Thinking about getting the Mac Pro - few questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by msmth928, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. msmth928 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2009
    Hi, I'm thinking about getting a Mac Pro and hope some of you can help with a few questions...

    1 - Is this a good time to buy one? (Are we expecting updates to the range any time soon? Will we see a 'mid' range desktop in the near future?)

    2 - Do you have to buy the raid card (at £500 !!!) to put two drives in raid 0? (I didn't need a hardware raid card for my PC as the Asus motherboard handled it fine - so I'm just wondering if there is some sort of raid functionality built in?)

    3 - Are they noisy or quiet?

    4 - How much of a premium is it going down the mac route? In other words how much could I save if I bought a PC of the same spec? And, dare I say it, is it going to be worth getting the mac over the pc?

    5 - Finally, are there any other benefits of getting one? I need reasons to justify the purchase lol!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    People always seem to skip the most important thing with these types of questions:


    1. if you like the lineup, then yes, this lineup was just released, and while never say never... no updates (and less likely major) are likely soon
    2. no
    3. louder than the 08 model, but still very quiet
    4. the Mac Pro probably/seems to carry some premium, especially if you are looking at the single CPU models...
    5. windows v. mac? that's on you
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    4. $800 to $3,000 more than last year depending on the model. 2009 Mac Pros are very over-priced.
  4. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    If you are running pro applications for video editing, image editing, 3d modeling, CAD, or scientific projects then the Mac Pro will save you a lot of time.

    If you like gaming, the Mac Pro will do an adequate job of playing most games especially if you get the HD 4870 or GTX 285 video card.
    If you are only using it for gaming though, then I'd suggest a PC.
  5. wpc33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Keep in mind, if you compare the Mac Pro to a PC, the MP uses server-grade parts.
  6. msmth928 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2009
    Thanks for the replies :)

    Re use, the machine will be used for photoshop/graphics, coding and general day to day stuff. I don't want an iMac as I have a very nice monitor (that isn't glossy either!) and I feel the MBP, even with a faster 7,200 rpm drive just isn't fast or flexible enough for me. For instance in my PC I had a disk for my OS and two more in raid 0 - which I kept all my files/emails on. Perfect for me as it meant an instant/no hassle back up. The PC is actually super fast (hence why the MBP feels a little sluggish in comparison) ...I just got a bit fed up with windows.

    Re question 2, can you confirm, will I have to buy the raid card to setup two drives in raid?

  7. SydneyDev macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    You don't need a RAID card - OS X has a software raid. The hardware ones are just a bit nicer as they typically have massive amounts of cache on the card.
  8. msmth928 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2009
    Thanks, was just about to come back to say I found the answer! :)

  9. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Confirmation - No.

    Software RAID is nice, but your machine will take a slight performance hit. On your machine it probably wouldn't be noticeable. My machine on the other hand..... :D

    Edit - took to long to post.
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    By extension, you can do RAID 0, 1 and 0+1 in software. At those RAID levels, the minor performance differences a hardware RAID card would give you is not justifiable for the cost, IMHO.

    Buy a RAID card if you need RAID 5 or 6 (or if you need to run SAS drives). Otherwise, they're not necessary.
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    I think so too. One might want a card for some features but the performance I guess is close to identical. And on all intel xeon Macs there is no performance hit. At all. Or if there is it's not something measurable by any tool I have within one one-hundredth of a CPU percentage point. :p
  12. eelpout macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    I wish that those who keep saying this would elucidate for us what they think this means. If we're talking an ECC capable motherboard, ECC RAM plus the W3520 CPU (for the 2.66) that maybe adds $200-250 to the parts price over an i7 equivalent (and that's being generous). The Mac Pro's are priced far and above that "server-grade" bump.
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Well I've said something like this. I said MP's profile like servers. By this I mean low temp, low speed, parallelism, ECC, Xeon, and built with longevity in mind instead of pushing the hardware. Besides the CPU and RAM I would not say they were built with server grade parts tho.

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