Stepping into Mac Pro land, opinions and advice on spec please

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tmccambridge, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. tmccambridge macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2007

    Ok well i've decided to finally go down the Mac Pro route as it seems to be the best all-round option for the work I do etc.

    I've just specced up the following, I am a media designer/developer so will be using CS3, After Effects, Final Cut studio and intend to have a Dual boot with Windows so I can run 3DS max. I also intend to put my own RAM in, hence is not listed in the spec below as I would like to ask what would people recommend is a good amount of RAM to compliment this machine given the software I intend to be using? I was thinking 8GB should be ok but some people are telling me to go the whole hog and put 16 in...?

    Anyway, and opinions and advice is very much welcome.

    Mac Pro
    Part Number: Z0EM
    2GB (2x1GB) 065-7175
    Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse 065-7694
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 065-7537
    One 16x SuperDrive 065-7203
    Apple Keyboard & Mac OS 065-7707
    Two 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 065-7534
    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s 065-7193
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s 065-7195
    Country kit 065-7220
    AirPort Extreme Card (Wi-Fi) 065-7206

    Finally, I also intend to run an Apple 30" Cinema display with this, with the intention of possibly upgrading to a secondary display in the near future.

    Thanks in advance

  2. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    Do not buy memory from Apple. Get 4 sticks of 2GB each for a total of 8GB of ram so you can take advantage of both channels. I use 8GB on my pro and it is real nice since you get lots of memory for multitasking and it makes a huge performance boost due to the limiting of pageouts, only 97 in my case on my mac pro with a runtime of 30days 18hours 20min. The 8800 has poor core performance, I am not sure if the 38xx series is available yet for purchase. For Final Cut studio you want a videocard with strong coregraphics performance.

    Thats another thing you get with macs, neverending runtimes without the associated performance issues of vista.
  3. rikoshay macrumors member


    Mar 28, 2006
    No. California (in the Redwoods)
    You & I have similar rigs. Whatever you decide on the amount of RAM, keep in mind Apple's advice: put DIMMs in every slot for best performance.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I believe the difference between 2.8 and 3.0 is so marginal that it's not worth the price, but that is up to you.
    The hard drives should be purchased elsewhere. In all honesty you can get them cheaper.
    Leave the RAM stock, buy from Crucial or OWC and you'll save yourself a ton of cash.
  5. powermac_daddy macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2005
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    Quick questions:

    price is doubled if you want the 3.2GHz Xeon over the 3.0GHz. Is there a big, i mean big performance differences? I tried to find something like 3.2 GHz vs 3.0 on google. I couldn't find any.

    also... next Mac Pro is coming when? I have my $6.5G ready for a fat machine. I can wait, but i just don't see the point of getting a 173 days old mac pro. I know the current is super, but again. I can wait for the next update.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    No there aren't big performance differences. Unless you are processing, and waiting on that processing so that you can continue to work and your time is valuble then there is no real reason to get the 3GHz or 3.2GHz upgrades.
  7. debreu macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2008
    Processing Time Gains

    Does anyone know the processing time gains for 2.8 vs 3.0 vs 3.2 on some standard benchmark? I guess what would be nice would be something like, "the 3.2 will save you 10 minutes when inverting an n by m matrix versus the 3.0."

  8. MrT-Man macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2008
    Errm... isn't the math just (3.0 / 2.8) - 1 = 7% speed increase; (3.2 / 2.8) - 1 = 14% speed increase?

    (with those being maximums -- if the bus or ram or something else is a bottleneck for a given task, then you wouldn't get the max. increase)

    So for any given task on a 2.8, it would take 93% as much time on a 3.0 machine (1/1.07) and 88% as much time (1/1.14) on a 3.2...?

    2.8 = 10 mins.
    3.0 = 9 mins. 20 seconds
    3.2 = 8 mins. 46 seconds
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Either MacWorld 2009 with no FB-DIMMs (I personally don't believe that),
    or WWDC 2009 with Beckton and FB-DIMMs. Beckton also means four processors. That means sixteen cores, people.
  10. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    I love how your always the first to ensure people that there are no Mac Pro updates coming. Keep up the good work, there's a lot of nonsense going around! :D
  11. debreu macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2008
    Are the speed gains really linear? It seems, like you say, in theory that they should be since the processor should be computing a fixed percentage more calculation per second. I'm guessing whether the bus or ram bottlenecks occur depends on the kind of task your performing.

    Thanks for the reply. :cool:
  12. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2008
    I'm doing the same kind of work on the same apps and I have a similar spec to the one in your post. I went for 16Gb of RAM from TransIntl. Arrived next day and cost thousands less than the Apple store price (looks identical by the way - same heatsinks). If you're running After Effects with Gridiron Nucleo, they recommend setting aside 2Gb per core - so an 8 core Mac Pro benefits most from 16Gb of RAM.

    The 8800GT performance under OSX isn't that great, but it's fine under Windows, where the drivers have been properly tuned. If you're running 3dsmax, it will be fine.

    I would order the Mac Pro with just the stock 320Gb hard drive and get some high capacity fast drives from Newegg (WD 1TB 32Mb Caviar Black drives are only $220). Sling the Apple drive in a cupboard or use it as a backup drive for Time Machine.

    Finally, personal preference but I would get a Logitech MX Revolution instead of the Apple Mighty Mouse. It has a much nicer feel and plenty of configurable buttons and wheels.
  13. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Which would you rather have:

    Me telling the community that there won't be updates so that when there aren't updates, people don't get angry for no reason...


    Me telling the community that there will be updates so that when there aren't updates, people act rashly and feel that they have been cheated. (which always happens after an expected update doesn't)

    I say that it won't happen for a reason. I want it to happen as much as anyone else, but if you don't hang on it happening when you want it to happen, you won't be disappointed when it doesn't.
  14. kd_rome macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2004
  15. powermac_daddy macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2005
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    dude. are the weather man?
  16. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    Since you like the rest of us have no clue what the heck Apple is thinking, and since you like the rest of us are using a RUMOR site (Rumors are not fact), there is no need to be sure. I've got $7K waiting for them to update it, and as long as my G4 works there is no need to buy now, and no need to WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT until the next update. When it comes out, I'll buy it. Waiting for it and predicting bogus dates and specs doesn't make it shorter.

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