Question about buying MacPro - better video card or more RAM?

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
Got the go ahead from my boss to get a Mac Pro, 2.66 GHz model. My budget lets me get either the ATI graphics card upgrade or an extra GB RAM (2GB instead of one). I don't want to buy 3rd party RAM now, because it won't be covered by Apple Care. Which will help me more in Photoshop - the extra RAM?
 

ricgnzlzcr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
802
0
I'd think it would be the ram that would help you the most. Also, third party ram won't void your warranty. When you send it to Apple for applecare (which hopefully won't happen), just remove the ram you installed and send it out like you got it.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
You can also buy a couple Apple FB-DIMMs later at the same price as the CTO upgrades.
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
Thanks all. I won't have any money for upgrades in the immediate future, so am I right to think that the RAM increase will help me more than the video card in using Photoshop?

As a separate question, if I hook up my firewire 400 external drive as a scratch disk for PS, will that make it faster than using a portion of my main drive?
 

jicon

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2004
401
167
Toronto, ON
Remember, the Xeon and chipset will perform best if you use four of the RAM slots instead of two. You take a performance hit with just two slots occupied.

That being said, I've never found it beneficial buying HDD or memory upgrades thru Apple. - much cheaper elsewhere.
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
*Edit* - I went ahead and put in my order for the Mac Pro 2.66 GHz configuration with the RAM upgrade to 4 x 512MB, along with a 20-inch Cinema Display. Estimated ship 3-5 days!
 

mohaukachi

macrumors member
May 28, 2003
57
0
los angeles
ive heard the same about memory working better in 4 stick configs. as far as your scratch disk... ive always been fine with it being on a local drive. however, i have an external FW800 set as my secondary scratch on the odd occurance that my photoshop cache get over 20 or 30 gigs. i prefer an internal scratch disk just due to the fact that FW drives tend to be less reliable. the fact is... its a matter of preference and what works best for you. enjoy your new machine!
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
14
Almere, The Netherlands
MovieCutter said:
Yes, you can buy the x1900 as a retail kit later.
You can?!?! How do you know that, there hasn't been a release of one yet nor has any company announced it as far as I know.

I would say get the better video card, it's always a crime to update it later, look at every PowerMac that has been released so far. You always pay a lot for a retail Mac video card, if it's available. Ram on the other can be purchased for pretty cheap prices everywhere! My advise: GO FOR THE BETTER VIDEOCARD!! You can always purchase Ram later.
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
3,342
2
Washington, DC
Dreadnought said:
You can?!?! How do you know that, there hasn't been a release of one yet nor has any company announced it as far as I know.

I would say get the better video card, it's always a crime to update it later, look at every PowerMac that has been released so far. You always pay a lot for a retail Mac video card, if it's available. Ram on the other can be purchased for pretty cheap prices everywhere! My advise: GO FOR THE BETTER VIDEOCARD!! You can always purchase Ram later.
That's how I ordered mine so I don't have to wait 3-5 weeks!!! Do a search on the online store for x1900 and you'll see Apple sells the video card separately. I ordered it along with my Mac Pro and I'll just pop it in when it comes and sell my 7300.
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
mohaukachi said:
ive heard the same about memory working better in 4 stick configs. as far as your scratch disk... ive always been fine with it being on a local drive. however, i have an external FW800 set as my secondary scratch on the odd occurance that my photoshop cache get over 20 or 30 gigs. i prefer an internal scratch disk just due to the fact that FW drives tend to be less reliable. the fact is... its a matter of preference and what works best for you. enjoy your new machine!
Thanks mohaukachi! Regarding the scratch disk, I'll try it both ways as you and others have recommended.
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
Dreadnought said:
You can?!?! How do you know that, there hasn't been a release of one yet nor has any company announced it as far as I know.

I would say get the better video card, it's always a crime to update it later, look at every PowerMac that has been released so far. You always pay a lot for a retail Mac video card, if it's available. Ram on the other can be purchased for pretty cheap prices everywhere! My advise: GO FOR THE BETTER VIDEOCARD!! You can always purchase Ram later.
Dreadnought, thanks for the advice. I went for the RAM because it may be months before I have more money to buy RAM. 1GB total just didn't seem like enough.
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
14
Almere, The Netherlands
MovieCutter said:
That's how I ordered mine so I don't have to wait 3-5 weeks!!! Do a search on the online store for x1900 and you'll see Apple sells the video card separately. I ordered it along with my Mac Pro and I'll just pop it in when it comes and sell my 7300.
You are right, just looked in the Dutch Apple Store. But it was 500 Euro (guess it's also 500 USD). So, I'm still working on a G5 AGP and wanted to upgrade the GPU. The only thing that comes close is an X800 XT, which is 600 Euro!!! These prices are outragous! I could better get a 7600 XS for a pc and get it flashed.