Questions about purchasing my first Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Lifeguy, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Lifeguy macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2007
    I’m getting close to pulling the trigger on a new Mac Pro and just have a few questions before I make my purchase. I’ll be using this as my main desktop at home and plan on doing a bit of work with CS5 and maybe a few other programs. I'm not a professional by any means but would like to have a powerful Mac desktop that will give me some flexibility for upgrades in the future. I also plan on playing a few games (StarCraft 2 and FFXIV once it’s released) via boot camp. Both games are pretty graphic intensive, especially FFXIV, so I plan on upgrading to the 5870. I was considering a custom PC but would prefer to buy a Mac as my primary home computer.

    So now I’m trying to figure out which Mac Pro would best suite my needs, assuming I purchase one. Right now I’m thinking of getting the base model and just upgrading the video card. I would probably throw another 1GB stick of RAM in there too.

    2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Nehalem
    1TB 7200 RPM HD
    ATI Radeon HD5870 1GB

    What are people’s thoughts on the base model with the 2.8GHz processor? Would I benefit much from the 3.2GHz or is the difference not very noticeable? Also do all the new models use 1333GHz RAM?

    Thanks in advance
  2. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    Can't answer all of your questions, but the Nehalems do not use 1333 Mhz RAM. Only the Westmere (6, 8, 12 core) do. My understanding is if you put the higher clocked RAM in the quad, it will just down-clock it to 1066.

    I'm interested in other's opinions on the graphics card upgrade because I'm making a similar decision.
  3. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Pretty sure even the 8 core westmere only supports 1066MHz
  4. skiffx macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008
    Get more RAM from owc or transintl
    Otherwise 2.8 should be fine for your needs, especially if you decide to throw an ssd in later on :D
  5. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    I'd of maybe thought about the 6 core model? Upgrade the graphics card and then upgrade the ram later? I think the 6 core will last longer in performance terms.
  6. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    When you're buying something like that, the answer is buy the best you can afford.
  7. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    You're right. Any idea why? Are the 8 core Westmeres on the same board as the previous 8-core Nehalems?
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002

    Really depends on your budget. If you have the ability to spend more $ then faster proc & more RAM is always going to be desirable, but the 2.8 is no slouch either, especially for the hobbyist/"prosumer." Take a look at the MacWorld and benchmarks from the '09s. They should give you a fair idea of the power of each of the QCs.

    Personally, as a so-called "prosumer," I've been going back and fourth and have "settled" on the stock 2.8 QC and will put in 6GB RAM myself. I'd like to buy more, but I have other hobbies, and need to save some $ to upgrade my D90 in Sept too. Total compromise, but then again, not a bad one to have to make.
  9. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    And if you do decide to get an SSD and use it as your boot drive, your games and apps will load much faster.
  10. telequest macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    No. RAM specs for all the new models are on Apple's Mac Pro tech specs page.

    Dual-processor systems
    2.4GHz system: 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM (the 8-core)
    2.66GHz and 2.93GHz systems: 1333MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM (12-core models)
    Eight memory slots (four per processor) supporting up to 32GB of main memory using 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DIMMs

    Single-processor systems
    2.8GHz and 3.2GHz systems: 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM (quads)
    3.33GHz system: 1333MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM (6-core)
    Four memory slots supporting up to 16GB of main memory using 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DIMMs​

    8GB DIMMs likely to work as well (from 3rd party vendors like OWC, don't buy from Apple). My understanding is that OWC will test and confirm once they get their hands on 2010 Mac Pros.
  11. Lifeguy thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2007

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