Stock Mac Pro a recommended starting point?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sir Cecil, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #1
    What are your opinions on the stock(basic?) mac pro available at Apple Stores?

    I would intend adding additional RAM in due course, and an extra HD or two. I'd like 2 DVD/CD drives. But should I be ordering these at the time of purchase, or simply taking the stock model and adding to it as I go? Financially, I'd MUCH rather spread the additional cost over time, but, I don't want to buy a configuration that I'll regret in a few weeks time.

    For example, I am NOT a gamer, so should I be considering anything other than the stock graphics card? I do not have specialized video editing needs. However, if in a year's time I should have more of a need in that area, would it be as easy to upgrade then, rather than at the outset?

    I will be using my present 23" ACD (originally bought to use with a laptop). My computer experience to date has been mainly with a Powerbook G4. I have used iMacs, but a Mac Pro would be a big step up, presumably opening up possibilities in the future that I haven't explored.

    I do a LOT of audio editing of uncompressed music files via programs like Peak, and will also be using Photoshop. I'll be doing plenty of photo retouching etc. I am a marketing/advertising writer and will use the computer for work, so I like the possibility of having one HD for work, another for my audio editing, and perhaps a third for everything else.

    So... do you think the stock Mac Pro is as good a way as any to get the ball rolling, or would you to urge me to take something specific into account that I haven't thought of, before I go in the Apple Store and buy one "off the shelf"?

    Thanks!

    Apple Store's stock confiuration for $2,799 is:
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Harpertown” processors
    2GB memory (800MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics with 256MB memory
    320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x double-layer SuperDrive
     
  2. KPTChristopher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Derry
    #2
    The Mac Pros do not come with wireless as standard, the airport card is $50 more.
    Don't buy RAM or hard disks from Apple they are too expensive. Other World Computing is a popular choice for reasonably priced RAM. RAM needs to be set up in pairs, do a search in the forums for advice about this. Buy extra hard disks from online retailers, again lots of opinions here on good choices for hard disk options.
    Stock video card is fine for Photoshop and audio work, if you develop a passion for gaming then you can buy a 8800GT graphics card from Apple for $349. Hard core gamers sometimes just buy a PC video card and only play Windows games using bootcamp. See barefeats website for benchmarks of various video cards.
     
  3. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #3
    I'd avoid RAM or HD from Apple, as already said. I'd have AirPort/BT added, because its simply to do it now. If you don't game, and don't use the GPU much(minus basic stuff, which low end things can handle) I'd leave it alone.


    I'd look 3rd party RAM, right when you buy it. And I'd depending on how long you want to keep this bad boy as your main set up, consider CPU upgrades. Then can be aftermarket too, but its cheaper to do now, because the you'll only have one set of CPUs, if you upgrade in a year, you'll have to buy all new ones, and the old ones will be useless(maybe to less, but thats it)
     
  4. Sir Cecil thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the tips.

    Is the airport card something I easily slot in myself, or is it more complicated (than say, adding RAM) and needs doing by one of the Apple Store technical staff?
     
  5. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #5
    It's more complicated than RAM. You should just order it with it.
     
  6. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Mid-West USA
    #6
    I bought a refurb. from Apple and the MacPro didn't have Wifi or Bluetooth. I brought it to my local Apple Store and they installed it in 30 min. for $30.00 plus parts. You might as well have it installed before shipping.
     
  7. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #7
    On the 2006 Mac Pros it was a very easy install, I didn't order mine with one, but I bought one at CompUSA and installed it myself in about five minutes roughly a week later. Who knows what the 2008 models are like, though. Best just to get it with the machine when you order.
     
  8. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Mid-West USA
    #8
    As I indicated it took 30 min. by the Apple Genius...they must have taken mine outside for some fresh air and sunshine ;) There was some information on the WWW about the cables being mislabeled or not connected correctly by the installers and it caused poor Wifi and BT signal strength. So be careful of that.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Remember that adding to the stock machine makes it a CTO purchase from Apple, and you lose the ability to return it for direct replacement if it arrives defective.

    Really, you're better off with wired Ethernet on a MacPro (*as it is NOT portable by any definition... ) unless it is physically impossible to run a wire to it from the router.
     
  10. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #10
    No need, I already knew. :) Read about it awhile back and I'd already fixed the cables properly.
     
  11. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #11
    Well now I'm confused. Does the MP come with bluetooth or not? It seems odd that the wireless Mighty Mouse is an option, on Apple's site, if the machine doesn't have the BT module already. I currently use a wired Mighty Mouse, but intended on switching. Am I looking at more work then I thought?
     
  12. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    In the U.K. Bluetooth is included but the wireless card is £30 extra .. :mad:
     
  13. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #13
    No, you aren't. The 2008 Mac Pro does come with Bluetooth standard, just not 802.11n.
     
  14. mcvaughan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #14
    Yup. My off the shelf MP came with BT, but no wireless.
     

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