Planning to buy Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by albeva, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. albeva macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #1
    Hi I'm new to this forum and Mac world in general. But recently I started using OSX and like it a lot and now plan to buy myself a mac too.

    Anyway I do lot of heavy work and opted for mac pro. Howver I have few questions that I would be really glad to have answers for

    1) The Buyer's Guide says to wait. I'm okay with waiting few months, but what is going to change? Are there going to be any ground breaking changes to the product line? Can someone explain that?

    2) As I understand Apple sells hard drives and memory over the price and I should get my own RAM and HDD? Can someone point to good and cheap alternatives? I plan to buy Apple Raid card and use 0+1 configuration (so 4 hard drives) each 500GB or 1TB (I know they all got to be the same size). If I want to use this scheme do I have to buy all 4 at the same time or can I start with 2 and then add another 2 without having to reinstall everything? (first use RAID 1 and then update to 0+1)

    3) Apple displayes are EXPENSIVE! I would be willing to pay the price but are they WORTH IT? I mean £1200 (2 x 23" displays) I can get 2 OK monitors for half the price. Also the guide says to wait? How long should I wait?

    thanks in advance
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    It's called Nehalem. You want to wait.

    NEVER buy RAM or HDDs from Apple. EVER.

    Buy a Dell unless you need the best panel out there or some FireWire ports in your monitor. The Cinema Displays haven't been touched in nearly three years. Ignore them entirely.
     
  3. albeva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #3
    Nehalem? Is this new cpu (i7) ?

    Any idea when it will be available? I mean if I have to wait like few years for it I don't see the point
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #5
    1) New processors and the associated platform should be available in workstations (Mac Pro) from January, however it may be later than this. Might be up to six months from now before we see an update.

    Nothing is really ground breaking. In the end what you are going to get is a faster machine, 20-40% on the processor speed, faster memory, faster interaction between memory and the processor. Even though it is quite a lot faster that should be the only big difference. There won't likely be software in the future that needs the new Mac Pro and won't work on current ones. Things are always going to move forwards. We will probably have 16 core systems as standard and faster, cheaper, larger memory that won't be supported on current or near future systems within 2 years.

    2) I use www.scan.co.uk but www.overclockers.co.uk and www.dabs.com are sometimes cheaper. For memory www.crucial.com/uk

    You don't need the RAID card to do those things as it can be done in software, but it's up to you. RAID 10 is preferable over 0+1. I'd go with 4 drives from the start just to avoid any headaches, you may be forced to anyway.

    3) It's thought that Apple will move to LED displays. Samsung's BLU displays (only LED ones available I think) are currently about 1.75 times more expensive than others their size. I would expect them to be more expensive than the current cinema displays. If you aren't looking to do colour critical work then Dell displays are perfectly fine. Don't buy direct from Dell in the UK though, you can get them cheaper elsewhere. If you do want to do colour critical work then look at NEC or Eizo displays.
     
  6. MikeDTyke macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #6
    Nehalem is the next gen of processor and bridge chips for Mac Pro, as said they'll be available from around Dec so a Jan update is expected.


    It would be better to just get all 4 drives at the same time. Manufacturers periodically tweak models, usually the last digit of the model number changes. Whilst it's possible to run with different models, firmware differences can cause timing issues. Best case it'll run slightly slower than expected. Worst case your array will throw integrity errors.

    Unless you want to use SAS drives or do raid 5, i'm not sure i'd bother with the raid card. The system is so powerful that striping and mirroring will have negligible impact and you'll save yourself a lot of money that could be spent on bigger drives.

    Note you cannot boot windows off a raid drive. Just in case you wanted to use bootcamp at some point. You can of course partion each of your drives so you'd end up with a raid 0+1 + 4 standalone partitions. ie. 4 x 500GB drives split into 100GB & 400GB partitions, would give a 800GB raid 0+1 and you'd have 4 x 100GB partitions, Say 1 bootcamp partition, 3 x100GB raid 0 scratch disk.


    M.
     
  7. albeva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #7
    you can't run windiws with RAID :( That's bad news then. Not even with hardware RAID card? Although I think I would use windows only uner vmware anyways
     
  8. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #8
    Get the computer you need now, and buy it now. Waiting and waiting and waiting for the latest/greatest is pointless.

    Same applies to Cinema Displays. Excellent monitors.
     
  9. MrJingles macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #9
    Couldn't agree more. When I bought my iMac I knew there would be updates soon after but I needed a new computer ASAP and it has done it's duty for over a year now. Waiting and killing yourself over a possible 5-10% increase isn't worth it, especially not at the MacPro level where most software doesn't use even 4-cores let alone 8! (I know it's getting there but still)
     
  10. Col127 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    #10
    i like dell lcds instead of apple lcds. great quality and literally half the price. :)

    ram, i use canadaram. affordable, great quality and excellent service.
     
  11. albeva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #11
    Thanks guys.

    I got a good PC (custom built) and it serves me more or less OK so I can wait few months. It's not that far away now.
     

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