?
 

tri3limited

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2008
379
0
London
Most important to all of this, and as previously mentioned... There is no point waiting for Black Friday as they've never reduced a Power or Pro before and it would be unlikely for them to start now.

There is a list of previous discounts floating around in the guides section somewhere!
 

malcolm233391

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 20, 2009
43
0
Thanks for your input guys, your probably right, apple doesn't ever discount their pro line during Black Friday. So, I just placed my order on the octo-core and I should get it in a few days.
 

frimple

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2008
333
0
Denver, CO
Wait, it's 65MB/s per port? I thought there was a total of ~650MB/s available to go between the NB and SB, so the drives could all go as fast as they wanted, provided the total throughput stayed under 650MB/s?
Pretty sure that's true, not sure where the 65MB/s number came from....
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Are you on the US refurb site?
Personally I think the couple of 2008 refurbished models that are hanging around have better performance/dollar then the 2009 ones and have less limitations. Minus that you would have to buy expensive FB-DIMMs. Other then that...
So do I, and the FB-DIMM isn't horrible either. Last I checked, it was less expensive than the DDR3 UDIMM's of the same capacity. :eek: :D It's been a little bit though, and worth checking. That said, even if the memory is a few bucks more per stick, it's still a better deal overall IMO. Faster clocks, fewer other limitations, such as the ICH10R's throttled throughput, limited DIMM slots Apple installed (4 DIMM's per CPU), and of course the HDD data sent on PCB traces. Which forces a 3rd party solution (add $165USD) from MaxUpgrades to use other RAID cards besides Apple's crappy offering.

Wait, it's 65MB/s per port? I thought there was a total of ~650MB/s available to go between the NB and SB, so the drives could all go as fast as they wanted, provided the total throughput stayed under 650MB/s?
The '09 models can sustain ~660MB/s. So I don't know where this 65MB/s number is comming from. But it can still be an issue, especially if SSD's are used. The limit is reached with a single Intel SSD (250MB/s) and a 4 drive mechanical based stripe set (figuring on 100MB/s per drive) if run simultaneously (and should be expected for this to happen; it adds up to 650MB/s limit the ICH10R can provide). Rather limiting for some if another arrangement (say additional SSD's are desired, especially if RAIDed together), as the throughputs would be hampered. It would require a 3rd party solution (PCIe SATA card), which not only costs more funds, but eats a PCIe slot (and are rather precious themselves in a 4 slot system). If that card would need to boot, it's much worse in terms of cost too. :rolleyes: :(

Is the Areca 1680ix better than the ATTO card?
Both are nice card makers, and they make an equivalent family in this range (1200MHz IOP SAS models). Atto's interface is a little nicer, but for equivalent cards, Atto's are more expensive (same port counts), and don't allow you to upgrade the cache (some of the Areca's do, some don't, but none of the Atto's offer this ability).

I've found the Areca's to have a better cost/performance ratio (includes additional features Atto doesn't offer as well). But if you can provide specific card models you're interested in, a more detailed comparison can be given. ;)
 

galstaph

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2002
811
2
The Great White North Eh
get an ADC select account and use the hardware discount (upwards of 20% off IIRC, been a while since I checked though) on the most tricked out '09 octad that you can fit on your card from there....:D:D:D
+ enjoy free software from the developer downloads :D
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
6,767
783
Er.... if you declare bankruptcy, won't you probably have to sell the Mac Pro/send it back?

Bankruptcy does usually require some form of liquidation.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Pressed for time ATM, but if you check my link, I was mainly quoting Tesselator involving interface speed.
Got it. Not sure where he came up with that one though. :confused:

Er.... if you declare bankruptcy, won't you probably have to sell the Mac Pro/send it back?

Bankruptcy does usually require some form of liquidation.
I took the bankruptcy bit as a joke, without the use of emoticons. ;)
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
6,767
783
I took the bankruptcy bit as a joke, without the use of emoticons. ;)
Lol, I hope so, or else this would be one of the strangest threads I've seen. :p

(Sorry, I was slightly intoxicated last night, the humor probably went over my head. :) )